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ctggzg
Premium
join:2005-02-11
USA
kudos:2

1 edit

[Cable Card] CableCARD fee for additional outlet?

We already have two cable boxes (one HD DVR and a regular SD box). I'm thinking of getting a Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe card. I understand that Comcast doesn't charge for the CableCARD itself, but will I have an extra "additional outlet" fee?


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

Yes, which normally includes a full (non-DVR) box - however, you will also have a monthly $2.50 credit for using a cable card in your own equipment.


GTFan

join:2004-12-03

Or $2.99, depending on the outlet fee - some areas charge $9 or so instead of $8.50 for an extra outlet.



halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL

1 edit

Some areas only charge the cable card fee. Others only charge an additional outlet if the "device" that gets the cable card is on a separate outlet. The catch is that the CSRs do not have a definition of what a separate outlet is.

The FCC is supremely vague on this point having made this somewhat out of context statement:

said by FCC :

Use your own set-top box without extra charge. FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5)(C). Your cable operator may charge you to lease a CableCARD or tuning adapter, but may not charge you an additional service fee for using your own digital-cable-ready television or set-top box.

The quote is from »www.fcc.gov/guides/cablecard-kno···r-rights. Comcast had been saying that the additional outlet fee ($8.95) covered equipment and the program service fee. When using your own box on an "additional outlet" (not the primary "first outlet") they would drop the box equipment cost ($2.50 equipment discount) and the remaining $6.45 was the $2.50 cable card fee and $3.95 programming service fee (apparently a digital programming mirror fee to provide service to the outlet.) However the use of the word "service" seems to contradict the FCC rule quoted above. Informing a CSR of this gets either a blank stare or their head explodes. They then need to find a supervisor to try and conjure what precisely this additional outlet fee entails (which none of them seem to really know anyway) without running afoul of the other FCC mandates (which are in themselves sometimes contradictory).

It is all rather entertaining if you have nothing better to do with your time. Otherwise it just frustrates the customers and CSRs.
--
Registered Bandwidth Offender #40812

ctggzg
Premium
join:2005-02-11
USA
kudos:2
reply to ctggzg

Thanks for the info. I went ahead and ordered the tuner. I'll post back here with the billing details when everything is sorted out.


SLAYER6669

join:2011-09-07
Toms River, NJ

1 edit
reply to ctggzg

I am being charged $9.25/month for the additional outlet which says includes digital converter @ $2.75/mo and remote at $0.20/mo (total $2.95) so I asked for the customer owned equipment credit.

About two months ago, the customer service rep actually just did a "basic adjustment" to my account for $17.70 ($2.95 x 6 mo) and said he applied it for 6 months because that's all the system would let him do. Is it me, or did this get done completely wrong?

I spent about 20 minutes dealing with an online chat rep just now because I did not see the credit (I was expecting to see a -$2.95 on every months bill and thought the 17.70 was part of one of the other adjustments) and eventually I ended up figuring it out myself. The bill doesn't even mention a CableCARD anywhere. I don't see why everything needs to be so difficult. Trying to explain to reps every 6 months that I need this applied isn't really ideal.


saratoga66

join:2002-08-22
Saratoga, CA
reply to halfband

said by halfband:

Some areas only charge the cable card fee. Others only charge an additional outlet if the "device" that gets the cable card is on a separate outlet. The catch is that the CSRs do not have a definition of what a separate outlet is.

The FCC is supremely vague on this point having made this somewhat out of context statement:

said by FCC :

Use your own set-top box without extra charge. FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5)(C). Your cable operator may charge you to lease a CableCARD or tuning adapter, but may not charge you an additional service fee for using your own digital-cable-ready television or set-top box.

