COMCAST forcing digital cable boxes down suscribers' throats!!! (Merged)

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by MielR, May 23, 2009.

  1. Stan

    Stan Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 18, 1999
    Messages:
    3,807
    Likes Received:
    432
    My biggest complaint was mentioned by the OP, I can't watch one channel while recording another, since I now have to go through their little STB.

    On the other hand, for the two TVs I don't use that often, they now get about 30 more channels than before since switching to digital. Comcast also didn't charge me anything for the equipment.

    I'd go satellite if I could, but don't really have a decent place to mount a dish. That leaves Comcast, which has a monopoly where I live.
     
  2. Brian^K

    Brian^K Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, you could get satellite if you had a decent place to mount a dish, so Comcast doesn't have a monopoly. [​IMG]

    As it is, if you did go satellite, they'd force you to have a box on every television, as well.
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,680
    Likes Received:
    453
    Just for laughs, I decided to chat with Comcast this evening, and here's the transcript (with personal stull x'd out).


    So, I don't think these digital adapter thingamabobs will do much for my situation at all, but if it cost them money to provide them free to me, so be it. Looks like I'm going to look into ATT U-verse and see when they'll be in my area (my officemate was able to get their service, as did another co-worker that lives near me).
     
  4. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 1999
    Messages:
    17,239
    Likes Received:
    443
    Location:
    Disney World and Universal Florida
    Real Name:
    Tony D.
    Patrick wow.

    I never had a problem with the dvr set top box until last year when the price for a second went from about $10 up to $20 were i live.
    I quickly gave back the extra box.

    last month i checked to see what the price was now for an extra box nd now it's about $15 but they offered me a discount of $7.99 for 6 months, so i took it.
    btw I love the dvr, i stopped using my vcr as soon as i hooked up my first dvr and tried a dvd recorder
    but found the process to be clumsy and far from easy, so it went back.

    I don't see what the trouble with recording
    onto a vcr or dvd recorder for those who have been doing it.
    All you have to do is set the stb to go to the show you want to record
    and it will tune right to it at the time of the show's airing.
    This whole thing reminds me of when cable first arrived about 30 years ago or so.

    there was no other option but to have a box and to tune your tv to channel 4.
    Didn't other me then and really doesn't now, it's just the way it is.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    17,353
    Likes Received:
    1,937
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    The wording is ambiguous:

    "iO offers over 100 HD channels** in all, including NY sports, movies, and local channels in HD for FREE!"

    I read this sentence like Scooter does and take everything in the list to be encapsulated in the "for free":

    "including (NY sports, movies, and local channels) for FREE!"

    A more accurate wording would either be: ""iO offers over 100 FREE HD channels** in all, including NY sports, movies, and local channels" if all HD channels are free, or "iO offers over 100 HD channels** in all, including movies and NY sports! Local channels in HD for FREE!" if only the local channels are free in HD.

    I have a feeling many of the legacy cable operators are going to use the June 12th OTA digital transition as an excuse to forcefeed digital cable to existing analog standard cable subscribers.
     
  6. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 1998
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    0
    That sure sounds like advancement. [​IMG]
     
  7. Brian^K

    Brian^K Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0
    You'd be wrong. They are working at their own pace. They took a break during the period the FCC asked them to take a break, to preclude such confusion between the two transitions, from January to March 2009, but now they are back executing their projects, intended to improve their service offerings to better compete with their competitors. It is utterly unfair to expect companies to take more than three months off from trying to compete against their competitors.
     
  8. Brian^K

    Brian^K Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. That seems to sum up the last page or so. [​IMG]
     
  9. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 1998
    Messages:
    1,505
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    DFW Area Texas
    Real Name:
    Scooter
    For the record, I still don't feel my take on this is wrong. The sentence and commercials make no bones about it. At minimum, it's misleading. If the sentence was written as in Adam's example, you would be right. However, it is not and thus, fraudulent.
     
  10. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 1998
    Messages:
    1,505
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    DFW Area Texas
    Real Name:
    Scooter
    From Cablevision's Website:
    QUOTE:
    Does HD cost more?
    No. HD service from iO TV® is free. Here's what you'll need:
    A High Definition Television (HDTV).


    An HD cable box connected with HD-compatible cables.
    Exchange your current cable box for an HD cable box (same monthly charge) at any Optimum Store location, or call us to have an HD cable box shipped to you at no charge. Make sure you connect your HD cable box using the component cables provided or an HDMI cable (purchased separately).


    A program broadcast in HD.
    HD channels begin at channel 700. Note: Not all programming on HD channels is broadcast in high definition.
    Depending on your iO TV package, you may receive up to 70 HD at no additional monthly charge.

    Please visit your local Optimum Store or contact your local Cablevision representative to order an HD cable box today.

    So it's not really free. You need to rent the box. They try to make a difference between their service and FiOS, as I stated earlier.
     
  11. Brian^K

    Brian^K Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0
    However, when you use a legal term, you are held up to legal standards, so you are absolutely "wrong" about what you've said here. Something isn't fraudulent because you've misunderstood it.
     
  12. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 1998
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're creating something I never said so you can argue against it, for whatever reason. I never mentioned switching to a competing provider such as Dish Network. In fact, I've said the opposite. I was with Comcast because they offered something the others didn't. When they no longer do, I won't be with them either.

    I've attempted to clarify it for you a few times now, but you seem stuck on what you imagine I'm saying rather than what I'm clearly saying. So hopefully this example connect with you.

