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Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Mr Matt

Re: Nasty

said by Mr Matt:

The FCC should use the telephone company model forcing the cable and DBS industry to allow the customer to own their own equipment.

The FCC does force cable providers to allow users to install and use their own equipment by mandating that cable companies support CableCARDs which separates encryption from the device.

The FCC even mandates what can be charged for cards and that cable companies should refund customers the cost they would have paid renting from the cable company. In other words deduct the rental fee.

What Comcast did was arbitrarily decide that the box rental fee should now be $2.50 instead of the previous $10, so that's what customers who use their own equipment get back. Of course the box rental fee can't actually be $2.50 so they then tacked on a $7.50 outlet fee to make up the difference. Since it's not a "rental" fee, customers using their own equipment still have to pay it. It follows the letter of the FCC regulations, but not the spirit of said regulations. Basically Comcast found a loophole.

Don't expect the FCC to revisit this any time soon though as it's been neutered recently.
--
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.


hambone42
Peace, through superior firepower
Premium
join:2002-02-02
Manassas, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Zoder
said by Zoder:

(snip)

Oh no customer, we're only charging you $2.50 for the equipment. It doesn't matter if it's an SD, HD or DVR box. The equipment is just $2.50. It's the "outlet" that you are paying $7+ for.

Yet here we see the outlet charge is only $1.49. It's the same outlet and if you have digital starter, the same channels.

(snip)

That's the part that frosts me the most. I'm moving into a new house and am paying for all of the interior TV and network cabling. Except for the extremely small marginal cost of the extra power to boost the signal entering my home, my additional outlets cost Comcast nothing from an infrastructure perspective. I doubt they cost Comcast anything from a licensing perspective, either.

This reminds me -- they still haven't fixed my billing to credit me for their box that I turned in and replaced with a TiVO two months ago. If they start charging me for the DTA's that were supposed to be free, I'll be turning those in and going OTA for those TV's.

When does Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" start up again?
--
Sarcasm is the Body's Natural Defense Against Stupidity

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
reply to alexintexas
In what world would a DVR cost $1200 in a healthy retail market? You're talking about a QAM tuner, processors, and hard drive. Not exactly state of the art technology. It would quickly become a commodity item.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to Zoder
The incentive to own your own MCE PC is pretty big when you can scale it out to 6 simultaneous users and 12 tuners for the price of two additional cable cards. That's way cheaper than crappy Comcast boxes, and most people would only need 4 or 8 tuners.

Also, these things are useless in the first place, as TV without a DVR... what's the point?

As for extra sets... just use MCE for the whole house, and throw a used XBOX with any extra TVs.

Also, there is no big scam to stop people from using CableCards... very, very few people do. They are pretty nice about them, and helpful when getting a self-install CableCard, at least IMO. And, they support ONDemand on TiVos on Moto systems, because then they make a crapton of money off of rentals. They would support it on SA systems if they could figure out how to accept IP input to the VOD system.

They did get rid of the remote control fee... that one was especially egregious, as you couldn't return the remote and not pay the fee, even if you had your own universal remote control.

DVRs don't cost $1200. That's absurd. Even a TiVo with Lifetime, which is a far more capable machine than an RNG200M or DCX3400M, which are Comcast's top Cisco and Moto boxes, respectively, costs less than $1k with a Lifetime subscription.

The "outlet" fees are just disguised box fees, one way or another. It has nothing to do with physical outlets. Heck, with MCE7 you could be running 6 TVs off of one or two "outlets". But they do have the analog cable thing back under control from when people were hooking up a ton of TVs to one subscription and not getting any more revenue for Comcast.

alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Zoder
actually it wouldnt think about it,,,,also best buy and others need to make $$$ so yes that would be the cost per device believe it or not its reality..cable co's buy DIRECT from a manufacturer and in HUGE BULK not one by one nor do they deal with retailers

you obviously have no clue on manufacturing and costs involved in it..it entails huge amounts of $$$$ in R&D before anything is even manufactured once they do get a baseline they pay another large amount of $$$$ to build and test it,,,and they find problems thus more R&D and modifications which cost more money

the PS3 is an example look what the system cost the first 5+ years Sony "lost" money on every single unit sold and gambled on the hopes that they could make it up in accessory sales. i might add the ps3 was not cheap. Sony is not the only ones look at the "iphone" $450 bucks starting. my HTC sensation cost me $525, once a manufacturer recovers its costs in initial R&D etc they might lower the price however......

now an STB manufacturer is not going to lose money on this venture and then retailers need their cut as well, so we would be lucky to see no more then 3 total manufacturers building them

alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to BiggA
building an MCE PC is an excellent idea but in the tuners in your configuration is $1200 alone. to run those cards you need a top of the line pc thats another $1200 not to mention a pc or xbox at each tv as i have stated its an excellent idea but initial upfront cost is just well alot for your avg consumer

tivo???? LOL yes $400 for the box then pay $15. a month to be able to use it monthly or $400 for lifetime use thats min $800 or pay termination fees on the monthly, or pay more money for the boxes upfront and pay $20 a month to utilize it to avoid termination charges. and guess what if the cable co goes to ip based, your tivo is FUCKED!!!!! and useless

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
reply to alexintexas
The PS3 used a state of the art processor that Sony spend years developing.

I look at it like this. You have two main players in the STB market. Both refuse to sell their products at retail. They sell to the cable companies wholesale and set whatever price they want. That is not a real market price, it's a duopoly market price. The cable companies than pass this along to their customers in high monthly fees. The testing you are referring to is because they want a standard platform for their market so they have the manufacturer make custom changes that need to be tested extensively before it can be rolled out to millions of customers. If there was an open standard, not a locked down standard controlled by CableLabs, you could hook whatever device you wanted to the cable and innovation and competition would thrive.

What exactly is this highly innovative technology in a DVR that huge amounts of R&D is being spent on? It was innovative when TIVO developed it over a decade ago. What's changed? A faster processor, a bigger harddrive, and in some cases more tuners. We're not talking about an iphone which is constantly refreshed with new technology every year.

So yes, under the byzantine system Moto, Cisco, and the cable industry currently have in place, a retail box probably would end up being over priced. But it would be due to manipulating the market and not the reality of the technology in a DVR.

Now ideally, something like Allvid would become a standard. All incoming signals whether they be cable, telco, or satellite would be converted at the entry into the home into IP which any device in your home could understand. Then you could hook up a tv, stb, tablet, smartphone, dvr, computer, etc... driving down costs and letting the customer own their own video equipment.

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL

1 edit
reply to BiggA
said by BiggA:

The incentive to own your own MCE PC is pretty big when you can scale it out to 6 simultaneous users and 12 tuners for the price of two additional cable cards. That's way cheaper than crappy Comcast boxes, and most people would only need 4 or 8 tuners.

Also, these things are useless in the first place, as TV without a DVR... what's the point?

As for extra sets... just use MCE for the whole house, and throw a used XBOX with any extra TVs.

Also, there is no big scam to stop people from using CableCards... very, very few people do. They are pretty nice about them, and helpful when getting a self-install CableCard, at least IMO. And, they support ONDemand on TiVos on Moto systems, because then they make a crapton of money off of rentals. They would support it on SA systems if they could figure out how to accept IP input to the VOD system.

They did get rid of the remote control fee... that one was especially egregious, as you couldn't return the remote and not pay the fee, even if you had your own universal remote control.

DVRs don't cost $1200. That's absurd. Even a TiVo with Lifetime, which is a far more capable machine than an RNG200M or DCX3400M, which are Comcast's top Cisco and Moto boxes, respectively, costs less than $1k with a Lifetime subscription.

The "outlet" fees are just disguised box fees, one way or another. It has nothing to do with physical outlets. Heck, with MCE7 you could be running 6 TVs off of one or two "outlets". But they do have the analog cable thing back under control from when people were hooking up a ton of TVs to one subscription and not getting any more revenue for Comcast.

