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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I sometimes watch MeTV, which reruns shows from the 1950s through 1980s like “Mission Impossible.”. Last week, they announced they’d be switching channels on Comcast in Washington DC this past Monday. After trying their new channel, I received a D261 error. I reported the lineup change to TiVo, but also looked at the Comcast/Xfinity support forums. Apparently this shift was nationwide, and many people have problems. One customer service rep who posted in the forum asserted that the new channel was an IP channel. If true for my local network, that means I won’t be able to use TiVo to access it.

I’ve seen reports of switches to IP channels on this forum, but this is the first case I’ve encountered of a channel that I watch. Because Comcast limits their Stream app to users of their home internet, I can’t watch it there, either (I have Verizon FiOS). I’ve had TiVo for about 20 years and have enjoyed it, but this is making me think I should or will need to move on soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks—surely this will help other people reading this thread, but Xfinity limits use of the app to those who also have their internet service. More precisely, some shows are available on the streaming app, but some require, in their words, a “home WiFi” connection, by which they mean Comcast Internet service. I got Verizon FiOS internet when it became available to me, but didn’t switch from Comcast cable because the latter was still working well for me.
 

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I sometimes watch MeTV, which reruns shows from the 1950s through 1980s like “Mission Impossible.”. Last week, they announced they’d be switching channels on Comcast in Washington DC this past Monday. After trying their new channel, I received a D261 error. I reported the lineup change to TiVo, but also looked at the Comcast/Xfinity support forums. Apparently this shift was nationwide, and many people have problems. One customer service rep who posted in the forum asserted that the new channel was an IP channel. If true for my local network, that means I won’t be able to use TiVo to access it.

I’ve seen reports of switches to IP channels on this forum, but this is the first case I’ve encountered of a channel that I watch. Because Comcast limits their Stream app to users of their home internet, I can’t watch it there, either (I have Verizon FiOS). I’ve had TiVo for about 20 years and have enjoyed it, but this is making me think I should or will need to move on soon.
Interesting. I still get MeTV on Comcast around Chicago, for now. They did get rid of MeTV +, replaced it with another channel (Story). Unless they moved "+" to IP. Fortunately I get both OTA as I watch them quite a bit. MeTV is on 357. MeTV + was on 361. Now that is Story. Tivo guide shows 359 as MeTV + but when you go to 359 it's actually Decades. Guess Tivo needs to update guide as it finds MeTV + shows on 359 though they are not there, it's Decades and guide does not show/find Decades shows at all.
 

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METV left WTTV affiliation in DC and Xfinity a couple days later is still having issues. If you can do OTA try 48.1 for METV and 48.4 for METV+ . What 'Streaming' devices do you have and use? If you've Xfinity Credentials I'd try maybe the RoKU app. I'd think that once Xfinity sorts their issues you might not have issues. The 1048 Channel doesn't work this AM on my XG1V4 but the 1192/1193 do.

 

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I have almost the entire series of Mash recorded thanks to metv. Funny enough, I've ended up watching Andy Griffith and some others that pre date my youth just because they followed something I was watching.

And this is what I like about live TV over streaming, watching things you might not otherwise watch if they didn't follow what you were already watching.

Glad they have other ways to watch it.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
METV left WTTV affiliation in DC and Xfinity a couple days later is still having issues. If you can do OTA try 48.1 for METV and 48.4 for METV+ . What 'Streaming' devices do you have and use? If you've Xfinity Credentials I'd try maybe the RoKU app. I'd think that once Xfinity sorts their issues you might not have issues. The 1048 Channel doesn't work this AM on my XG1V4 but the 1192/1193 do.

Thanks. The Roku app is even less successful than my iOS devices or PC, in that it (incorrectly) implies I have high speed data but not TV. On the iOS devices, some channels are available, but some need me to “connect to in-home WiFi to watch.”. For those channels, Comcast/Xfinity internet is needed. Since I don’t have that, I’m out of luck.

The channels are showing up on my TiVo now, but they are blank and give a D261 error.

I will wait a few more days, but I am pretty sure now that they have moved both channels to IP TV, so they won’t be viewable on TiVo, and that the Xfinity stream app or websites won’t be useable to me because I only have Xfinity TV, not internet.
 

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Thanks. The Roku app is even less successful than my iOS devices or PC, in that it (incorrectly) implies I have high speed data but not TV. On the iOS devices, some channels are available, but some need me to “connect to in-home WiFi to watch.”. For those channels, Comcast/Xfinity internet is needed. Since I don’t have that, I’m out of luck.
Yes, what you are seeing first-hand is the difference between "managed IPTV" and "over-the-top (OTT) video". Comcast's cable TV service is managed IPTV, which means it is only available via streaming on their own internal internet network. OTT services, such as Netflix or YouTube TV, can be streamed across the open internet, and typically traverse a patchwork of network owners from the originating server to the viewer. A distributor needs different legal rights to stream a given piece of content OTT versus via managed IPTV. In the case of managed IPTV, the rights aren't really any different than for traditional QAM-based cable TV.

