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post #721 of 1661 Old 10-03-2012, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

Meet Comcast's IP-Only Set-Top
October 3, 2012 | Jeff Baumgartner....And what's with that SD Card slot? The XI3 doesn't have an internal hard drive, so the slot could be used for memory expansion. But it's also plausible that Comcast could use an SD Card as a local, mini-DVR that could buffer a small amount of live TV programming for trick-play functions (pause, fast-forward, rewind, etc.). Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) toyed with the notion of using an SD Card as a "lite" DVR for a tru2way "set-back" box it showed off in 2010.
To meet the "separable security" rule on new set-top-boxes? I haven't heard that rule mentioned for quite a while, so I don't know if it is still in effect or if it would apply to this device.

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post #722 of 1661 Old 10-04-2012, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Because it is an IP only box I don't think separate security applies. IP transmission of TV opens up a a new way to have security which can be used in other non-Comcast devices such as the Xbox 360.
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post #723 of 1661 Old 10-04-2012, 10:14 AM
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Is this technology going to stop cablecard dvr (Moxi) from working?
Thank you
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post #724 of 1661 Old 10-05-2012, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Is this technology going to stop cablecard dvr (Moxi) from working?
Thank you
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I suspect it will take several years for the transition to an all IP Comcast platform to happen. It is possible a tuning device will be made for backward comparability but we will know more as Comcast migrates to an IP platform.
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post #725 of 1661 Old 10-06-2012, 08:11 PM
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Cablecard is not going anywhere until the FCC rules otherwise, which will take years. And it won't happen until a real IP standard for authentication/decryption/delivery takes hold and is adopted by 3rd party devices.
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post #726 of 1661 Old 10-09-2012, 08:03 AM
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watched a football game at my friend's house who has the X1 platform... new house w/ new subscription so he was able to get the new box.

Reading some stuff online it looks like Comcast is only offering it to new Triple Play customers - no longer a triple play b/c we ditched the land line. I'm wondering if my current DVR box starts "freezing up intermittently" I'd be able to swap them out. Anyone know if it's plug and play or is additional set up required?

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post #727 of 1661 Old 10-11-2012, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by UGAd13 View Post

watched a football game at my friend's house who has the X1 platform... new house w/ new subscription so he was able to get the new box.
Reading some stuff online it looks like Comcast is only offering it to new Triple Play customers - no longer a triple play b/c we ditched the land line. I'm wondering if my current DVR box starts "freezing up intermittently" I'd be able to swap them out. Anyone know if it's plug and play or is additional set up required?

I would first call Comcast to find out about the box and it's availability. It only may be available in certain areas withing your geographic location. If it is available then go to your Comcast office and try to swap it out. You also may want to post your question in the local tread for your location/
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post #728 of 1661 Old 10-15-2012, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Cable Cleared to Encrypt Basic TV Tiers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously on Friday in favor of lifting a ban that prevented cable operators from encrypting their basic service tiers in all-digital systems.

Many major U.S. cable operators want to encrypt the basic tier because it will help them cut down on service theft, and because it will enable them to more easily activate and deactivate customers remotely and reduce truck rolls. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), for example, predicts that encrypting the basic service tier will let it perform nearly half of its activations and 90 percent of its deactivations remotely.

The order comes with several conditions that the cable industry proposed during the vetting period. Among them, it requires cable operators that choose to encrypt the basic tier to provide affected customers with a set-top box or a CableCARD (for TVs that have slots for the security modules) for free for a specific time frame:

Existing customers who take only the basic tier are to receive a set-top or CableCARD for free for two years after encryption begins.
Customers who take a tier above basic but use a secondary TV to receive only the basic tier can get that equipment for free for one year.
Subs who receive Medicaid and only take the basic tier can get that equipment for up to two TVs without charge for five years.

Additionally, the nation's six largest incumbent cable operators must provide the technology necessary to let IP-based retail devices, such as the Boxee box, support basic TV tiers. That class of device has historically obtained those signals in unencrypted form -- something called "clear QAM."

It is expected that most of those operators will support that condition by supplying free Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) devices with home-networking capability that can decrypt basic TV signals and pass them along to the third-party retail device. Retail device makers will have an option to license the operator's security technology, an alternative that would seem to cover a software-based security system used by Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC).

The operators affected by that condition (Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , Charter Communications Inc. , Cablevision, Bright House Networks ) serve about 86 percent of all U.S. cable subs. The retail condition is set to automatically sunset in three years, but the order gives the FCC Media Bureau the power to initiate a review in two years.

