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The impression of the person that I spoke to was that this email was to encourage people to move off cable cards, and they were not necessarily discontinued. But he advised to call back in a few days as they learn more.
I just got the spectrum email as well about the cable card. It isn't clear what they are going to do or when.
This is about Charter's announced plans to move to high-split for higher HSI speeds, and the need to terminate CableCARD support to do it[*]. Actual schedules for those HSI upgrades will very substantially between locations (perhaps many years for some), but as some predicted would happen this is the initial carrot. The more people who volunteer for the offers on their own schedule the fewer people Charter will need to use the stick on later as they actually schedule a location for high split rollouts (which will almost certainly include more email, announcements on bills, and snail mail announcing "drop dead" dates). Note that those drop dead dates will likely also require some customers to replace their STB with a more current model. And, as others have said, there will still the those that are "surprised" that their TiVo stops working (it is a classic horse and water problem), but given that more people are clamoring for higher speed HSI[**] then CableCARD support, this step was sort of inevitable and expected.

Until the drop dead dates are announced for a location most expect TiVo's to continue to work and be supported as good as they do now (yes, that is not saying much for some locations).

[*] There are a whole set of very expensive alternatives that were proposed over the years that could keep CableCARD support limping along across the entire Charter footprint (the cheapest would have worked only in limited areas), but given the very small numbers of CableCARD users Charter is not willing to even consider spending those many many millions, especially now that they have no legal requirement to consider doing so.

[**] And at least a few proposals currently being reviewed at the FCC define new HSI tier minimums that would require higher speeds to continue to be considered meeting one's requirements to being a HSI provider and obtaining federal funding for expansion.
 

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I do wonder about this in general. If these early locations end up representing a critical mass of CableCard users, would Spectrum then just cut everyone off at once as any support effort begins to outweigh any benefit to them.
It is an interesting wonder. I would certainly expect that at some point Charter will make the call (and drop everyone), because the remainders are so small, but will they front load all the CableCARD cancellation work long before they are ready for high-split in most locations? We will know a lot more when Charter starts sending out hard drop dead date emails across their footprint (if the masters of this board feel a great disturbance in the force as all Charter TiVo-ites suddenly cry out and are then silenced at once, we will have our answer).
 

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I still feel like this is the single most poorly worded e-mail I have ever read...what is this suppsoed to mean:
"As we continue to upgrade our networks and technology, CableCARDs will not be compatible with future service upgrades for some time."

My cynical self says the vagueness is completely intentional...
Charter has been very clear (in other venues) that they are going to move to high-split for improved HSI upload speeds. And this will mean the end of CableCARD viability in locations that move to high-split (which Charter themselves has stated will actually take years to accomplish across their entire footprint; whether Charter chooses to end support for CableCARDs in advance in locations that are not yet ready to upgrade is unknown). The problem is that while those that understand the underlying technology will be able to understand what the words "high split" would mean, 99+% of Charter customer base have no clue about the underlying technologies that are involved, nor the details, nor the approaches Charter has chosen. And there is no way to educate those customers sufficiently to the point that anything other than vague "future service upgrades" are going to be helpful.
 

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For what it’s worth, I just got a cable card and tuning adapter without any issues from spectrum.
Charter has not yet stopped offering or supporting CableCARDs in any location, even if some CSRs don't know what they are (and if they do may try to convince you to select otherwise) and activating them can sometimes be a challenge (but nothing new there).

It is expected that there will be a time when Charter will stop offering CableCARDs (likely when they actually announce the end date for support in a location rather than this initial email which is just an encouragement to move to a different solution at a time most convenient for you). But today is not that day. And tomorrow seems unlikely too.
 

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They have a dedicated support line for cable cards and TAs, and it's not the usual desk jockeys reading from a script. Those people know their business, and never failed to remotely fix any issues I had. Many of them also used TiVos, which helped.
The L-TWC dedicated CableCARD support group (which I believe was based in upstate NY due to the legacy of the Newhouse family) were, as you say, excellent. Sometime after the acquisition of L-TWC, and the (somewhat later) subsuming of the L-TWC CSR's into the Charter customer service approaches the dedicated number then forwarded to the general CSR pool, and that previous CableCARD group was (rumored) to be initially moved to a dedicated higher level tech support (no longer directly contactable by customers), and likely some moved to general CSR support (as while CableCARDs still exist, the numbers are small, and getting smaller).

I was fortunate enough to be able to deal with the L-TWC dedicated CableCARD support for a client, and they were, indeed, excellent. For another, somewhat later engagement, I ended up with the general CSR team (even after dialing the dedicated number), and things worked well, but from their statements (and struggles), it was clear they were not the experts I had previously dealt with.
 