That's something someone who frequents dslreports would do. I'm talking about the average American cable customer.

The point I'm trying to make is that they make more money when you rent their box. The FCC has tried to encourage COE by forcing the cable companies to issue a credit for the STB rental price. Comcast has found a loophole by making most of the STB rental price consist of this "digital outlet" fee so they could issue as little a credit as possible. The DTA price breakout exposes that.

There was a reason Comcast would not charge you per outlet for cableready tvs. It was outlawed in the early 90s. The move to digital has allowed them to resurrect a decades old fee.

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
reply to alexintexas
said by alexintexas:

building an MCE PC is an excellent idea but in the tuners in your configuration is $1200 alone. to run those cards you need a top of the line pc thats another $1200 not to mention a pc or xbox at each tv as i have stated its an excellent idea but initial upfront cost is just well alot for your avg consumer

A 4 tuner ceton card costs $200 right now on Amazon. Which equipment are you looking at?

alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
said by Zoder:

A 4 tuner ceton card costs $200 right now on Amazon. Which equipment are you looking at?

your correct but still $400 in upfront costs imagine what manufacturers would charge to build an MCE pc and you still need a high end pc for this not to mention 4 cable lines and 4 cable cards. and again if the cable co moves to ip based those cards are useless this is the reason i have not done this

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
Actually you don't need 4 cablecards per Ceton. Only 1 M-card.

Also one line. Same way Comcast's Dvr has 2 tuners but only one line. The card tunes in to multiple channels on the one line.

alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Zoder
your reply clearly shows you dont know the costs involved in manufacturing and or what it takes or costs to make it a reality. and its in ANY manufacturing not just "dvr's," phones etc. how much do you think Sony paid in R&D for the chip? and that is ONE part.
.
STB makers make and do specification's to whatever cable company wants/needs is buying them not what the manufacturer puts out, thus cable pays most/all R&D cable co's dont want consumers owning them for many reasons 1. being theft of service.

actually cable cos could care less if they didnt fear the content providers, over skipping ads, copy protection etc etc etc so blame the wonderful content providers for no consumer end dvr's or STB's

how much did tivos cost when first released???? again not cheap and still not cheap. and still controlled by tivo due to the content providers

also in many markets today content providers are demanding the cable co to block 3rd party cable card recording, and in a couple of markets all channels are blocked.

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL

1 edit
DVRs have been ruled legal by the courts. The FCC's official policy is that customers should be able to own STB's if they so choose. Content providers might not like them, but they couldn't stop them if they were sold directly to the public. Content providers cannot force cable cos to block 3rd party cable card recording if they allow 1st party recording. The whole point of the FCC's separable security mandate is that everything is treated equal regarding security whether it's cable owned or customer owned.

You brought up the PS3. I was trying to say that Sony did spend a huge amount of money developing the chip and that it was state of the art technology at the time it was released. You are trying to compare that to the technology inside a DVR which in 2013 is standard tech and not cuttting edge. Adding a faster processor following Moore's law and a bigger harddrive does not make it state of the art justifying a retail cost anywhere close to $1200. The bill of materials is likely a few hundred max.

Retail margins on consumer electronics is low which is why stores like best buy push the accessories and extended warranty when you buy CE items in the store. The markup on those items is high.

Regardigng the phones, I would say the market is a little distorted on that front. Since most phones are bought with subsidies the manufacturers are able to demand a higher price point from the carriers then woud otherwise be the case if the phones were all sold entirely at retail with no subsidy. Under those conditions it would be subject to supply and demand. If most people are willing to pay $600+ for a phone the prices would stay at that level. If not, the manufacturers would have to lower the price and their margins on the phones. Apple doesn't have huge profits each qtr because the markup is low. People want the iphone at the subsidized price in droves and Apple can then set the price the carriers have to pay very high.

alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
said by Zoder:

