Comcast Cable Cards No Long Compatible with VOD on Fiber Networks

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by mjl13, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. Jul 16, 2018 #81 of 144
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    2,523
    764
    May 2, 2015
    Yes. I'm wondering specifically about the letter from Comcast that was referenced in post #40 on this thread:

    TiVo_Ted is acknowledging that the current Xfinity OnDemand app for TiVo is being phased out, which is consistent with various user reports on this thread. OK, good to know that TiVo is confirming that.

    But TiVo_Ted is also saying that Comcast will continue to deliver linear channels via CableCARD, which seems to be contradicted by mschnebly's post above saying that "channels would gradually be unavailable too". Maybe I'm misinterpreting that, but it sounds like Comcast saying that at least some of their linear channels would eventually be available only on X1 (because, I'm inferring, they would be moved from QAM to IPTV delivery).
     
  2. Jul 16, 2018 #82 of 144
    TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    11,416
    1,231
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    It’s all a matter of semantics. They already have dropped extra HD HBO’s from linear to on demand only and have pushed HD sports packages like Extra Innings to IPTV.
     
  3. Jul 16, 2018 #83 of 144
    HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    6,703
    850
    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    I'm hoping that you can continue this relationship despite the lawsuits over patents. Although we don't use it that often, continuing to have access to on-demand would be nice to have as well the ability to continue to access their digital TV services post-CableCARD (or as new channels become only available digitally and not linearly).

    Scott
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  4. Jul 17, 2018 #84 of 144
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    2,523
    764
    May 2, 2015
    So you're saying that when Comcast says that channels will gradually become unavailable to non-X1 users, it's simply because they're going to completely pull the plug on those linear channels and move the underlying content over to IP-delivered on-demand? Maybe, but I kinda doubt it. Beyond the premium multiplex channels (e.g. HBO 2, HBO Signature, Showtime 2, Showtime Extreme, etc.), which all just air the same stuff at different times, and specialty live sports packages like Extra Innings (which don't constitute 24/7 linear broadcast channels, even if they are transmitted via a linear channel slot), I can't think of other examples of linear channels that Comcast could easily pull from their line-up and replace with just that channel's on-demand library.
     
    mschnebly likes this.
  5. Jul 17, 2018 #85 of 144
    PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

    1,958
    535
    Jun 4, 2015
    Philly suburbs
    Those extra HBO and other premium channels in HD have been missing here in the Philadelphia area since at least 2008 (if they even existed at all as I didn’t have HD prior to then) on Comcast so I’m not sure that proves much.
     
  6. Jul 17, 2018 #86 of 144
    NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

    8,964
    1,620
    Apr 19, 2012
    sweet home, al
    same in our market, 4 hd hbo's (5 with latin), 2 hd sho's, my biggest disappointment following dumping dtv - on the other hand, xod is dependable and truly on-demand, as well as the android and browser apps.
     
  7. Jul 17, 2018 #87 of 144
    TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    11,416
    1,231
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    The point is that they have done it and continue to. First they will probably only put premium and new channels on IPTV.

    Even fios was doing it. They abandoned their IPTV platform but they had a lot more HD on it while it existed. Comcast can supplement using X1 and they probably will. They will keep stuff on QAM for a long time but migrate.
     
  8. Jul 18, 2018 #88 of 144
    HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    6,703
    850
    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Not all franchises had any of the extra HBO channels in HD (here for example). We've always had only a single HD HBO channel. You can't drop what you never had. :)

    Scott
     
    PSU_Sudzi likes this.
  9. Jul 18, 2018 #89 of 144
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    16,016
    2,568
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    Same here for HBO, Cinemax, etc., and not Comcast. Not copy protected either.
     
    PSU_Sudzi likes this.
  10. Jul 18, 2018 #90 of 144
    WVZR1

    WVZR1 Member

    417
    16
    Jul 30, 2008
    The WV...
    I seldom used an Xfinity VOD but most of the time if I actually wanted to use VOD on my Mini I would have to I believe go to 'standby' restart the Mini and do a TiVo connection to get the Xfinity APP to populate. A terrible nuisance BUT NO MORE!!

    I turned in my CableCard yesterday and I'm Layer3 TV for a MAIN and one LITE box(Their Mini). I regret it not. I won't debate the fact that I'll miss the TiVo features but not Xfinity TV. If I do a Layer3 TV VOD (CBS Example - the 60 minute TV SHOW is 53 minutes and the breaks aren't 'advertisements' but CBS Trailers for current series.) I've tested it just twice.

    Premiums? HBO if I subscribed would get me 14 channels all HD. I don't subscribe.

