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Old 02-11-2014, 07:25 PM   #31
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Are cable boxes (their implementation of functions such as switching, ppv, on demand) regional?

I wondered why TiVo never created specific boxes for Comcast, time warner, etc. ie Cell phones and carriers.

Then they could sell those to the cable cos for rental
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:06 PM   #32
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Yes the special stuff like that has to use equipment paired to the head end equipment. There are really only two variations, Cisco and Motorola, but they are different and would require different boxes.

A few years back TiVo ported their software to run on Motorola hardware so that cable companies could deploy it on the equipment they already owned. Comcast tested it in a few markets but it never took off. TiVo also sells Premiere and Roamio units to smaller cable companies that use apps which work through the internet to support PPV/VOD stuff.* Although they still require tuning adapters as TiVos don't have the DOCSIS modem required to support SDV directly and it's not currently something that can be piped through the internet.

* In a lot of Comcast areas you can access PPV/VOD through an app as well. It works by using a special head end server that allows TiVo to communicate with it over the internet.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:14 PM   #33
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Most cable cos don't use SDV, so tuning adapters aren't required. However, if Comcast ever made the mistake of going to SDV, it seems to me that they should be able to use the existing VOD software and gateways in markets that have it to also do SDV. However, they would still need TAs for markets that don't have the VOD, or for MCE machines, and for the software method to work, they could have to make the VOD work reliably in the first place.

There are cable boxes out there now, like the X1, that will work on either Moto or SA systems, not sure how that compares to a straight CableCard device. Maybe all the guide data and 2-way communication is through another system that is laid on top of both Moto and SA head ends?

Comcast should sell TiVos, but they are invested in their own stupid X1 platform. It would be amazing if they had Comcast TiVos and worked with TiVo to add more features. At least they support more than is legally required for TiVo. It's a smart move to support TiVo as well as possible, as customers like me would have left for DirecTV if it weren't for TiVo and CableCard.

The Comcast Motorola thing was weird, they sent a box with a remote in it. I don't think they ever ran it on whole-home capable hardware though... It also had 4 FF speeds, not 3 for some reason.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:27 PM   #34
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Most cable cos don't use SDV, so tuning adapters aren't required. However, if Comcast ever made the mistake of going to SDV, it seems to me that they should be able to use the existing VOD software and gateways in markets that have it to also do SDV. However, they would still need TAs for markets that don't have the VOD, or for MCE machines, and for the software method to work, they could have to make the VOD work reliably in the first place.

There are cable boxes out there now, like the X1, that will work on either Moto or SA systems, not sure how that compares to a straight CableCard device. Maybe all the guide data and 2-way communication is through another system that is laid on top of both Moto and SA head ends?

Comcast should sell TiVos, but they are invested in their own stupid X1 platform. It would be amazing if they had Comcast TiVos and worked with TiVo to add more features. At least they support more than is legally required for TiVo. It's a smart move to support TiVo as well as possible, as customers like me would have left for DirecTV if it weren't for TiVo and CableCard.

The Comcast Motorola thing was weird, they sent a box with a remote in it. I don't think they ever ran it on whole-home capable hardware though... It also had 4 FF speeds, not 3 for some reason.
The Comcast VOD stuff couldn't be used for SDV if they implemented it. It's just not even close to being related to SDV or suitable for adaptation, especially since there are one way devices that they'd have to implement TAs for anyway.

I suspect the X1 boxes do DSG (DOCSIS Set-top Gateway). I believe this is how TWC's new OCAP based Navigator/ODN software works since they are rolling out Samsung boxes. The Cisco/Motorola propriety primarily applies to two-way, since all of those boxes are legally required to have separable security, they can give you a Samsung box that uses DOCSIS for the return path and stick a cable card in that is appropriate to the system in use.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:57 PM   #35
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The Comcast VOD stuff couldn't be used for SDV if they implemented it. It's just not even close to being related to SDV or suitable for adaptation, especially since there are one way devices that they'd have to implement TAs for anyway.

