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kmand

join:2002-05-06
Decatur, GA

[Price] Cable Card Pricing!!

Comcast just jacked up my cable card price from $1.50 to $9.95, I have two of them so that bumped my bill by $16.90.

Have they done this system wide? I thought the agreement with the FCC was for a low price to encourage a market for third party boxes.

Can they even do this mid year without prior notice? The last price list that came with my bill in January shows it as $1.50.


mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV
I think I read somewhere that they are going to charge an additional outlet charge for cable cards now. The additional outlet charge is indeed $10 per month. I guess this would make having a cable card pointless.

Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
outlet charge $10??????

Now they may be braking the law it the cost to rent a cable box is the same as cable card + outlet.

WOW directv its only $6 and that is for any box.

ALSO HD AND DVR is a flat fee so you have like 4 dvr and pay the same as 1 dvr + 3 boxes.

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

1 edit
reply to kmand
All CC systems were supposed to start charging cablecards as a A/O fee, BUT then you're supposed to get a "customer owned equipment" credit, which varies by market. You can find this credit out here:

»www.comcast.com/equipmentpolicy/···ect=true

In your market it appears to be $2.50 (same as my area)

It sounds like you were NOT being charged the A/O like most others were all along - so you are now being billed the way you should have all along.
Actually, it really sounds like they were charging your CC's at the rate they charge for a 2nd CC in the SAME device. (some older Tivo's required a 2nd CC)

»customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···ablecard

If you have a CC on your primary outlet, then you'd still get a credit on it as well.


jdbalogh

join:2003-11-21
State College, PA
reply to kmand
Using a CC in »www.silicondust.com/products/hdh···n/prime/ brings 3 tuners/channels to the devices I choose anywhere on the LAN/WiFi in my home. Using »MythTV.org software leverages the CC to provide the recording, playback, PIP, streaming for free - so no DVR charges. I consider $10 per month to be a bargain to enable these functions.

Some of the channel bundles seem a little overpriced however...

JDB


mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV
Depends on if they charge $10 per card like they do each box.


myosh

join:2001-05-03
Cupertino, CA
reply to kmand
said by kmand:

Comcast just jacked up my cable card price from $1.50 to $9.95, I have two of them so that bumped my bill by $16.90.

Have they done this system wide? I thought the agreement with the FCC was for a low price to encourage a market for third party boxes.

I can tell you for a fact that this is NOT system-wide. I just paid my Comcast bill and all I pay for cable cards is the standard $1.50 per card. From what I understand, the whole additional-outlet-fee-for-cablecard-devices varies market to market. I was told by more than one CSR working at my local walk-in Comcast service center that additional outlet fees are only collected when a customer uses Comcast-owned boxes.

Edit: I also get the 2.50 customer-owned equipment credit too.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to mikedz4
not really pointless, it just means you can own your own equipment so you don't have to return the equipment. I still want Comcast to allow users to purchase their own cable cards instead of rent them each month.


mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV
yes But you have to pay the same now whether you own your own equipment or rent it.


retiredqwest

join:2005-04-01
Spokane, WA
reply to kmand
Per my Comcast Bill of 5/19/11 and it appears on some other folks bills as well.

CableCARD (first card in device) old rate $0.00 new rate $0.00
CableCARD (second card in same device) old rate $1.50 new rate $1.10
Customer-Owned Video Equipment Credit old rate $2.50 new rate $2.50

Digital Additional Outlet Service (Includes Equipment) 2 @ $8.75 since I have 2 CableCards. There is no CC fee on my statement.

The key above is the word DEVICE, not tuners, streams, nor channels.
And also notice it makes no mention of the word TIVO. And the additional outlet fee INCLUDES Comcast owned equipment.

The outlet fee and credit are not standardized across Comcast, so YMMV on the $.

So if you have ONE M-CARD in a device there should not be a fee for the card.

If you have 2 S-CARDS in a device then the CC fee does apply.

The fun part is trying to get a CSR to understand the above.
I tried for several years to get this fixed.... and finally gave up. And for $2.20 a month I have far more expensive battles elsewhere to fight.
Couple of months ago, I was talking to a support CSR and SHE changed the billing.

Check your bills and see if you can find the above wording if you want to pursue this.


jdbalogh

join:2003-11-21
State College, PA
reply to mikedz4
So they charge $10 per card (I wonder why they call it an outlet). Each card can decode up to 6 channels for that cost. My situation is only using 3 tuners on the one card. Fortunately I do not have a charge for any other connections in the house (free decoder boxes) but if they start charging for each outlet/box, then I could drop one of the free boxes in preference to the SiliconDust box with the CC to keep the price the same.

Your mileage may vary.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to mikedz4
True though its usually cheaper.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

1 edit
reply to kmand
I guess we should be thankful then that Comcast does not sell pet food, according to this article on the Multichannel News site today :

Cost Of Dog Food Rising Faster Than Pay TV: Analyst
By Todd Spangler, Multichannel News - October 5, 2012
»www.multichannel.com/news-articl···t/139629

EDIT: A similar article on the Los Angeles Times site:
»www.latimes.com/entertainment/en···77.story

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
reply to kmand
Comcast card billing is all over the map and entirely depends on your area, the local CSR you get, and whether you escalate to corporate or regional reps. You may get charged for cards, may not, and you may or may not get a credit for each card. Or you get hit with A/O fees. Or the bogus HD tech fee even if you don't have their boxes. They are in violation of the new FCC card regs because of inconsistent billing, but the FCC doesn't care (and complaints have been filed).

It's entirely YMMV, and it's wrong.


halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL
said by GTFan:

It's entirely YMMV, and it's wrong.

