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Tracer6

join:2006-10-12
Bowmanville, ON

[TV] Rogers Cable Going Digital: Full-Disclosure

Rogers is calling this change to digital an “upgrade”. In fact, it is a upgrade to Rogers profits, primarily.

This is what the “Hurry & Order Your Free Digital Adapter Today!’ post card doesn't say:

1. You will lose the ability to record one channel while watching another, unless you pay about $500 for a Rogers PVR (personal video recorder). This device has two tuners inside, which change digital back to the analogue you are already getting over the cable. A Rogers PVR will not allow transferring video to any other device (an appeasement to content providers).
2. Your digital adapter’s remote control takes over from your existing television remote. If your tv already has picture-in-picture (two CATV tuners inside), you will lose that as well.
3. The digital adapter is just another zombie power drain. It is always on and always drawing electricity.
4. Once, 85% of existing cable customers in your area accept the digital adapter, all analogue channels higher than 29 will disappear. Your high bills won’t. There is no way to warn your neighbours about this, nor is there any indication of how Rogers determines 85% penetration of digital cable.
5. Roger already delivers other signals on the analogue cable without great difficulty. Yes, customers who download movies and receive high definition channels will get more. Recent Rogers advertising claims their Internet is delivered on a separate system (and will not slow down while watching TV), yet how can this be so if only one cable enters the house, as is the current method for delivering both cable TV and Internet and Pay-Per-View (and VOIP or phone service)?
6. Rogers claims improved sound and video quality. They must be referring to the Digital Set Top Box and not the free digital adapter, because I see no improvement on an almost identical Cogeco adapter. Remember these are standard definition channels, not high definition. They simply take the digital signal and convert it to analogue in your home, rather than doing so beforehand at Rogers “headquarters”. However, Rogers gains because ten times as many standard definition channels can be sent than over an existing analogue channel.


bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1

said by Tracer6:

1. You will lose the ability to record one channel while watching another, unless you pay about $500 for a Rogers PVR (personal video recorder). This device has two tuners inside, which change digital back to the analogue you are already getting over the cable. A Rogers PVR will not allow transferring video to any other device (an appeasement to content providers).

Yes, the PVR has two tuners inside. It has nothing to do with changing digital to analogue, however. There is a single output tuner in the PVR that is responsible for that, and it is in place after the equipment that handles the recording.

said by Tracer6:

2. Your digital adapter’s remote control takes over from your existing television remote. If your tv already has picture-in-picture (two CATV tuners inside), you will lose that as well.

Correct.

said by Tracer6:

3. The digital adapter is just another zombie power drain. It is always on and always drawing electricity.

So is your TV, VCR, DVD player, etc. Put them ALL on a power bar if that's your concern.

said by Tracer6:

4. Once, 85% of existing cable customers in your area accept the digital adapter, all analogue channels higher than 29 will disappear. Your high bills won’t. There is no way to warn your neighbours about this, nor is there any indication of how Rogers determines 85% penetration of digital cable.

I think it's pretty obvious how Rogers determines that - they've got all of the subscriber numbers. They know EXACTLY how many customers are on a given cable node (aka "area"), and can very likely tell how many are on each subscription package.

said by Tracer6:

5. Roger already delivers other signals on the analogue cable without great difficulty. Yes, customers who download movies and receive high definition channels will get more. Recent Rogers advertising claims their Internet is delivered on a separate system (and will not slow down while watching TV), yet how can this be so if only one cable enters the house, as is the current method for delivering both cable TV and Internet and Pay-Per-View (and VOIP or phone service)?

The recent Rogers commercials are semi-not-completely-accurate, kind of like the "Always fast, never shared" Bell commercials. Internet and TV are delivered on a single cable, but on different frequencies to each other. Removing analogue frees up frequencies that can be used for other services that are reaching the capacity on the frequencies they currently use.

