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Comments on news posted 2013-12-06 11:22:57: For many years CableCARD technology has struggled to see adoption for a number of reasons. Incompetent regulators and cable operators deserve an even share of the blame. ..


Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
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There is another reason

Sure, incompetent regulators and cable operators is a big problem.

The biggest problem is that consumers don't want to pay for their own equipment either. The Tivo would be good example. To buy a Tivo with a cablecard is around $200 and then you are paying a monthly fee on top of that.

Then you have a big problem that is technical. I wrote a story on Windows Media Center and using Silicondust HD Homerun Prime or Ceton, and setting up a system like that is not the most intuitive nor is that cheap as well.

The cost breakdown show that it will take around 2 years just to get your investment back before you start saving money over leasing the boxes. In that situation, more consumers are willing to go with a "drop in and go" option.

So while there is incompetence, I would argue that there are cost and technical expertise issues when it comes to consumers.
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thehopeful

join:2006-11-17
Burlington, ON

Re: There is another reason

Nightfall See Profile The biggest problem is that consumers don't want to pay for their own equipment either
But should they have to? The potential with CableCards was to load them right into the TV with no external settop required. TV manufacturers should've been required to equip all sets with CableCard slots, same as how ATSC/QAM decoders were mandated. Unfortunately, it's now impossible to find any televisions that support CableCard

I'd say lacking native SDV and VOD support is what holds 3rd party CableCard devices back

Nightfall
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Re: There is another reason

said by thehopeful:

Nightfall See Profile The biggest problem is that consumers don't want to pay for their own equipment either
But should they have to? The potential with CableCards was to load them right into the TV with no external settop required. TV manufacturers should've been required to equip all sets with CableCard slots, same as how ATSC/QAM decoders were mandated. Unfortunately, it's now impossible to find any televisions that support CableCard

I'd say lacking native SDV and VOD support is what holds 3rd party CableCard devices back

Do you think that TV manufacturers were going to build in cablecard readers without charging the consumer more money? A cablecard reader in any device could increase the price by $100-$300 more depending on the device. This is why TV manufacturers weren't going to build them in. They are an extra added expense.

The VOD support? I think that over 80% of consumers don't use VOD from the cable company. A story just came out about that on DSLR.

As I said before, its all about the extra cost of equipment.
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BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
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1 recommendation

Re: There is another reason

I have used VOD maybe 6 times on comcast and 2 times on verizon, unused by any one in my house and my parents and their friends don't either.
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Cogdis

join:2007-03-26
Floral Park, NY
said by Nightfall:

As I said before, its all about the extra cost of equipment.

Not necessarily. Tivo sells boxes for $0 down with a 1 year contract. I think that cost plays a role but an even bigger problem is that people just don't know that CableCards are an option. Whenever somebody comes over and sees my setup with Live HDTV on my phones/tablets/PC ect. they love it and ask how they can do it. When I explain about CableCards they almost don't believe that they are real!

Nightfall
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Re: There is another reason

said by Cogdis:

said by Nightfall:

As I said before, its all about the extra cost of equipment.

Not necessarily. Tivo sells boxes for $0 down with a 1 year contract. I think that cost plays a role but an even bigger problem is that people just don't know that CableCards are an option. Whenever somebody comes over and sees my setup with Live HDTV on my phones/tablets/PC ect. they love it and ask how they can do it. When I explain about CableCards they almost don't believe that they are real!

Cablecards are clearly outlined on Comcast's website. When you sign up for new service the option is there for you to select. I will agree that they aren't advertising the hell out of them. We all know why and that is the cablecard isn't a cash cow like the proprietary boxes.

As for the Tivo boxes, I wasn't able to find a free Tivo online for 0 down with a one year contract. Being as that the Tivo is $15 a month for service, its not a cheap/free solution.

Heck, when I explain to people about cablecards, people immediately ask how much it costs to buy the equipment. By the time you explain you need a network tuner, a PC, Xbox 360s, and the technical expertise, or you need a Tivo and $15 a month, then people are less excited.

Simply put, the cablecard is NOT a free solution.
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swarto112
Premium
join:2004-02-17
Brookfield, WI

Re: There is another reason

cable cards are freedom of choice, u can get Tivos from COmcast as well
en103

join:2011-05-02
I agree. Its not in their best interests either.
Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
With the bogus "outlet fee" Comcast charges I'd say cablecard customers are now more profitable then equipment renters..

