Xfinity and cablecards

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dbperkins, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    There are a few channels that are now IPTV-only, at least in certain Comcast areas. I think that may be the case with Hallmark Drama. I've also read the the HD (but not SD) versions of the new Epix and ScreenPix channels that Comcast added are IPTV-only. If you want those IPTV-only channels, you'll need to use an X1 box or the Xfinity Stream app.
     
  2. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Comcast is basically transitioning their entire cable TV service over to IPTV (but they're being very slow about doing it). If you get both broadband and TV from Comcast, in most areas right now they'll give you the new small X1 boxes (models Xi5 and Xi6) that ONLY do IPTV. They get all channels via IPTV. They don't have tuners in them. They don't have hard drives either. You just get cloud DVR.

    If you want to keep using your TiVo with CableCARD on Comcast TV *and* you also want to access IPTV-only channels like Japan TV, you're going to have to switch your internet provider over from AT&T to Comcast. That's the only way for you to access Comcast's IPTV. You would still be able to use your TiVo as you do now and then to access Japan TV and other IPTV channels, you would use the Xfinity Stream app on your Roku.

    One other bit of info you may want to consider: AT&T will soon launch a new cable TV service, called AT&T TV, that will replace Uverse TV. It will likely launch nationwide next week. It won't be compatible with TiVo. But it may offer Japan TV. (I don't really know.) Anyhow, if you want to keep AT&T as your internet provider, it may be something to consider. I'm sure they'll sell AT&T TV with their internet service at a discount for bundling the two.
     
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  3. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    That may be true for ScreenPix, but I still get Epix HD via CableCARD (EpixHD-E, channels 378 & 1790 here).
     
  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Right. The main Epix channel is not new to Comcast. (I think they added it in 2018.) It remains available in HD via both QAM and IPTV.

    When I wrote "the new Epix... channels" I was referring to Epix 2, Epix Hits and Epix Drive-In, which Comcast just added to their system in late 2019. Comcast only carries those in SD on QAM, from what I've read. The HD versions of those newly added Epix channels appear to be IPTV-only.

    And speaking of Epix, whaddya reckon its future is? On the one hand, they've probably seen a big increase in subscriber numbers thanks to getting swapped into Comcast's large legacy bundles in lieu of Starz. On the other hand, I can't see much of anyone paying $6/mo for this service as it loses content from two of the three movie studios that originally founded it. Lionsgate just announced that their new movies will be going to Hulu, rather than Epix, for the next two years. And ViacomCBS just announced that Paramount films will play a part of their upcoming streaming service that sounds like an expanded version of CBS All Access (although it's not clear if they're just talking about older Paramount films or the new ones that have been going to Epix ever since it launched in 2009).
     
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  5. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    Right you are.

    I have not done any meaningful research on the question, but Starz has been only marginally interesting to me based solely on their catalog of movie titles--and decreasingly so over the past six months. OTOH, Epix has been a revelation if only for two exceptional original series: Get Shorty (three seasons) and Perpetual Grace LTD, both from MGM Television, of which Epix is a subsidiary. In fact, I would place Get Shorty in the pantheon of greatest TV series of all time along with the likes of NYPD Blue, The Sopranos, Deadwood, Breaking Bad, et alii.

    At a mere $6.00 p.m. I believe I would keep Epix at least from month to month if I had to pay for it (which I currently do not).
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
  6. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Wow, high praise for Get Shorty. Maybe I should check it out. I know at least the first season is on Netflix already.

    Epix (like Starz before it, and HBO and Showtime before that) is obviously trying to pivot from being a "movie channel" to a destination for premium-quality originals. I just question whether they can do that to the degree necessary to survive. Epix series seem to get very little buzz, never get awards nominations, etc. They just don't seem to be part of the cultural conversation and I suspect that's mainly due to the fact that so few folks have the service. Kind of a chicken-and-egg problem.

    There's just so much competition for attention and eyeballs now with all these services that are backed by large deep-pocketed companies. I don't think the highly leveraged (i.e. debt-loaded) MGM/Epix has the financial firepower to make it a real player in an era of Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu, Peacock, the pending ViacomCBS thing, etc.

    Just found this article from last month talking about how MGM's hedge fund owners appear to be gearing up for a sale this year, with Apple, Comcast, Sony and ViacomCBS among the likely acquirers. (Also, of note, the article mentions that MGM recently wrote down nearly half of the $1 billion investment it made to purchase the rest of Epix from Viacom and Lionsgate in 2017.)

    MGM Executive Shake-Up Could Foreshadow Bigger Changes at Storied Studio
     
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  7. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the first season is currently available on Netflix (via both streaming and disc), which is where I first discovered the show.