You have that right. I have been trying to figure out what it would cost to change my package and simply can not get a strait answer from the CSRs or even with a visit to the local office. My setup includes a cable card, dtrs and set top boxes and the CSRs simply can not agree on what combination of box fees, card fees and outlet fees are applicable. The charges they quote never agree with each other and are not even remotely close to the last rate card we received. And don't even get me started on trying to get a cable card provisioned to match the same lineup as your cablebox. It's a mess and with all the nickel and dime fees apparently far too complicated for the CSRs to comprehend, quote, sell or configure.
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Registered Bandwidth Offender #40812


halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL
reply to jdbalogh
said by jdbalogh:

So they charge $10 per card (I wonder why they call it an outlet).

The FCC has regulations that limit the fee they can charge for a card. The regulations on outlet mirror fees however are far more flexible and lucrative.
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Registered Bandwidth Offender #40812

mogamer

join:2011-04-20
Royal Oak, MI
reply to kmand
said by kmand:

Comcast just jacked up my cable card price from $1.50 to $9.95, I have two of them so that bumped my bill by $16.90.

Have they done this system wide? I thought the agreement with the FCC was for a low price to encourage a market for third party boxes.

Can they even do this mid year without prior notice? The last price list that came with my bill in January shows it as $1.50.

What cc devices do you have and how is the ota reception for you?

I ask because a friend of mine has two Tivo Premieres but only has a cc installed in one of them. The other is connected to his rooftop antenna and records the ota network programs with that unit while the cc Tivo records the pay-tv programming. He then streams the shows between each other as a make-shift WHDVR. Maybe this option will work for you?

audee

join:2012-06-13
Oak Park, IL
There is a law on the books that says Comcast can't artificially lower the rent on dct(set top box) and pump up the cost with service fees. (cross-subsidizing)

Integrated Cable Act: Communications Act of 1934
Sec. 629. [47 U.S.C. 549] Competitive availability of Navigation Devices
»www.calcable.org/files/File/TOC_···ions.pdf page 232

"629 gives the Commission broad power to adopt regulations to assure the commercial availability of navigation devices and states that multichannel video programming distributors may lease their own devices, as long as “the system operator’s charges to consumers for such devices and equipment are separately stated and not subsidized by charges” for multichannel video programming service."
Federal Communications Commission FCC 10-181 p13

Customers Owned Equipment credit = $2.50 is "equal to an amount not less than the monthly rental fee reasonably allocable to the lease of the operator-supplied navigation device "
FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5) »www.hallikainen.com/FccRules/2012/76/1205/
dct equipment fee = $2.50

The cablecards is free but you have to pay for the outlet. (outlet [A/O] = dct in billing terms)
»customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···rds/#cc9
Therefore, the cablecards inside a dct equipment fee = $0.00

Total equipment fee $2.50
A/O fee = $8.95

the total service fee
$8.95 - $2.50 = $6.45

n% of $8.95 is $6.45
72% service or 75% if A/O fee = $9.95

These are clearly way too high, not to be cross-subsidizing.
Comcast can legally say the rent for dct equipment is $2.50 but than the total charge or A/O fee can only be a maximum of $4.95, which amount to 49.49% service. Any higher % service, I think would definitely be cross-subsidizing.(subsidizing the costs of leased set-top boxes with service fees)


TiVo Man

@comcast.net
About 6 months ago Comcast changed my CC cost from $1.50/each per month to $1.15/each per month, AO fee $0. This is in the Hartford CT area. The above posts is of some concern to me as i have 4 CCs


halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL
reply to audee
The basic rate for an additional cable card has been $2.50 for a while so the CC cost is pretty well established.
As audee points out, the fcc does not want the box rate subsidized. If the extra outlet rate is $10 then the minimum charge to add a full box on an account would be $12.50 if the actual box itself is valued a $0.
The FCC regulations on the box value are very well defined (cost of box amortized over x number of months.) I suspect that comcast is buying so few actual non-DVR boxes that they are hoping to declare that the actual cost of the bulk of the old set top boxes is now pretty much paid off. The $20 DVR free and any non-dvr fee above $12.50 leaves plenty of wiggle room to declare a $10 A/O fee acceptable.
All this is probably something that can be slipped past the nose of the bureaucratic and well lobbied FCC. But it is totally despicable behavior to try and nickle and dime the consumer with the endless fees and charges to help support the elite entertainment content provider class. But as long as we keep buying it, I guess we deserve what we get.
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Registered Bandwidth Offender #40812


halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL
reply to TiVo Man
said by TiVo Man :

The above posts is of some concern to me as i have 4 CCs

This kind of fee structure would make your media configuration ridiculously expensive. The obvious solution would be to change to a system that utilizes internal streaming to media extender type devices. But the equipment cost and limited available choices make that somewhat distasteful.
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Registered Bandwidth Offender #40812

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
Yep, all of us card users should be concerned - others have posted on tivocommunity.com that they are now getting hit with A/O's for extra cards where they didn't before. Comcast may finally be auditing card usage systemwide and adjusting bills accordingly, I have seen more than one person over at TCF say that they don't get charged at all for cards (and get $2.50 credits for each!).

If Tivo ever delivers the Mini (IP STB) to 'extend' a 4-tuner XL4, this would be a viable option in addition to using Windows Media Center, because you may only need one card. But no one knows when they will do so.


Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
reply to kmand
I have only one cable card and my price has not increased.


halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL
said by Nightfall:

I have only one cable card and my price has not increased.

Well they are nothing if not inconsistent. When or if this change comes your way has yet to be seen.
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Registered Bandwidth Offender #40812