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Comments on news posted 2013-01-31 18:22:26: Comcast finished their digital conversion in 2012 after starting it in 2009, and had been giving users a free digital converter so they could continue to watch programming without interruption. ..

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Seeley

join:2009-01-31
Eatontown, NJ

3 edits

Nasty Greed. Ma Bell never pulled this stuff.

Why would a company charge you for a REQUIRED device? Why? Because Comcast is the greediest company on earth. I HATED THIS F__KING COMPANY WITH A PASSION 10 YEARS AGO and now I'm blowing steam out my ears.

Does a supermarket charge customers to use their motorized carts if they need them?? NO. It's part of the service.

Comcast is charging us, so we use can their service? Doesn't make sense.

COMCAST SUCKS MOOSE COCK.

FCC- got balls?

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to alexintexas

Re: Nasty

Over 48 months, and compared to equivalent Comcast equipment, Windows MCE beats renting stuff from Comcast by a significant margin for anything between 1 and the full 6 rooms support by MCE. For a 5 room setup, over 48 months, MCE is $1380 cheaper, and it gets even more significant for more than 5 rooms, although you do lose a bit if you go to 8 tuners, as you'd be spending another $336 over 48 months for that CableCard (unless you just do ClearQAM tuners). The problem is that most people don't seem to be willing to run the calculations to understand what the true costs/benefits are of different options. Cable companies aren't going to IP-based video anytime soon. The next step for them is to continue to use linear 256-QAM, but with MPEG-4AVC or HEVC. With HEVC, they could do 8 HD's per QAM with the equivalent quality of FIOS's 2 HD's per QAM.

@Zoder: There are options out there. Just because people don't take advantage of them is their own fault.

We are way past the days of plugging analog TVs with VCRs in. HD and DVR functionality is a core part of watching TV now, as is OnDemand in many cases (although I don't care, since I'd rather own my own and control my own DVR).

Just for comparison's sake, my HTPC that I got up and running this past week was $908 not including Windows 7, but including all the hardware for the PC, the Ceton quad tuner, remote, and keyboard/trackpad thingy. It's a Core i3 with 8GB of ram, a 120GB SSD, and a 3TB hard drive. It's also got a pretty nice case and PSU. It would be deal silent if I replaced the stock Intel cooler. It's probably overpowered for MCE, but I wanted a Core i-series processor.

@alexintexas: You clearly have no clue what you're talking about. My Core i3 machine has one cablecard, one cable line, 4 tuners, and it's putting over 90% of it's CPU power towards F@H even when I'm watching TV and playing with the DVR functionality.

CableCards cannot be blocked. The DRM flags that some cable co's use still allow extenders to stream the content.

DVRs are legal and here to stay, and DISH will ultimately win with the commercial skipping technology, and it will hopefully be rolled out to work with all channels, and by more providers.

The content providers are utterly clueless and are scared of new technology like many other industries that have taken a long time to adapt. Look at the CBS/CNET/Dish debacle. CBS is clueless. The fact of the matter is that DVRs are here to stay, and no matter how much content providers hate them, they will continue to be more and more ubiquitous, at least as long as content is linearly delivered over cable/satellite.

alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
said by BiggA:

I replaced the stock Intel cooler. It's probably overpowered for MCE, but I wanted a Core i-series processor.

@alexintexas: You clearly have no clue what you're talking about. My Core i3 machine has one cablecard, one cable line, 4 tuners, and it's putting over 90% of it's CPU power towards F@H even when I'm watching TV and playing with the DVR functionality.

two questions
1. are you using the cpu graphics?
2. curious here, after 12hr of utilizing constant 90% cpu on the aftermarket cooler, what are the cpu temps?

said by BiggA:

CableCards cannot be blocked. The DRM flags that some cable co's use still allow extenders to stream the content.

i never said or mentioned anything about streaming

said by BiggA:

The content providers are utterly clueless and are scared of new technology

nope wrong!

Its all about ad revenue the content providers are not going to generate ad revenue on even a Google/Youtube model with 85% of there content is reruns of everything out there, so the actual content that is made new is what would be bringing in some $$$ not enough to go around and much less the current amount of profit being generated. they know this. So yes they are stuck.

netflix you say, yes they make little money, however how much can/do they make in ad revenue on those reruns vs profits from netflix, having 30 different pay streaming services simply is not going to work either, they also know all this.