But cablecard itself is not ideal anymore anyways as it doesn't work with uverse or the dishes. Ideally they would be a standard spec that works with all systems that the FCC enforced and was built into all tvs.
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: There is another reason

there can be, but the tuners are different technology , so there is no way to make them universal without adding 4 tuner types to each tv. Where as the cable/ota tuner is the widest used in the world, so it should be standard,
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Caddyroger
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join:2001-06-11
To the west
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said by Cogdis:

said by Nightfall:

As I said before, its all about the extra cost of equipment.

Not necessarily. Tivo sells boxes for $0 down with a 1 year contract. I think that cost plays a role but an even bigger problem is that people just don't know that CableCards are an option. Whenever somebody comes over and sees my setup with Live HDTV on my phones/tablets/PC ect. they love it and ask how they can do it. When I explain about CableCards they almost don't believe that they are real!

The cheapest Tivo that on the Tivo website is $49.00 for a reconditioned 2 tuner premiere plus $14 95 a month service fee.
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Rambo76098

join:2003-02-21
Columbus, OH
I highly doubt adding another slot to a TV PCB is going to cost hundreds of dollars. More like $5 per unit. No one is saying slap a cable card in every TV, but put in a slot so I can put my own card in.

Nightfall
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1 edit

Re: There is another reason

said by Rambo76098:

I highly doubt adding another slot to a TV PCB is going to cost hundreds of dollars. More like $5 per unit. No one is saying slap a cable card in every TV, but put in a slot so I can put my own card in.

Being as that they are not being produced anymore, I can't show you today's pricing. I can tell you back about 5 years ago, a TV with a cablecard slot costed $200+ more than an LCD without one. It may have only costed $5 to put one in, but at a $200 increase in price, I am not surprised they were a failure.

EDIT:
Found this....

»reviews.cnet.com/4520-8900_7-5581176-1.html

quote:
Do a little comparative shopping, and you can see that CableCard adds to your bill at the checkout counter. Take the Pioneer PDP-4340HD vs. the 4345HD, two identical plasmas except for the CableCard feature. The 4345HD costs almost $1,000 more. But as CableCards become standard DTV equipment (in 2005), the price differential may begin to shrink. Samsung's new DLP line, for instance, will transition from its current non-CableCard configuration (such as the 50-inch HLP5063W) to a CableCard-enabled version, the HLP5067W, without a likely price spike. And all Sony Grand WEGA LCD rear-projection TVs now come with CableCard. But don't think that you must use it just because you have it.

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elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
The issue for cable is that for every CC you will need to have a SDV box, and that sucker takes up 15 watts like there is no tomorrow.

The old TVs only had clearQAM tuners, so they couldn't handle encrypted streams which are dependent upon the operator.

Tivo should have partnered w/ a rent-to-own scheme rather than the way they adopted their lifetime or lease-only model w/ upfront cost.

That cannot compete w/ cable as there is no upfront cost.

Tivo would die tomorrow if they killed off CC, and in fact even any new scheme would render current devices useless. SO there is risk there...
Rakeesh

join:2011-10-30
Mesa, AZ
The real cost is in the CableLabs certification process, which isn't cheap.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361
20% is still many millions of consumers.

Probitas

@teksavvy.com
I think that has more to do with preventing consumer choice than anything else. It's hard for a cable company to sell or rent a box if your TV already has the ability. And for the same reason you can't use a smart TV to browse the web and watch You Tube yourself directly, but ONLY the approved videos passed through the built in YouTube app, or why NetFlix works, but you can't get some machines to view the same formatted video data on USB sticks through the port. They only allow what they are told they can allow.

Same sort of thing happens with software apps and certain OS companies.
en103

join:2011-05-02
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
Ahh... VOD. This (control) may actually be more part of the issue from the provider than anything else.

While over 80% of consumers don't use Cable VOD, that 20% more than makes up for it being there. $5/VOD (min) is much more expensive to the consumer than going to RedBox and paying $1.50 for a BluRay and having it for 24 hours.

