said by Greg2600:
Here's my question though, if before you had just basic or expanded analog, not digital, and now get this box, will you get all the non-premium digital channels? Or will you have to be forced into buying expanded digital tier? This box does not de-encrypt so Comcast can't separate those packages anymore, no?
My understanding is that these DTAs are designed, and marketed to fill that spot for the "extra" TV's a customer has. The idea is that there are a LOT of customers who have digital cable with a regular STB, but may have multiple TV's in the house plugged in to just straight analog to pick up the analog channels. With the Analog reclaimation projects they were doing, they were pissing off a large number of customers who suddenly would see thier bill increase dramatically for those extra boxes for each TV.
Customers who are currently analog only would be served by existing promotions like the Digital Starter (or new Economy services) that provide a single traditional box free for the year and give them access to VoD and music choice, but there was no such "free box" offers for existing Digital Classic/premier/premuim customers who already get the full service digital packages on a TV but actively used 3 or 4 additional TV's with regular analog cable. These DTA's would provide those TV's with the ability to keep those old "analog" channels as they move to digitial.
This is kind of supported by the pricing I've heard on the DTA's where you can get 1 or 2 free with an existing digital package and only maybe $1 for additional boxes.
If you figure your "average" digital customer only maybe has 1 digital outlet in the living room, but takes advantage of the analog cable in the kitchen, kids bedroom (Don't need to give the kids access to skinamax or PPV after all), or master bedroom, This allows them to continue receiving the same basic services with no increase in overall cost, and still allows the MSO to do the bandwidth reclaimation they want/need to do.
The Analog only customers there has been a steady effort to try and get them to at least an entry level digital service for quite awhile, and I don't see that strategy changing. (And with the recent announcements and launching of the Economy tier which includes a standard box, cheaper than your traditional analog expanded basic, that strategy isn't changing, it's just evolving).
Then you get those people with 8 tv's who complain about the analogs going away because they would need 8 boxes vs. the 2 they may have now. I'd say this is probably easily a minority of cable customers, and while they may have a valid argument with having a $60-$100 increase in monthly cost with traditional boxes, The $1 per extra after 2 boxes, that arguement loses a lot of teeth when you are looking at only an additional $4/mo. (if you can afford 8 tvs, $4 ain't gonna kill ya).