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Old 10-16-2008, 04:42 PM   #1
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FCC fines TWC and Cox for deploying SDV

interesting... small fines, but interesting:

http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/10/16...digital-video/
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:45 PM   #2
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No tuning adapters

I don't think anybody has tuning adapters.
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:47 PM   #3
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That's interesting since the FCC told me that they didn't see a problem in Time Warner's SDV install. Very interesting.
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:51 PM   #4
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I don't think anybody has tuning adapters.
Comcast has started deploying them to Tivo customers in New Jersey area:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=406956
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:07 PM   #5
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Edit - I was wrong and looked at an older fine where they were fined for not giving eniough notice. My apologies.

Last edited by ah30k : 10-17-2008 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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Ben Drawbaugh has made so many mis-statements that I had to look further into this. The fine was not for deploying SDV but for not giving enough notice of the channel change. Bloggers with no clue make statements on supposedly legit blog site and then people run away with the incorrect statements. Sheesh! A bit of a difference, don't ya think?

Here is a more reputable story. http://www.lightreading.com/document...62284&site=cdn
You are looking at an older FCC proposed fine. This article has more current info:

http://www.multichannel.com/article/....html?nid=4262
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:43 PM   #7
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Ben Drawbaugh has made so many mis-statements that I had to look further into this. The fine was not for deploying SDV but for not giving enough notice of the channel change.
wrong, at least for their Cox Fairfax ruling

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...-08-2299A1.doc
Quote:


. Moreover, such implementation of SDV, without having in place standards to ensure bi-directional compatibility of cable television systems and CE equipment, effectively significantly harms the Commission’s policies to move navigation devices toward a fully competitive market. We note that Cox could have sought a waiver of these rules under Section 76.1207, but failed to do so.

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Old 10-16-2008, 07:49 PM   #8
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Ben Drawbaugh has made so many mis-statements that I had to look further into this. The fine was not for deploying SDV but for not giving enough notice of the channel change. Bloggers with no clue make statements on supposedly legit blog site and then people run away with the incorrect statements. Sheesh! A bit of a difference, don't ya think?

Here is a more reputable story. http://www.lightreading.com/document...62284&site=cdn
The FCC's "Notice of Apparent Liability For Forfeiture and Order" concerning TWC Oceanic and Cox Fairfax were issued yesterday and can be see here and here. That article that you cite was posted in August. If you read the NALFFOs, you'll see that the basis of the fines and (more significantly) ordered refund of subscriber fees and reduction in future UDCP-using-subscriber rates was due to the implementation of SDV and not at all concerning any lack of notice.

Maybe there was an earlier ruling against them fining them for insufficient notice to their franchising agencies, but what we're talking about is something else.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:53 PM   #9
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I don't think anybody has tuning adapters.
Yes, there are people with Tuning Adapters, on at least a Comcast New Jersey system. See this thread.
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:33 AM   #10
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So, cox fairfax pays $20,000 and I still get screwed?

I feel much better now.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:05 AM   #11
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So, cox fairfax pays $20,000 and I still get screwed?

I feel much better now.
I hear you, but one thing about this type of fine is that they can give more fines for not fixing the problem. The other fine noted before that was due to notice not being given was a one time deal. If they don't move on this soon, they could be risking even more fines. Trust me by making the move to SDV they have not made $20000 extra in any single market (yet anyways). So they will be looking to not be fined again if this does stick.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:39 AM   #12
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limitations on networked navigators

Looking at the links provided by mikeyts here, I found it quite an interesting read. One paragraph jumped out that relates to True2way and the next TiVo DVR.
Quote:
Excerpt from FCC NAL File Number EB-07-SE-352

25. The deployment of SDV technology may provide public benefits.

...

TWC's movement of linear programming to an SDV platform is particularly troubling because no bi-directional navigation devices are commercially available at this time. We understand that a major impediment to the availability of such devices is the cable industry's insistence on licensing conditions that go beyond the protection of the network from physical or electronic harm or theft or service. For example, limitations on the ability to integrate broadband capability into competitive
navigation devices and the ability to integrate web-based or IP content with cable-provided programming
are not related to Congress' recognition that MVPDs have "a valid interest, which the Commission should continue to protect, in system or signal security and in preventing theft of service." We consider such restrictions to be contrary to Congress and the Commission's shared policy goal of expeditious commercial availability of bi-directional navigation devices.
Is it possible this is the sticking point that is holding up a true2way TiVo DVR with all the feature we know and have come to love?
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:03 PM   #13
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Is it possible this is the sticking point that is holding up a true2way TiVo DVR with all the feature we know and have come to love?
sure would look that way. TiVo certainly has a way to make VOD/PPV compete directly with other broadband offerings. I figured comcast was pushing the Tivo design through cablelabs so it would be able to point to a 3rd party device using tru2way for the FCC. Perhaps there is more pushback from other cablelabs partners than Comcast expected
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:44 PM   #14
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The FCC's "Notice of Apparent Liability For Forfeiture and Order" concerning TWC Oceanic and Cox Fairfax were issued yesterday and can be see here and here. That article that you cite was posted in August. If you read the NALFFOs, you'll see that the basis of the fines and (more significantly) ordered refund of subscriber fees and reduction in future UDCP-using-subscriber rates was due to the implementation of SDV and not at all concerning any lack of notice.