I suspect the X1 boxes do DSG (DOCSIS Set-top Gateway). I believe this is how TWC's new OCAP based Navigator/ODN software works since they are rolling out Samsung boxes. The Cisco/Motorola propriety primarily applies to two-way, since all of those boxes are legally required to have separable security, they can give you a Samsung box that uses DOCSIS for the return path and stick a cable card in that is appropriate to the system in use.
Yes, they would still need TAs for MCE, and there probably would be one stupid guy somewhere using a CableCard slot in a TV, even though it's nonsensical use for CableCard. Their VOD system has two-way communication to allocate QAM channels, so some additional code should bridge it right over to SDV. It's just a matter of getting the right systems to talk to each other, and making it work reliably.

The whole guide system is proprietary too- CableCard devices have to have their own guide, i.e. TiVo and MCE downloading it over the internet.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:34 PM   #36
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Yes, they would still need TAs for MCE, and there probably would be one stupid guy somewhere using a CableCard slot in a TV, even though it's nonsensical use for CableCard. Their VOD system has two-way communication to allocate QAM channels, so some additional code should bridge it right over to SDV. It's just a matter of getting the right systems to talk to each other, and making it work reliably.

The whole guide system is proprietary too- CableCard devices have to have their own guide, i.e. TiVo and MCE downloading it over the internet.
CableCard TVs are not compatible with Tuning Adapters (or, at least the vast, vast majority of them are not).
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:22 AM   #37
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That's mainly because they stopped making TVs with CableCARD slots before SDV and TAs really existed. Early on they made a buch of CableCARD TVs but they were typically $100-$200 more then an equivelent TV without CableCARD support, were a nightmare to get installed and didn't offer any support for VOD or PPV, so they were a total flop. TiVo only held on through the really rough parts because they offered a DVr that was better then most cable offerings at the time. Then they held on even longer by suing people and winning hudreds of millions of dollars. If TiVo hadn't of survived CableCARD would essentially be dead and cable companies would be pushing even harder for the FCC to let them ditch it.

The ironic thing is these days with cable systems going all digital and requiring cable boxes for every TV in the house I think small CableCARD enabled TVs would actually sell well. Provided they were cheap enough and didn't carry a hefty premium like before.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:22 AM   #38
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That's mainly because they stopped making TVs with CableCARD slots before SDV and TAs really existed. Early on they made a buch of CableCARD TVs but they were typically $100-$200 more then an equivelent TV without CableCARD support, were a nightmare to get installed and didn't offer any support for VOD or PPV, so they were a total flop. TiVo only held on through the really rough parts because they offered a DVr that was better then most cable offerings at the time. Then they held on even longer by suing people and winning hudreds of millions of dollars. If TiVo hadn't of survived CableCARD would essentially be dead and cable companies would be pushing even harder for the FCC to let them ditch it.

The ironic thing is these days with cable systems going all digital and requiring cable boxes for every TV in the house I think small CableCARD enabled TVs would actually sell well. Provided they were cheap enough and didn't carry a hefty premium like before.
I have a cable card HDTV (I don't have a cable card in the TV as I am now using a TiVo for the signal) but when I did use the HDTV with the cable card you could not get any guide information so all you had was the ch. number, very hard to use, at least the non DVR cable box told you what was playing and the ch name.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:55 AM   #39
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Oh yeah, forgot about the guide. I never watch live TV so I forget people actually use guides. Although there are TVs going back 20 years that could pick up a free guide OTA, I wonder why they didn't use that?
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:59 AM   #40
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Oh yeah, forgot about the guide. I never watch live TV so I forget people actually use guides. Although there are TVs going back 20 years that could pick up a free guide OTA, I wonder why they didn't use that?
On the 1 TV that I still have just hooked up to the analog cable on TW, I also get the local broadcast channels in HD coming through in ClearQAM, and there is data on the current show (and I think the next show) that comes through that. I assume Time Warner embeds that info into the signal, so you should in theory be able to at least have guide data for what is currently on live TV on a TV with a cablecard slot.
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:00 PM   #41
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CableCard TVs are not compatible with Tuning Adapters (or, at least the vast, vast majority of them are not).
Well, there you go. Are they still required to do CableCards if they got SDV working through software with TiVo and MCE, since those are the only two platforms that could use TAs anyways?

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That's mainly because they stopped making TVs with CableCARD slots before SDV and TAs really existed. Early on they made a buch of CableCARD TVs but they were typically $100-$200 more then an equivelent TV without CableCARD support, were a nightmare to get installed and didn't offer any support for VOD or PPV, so they were a total flop. TiVo only held on through the really rough parts because they offered a DVr that was better then most cable offerings at the time. Then they held on even longer by suing people and winning hudreds of millions of dollars. If TiVo hadn't of survived CableCARD would essentially be dead and cable companies would be pushing even harder for the FCC to let them ditch it.

