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post #331 of 869 Old 09-02-2009, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Verizon made $58B last year on $97B of revenues, and AT&T made $74B on $124B.

I'll be the first to agree that Verizon & AT&T make "obscene" profits. This is what Cramer calls "late stage capitalism".

However, the numbers you posted are quite misleading, since they are "gross profit". They doesn't take into account such "minor" items as taxes and interest expenses.
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post #332 of 869 Old 09-02-2009, 02:20 PM
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Yet the people who advise investors are saying that that's not a good place for investors to put their money these days; that that simply is not a strong enough return on investment.

I guess my problem is I worked this guy, Jim Barksdale, who told us customers were more important than profits and stockholders. It's funny how all his companies were bought (at very high evaluations) by people who disagree.

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post #333 of 869 Old 09-02-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin View Post

But I'm sure the companies could easily petition the FCC to allow them to remotely disable DTAs if the customer hasn't paid his bill (maybe they already have this right?).

They almost surely do, and should surely be allowed to as long as they're providing local OTA channels in-the-clear. I cannot imagine any reason to continue providing advanced services for an account in default.
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post #334 of 869 Old 09-02-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin View Post

I'll be the first to agree that Verizon & AT&T make "obscene" profits.

Evidently their profits are not "obscene" since they're not good enough for analysts.
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post #335 of 869 Old 09-02-2009, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Maybe people need to change, in our society, what is considered as a reasonable rate of return before they can expect any specific companies to start operating in some manner other than the manner of capitalism that we've put in place over the last thirty-five years, and if they cannot bring about such a change, accept that society doesn't necessarily want the same things as they want.

What?

With how well the economic system has worked the last few years, I don't see how you can even suggest such a thing......

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #336 of 869 Old 09-02-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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I just outlined the two available options; I wasn't suggesting one over the other.
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post #337 of 869 Old 09-02-2009, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

I just outlined the two available options; I wasn't suggesting one over the other.

I'm sorry I wasn't clear enough, I was being sarcastic.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #338 of 869 Old 09-02-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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Ah; thanks for the clarification.
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post #339 of 869 Old 09-02-2009, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

They almost surely do, and should surely be allowed to as long as they're providing local OTA channels in-the-clear. I cannot imagine any reason to continue providing advanced services for an account in default.

But it works best if the service provider can cut off all services (not just advanced services), including local channels. Most people using DTAs won't know enough to bypass them to watch analog SD locals. And most people also don't also know that the unencrypted HD locals are also on the cable.

So what I'm saying is that, longer term, DTAs could significantly boost revenues. They lower costs in two (similar) ways: 1) they reduce churn and 2) they make it easier to extract payments for service.

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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Evidently their profits are not "obscene" since they're not good enough for analysts.

I wouldn't worry too much about that. It's the ebb and flow of the market.

Less than 2 yrs ago Verizon stock sold for over $45/share. It bottomed at about $23, now about $30. I'd say there's a very good chance it will be back at $45 within the next two years.

The big mutual funds that slosh around trillions of dollars don't really care what the "analysts" say, they have their own in-house analysts. Also, large cap stocks like AT&T and Verizon get bought by the index funds. If (big if) people put new money into the stock market a large amount of it will be used to bid up T and VZ stock. That's how "market capitalization weighted" indexes work.
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post #340 of 869 Old 09-03-2009, 02:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin View Post

But it works best if the service provider can cut off all services (not just advanced services), including local channels.

The DTA, itself, is an advanced service, unnecessary for reception of essential services. If folks don't know that, then attribute that to their failure to learn about what they're purchasing.
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post #341 of 869 Old 09-03-2009, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

The DTA, itself, is an advanced service, unnecessary for reception of essential services.

Actually it is not, because it allows the cable companies to eliminate analog cable. That's the whole point of the DTAs, to eventually make analog cable go away so that the bandwidth may be used more efficiently. Comcast may keep the SD locals, PEGs, and a handful of other channels analog for a little while but eventually all channels will be digital.
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post #342 of 869 Old 09-03-2009, 07:25 AM
 
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Actually it is not because it allows the cable companies to eliminate analog cable.

Analog cable is an advanced service. So yes, DTAs are an advanced service.

Again, the only essential service provided by cable companies is carriage of local, over-the-air broadcast stations.