Now, Comcast does have OTT rights to some of the content on their Xfinity TV service; they obviously own those rights for the channels/content Comcast owns, such as NBC, USA, SyFy, etc. But to access the entirety of the Xfinity TV service, you must be streaming on their own broadband network, because the service is managed IPTV.

Just curious, may I ask why you have Verizon FiOS broadband but Xfinity TV? Both companies' cable TV services are (mostly) QAM-based and therefore compatible with CableCARD/TiVo DVRs. Is there some must-have channel that Comcast carries but Verizon does not? I would think the overall cost would be cheaper to get both broadband and TV from the same provider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had had Verizon DSL and Xfinity TV before upgrading to FiOS. The TV service was working fine for me, and I didn't want the hassle of trying to set up TiVO again on another provider. I think FiOS TV would have required running a separate cable from the router, though I am not sure at that point. Also, at that time, Xfinity VOD was available on TiVO while FiOS VOD was not. Perhaps I'll reconsider that now (though apparently MeTV isn't available at all on FiOS in Washington DC!) I also thought of waiting for TiVO to either get something better or disappear, or for cable-TV equivalent solutions becoming better available through internet-only connections.
 

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Actually... In the Philly area, a "basic" cable package doesn't exist on Verizon anymore. You get an extended OTA package and pick five channels you want. Same price as a typical basic cable package on xfinity. It's a bit of a joke.

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I can tune MeTV (15 and 117) on Comcast north of Seattle. I just paid my Comcast bill and I didn't notice any notification saying it was moving. I always look, but can easily miss something.
 

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I also thought of waiting for TiVO to either get something better or disappear, or for cable-TV equivalent solutions becoming better available through internet-only connections.
There's not going to be anything better from TiVo coming in terms of a next-gen retail DVR that you can use with local pay TV services. Beyond CableCARD, it's all going to streaming.

If that's a route you're interested in going, I'd recommend checking out either DirecTV Stream with their custom streaming box and remote (this is the streaming cable TV set-up with the most traditional look and feel), or if you're a tech-savvy type, you might look into setting up Channels DVR on a spare computer and using it to log into your cable TV subscription and record shows over the internet to your computer for playback via the Channels app for Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV. (It logs into the websites operated by those channels and records their streams.)

Lastly, if you're considering switching to Verizon FiOS TV to use with your current CableCARD-equipped TiVo DVR, you may want to do that sooner rather than later. Verizon is showing all the signs that at some point in the foreseeable future, they'll cease sales of their shrinking FiOS TV service to new customers (as western telco CenturyLink did with their in-house cable TV service 4 years ago, southern/midwestern/Californian telco AT&T did with theirs 2 years ago, and nationwide rural telco Frontier did with theirs within the past year).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There's not going to be anything better from TiVo coming in terms of a next-gen retail DVR that you can use with local pay TV services. Beyond CableCARD, it's all going to streaming.

If that's a route you're interested in going, I'd recommend checking out either DirecTV Stream with their custom streaming box and remote (this is the streaming cable TV set-up with the most traditional look and feel), or if you're a tech-savvy type, you might look into setting up Channels DVR on a spare computer and using it to log into your cable TV subscription and record shows over the internet to your computer for playback via the Channels app for Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV. (It logs into the websites operated by those channels and records their streams.)

Lastly, if you're considering switching to Verizon FiOS TV to use with your current CableCARD-equipped TiVo DVR, you may want to do that sooner rather than later. Verizon is showing all the signs that at some point in the foreseeable future, they'll cease sales of their shrinking FiOS TV service to new customers (as western telco CenturyLink did with their in-house cable TV service 4 years ago, southern/midwestern/Californian telco AT&T did with theirs 2 years ago, and nationwide rural telco Frontier did with theirs within the past year).
Thanks-it’s now more evident than it was five years ago that this is it for TiVo. I do have a Synology NAS which could run Channels, but the streaming app I’d log into has the same issue with channel availability you explained above.

TiVo and Xfinity still satisfy my needs for now, so I’ll wait until they don’t and reevaluate at that point.
 

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TiVo and Xfinity still satisfy my needs for now, so I’ll wait until they don’t and reevaluate at that point.
Fair enough. Unfortunately, you can probably expect a further trickle of HD channels becoming (or getting initially added) as IP-only on Comcast and therefore inaccessible on your TiVo. As for when Comcast will completely shut down QAM and only offer their cable TV service via IP, that's difficult to say.

Here's what I've gathered about current and future upgrades to cable networks. Some (most?) cable operators -- including Charter/Spectrum (the nation's 2nd largest behind Comcast) -- are going to do one final round of upgrades to their current DOCSIS 3.1 cable network that will involve a so-called "high-split," i.e. dividing the spectrum in their cable in a way that will dramatically increase upload speeds so that they can better compete with fiber operators. For various reasons, it looks like they will be shutting down QAM video as they implement high-split, shifting the band of spectrum used for QAM over to IP usage, resulting in a fully IP-based network. Charter will begin doing high-split in several markets this year. Their sister operator, CGI (Alaska's largest cable co), just completely shut down QAM video in some areas where they implement high-split this summer. After this imminent round of upgrades in 2022-24, the next major thing will be the jump to DOCSIS 4.0, which will start rolling out in maybe 2025. Just about every cable operator, including Charter, says they'll implement a version of D4.0 called extended spectrum DOCSIS, which will keep upstream and downstream data traffic in separate "lanes" (separate frequency bands), but the total range of frequencies used will be significantly increased, i.e. new traffic lanes will be added in each direction.