'IF' Cable Co had the full ability to run EVERYTHING the same on CableCard as they do on a regular STB at little extra cost, (charged to the consumer, of course), I think it would be a non-issue.

Support (technical/documented/otherwise) is not cheap to implement (properly) from a large corp. They'd like nothing better than to support 1 model of STB. Adding in a cablecard for support is effectively asking them to support another type of STB 'and' taking away the options of VOD and any other 'on demand' type of service available (eg ordering channels)
Foxbat121

join:2001-04-25
Herndon, VA
A few years back, almost all the HDTVs came with CableCard tuners. The arriving of SDV made those tuner useless. So TV makers killed it.

The analog TV shut off also kills the free EPG services broadcasted by PBS stations these cablecard TV relies on.

intok

join:2012-03-15
said by Nightfall:

Do you think that TV manufacturers were going to build in cablecard readers without charging the consumer more money? A cablecard reader in any device could increase the price by $100-$300 more depending on the device. This is why TV manufacturers weren't going to build them in. They are an extra added expense.

Not when they become standard equipment and are included in all TVs, economies of scale kick in an the cost falls like a rock just as happened with LCD TVs. The costs dropped from $15000 to $500 in just a few years.
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BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
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Re: There is another reason

over the course of 5 years lcd prices have dropped to 1/3rd the cost, it was found that they were price fixing at 2 points.

However it's a bit different with these, as the major cost is licensing of the tuner components.

Some companies you need an activation key which is requested from the company to "activate" the tuner. Westinghouse and a some other companies come to mind with this method.
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dfxmatt

join:2007-08-21
Evanston, IL
"But should they have to?"

nope. that's the exactly the correct response.
swarto112
Premium
join:2004-02-17
Brookfield, WI
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
SDV is a poor mans network saver...its proof of concept that the cable co doesnt want to invest in their infrastructure. VOD...no one watches VOD. Those that do also have a land line and watch Lawrence Welk. I'm onTimeWarner now have had others including FIOS. I plugged my TiVos into their network and Cable Cards with no set top boxes plus MoCA worked perfect. Bring same setup TWC and nothing but support calls for a year. I proved funtionality that the cable cards being handed out are purposely handicapped when I had a tech pop one of a TWC set top box and pop it in my Tivo and pair. pfftt...no issues. But they are warned to not do that or be fired so he had to yank it out. Cord cutting is fine with me cuz my other option is ATT U-Verse....no TiVO support. ALthough the TWC apps on Roku and Xbox rock...its a small channel footprint and I have a ton. I so miss FIOS....its what a cable co should be from a customer point of view.
jasondean

join:2009-08-28
Brooklyn, NY
Building a HTPC might not be intuitive but it's not impossible. The benefit is you control the hardware (most important is the storage capacity). My TWC DVR hard drive is too small and the dual tuner leaves me with program conflicts or the inability to watch something live because both tuners are recording.

My HTPC with Ceton Infinitv 4 allows me greater flexibility and for a small additional investment, whole home DVR functionality. Need more storage? Add a hard drive.

My cable box doesn't allow me to use other services such as Netflix but my HTPC does.

I can live with VOD since I can usually find a program somewhere else online. Add in the fact cable now offers apps and their own web site for TV Everywhere and you basically have everything you need or want without the dreaded cable box.

The killer for CableCard would be the home gateway that allows you access to everything without the box on each TV. Once you remove the restrictive measures once the cable reaches the premises, you won't need individual gateway devices like the CableCard.

Nightfall
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Re: There is another reason

said by jasondean:

Building a HTPC might not be intuitive but it's not impossible. The benefit is you control the hardware (most important is the storage capacity). My TWC DVR hard drive is too small and the dual tuner leaves me with program conflicts or the inability to watch something live because both tuners are recording.

My HTPC with Ceton Infinitv 4 allows me greater flexibility and for a small additional investment, whole home DVR functionality. Need more storage? Add a hard drive.

My cable box doesn't allow me to use other services such as Netflix but my HTPC does.

I can live with VOD since I can usually find a program somewhere else online. Add in the fact cable now offers apps and their own web site for TV Everywhere and you basically have everything you need or want without the dreaded cable box.

The killer for CableCard would be the home gateway that allows you access to everything without the box on each TV. Once you remove the restrictive measures once the cable reaches the premises, you won't need individual gateway devices like the CableCard.

