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Old 11-13-2006, 02:14 PM   #1
sandman10881
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Another CableCARD question??

I contacted my cable company today on getting a cableCARD. My cable company is a local no name cable company. They said they offer cableCARD's for purchase of $125.00. They do not rent them. They also stated if I were to purchase one, I could take it with me if I were to move to another provider. Anyone else experience this?

Since they are the only cable company in the area, I am outta luck. Don't know if I want to spend $800.00 for a Tivo + 250.00 for two cableCARD's + $299 for the TIVO service
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:44 PM   #2
dt_dc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman10881
They also stated if I were to purchase one, I could take it with me if I were to move to another provider.
Sure you can take it with you ... but will it actually work? Get that part in writing if you can.

If you move to system that uses a different CA vendor ... no, it won't. Even if you move to a system that uses the same CA vendor ... well ... I won't say it's 'impossible' to get a CableCard from a different cable plant to work but ... good luck trying.
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:46 PM   #3
Horrortaxi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dt_dc
Sure you can take it with you ... but will it actually work? Get that part in writing if you can.
Not that it will do much good to have it in writing. The new cable co won't have to honor the old company's claim that you can transfer your card. You'll have proof that your cable company is full of crap, but that's of little practical value.

The cable companies seem to have enough difficulty getting their own cards to work.

I'd be afraid to buy a CableCARD considering all the problems they have with them. It seems like they have a failure rate of about 50%. What if yours (and I do mean yours since you own it) is dead out of the box? Or hangs on the firmware update screen? It's bad enough to be stuck between Tivo and the cable company when there's a problem. Imagine being in a 3-way with Tivo, the cable co, and the card manufacturer all blaming each other.

It sounds strange to me that they'd make you buy your own equipment. How many people do you know who have had to buy their own cable boxes? Usually they go to great lengths to keep you from doing that. I'm surprised they let us buy our own cable modems.
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horrortaxi
It sounds strange to me that they'd make you buy your own equipment. How many people do you know who have had to buy their own cable boxes? Usually they go to great lengths to keep you from doing that. I'm surprised they let us buy our own cable modems.
I agree In the past 18 months, Adelphia has thrice unilaterally assumed my OWN cable modem is theirs and added on a $3 per month charge for the 'lease'. I have to call, make them rectify it, and usually have an apologetic phone rep (again, unilaterally ... maybe because I'm always so polite about it) offer me a free month of SkineMAX or something as compensation for the hassle

I think I've heard of other cable companies requiring the purchase of cards as well. Long as ...
a. They guarantee they'll take it back if it doesn't work with the S3 (because, goshdangit, it ISN'T going to be TiVo's fault!)
b. They warrant the card for a year against premature death or freezes during firmware upgrades
b.2. Assuming they ever push firmware upgrades to a product they don't own
c. You plan to keep your S3 for at least a few years to approach the break-even compared to the lease price of $4-5 per month for a pair of CableCards
... I don't see why you should be worried.

but I seriously doubt your mom-and-pop cable company will agree to all of the above!
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:14 PM   #5
Jiffylush
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fcc mandate?

Isn't it mandated that they have to be available for rental from your cable card company?

Hell, tell the CSR's supervisor it is and see if you can't work some magic
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:25 PM   #6
kido
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman10881
I contacted my cable company today on getting a cableCARD. My cable company is a local no name cable company. They said they offer cableCARD's for purchase of $125.00. They do not rent them. They also stated if I were to purchase one, I could take it with me if I were to move to another provider. Anyone else experience this?

Since they are the only cable company in the area, I am outta luck. Don't know if I want to spend $800.00 for a Tivo + 250.00 for two cableCARD's + $299 for the TIVO service
I would call TiVo and see if they will do a conference call with your cable company to get definitive answers from them. It is in TiVo's best interest to have reasonable access to cablecards for all cable customers, so I bet they would pursue it.
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:29 PM   #7
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Oh, one other point to the OP (and anyone else). If you do buy CableCard(s) from your local provider ... I wouldn't try / plan on taking them with you. However, you should be able to sell them to someone else before you move ... they'll work on that (same) cable plant just fine ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horrortaxi
Not that it will do much good to have it in writing. The new cable co won't have to honor the old company's claim that you can transfer your card. You'll have proof that your cable company is full of crap, but that's of little practical value.
proof that your cable company is full of crap = priceless

But anyway, no ... the only practical value I could see would be to (try) to get your $125.00 (or $250.00) back from the original cable company when you move and the new cable company says "huh? no, we don't support that". Although, that's got about a snowball's chance in heck of happening too.

Of less concrete value though ... I've found that asking for something in writing from a cable (or any industry) CSR makes them actually double-check with someone who actually knows what the heck they're talking about ... or at least send you a pre-canned response written by someone who actually knows what the heck they're talking about. Misinformation is a heck of alot easier to spout off in a conversation than to actually write down. At the very least, you also avoid the typical "telephone" / "down the alley" pitfalls / misunderstandings ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horrortaxi
It sounds strange to me that they'd make you buy your own equipment. How many people do you know who have had to buy their own cable boxes? Usually they go to great lengths to keep you from doing that.
Cox Fairfax (and at least one other Cox system) wouldn't rent you an HD cable box for a while. They made you buy the exact same box at Best Buy that they now rent (this was before CableCard).

Actually ... it wasn't quite the same box. It was even more of a POS with even less capabilities / outputs. They didn't start leasing boxes again untill an upgraded version came out.

Let's see ... it costs $x for a cable company to buy a CableCard (or box). They're regulated and can only charge $y for it. If they can't make $x over the lifetime of the product ... why buy it and lease it? Well, one reason may be people wanting the equipment but not willing to put up the initial investment. They might choose to go to DBS or somewhere else ... but it's not like the cable company has to worry about that with CableCards.
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiffylush
Isn't it mandated that they have to be available for rental from your cable card company?
Not AFAIK:
Quote:
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2...7cfr76.640.htm

Cable operators shall ensure, as to all digital cable systems, an adequate supply of PODs
Quote:
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2...cfr76.1204.htm

A multichannel video programming distributor that utilizes navigation devices to perform conditional access functions shall make available equipment that incorporates only the conditional access functions of such devices.
They gotta be "available". "Available for purchase" ... "Available for rental" ... either would meet those requirements.
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:42 PM   #9
ashu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiffylush
Isn't it mandated that they have to be available for rental from your cable card company?

Hell, tell the CSR's supervisor it is and see if you can't work some magic
Only for large enough companies. Who have been around long enough.

[soapbox]
Verizon is already trying to wriggle out of this by requestng delays on having devices that support CableCards (to replace their UGH standalone boxes) because, in their words "We're new to the game, Your Honor".

Bollocks!
[/soapbox]

<edit> I see dt_dc clarified that .. apparently they're required, but not necessarily for rental (implying maintenance of and ownership by the cable provider, which is expensive for small cable cos)
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman10881
They said they offer cableCARD's for purchase of $125.00. They do not rent them. They also stated if I were to purchase one, I could take it with me if I were to move to another provider. Anyone else experience this?
In your case, you should be able to locally resell them before you move.

In Canada, at least with some major providers, customer digital cable box ownership is normal practice. Motorola boxes can usually be used across providers, SA based boxes usually not.
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