The ironic thing is these days with cable systems going all digital and requiring cable boxes for every TV in the house I think small CableCARD enabled TVs would actually sell well. Provided they were cheap enough and didn't carry a hefty premium like before.
The whole idea of them was stupid, since you cut both VOD and the DVR out of the picture. If they could have supported 2-way communication to work with VOD and a network DVR, then they would have started to make sense.

The only reason to use CableCard is to use a TiVo or MCE machine, as otherwise, you're just getting LESS functionality.

Small TVs are even harder to put CableCards in, as they are cheaper in the first place, would drive up the costs of making them, and a lot of them are probably connected to either DTA's, which are cheaper than CableCards, or multi-room DVRs, and CableCard TVs aren't DVRs.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:00 AM   #42
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CableCard TVs make even MORE sense today in the analog to digital switchover than before because the DTAs that cable companies are sending out to analog-only customers do not do SDV do not have guides and do not do any two way. They are one way, non SDV CableCard tuners. They really shot themselves in the foot on that one. If they had embraced CableCard, they could have shifted the cost of the tuner for basic cable subs onto the subs themselves.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:50 AM   #43
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Exactly. For cheap secondary TVs CableCARDs are just as functional as the cheap DTAs and are actually cheaper in most cases. (Usually $2-$3 instead of $5). And because the require no wiring they make a much cleaner install.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:56 AM   #44
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Exactly. For cheap secondary TVs CableCARDs are just as functional as the cheap DTAs and are actually cheaper in most cases. (Usually $2-$3 instead of $5). And because the require no wiring they make a much cleaner install.
I have a cable card HDTV (that now I don't use a cable card in), it is in a guest bedroom connected to a TP without a sub that I use as a tuner (with that cable card) as you get at least the channel title like HBO etc that one never got with just the TV and cable card, also the HDTH uses 25 watts when off to keep the cable card powered. (I unplug both the TV and TP unless I have a guest coming).
To me a cable card HDTV makes no sense for many reasons including not being able to handle the SDV cable systems (that I don't have), I guess they could build a cable card HDTV with a USB port able to handle the TA but that system would still makes no sense to me.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:32 PM   #45
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The problem is that CableCARD TVs never kept pace with CableCARD technology. The one you have is old from the early days of CableCARDs. I assume a newer one would have a rudimentary guide, a USB for TA if needed, H.264 support, and multi-stream support so you could use PIP if you wanted. Without a TA install would be a lot cleaner, especially if you are hanging the TV on a wall.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:22 AM   #46
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Exactly. For cheap secondary TVs CableCARDs are just as functional as the cheap DTAs and are actually cheaper in most cases. (Usually $2-$3 instead of $5). And because the require no wiring they make a much cleaner install.
Except a DTA is $2/mo, whereas a CableCard is $7 or $8/mo, so the DTA makes a LOT more sense. If you're going to pay for a CableCard, you may as well get another box for that TV.

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The problem is that CableCARD TVs never kept pace with CableCARD technology. The one you have is old from the early days of CableCARDs. I assume a newer one would have a rudimentary guide, a USB for TA if needed, H.264 support, and multi-stream support so you could use PIP if you wanted. Without a TA install would be a lot cleaner, especially if you are hanging the TV on a wall.
Pretty sure they don't exist at all anymore. They were just so pointless. Much better to have either a TiVo Mini or the MSO's multi-room DVR solution plugged in.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:30 AM   #47
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Except a DTA is $2/mo, whereas a CableCard is $7 or $8/mo, so the DTA makes a LOT more sense. If you're going to pay for a CableCard, you may as well get another box for that TV.
Not in all places. Here, CableCARDs are $2.50. As for DTAs, they are are $1 here. (Yet another reason I dread Comcast buying TWC, if Comcast is indeed charging $7-8/mo for a CableCARD. Yikes.)