Google/Youtube,,,i have said this in another thread. youtube has grown so fast and continues to grow = more viewership = more ad revenue = lost ad revenue for all the content providers and the more they grow the more they lose, this is what the content providers fear on top of youtube is growing by leaps and bounds and pay $0 for any content offered yet youtube is winning


Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL
reply to Seeley

Re: Nasty Greed. Ma Bell never pulled this stuff.

At least Ma Bells fees made (some) sense. Some of the profit from renting the high quality Western Electric gear went to Bell Labs to further science. (Transistors! Lasers!)

Cable is already pretty expensive as it is. If they want to charge this much just put it into the main fee. Granted, Comcast has made more of an effort at improving service in our area compared to Verizon which has given up. (No FIOS for us!)

Still, they do indeed suck. Customer Service is horrible unless you use the direct forum here. Their billing system seems to be mentally damaged.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to alexintexas

Re: Nasty

Honestly, I haven't checked temps. I don't care, as the Core i-Series will shut themselves down if they're too hot, and the motherboard automatically manages the fan speed. As long as it's below the 70 or 80C that's the max for the CPU, I'm good. I used to run a P4 at 78C all summer, with it's max spec'ed temp at 80C, so I don't have an issue with hot CPUs. I am using the stock Intel cooler, which is why the machine currently isn't silent, but it is pretty quiet.

You said you can't record copy protected content, which is factually wrong. You can, and you can stream it. You just can't copy it to another machine on the network.

The thing is, the content providers are digging their heads into the sand. They have continued to push ridiculous price increases and massive, bloated channel bundles just to get a few key channels (i.e. all the garbage ABC/Disney channels just to get ESPN). Now they are fixated on ads. The more and more they try to cling to old models, the more people will move their eyeball time to other media, dump cable all-together or pirate stuff. They are pushing towards a tipping point, and at this rate, they are going to take the Comcasts of the world down with them. It's unfortunate that Comcast, DISH, DirecTV, AT&T, Verizon, and others couldn't form a coalition to set the prices they are willing to pay for the content and beat the networks into submission, as thats what the networks and content conglomerates need right now. Until the MSOs get control of the skyrocketing content cost, cable and satellite prices are going to continue to be completely absurd. Heck, Comcast alone, as the largest MSO, should grow a pair, pull a Charlie Ergen and start naming their prices. They have the power of the subscribers to beat the networks down into submission. Of course it's a lot harder now that they merged with NBC Universal.

alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
said by BiggA:

You said you can't record copy protected content, which is factually wrong. You can, and you can stream it. You just can't copy it to another machine on the network.

no i said cable companies are flagging x-channel at the request of x-content provider to disable recording on pc tuners and even tivos, not on cable co dvr, so say i have a centon or even a tivo say fox does not want my market to record to my dvr they send the flag request to the cable co. thus all cable cards (cable dvr's excluded) in my market would be blocked from recording fox.


considerthis

@comcast.net
reply to Zoder
What no one is considering is that equipment has to be manufactured to operate on the local system infrastructure. Even the cable companies cannot transfer equipment from a SA market to a Motorola market because the backend equipment is not compatible. To make a truly "universal" decoder would require a rebuild of basically every market in the country. Who would you propose pay for this rebuild? I'm sure your answer is the cable company, but reality is that no company is going to spend that kind of money for no return on investment.

As to the "retail" box market, at one time Motorola tried this and had little interest in purchasing it. Cable modems are a great example, most people pay the rental fee rather than buying their own. This may not be true of people on DSLR, but for the majority it is. It's easy to claim that a privately owned market would thrive, but I again disagree because after someone had a surge that killed their box 2 months after they bought it they would then find the value in rental equipment. This is much the reason that many people don't buy their own modems, it's a great deal if your modem lasts two years, but if it gets fried inside six months then you were better off with a rental.

Finally, as someone who has worked in the service side of cable, I can speak firsthand of the additional costs that come with customer owned equipment. With company owned equipment it's a no questions asked swap. Those who own their own equipment are insistent that the problem is not their modem and frequently require 2-4 service calls before they accept it. At the same time the customer does not want to pay for the repeated service calls because they shouldn't have to. I've even heard the argument that the modem is in warranty, so it should be covered but they are unwilling to understand that their warranty is with Motorola not the cable company. Compare this to any other industry, for example if you go to the doctor, you are charged for the office visit and any additional fees required for the diagnosis. Should you decide to get a second opinion you will then will again pay those fees. You can substitute the word doctor for almost anything such as, auto mechanic, HVAC technician, etc. The cable business is one of the few industries where the consumer believes they shouldn't have to pay anything to get the cable guy to their house. They do not consider that a $50 fee doesn't even cover the $100 it takes to get the vehicle and the tech to your home.


considerthis

@comcast.net
reply to amungus

Re: suck

said by amungus:

No good reason a TV, with no box attached, should not be able to get cable, with 99% of available channels. Arguing about satellite is ridiculous, as the method of receiving is vastly different, and requires retransmission from satellites owned by the provider (or, leased, in directv's case).

