Is it really possible that Xfinity/Comcast is not supporting TIVO with cable cards in new installs?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by peter662, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. Sep 6, 2020 #1 of 81
    peter662

    peter662 New Member

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    Xfinity has left me confused. I have used them with different TIVOs since 2001. I was disappointed with their elimination of streaming services, but I could live with that. Recently, our family contacted Xfinity about a high speed internet student promotion. We were advised that this would be a faster, cheaper service that we could use without problem. They advised stopping the current service, and having our student, living at home (during the pandemic), sign up for new service. But as this order was about be initiated, we were told that Xfinity/ Comcast does not support TiVOs on new service (which this would be considered). I tried to confirm this repeatedly. Some Xfinity agents have never heard of TIVO!!!! Others say that they will not active cable cards for new accounts but they are not taking it away from existing accounts. When I called TIVO, they really weren't sure what to say other than to continue my existing service--which is exactly what I have done. I even wrote a letter by USPS to TIVO headquarters to ask if they had any information (since this would impact them greatly)--but I have not received a response. On the other hand, I see no reports of problems on this forum for anyone else. Anyone know what's going on? Will Xfinity no longer activate TIVO on new accounts?
     
  2. Sep 6, 2020 #2 of 81
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    All I can tell you that is that, per a new FCC filing made two days ago, no cable company is now required by law to activate or support CableCARDs. See here:
    CableCard coming to an end FCC 20-124

    So at this point, Comcast is legally in the clear to refuse to activate any more cards/TiVos. Whether or not this is now Comcast's new policy (either nationwide or just in your area), I have no idea. Yours is the first such report I've read with regard to Comcast. Other cable companies -- Altice, Frontier, etc. -- have given lots of TiVo owners the runaround for some time now, telling them that they no longer support CableCARD when by law they had to, thereby forcing some of those folks to contact the FCC to get the provider to cooperate with them on getting a working CableCARD for their TiVo. But that's no longer an option since the FCC just killed the CableCARD mandate.
     
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  3. Sep 6, 2020 #3 of 81
    dishrich

    dishrich Active Member

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    The OP might try to go to their local Comcast store (assuming they have one)...my local store has very knowledgeable reps & not only knew about CC's, but also knew in our market, CC's are now free. Last month when I redid my 2-year contract & added an X1 DVR & it would not activate, the assistant manager knew exactly what the issue was; it was due to the previous rep not arranging all my equipment in the correct hierarchy (X1 DVR, legacy DVR, CC & DTA all mixed on my 1 account) but he resolved it right in the store & by the time I got home, everything was activated & working correctly.

    So I plan on continuing to use my CC Tivo as long as I possibly can, but now also have an X1 DVR, for all the new IP-only channels; the X1 box was only $5/month & my (Xfinity) DVR service fee is free for the next 2 years.
     
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  4. Sep 6, 2020 #4 of 81
    SamCarter

    SamCarter New Member

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    I got a new Spectrum account just before the lockdowns and had to go pick up cards and tuning adapters at the local office. Of course 3 of 4 pieces of hardware were not working, so they sent a tech to verify that I wasn’t doing it wrong, I guess. He was agitated when I told him I had cable cards and he told me I was “lucky” to have even gotten one from the office since they won’t be supporting them for much longer. I told him about the FCC mandate and that yes, they did need to figure it out, so he said he’d send a supervisor (and again complained that the other tech would not have this equipment either).

    I ended up going to the office again and a kind lady there gave me a huge tote bag full of adapters and cards that I could try until I found ones that worked and then bring the rest back. I asked what they do with the ones that customers return as not working and she said they go somewhere to get “reset” and then come back. There are no new cards or adapters being made so they all look thoroughly beat up and they are very hit or miss.

    Given the current political climate, I‘m not surprised that the cable lobbyists finally weaseled their way out of this responsibility. Actually I’m surprised it took them this long. However this means I will be done with cable. I don’t think they’ll miss me!
     
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  5. Sep 6, 2020 #5 of 81
    dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    So what's the difference between this and a broadcast station supporting ntsc and atsc? At some point they need to be able to move forward and cut the cord (no pun intended) on old tech so they can focus on new tech. Why should they burden the cost of supporting old tech if they no longer legally have to? Because they're worried about losing you as a customer? Worried about some negative review you'll post about them or tell your friends to avoid them? Please.

    It's going to happen sooner or later and you're probably better off selling your gear now while it has some value on the bay. You wait too long, and your audience just keeps shrinking as more cable companies migrate away from cable cards and the resale value drops more and more.

    Just saw a guy post about trying to sell his large venue $5000 wxga projector like it has a market anymore. It's like, sorry pal. You. Missed that boat years ago, and your $5k projector will be lucky to get a couple hundred on ebay as similar WUXGA projectors go for less than $500.

    Makes me happy I've been selling off my gear and migrated to an HD Homerun. I feel like these threads are just going to become more and more frequent over the next two years.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
  6. Sep 6, 2020 #6 of 81
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, if he's getting nowhere trying to obtain a CC on the new account over the phone/online, about his only other option is to go to a store and talk to someone there. I continually read that folks have better luck getting good treatment at Comcast stores than they do over the phone or online.