I'm fairly convinced that the only reason DTAs are relatively inexpensive is that they are under extreme political pressure to make sure they don't disenfranchise customers, primarily older customers, who are accustomed to "cable-ready" TVs that they could just plug into a wall and use without additional equipment. Left to their own devices, MSO's would probably charge as much or more for DTAs as they do for CableCARDs.
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Pretty sure they don't exist at all anymore. They were just so pointless. Much better to have either a TiVo Mini or the MSO's multi-room DVR solution plugged in.
As with the others, I disagree with the pointless comment.

Putting aside the cost aspect, for a secondary room where you don't necessarily need all that a TiVo or a MSO set-top box provides, a CableCard-integrated TV would have been a perfect option (if not for SDV, of course). Simply slide the CableCard into the TV, and you could then just plug it into the coax outlet in the wall. Very simple, and it would approximate how "cable-ready" TVs have worked for years.

I've got one TV in my house that I watch on a regular basis, and of course I have a TiVo hooked up to that. I also have another TV that I rarely watch, but it's nice to have there when I'm working in that area. That TV has a DTA hooked up to it, but if a CableCARD TV were still an option, that would be preferable to me; it would do everything the DTA does now, with less wiring mess.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:53 PM   #48
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Comcast CableCard costs vary by franchise. Our price is $1.15 per card with the first one free in a device that requires 2 and that's dropping to $1.00 per card next month.

They do charge $9.95 for additional digital outlet service but this is the same if you used their DVR as well.

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Old 02-16-2014, 01:14 PM   #49
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Geez. And people are OK with Comcast? Holy hell. $10 "additional outlet service"? Ridiculous. And people give TWC crap. At least I can have unlimited outlets without getting charged extra for them. WTF.

But that's a topic for a different thread, I suppose.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:19 PM   #50
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Comcast CableCard costs vary by franchise. Our price is $1.15 per card with the first one free in a device that requires 2 and that's dropping to $1.00 per card next month.

They do charge $9.95 for additional digital outlet service but this is the same if you used their DVR as well.

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Cox is $1.99/card and free SDV adapters.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:31 PM   #51
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Except a DTA is $2/mo, whereas a CableCard is $7 or $8/mo, so the DTA makes a LOT more sense. If you're going to pay for a CableCard, you may as well get another box for that TV.
Must be based on company. Here a CableCARD is only $2/mo and they don't offer DTAs so you have to get a real box for every room which is $5/mo.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:40 PM   #52
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Geez. And people are OK with Comcast? Holy hell. $10 "additional outlet service"? Ridiculous. And people give TWC crap. At least I can have unlimited outlets without getting charged extra for them. WTF.

But that's a topic for a different thread, I suppose.
That's an additional digital outlet where you get full service either with your own equipment or with their cable box or DVR. DTA outlets with limited basic are $1.99 which includes the DTA (up to 2 additional and then an additional $0.50 for each above that).

According to TWC's website for your city, additional outlets with cable boxes are $19.99 which seems comparable to what it would be with Comcast ($19.90 for the first with a cable box but then only $9.95 for any above that which would be cheaper than TWC).

"For every cable box you need an outlet. 1 outlet is included, each additional is $19.99."

Note that I'm not getting charged an additional digital outlet fee for my second S3 OLED with 2 CableCards but that doesn't seem to be the same for all franchises.

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Old 02-16-2014, 02:00 PM   #53
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That's an additional digital outlet where you get full service either with your own equipment or with their cable box or DVR. DTA outlets with limited basic are $1.99 which includes the DTA (up to 2 additional and then an additional $0.50 for each above that).

According to TWC's website for your city, additional outlets with cable boxes are $19.99 which seems comparable to what it would be with Comcast ($19.90 for the first with a cable box but then only $9.95 for any above that which would be cheaper than TWC).

"For every cable box you need an outlet. 1 outlet is included, each additional is $19.99."

Note that I'm not getting charged an additional digital outlet fee for my second S3 OLED with 2 CableCards but that doesn't seem to be the same for all franchises.

Scott
I actually have one TiVo HD with CableCARD and tuning adapter, one TiVo Roamio with CableCARD and tuning adapter, and one DTA. I've never been charged an additional outlet cost.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:10 PM   #54
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According to TWC's website for your city, additional outlets with cable boxes are $19.99 which seems comparable to what it would be with Comcast ($19.90 for the first with a cable box but then only $9.95 for any above that which would be cheaper than TWC).

"For every cable box you need an outlet. 1 outlet is included, each additional is $19.99."