That's the law, folks.
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post #343 of 869 Old 09-03-2009, 09:01 AM
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Waiver is only good for 3 years so don't get to ahead of yourself.
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post #344 of 869 Old 09-03-2009, 09:08 AM
 
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Good point. This is temporary.
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post #345 of 869 Old 09-03-2009, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin View Post

Having easy full remote control of the customer's "viewing experience" is, IMO, "priceless". No traps, no truck rolls, virtually no added costs. Hmmm, maybe it's time to buy some Comcast stock?

Not having to use traps, indeed saves $, as it means no truck rolls needed for services changes (Ltd./Expd. Basic) and no audits for theft of Expd. Basic. With no more theft of that service, by people removing traps, it also gains $, with more subscribers to Expd. Basic.

They will still need a few truck rolls for connect/disconnect, and they may decide to audit for theft of Ltd. Basic since it is HD, (as well as SD), but probably less often, as it isn't that cost effective, considering the lost revenue.

Now they should pass some of those savings to us honest subscribers, in the form of lesser price increases each year.
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post #346 of 869 Old 09-03-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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I think they should pass those savings on to honest investors, in the form of higher dividends.
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post #347 of 869 Old 09-03-2009, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

Unscrambled expanded basic secured using traps worked well in the analog era. It can work just as well in the all digital future. Why are the cable companies suddenly insisting on shoving boxes down our throats?

Scrambling content (any content) delivered digitally is a tricky business, and is subject to many variables. (Do you own a router? Do you own one or more PCs with encryption software, such as PGP or GnuPG or TrueCrypt? Then you use a process similar to what the content providers use.) It requires something a lot more complex than traps, as the same amount of bandwidth (or even the same area of bandwidth) is not often used. (The same is also true of traps; one major headache in the days of all-analog cable headends was changing trap configurations due to channel map changes rendering the trap, as configured, pointless.)

Content scrambling digitally is meant to replace the analog trap; however, it has its own set of complexities to deal with.
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post #348 of 869 Old 09-03-2009, 10:54 PM
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I think they should pass those savings on to honest investors, in the form of higher dividends.

We'll have to agree to disagree on that since the use of DTAs would be illegal under Federal law without FCC waivers so any savings should in fact be passed on to consumers and not go to investors. IOW the waivers should not be granted if they're not in the public interest.
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post #349 of 869 Old 09-04-2009, 02:51 AM
 
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Your claim would only be valid if the FCC was a consumer protection agency, rather than a regulatory agency responsible to both subscribers and investors. If your logic had any merit, then why would the FCC allow MSOs to earn profit on anything?
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post #350 of 869 Old 09-04-2009, 03:25 AM
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Kevin Martin did a good job of that. Forcing use of more expensive STBs, fine for using SDV, telling Comcast how to run their network after the Sandvine incident (I miss the invisi-cap).
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post #351 of 869 Old 09-04-2009, 03:27 AM
 
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Good riddance to bad garbage.
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post #352 of 869 Old 09-04-2009, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

Unscrambled expanded basic secured using traps worked well in the analog era. It can work just as well in the all digital future.

Apparently, you think because that system was in place for many years, that it 'worked well'. It certainly worked well for customers, but apparently not for cable cos., for all of the issues I have outlined in this thread. (So, have many others).

Even seven years ago, when Digital cable was relatively new for Comcast, those who know people in the industry, conveyed on AVS Forum, that Comcast wanted to abandon the trap/filter system, but they couldn't just yet, due to the market conditions. I think they gave the old system plenty of time, until finally changing.

Look, before the trap/filter system, they used to require boxes for any service. So, this is nothing new, except some people didn't have cable then or weren't born, so it is new to them. We didn't have cable then, either, but a few friends did.
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post #353 of 869 Old 09-08-2009, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Tru2way Troubles: Is Cable Losing Out to Telcos on ITV?
Craig Leddy | Contributing Analyst

U.S. cable operators are implementing tru2way technology as a way to spur new next-generation video devices, interactive TV applications, advanced advertising, and cross-platform services. But when major multiple system operators (MSOs) missed a self-imposed July 1, 2009, deadline to meet certain tru2way benchmarks, it raised questions over how technically challenging it is to deploy the tru2way platform.

Indeed, becoming a tru2way-ready cable system is not as simple as flipping a switch or downloading software. It requires the installation of new equipment and software, new configurations of signaling and coding, and rigorous network management and technical operations. Tru2way is a complex process that includes hundreds of steps, but it is likely to produce multiple benefits for cable and its customers.