We are in total agreement, but we are talking about the general population here. I would never build an HTPC solution for my parents because the solution isn't intuitive nor without hassles (such as updates or tweaking).

The solution, to work for everyone, has to be easy and seemless. People are not going to tinker and play with something that provides TV. They want a solution that they just drop in and power on.
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jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA
said by Nightfall:

The biggest problem is that consumers don't want to pay for their own equipment either. The Tivo would be good example. To buy a Tivo with a cablecard is around $200 and then you are paying a monthly fee on top of that.

I completely disagree with this. The same people who buy their own cable modems and DSL modems would likely buy their own STB. I know I plan on getting a cable card next week to save the $20 a month stupid fee. It's always nice to have an option, even if you don't always choose that option.

Nightfall
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Re: There is another reason

said by jjeffeory:

said by Nightfall:

The biggest problem is that consumers don't want to pay for their own equipment either. The Tivo would be good example. To buy a Tivo with a cablecard is around $200 and then you are paying a monthly fee on top of that.

I completely disagree with this. The same people who buy their own cable modems and DSL modems would likely buy their own STB. I know I plan on getting a cable card next week to save the $20 a month stupid fee. It's always nice to have an option, even if you don't always choose that option.

Buying a $100 cable modem is a lot different that spending $500 on an HTPC and a SiliconDust HD Homerun.

For most people they see the $100 and say that they can recoup that cost in a year and a half. That and the cable modem is a drop in and go solution.

The HTPC solution is $500, takes technical effort to implement and it a much bigger outlay of money. I would say its not only the investment, but also the technical aspect that pushes people away from implementing their own TV solution.
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ncbill
Premium
join:2007-01-23
Winston Salem, NC
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast

Re: There is another reason

You're assuming everyone buys new, but Tivos since the Series 3 units have supported CableCard.

And with the new Series 5 (Roamio) Tivos just introduced, used Series 3 units with lifetime are cheaper than ever.

E.g. as low as $250 for a TivoHD with lifetime service - then all you're paying for is the CableCard monthly rental (some offer the first card free), versus $20/month forever for a cable company DVR.

Shoot, I've paid as little as $150 for an original Series 3 OLED w/ lifetime (but it requires a Cablecard for each tuner, so I use it for OTA programming).

The newest Series 5 Tivos are expensive, but offer 4-6 tuners and features you'll never see in a cable company DVR like app support (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, etc.)

Nightfall
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Re: There is another reason

said by ncbill:

You're assuming everyone buys new, but Tivos since the Series 3 units have supported CableCard.

And with the new Series 5 (Roamio) Tivos just introduced, used Series 3 units with lifetime are cheaper than ever.

E.g. as low as $250 for a TivoHD with lifetime service - then all you're paying for is the CableCard monthly rental (some offer the first card free), versus $20/month forever for a cable company DVR.

Shoot, I've paid as little as $150 for an original Series 3 OLED w/ lifetime (but it requires a Cablecard for each tuner, so I use it for OTA programming).

The newest Series 5 Tivos are expensive, but offer 4-6 tuners and features you'll never see in a cable company DVR like app support (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, etc.)

The HTPC build that I was referencing was a used build. The Tivo would be a better bargain if you only want a single tuner and a lifetime subscription. The problem is that these units have no warranty.

As you pointed out though, there are options to get the cablecard with a Tivo lifetime sub for $250 on ebay. So why aren't people buying? Could it be that the crappy boxes the cable company provide are only $20 a month and people are going the path of least resistance? Could it be ignorance?
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ncbill
Premium
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Winston Salem, NC
Reviews:
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Re: There is another reason

Two tuners - all the Series 3 Tivos are dual-tuner.

About the only things to fail on Tivos are the hard drive or power supply, each an easy fix.

And I'd vote ignorance - though I did see a user on AVS forums lamenting the fact they had spent nearly $1000 just for a cable box (no DVR) over the years...

Nightfall
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Re: There is another reason

said by ncbill:

Two tuners - all the Series 3 Tivos are dual-tuner.

About the only things to fail on Tivos are the hard drive or power supply, each an easy fix.