Maybe there was an earlier ruling against them fining them for insufficient notice to their franchising agencies, but what we're talking about is something else.
So extrapolating, if the ruling wasn't because of lack of notice then that means that customers who continue using UDCPs and cannot use a TA should continue to get discounted rates and that should apply universally to all cable providers employing SDV.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:32 PM   #15
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So extrapolating, if the ruling wasn't because of lack of notice then that means that customers who continue using UDCPs and cannot use a TA should continue to get discounted rates and that should apply universally to all cable providers employing SDV.
I don't know about it applying universally to all cable providers--they might actually have to issue findings and orders on a system-by-system basis. In the case of TWC Oceanic, we don't have to extrapolate--they explicitly ordered that:
Quote:
b. For CableCARD customers that kept their CableCARDs even after notice of the SDV deployment, TWC must refund the customers' subscriber fees based on the diminished value of their service following the movement of linear programming to an SDV platform and reduce their rates on a going-forward basis accordingly.

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Old 10-17-2008, 01:45 PM   #16
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So extrapolating, if the ruling wasn't because of lack of notice then that means that customers who continue using UDCPs and cannot use a TA should continue to get discounted rates and that should apply universally to all cable providers employing SDV.
I agree. I'm no lawyer, but this tells me that implementing SDV and taking programming away from Cable Card customers is a violation. It states pretty clearly in the title for Section D: "Cox Must Issue Refunds To Customers Harmed by Its SDV Implementation."

This is a huge ruling, and a great win for consumers. We can only hope that other cable systems will comply with the ruling.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:57 PM   #17
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here's the one thing that will suck. In the ruling, it mentions channels taken away.

Cox NoVA implemented SDV in Oct 2007. Back then, i think only NFL network HD was on SDV (as far as HD channels). SINCE THEN, they've added HD channels to the tune of about 20 or so.

I think Cox will say that those channels were never available to us and thus we're not harmed by those not being available, since we're not paying extra for those HD channels.

i don't care much for the small refund i'd be getting... i just want the darned TA, so hopefully this pressure from the FCC will get them to move a little faster, not to mention, educate their freagin tech support people about what all this is.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:12 PM   #18
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This is a huge ruling, and a great win for consumers. We can only hope that other cable systems will comply with the ruling.
I actually think it could be a potential big loss for cable TV consumers if it hinders SDV deployment in any way. SDV is among one of the most cost-effective means of improving bandwidth efficiency for cable companies and so hindering it's deployment could lead affected cable companies to increase prices, offer more compressed channels, offer less channels, etc.
Especially now that TAs are becoming available at little to no cost to Tivo customers I don't thing Tivo subscribers should have a beef with it anymore. Other UDCP devices that can't benefit from TAs are still an issue and so owners of those devices still have a legitimate beef, but for the benefit of cable TV consumers as a whole (not even counting Tivo owners) hindering SDV is not a good thing.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:19 PM   #19
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I actually think it could be a potential big loss for cable TV consumers if it hinders SDV deployment in any way. SDV is among one of the most cost-effective means of improving bandwidth efficiency for cable companies and so hindering it's deployment could lead affected cable companies to increase prices, offer more compressed channels, offer less channels, etc.
Especially now that TAs are becoming available at little to no cost to Tivo customers I don't thing Tivo subscribers should have a beef with it anymore. Other UDCP devices that can't benefit from TAs are still an issue and so owners of those devices still have a legitimate beef, but for the benefit of cable TV consumers as a whole (not even counting Tivo owners) hindering SDV is not a good thing.
the FCC ruling specifically says that rolling out SDV is not the problem, it's that they're not allowing fair access to the programming and limiting consumers to ONLY the cable company provided equipment.

In other words, good job on innovation, but hurry up and offer the TA to people with cable cards so they're not forced to get your box to watch those channels. The TA is now approved by cablelabs. It's available in Comcast NJ. It shouldn't be another 6 months before we get it.

If they're innovative enough to deploy SDV, the TA should not be 1.5 -2 years behind it.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:23 PM   #20
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Man this burns me.

When I reported Cox to the FCC back when they implemented SDV on us in NoVa, I basically got a response to "piss off, its cool, they can do this, you're a schmuck."

But on the positive side: I'll be getting a refund, AND this will incentivize Cox to get those damned adapters distributed already (so they can return to full price).
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:25 PM   #21
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here's the one thing that will suck. In the ruling, it mentions channels taken away.

Cox NoVA implemented SDV in Oct 2007. Back then, i think only NFL network HD was on SDV (as far as HD channels). SINCE THEN, they've added HD channels to the tune of about 20 or so.