    Living alone I'm very confident this will work for me and if I were to have duplicated the channel offering in a Xfinity Package it would have been substantially more and then there's the Xfinity nonsense. I haven't had support this efficient since I was an early adopter of DirecPC - when I had DirecPC if I had issues I got up 3:00 AM because I knew I'd likely get the same technician.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
    mschnebly and PSU_Sudzi like this.
  11. Jul 18, 2018 #91 of 144
    PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

    1,958
    535
    Jun 4, 2015
    Philly suburbs
    Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. I get all those extra premiums but have never had them in HD aside from HBO2.
     
  12. Jul 21, 2018 #92 of 144
    haniwa202

    haniwa202 New Member

    16
    0
    Jan 27, 2014
    I could not access Comcast Vod using the channel listed in the channel guide, but the app worked. Hadn't heard the thing about fiber.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
     
  13. Jul 21, 2018 #93 of 144
    NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

    8,964
    1,620
    Apr 19, 2012
    sweet home, al
    tivo has never been able to access xod through the channels in the guide, we were discussing using the xfinity on-demand app on tivo - once your area is upgraded to fiber, the tivo app no longer accesses xod, but until then you should be ok.
     
  14. Jul 22, 2018 #94 of 144
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

    6,749
    436
    Oct 30, 2003
    Hartford-...
    It's possible that Remote PHY is not compatible with QAM-based VOD, but that seems unlikely, unless they simply designed QAM-based VOD out of the system when moving to Remote PHY. To me, it seems more likely that they simply don't want to tie up bandwidth with VOD QAMs. They have a bunch of QAMs for VOD, with 4 MPEG-2 HD VOD streams per QAM, sitting there all the time, empty most of the time. IP-based VOD uses the existing DOCSIS channels, and is probably not a big bandwidth user compared to everything else going on, so it likely doesn't require additional DOCSIS QAMs, and it's all MPEG-4 based.

    They were cruising along with MPEG-4 as a step towards IPTV, but beyond that, they haven't seemed to do a whole lot in the past couple of years. I'm not convinced that they are in any rush to move towards IPTV. I think it's clear that the eventual goal is 100% IPTV, but I'm wondering if they have stopped moving towards that, and are instead streamlining the channel lineup, going fiber-deep (small nodes), and waiting to see how the pay-tv landscape changes/implodes/partially disappears before investing big into IPTV. If cable channels start to implode and disappear, that takes away more of the bandwidth argument for moving entirely to IPTV.

    I would, however, agree with that statement. However, no one should subscribe to Comcast's TV service in the first place. The video quality is complete trash, it's overpriced, and the channel lineup is lousy. I also think that the changing pay tv landscape is more of a threat to TiVo than Comcast is, at least in the next 48-60 months, as the downward spiral around pay tv is getting steeper and faster, and it's likely in 5 years that the whole landscape will look very different. Things take a lot of time to change, but cord cutting is moving faster than anyone expected, and continues to accelerate.

    Meanwhile, ATSC 3.0 is on the horizon for OTA, although we have a guaranteed 5+ years of ATSC 1.0 by law in one form or another, at least in SD at reduced quality. Still, I'd hesitate to buy a new Roamio OTA at this point with 3.0 being right around the corner. I'm still not convinced that 3.0 is ever going to be widely deployed, but several large broadcasters seem to be excited about it for reasons I cannot understand. I would think the name of the game now would be minimum necessary OTA broadcasting plus pay tv retransmission fees plus moving to an online/streaming model.
     
  15. Jul 22, 2018 #95 of 144
    tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

    1,199
    249
    Mar 5, 2004
    Agreed, 4k broadcasts will make sports look good given the proper equipment, but other then that ATSC 3.0 will bring screaming on the internet for years to come. There will be a lot of "I bought a 4k TV for this" howling going on. The day everyone can get high speed internet, it's the beginning of the end for OTA. Of course, we may all be dead by then...:confused::eek:
     
  16. Jul 23, 2018 #96 of 144
    PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

    1,958
    535
    Jun 4, 2015
    Philly suburbs
    I think the channel lineup and price are great for what I want that I cannot get a comparative package/convenience via streaming for now.
     
  17. Jul 23, 2018 #97 of 144
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    2,523
    764
    May 2, 2015
    We're not THAT far off from universal broadband availability now. At the end of 2016, 92.3% of Americans had access to wired internet at 25 Mbps or faster.

    2018 Broadband Deployment Report

    All video will eventually be delivered via the internet. Already it's very common for local stations to deliver the only content they actually own -- local news -- via the Internet. OTA distribution made sense in the old days when everyone didn't already have another connection through which TV could be delivered. But with ubiquitous broadband, why rely on any other pipe?
     