    FWIW, I've noticed that many of the movies on Epix are also available on Amazon Prime Video, making the service less of a value. But I would like to see MGM TV continue to push out quality original programming. I would pay to watch it regardless of the provider (except for VUDU, since I refuse to support Walmart).
     
  8. zalusky

    zalusky Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Yea now that I have access to EPIX on Comcast I am burning through Berlin Station right now. Too bad they cancelled it.
     
  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, Epix has (had?) a deal in place with both Hulu and Prime Video to pass along their movies to them ~90 days after they premiered on Epix. I'm not sure if that's still in place or not. But as I originally posted, it may only be MGM's 3-4 new movies per year that are coming to Epix now now that Lionsgate has pulled out and it looks like Paramount is doing so too.

    As for the Epix Originals that MGM produces, who knows what would happen to those if MGM were acquired by a larger company...
     
  10. Chuck_IV

    Chuck_IV Active Member

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    On the flip side, on Spectrum, EPIX streaming used to be included for all Spectrum internet subscribers(you didn’t need a TV package) and it also used to be part of Spectrum’s Gold package.

    However, as of earlier last year, we no longer get the streaming access and they are no longer part of ANY channel package. The only way to get it is pay $5.99 on top of any other prices you are paying.

    So I’m guessing they lost a lot of subscribers on Spectrum because of this.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member

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    IMG_0248.jpeg Last night I was looking at my account on Xfinity and saw I have a required upgrade???
    I am running a single TiVO Bolt, cablecard and 2 minis?

    My account is up for renewal in November. I have not received any e-mails about this just saw it on the upgrade page. Is Comcast/Xfinity going to force me to dump my Tivo's???
     
  12. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    trick is probably the better word choice - for those who don't know better, why not swap?

    for what it's worth, i've seen this 2 or 3 years.
     
  13. Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member

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    Good to know! The only way i would consider going with their equipment was if I got three rooms free, which I know will never happen. I tried using a Roku on the bedroom TV before I bought the Minis. Wife hated the interface of the Xfinity App.

    I used to be internet only with them but going into year three with TV.
    Now I don't see any internet only packages listed anymore. Only double and triple play.
     
  14. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    You can definitely downgrade to internet-only if you want, they're just not going to show you that option in their online ordering system. They probably also won't offer you any kind of promotional deal if you downgrade, so you'd have to pay the full price for internet-only. At least, that's been the way Comcast has operated for awhile now. You never know what kind of deal you might get if you walk into one of their stores, though. Folks seem to report that's the best way to get a deal.

    As for their suggestion that you swap out your CableCARD for their own X1 boxes, that's probably because a few channels in your TV package are now IPTV-only and cannot be accessed via the CableCARD. If you want to watch them, you'd need to either use an X1 box or the Xfinity Stream app.
     
    Phil T likes this.
  15. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    I echo Get Shorty is excellent. I get Epix when it comes on, then cancel. I hope they renew it.
     
  16. pdhenry

    pdhenry Recumbent

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    Others are reporting that Comcast is telling them they have to switch to Comcast hardware to avoid losing certain channels ("international channel"? IDK what that is) that will only be accessible via IPTV. Yes, they're trying to tell you to turn in your Cable Card for a new box.
    There's an exception to the Cable Card mandate that says the mandate doesn't apply if they let you tune in your lineup on some other device that you can buy on the open market - that might be the Roku running the Xfinity app (which is still theoretically in beta, so...).
    You should be able to use your TiVo for the time being but this (along with prices) is why I've recently dropped Comcast in favor of YouTube TV on a Roku plus limited OTA. My TiVos are OTA-capable and I have one of them on an antenna.
     
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  17. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ N5GGG

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    So, are their IPTV channels still maxed out at 720p?
     
  18. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I believe so, yes.
     
  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    FYI, someone on another forum posted that the following announcement was in their latest Comcast bill:

    Twin Cities

    Beginning March 10, 2020, NickToons (ch. 1727), Teen Nick (ch. 1740), Sundance TV (ch. 1440), BBC World News (ch. 1117), Disney Jr. (ch. 1701), Nick Jr. (ch. 1702), Nick 2 (ch. 1729), and MTV2 (ch. 1639) will be available in HD IP. Only customers with compatible equipment will be able to view
    Comcast's slow march toward IPTV carries on. So far, the only IP-only channels showing up are either completely new channels to Comcast (which are unavailable on QAM) or HD versions of existing channels (that still exist on QAM in SD).

    I'm wondering how long it will be before they start *taking away* things from QAM. For instance, maybe you get TV Land in both HD and SD right now on QAM but they take away the HD version.
     
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  20. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I have never seen TV Land available in HD. Have you?
     

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