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post #841 of 870 Old 05-04-2014, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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EA nearing deal to stream games via Comcast

By James Brightman

Sat 03 May 2014 12:58am GMT / 8:58pm EDT / 5:58pm PDT
BusinessOnlinePublishing

A Reuters report indicates that Comcast and EA have been testing the service for the past two years

In a move that would significantly expand EA's potential customer base, the publisher is reportedly close to finalizing a deal with telecom giant Comcast. EA would stream its video games on X1, Comcast's operating system featuring internet applications, viewing recommendations and voice control.

Not only would the deal give EA access to Comcast's 22 million users, but it also would represent a rather big jump into video games for the cable firm. "If the agreement goes through, it would mark the boldest step yet by a cable company to muscle into the territory of leading video-game console manufacturers such as Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp," Reuters noted in its report.

EA and Comcast have been testing out the service, and the aim is to make purchasing video games as easy as ordering a movie on pay-per-view. If the Comcast merger with Time Warner Cable also goes through, it could make this EA partnership even more important.

While the AAA console industry is off to a good start with the Xbox One and PS4, there are more and more avenues for publishers to take with their portfolios. It makes perfect sense for EA to consider Comcast, Amazon, Apple or anything else. Likewise, Comcast and other cable firms are facing increasing pressure from internet-connected devices like consoles, Apple TV, Fire TV and more. Leveraging EA's games is a step in the right direction for Comcast.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-05-03-ea-nearing-deal-to-stream-games-via-comcast-report
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post #842 of 870 Old 05-06-2014, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Goes Wide With X1 Upgrade
Refreshed UI Becomes The De Facto Experience For All X1 Subs 5/06/2014 11:00 AM Eastern
By: Jeff Baumgartner

Comcast said it will begin to automatically migrate all of its X1 subscribers to an upgraded, more personalized version of its cloud-based video interface this week.

Earlier this year, Comcast began to deploy the next-gen UI, which had been carrying the “X2” label internally, as the de facto platform for all new X1 subs, but had been allowing existing X1 customers to continue using the original interface or opt-in for the new version.

Under the plan getting underway this week, Comcast is saying goodbye to the legacy X1 guide and making the new, upgraded version its standard, de facto offering for all X1 customers.

Comcast has rolled out its X1 platform in all its systems, but has not announced how many of its 22.6 million video customers are on it. However, the MSO did say that it’s deploying the platform aggressively at a rate of nearly 20,000 boxes per day.

During the initial phase of deployment, Comcast has been pitching X1 to new and existing triple-play customers, but will soon look to accelerate the platform’s reach by extending it to double-play customers as well, Matt Strauss, Comcast Cable’s senior vice president and general manager, video services, said at last week’s Cable Show in Los Angeles (subscription required).

At last week’s show, Comcast announced several features that will be coming to X1 soon, including Instant On Demand, which will allow subscribers to restart select shows that are already in progress, and Share To TV, an app that will lets triple-play subs live stream personal video from their mobile devices via the Internet to TVs that are connected to the X1 platform.

In Los Angeles, Comcast execs showed off a new X1 capability introduced last month that uses consumer usage information to tell viewers which live shows and VOD titles are trending. On the live TV side, the new Trending Guide taps Twitter data to alert viewers to shows that are buzzing on the social network. Comcast may tweak how those alerts are presented, but early on, the economic Twitter bird appear next to shows that are trending. The MSO is also using set-top data to create a list of the most popular on-demand shows and movies.

Comcast is also inching toward the deployment of the Xi3, a small, all-IP HD client device that works in tandem with the primary, multi-tuner XG1 HD-DVR box. At the show, Strauss said Comcast is testing the Xi3 (it showed a model made by U.K.-based set-top maker Pace at the Los Angeles event), and is targeting deployments by the second half of the year, the Comcast exec said, noting that the MSO is also developing the Xi4, a smaller version of the client device.

And other features are reportedly heading to the X1 platform. Reuters reported this week that Comcast and Electronic Arts are nearing a deal that will allow the MSO to offer console-quality games on X1 set-tops.

Comcast declined to comment on the report, but Reuters said the agreement would cover titles from EA’s popular FIFA and Madden franchises.