Extra retail rule pleases Boxee
Boxee sought such a concession because encrypting basic channels would require its users to pay extra for separate set-top boxes. Boxee has refused to develop a device with a CableCARD slot because it is expensive and because installing a CableCARD in retail devices has historically been a frustrating experience for consumers. To help remedy this, Boxee and Comcast have also completed a separate agreement that involves the use of DTA devices with Ethernet connectors and a licensable approach should Boxee desire to integrate that capability.

Boxee CEO Avner Ronen cheered the ruling on the company blog, noting that the FCC's final order included the recommendations it made jointly with Comcast. "Our main goal was to find a solution that would allow cable companies to move forward with encryption while enabling devices like Boxee to access basic cable channels without requiring users to buy additional hardware of pay additional monthly fees," Ronen wrote.



Why this matters
The order and its concessions let cable operators encrypt their basic tier without having to offer a special justification for it and go through the trouble of obtaining the waiver. In addition to offering cable operators some operational relief, they can now polish off all-digital conversions and reclaim analog spectrum that can be used for other services.

However, a provision in the order puts it under possible threat, because the entire thing could be wiped away if any portion of it is somehow invalidated or overturned by a court -- a concern expressed in comments from FCC Commissioners Robert McDowell and Ajit Pai, but not one serious enough to prevent them from voting in favor of lifting the ban.

http://www.fcc.gov/document/commission-relaxes-cable-encryption-prohibition

http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=225922
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post #729 of 1661 Old 11-15-2012, 06:48 AM
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Would someone kindly point me to a thread about the X1 hardware and its capabilities? I’ve been searching for awhile and can only find basic information about the hardware and more in-depth information about the new UI. Specifically, I am looking to see how many tuners (4 or 6), the hard drive size, is external storage permitted, and if whole home extenders such as the 3400-M can access the gateway. I did read about the XI3 coming out, but wonder if any current extenders will work.

I am in the Atlanta area and currently have triple-play with 2 DVRs (1 is MOCA enabled) and 2 extenders. I’m trying to determine if pushing to get the new hardware will provided additional flexibility and/or reduce my costs.
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post #730 of 1661 Old 11-19-2012, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Philly Next for Comcast's X1
November 16, 2012 | Jeff Baumgartner


Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s next-gen video product will soon show up in the company's corporate back yard.

Philadelphia is one of two big Comcast markets on tap to get X1, the company's new hybrid QAM/IP service that integrates Pandora, Facebook and other Web apps and ties it together with a new cloud-based user interface.

Tom Blaxland, the senior director of product management for Xfinity TV, told the Philadelphia Business Journal that the X1 would debut in that market in the coming weeks.

On Comcast's third-quarter call in late October, cable unit President and CEO Neil Smit said X1 was on tap to launch in two "major markets" soon. Comcast has already introduced the product in four markets: Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.; Boston; and Chattanooga, Tenn. Comcast is primarily targeting new triple-play customers with the X1 offering.

Comcast declined to reveal an exact X1 launch date for Philadelphia or the second market Smit had referenced. Philadelphia, though, is part of the MSO's Freedom region, which also includes New Jersey and northern Delaware.

The X1 currently runs on a Pace plc hybrid video gateway outfitted with a Docsis 3.0 cable modem. Future versions are expected to introduce integrated video transcoding and Wi-Fi, making them capable of feeding video to tablets and other devices hanging on the home network. Comcast is also developing the XI3, IP-only HD client that could work in tandem with video gateways.

The X1, the 2012 Leading Lights winner in the Best New Service or Application (Cable) category, is also the first Comcast product to use the company's reference design kit (RDK), a pre-integrated bundle of video software that aims to speed up the product development cycle for hybrid and IP-only video devices.

http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=227179
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post #731 of 1661 Old 11-19-2012, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast's new X1 UI integrates real-time and streaming TV with news and social apps



http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/21/3033972/comcast-ui-platforms-video-news-social-apps
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post #732 of 1661 Old 11-29-2012, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast's IP-Only Set-Top Unveiled

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s first IP-only HD set-top box, dubbed the XI3, took a big step toward deployment after a model made by Humax Co. Ltd. was cleared by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . The FCC filing, first spotted by Wireless Goodness, shows that the device includes HDMI, Ethernet and USB ports along with an SD card slot that could be used for local storage or, as one industry source suggests, as a small live TV buffer.

Comcast declined to discuss its plans for the IP-HD client device, but it's expected to be paired with a primary video gateway (a future version of the X1 gateway is expected to include QAM-to-IP transcoding capabilities) and to eventually support a network DVR that's under development at the MSO.