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But at least one report from KY (Spectrum cable) is also claiming that Spectrum leased cable boxes are to be replaced within the next month.

That would entail what? 10’s of thousands? 100’s of thousands? of boxes?
Only the oldest boxes need to get replaced. That is not a zero number, but smallish in most locations (anything designed after ~2005/6 (designed, not shipped) should be able to work without a swap). Of course, there are always a few people who hold on to the STB they got 15 years ago because it still works good enough, so such boxes are in the field, and will need to get swapped.
 

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Thanks for this very helpful post! Indeed, they swapped my old boxes for DCX3200's with cable cards.
All recent STBs (DCX units would be considered recent in Motorola franchises) can continue to use linear QAM (even with a CableCARD doing the decryption) since they have (have always had) the capability to implement alternative two-way communications (unlike the the OOB signalling that the CableCARDs and TA's use in such locations).

I presume you previously had a DCT (or possibly DCH) STB. I recall that DCH units have the capabilities required (DCT's did not), but the DCH units are also frequency limited, so a DCX unit is probably more of a like-for-like replacement if worldboxes are not (yet) available/viable in your location (or in short supply).
 

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Our area went all digital a while back which did away with any and all QAM, and it caused all televisions with legitimate QAM technology to go dark unless a cable box was added.
It was not removing linear QAM, it was enabling encryption (which, under FCC rules, required an all digital plant), which requires a CableCARD to decode which made TV's unable to decode any programming.
It still remains to be determined if the replacement units will be Worldboxes or something else, but I just hope it will be one of the DVR models with at least 4 or 6 tuners.
The DCX boxes are capable of continuing to be used even with the changes for HSI (i.e. high-split). Whether Charter may choose to replace them with Worldboxen will be up to them.
 

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My latest email shows 08/21/22 for the date of the office for the discounted Apple TV or the free receiver, the latest postal mailed reminder shows 08/15/22 as the end of the discount window.
Reminds me of the late night commercials for things like the veg-o-matic: "So you don't forget, order by midnight tonight!"

I would not be surprised that one will get more notices and offers, especially when they actually actually start the transition (as the reality is that people neither read their email, bills, or USPS letters, so there will be people surprised with the loss of service only after it happens, and not before).
 

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The e-mails don't come from anyone technical... they come from a Vice President of Marketing in Connecticut.
That is exactly who they must come from, i.e. someone who is actually responsible for communications (and for various reasons at Charter, that it the umbrella org responsible for such). No one else is going to be allowed to send you any official communications. It might not be what you want, but there are various legal and regulatory requirements involved that preclude others from making official statements that have not been vetted through the entire process. If you don't understand that, talk to your lawyer (as only your lawyer is responsible to you) who can explain the gory details.
 

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Yeah, that's the kind of title companies give to new MBAs and/or in lieu of pay.
Long before most knew about that approach, almost every new bank employee was given the title VP in lieu of pay or any authority/responsibility. It was an open marketing ploy in the financial industry, as the customers thought they were being treated as special when they got to talk to a VP.
 

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Since I think that if I call enough times, I might find the one person at Spectrum that has the whole story, though that of course never happens.
And until the lowest of the low (the CSRs) are told you will never get the whole story. CSRs are the organizational mushrooms (left in the dark and fed crap). They only actually know what the training materials or the screens tell them, and typically not more than a few days in advance of changes (and only then if they need to learn something entirely new to be prepared). Sure, from time to time, you will get someone who heard something from someone from someone, and will be willing to share what they think they know (because being people they want to try to be helpful to get a score of 10 on the survey you get later), but just like a game of telephone, the information eventually shared (whether factual or guesses or absolutely wrong) got mixed into one confusing story. And do far the fat lady has not yet sung (although she does appear to be in the wings).
 

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He anticipated it would be end of September for the St. Louis area but couldn't confirm that.
If one ignores the marketing hype (where wide roll-outs of high-split HSI with higher upload speeds will be seen real soon now), most expect only a few (smallish) locations by EoY 2022 (so Charter can say they started) to actually deploy and activate HSI high-split, and it taking (optimistically) 4 years to get mostly complete (when they will announce success, even as a number of people will still not be upgraded; sort of like the 200Mb/s HSI upgrade that Charter announced was "essentially" complete and then took 18+ months after that to get out to some locations). Clearing out the CableCARD and older STB users before they start extensive work in a location allows Charter much greater flexibility in schedules in the plant work itself, even if a lot of work is still to be done to actually activate high-split HSI, though, so that will typically happen quite some time before the HSI improvements.

Of course, at this point, it is likely that Charter is redirecting a lot of techs and equipment to the Florida area, which will certainly delay schedules elsewhere.
 