    Let's say say I eat Golden Arches Lean Deluxe Plus burgers because I only eat "burgers" that are 85%+ lean. Let's further say that Golden Arches decides they will no longer sell the burger because it isn't profitable for them. I then decide that I'll no longer frequent Golden Arches. What you've done is said I'm being unbalanced and consumerist for making (and expressing) that decision because no other mass fast food place offers an 85%+ lean burger either. You're further trying to explain basic business concepts (I've run one successfuly for over 20 years). Neither of which has anything to do with me saying I'll no longer eat at Golden Arches because they no longer offer a product that works for me.

    I'm just not understanding what you expect me to say? Am I to say that I'll go ahead and eat the 60% lean burger they offer because that's about what everyone else offers as well? Or should I perhaps just not say anything at all if my position represents the minority? Or can I simply say that I realize Golden Arches may benefit from their decision, but as a consumer, I don't make decisions based on what benefits them, but what benefits me -- just as they do.
     
  13. Brian^K

    Brian^K Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0
    In a nutshell, "I have canceled my subscription to (insert service provider here) because I don't like that their service is .... " More importantly, what I object to is statements along the lines of, "(Insert service provider here) is wrong to do .... " when such statements are made in the absence of the aforementioned "balance".
     
  14. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 1998
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    0
    I objected to you ascribing that position to me when I never said anything like that. I'm glad we got it clarified.

    Thank goodness I don't work in the UN. I'm tired just from this discussion. [​IMG]

    -

    It appears it's appropriate to say "Happy Memorial Day", though given the purpose of the day, I've a difficult time using "Happy". So I'll just say to my fellow Americans, take the time to remember our fallen heroes in uniform.
     
  15. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 1999
    Messages:
    17,239
    Likes Received:
    443
    Location:
    Disney World and Universal Florida
    Real Name:
    Tony D.
    You guys are realy being silly about this.
    I think I agree with brian.

    How could anyone think any of that would be free despite the wording on the
    web site is hard to fathom.
     
  16. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2001
    Messages:
    971
    Likes Received:
    2
    I don't know if this will remain valid but in markets where they roll out the DTAs (digital transport adapters), the expanded basic package (currently called "Standard) should be unencrypted. At least that was the case due to some of the limitations of the DTA devices.

    In major markets (like Chicago, July 2007) they will surely abandon the channel trap system, which will force encryption and full set-top-boxes, but in smaller markets they might go Clear and use the DTAs. (leaving the traps in place)

    I think the Piracy issue they refer to is the removal of traps in areas that are too large to police the issue. Small areas should be more manageable and the cost may be cheaper to go Clear.
     
  17. Brian^K

    Brian^K Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    0
    To be precise, it isn't due to any limitation in the DTA, but rather limitations imposed by the FCC (essentially banning use of inexpensive, i.e., non-CableCARD equipped, host devices for reception of encrypted services). There is a small but significant chance that the FCC will relent and grant a waiver to allow the DTAs to be enabled such that they will work with encrypted services. There are two reasons why the FCC might do this: First, it can be readily demonstrated that this will reduce costs for the lowest level customers, which is often the FCC's overriding concern. Second, it may be possible to demonstrate that the FCC is exhibiting substantial bias with regard to the application of related regulations as it pertains to the legacy terrestrial subscription television service provider versus satellite service providers and other terrestrial service providers. That might put the FCC in the position of having to choose between imposing new regulations on satellite (something that they have been readily reluctant to do) or granting this waiver.
     
  18. MielR

    MielR Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,000
    Likes Received:
    31
    Real Name:
    MielR
    Thanks for doing that- it saves me the trouble of having the same conversation. [​IMG]

    The Comcast site does show diagrams (or descriptions of diagrams) where ---using a splitter and an A/B switch--- you can watch a channel from 2-30 (analog?) while recording a channel from 30-78 (digital).
    http://www.comcast.com/MediaLibrary/...tch_analog.pdf

    They also have a wiring description which addresses the issue of QAM tuners and HD-channels- so you can watch your HD-channels that the QAM tuners provide, and the ability to use an A/B switch to switch back to the set-top box channels (faq #28):
    Comcast: FAQs
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    17,353
    Likes Received:
    1,937
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Fair enough, I had no idea about the moratorium. I disagree with your characterization, however. Why are matters of fairness out of bounds when it comes to misleading advertising copy from the cable industry aimed at consumers, but matters of fairness are very much in bounds when it comes to consumer-friendly measures imposed by the government onto the cable industry?

    For decades, securing a cable franchise in a given municipality was a license to print money -- a government-endorsed monopoly with perhaps a public access TV station or some equipment for the local school district in return. Only the agricultural industry has benefited from government intervention more. Since FiOS TV has to obtain its own franchising agreements to break into many markets, its government shackles are far more prohibitive and lasting than a three month consumer-friendly moratorium.

    And since the digital tiers are already available, it's difficult to call these measures an effort to "improve their service offerings". In order to be more competitive, the cable industry is moving towards limiting their service offerings to the higher end tiers. Eventually, the low-cost basic tier mandated in many franchising agreements will be the only analog service left.

    All of which is an argument for exercising one's induvidual right in a free market economy to cancel one's service and taking advantage of the advertising-driven and freely available HD over the air broadcasts. I spent three years of the last five without cable (except for high-speed internet) and very rarely missed it.
     
  20. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    2,590
    Likes Received:
    431
    Real Name:
    William Hughes
    I've been without Cable for 30 Months now. I do not miss it at all![​IMG]
     

Share This Page