Simply put, there is more demand for additional HD channels, more On Demand capacity and higher internet speeds than there is for continued analogue service.

said by Tracer6:

6. Rogers claims improved sound and video quality. They must be referring to the Digital Set Top Box and not the free digital adapter, because I see no improvement on an almost identical Cogeco adapter. Remember these are standard definition channels, not high definition. They simply take the digital signal and convert it to analogue in your home, rather than doing so beforehand at Rogers “headquarters”. However, Rogers gains because ten times as many standard definition channels can be sent than over an existing analogue channel.


Even the digital adapter can have better quality than the analogue signals. The difference is pretty minimal as it is still transmitted from the adapter to the TV via coaxial cable, but the digital signal drastically reduces the potential for signal degredation and interference compared to fully analogue. If you were lucky enough to have a pristine analogue signal, you would likely not see any difference between analogue and the digital adapter. You would see a difference with a Digital STB connected with anything other than coax, though.

And really, did we need another thread about this? You've been attempting to beat this subject to death in 2 other threads already. You've got an axe to grind - we get it.

kliles

join:2007-06-26
Mississauga, ON
reply to Tracer6

said by Tracer6:

A Rogers PVR will not allow transferring video to any other device (an appeasement to content providers).

I was under the impression (untested) that one could "play" the item on the PVR and output it to a DVD-recorder -for example- instead of outputting it to the TV. As I said, I have yet to try this, but isn't there a set of audio/video output jacks on the PVR?

Anyone who has actually done this is invited to jump in here...


Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada
reply to Tracer6

Here are some additions to the full disclosure

95 percent of people do not record one channel while watching another on analogue anyway

100% of satellite dish, and digital cable and fiber optic tv subscribers use the providers remote anyway, there is nothing wrong with the providers universal remote, it is universal and mine controlls all the menu functions of my tv anyways like the colour, and sound controls etc, it even controls my blue ray player.

i would hardly call it a power drain, your blue ray players, vcrs, dvd players, audio receiver, already always plugged in, plus satellite dish boxes need to be always plugged in and powered on, its no different than digital cable.

internet signals, home phone, digital cable, and analog signals can coexist on one wire, its like a highway with 4 lanes, if u get rid of the lane for analog, then u can use that lane for digital tv will double, its not hard to understand. Analog is a big lane, but only few cars, while digital is a few lanes but they could use an extra lane or two. it would be economical to move all the traffic to the digital and let more cars travel on that road, even at faster speeds too.

sound quality is the same, but its improved if you upgrade your box to a stb, not hard to understand due to the additional digital sound outputs, ie toslink and coaxial.

video quality is definitely an improvement over analogue, analog goes snow when poor cable quality, but digital still remains clear, can look just as good with some interference.
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!



Tracer6

join:2006-10-12
Bowmanville, ON

Paolo and bt,
Thanks for jumping in with clarifications again. I just want people to be fully aware. Some folks might not mind this change. I just don't like letting Rogers fudge the facts.
For example, being told that this change to digital is government mandated. (True for over the air, but not for cable.) I wonder how many other customers have be told this little fib, and believed it.
Also, I think lots of people time shift shows with a VCR or their own brand of video recorder. That equipment will still allow recording, just not on a different channel. Time shifting requires a Rogers PVR, at considerable up front cost, along with a monthly fee.
By the way, I went on Kijiji Ontario looking for standard definition Rogers PVRs. There are none - just people wanting to buy them. I think the price on the PVRs bought from Rogers has changed slightly in the last few day - also, listing Costco an authorized retailer).
I also find changing channels to be slower with the digital adapter.
The other threads are so junked up with messages, I wanted this one to be topmost, so people might see it.
I presume that Rogers must somehow prove to the CRTC that they have penetrated the digital market at the required 85% level.



Tracer6

join:2006-10-12
Bowmanville, ON

It also occurred to me that Rogers may gain in other ways from all digital data transfers. Each connected digital box is known to Rogers by its unique serial number and MAC address - which is matched to the customer's billing address, and which records the channel currently being viewed by the customer in a log file.
I imagine this plays well into potential advertising rates. Popularity of shows can be measured minute by minute and charged accordingly.
Anyone foolish enough to give Rogers their e-mail address might also expect tons of junk e-mail. I haven't read the privacy policy, but it wouldn't matter anyway. Changes are made in their customer agreement will-nilly. Who has time to read them with a fine-toothed comb?
The government's new snooping bill might even allow them to find out which shows customers have been watching by reviewing IP logs.


bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1

The digital adapters are one-way. Rogers won't know what channel you're tuned to.