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The letter also states "NOTE: If you are using TiVo device series 1, 2, or 3, you will need to contact TiVo to upgrade to the newest series to avoid any disruption to your service".
So this seems like a new twist.
This means the new channels are in H.264, and was the same issue that other providers (Comcast was among the first as I recall) notified their customers of when they made such a change. This typically also means if you have an older STB (DCT/DCH?) you will need to upgrade the box (although maybe they have already pushed that part separately).
No mention in this particular letter about dropping support for CableCards.
Left hand and right hand. They don't talk often. It is not a new issue for many large operators who seem to communicate some things poorly, but it is embarrassing. I would also guess that these new channels are also being added to a larger regional area, so the letter was likely written for many that are not just your locale (again, lack of hand talking).
I have a TiVo Premiere XL4, which is Series 4, so apparently I won't be affected by this change. But the possibly better news is that the letter seems to imply that perhaps CableCard support is no longer going away, at least for now?
I would not read too much into a lack of clarity, but no one other than Charter knows the actual schedules for your particular area.

Completely separately, some engineering focused folk who have looked at Charter's plans have raised an eyebrow about Charter not mentioning some of the real world issues that they will experience and will have to deal with, and how it will impact schedules (such as potentially having to go inside every residence in some locations to remove/replace drop amps, and replace splitters and/or add filters, along with all the plant work expected). Comcast did some early field trials of their mid-split deployments and reported the results at various cable tech conferences many years ago now and how those tests results in changes to plans (and pushing out the schedules by what turned out to be years, although some of that ended up due to other changes in the plan that became viable). High-split has all the mid-split issues, plus more, so the engineering focused people expect the roll-out to be more of a slog than Charter has publicly acknowledged, so that could work in favor of those who want to continue to use their TiVo for just a bit longer (although, as always, your location will vary).
 

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Typically the techs know barely enough to handle the most mainstream issues (which excludes anything related to TiVo, Cable Card, TA and HSC). This is by design since doing better would require spending a lot more time/money training techs.
Furthermore, there are two groups of techs in many locations, the in-house (employee) ones, and the contractors, and the contractors only get paid to complete a task (usually the same payment for an easy or hard install when the task is "Install Internet"), so have little to no interest in spending lots of time on the especially complex cases, as it is just losing them money.

And even with reasonable training, techs are going to forget things they only encounter extremely rarely in the field.
To be slightly fair, I tend to forget how to do things I only do once every few years, too. "They say your memory is the second thing to go. I can't remember what the first was."
 

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In the instructions for the high split tuning adapter they have the cable going through the tuning adapter to Tivo. Does it need to be done this way or can I just have a separate signal going to the tuning adapter?
Until someone does a proper tear down of the HSC(0)(1) one cannot be sure, but if I was designing the device I would have included a high-split HPF into the device to avoid the quite possible impacts to your TiVo (or other UDCP/OCUR tuner) from very common residential wiring topologies (even more so if the customer has chosen to use wally world "gold" splitters), of which none of the impacts may be seen until Charter actually enables the higher speed tiers with high-split enabled (at this point, Charter is mostly just doing the prep work that will allow them to move forward to the next steps at some future point).

Unless you strongly object to minimizing future failure modes (and will remember the recommendations and change appropriately if things go sideways at some future time), I would place the device inline as stated.


(0) And/or does a full spectrum analysis of the RF stream and decode of the signals sent, and that come out of the HSC (which may require your analyzer to be certified by CableLABs to obtain the required certs (which basically means very expensive commercial tools)).

(1) That may also require SMT rework tools to implement ICE tools and/or SPI/JTAG access to see what is actually being done (again, these tend to be very expensive commercial tools).
 

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That came to a screeching halt when the installer told me our neighborhood doesn't have conventional cable TV of any sort.
Locations vary, but some newer neighborhoods are FTTH only (as are any locations expanded using RDOF build-out funds (i.e. someone else's tax dollars)).

That is good for HSI (higher upload speeds are in the base), but means linear QAM is dead in that location (which just means those locations are among the early adopers, not that the end game is any different for anyone else)
 

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Seems like a common thread with CableCARD fees.
Not only do some operators want you to stop using CableCARDs as soon as possible (so tend to increase pricing), the reality is that their costs for supporting them have likely gone up (training (as good/bad as it is for some operators, they still have to do it), the legal costs for dealing with people who file formal complaints (the responses to the FCC are under the legal compliance part of the company), and the cost for the hardware and software systems they license to support CableCARDS), spread across a smaller and smaller user base, means that the operators are choosing to ask CableCARD customers to pay more, arguably in some cases actually reflecting their costs (larger costs / smaller customer base = higher fees).
 
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