In order to make tru2way work, cable operators must employ a network management system and add headend equipment, including application carousel generators and monitoring gear. Cable systems must undertake a level of software integration rarely experienced in the cable industry before. Deployment involves a complex integration of network management systems, a tru2way-based interactive program guide (IPG), billing and customer care systems, testing and certification processes, and an OpenCable Applications Platform (OCAP) middleware stack in the set-top or other device. Implementing a tru2way network provides a variety of significant technological benefits for cable operators across their cable platforms. Moreover, tru2way is part of an overall advancement of cable infrastructure to increase capabilities and support a variety of new consumer services.

The future of tru2way retail devices is cloudy. While cable operators need to demonstrate a good faith effort to meet federal guidelines and terms of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), it is unclear whether consumer demand will drive significant sales of tru2way HDTV sets if the only advantage is to remove a cable set-top box. Consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers themselves have shown lukewarm enthusiasm for tru2way, and many are developing Internet-connected TVs. Without support from CE makers, tru2way likely will become a solely cable enterprise that is focused on interactive applications delivered to next-generation cable set-top boxes, or new devices that are developed through deals that largely are initiated by MSOs.

http://www.lightreading.com/cable/do...?doc_id=180060
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post #354 of 869 Old 09-08-2009, 03:59 PM
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Tru2way Troubles: Is Cable Losing Out to Telcos on ITV?
Craig Leddy | Contributing Analyst

Seems to me that Comcast OnDemand would be just as complicated as Tru2way. It would involve many, if not all of the services the author says must be in place for Tru2way to work. Since Comcast was successful in rolling out OnDemand, it should be capable of rolling out Tru2way.

But I expect the MSO's will drag their feet as long as they can, causing the OEMs to drop support for Tru2way, just like happened with CableCard. The old Chicken and the Egg timing problem.

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post #355 of 869 Old 09-09-2009, 05:24 AM
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AT&T can have their ITV and I'll just make do with having more than 2 HD streams that doesn't slow down my internet.
Comcast gave the impression that their behind Tru2way but their actions or lack thereof do say otherwise. Not that the CEs are doing any better.
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post #356 of 869 Old 10-23-2009, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast prepares to launch online video player

By Bob Fernandez

Inquirer Staff Writer

Comcast Corp. says it has developed an online video player that gives viewers a TV experience on the Internet, and the cable giant intends to put shows and movies from 24 cable networks online by the end of 2009.

But it won't be free, which is what most people have come to expect of content on the Internet.

Comcast cable customers - about 24 million in the United States - will have sole access to the cable TV fare through an online password and authentification process that references Comcast customers' billing records.

About 5,000 Comcast cable customers tested On Demand Online this summer. Comcast says it will expand the service, which customers will use through the Fancast.com and Comcast.net Web sites, to all its subscribers by Jan. 1. The company will e-mail customers to tell them when the service goes live.

Comcast chief executive officer Brian L. Roberts yesterday updated the media and industry officials on the new service at the Web Summit 2.0 gathering of technology executives in San Francisco.

In Philadelphia, Comcast executives discussed the project, which was initially announced in June with Time Warner Inc. and was called at that time TV Everywhere. "All the metrics are good, and we are just getting started," said Madison Bond, Comcast's executive vice president of content acquisition.

Comcast has negotiated deals with content providers to make the entertainment available on the Internet. Those participating include Time Warner, Starz, CBS, and the Discovery Channel. Bond said that Comcast was still securing programming rights for additional cable TV and movie content for the Internet.

Comcast views On Demand Online as an extension of a cable package for customers and allows entertainment companies new sources of online advertising. Bond declined to discuss programming deals.

Alix Cottrell, vice president at Fancast.com, said Comcast developed the online video player with an outside firm.

Through a special bit-streaming technology, the player smooths out the jerky movements of other online players by slightly altering the brightness of the TV picture when there are problems with Internet speeds.

Executives in the cable industry fear that if they do not move quickly to put more entertainment and news online, hackers could begin posting pirated entertainment and news on the Internet and undercut the cable TV business model - which is what happened to the music industry.

Comcast executives also are vehement about not putting entertainment and news online for free.

With On Demand Online, Comcast customers view only those cable TV networks in their individual cable TV packages. Thus, customers who purchase HBO or Cinemax on their cable TV can view HBO and Cinemax on their computer. But if they do not purchase HBO or Cinemax in their Comcast cable package, they cannot get it online.