And I'd vote ignorance - though I did see a user on AVS forums lamenting the fact they had spent nearly $1000 just for a cable box (no DVR) over the years...

I agree with you. Its ignorance and going the path of least resistance. If everyone were a techie, then more people wold be using cablecards because more people would be like me and build their own solutions.

My parents have rented a DVR for years. If they would have invested in an HTPC, they could have saved money in the long run. Instead they have the same crappy DVR.
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jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA
I already have an older, but still pretty powerful PC hooked up to my TV. I suspect more and more people do as well. All I'm going to do is buy an InfiniTV card and use WMC, so it's not going to be $500 for me and it's not going to be very complicated at all; I've already paid enough in fees to recoup any fees for the Ceton card, just like everyone who has a STB. Given my past history, I'm guessing that I'll still have cable for a couple more years. I think there are plenty of people who are savvy enough to install a card and follow some simple instructions to get it working. I see so many people playing with their phones, which is about as complicated as the setup I want to do. So maybe there are quite a few that don't want to buy their hardware because it requires some effort, but there are also enough that do to make it worthwhile as an option.

Nightfall
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Re: There is another reason

said by jjeffeory:

So maybe there are quite a few that don't want to buy their hardware because it requires some effort, but there are also enough that do to make it worthwhile as an option.

Very true, which is why I wrote an article on how to build a HTPC and use a Silicondust Homerun HD. I hope that others will read it and jump on board. The solution is awesome if you have the hardware. If you have to build one, the cost with a Windows 7 license can still be upwards of around $500.

BTW, I had an Infinitv card and they are nice, but I like the silicondust HD Homerun. Before you buy the card, look at the HD Homerun. They are only $100 right now and I love this unit a lot more than the Ceton.
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elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
That would be incorrect. In Canada it is mandated that STB can be sold directly to consumers. Almost EVERYONE I know (family included) purchase their own STB and even satellite receivers and dishes.

WHY: It's way cheaper and there is a robust resale market. No lease means you can RESELL the equipment and not take a full LOSS like a simple $1 FMV lease the operators foist on us in the US. In fact is is not uncommon to continue leasing fully depreciated assets, meaning it is just PURE profit, 100% margin. In addition in many cases operator have swap contracts (depot service) so if equipment breaks the swap it w/ the STB manufacturer for no cost.

The problem that Americans have is a leasing problem--all they look at is the monthly payment. You get your iphone for $50 but pay $700 of it in fees. It's all hidden. In the case of your $25 dollar DVR, you are paying a lease fee which has ZERO in equity, meaning just throw that $25 away.

In fact I know many people that pay $50 or more per month on STB fees. That is $600 a year, GONE.

Now take Tivo:

You can buy the entry level model which blows most STB away but you also have to shell out $500 for lifetime service. So $650 for the box up front. Each Tivo mini (the client box) is another $200 out the door for lifetime. So 3 TV's may cost you $1,000 up front.

People are like, I couldn't possibly do that.

So in 3 years, they just blew $1,900+ for inferior equipment, versus the Tivo guy at $1,000.

BUT GUESS WHAT,

They OWN those boxes and could easily sell them for $500, meaning that it only costs $500 for three years versus $1,900 or more (those lease fees go up yearly) for three years.

Now I tell people to go take out a home equity loan a 3 percent, and add $100 to that cost. So $600 versus $1,900 or more.

1/3 the cost.

When I explain it to people, it's like a light bulb comes on. Once they hook up the Tivo they can't believe what they were missing.

Americans like disposable and easy, and it costs them DEARLY.

I have a fully monetized WMC setup that costs me $5/mo ALL IN for the last three years for 5 TV's plus the now ridiculous verizon $5 CC fee for something that costs them $50. So my "purchased" version cost $5 and my leased version cost $5 for a simple CC versus my server and 5 extenders. Damn....
swarto112
Premium
join:2004-02-17
Brookfield, WI
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
Have had Tivos and other dvrs for years, been on mulitple cable systems. Cable cards are purposely messed up, I proved concept many times. Best implementation was FIOS, i tried their DVRs...ok, but so sluggish. So I bought new Premiere 4 tuner when it came out...worked with Verizons Moca setup...cable card with no set top box (like TWC my current and soon to be last cableco). It just worked, no issues.