    At any rate, it will be interesting to see what Comcast and Charter do with regard to CCs in the coming months. Wouldn't surprise me at all if they stop activating them completely and only allow the existing ones in use continue to be used.
     
  7. Sep 6, 2020 #7 of 81
    mntvjunkie

    mntvjunkie Active Member

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    I can only speak to Comcast, but CableCards have been on borrowed time for 5 years now. They fully intend to shut down traditional “QAM” service in the long term. I was told this 5 years ago, and it has moved slowly, but the IPTV only channels are picking up steam as of late.

    Now that they don’t have to support them, I’m sure they’ll start decommissioning the infrastructure and the cable-cards we have will be the last ones. I’m guessing even moving them to another box will cease to be an option soon.
     
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  8. Sep 6, 2020 #8 of 81
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    What does this mean?
     
  9. Sep 6, 2020 #9 of 81
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, probably. I will say, though, that I've expected at least a partial shutdown of QAM TV from Comcast for awhile now. It's certainly been on their stated roadmap for years now. I expected it to happen in 2020, maybe even 2019. Still hasn't happened, though. But, as you say, they have made further moves toward IPTV in the past year or so, including issuing IPTV-only X1 STBs and introducing new IPTV-only channels.
     
  10. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    My guess is that OP was referring to the discontinuance of the Xfinity on Demand app for TiVo.
     
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  11. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    xfinity installers in my area refuse to use a customers splitter. So if you're just getting one outlet and want to use minis for the other rooms, you have to wire the other rooms, hook up the splutter and POE filter yourself. I guess you could have them install an an outlet in every room and then cancel the outlets and return the equipment.
     
  12. southerndoc

    southerndoc TiVo Fanatic TCF Club

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    What ever happened to the software version of the CableCARD (basically a device would download info from the cable company to decrypt channels)? My wife and I love our TiVo and HATE HATE HATE the Xfinity X1 user interface. The thought of giving up my TiVo makes me a little anxious. Surely TiVo is working on a solution to this.
     
  13. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    Especially since they are selling the 6 tuner cable only Edge DVR on their website. Not sure about the wording in their terms of service, but I would think there would be lawsuits if customers cant obtain a cable card to use with the new Edge they just purchased.
     
  14. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Nothing ever came of it. There was a push, dubbed "Unlock the Box," at the FCC a few years ago to come up with a software-based successor to CableCARD but that failed. The FCC decided that it would be sufficient for cable TV providers to offer up streaming apps to access their services on retail devices (e.g. Roku), as Comcast, Charter and others have already done rather than come up with a new industry-wide technical standard.

    Separate to that, there was an announcement some years back that Comcast and TiVo were jointly working on a software-based solution specific to their two companies. But then nothing more developed (perhaps in part because TiVo sued Comcast over patent infringements in their X1 system).

    At this point, TiVo understands that the only path forward for it to live on as a system used in conjunction with cable TV is not via retail devices purchased by the consumer but rather as software built into the boxes issued by the TV providers themselves.
     
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  15. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm wondering the same thing. Is there some kind of onus on TiVo to disclose to consumers prior to purchase that the government no longer requires QAM-based cable TV providers to support access to their service by TiVo DVRs? Maybe it's sufficient for TiVo to simply offer a full refund for all hardware and services purchased if the buyer cannot get the device activated with his/her pay TV provider within X days of receiving it.

    It will be interesting to see if additional reports pop up across the country -- especially among Comcast and Charter customers -- in the coming weeks that they are unable to activate new CCs. If so, it's not hard to imagine that TiVo just bails on CC-based retail DVRs completely. Mark down prices and sell through the rest of the Edge for Cable units they have in stock and that's it.
     
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  16. kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Basically, it died in committee. The vision of the providers and consumers were radically different, no agreement was ever reached on how it would work, so it never went forward, and in the mean time it was decided that if the providers provided 'apps', it was good enough.
     
  17. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    But they still need to provide warranty support. Anyone without all-in service has continual care service which replaces a failed DVR for $50. They are already out of Bolts and are replacing them with Edges. Then some all-in boxes have extended warranties or are under the first year warranty. A replaced DVR requires the cable card to be paired again.

    They might pull the plug on cable tv support all together like they did with the Series 1, but those hadn't been sold in years. They might give out a $50 Visa Gift card.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  18. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    The cable company not knowing about TiVo has been happening for at least five years. Nothing new.
     
  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    What's new is that consumers can no longer cite an FCC mandate that their cable company provide/activate/support a CableCARD.

    And as for Comcast, I don't think it's been that bad for TiVo users. Given their size, I've read relatively few reports of Comcast subs getting the run-around vs. some of the smaller cablecos.
     
  20. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Yep but the point was a cable company not knowing about TiVo is nothing new. Thus it’s no indication by itself that the cable company is actually cracking down on cable cards yet.


    But over the years I’ve read many similar posts as the OP’s on these forums. And you even mentioned the reason for these posts which is a small fraction a tiny fraction of cable subscribers are TiVo users. Average employee just doesn’t deal with them very often so that there’s a high chance they know little to nothing about them
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020

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