Comcast's project to exploit the Internet comes as Wall Street analysts are speculating how cable companies will deal with Internet video. The big threat is that customers will cancel their cable TV service, although cable executives and others say they believe online video can be complementary to cable TV services and boost revenue through new advertising.

Industry experts have said that online video may be one reason that Comcast is negotiating to purchase NBC Universal Inc., one of the nation's largest movie and TV studios.

Comcast is in advanced talks with General Electric Co. to acquire a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal. The deal includes provisions for Comcast's eventually buying all of NBC Universal.

By owning the Hollywood entertainment, Comcast can control the flow of entertainment to the Internet, some contend.

http://www.philly.com/philly/busines...eo_player.html
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post #357 of 869 Old 10-27-2009, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Wired for Tru2way by Year's End
October 27, 2009 | Jeff Baumgartner


9:05 AM -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) EVP David Cohen reportedly told reporters Monday that the MSO will have tru2way installed across all its plant by year's end. Comcast and a handful of other MSOs that signed a binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) missed an original deadline to have that done by July 1.

Although Comcast (and presumably the other MSO members of the MoU) intend to use tru2way as a common platform for advanced interactive services, tru2way's use as an ITV engine in set-tops sold at retail has formally been called into question.

Cohen acknowledged that interest in using tru2way in retail devices has cooled, sparking thoughts on alternative ways for the platform to be distributed to retail boxes and TV sets, including downloadable approaches.

Fewer than 10 products so far have been certified for tru2way, a CableLabs platform that uses the OpenCable middleware and the removable CableCARD security module. And only Comcast has even tried to get a tru2way retail effort going, partnering with Panasonic to sell tru2way HD sets in Denver, Chicago, and Atlanta in a few stores. (See Tru2way's Retail Forecast: Cloudy , CES: Roberts Declares Open Season, and Tru2Way in Atlanta.)

But timing is everything, and we should know a bit more about tru2way's role at retail (or a possible lack of one) in short order. This morning in Denver at the CTAM Summit, execs from CableLabs, Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Bright House Networks , among others, are scheduled to appear on a panel called "Cable's Consumer Product Agenda."

Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=183661
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post #358 of 869 Old 10-27-2009, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Clicking With EBIF
October 27, 2009 | Steve Donohue


DENVER -- CTAM Summit -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has simple interactive TV applications such as voting and polling deployed to about 60 to 65 percent of its cable homes, vice president of interactive TV James Mumma said during a panel discussion here Monday.

Earlier this year, Comcast Corp. COO Steve Burke said that Comcast and its partners in Canoe Ventures LLC -- Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Charter Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: CHTR), Cox Communications Inc. , Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), and Bright House Networks -- would reach 25 million Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF)-enabled set-top boxes by the end of the year. Comcast senior director of video product development James Mumma said today that Comcast and its partners are on schedule to meet that goal. (See Comcast Speeds Up '09 Wideband Goal , Canoe Rows Toward Enhanced TV , and Cable's Canoe Heads for Scalable Waters .)

Canoe CEO David Verklin all but confirmed that, too, in a separate conversation with Cable Digital News . "I think we'll get close [to that goal]. I think we'll get very close," Verklin said when asked if Burke's earlier stated EBIF goal among the Canoe partners was indeed achievable.

The applications that the EBIF architecture will enable include voting and polling, allowing viewers to request more information about a product advertised by pressing a button on their remotes. EBIF will also enable "t-commerce," which lets subscribers buy products through the TV, Verklin added.

Full article at:
http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=183660
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post #359 of 869 Old 10-28-2009, 07:40 AM
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Seems a little silly to reinvent all the web and streaming protocols at this point. Why not just switch everything to TCP/IPV6 and build the UI and backend on top of web technologies? Much easier to deploy and grossly simplifies the work for the consumer devices.

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post #360 of 869 Old 10-29-2009, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mpatnode View Post

Why not just switch everything to TCP/IPV6 and build the UI and backend on top of web technologies?

Because my existing TiVos wouldn't work with TCP/IPV6?

Actually the hardware is there in terms of ports but I'd bet it couldn't be properly configured to do a good job.

Similar to implementations of tru2way. Why does a TiVo need an external box to do tru2way? Why can't the TiVo send IP packets "somewhere" the results of which cause video to "magically" appear on some QAM channel that the TiVo receives? A small matter of programming.
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