Nightfall
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Re: There is another reason

said by swarto112:

Have had Tivos and other dvrs for years, been on mulitple cable systems. Cable cards are purposely messed up, I proved concept many times. Best implementation was FIOS, i tried their DVRs...ok, but so sluggish. So I bought new Premiere 4 tuner when it came out...worked with Verizons Moca setup...cable card with no set top box (like TWC my current and soon to be last cableco). It just worked, no issues.

I bolded the important part. I have never had a poorly installed cablecard issue, but I know some who have. It could be incompetence, but I think its something much deeper.
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swarto112
Premium
join:2004-02-17
Brookfield, WI

Re: There is another reason

no they purposely handicap the cards they hand out to the consumer (in TWC case). Ive used them on FIOS no issues. its not hardware issue. its a software issue
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON

1 recommendation

said by Nightfall:

The biggest problem is that consumers don't want to pay for their own equipment either.

I'm a consumer and I do. I know quite a few people that do as well. I have no interest in paying for the same device 2-3-4 times over over the period that I have the device and it lowers my month to month bill which matters a hell of a lot to me. This is similar stupidity to cell phones, dumbass sheep consumers don't want to pay upfront for the phone and think they're getting some great deal with a '"subsidized" phone but when you work out the numbers you're paying for that subsidy 2 and sometimes 3 times over over the period of the contract. They're not getting any deal and the carrier is making everything back over the contract.

said by Nightfall:

In that situation, more consumers are willing to go with a "drop in and go" option.

Most consumers are complete idiots. What's your point?

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

CableCard2

Instead of killing cablecard they should work to get a new standard set for the next version that is easier for consumers to acquire and use.
It's definitely not ready for gramaw to use. Unless you are very technically inclined, the current version is too complicated.

I still remember when att tried (did for years) to do this very thing with phones. It didn't go very well for them.
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desarollo

join:2011-10-01
Monroe, MI

I Will Not Rent a Box For Every TV

As attractive as the recurring revenue stream must be, if I am forced to rent a box for every TV (using HDHomerun Prime), I'm gone. Similarly, should cable actually get its respective act together with the consumer electronics association and have TVs accept IP streams direct from the cable company, I will not pay a per-TV fee.

This has nothing to do with making cable TV affordable, it is everything about laws that "require" cable companies to further lock down their services and extract more money from the customer. They'll point to Congress and blame them for the laws they asked to be passed.

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travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

3 recommendations

It's not just about box revenue...

Cablecos want to control the entire TV viewing "experience" and the ancillary revenue associated with that. That means DVR fees, extra apps that run on the settop box, etc. Cablecards limit those opportunities because they only do TV channels.

It's the old "I don't want to be a dumb pipe" argument.

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NoSavings

@comcast.net

Switching to non-cable company STBs saves you no money

Cable companies have structured fees so that dumping the cable company STB for say a TIVO does not save you any rental fees at all. The biggest part of a STB fee is an outlet charge(whether you use their box or your own). And the actual hardware rental is a very small part of fee(and which renting a cablecard will duplicate).

Comcast an example:
Digital Additional 11/28 - 12/27 9.95
Outlet Service
Includes:
1 Digital Converter @ $2.15
1 Remote Control @ $0.20

Only $2.35 is for the hardware. The rest ($7.60) is an outlet fee.
So if you switch to a TIVO, for example, you will save the $2.35 part of that $9.95 fee, but still pay the rest. And Comcast will charge you a rental fee(I think it is $2) for the CableCard. So, grand savings of $.35.

Now your option to have a much better STB(say a TIVO) with more and better features has value. But it isn't going to save you any money on your monthly bill.

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gatorkram
Need for Speed
Premium
join:2002-07-22
Winterville, NC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

Renting a cable box is a huge scam

The thing about the cable box is, compare it to cell phones. They more or less subsidies the equipment, but in the end, you own nothing. I rented a cable box for 5 years, and when I decided to change my plan and have no box anymore, they took it back. What kinda bs is this, and why do we even allow it to happen.....WTF
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What the heck is a GatorKram? »www.gatorkram.com

jgkolt
Premium
join:2004-02-21
Avon, OH

tivo

All i have to say is they better not mess with my Tivo's. I don't ever want to go back!