The STBs are two-way, but do not carry the kind of demographic information that would be necessary for viewing numbers to have any use to advertisers.



Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada

Exactly, rogers is not in the business to collect ratings.

Ratings are tracked differently. and cable companies do not supply this info.
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!



sbrook
Premium,Mod
join:2001-12-14
Ottawa
kudos:13

At least not yet ... although you can be sure they'd love to be if it meant $ in their coffers!



Tracer6

join:2006-10-12
Bowmanville, ON
reply to bt

said by bt:

The digital adapters are one-way. Rogers won't know what channel you're tuned to.

The STBs are two-way, but do not carry the kind of demographic information that would be necessary for viewing numbers to have any use to advertisers.

Well, that's reassuring - the one way digital adapters, that is.

But, I thought Rogers already substituted commercials and charged whatever the market could bear for inserting them.

bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1

There is some sim-subbing of commercials on occasion for some US channels. It's actually required sometimes, but I don't remember the specific rules about it. They're mostly commercials for Rogers stuff, though (and Bell stuff on Bell TV, etc). Pushing Rogers-On-Demand, Rogers internet, etc, rather than sold commercial air time.



Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada

simsub is not done on the stb, its done at the headend, and sent down the cable to everyone. it is the same way simsubs are done over analogue
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!



J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Rogers Portable ..
reply to kliles

said by kliles:

said by Tracer6:

A Rogers PVR will not allow transferring video to any other device (an appeasement to content providers).

I was under the impression (untested) that one could "play" the item on the PVR and output it to a DVD-recorder -for example- instead of outputting it to the TV. As I said, I have yet to try this, but isn't there a set of audio/video output jacks on the PVR?

Anyone who has actually done this is invited to jump in here...

It sometimes works, depends whether or not Rogers is blocking it. (they can block the DVD recorder from recording) I haven't found this on most stations, and even some PPV's can be recorded. Depends on licensing.
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein


HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to Paolo

said by Paolo:

Exactly, rogers is not in the business to collect ratings.

Ratings are tracked differently. and cable companies do not supply this info.

How are ratings calculated, I always wondered...
--
GO LEAFS GO!


Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada

selected participants are mailed this little black device the size of a pager that they can wear on their belt with a clip.

the tv or radio stations sends an inaudible signal through the speakers of the tv or radio that this pager device picks up and records it, then they send it back after a week or two.

all this device does is keep track of the inaudible signals from different programs and the length. you then send this device back to the head office. from there they can link which inaudible signals are to what programs, and they compile data.

also the selection process requires you to tell them what your viewing habbits are, ie evening, morning, late nite, etc.

the device itself is pretty dumb. but the networks are involved because they send the signals down the broadcasts so this device picks it up.
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!



HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21

Heh, that seems pretty ghetto, and doesn't really represent the majority of viewers, does it?

Why not use the digital technology and work with the cable/sat companies?
--
GO LEAFS GO!



Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada

because people like tracer will feel its an invasion of privacy



nitzguy
Premium
join:2002-07-11
Sudbury, ON
reply to sbrook

said by sbrook:

At least not yet ... although you can be sure they'd love to be if it meant $ in their coffers!

No. Believe you me, its not something the cable companies are interested in. I don't know how many times I recieved a phone call when we'd push down a message to the STBs and people would call and say "you're recording me, there's a red light on my diginal box"...

Cable companies don't care what you watch or how much you watch....you pay the bill, they're happy. They don't have time to sift through millions of subscribers individual habits.

The Commercial substitution the OP is asking about is detailed in regulations regarding "Substitution of non-Canadian channels"...wondering why you get a Rogers commercial during your favourite A&E show like Dog the Bounty Hunter, or Storage Wars, or on I dunno, TLCs Extreme Couponing or something like that...