DVRs have been ruled legal by the courts. The FCC's official policy is that customers should be able to own STB's if they so choose. Content providers might not like them, but they couldn't stop them if they were sold directly to the public. Content providers cannot force cable cos to block 3rd party cable card recording if they allow 1st party recording. The whole point of the FCC's separable security mandate is that everything is treated equal regarding security whether it's cable owned or customer owned.

read around where tivos and pc tuners are sold, cable operators are blocking of recording channels at the demand of content provides. you keep citing 10+ year FCC laws that no longer apply to current tech. todays FCC is 2000% useless so stop citing it because 1 content provider has the money to fight any FCC ruling, and i dont care about 10 year old FCC laws, nor does cable co much less content providers,

CONTENT PROVIDERS dont want a consumer grade dvr to enable copying THEIR content to other mediums or devices and guess what that is a FCC law older then anyone law you been citing and a cable co or content provider would win in court over it period

said by Zoder:

You brought up the PS3. I was trying to say that Sony did spend a huge amount of money developing the chip and that it was state of the art technology at the time it was released. You are trying to compare that to the technology inside a DVR which in 2013 is standard tech and not cuttting edge. Adding a faster processor following Moore's law and a bigger harddrive does not make it state of the art justifying a retail cost anywhere close to $1200. The bill of materials is likely a few hundred max

here we go beating this dead horse again

i said "initial" R&D the costs involved.....

i work and have worked in manufacturing for 10 years currently working in a company that makes soda dispensing machines. their top contractor, a top soda maker in the US decided they wanted a whole new machine,,they spent 2 years in R&D before anything was made, when it came time to start production the tools to make the plastic parts alone cost over $1 million, they also paid another million on a molding machine needed this is/was only a small part of expenditures. and in only one department.

this top soda maker said get the product out so they did, in lab testing found MANY problem's, they wanted it out in use so my employer did a 100 unit test bed in high volume stores, in the first 6 months over 1/2 the units failed in field and kept failing.

the soda maker in the end fired top level management, spent over $250 million yes you read that correct and scraped the whole project. and only 100 units + testing units where ever made out of this tiny venture this i might add happened in the early 90's

so at that kind of $$$ and no advertising or marketing costs got involved, how many years do you think it takes to recoup the initial costs?

auto manufactures is another fine example and why cars/trucks are not redesigned no less then 5 years and many every 10..

a VCR when it first came out in 1970 it cost $2100 bucks and even through out the mid 70's - 80 the costs where still about $800

what did DVD players cost the first 5 years? cd players?

once a product is produced now comes marketing cost, advertising cost, another small fortune tacked onto said product

also many retailers markup to 50% on certain items

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to alexintexas
Over 48 months, and compared to equivalent Comcast equipment, Windows MCE beats renting stuff from Comcast by a significant margin for anything between 1 and the full 6 rooms support by MCE. For a 5 room setup, over 48 months, MCE is $1380 cheaper, and it gets even more significant for more than 5 rooms, although you do lose a bit if you go to 8 tuners, as you'd be spending another $336 over 48 months for that CableCard (unless you just do ClearQAM tuners). The problem is that most people don't seem to be willing to run the calculations to understand what the true costs/benefits are of different options. Cable companies aren't going to IP-based video anytime soon. The next step for them is to continue to use linear 256-QAM, but with MPEG-4AVC or HEVC. With HEVC, they could do 8 HD's per QAM with the equivalent quality of FIOS's 2 HD's per QAM.

@Zoder: There are options out there. Just because people don't take advantage of them is their own fault.

We are way past the days of plugging analog TVs with VCRs in. HD and DVR functionality is a core part of watching TV now, as is OnDemand in many cases (although I don't care, since I'd rather own my own and control my own DVR).

Just for comparison's sake, my HTPC that I got up and running this past week was $908 not including Windows 7, but including all the hardware for the PC, the Ceton quad tuner, remote, and keyboard/trackpad thingy. It's a Core i3 with 8GB of ram, a 120GB SSD, and a 3TB hard drive. It's also got a pretty nice case and PSU. It would be deal silent if I replaced the stock Intel cooler. It's probably overpowered for MCE, but I wanted a Core i-series processor.

