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Old 07-17-2014, 07:33 AM   #1
plazman30
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It's 2014. Can we buy Cablecards yet?

I'm renting 2 cablecards from Verizon at $4.99/each. I just want to buy the thing and be done with it.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:45 AM   #2
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:51 AM   #3
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Why would they want to do that? They have to support it and it generates revenue far in excess of its cost at retail.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:51 AM   #4
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Why would they want to do that? They have to support it and it generates revenue far in excess of its cost at retail.
You can purchase your own modem and save a monthly charge, you can't purchase a cable card (or the cable co.s cable box) on most MSO because of security and head end issues.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:34 AM   #5
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I wish.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:46 AM   #6
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You can purchase your own modem and save a monthly charge, you can't purchase a cable card (or the cable co.s cable box) on most MSO because of security and head end issues.
Only 2 companies manufacture CableCards (Cisco and Motorola) so your cable company can just tell you which one you need to buy for your service address. And I really don't see what security issues there would really be. A CableCard is probably less hackable than a cable modem, and you can buy those at retail and use them on the cable companies networks.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:32 PM   #7
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Only 2 companies manufacture CableCards (Cisco and Motorola) so your cable company can just tell you which one you need to buy for your service address. And I really don't see what security issues there would really be. A CableCard is probably less hackable than a cable modem, and you can buy those at retail and use them on the cable companies networks.
Most cable co have an inventory system of their equipment, they don't want the expense of adding new numbers, although Cable Card are not two way the MSO does know when you have one in the system as they can get feedback from each cable card, I know this because of a problem I puled the CC out of my TiVo and the person on the phone told me I just removed the CC from their system, they also knew when I put it back into the TiVo.

How would one hack a modem as it is on or off, a cable card is off but never just on, its activated with just the ch you are paying to receive, modems can be activated without a phone call (at least with Comcast CT).
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:47 PM   #8
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modems can be activated without a phone call (at least with Comcast CT).
And CableCards can be paired without a phone call (at least on FiOS). I really don't see much of a difference between the 2.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:31 PM   #9
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Modems need replacing from time to time, so their pricing folks probably modeled that out somehow to allow for user ownership (and how many actually do this? I'm the only one I know). Cablecards are hardly touched. Once paid for, they are a small cash register.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:34 PM   #10
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Modems need replacing from time to time, so their pricing folks probably modeled that out somehow to allow for user ownership (and how many actually do this? I'm the only one I know). Cablecards are hardly touched. Once paid for, they are a small cash register.
The FCC should have regulations that require cable companies to allow users to buy their own modems and CableCards just like the regs they have to allow users to purchase their own set-top boxes at retail.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:05 PM   #11
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The purpose of CableCARDs is to allow you to buy your own STB at retail. The FCC imposes price limits on the monthly rental cost of a CC. ($3 max I believe)

However both MSOs and CE makers have come to the conclusion that CCs are a PITA so the successor will likely be a downloadable security system with no monthly fee at all. The big question is whether there will be an industry standard or if each MSO will use it's own system making it so devices have to be MSO specific or spend extra R&D to make their products universal.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:29 PM   #12
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The FCC should have regulations that require cable companies to allow users to buy their own modems and CableCards just like the regs they have to allow users to purchase their own set-top boxes at retail.
What cable set top boxes can you purchase that don't require a Cable Card and activation??
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:45 PM   #13
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What cable set top boxes can you purchase that don't require a Cable Card and activation??
Um, none. I never said there were. All cable set-top boxes have CableCards in them that require activation, whether MSO rented or purchased at retail. That is the universal security standard for cable boxes in this country.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:48 PM   #14
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The FCC should have regulations that require cable companies to allow users to buy their own modems and CableCards.
DITTO

Soon I bet Verizon, Comcast, Cox etc demands to enter our homes to see how many minis we have so they can multiply or cable card charge "appropriately". Greedy SOBs.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:31 PM   #15
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The purpose of CableCARDs is to allow you to buy your own STB at retail. The FCC imposes price limits on the monthly rental cost of a CC. ($3 max I believe)
You apparently didn't read the original post, where the person is being charged $4.99/cablecard.

Others have quoted the FCC documents, and IIRC it says they can charge a "reasonable" amount.

You also _may_ get a "customer owned equipment" credit, if you have your own DVR, and your plan would normally have a "free" (included) DVR.

I wish you could own it too.. and in the past (someone did mention 'most' cable companies in this thread) there was someone who posted here that HAD to buy their cable cards, at IIRC something like $150 each.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:43 AM   #16
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Yeah some small cable companies make you buy them. I thought there was an actual max price, not just "reasonable". Although cable companies get around that by charging "outlet fees" and the like.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:59 PM   #17
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Yeah some small cable companies make you buy them. I thought there was an actual max price, not just "reasonable". Although cable companies get around that by charging "outlet fees" and the like.
Yes, my cable company requires you to buy the card for $70. I'd much rather rent one because if something does happen to the card, you have to pay to replace it.
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:45 PM   #18
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Yes, my cable company requires you to buy the card for $70. I'd much rather rent one because if something does happen to the card, you have to pay to replace it.
At $7.45/month I would take that 9 month chance, once activated I have never had one go bad, I have had some that could not be activated over the phone, needed a tech to come out. My cable cards are about 4 to 5 years old, $70 would have been a great deal in place of $7.45/month. (Comcast CT)
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:11 PM   #19
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I did have a CableCARD go bad once after several years of use, so it is possible. Also you're at the mercy of the cable co when it comes to firmware updates so if they update the firmware and it messes something up it doesn't matter if you own or rent it's still on you.

