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alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Mr Matt

Re: Nasty

said by Mr Matt:

I am particularly irritated because I replaced two televisions in 2011 in guest bedrooms so visitors could watch TV without interfering with our viewing. At that time it was not necessary to use a STB to receive 70 extended basic channels. Then Comcast cut it down to 21 limited basic channels. Now it is 0 channels. In view of the fact that our lawmakers are corrupt do not expect to see any action to resolve this gouging. I am sure that Comcast will continue to raise prices on the DTA's until consumers are paying $5.00 or more per month without being able to view all programming that they are paying for. I cannot justify paying $9.95 plus tax per month for an HD STB that is only used a couple of weeks per year.

so what would your recommendation be?

have 1,2,15,25,50,100,200 analog channels?
then in that case have 1/2 your subscriber base stealing the service and screw the signal levels for everyone else = 1000's of un needed service calls/visits

go back to 1990 with 70 analog channels and 256kb internet if your lucky, no phone service, no dvr, no on demand and still have major signal issues due to theft of service

who pays for the upfront cost of equipment????
cable co are not going to eat these cost's and now due to content providers continued path of programming rate hikes. cable gets less and less profit. so now to keep those profits they jack the rental on equipment

you can build your own dvr box and put in the cable card/s
but even for a 3 tv setup the upfront cost are VERY high for most US consumers.

so i again ask you what is your recommendation?

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

REGULATION is the answer. Up until last year I could receive up to around 70 channels without additional equipment on a cable ready television set. That was fine for guests that wanted to catch up on the news or cartoons for the kids. We are back to the pre Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992.

There was an article about why the act was made law. Some congressmen and senators were pissed off because they could purchase a cable ready television and not use the remote control because they had to rent a descrambling converter to watch programming on each television. That was the main reason that the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 was passed. The lawmakers got tired of being screwed by the cable industry. The cable companies were only allowed to scramble premium and pay per view programming.

One solution would be to regulate the price of equipment to descramble an encrypted signal. The cable company could charge a one time right to use fee and no monthly fee. Ownership and maintenance cost would be the responsibility of the cable company. An incentive to keep the equipment in good condition would be to return part of the right to use fee if the customer cancelled service. The DTA's should be provided at a low cost say $25.00 with no monthly charge. Ownership would be retained by the cable company. The DTA would have to be returned when service was discontinued. Cable companies should be prohibited from charging for each outlet.

I would be satisfied if I could purchase a STB at best buy or any other store, that accommodated one cable card and did not require that I paid a monthly fee for that outlet. Do not expect to have any relief on this gouging since the cable industry is paying off our corrupt lawmakers to screw their constituents.


Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

in canada you can buy the box with out the outlet or mirroring fees. Some systems even have rent to own as well.



swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS
reply to Mr Matt

said by Mr Matt:

Up until last year I could receive up to around 70 channels without additional equipment on a cable ready television set.

Yeas and? This is the result of technology and progress. They want the reclaimed bandwidth for advanced services with a bit of security sprinkled in. Satellite and TelcoTV got a free pass, cable should be under the same deal here.
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alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Mr Matt

said by Mr Matt:

REGULATION is the answer.

REGULATION really??? you 100% sure about that...Pots is a fine example why government intervention is not needed, ah but wait you do come up with an idea.

said by Mr Matt:

One solution would be to regulate the price of equipment to descramble an encrypted signal. The cable company could charge a one time right to use fee and no monthly fee. Ownership and maintenance cost would be the responsibility of the cable company. An incentive to keep the equipment in good condition would be to return part of the right to use fee if the customer cancelled service. The DTA's should be provided at a low cost say $25.00 with no monthly charge. Ownership would be retained by the cable company

you still fail on answering, who pays the upfront costs of said equipment? Someone pays it, its not the cable company, its not our government..then you go on to say the cable co keeps paying to maintain it ------never going to happen

said by Mr Matt:

I would be satisfied if I could purchase a STB at best buy or any other store, that accommodated one cable card.

sure this is a fantastic idea however @ $600 per STB or upto $1200 per dvr? how many subscribers do you think will dole this out? you wouldnt. lets not forget you still would pay to lease said cable card per device.

one simple solution, CUT THE DAMN CORD!!! take that $1200+ per year you would save.

todays day an age there are way to many other streaming options to many to list.

another solution have the government REMOVE cable companies and content providers from ever being publicly traded companies, this however is a pipe dream

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL

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.


alexintexas

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

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


Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL

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.


alexintexas

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

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


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.


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

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
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

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.