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considerthis

@comcast.net
reply to Zoder

Re: Nasty

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.