That being said my cable company only charges $2.50/mo so it's really not a big deal. The payback on buying one for $70 would be almost 2.5 years. But if they were charging $8/mo I might think differently.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:24 PM   #20
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I did have a CableCARD go bad once after several years of use, so it is possible. Also you're at the mercy of the cable co when it comes to firmware updates so if they update the firmware and it messes something up it doesn't matter if you own or rent it's still on you.

That being said my cable company only charges $2.50/mo so it's really not a big deal. The payback on buying one for $70 would be almost 2.5 years. But if they were charging $8/mo I might think differently.
I agree, it cost per month and the cost of the cable card, if you could purchase a cable card for $25 I am sure you would do it to save $2.5/month.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:32 PM   #21
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I would. When they raised the price of my cable modem from $5/mo to $7/mo I started looking at buying my own and realized I could do so for $75 so I did. < year payback is my threshold.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:59 PM   #22
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My CableCARDs are $5 a month. There is an effort FINALLY going on to implement secured access without a card. Tivo and Comcast are working on it.

http://www.multichannel.com/news/tv-...pproach/375989
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:44 PM   #23
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Good maybe if they come up with a good solution the other MSOs will use it too.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:13 PM   #24
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Charter used to give cable modems for free. Now they lease them for free, but I still have two of the ones they gave us.

Of course that just means the cost is included in the service price, even if you buy your own. Charter also will no longer allow you to bring your own modem when starting new service.

If cable cards become free (or go away) the cost of connecting third party devices like Tivo will just get buried in the total service price, and then you'll pay whether you bring your own equipment or use theirs.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:29 PM   #25
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I would. When they raised the price of my cable modem from $5/mo to $7/mo I started looking at buying my own and realized I could do so for $75 so I did. < year payback is my threshold.
I purchase Lifetime TiVo service, the payback is more than a year, I think you also pay for Lifetime TiVo Service.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:54 AM   #26
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At $7.45/month I would take that 9 month chance, once activated I have never had one go bad, I have had some that could not be activated over the phone, needed a tech to come out. My cable cards are about 4 to 5 years old, $70 would have been a great deal in place of $7.45/month. (Comcast CT)
Les,

Your bill shows $7.45 for the CableCard itself? Our Comcast franchise charges $1.00 for additional CableCards (1st one free and I have 3 more with 2 original S3 TiVo for a total of $3.00 next to the CableCard line).

I thought Comcast in general had decent CableCard rental costs across the board.

Scott
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:34 AM   #27
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Modems need replacing from time to time, so their pricing folks probably modeled that out somehow to allow for user ownership (and how many actually do this? I'm the only one I know). Cablecards are hardly touched. Once paid for, they are a small cash register.
Comcast is up to $8/mo for hardware that costs ~$60 at retail. RIP OFF. Cable modems can last a decade or more, depending on the technology used. They're good at least for a few years.

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My cable cards are about 4 to 5 years old, $70 would have been a great deal in place of $7.45/month. (Comcast CT)
You get one for free, so if you do a 4- or 6-tuner setup with Minis, no extra monthly fees!
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:56 AM   #28
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Les,

Your bill shows $7.45 for the CableCard itself? Our Comcast franchise charges $1.00 for additional CableCards (1st one free and I have 3 more with 2 original S3 TiVo for a total of $3.00 next to the CableCard line).

I thought Comcast in general had decent CableCard rental costs across the board.

Scott
Comcast in my area (CT) just added the AO charge ($7.45/month) for each Cable Card after the first cable card (that one is free).
I use to pay $1.00/month per card without any AO charge.
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:00 AM   #29
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The purpose of CableCARDs is to allow you to buy your own STB at retail. The FCC imposes price limits on the monthly rental cost of a CC. ($3 max I believe)
No, they don't. They only say the rentals should be reasonable, and Comcast completely gets around that by imposing bogus A/O fees. FCC complaints about this practice have gone nowhere (mine included).

And OP why does it matter that it's now 2014? The cableCos are trying to get rid of cards, not trying to make them cheaper or easier for folks to use.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:34 PM   #30
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I purchase Lifetime TiVo service, the payback is more than a year, I think you also pay for Lifetime TiVo Service.
Lifetime service adds resale value, so the payback is really not that much. If you look at a 3 year old Premiere unit with lifetime and without. The one without is basically worthless, you might get $50 for it. The one with lifetime is worth at least $250. So that adds $200 to the value by paying $400 for lifetime. Now MSD service is $12.95/mo so that's about a 16 month payback. Actually less if you sell sooner before something better is available.
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