Comcast plans to source the XI3 fom multiple suppliers. Pace plc is also developing a version of the XI3 based on a Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) chipset that's expected to be deployed sometime in 2013. Click on the image below to start a brief slideshow of the Humax-made device. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s first IP-only HD set-top box, dubbed the XI3, took a big step toward deployment after a model made by Humax Co. Ltd. was cleared by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . The FCC filing, first spotted by Wireless Goodness, shows that the device includes HDMI, Ethernet and USB ports along with an SD card slot that could be used for local storage or, as one industry source suggests, as a small live TV buffer.

Comcast declined to discuss its plans for the IP-HD client device, but it's expected to be paired with a primary video gateway (a future version of the X1 gateway is expected to include QAM-to-IP transcoding capabilities) and to eventually support a network DVR that's under development at the MSO.

Comcast plans to source the XI3 fom multiple suppliers. Pace plc is also developing a version of the XI3 based on a Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) chipset that's expected to be deployed sometime in 2013. Click on the image below to start a brief slideshow of the Humax-made device.



http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=227466
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post #733 of 1661 Old 11-30-2012, 04:38 AM
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And will it come with a defined open IP access standard, so any company such as Tivo can do the same thing?

Based on the comments and FCC filings in this thread, the answer right now is no. I find it very curious that the FCC enforced CableCard for third party device access but has completely rolled over on AllVid and keeps kicking the IP access standard issue down the road.
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post #734 of 1661 Old 12-16-2012, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast's X1 Rolls Into Silicon Valley


Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s X1 platform and its cloud-based navigation system has just rolled into several California markets, marking the first systems west of the Mississippi to get access to Comcast's next-gen video product.

Company SVP and GM of Video Services Marcien Jenckes spread word on the Comcast blog, noting that X1 is now offered in "many of our California markets," including the San Francisco Bay area, Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno and Santa Barbara.

In late October, cable unit President and CEO Neil Smit said X1 would debut in two "major markets" soon. The other is expected to be Philadelphia, Comcast's corporate back yard. Comcast has not announced a launch date, but a company exec told the Philadelphia Business Journal last month that X1 would debut to debut in The City of Brotherly Love in the coming weeks. X1 is still expected to launch in Comcast's Philly region before the end of the year.

In addition to California, Comcast has already launched X1 in four markets: Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.; Boston; and Chattanooga, Tenn.

The X1 service, currently based on a hybrid QAM/IP box made by Pace plc that sports an embedded Docsis 3.0 cable modem, features a new, more visually dynamic cloud-based navigation system, a video recommendation engine, and access to Pandora, Facebook and some news, sports and weather widgets. X1 also supports a remote control app for iOS devices that lets user control the UI using motion and gestures.

Comcast will expand its X1 app lineup as it gets more developers behind the Reference Design Kit (RDK), a pre-integrated software bundle for hybrid and IP-only set-tops, gateways and client boxes. The X1 is the first product to be based on the RDK.

Comcast has not said how many customers are on the X1 product so far, but the MSO is targeting it primarily to new customers who take the company's triple-play bundle. Comcast is still losing video subscribers, but it's been narrowing those losses in recent quarters.

http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=227802
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post #735 of 1661 Old 12-16-2012, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Execs Talk Up X2, Cloud DVR

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s plans for a new IP-capable video gateway and a cloud DVR service were among the topics MSO execs discussed Monday during an internal video broadcast to introduce employees to the company's new corporate branding.

Comcast cable-unit CEO Neil Smit noted during the talk that a new device called the X2 is in testing, "looks fantastic" and will offer more personalization, according to a Twitter user, who confirmed he was privy to the contents of the broadcast. He said Smit also announced plans to launch a Cloud DVR service, calling it a "game changer" for the MSO.

A Comcast spokeswoman confirmed that the X2 came up during the broadcast, but would only say that the product represents an "evolution" of the X1, a hybrid QAM/IP platform with a cloud-based user interface. The X1 has been deployed in five markets.

Comcast has not said much about new network DVRs, though sources told Light Reading Cable in April that the operator is trialing such a product in the Boston area.

A person familiar with X2 developments said it is indeed a revised version of the X1 HD-DVR made by Pace plc that currently uses Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR) chips. The X2 will likely use Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) chips, though it's not clear if Intel and Entropic could also get a piece of that business, or if vendors beyond Pace could supply the box, the source said.

