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Old 11-23-2010, 04:34 PM   #1
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FCC Cablecard Rule Changes

Interesting comments by Tom Rogers in his earnings release today:

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Additionally on the TiVo-Owned front, we are also encouraged by a recent Federal Communications Commission action updating its rules to, among other things, ensure that retail CableCARD devices have access to all linear cable channels delivered using switched digital video techniques, providing discounts on cable bundles to subscribers who bring their own retail box, and providing a CableCARD self-installation option so that retail customers do not need to wait around for a cable installer. The FCC expressed its intention to strictly enforce its CableCARD rules and we believe these updates will help make our TiVo-Owned products more attractive to consumers. We also believe that this will make it easier for our CableCARD customers to deal with issues at the point of sale.
Discounts on cable bundles with TiVo and self-install of cablecards.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:47 PM   #2
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Any link to read all the details of the earning call?

This is just repeating the new rules.

Unfortunately the cable companies were given 9 months to allow self-installs if they already allow self-install of equipments. They were given 12 months if they don't allow any form of self-install.

Also with regards to the discounts this is more to do with cable companies who made it cheaper to keep their DVR/STB due to how it was bundled. Some people paid more even if they only had a CableCARD. The new rule is supposed to do away with it, but people are now arguing over what formula the companies will be required to use for the discount.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:07 PM   #3
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NVM found the link.

http://investor.tivo.com/phoenix.zht...=irol-calendar
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:15 PM   #4
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Comcast allows self-installs in some areas but not others so are they bound by the 9 month rule in areas that they don't currently offer self-installs?

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Old 11-25-2010, 01:36 PM   #5
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I didnt think FiOS allows self installs of cable cards either..would be nice if they did!
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:56 PM   #6
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Comcast allows self-installs in some areas but not others so are they bound by the 9 month rule in areas that they don't currently offer self-installs?

Scott
As I recall, they're bound by the shorter timeframe if they allow self-installs of equipment in any area.
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:14 AM   #7
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In my area Comcast recently stopped charging for CableCARDs (well they still charge for a 2nd card in a device like the original S3). My guess is that this was a result of the FCC stating that CableCARDs had to be a separate item on the bill even for cable provided cable boxes.

I doubt Comcast will ever allow self-installs, regardless of what the FCC says.
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:46 AM   #8
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I doubt Comcast will ever allow self-installs, regardless of what the FCC says.
I don't think they're going to have a choice. A small cable company could probably get away with it, but the nation's largest cable provider would have a hard time blatantly disregarding an FCC mandate.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:33 AM   #9
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I don't think they're going to have a choice. A small cable company could probably get away with it, but the nation's largest cable provider would have a hard time blatantly disregarding an FCC mandate.
Particularly the nation's largest cable provider trying to complete what is probably the largest entertainment merger in history, and therefore one in the spotlight and one wanting to make the government happy.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:16 AM   #10
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I don't think they're going to have a choice. A small cable company could probably get away with it, but the nation's largest cable provider would have a hard time blatantly disregarding an FCC mandate.
Oh they'll say they do and then they still won't be able to pair it on the phone requiring a truck roll. Unless they set up a system where you can type in the pairing info on a web site this is doomed to failure. That in itself would be dangerous because I can see mistyping a number a depairing someone else's cards.
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:45 PM   #11
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I doubt Comcast will ever allow self-installs, regardless of what the FCC says.

I did a self-install with Comcast three days ago.
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:30 PM   #12
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I did a self-install with Comcast three days ago.
I did also but it was three years ago, now they won't let me but they did give me a free truck roll because I asked to do it myself. So they may get around the self install mandate by not charging for the install of cable cards.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:43 AM   #13
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I have been involved in about 10 cablecard installs with Comcast over the past five years. Originally they were tedious and always with problems. I think I have trained a dozen of their techs on how to do it. My last one about 3 months ago was unbelievable. The Tech put the card in the box, called his office and told them to authorize it and it was finished in 5 minutes, without a problem. He said that their system now sent the cablecard-id, host and data numbers automatically back to the headend, eliminating the need to read and communicate them over the phone (or internet).

There is really no need to have a truck roll here and I have been trying to convince them of that.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:24 AM   #14
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My Comcast CableCARD install this week was a $16 truck roll, where the one earlier this year was an outrageous $79. I didn't ask for a self-install for reasons below. The last time the tech used his handheld to text the numbers in. This time he called and it only took one call with one trip through the numbers, "It should be working now" - and it was.

For my $16 the tech did a complete health check to look for the weak signal I've been getting so he was here for over an hour. It took over an hour for us for figure out how the cables were routed because I forgot that my main output is wired weird and not on the home run from my wiring close the other outlets are on..
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:24 AM   #15
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My last install didn't go so well. The installer (contractor) couldn't reach any one on the Comcast dispatch number and sat on hold for 40 minutes before hanging up. He ended up calling his office, who could add the cards to my account and activate them, but not pair them. He said that was good enough and left. I tried calling support, but you have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting a phone tech who knows how to pair cards. I had to go the Twitter route to get them paired. I can't see self installs having any chance of working with the current support system setup.

Comcast can't even provision modems correctly (my upload speeds are provisioned wrong) and they've been out over 10 years.
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Old 11-27-2010, 12:59 PM   #16
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I did a self-install with Comcast three days ago.
Love your avatar...