@alexintexas: You clearly have no clue what you're talking about. My Core i3 machine has one cablecard, one cable line, 4 tuners, and it's putting over 90% of it's CPU power towards F@H even when I'm watching TV and playing with the DVR functionality.

CableCards cannot be blocked. The DRM flags that some cable co's use still allow extenders to stream the content.

DVRs are legal and here to stay, and DISH will ultimately win with the commercial skipping technology, and it will hopefully be rolled out to work with all channels, and by more providers.

The content providers are utterly clueless and are scared of new technology like many other industries that have taken a long time to adapt. Look at the CBS/CNET/Dish debacle. CBS is clueless. The fact of the matter is that DVRs are here to stay, and no matter how much content providers hate them, they will continue to be more and more ubiquitous, at least as long as content is linearly delivered over cable/satellite.

alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
said by BiggA:

I replaced the stock Intel cooler. It's probably overpowered for MCE, but I wanted a Core i-series processor.

@alexintexas: You clearly have no clue what you're talking about. My Core i3 machine has one cablecard, one cable line, 4 tuners, and it's putting over 90% of it's CPU power towards F@H even when I'm watching TV and playing with the DVR functionality.

two questions
1. are you using the cpu graphics?
2. curious here, after 12hr of utilizing constant 90% cpu on the aftermarket cooler, what are the cpu temps?

said by BiggA:

CableCards cannot be blocked. The DRM flags that some cable co's use still allow extenders to stream the content.

i never said or mentioned anything about streaming

said by BiggA:

The content providers are utterly clueless and are scared of new technology

nope wrong!

Its all about ad revenue the content providers are not going to generate ad revenue on even a Google/Youtube model with 85% of there content is reruns of everything out there, so the actual content that is made new is what would be bringing in some $$$ not enough to go around and much less the current amount of profit being generated. they know this. So yes they are stuck.

netflix you say, yes they make little money, however how much can/do they make in ad revenue on those reruns vs profits from netflix, having 30 different pay streaming services simply is not going to work either, they also know all this.

Google/Youtube,,,i have said this in another thread. youtube has grown so fast and continues to grow = more viewership = more ad revenue = lost ad revenue for all the content providers and the more they grow the more they lose, this is what the content providers fear on top of youtube is growing by leaps and bounds and pay $0 for any content offered yet youtube is winning

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
Honestly, I haven't checked temps. I don't care, as the Core i-Series will shut themselves down if they're too hot, and the motherboard automatically manages the fan speed. As long as it's below the 70 or 80C that's the max for the CPU, I'm good. I used to run a P4 at 78C all summer, with it's max spec'ed temp at 80C, so I don't have an issue with hot CPUs. I am using the stock Intel cooler, which is why the machine currently isn't silent, but it is pretty quiet.

You said you can't record copy protected content, which is factually wrong. You can, and you can stream it. You just can't copy it to another machine on the network.

The thing is, the content providers are digging their heads into the sand. They have continued to push ridiculous price increases and massive, bloated channel bundles just to get a few key channels (i.e. all the garbage ABC/Disney channels just to get ESPN). Now they are fixated on ads. The more and more they try to cling to old models, the more people will move their eyeball time to other media, dump cable all-together or pirate stuff. They are pushing towards a tipping point, and at this rate, they are going to take the Comcasts of the world down with them. It's unfortunate that Comcast, DISH, DirecTV, AT&T, Verizon, and others couldn't form a coalition to set the prices they are willing to pay for the content and beat the networks into submission, as thats what the networks and content conglomerates need right now. Until the MSOs get control of the skyrocketing content cost, cable and satellite prices are going to continue to be completely absurd. Heck, Comcast alone, as the largest MSO, should grow a pair, pull a Charlie Ergen and start naming their prices. They have the power of the subscribers to beat the networks down into submission. Of course it's a lot harder now that they merged with NBC Universal.

alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
said by BiggA:

You said you can't record copy protected content, which is factually wrong. You can, and you can stream it. You just can't copy it to another machine on the network.