The X1 doesn't offer video transcoding and integrated Wi-Fi to help the gateway distribute to tablets, but those features could make it into the X2. It's also possible that the X2 gateway will work in tandem with the XI3, an IP-only HD client device that's in development.
While a cloud DVR service would reduce set-top capital and possibly give consumers access to their recordings while they're on the go, a person familiar with the project said such a product will also offer Comcast some protection from TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) and its powerful DVR patents.

"TiVo's patents aren't strong on cloud," the source said. TiVo's litigious history is "incenting some MSOs to go to the cloud … where TiVo doesn't have that sort of sway."

http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=227803
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post #736 of 1661 Old 12-16-2012, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Business Services extends fiber network to downtown Houston

Provides access to Ethernet and other telecom services



Comcast Business Services (Nasdaq: CMCSA) on Thursday launched an effort to expand its fiber network in downtown Houston.

When the fiber expansion is completed early next year, it will be able to bring services such as Ethernet and cloud services to over 3,000 small and medium-sized businesses.

This fiber expansion will complement the MSO's earlier effort to bring its cloud-based unified communications (UC) services, including VoiceEdge UC, to the region.

Inside Houston, the service provider's fiber will be routed to various multi-tenant office buildings including Chase Tower, the largest building in the state. Having access to large buildings like Chase means Comcast Business Services will be able to target a large set of potential new customers that are looking for an alternative service provider as they migrate from an existing legacy technology like Frame Relay to Ethernet.

Competition to satisfy the Houston business market for next-gen services has become fierce. Besides incumbent telco AT&T (NYSE: T), Comcast Business will also face Alpheus Communications, a CLEC that has been actively expanding its presence in the Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston (DASH) area.

One thing Comcast Business does have over other competitive carriers is that they own all of their fiber, meaning they can control the speed and experience for their customers versus having to rely on another provider's facilities.

The Houston buildout is part of a broader effort Comcast Business Services, which currently provides Metro Ethernet services in 20 major U.S. markets, is making to expand its fiber footprint and service reach to more potential SMB customers.

Outside of Houston, the MSO has been expanding its fiber network in other major metro markets including Boston and San Mateo, Calif. In Boston, the service provider's fiber build out, including offering 100 Mbps service in the city's Innovation District, helped it win multi-service contracts with both the Boston Red Sox and more recently The Celtics.

http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/comcast-business-services-extends-fiber-network-downtown-houston/2012-12-14
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post #737 of 1661 Old 12-20-2012, 09:31 AM
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LOL, it's going to take them forever to roll out X1 and now they're talking about X2. Comcast and Tivo vie for slowest delivery...
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post #738 of 1661 Old 12-20-2012, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Corp. confirmed that it's begun to deploy a new class of HD Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) with integrated security that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved for use in the fall of 2010. A version made by Motorola Mobility LLC recently passed through the FCC. Comcast won't reveal where the deployment is starting, but "we're at the beginning of a phased deployment that will ultimately go the entire footprint," a spokeswoman says.

http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=228110


Comcast deploys HD DTAs, ponders TR-069


Comcast has started a phased deployment of HD digital transport adapters (HD DTAs) in subscribers’ homes ahead of ultimately having the devices across its entire footprint.

Back in August, Comcast’s Steve Reynolds, senior vice president of CPE and home networking, said the cable operator was in the process of wrapping up a large-scale trial of HD DTAs prior to deploying them in customers’ homes this year.

Reynolds said then that the HD DTAs represented the last piece of its analog-to-digital conversion, which is known internally as “Project Cavalry.” Comcast expects to have the all-digital project wrapped up by the end of next year, which includes the rollout of HD DTAs from vendors such as Pace, Technicolor, Motorola and Evolution Digital. (Evolution Digital’s wall-mounted HD DTA is also attractive to cable operators because it cuts down on theft.)

HD DTAs allow customers to access HD signals without the frills of VOD, pay-per-view or more expensive equipment in the home. By using an HDMI connection, customers can opt for an analog-type viewing experience on their new HDTVs through the use of HD DTAs. In addition to providing a low-cost HD service for subscribers, HD DTAs are also ideal for hospitality, multi-dwelling units, fitness centers, and bar and restaurant deployments.

Comcast spokeswoman Jenni Moyer confirmed that the HD DTA deployments were underway but didn’t provide any additional details.

Moyer also confirmed that Comcast was looking at the TR-069 standard, which is also known as the CPE WAN Management Protocol. Comcast hasn’t deployed TR-069, but, like a lot of other cable operators, it is moving toward it for remote configuration and management of devices.