They're allowed to as part of license substitute in commercials over those US speciality channels.

That's different than simsubbing all together. The only company that does that substitution "at the box" is Starchoice/Shaw Direct, because they have different technology which allows the simsub based on postal code.

Anyhow, they also say its a better picture because if you have ghosting on certain channels, that rarely would ever happen on digital, or humbars...analogue deficiencies would disappear...and makes life easier for cable companies as either you get the picture or you don't....easy peasey.

kliles

join:2007-06-26
Mississauga, ON
reply to J E F F

said by J E F F:

said by kliles:

said by Tracer6:

A Rogers PVR will not allow transferring video to any other device (an appeasement to content providers).

I was under the impression (untested) that one could "play" the item on the PVR and output it to a DVD-recorder -for example- instead of outputting it to the TV. As I said, I have yet to try this, but isn't there a set of audio/video output jacks on the PVR?

Anyone who has actually done this is invited to jump in here...

It sometimes works, depends whether or not Rogers is blocking it. (they can block the DVD recorder from recording) I haven't found this on most stations, and even some PPV's can be recorded. Depends on licensing.

By "they can block the DVD from recording" I guess you must mean they somehow block the output to the rca jacks for *some* classes of recording? I dont see how the pvr can reach out to the DVD recorder () ... I guess an experiment is in order.


J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Rogers Portable ..

said by kliles:

By "they can block the DVD from recording" I guess you must mean they somehow block the output to the rca jacks for *some* classes of recording? I dont see how the pvr can reach out to the DVD recorder () ... I guess an experiment is in order.

No..they don't block signal...they send a signal to the VCR or DVD that prevents copyright material from being recorded. There are work arounds though...
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein

bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1

2 edits
reply to Paolo

said by Paolo:

also the selection process requires you to tell them what your viewing habbits are, ie evening, morning, late nite, etc.

AHAHAHAHA

The selection process involves having your address essentially pulled from a hat, owning a TV, agreeing to participate and to provide demographic information about all members of your household that would be participating.

That's it.

bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1
reply to kliles

said by kliles:

By "they can block the DVD from recording" I guess you must mean they somehow block the output to the rca jacks for *some* classes of recording? I dont see how the pvr can reach out to the DVD recorder () ... I guess an experiment is in order.

Most digital equipment supports broadcast flags, which allow broadcasters to set conditions like "do not record" or "record once". Downgrading the signal to analogue for transmissions between the devices will strip the flag.

bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1
reply to HiVolt

said by HiVolt:

Why not use the digital technology and work with the cable/sat companies?

Wouldn't provide the demographic data that advertisers demand. They don't want to know how many people are watching a show, they want to know how many 18-49 year olds are watching a show. Or 18-34. Or 18-49 males. etc.


Tracer6

join:2006-10-12
Bowmanville, ON
reply to HiVolt

said by HiVolt:

Heh, that seems pretty ghetto, and doesn't really represent the majority of viewers, does it?

Why not use the digital technology and work with the cable/sat companies?

Because I gain nothing in viewing experience or in time shifting. I regain the ability to record one channel while viewing another will cost me over $500 for a Togers HD PVR, plus additional monthly fees. The older, standard broadcast PVRs are no longer sold. Used models are in such demand, I'm unlikely to find one. Buyers on Kijiji are willing to pay $200 for such units.


Tracer6

join:2006-10-12
Bowmanville, ON
reply to bt

said by bt:

said by Paolo:

also the selection process requires you to tell them what your viewing habbits are, ie evening, morning, late nite, etc.

AHAHAHAHA

The selection process involves having your address essentially pulled from a hat, owning a TV, agreeing to participate and to provide demographic information about all members of your household that would be participating.

That's it.

I've always wondered how viewing habits are tracked. An even cheaper way to listen to audio signals might be to make a cold call on people, not answer when they say "Hello" and record the audio from whatever television might be on during that moments of silence before the callee hangs up. Only a small snippet of audio might be sufficient to map it to a TV show sound track. However, with digital boxes, Rogers will always know how many people are watching certain shows at a given time of day.


nitzguy
Premium
join:2002-07-11
Sudbury, ON

said by Tracer6:

said by bt:

said by Paolo:

also the selection process requires you to tell them what your viewing habbits are, ie evening, morning, late nite, etc.