  18. Jul 26, 2018 #98 of 144
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    12,598
    1,839
    Jan 6, 2003
    Houston/Bren...
    Semi-update: Install scheduled for next Thursday, one week away. I asked the Comcast CSR about my fiber node; he knew it was fiber, and offered me Gigabit Internet service. He also noted I had cable cards on my account, and did I want to continue using them. I asked if they would still work with the fiber, and he said yes. I did not ask about VOD.

    We'll find out in a week.
     
    tim1724, PSU_Sudzi and krkaufman like this.
  19. Jul 28, 2018 #99 of 144
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    2,523
    764
    May 2, 2015
    Yeah. Perhaps Comcast is pausing on the QAM-to-IPTV transition as they try to figure out where the whole pay TV industry is likely to be in a few years time. But frankly, I don't think there's much of a cost outlay that Comcast would need to make to complete the transition to IPTV other than the switchover of a number of legacy STBs in the field (which, of course, is not an insignificant cost). I don't think that there would be much in the way of upgrades to be done to their network and back-end systems (outside of work already being done, such as fiber-deep/N+0). As I've stated so many times before, they already deliver their entire TV service via IPTV (Roku, iOS, Android, web browser). So the question really is if and when Comcast is going to make a dedicated push to convert that last -- what? 30%? -- of users on QAM-only STBs over to IPTV-compatible devices/apps.

    Along those lines, you may find interesting the exchange I had with NorthAlabama recently. Start reading here and then progress down the rest of the page. Looks like his neighbor there in Huntsville, AL may have been forced to take an IPTV-only STB (no QAM, no hard drive) to retain his TV package at a discounted price. If I understand correctly, the neighbor doesn't also have a regular X1 (hybrid QAM/IPTV) box, so this new box is acting as a standalone unit, not an X1 extender. Prior to this, the only 100% IPTV Comcast TV customers I was aware of were those on Xfinity Instant TV, using Rokus and mobile devices. But perhaps Comcast is now rolling out their own IPTV-only STBs for use with their "traditional" TV packages?

    Yep. Things can seem to change slowly until they reach a tipping point and then they change rapidly. I doubt that the transition from channel-based traditional TV to (mostly) on-demand OTT TV will be done in 5 years but we'll certainly be further along that path by then than we are now. It will be pretty clear by then who the major players in the next era of video entertainment will be. Actually, it's already hard to imagine they will be anyone other than Netflix, Disney, Apple, Amazon, Google, AT&T, Comcast, maybe Facebook, and maybe one other big player formed from mergers of multiple small-to-midsized traditional media companies (if they don't get swallowed by the aforementioned titans), such as CBS, Discovery, Viacom, Lionsgate, and Sony.

    Cord-cutters looking to spend serious money (relative to their budget) on OTA TV equipment right now are in a quandary. Yes, ATSC 3.0 is on the horizon but the consensus seems to be that manufacturers won't be selling TVs with built-in 3.0 tuners here until 2020. I had been anticipating that we would see a significant number of stations (not in every market, but most markets) begin 3.0 broadcasts in 2019. But that won't happen if there aren't tuners on the market available for purchase. Although, maybe we'll see standalone 3.0 tuners available next year (or even late this year). But, as you say, widespread adoption and success of 3.0 isn't a sure thing. The whole thing might turn out to be a flop, dividing and confusing the OTA TV-using public (which constitutes less than 1-in-5 households).

    But, on the other hand, one would hate to spend too much on ATSC 1.0 equipment now when it may seem outdated just a year from now as it's possible that some of your local stations could launch 3.0 broadcasts by then. And if and when they do, that will probably mean reduced picture quality for their legacy 1.0 broadcasts.

    As for the business prospects surrounding ATSC 3.0 -- and what it may mean for the entire national network/local affiliate TV model that's been in place for about 80 years now -- see my lengthy post here on another site.

    But generally speaking, yes, it would seem to be in the networks' best financial interests to limit (not expand, as ATSC 3.0 would purportedly do) free access to their content via OTA TV and to maximize paid access (via MVPD retransmission and a shift to direct-to-consumer OTT streaming services). Seriously, why should the major networks not all do what NBC did in the Boston market by switching from a high-powered affiliate station, WHDH 7, to a low-power station (which they bought), WBTS-LD 8?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  20. PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

    1,958
    535
    Jun 4, 2015
    Philly suburbs
    I’m suspect of what NorthAlabama wrote because it sounded like he had limited information from his neighbor/friend (not questioning his judgement but just how accurate his friend is—when it comes to tech lots of neighbors/family/friends are clueless).
     

Share This Page