I think Cox will say that those channels were never available to us and thus we're not harmed by those not being available, since we're not paying extra for those HD channels.

i don't care much for the small refund i'd be getting... i just want the darned TA, so hopefully this pressure from the FCC will get them to move a little faster, not to mention, educate their freagin tech support people about what all this is.
Actually, if you look at the old "Cox Nova SDV" thread, there were a number of lesser watched channels that got moved to SDV immediately upon implementation. Not HD, but still moved.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=362981
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:26 PM   #22
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My question is why are only TW and Cox getting fined? They're not the sole offenders.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:41 PM   #23
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My question is why are only TW and Cox getting fined? They're not the sole offenders.
maybe they just have the most judicious customers who wrote to the fcc? that's my guess.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:13 PM   #24
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From reading this is for Fairfax County ... will the FCC need to rule in every community (or area) that a cable company is in? Or can they fine TWC as a whole?
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:56 PM   #25
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I actually think it could be a potential big loss for cable TV consumers if it hinders SDV deployment in any way. SDV is among one of the most cost-effective means of improving bandwidth efficiency for cable companies and so hindering it's deployment could lead affected cable companies to increase prices, offer more compressed channels, offer less channels, etc.
Especially now that TAs are becoming available at little to no cost to Tivo customers I don't thing Tivo subscribers should have a beef with it anymore. Other UDCP devices that can't benefit from TAs are still an issue and so owners of those devices still have a legitimate beef, but for the benefit of cable TV consumers as a whole (not even counting Tivo owners) hindering SDV is not a good thing.
You have a valid point - SDV in principle is not a bad thing as it can open up bandwidth and offer more programming to the consumer. But it does stifle competition when it limits the consumer's ability to use something other than the cable company's proprietary box - like a Tivo HD or CableCard or other device. I think it's fair to require the cable companies to provide consumers access to the programming they are paying for and give them the option to use equipment that is not owned by the provider.
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:21 PM   #26
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You have a valid point - SDV in principle is not a bad thing as it can open up bandwidth and offer more programming to the consumer. But it does stifle competition when it limits the consumer's ability to use something other than the cable company's proprietary box - like a Tivo HD or CableCard or other device. I think it's fair to require the cable companies to provide consumers access to the programming they are paying for and give them the option to use equipment that is not owned by the provider.
I hear you, though satellite TV companies have their own "walled garden" systems as well and are under no FCC mandates to open them to stimulate competition, which doesn't strike me as exactly fair to cable companies or good for consumers either. The pressure on cable companies lately to provide more HD channels is directly a result of these satellite companies who have an unfair advantage in this regard.
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:48 PM   #27
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I think it's fair to require the cable companies to provide consumers access to the programming they are paying for and give them the option to use equipment that is not owned by the provider.
The cable providers are doing that with the emerging tru2way technology (bidirectional CableCARD V2--and later, DCAS--plus OCAP). Unfortunately Unidirectional Digital Cable Products like TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD can't use interactive services like Video On Demand, Impulse Pay-Per-View and channels provided as switched broadcasts. (TiVos will be able to access switched broadcasts with Tuning Adapters, but few if any other of the millions of UDCPs sold will be able to use the TA; of course, very few of those UDCPs will ever have CableCARDs plugged into them ).

The FCC knows the deal. Perhaps the most significant part of that ruling is the order to reduce the cost of cable for people who do choose to use CableCARDs in UDCPs. If you can't view a large percentage of the channels in the packages to which you subscribe then you shouldn't pay as much for those packages.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:32 PM   #28
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I hear you, though satellite TV companies have their own "walled garden" systems as well and are under no FCC mandates to open them to stimulate competition, which doesn't strike me as exactly fair to cable companies or good for consumers either. The pressure on cable companies lately to provide more HD channels is directly a result of these satellite companies who have an unfair advantage in this regard.
You should read this: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=260501 But yes things have changed and DBS is no longer small, DirecTV and DISH together have (IIRC)30 Million sub. So the FCC should look into bringing DBS into the fold.

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Old 10-18-2008, 01:35 AM   #29
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So, cox fairfax pays $20,000 and I still get screwed?

I feel much better now.
According to the article, you may be due a refund...
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:43 AM   #30
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here's the one thing that will suck. In the ruling, it mentions channels taken away.

Cox NoVA implemented SDV in Oct 2007. Back then, i think only NFL network HD was on SDV (as far as HD channels). SINCE THEN, they've added HD channels to the tune of about 20 or so.

I think Cox will say that those channels were never available to us and thus we're not harmed by those not being available, since we're not paying extra for those HD channels.

i don't care much for the small refund i'd be getting... i just want the darned TA, so hopefully this pressure from the FCC will get them to move a little faster, not to mention, educate their freagin tech support people about what all this is.
I think that if they added more channels that you don't receive and keep the price the same, you should get a bigger refund. Because it's still package/channels = price per channel. If the percentage of channels that you don't get goes up, your discount should too.

Now, if they implemented a seperate non-SDV package at a price, then yes, your discount wouldn't change.
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