As reported by Multichannel News last August, Comcast has been testing a set-top-box-based gaming service fed by Origin, EA’s Web-based game delivery service, with select X1 customers. For that test, Comcast developed an iPad app that turns the tablet into a game controller.

http://www.multichannel.com/news/technology/comcast-goes-wide-x1-upgrade/374371
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post #843 of 870 Old 05-20-2014, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast’s Cloud DVR Rolls Into More Markets
Expands To Southern Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. 5/08/2014 11:30 AM Eastern
By: Jeff Baumgartner

New cloud-focused features for Comcast's IP-capable X1 platform have touched down in a handful of east coast markets

Following earlier launches in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and northern Delaware, Comcast said it has expanded the deployment of its cloud DVR and in-home multiscreen live TV streaming feature to new Xfinity TV subs in southern Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The cloud DVR service, which run on Comcast’s IP-capable X1 platform, also support a “check-out” feature that lets customers download recorded shows for playback on mobile devices and PCs via its new Xfinity TV app. Under Comcast’s currently policy for the feature, customers can download recorded shows to as many as dive devices, and download up to 10 individual recordings per device.

The cloud-powered live TV piece allows X1 subs to stream the bulk of the traditional lineup to smartphones, tablets and Web browsers, but limits access to within reach of the customer's home network. Comcast also offers a subset of live TV channels in and out of the home through its authenticated Xfinity TV Go app.

"We are continuing to give customers a more personalized viewing experience and provide them with a range of ways to enjoy their favorite programs anywhere, anytime," said Tom Coughlin, senior vice president for Comcast’s Beltway Region. "The cloud technology and in-home TV streaming is a natural extension of our X1 entertainment operating system and one more way Comcast is adding value for customers through groundbreaking product innovations,” said Tom Coughlin, SVP for Comcast’s Beltway Region, in a statement.

Comcast said it plans to roll these new cloud-based features to more markets throughout the year. It’s believed that Chicago is among the next on that list.

At last week’s Cable Show in Los Angeles, Matt Strauss, Comcast Cable’s senior VP and GM, video services, said in-home live TV streaming is also available to X1 customers in the San Francisco Bay area, but that the operator had yet to introduce the cloud DVR service in that market.

On Tuesday (May 6), Comcast announced that it is starting to automatically upgrade all of its X1 subscribers to an updated, more personalized version of its cloud-based video interface/navigation system.

Comcast has rolled out its X1 platform in all its cable systems, but has not announced how many of its 22.6 million video customers are on it. However, the MSO did note that it’s currently deploying nearly 20,000 X1 boxes per day.


http://www.multichannel.com/news/tv-apps/comcast-s-cloud-dvr-rolls-more-markets/374429
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post #844 of 870 Old 05-21-2014, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I live in Montgomery County, MD and I just got the cloud add on for my X1 DVR. No additional equipment needed for the cloud service. I can now get live TV (all channels) along with recorded programs on my computer and my Smartphone (with the Xfinity TV app which is designed for cloud use).
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post #845 of 870 Old 05-21-2014, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

I live in Montgomery County, MD and I just got the cloud add on for my X1 DVR. No additional equipment needed for the cloud service. I can now get live TV (all channels) along with recorded programs on my computer and my Smartphone (with the Xfinity TV app which is designed for cloud use).
Is there fast forward and rewind capability on the recorded content played back via the computer?
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post #846 of 870 Old 05-21-2014, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by keenan View Post

Is there fast forward and rewind capability on the recorded content played back via the computer?

On recorded material their is a slider bar (showing a time index) at the bottom and you can move it to anywhere you want on the recorded material.

https://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/x1-dvr-cloud-technology-general-faqs/


X1 DVR with Cloud Technology - General FAQs

Updated on April 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM


The X1 DVR with cloud technology is a new DVR that functions like a regular DVR, but also includes new features like streaming recordings to mobile devices and computers and downloading recordings to mobile devices in the home.

Note: X1 DVR with cloud technology is available only to a limited number of customers in select Comcast areas at this time.
Frequently Asked Questions

What is X1 DVR with cloud technology?
The X1 DVR with cloud technology is a DVR that includes new features like the ability to record programs in the "cloud," then stream the recordings to mobile devices and computers while in the home. In addition, customers can download DVR recordings to mobile devices to watch anywhere.

Where is X1 DVR with cloud technology available now?
X1 DVR with cloud technology is available only to a limited number of customers in select Comcast areas at this time.

Who is eligible for the new X1 DVR with cloud technology?
All X1 Platform customers with DVR service in launched areas are eligible.

Will the new X1 DVR with cloud technology be available to existing X1 customers with DVR service?
Yes, in markets where the new service is launched, existing X1 customers with DVR service will be able to upgrade to X1 DVR with cloud technology but will need to request the new functionality. Additional charges will apply to all X1 customers that do not currently subscribe to AnyRoom DVR service.