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sgip2000

join:2004-05-05
Hillsboro, OR

STB solution

For me, I built an HTPC with Media Center Extenders. The inital cost was high, but so was $40/mo in "rental fees".

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Communications Act Reform

It is legislation like that mentioned in this article that scares me about this so-called revamping of the Communications Act of 1934. I am afraid that when the industry insiders are done, the few consumer protections that do exist will be eliminated and the incumbents will basically p0wn us. The last thing the industry wants is a truly open capitalistic free market. In fact, the ones who hate capitalism the most are capitalists who have "gotten theirs".
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I support the right to keep and arm bears.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

Kill the outlet / mirroring fees and be like canada where you can buy the bo

Kill the outlet / mirroring fees and be like canada where you can buy the box and some systems even have rent to own as well.

liecense

@204.108.96.x

I see nothing wrong with no choice.

I am not sure what you guys complain. I mean you guys keep taking their prices and love it. I hope they make it worst than UK where you pay a license. Heck I would love it when it will be law and you are required to direct deposit into their account 10 percent of your money on a monthly bases of bs entertainment.
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON

Re: I see nothing wrong with no choice.

said by liecense :

I hope they make it worst than UK where you pay a license.

So what you're saying is you like mediocre overpriced service. Retarded..

Except the license makes sense. The BBC produces a lot of good content. The rest of the things people are complaining about with regard to having to rent STBs or even fees for your own STBs is nonsense, but you guys do live in the broken ass US of A.

Anon7389

@rr.com

New cableCard Player!

Well Samsung release there samsung gx-sm530cf and now the cable company are worry people will jump on cablecard and not rent their cable box and pay 15$. Unlike TiVo, there is no monthly fee but is not a DRV, well at less you don't have to pay the outrages price of renting a cable box from the cable company.

belawrence
They'll never let you in

join:2000-08-06
Santee, CA

why i'm switching:

provider names are omitted as to not infer any bias:

Current provider (provider #1) - monthly charges
- "middle of the line" TV package = $65
- sports & information package = $11
- whole home DVR service = $10
- DVR "extender" receiver x 3 = $21
- optional inside wiring charge (don't ask-spouse wanted it) = $7
Total monthly charges = $114, $76 for programming, $38 for equipment 7

Upcoming provider (provider #2) - monthly charges
- "middle of the line" TV package = $65
- sports & information package = $15
- CableCard rental fee x 2 = $4
required gear purchased:
- SiliconDust HDHomerun Prime x 2(6 tuners total) = $198 (black friday)
- SiliconDust HDHomerun Dual ATSC x 2 (4 off-air tuners) = $110 (black friday)
- Xbox 360 x 3 refurbished (media center extenders) = between $240-$300
Total monthly charges = $84, $80 for programming, $4 for equipment

Monthly savings:
Programming is $4/month more with provider #2, but my monthly equipment fee drops to $4/month versus $38/month. $30/month total savings.

Other factors: I listed total equipment costs for switching to provider #2 for argument's sake, but I already own one HDHomerun Prime and both the HDHomerun Dual ATSC tuners, as well as already owning a PC running Windows Media Center. Provider #2 will also most likely provide a bundle discount as I already use them as my Internet provider. Provider #1 whole home DVR solution has 4 tuners, provider #2 + my own setup will have 10 tuners (6 "provider" + 4 off-air) total. If I could convince the spouse, I'd drop pay-TV altogether and just use the off-air portion along with a Netflix subscription.

Yes, not already having some of the equipment would mean it would take me about 2 years to recoup equipment costs, but in my case I start saving in less than a year. Also some have argued that Microsoft really no longer supports Windows Media Center, but it'll be around at least as long as Windows 8.1, which should give me as least 6-8 years out of this setup.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

I don't care about their boxes

They can get rid of CC in their boxes, as long as they will offer me one for my TiVo. Soon as they get rid of CableCard, I'm going to DirecTV. I need a good DVR system.
wadewood
Premium
join:2003-05-04
Houston, TX

CableCard

Gene Green is my congressman, actually lives in my neighborhood. I have HTPC on each TV and silicondust network tuner with Comcast (and OTA) service. FWIW, I wrote him him asking to stop sponsoring this bill.