Comcast, however, seems to be going their own way. They've indicated that their pre-D4.0 upgrades will be more modest, involving a mid-split, rather than high-split, upgrade. And then when they begin rolling out D4.0, it will be of the full duplex, not extended spectrum, type. Full duplex means that upstream and downstream traffic work on the same frequencies, i.e. there aren't separate lanes for traffic flowing in either direction, it's just all together, which is more technologically ambitious. It's less clear when QAM video might be eliminated on Comcast's network. I don't think it will necessarily happen in tandem with their mid-split upgrades, which have already been done in a few spots here and there. My best guess is that they won't shut down QAM until they implement D4.0, which, as I say, likely won't hit initial markets until 2025.

So my guess is that Comcast cable TV customers will be able to continue using their CableCARD-equipped TiVos for maybe another 3 years, until around 2025. And TiVo owners on Verizon FiOS TV might have that long too, although it wouldn't surprise me if they stopped selling FiOS TV to new customers in '22 or '23 and completely shut it down by the end of '24. But for customers on Charter cable TV, I'd be prepared to being forced off your TiVo next year, in '23.
 

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Fair enough. Unfortunately, you can probably expect a further trickle of HD channels becoming (or getting initially added) as IP-only on Comcast and therefore inaccessible on your TiVo. As for when Comcast will completely shut down QAM and only offer their cable TV service via IP, that's difficult to say.

Here's what I've gathered about current and future upgrades to cable networks. Some (most?) cable operators -- including Charter/Spectrum (the nation's 2nd largest behind Comcast) -- are going to do one final round of upgrades to their current DOCSIS 3.1 cable network that will involve a so-called "high-split," i.e. dividing the spectrum in their cable in a way that will dramatically increase upload speeds so that they can better compete with fiber operators. For various reasons, it looks like they will be shutting down QAM video as they implement high-split, shifting the band of spectrum used for QAM over to IP usage, resulting in a fully IP-based network. Charter will begin doing high-split in several markets this year. Their sister operator, CGI (Alaska's largest cable co), just completely shut down QAM video in some areas where they implement high-split this summer. After this imminent round of upgrades in 2022-24, the next major thing will be the jump to DOCSIS 4.0, which will start rolling out in maybe 2025. Just about every cable operator, including Charter, says they'll implement a version of D4.0 called extended spectrum DOCSIS, which will keep upstream and downstream data traffic in separate "lanes" (separate frequency bands), but the total range of frequencies used will be significantly increased, i.e. new traffic lanes will be added in each direction.

Comcast, however, seems to be going their own way. They've indicated that their pre-D4.0 upgrades will be more modest, involving a mid-split, rather than high-split, upgrade. And then when they begin rolling out D4.0, it will be of the full duplex, not extended spectrum, type. Full duplex means that upstream and downstream traffic work on the same frequencies, i.e. there aren't separate lanes for traffic flowing in either direction, it's just all together, which is more technologically ambitious. It's less clear when QAM video might be eliminated on Comcast's network. I don't think it will necessarily happen in tandem with their mid-split upgrades, which have already been done in a few spots here and there. My best guess is that they won't shut down QAM until they implement D4.0, which, as I say, likely won't hit initial markets until 2025.

So my guess is that Comcast cable TV customers will be able to continue using their CableCARD-equipped TiVos for maybe another 3 years, until around 2025. And TiVo owners on Verizon FiOS TV might have that long too, although it wouldn't surprise me if they stopped selling FiOS TV to new customers in '22 or '23 and completely shut it down by the end of '24. But for customers on Charter cable TV, I'd be prepared to being forced off your TiVo next year, in '23.
Your WAG's and 'Speculation' does absolutely nothing for those that are happy currently with QAM and CableCARD. What you've gathered is maybe good conversation over there at DSLReports so maybe keep it there. The OP I believe 'gets it' and understands how to manage 'HIS' TV! I'm good with QAM and I believe also I can 'manage' my decisions.

If you stopped by these threads for just a maybe useful 'Quick Comment' I get it. But just this thread four comments expounding again your 'speculation' I don't see as being productive.
 

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Your WAG's and 'Speculation' does absolutely nothing for those that are happy currently with QAM and CableCARD. What you've gathered is maybe good conversation over there at DSLReports so maybe keep it there. The OP I believe 'gets it' and understands how to manage 'HIS' TV! I'm good with QAM and I believe also I can 'manage' my decisions.

If you stopped by these threads for just a maybe useful 'Quick Comment' I get it. But just this thread four comments expounding again your 'speculation' I don't see as being productive.
Remember the time I spent an hour trying to help you figure out some kind of changes to your Comcast package? Just to be helpful to you? And yet, for some reason -- IDK, because you're rather pathetic? -- you continually troll me. Bugger off. You never bring anything useful to any thread you post in.
 
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