TR-069 is a standard built around providing better visibility into a home network environment. In order to build troubleshooting apps, the cable industry and its vendors need to align themselves with standards, such as the emerging TR-069. With home networks becoming more complex, tools need to be developed to provide remote status and diagnostics, as well as provide field forces and customer service reps with the information to efficiently diagnose and repair issues. (For more on TR-069, check out CableLabs senior OSS engineer Eduardo Cardona’s presentation and paper from the SCTE Digital Home Symposium.)

The Broadband Forum has developed a TR-069 certification program, which is handled by the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL). The Broadband Forum provides a list of TR-069-certified products.

http://www.cedmagazine.com/blogs/2012/12/comcast-deploys-hd-dtas-ponders-tr-069
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post #739 of 1661 Old 12-21-2012, 11:16 AM
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Has anyone had issues with getting a Panasonic Viera WT50 connecting to the Xfinity Arris Router?
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post #740 of 1661 Old 12-21-2012, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rschuler313 View Post

Has anyone had issues with getting a Panasonic Viera WT50 connecting to the Xfinity Arris Router?

Are you talking about wired or wireless?

No issues here with my older Panny Viera 32" HDTV via an older D-Link D704P hardwire router from my Comcast Arris TM722 HSI and Phone modem ...... BTW, I've rewired the home to eliminate all wireless ......two of my neighbor's homes are alledgedly professional hacker dens (as warned by my friend who knows a guy who knows another gal that works for the Dept of Homeland Security handling the ongoing investigation).

Sometimes newer is not better as many youngsters today playing with the the latest wireless gadgets may eventually discover when they apply for their first car or home loan :-))
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post #741 of 1661 Old 12-22-2012, 07:05 AM
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I have gotten all the issues resolved. It was my fathers new TV and he was working through it with Xfinity(Comcast). I finally took the phone work over and proceeded to overwhelm the worker with questions that he admitted he couldn't answer(IP address to get to router setup page?? how do they not know that). Turns out the Comcast install tech had set the router up as a bridge. We got that fixed and now the TV and BLURAY player are both hooked up to the WiFi. Awesome technology and I will say that there internet speed is impressive, North Coast of Massachusetts.
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post #742 of 1661 Old 12-23-2012, 04:17 AM
 
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You can't simply use a spilter since the DTA is RF only. Going to need an A/B switch which means getting off the couch when I want to switch between locals and cable.
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post #743 of 1661 Old 02-06-2013, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast touts next new upgrade: The TV remote

Sanity, at least as it regards the TV remote control, might be on the way.

Comcast Corp. says that, as part of the X1 upgrade to its interface and channel guide, the company redesigned its TV remote and removed 24 buttons - almost half.

There are now 29 buttons instead of 53. (FiOS has 47.)

X1, being rolled out in individual Comcast markets, among them Philadelphia, Boston, and Atlanta, is the most sweeping change to the Comcast look and functionality since the late 1990s and a seismic shift in how the nation's largest pay-TV operator delivers entertainment.

Most of the action with X1 takes place in the cloud, or on Comcast computer servers, instead of the cable set-top box. Comcast says the cloud-based system allows it to constantly add features and to tinker with X1's Internet functionality without having to swap out set-top boxes - which can take years and many millions of dollars.

Internally, Comcast officials are calling X1 an "entertainment operating system."

The new X1 set-top box, meanwhile, is mostly a souped-up DVR, or digital-video recorder, that can store 300 hours of standard-definition video and 60 hours of high-definition video.

"This is a reinvention of the way we deliver our services to consumers," said Marcien Jenckes, senior vice president and general manager of video services for Comcast Cable, who recently showed off X1 at the Comcast Center.

"This is what nobody else can do," he said. "Our ability to deliver a two-way connection to a television is a major competitive advantage."

Jenckes was referring to the cable industry's advantage over satellite-TV providers, such as DirecTV and Dish, in that cable companies offer television and Internet.

Comcast says that X1 will be easy to use and that it conducted more than 100 tests and focus groups with employees and customers, similar to a consumer-products company developing a new laundry detergent or candy bar.

About 400 employees have been involved in the X1 project since 2009 in Philadelphia, Radnor, Denver, and northern California. One of those employees visited 60 subscriber homes to talk about X1 and how people used it.

Even Comcast chief executive officer Brian Roberts had a part. He said he liked the Rotten Tomatoes website - known as a film-review aggregator - and developers included its ratings in the X1 guide.

With the remote, Comcast removed buttons that weren't regularly used and combined several functions into one Xfinity button. Xfinity is how Comcast brands its TV and Internet services.

In addition to fewer buttons, Comcast's updated remote is slimmer. The company says it did ergonomic studies to come up with the shape.