no i said cable companies are flagging x-channel at the request of x-content provider to disable recording on pc tuners and even tivos, not on cable co dvr, so say i have a centon or even a tivo say fox does not want my market to record to my dvr they send the flag request to the cable co. thus all cable cards (cable dvr's excluded) in my market would be blocked from recording fox.


considerthis

@comcast.net
reply to Zoder
What no one is considering is that equipment has to be manufactured to operate on the local system infrastructure. Even the cable companies cannot transfer equipment from a SA market to a Motorola market because the backend equipment is not compatible. To make a truly "universal" decoder would require a rebuild of basically every market in the country. Who would you propose pay for this rebuild? I'm sure your answer is the cable company, but reality is that no company is going to spend that kind of money for no return on investment.

As to the "retail" box market, at one time Motorola tried this and had little interest in purchasing it. Cable modems are a great example, most people pay the rental fee rather than buying their own. This may not be true of people on DSLR, but for the majority it is. It's easy to claim that a privately owned market would thrive, but I again disagree because after someone had a surge that killed their box 2 months after they bought it they would then find the value in rental equipment. This is much the reason that many people don't buy their own modems, it's a great deal if your modem lasts two years, but if it gets fried inside six months then you were better off with a rental.

Finally, as someone who has worked in the service side of cable, I can speak firsthand of the additional costs that come with customer owned equipment. With company owned equipment it's a no questions asked swap. Those who own their own equipment are insistent that the problem is not their modem and frequently require 2-4 service calls before they accept it. At the same time the customer does not want to pay for the repeated service calls because they shouldn't have to. I've even heard the argument that the modem is in warranty, so it should be covered but they are unwilling to understand that their warranty is with Motorola not the cable company. Compare this to any other industry, for example if you go to the doctor, you are charged for the office visit and any additional fees required for the diagnosis. Should you decide to get a second opinion you will then will again pay those fees. You can substitute the word doctor for almost anything such as, auto mechanic, HVAC technician, etc. The cable business is one of the few industries where the consumer believes they shouldn't have to pay anything to get the cable guy to their house. They do not consider that a $50 fee doesn't even cover the $100 it takes to get the vehicle and the tech to your home.


Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to alexintexas
said by alexintexas:

no i said cable companies are flagging x-channel at the request of x-content provider to disable recording on pc tuners and even tivos, not on cable co dvr, so say i have a centon or even a tivo say fox does not want my market to record to my dvr they send the flag request to the cable co. thus all cable cards (cable dvr's excluded) in my market would be blocked from recording fox.

Cable companies are not allowed to disable recordings. It is illegal to flag anything other than On Demand programming as not being recordable (CCI 0x03). It is also illegal to flag local broadcast channels as not copyable (CCI 0x02).

If your cable company is flagging said programs, report them to the FCC.

Note: not copyable (0x02) is not the same as not recordable (0x03). The former can be recorded, but can't be copied off the device that recorded them. The later can be temporarily recorded, but most be automatically deleted within 90 minutes of the program ending.
--
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to considerthis
My parents have been running their SB5100 since 2003. We got it for free at Circuit City(!!!) on a rebate deal. Even at retail, it's paid for itself many times over.

Cable techs shouldn't have to go to the user's home unless there is a plant issue. The cable company's responsibility ends at the demarc, and if Comcast can provide a good signal to the demarc, it's the homeowner's responsibility beyond that. This is why I was annoyed when Comcast forced us to have a tech come out to install the MoCA filter for whole-home DVR. It was a brain-dead simple job to install it, you just put it before the first splitter and you're done. In fact, we're at the point where Comcast can't seem to provide enough power, so the internal setup, through the use of an amp, is compensating for the low power coming in. Theoretically, they should fix it, but we had the amp already, so trying to convince Comcast that their plant is broken was a lot harder than plugging the amp in, and getting basketball (SNY) back up in HD.