On topic...I've had several CableCARD installs with Mediacom and only been charged for one, as I recall....
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:40 PM   #17
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I didnt think FiOS allows self installs of cable cards either..would be nice if they did!
This week, FIOS made me wait 3 weeks for an installer to come to my home with the cable card. He had no clue as to what to do. I opened the case for the card and plugged into my new 2nd Tivo. I turned on the Tivo. The installer went to the TV and read the info to someone on his cellphone to activate it. what a waste of the installers time ( 2hours) plus my waiting fro 5 hours for him to arrive "anywhere from 8am TO 5pm".
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:54 PM   #18
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I recently got a Tivo Premiere and called Comcast for a Cablecard install. I was expecting the worst after all the horror stories on this site, but I'm glad it didn't go that way.

The techician (who I actually knew) stuck the card in the back of the Tivo, it was detected, there was a 5 minute call to the headend and that was that. Dual-tuner digital goodness. Smooth as silk install for me.

Soooo much better than my ghetto rigging of a Series2 analog + digital through external Comcast tuner - that was a nightmare of cables and recording limitations.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:18 PM   #19
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Oh they'll say they do and then they still won't be able to pair it on the phone requiring a truck roll. Unless they set up a system where you can type in the pairing info on a web site this is doomed to failure. That in itself would be dangerous because I can see mistyping a number a depairing someone else's cards.
Agreed. This will allow the cable company to point the finger at you or Tivo, saying it's your fault it's not working, and they won't to do anything to fix it. I'm sure they'll suggest you use their DVR instead.

I think the FIOS model is good. The FCC can make the truck roll free. If it wastes the installer's time, and that time isn't getting paid for anymore, the cable co. will naturally want to improve self-installation. (Or hide the charge in the cable card fees).
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:03 AM   #20
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Wait, what does this mean?

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ensure that retail CableCARD devices have access to all linear cable channels delivered using switched digital video techniques
Tivo can already access linear cable channels using only a cable card. It's asking to receive all channels via SDV?
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:17 PM   #21
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Tivo can already access linear cable channels using only a cable card. It's asking to receive all channels via SDV?
It SHOULD mean that the retail boxes should be allowed to talk up the line to request the channel or via the internet. The cable companies will interpret it as "sell tuning adapters".
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:21 PM   #22
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Interesting comments by Tom Rogers in his earnings release today:



Discounts on cable bundles with TiVo and self-install of cablecards.
We initially discussed this here:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...ablecard+rules

But that's the long and short of it, plus a few other things like mandatory support of SDV. TiVo's IP backchannel proposal in lieu of tuning adapters was shot down. THat would have been awesome for those afflicted with SDV if approved.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:24 PM   #23
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Wait, what does this mean?

Tivo can already access linear cable channels using only a cable card. It's asking to receive all channels via SDV?
It means that there has to be some means for CableCARD devices to access SDV on systems that have it. The FCC did not mandate any method to do so, nor did it mandate SDV.

Previously SDV support for CableCARD was not mandatory but I believe it was widely supported by cable companies on a voluntary basis, thanks to TiVo's efforts.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:56 PM   #24
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It means that there has to be some means for CableCARD devices to access SDV on systems that have it. The FCC did not mandate any method to do so, nor did it mandate SDV.

Previously SDV support for CableCARD was not mandatory but I believe it was widely supported by cable companies on a voluntary basis, thanks to TiVo's efforts.
So is it basically the tuning adapter "solution" that we are currently stuck with?
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:37 PM   #25
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I doubt Comcast will ever allow self-installs, regardless of what the FCC says.
I did a self-install in Houston. They charged me $10 for the privilege, which was very annoying, but they did allow it.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:52 PM   #26
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So is it basically the tuning adapter "solution" that we are currently stuck with?
likely in the real world for most.
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:38 PM   #27
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So is it basically the tuning adapter "solution" that we are currently stuck with?
Yes, if that's what the cable company chooses to deploy. The difference is that it's required to work. The FCC has provided a place to complain and warned that they will strictly enforce these new rules.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:30 PM   #28
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... The difference is that it's required to work. The FCC has provided a place to complain and warned that they will strictly enforce these new rules.

should i laugh now or wait a year?

the FCC so far has been the poster child for ineffective regulatory enforcement when it comes to third party device support for um, I dont know, 14 years? Why should this year be different then the previous 14?

Hopefully I'm completely wrong and all of a sudden they become relevant but I just dont believe it. Especially since they rolled over on any quick meaningfull changes. 9-12 months to allow self installs? No IP backchannel? home gateway devices- when we get to it? what's different?

it's like the spoiled kid whose mom says "this time I really mean it"
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:26 PM   #29
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The cable companies will interpret it as "sell tuning adapters".
But aren't tuning adapters actually typically free (unlike cable cards)?

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should i laugh now or wait a year?

the FCC so far has been the poster child for ineffective regulatory enforcement when it comes to third party device support for um, I dont know, 14 years? Why should this year be different then the previous 14?
Have _you_ complained to the FCC? We wouldn't even HAVE cable cards if it were not for the FCC, thus no (reasonable(*)) Tivo use currently.

(*) No, I don't consider an IR blaster controlling an external box to be reasonable, which is why I never had a cable box for premium channels. (Long long ago, I could get/pay for HBO on analog with no box.) I still wish I had Clear QAM support, but cable cards work pretty darn well.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:02 AM   #30
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should i laugh now or wait a year?

the FCC so far has been the poster child for ineffective regulatory enforcement when it comes to third party device support for um, I dont know, 14 years? Why should this year be different then the previous 14?
Only time will tell. At least now consumers will have a channel for complaint and (hopefully) some kind of leverage when a cable company rep says that they don't have multi-stream cards or tuning adapters.

I don't expect a big change, but I do think that we'll see incremental improvement along the lines of what we've seen with CableCARD installs. For whatever that's worth.

On the subject of charging for tuning adapters, I think the new rules will prevent that. The requirement for pricing parity should dictate that if a cable company box doesn't require any extra charge hardware to tune SDV channels neither should a third party box.
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