So apparently you think that there is no infrastructure costs on the part of the cable company. It's really not that different. The cable company receives signals from providers(either through satellite farms or fiber optics), it is then demodulated and remodulated onto their channel mapping (a little more to this, but I'm keeping it simple), from there it goes onto fiber optics to the OTN site that feeds your "neighborhood" and is once again sent out on fiber to nodes where it feeds throughs amplifiers and cable. Just considering the outdoor plant to feed your home from the OTN you are talking about multiple amplifiers that cost $2-$5K each and a node can run near $10K, then you have to add in power supplies (multiple per node) which comes with fees paid to local power company who also owns most of the poles that hold said equipment. Every single pole on the way to your house comes with a pole attachment fee that is negotiated with the local POCO. You can see that the costs add up fairly quickly and this is not even accounting for the costs to get the programming to your local main site.


Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to alexintexas

Re: Nasty

said by alexintexas:

no i said cable companies are flagging x-channel at the request of x-content provider to disable recording on pc tuners and even tivos, not on cable co dvr, so say i have a centon or even a tivo say fox does not want my market to record to my dvr they send the flag request to the cable co. thus all cable cards (cable dvr's excluded) in my market would be blocked from recording fox.

Cable companies are not allowed to disable recordings. It is illegal to flag anything other than On Demand programming as not being recordable (CCI 0x03). It is also illegal to flag local broadcast channels as not copyable (CCI 0x02).

If your cable company is flagging said programs, report them to the FCC.

Note: not copyable (0x02) is not the same as not recordable (0x03). The former can be recorded, but can't be copied off the device that recorded them. The later can be temporarily recorded, but most be automatically deleted within 90 minutes of the program ending.
--
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to considerthis
My parents have been running their SB5100 since 2003. We got it for free at Circuit City(!!!) on a rebate deal. Even at retail, it's paid for itself many times over.

Cable techs shouldn't have to go to the user's home unless there is a plant issue. The cable company's responsibility ends at the demarc, and if Comcast can provide a good signal to the demarc, it's the homeowner's responsibility beyond that. This is why I was annoyed when Comcast forced us to have a tech come out to install the MoCA filter for whole-home DVR. It was a brain-dead simple job to install it, you just put it before the first splitter and you're done. In fact, we're at the point where Comcast can't seem to provide enough power, so the internal setup, through the use of an amp, is compensating for the low power coming in. Theoretically, they should fix it, but we had the amp already, so trying to convince Comcast that their plant is broken was a lot harder than plugging the amp in, and getting basketball (SNY) back up in HD.

Back on topic, the current boxes are Moto or Sci Atlanta. However, you can make a box that would work on either, and CableCard gear works on both. TiVo even has VOD on Moto systems, and if Comcast would figure out how, it would get VOD through Sci Atlanta systems. Comcast really should regionalize their cable systems, instead of running a whole bunch of small cable plants, like Verizon has done. If they ran SHE's like Verizon did, they could provide a more consistent experience. They would have to convert their few Sci Atlanta markets to Motorola, and in the process, would have to roll out dual-mode cable boxes, but I'd imagine anything new and Comcast-branded that they are getting custom built are dual-mode anyways. Comcast is horrendously slow to upgrade because of the little feudal cable systems, and the support people don't have a clue what's going on in any one local system, whereas with regional systems, they would all be exactly the same, and the support folks would know exactly what's going on.

amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable
reply to considerthis

Re: suck

I never said that they had no infrastructure costs, sorry you assumed that. Yes, they have costs, and I do realize all of those things which you pointed out.

The difference is that cable was set up to function with similar tuning standards in both analog and digital domains, that TV's are able to accept. There really isn't much involved in tuning analog or digital signals until you introduce encryption and authentication into the mix. Even then, it should be a rather trivial matter to resolve, but sadly, nobody wants to go there.

With satellite, tuning such signals is something your average TV is not equipped to do. The frequencies are not in the same spectrum. The power levels are totally different. The modulations are different. Nearly everything about a satellite signal is different from established TV tuner standards which are in EVERY TV tuner in existence.

