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Discussion Starter #1
If anyone has a moment, can they give this a quick read through?

Thanks, Todd


Comcast announces that all cable channels will be encrypted, new equipment required

Comcast cable has announced that Xfinity customers will no longer be able to access its basic cable packages directly through a digital television or computer based tuner card. The cable giant is in the process of encrypting its “Limited Basic” channels. In other words, the party is over for subscribers who have avoided set-top box clutter and their associated fees. All customers will soon be introduced to new fees and the requirement for additional equipment to descramble basic cable packages.


What prompted this move?
Last October, the FCC(http://www.fcc.gov/document/commission-relaxes-cable-encryption-prohibition) ruled that all-digital cable operators have the right to encrypt basic cable channels. The FCC justified this ruling by noting it would allow customers to have their service remotely controlled, thus eliminating the hassles associated with scheduled appointments. Also, noting that all-digital cable companies would benefit from fewer on-site service calls and have more control over ensuring customers are only receiving services they paying for. Comcast echoes the FCC’s ruling by stating that the move will tighten their control over consumer access their service, allow for further automation of their cable system, and reduce in-home appointments.

What kind of equipment will be needed?
Comcast customers will need to install a DTA or digital transport adapter box. It’s a small black device that can be mounted on the back of a television set. Simple in design, the box is just big enough to house a co-axial input paired with one co-axial output and one HDMI output. The DTA is provided to customers in a kit that includes two co-axial cables, an HDMI cable, a programable remote control, power adapter, cord management straps, and adhesive strips. Customers can self-install the device and initiate activation through the web or by telephone.

Are there any benefits to the consumer?
The advantages of a DTA device are far and few between for cable customers. In fact, the only advantage may come through eliminating those awful wait times that many of us have experienced on the day of a cable installation call. What customers should be aware of is what they aren’t getting. DTA customers will not have access to on-screen channel guides, On Demand programing, Pay Per View programing, or Premium Channels. That’s right, folks, customers are going to pay a fee for a device’s ability to descramble a signal, nothing more. Customers that want access to guides and additional programming will need to pay extra for a set-top box.

When should customers expect changes and how much will it cost?
Comcast has yet to announce an official go-live date and states it will soon begin mailings to notifying customers about the DTA requirement. They have, however, outlined the DTA requirement and associated fees on the support page of their company website. To Comcast’s benefit, they are easing the blow to current Limited Basic customers by providing them with two DTAs at no charge for two years. Customers that subscribe to higher levels of service can receive one DTA free of charge for one year. After this trial period, customers should expect to pay about $1.99 per device each month.
 

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Also, noting that all-digital cable companies would benefit from fewer on-site service calls and have more control over ensuring customers are only receiving services they paying for.
It was also noted that.....

Comcast echoes the FCC’s ruling by stating that the move will tighten their control over consumer access their service, allow for further automation of their cable system, and reduce in-home appointments.
consumer access to their service


and...

programable
- misspelled - programmable
 

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Interesting article. Exactly the kind of reason we don't have a cable subscription anymore. That and the fact that paid cable channels play the same amount of commercials as free network stations.

I don't see that this has been posted anywhere yet, so I thought I'd point out a couple things I noticed:

The advantages of a DTA device are far and few between for cable customers.
I am used to seeing "few and far between"


it will soon begin mailings to notifying customers about the DTA requirement.
The way I read this I would expect "notify"
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, Peter. I'll make the changes you suggested, you're right about both.... this will get posted tomorrow morning.

Have a good one!

Todd
 
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