X1 will be available to new Comcast triple-play subscribers - those who take cable-TV, Internet, and phone services - and customers upgrading to triple-play packages. Comcast plans to make X1 more broadly available over time.

Tom Blaxland, senior director of video products, demonstrated X1 and whizzed through what it could do. Excited, he said, "When we want to launch a new feature, we can change it on the server and do it overnight."

http://articles.philly.com/2013-01-19/business/36417596_1_marcien-jenckes-xfinity-comcast-plans
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post #744 of 1661 Old 02-06-2013, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast to Take $150M Stake in Arris With Motorola Home Deal

MSO and Google to Each Hold 7.85% Stake in Arris
By: Todd Spangler Jan 14 2013 - 5:06pm

In a four-way transaction, Arris Group said it will sell Comcast approximately $150 million in stock in connection with Arris’s proposed $2.35 billion deal for Motorola Mobility's Home business with Google -- which will result in the cable company and Google each owning about 7.85% of Arris.

Arris will issue 10.6 million shares of common stock issued to Comcast. That will reduce on a share-for-share basis the number of shares of Arris stock to be issued to Google, while simultaneously increasing the cash to be paid to Google by $150 million, Arris said.

As a result of the sale to Comcast, Comcast and Google will each own approximately 7.85% of the outstanding Arris shares post-closing based on Arris’s current capitalization. Neither Comcast nor Google will have a board seat with Arris; under the original terms, Google wasn't going to have board representation either.

Comcast is Arris's largest single customer -- representing 33%, or $117.7 million, of Arris revenue for the third quarter of 2012 -- and with the addition of the Motorola Home set-top and video assets, the vendor will cover video, broadband and voice software and equipment.

"We are very pleased that Comcast has agreed to make this significant investment in Arris," Arris chairman and CEO Bob Stanzione said in a statement. "We believe this investment by one of our largest customers is a strong indication of customer support for the Motorola Home acquisition and its potential to accelerate innovation to the benefit of the industry and consumers."

If Arris had not opted to sell the stake to Comcast, Google would have held about 15.7% of Arris under the terms of the original agreement.

Neither the total amount of consideration paid by Arris for Motorola Home, nor the total amount of shares to be issued by Arris (now to Google and Comcast) will change as a result of this investment by Comcast.

The issuance of the shares to Comcast is conditioned on the closing of the Motorola Home acquisition and other customary conditions, Arris said. Arris’s acquisition of Motorola Home is expected to close by the second quarter of 2013, pending regulatory review.

Qatalyst Partners LP is acting as the lead financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is acting as lead legal counsel to Comcast on this transaction. Evercore Partners is acting as lead financial advisor and Troutman Sanders is acting as lead legal counsel to Arris on this transaction; Bank of America Merrill Lynch also is advising the vendor.

On Google’s side, Barclays is acting as financial advisor and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is acting as legal counsel.

http://www.multichannel.com/cable-operators/comcast-take-150m-stake-arris-motorola-home-deal/141214
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post #745 of 1661 Old 02-27-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast's 'X2' to Get Personal With the TV]


LAS VEGAS -- NCTC Winter Educational Conference (WEC) -- Comcast Corp. is adding enhancements to its cloud-based guide that will deliver personalized recommendations based on viewing habits and other data.

The product under development, internally referred to as "X2," will offer a "stronger editorial voice throughout the guide," said Rachel Lee, Comcast's senior director of product management, here Monday on a panel dedicated to cable's evolving video gateway strategy. The X2 will also use recommendations to assemble "collections" of video content based on customer interests.

Lee didn't say when Comcast intends to launch these enhancements, but the operator has dedicated a sizeable engineering team to the latest version of the cloud-based guide. "We're pretty far into development," she said. "It's a … significant effort."

It's unlikely that Comcast will use the X2 label to promote the features that will grace the upcoming version of its cloud-based guide. Comcast is already marketing its new IP-capable video product under the X1 banner. Comcast has launched X1 in seven markets: Colorado Springs, Colo.; Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.; Boston; Chattanooga, Tenn.; San Francisco; and the Philadelphia area. Comcast is expected to launch X1 to the majority of its footprint this year. (See Comcast's X1 Comes to Colorado.)

Lee told Light Reading Cable that the enhanced, more personalized X2 guide is made to run on devices that support the first iteration Comcast's cloud-based guide. For now, that includes the Pace plc-made XG1 HD-DVR and the RNG150N client box. Comcast is also developing an all-IP HD client box called the Xi3 and a "headless" gateway called the XG5.

Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit referenced the X2 in an internal video broadcast late last year, noting that it would offer more personalization. At the time, Comcast would only confirm that the X2 represented an "evolution" of the X1 platform.

Comcast hasn't announced its vendor partners for the X2's recommendation engine, but one candidate is ThinkAnalytics Ltd., a Scotland-based vendor that generates unique preference profiles on set-tops, tablets, smartphones and PCs by mining metadata and tracking usage patterns.

ThinkAnalytics, by the way, is the first recommendation engine vendor to secure a license for the Comcast Reference Design Kit (RDK), an integrated software bundle for the MSO's hybrid QAM/IP and IP-only set-top boxes. Boxes that run the X1 are the first products to incorporate Comcast's RDK.

Some of ThinkAnalytics's announced customers include Liberty Global Inc., Cox Communications Inc., Swisscom AG and Virgin Media Inc. . At last check, the vendor had deals with more than 40 customers and 100 million licensed subscribers.

http://www.lightreading.com/middleware-business-support-systems/comcasts-x2-to-get-personal-with-the-tv/240149445
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post #746 of 1661 Old 02-28-2013, 04:49 PM
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Am I weird because I think that Comcast's current remote is secondly only to the Peanut?
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post #747 of 1661 Old 02-28-2013, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually I like Comcast's current remote. Although it is limited in not having a learning function it is quite programmable because you an program the keys to do functions (as long as you know the correct code for the function).
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post #748 of 1661 Old 03-02-2013, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast recruiting architect to build network DVR

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is building a network, or cloud-based DVR, that will be integrated with its new Xfinity X1 service, according to a job listing it posted last week.

"TVX is fundamentally changing the definition of digital video recorders by setting up virtual recording and storage in the cloud. This is being integrated with the revolutionary Xfinity TV X1 platform and mobile devices as part of creating an end-to-end IP video infrastructure supporting a wide suite of next-generation, interactive media products," Comcast wrote in the job listing for an operations architect.

It's not clear if TVX is a brand that Comcast will use for the network DVR or if it is a name the company is using internally. Comcast spokesman Peter Dobrow declined to comment.

Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) was the first U.S. cable operator to launch a network-based DVR in 2011. The MSO has said its Optimum DVR will allow it to reduce capital spending on physical DVRs and increase penetration for DVR service since the product is available to any subscriber with a digital set-top.

Comcast unveiled the blueprint for a network DVR in a patent application it filed last year. The patent application, titled "Content Archive Model," details how subscribers would be assigned both "active" and "archive" storage space on a network DVR, and how the device may be able to move programs from archive servers to active servers based on demand and the viewing habits of subscribers. "A user may be granted 16 GB of storage in the active storage, and another 256 GB of storage in the archive storage," Comcast wrote in the patent application.

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) have also filed patent applications for technology related to network, or cloud-based DVRs.

Comcast launched the cloud-based Xfinity X1 service last May in Boston. The product is available in several major markets including San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia and New Jersey. Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit told analysts on the company's fourth quarter earnings call earlier this month that Comcast will expand X1 to all of its cable systems nationwide this year.

By integrating a cloud-based DVR with X1, Comcast may be able to increase DVR penetration and reduce spending on physical DVRs. The product could also help it compete with DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV), Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) and other rivals.

According to the job listing Comcast posted on Feb. 20, the architect for the cloud-based DVR would be based in Philadelphia. Executives applying for the job should have at least 15 years of experience in Java development, Web service architecture, messaging architecture and data storage design, Comcast said.

Update: Toronto-based QuickPlay Media, which is demonstrating network DVR technology at the Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona this week, filed a trademark application for the brand TVX on Feb. 15. QuickPlay spokeswoman Amy Peterson told FierceCable that the TVX trademark application is tied to to a product the company plans to launch next month, but that the TVX trademark filing isn't related to Comcast's product. QuickPlay's customers include AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless and Canadian cable MSO Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI).

http://www.fiercecable.com/story/comcast-recruiting-architect-build-network-dvr/2013-02-26
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post #749 of 1661 Old 03-02-2013, 06:18 PM
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If they want to do a cloud DVR, they are going to need a lot of bandwidth, as so much of viewing will be delivered as On-Demand streams. If they went to 1ghz, MPEG-4, and SDV with small nodes, they could pull it off. At that point, you're basically looking at everything being individual streams to individual users, and you can offer an unlimited number of channels.
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post #750 of 1661 Old 03-10-2013, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast CSR Provides Perspective On Why People Hate The Company

When we hear stories of inept or insufficient customer service, we often wonder whether it’s a case of a bad employee not willing to listen to the customer, or if it’s an unfortunate staffer being shackled by a system that treats the customer like a necessary evil. According to one billing and tech support rep for Comcast, it’s a bit of both.