Why should a TV nowadays not be able to decode the basic signals transmitted over cable networks? Truth is they can. Encrypting / scrambling most digital signals, however, requires use of an external box. It really should need to, except in the case of a DVR, or value added device. Basic reception of a general package should simply not require the mandated use of a box, that MUST be rented. We ought to be able to work out standards to move forward with that don't require TV's to use external boxes for simple cable access. It's a step backwards. It's not needed. It's silly.


considerthis

@comcast.net
reply to BiggA

Re: Nasty

said by BiggA:

They would have to convert their few Sci Atlanta markets to Motorola, and in the process, would have to roll out dual-mode cable boxes, but I'd imagine anything new and Comcast-branded that they are getting custom built are dual-mode anyways.

These are things that cost a lot of money to upgrade. You may remember another cable company that tried to do mass upgrade to the later backend and line gear. That company was Charter and it landed them in bankruptcy. These upgrades you speak of all cost a lot of money and will not generate much new revenue it any. As to the support people, they will not have a clue anyway.

said by BiggA:

Cable techs shouldn't have to go to the user's home unless there is a plant issue. The cable company's responsibility ends at the demarc, and if Comcast can provide a good signal to the demarc, it's the homeowner's responsibility beyond that. This is why I was annoyed when Comcast forced us to have a tech come out to install the MoCA filter for whole-home DVR. It was a brain-dead simple job to install it, you just put it before the first splitter and you're done.

I won't argue the DEMARC with you because you are correct. Part fo the point I was making is that most customers do not understand nor think like you do. I have personally been told that because we installed the lines 10 years ago we have to fix them for free, or that as the cable provider it was our job to diagnose and even fix the TV for free. People that understand DEMARC's and responsibility are a rarity from my experience.

For the MOCA filter, they don't require a tech install it because you are not capable. They require it because many customers would simply install the equipment and disregard the filter because they don't understand that it is to prevent MOCA signals above 1GHz from traveling back into the plant. You have to view this from average customer knowledge rather than your knowledge. I have went to many houses where the owner did not know where the utilities enter the property, how can a company rely on those kind of customers to install a filter?


Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by considerthis :

For the MOCA filter, they don't require a tech install it because you are not capable. They require it because many customers would simply install the equipment and disregard the filter because they don't understand that it is to prevent MOCA signals above 1GHz from traveling back into the plant. You have to view this from average customer knowledge rather than your knowledge. I have went to many houses where the owner did not know where the utilities enter the property, how can a company rely on those kind of customers to install a filter?

It doesn't help when you have techs give contradictory info. I bought a MoCA filter and was talking to a tech out for a modem signal problem about installing it and he told me that he wouldn't bother as it just "adds another piece of equipment that can go wrong".

I actually still haven't bothered to install it yet as the tech tightens the splitter connections so tight that I need a wrench to get them open and haven't felt like wrestling with it with it being 20 degrees out. That and things are working okay currently (though I'm convince Comcast has a headend problem near me as I've been getting constant T4 errors on one upstream channel for months).

One would think though that Comcast would just install filters at the block, if they were worried about signal leakage.
--
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to considerthis
True. The cable company owning the equipment in many installations doesn't help, as the cable company owns to the demarc, doesn't own inside wiring, and then owns the boxes, it sort of becomes a head-scratcher.

I guess it's too sophisticated for Comcast, but they could theoretically set boxes that have WHDVR up so that if they saw another account's MoCA equipment, they would both lock down until the proper filters were installed, but then again, there probably are a lot of multi-family installations where two or three or four subs share a single MoCA channel, and the filter is upstream of splitters going to individual units...

A lot of people are dumb and can't seem to get the concept of tracing wires... But, at the same time, they shouldn't treat everyone as if they are technologically and logically challenged.


POA

@sbcglobal.net
reply to Zenit

Re: Nasty Greed. Ma Bell never pulled this stuff.

I called yesterday to downgrade to lowest service package in preparation for complete cancellation this spring. Still waiting for the downgrade, they said it would happen same day. We have too many monopolies in this country. In Europe, cable co must share the cable so competition keeps prices down to 1/3rd what we pay.

RG

join:2013-02-19
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$5 per month is not a lot of money, but, realize that Comcast is probably charging each of its 20 million plus customers. Do the math and that is over a BILLION dollars a year being sucked out of our pockets !! Enough is enough!!! You should be mad as heck at the big corporation aided by the big government ramming this down our throats. If you are not, then we deserve what we get.