AHAHAHAHA

The selection process involves having your address essentially pulled from a hat, owning a TV, agreeing to participate and to provide demographic information about all members of your household that would be participating.

That's it.

I've always wondered how viewing habits are tracked. An even cheaper way to listen to audio signals might be to make a cold call on people, not answer when they say "Hello" and record the audio from whatever television might be on during that moments of silence before the callee hangs up. Only a small snippet of audio might be sufficient to map it to a TV show sound track. However, with digital boxes, Rogers will always know how many people are watching certain shows at a given time of day.

Huh? What if someone's TV isn't on then? This sounds insane...also, what if they don't have a home phone like myself?

True story, not everyone has a landline anymore...I wouldn't be surprised if Bell randomly opens those landlines and listens in on conversations that you have perhaps.....

Technologies change, things change, either you can A) get on board or B) get off the train.

Cable companies have decided the "benefit" of running analogue to all the TVs and having the ability to use an antiquated VCR or antiquated "Picture in Picture" TV...(which I had one growing up in 1990....I haven't seen one since)...outweighs the potential benefit to deliver the equivalent of 12 digital channels over 1 analogue channel...

In this case, 12 > 1. People want more channels, people want more HD...its cheaper for them to convert vs. going through endless upgrades of infrastructure.

So...long story short....you're not forced to use their services...also, they don't know how many people are watching certain shows at a given time...they don't care, take the tin foil hat off....Rogers has more important things to do, and to be quite honest you're not that important to know what you're watching between 1:45 and 2:00pm on any given day.

bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1
reply to Tracer6

said by Tracer6:

However, with digital boxes, Rogers will always know how many people are watching certain shows at a given time of day.

Except, as we've said a few times already, they don't.


Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada

Find me one VCR or DVD recorder that allows you to watch one ATSC channel while recording another? it doesnt exist, and if it did, it would probaly cost a lot. why should a cable, sat, fibe tv, company invest in this feature in their equiptment if no one ends up using it or caring about it? thats why pvrs were invented, because we the public had asked for it. i wasnt one of them who asked for pvr, but the general public did as a hole.
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!



Tracer6

join:2006-10-12
Bowmanville, ON

If many more standard definition digital channels can be transmitted on a single removed analogue channel, and if a Rogers digital PVR (standard or not) comes equipped with two tuners (so that one channel may be recorded while watching another), why, then, does the "free" digital adapter not come with two tuners. This $40 box probably costs only $10 to make,... if that. Putting in another tuner in it would be a minor additional. Why? Because the PVRs already have two digital to analogue tuners built in. Instead, Rogers sells only HD PVRs, each with a hard drive and digital rights management software (plus a monthly digital hook-up fee). It should actually be cheaper to send multiple standard definition channels over cable, allowing me to have the same service, at the same price as I do now. The only reason it costs more is to service people who want high definition. I don't want to pay for that level of picture quality; I don't want to pay for the pleasure of HD customers. Rogers has changed the terms of service once again - involuntarily and without full disclosure of the choice viewers should have. Yes, it is a take it or leave it situation, without a clear idea of what you are taking or leaving - for most cusomers. And, as usual, not matter what the choice you make, it will cost more. So, my choice is really to continue to pay for the Sky Dome and for the purchase of CityTV, or to fly free on the Over The Air channels.
One more interesting tid bit here. I visited my aged aunt at her condo today. Cogeco gave her a HD set top box (no charge), to stay on the same plan at the same price. Yes, her HD picture is nice - and it didn't cost a cent more.



Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada

the PVR has 2 tuners inside because its easy to have it integrated into one unit, the recording is also done in the same unit, controlled by the same software/IPG.

It would be a lot harder to make a unit with 2 tuners, and output the 2nd tuner to A VCR or DVD recorder to do the recording. There is no way the dvd or vcr will communicate the status of the tape, or disc back to the ipg