Back on topic, the current boxes are Moto or Sci Atlanta. However, you can make a box that would work on either, and CableCard gear works on both. TiVo even has VOD on Moto systems, and if Comcast would figure out how, it would get VOD through Sci Atlanta systems. Comcast really should regionalize their cable systems, instead of running a whole bunch of small cable plants, like Verizon has done. If they ran SHE's like Verizon did, they could provide a more consistent experience. They would have to convert their few Sci Atlanta markets to Motorola, and in the process, would have to roll out dual-mode cable boxes, but I'd imagine anything new and Comcast-branded that they are getting custom built are dual-mode anyways. Comcast is horrendously slow to upgrade because of the little feudal cable systems, and the support people don't have a clue what's going on in any one local system, whereas with regional systems, they would all be exactly the same, and the support folks would know exactly what's going on.


considerthis

@comcast.net
said by BiggA:

They would have to convert their few Sci Atlanta markets to Motorola, and in the process, would have to roll out dual-mode cable boxes, but I'd imagine anything new and Comcast-branded that they are getting custom built are dual-mode anyways.

These are things that cost a lot of money to upgrade. You may remember another cable company that tried to do mass upgrade to the later backend and line gear. That company was Charter and it landed them in bankruptcy. These upgrades you speak of all cost a lot of money and will not generate much new revenue it any. As to the support people, they will not have a clue anyway.

said by BiggA:

Cable techs shouldn't have to go to the user's home unless there is a plant issue. The cable company's responsibility ends at the demarc, and if Comcast can provide a good signal to the demarc, it's the homeowner's responsibility beyond that. This is why I was annoyed when Comcast forced us to have a tech come out to install the MoCA filter for whole-home DVR. It was a brain-dead simple job to install it, you just put it before the first splitter and you're done.

I won't argue the DEMARC with you because you are correct. Part fo the point I was making is that most customers do not understand nor think like you do. I have personally been told that because we installed the lines 10 years ago we have to fix them for free, or that as the cable provider it was our job to diagnose and even fix the TV for free. People that understand DEMARC's and responsibility are a rarity from my experience.

For the MOCA filter, they don't require a tech install it because you are not capable. They require it because many customers would simply install the equipment and disregard the filter because they don't understand that it is to prevent MOCA signals above 1GHz from traveling back into the plant. You have to view this from average customer knowledge rather than your knowledge. I have went to many houses where the owner did not know where the utilities enter the property, how can a company rely on those kind of customers to install a filter?


Morac
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join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
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said by considerthis :

For the MOCA filter, they don't require a tech install it because you are not capable. They require it because many customers would simply install the equipment and disregard the filter because they don't understand that it is to prevent MOCA signals above 1GHz from traveling back into the plant. You have to view this from average customer knowledge rather than your knowledge. I have went to many houses where the owner did not know where the utilities enter the property, how can a company rely on those kind of customers to install a filter?

It doesn't help when you have techs give contradictory info. I bought a MoCA filter and was talking to a tech out for a modem signal problem about installing it and he told me that he wouldn't bother as it just "adds another piece of equipment that can go wrong".

I actually still haven't bothered to install it yet as the tech tightens the splitter connections so tight that I need a wrench to get them open and haven't felt like wrestling with it with it being 20 degrees out. That and things are working okay currently (though I'm convince Comcast has a headend problem near me as I've been getting constant T4 errors on one upstream channel for months).

One would think though that Comcast would just install filters at the block, if they were worried about signal leakage.
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BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to considerthis
True. The cable company owning the equipment in many installations doesn't help, as the cable company owns to the demarc, doesn't own inside wiring, and then owns the boxes, it sort of becomes a head-scratcher.

I guess it's too sophisticated for Comcast, but they could theoretically set boxes that have WHDVR up so that if they saw another account's MoCA equipment, they would both lock down until the proper filters were installed, but then again, there probably are a lot of multi-family installations where two or three or four subs share a single MoCA channel, and the filter is upstream of splitters going to individual units...

A lot of people are dumb and can't seem to get the concept of tracing wires... But, at the same time, they shouldn't treat everyone as if they are technologically and logically challenged.