Note that I'm not getting charged an additional digital outlet fee for my second S3 OLED with 2 CableCards but that doesn't seem to be the same for all franchises.

Scott
Please provide a link to TWC's website that says there is an additional outlet fee in some markets. I've never heard of such a thing with Time Warner.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:25 PM   #55
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Please provide a link to TWC's website that says there is an additional outlet fee in some markets. I've never heard of such a thing with Time Warner.
Ah-hah... found where he quoted that from... but he is misunderstanding, or (I hope) less likely, deliberately misleading.

The $19.99 cost is a one-time cost for a technician to install a brand new outlet, not a monthly additional outlet cost. You can tell because the immediate next line is "*Note: most home outlets are pre-wired for cable and don’t require service tech installation."

(You can also tell because the only place that line appears is on the new service order form...)

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Old 02-16-2014, 05:15 PM   #56
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Not in all places. Here, CableCARDs are $2.50. As for DTAs, they are are $1 here. (Yet another reason I dread Comcast buying TWC, if Comcast is indeed charging $7-8/mo for a CableCARD. Yikes.)
Interesting. I'm pretty happy with a total monthly cost of -$2.50. If I need more tuners, I can just get a Roamio Plus or Pro. With 6-tuner systems available for MCE and TiVo, there is little reason to have more than one.

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As with the others, I disagree with the pointless comment.

Putting aside the cost aspect, for a secondary room where you don't necessarily need all that a TiVo or a MSO set-top box provides, a CableCard-integrated TV would have been a perfect option (if not for SDV, of course). Simply slide the CableCard into the TV, and you could then just plug it into the coax outlet in the wall. Very simple, and it would approximate how "cable-ready" TVs have worked for years.
TVs are worthless without a DVR, and other than DirecTV's system with a few Samsung sets, that's going to require some sort of box. Hence why CableCard TVs are pointless.]

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Originally Posted by LoadStar View Post
Geez. And people are OK with Comcast? Holy hell. $10 "additional outlet service"? Ridiculous. And people give TWC crap. At least I can have unlimited outlets without getting charged extra for them. WTF.

But that's a topic for a different thread, I suppose.
You'd still have to have a CableCard or box. Or a TiVo Mini, which would be the same as Comcast or FIOS.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:28 PM   #57
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TVs are worthless without a DVR, and other than DirecTV's system with a few Samsung sets, that's going to require some sort of box. Hence why CableCard TVs are pointless.
That may be true to you but a LOT of people still watch live TV.

The original intention of the CableCARD mandate was to replicate "cable ready" TVs in a digital world. The cable companies made it so difficult to get and install one, and then limited their functionality even further with SDV, that that intention was never met. But these days with cable companies going all digital and breaking people's "cable ready" TVs the main reason for having CableCARD TVs is coming back around.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:15 PM   #58
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That may be true to you but a LOT of people still watch live TV.

The original intention of the CableCARD mandate was to replicate "cable ready" TVs in a digital world. The cable companies made it so difficult to get and install one, and then limited their functionality even further with SDV, that that intention was never met. But these days with cable companies going all digital and breaking people's "cable ready" TVs the main reason for having CableCARD TVs is coming back around.
Cable ready TV are not coming back, I have one (I don't use anymore) and you can't tell what ch your on as there is no information beyond the ch number, I guess many ch tell you in the right bottom of the screen, but not all do. The cost savings of getting a cable card for your HDTV and getting a cable box is not that much and then you do get VOD and other services like caller ID on your TV etc.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:38 PM   #59
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Cable ready TV are not coming back, I have one (I don't use anymore) and you can't tell what ch your on as there is no information beyond the ch number,
This is no different than the DTAs, nor any different than what people were accustomed to with the old "cable-ready" TVs.
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The cost savings of getting a cable card for your HDTV and getting a cable box is not that much and then you do get VOD and other services like caller ID on your TV etc.
Here:
CableCARD - $2.50
Basic Cable Box - $10

That's a $90 difference after just one year.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:40 PM   #60
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The cost savings of getting a cable card for your HDTV and getting a cable box is not that much
On TWC, a CableCard is $2.50/month and a cable box is $10.95/month, so the difference is $8.45/month which translates into $101.40/year per TV. That seems like a pretty significant savings to me.
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