Jane, who is actually employed by a third-party company hired by Comcast to provide phone-based support to customers, tells Consumerist that even though she was given a month of training before being tossed into the lion’s den to deal with customers, “most of the training focused on up-selling and less on troubleshooting and billing.”

She claims that she was not tested or required to demonstrate she could actually do the job; she was merely put on a 90-day probation period to start.

“You could literally lay in bed and fall asleep every day of training as an at-home worker and not be worried that you would get fired during that time,” writes Jane. “All you had to do was show up and you would get paid.”

That being said, Jane explains that just because a phone CSR can get away with being lazy, doesn’t mean he or she should. She also says that both her employer and Comcast provide a materials to support her and her fellow reps during customer calls.

“We have an internal search engine for most problems and a troubleshooting wizard to help us figure out the issue,” she tells Consumerist. “It’s really pot luck if you get a good rep or a bad one because it’s basically up to the rep to want to go above and beyond his/her job.”

The problem is, explains Jane, that phone reps tend to ignore most of that helpful material because they are more concerned with their metrics, especially with regard to how quickly they can get the customer off the phone.

“We generally try to take the fastest route available to get the customer off the phone unless we can up-sell,” she says.

Jane says there are periodic brush-up training sessions, but they’re “a joke… Training is 30 minutes to an hour a week and it’s self-paced with no monitoring.”

As for incentives, she explains that there are certain small benefits to satisfying certain goals, but these minor boosts “are not enough to make a representative go above and beyond,” says Jane. “When you get paid $9/hour to have someone use you as a punching bag those incentives make it hard to care about the customer.”

Making matters worse for everyone is the revolving-door nature of the work. Jane says she sees a steady stream of new blood coming in every month, with just as many people heading for the exits.

“It’s not a job you stay at very long,” she writes, “mostly because of the burnout from having 50-60 people scream at you on a daily basis.”

Part of that reason is the overly complicated software the phone CSRs must deal with on a daily basis.

“Every day I have to log into 9 different programs manually and juggle between them to solve an issue,” says Jane, who explains that the main program used for making changes to billing information, programming packages, issuing credits, scheduling installs, and making internal notes, uses so many complex codes and abbreviations that some people never fully get it. “I know some reps who have been on the floor for two years and still don’t have a handle on it. Anyone with common sense can look at the software and tell you that it needs to be simplified and that it can be simplified.”

Jane admits that her co-workers, both on the phone and the techs in the field, are not always doing their best to help customers.

“I had a customer call in 5 times because her cable service was not working,” she recalls. “I checked the internal notes to verify that the customer did indeed call in 5 times to get the problem resolved. Amazingly all it took for me to solve the customers issue was to ask her to change the channel to 03 on the television remote. I was embarrassed that the previous four reps did not try this simple troubleshooting step.”

And then there are the install techs and their destruction-happy ways.

“I’ve had calls where a Comcast technician would come out to a home to do a install and the tech would cause thousands of dollars in damage to a home,” she tells Consumerist. “I’ve also had calls were a customer stated that a technician was being verbally abusive to them. This was an elderly disabled person customer who apparently always got the same technician to come out to his home to do a repair.”

And Jane says that employees are sometimes getting bad advice from the people being paid to help them.

“We have mentors we can go to for guidance on questions while on a call,” she explains. “Some of these mentors have only been working for the company for a month. Sometimes it’s not the rep giving out the bad information, it’s the person the rep goes to for an answer.”

Jane says that on a number of occasions she’s ignored the advice of her mentor.

“For example, a customer calls in asking why she has not received her new cable box in the mail yet,” she recalls. “The customer has waited almost a month for it. In the system we see no tracking information and I find out it was an error in the ordering process. I ask how we should proceed with this. The mentor says to charge them again for sending out the cable box. I ask can we waive the shipping fee and expedite it. He says no, even while knowing it was OUR fault the issue happened.”

So instead of listening to her mentor, Jane simply sent out the equipment overnight to the customer and credited the account.

She summarizes, “It does make it very hard to empathize with a customer when you get yelled at 8 hours a day, but I don’t think that would prevent a rep from helping a customer. It’s not a job you can enjoy doing for long even if you enjoy helping others solve problems. At the end of the day this is one of those jobs that if they fired me I would throw a party.”

http://consumerist.com/2013/03/08/comcast-csr-provides-perspective-on-why-people-hate-the-company/
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