The quote is from »www.fcc.gov/guides/cablecard-kno···r-rights. Comcast had been saying that the additional outlet fee ($8.95) covered equipment and the program service fee. When using your own box on an "additional outlet" (not the primary "first outlet") they would drop the box equipment cost ($2.50 equipment discount) and the remaining $6.45 was the $2.50 cable card fee and $3.95 programming service fee (apparently a digital programming mirror fee to provide service to the outlet.) However the use of the word "service" seems to contradict the FCC rule quoted above. Informing a CSR of this gets either a blank stare or their head explodes. They then need to find a supervisor to try and conjure what precisely this additional outlet fee entails (which none of them seem to really know anyway) without running afoul of the other FCC mandates (which are in themselves sometimes contradictory).

It is all rather entertaining if you have nothing better to do with your time. Otherwise it just frustrates the customers and CSRs.

The statement in the link it not 100% complete. They are not allowed to charge you additional service fees on customer owned equipment that are not charged to leased devices. They can still charge you the full additional outlet fee and just give an equipment credit.


halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL

1 edit

said by saratoga66:

The statement in the link it not 100% complete. They are not allowed to charge you additional service fees on customer owned equipment that are not charged to leased devices. They can still charge you the full additional outlet fee and just give an equipment credit.

You are correct. That is why I said the statement was somewhat out of context. It just does not help when the FCC itself makes a statement like that within their own FAQ on cable cards. The statement as listed in the FAQ is not that ambiguous, but has a literal interpretation that turns out to be fundamentally incorrect.

In some comcast areas you can get a cable card for free, see no additional outlet fee, and get the full HD lineup for your package without an HD fee. So no additional charge at all for the cablecard or outlet and you receive service above your existing SD box. In other areas you have situations like SLAYER6669 makes reference too above, or the endless HD fee circus.
It is very difficult to determine what charges a customer will see when there is so much variation in interpretation of the FCC regulations and the chaotic situation that currently exists with comcasts own implementation and poor information flow to the CSRs.
--
Registered Bandwidth Offender #40812

ctggzg
Premium
join:2005-02-11
USA
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to ctggzg

Okay, got my bill today. They added an additional outlet for $8.50. The bill itself doesn't show a $2.50 credit, but I see it in under "Payments/Credits" on the web site. The grand total is $8.50 - $2.50 = $6.00.


TheMayor

join:2002-05-09

Can I ask what you think of Ceton? Negatives/Positives (besides that it will pay for itself after 10 months (assuming someone had 2 dvr's). I have 2 dvr's myself & hate the interface.

said by ctggzg:

Okay, got my bill today. They added an additional outlet for $8.50. The bill itself doesn't show a $2.50 credit, but I see it in under "Payments/Credits" on the web site. The grand total is $8.50 - $2.50 = $6.00.


ctggzg
Premium
join:2005-02-11
USA
kudos:2

said by TheMayor:

Can I ask what you think of Ceton? Negatives/Positives (besides that it will pay for itself after 10 months (assuming someone had 2 dvr's). I have 2 dvr's myself & hate the interface.

Overall it's great. There's something surreal about recording and watching HD on the computer.

You said that you hate the interface. Do you mean the Comcast guide? I guess I prefer Media Center, but it's not drastically better.

There's a current bug in the Ceton firmware and/or drivers that causes occasional picture corruption in movies. It appears as a thin line of pixelation across the image. A lot of people don't even notice.

There's also a problem with stuttering (known as the 29/59 bug) on some channels. It's not Ceton's problem but a combination of the content providers and Media Center.


sherman06810

join:2000-10-15
Danbury, CT
reply to ctggzg

said by ctggzg:

There's a current bug in the Ceton firmware and/or drivers that causes occasional picture corruption in movies. It appears as a thin line of pixelation across the image. A lot of people don't even notice.

There's also a problem with stuttering (known as the 29/59 bug) on some channels. It's not Ceton's problem but a combination of the content providers and Media Center.

I agree 100% with quatrix - overall the WMC7/Ceton experience is great. I solved the 29/59 bug on my system with a combination of reg keys, video driver updates, and a more direct HDMI path (NVIDIA card --> receiver --> projector).

In my area (Danbury, CT) Comcast charges $8.95/month as an additional outlet fee minus the $2.50 customer own equipment for a total of $6.45/month.