as a comcast business customer, i blame comcast 100%.
i think it's been said, but this all seems like a political ploy to be anti-tivo in support of their own devices.
what's ironic in my situation is we only have Tivo HD boxes because Comcast will NOT offer business accounts their own DVR boxes... (they say they don't offer businesses DVRs because you could be a bar and DVR shows and replay them for customers, etc.... a policy I can understand, but makes no sense. 1) they *REQUIRE* us to pay them a $50 on site installation fee every time we activate a new box or cablecard. 2) because of this they've been in our OFFICE and know there aren't any bar patrons to be found...
so ironically, that forces us to a third party DVR. and as far as HD DVRs go, there are few if any that will accept a component or HDMI input and record from that. almost all i've found require you to put a cablecard in. (which seems like a shot in the foot to Tivo that they can't come up with a better way to at least offer the option of recording an input.. after all they no longer support satellite customers because of this).
Our solution has been to order HD Tivos, then order cablecards from Comcast. ...For business customers that's another interesting mess. comcast has a whole "business" department to handle all of our needs, but apparently they don't have a "business" side to handle cablecards. these are handled by the residential side.
The first time i ordered a cablecard it took 3 technician visits over the course of a week and a half; each time it was essentially a provisioning issue and the techs knew this the second they saw it... i knew it before they scheduled the techs for that matter, but the people on the phone just don't seem to know what they're doing.
last time i ordered a cablecard from comcast, it took about 3 weeks to get it working. they came out with one that wasn't provisioned properly, only a few channels were coming in. the technician tried to blame it on our box of course, until i put the card into a different box that was previously working. That quickly turned into a "well it's an account" issue (I agreed...), and a week later i was still arguing that it probably was in fact a provisioning issue, yet still something on their side to resolve, not something i had any control over. They ended up deciding it would be quicker/easier to just swap out the card with a new cablecard (another side effect of having the residential side handle them is its over a week quicker in scheduling time to order new devices than schedule a repair appointment)... For this, they even let me come in to pick it up... (something i've begged them for many times... just to be able to go pickup a cablebox or card... it's silly we have to schedule a tech to come in a cable box when we're a television broadcaster and know how to handle it). i picked up a new card and of course it too wasn't provisioned right. Of course they blamed it on the fact that I picked it up and somehow the people didn't know how to provision it when they gave me my order... a few days later it was all straightened out.
What's ironic (maybe?) is we have about 10 motorola digital cable boxes with a little bump out in back with a removable plate... during the cablecard provisioning debacles, i removed the plate and found it was just a cablecard that operated the cable box. i put the cable card from that motorola box into the tivo and everything worked fine and dandy...
Why can they have no problem provisioning a cable box that has a Cablecard in it (which they still use the serial # for the cable card itself, not the box to provision), but somehow when it's a stand-alone cablecard it's a load of troubles? i think they're purposely screwing it all up to make you not want to get more cablecards. (and i'd be happy not getting more cablecards if their own policies didn't force me to them--their own DVRs are a much cheaper solution).
In summary, we pay Comcast about $2500 a month for our cable service in our office, and they treat us like dirt.
The extra truck rolls are their own fault.
IF you actually look how much the cable companies chharge you for a box avs how much the company buys each box for you will see they make no profit off of it.
Its more of a customer service thing then a profit thing. I would think the cablecompanies would love to have to not provide the boxes .It would costs them less in customer support.
The problem is with cablecards they dont support all the things like sdv and stuff like that.
All the cablecompanies look like they all want tru2way so we should start seeing better boxes and more 3rd party boxes once that takes off.
actually one small hint that was dropped in there was they lose VOD revenue because of cablecard.
you can't do VOD on a cablecard (at least with tivo you can't... given that some cable company's cable boxes are powered by cablecards though, it seems like you should be able to get VOD if the device itself supports the technology... but again tivo does not support VOD w/ cablecard and i bet others don't either).
they do receive some revenues from video on demand... and they also get revenues from the ads that display on your guide on your cable box. and they can also potentially aggregate viewing information and sell that out even. also, having a tivo present instead of a cable box has the potential to suck away pay per view money too.
there's a lot of profit to be made from having a cable box in your home vs a cablecard.
reps DO get training and DO have support documents at fingertips. Not everyone makes use of this or still are clueless about them. But I will say I do often have people ask about cable cards, I am more then happy to set them up with them. We DO have to mention that the comcast guide doesn't come in and VoD doesn't come in as well as if I didn't then it is misleading, more often then not unless the person has a Tivo they will say nevermind about the card.
There are some Tru2way tv's out there which should allow access to VoD with a cablecard and hopefully we will see more people using cards.