How can customers access content using X1 DVR with cloud technology? What devices are supported?
DVR recordings can be accessed on mobile devices with the XFINITY TV app or on a home computer by going to the XFINITY TV site. The XFINITY TV app is currently available for iOS devices running 7.0 or later and Android devices 4.0 or higher.

Why aren’t all customers able to log into the XFINITY TV app?
The X1 DVR with cloud technology may not be available in all areas; customers will be notified when X1 DVR with cloud technology becomes available.
Existing customers with X1 DVR service upgrading to the new X1 DVR with cloud technology:
Will customers lose the recordings currently saved on their X1 DVR?
Existing recordings will remain available on the customer's TV set, but will not be available for playback or download on mobile devices or computers.

Will customers lose scheduled recordings?
The system will automatically begin recording scheduled shows to the existing X1 DVR.

Does the functionality enabled by X1 DVR with cloud technology count against the XFINITY Internet data usage threshold?
Using the X1 DVR with cloud technology feature won’t count against the Internet data usage threshold. This feature is not delivered over the Internet but through the customer’s in-home XFINITY WiFi network.
Existing customers with X1 DVR with cloud technology:
Can a customer take their cloud recordings with them if they move or transfer service?
Unfortunately, customers cannot currently transfer recordings to a new service address.

What devices are supported?
The product is currently available for viewing on PC, Macs, iOS devices and Android devices.

Minimum System Requirements

XFINITY TV site minimum system requirements:

Windows:
Windows 7+, Windows 8 (Desktop mode)
3GHz Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon 3400+ or faster processor
128MB of RAM
64MB of graphics memory

MAC OS:
OS X 10.7+
1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster processor
256MB of RAM
64MB of graphics memory

Supported Browsers:
Internet Explorer 9+
Firefox 24+
Chrome 31+
Safari 5.1.10+

Additional Requirements:
Adobe Flash Player 11.8+
JavaScript enabled
Cookies enabled


XFINITY TV app system requirements:

iOS:
Requires iOS 7.0 or later
Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Optimized for iPhone 5

Android:
Available on all devices 4.0 or higher
Note: You must have Android 4.0 or higher in order to find and download the XFINITY TV app in the Google Play store.
Not available on Kindle Fire devices
l
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post #847 of 870 Old 05-22-2014, 03:34 PM
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Thanks, I may have to check out the X1 once the cloud functionality of it reaches the SF market.
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post #848 of 870 Old 05-23-2014, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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It appears Music Choice is being added to the HD DTA channels selection. It's a somewhat slow process for it to be added (two of my three HD DTAs now have it). You may be able to speed up the process a bit if it is available by unplugging the DTA for about 30 seconds. This forces a reload of the available channels.
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post #849 of 870 Old 06-13-2014, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast's video streaming service will be in testing by end of year

Service thought to be YouTube clone won't focus on user generated content

An article from Gigaom suggests that Comcast is looking to test its streaming platform by the end of the year. The idea of a Comcast streaming service was rumored to be under development by the company in March, but few details have been released since then. Comcast is looking to bring more focused content, hoping to retain audience attention with a variety of channels they already have rights to.
Comcast's Senior Vice President of Video Matt Strauss told the publication that the streaming service would undergo "limited tests" before the end of the year. While it was originally thought to be a competitor with YouTube, the service won't focus on user-generated content at first.

The service would still bear some similarities to YouTube, as users would be able to upload videos to the service. Viewers could then view the content through Comcast's X1 set-top box. Strauss made no offering of which types of content would be involved in the first round of testing.

However, he did mention than Comcast could offer a monetization path in the future for content creators. Strauss said that Comcast is still looking into the options it could provide. This would suggest that Comcast does intend to offer a rival service to YouTube, but it is hard to tell at this point until Comcast announces the type of content that will be offered.

It appears that Comcast is looking at offering a more curated video service than YouTube's random approach. Comcast will be looking at niche audiences and the type of content they watch to help reduce people turning away from their services. In offering different, more focused types of content, Comcast is hoping to serve markets that are traditionally ignored by cable channels.

A Comcast executive spoke to Business Insider, denying that the service would be any sort of "YouTube killer." Instead, they confirmed that it would be looking to offer professional-curated content.

"We're looking at how to bring online video to the X1 platform," said the anonymous source.

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post #850 of 870 Old 06-13-2014, 10:56 AM
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PaulGo, Thanks for the continued updates. I wonder if I can call and ask for the X2 set up? I love what they are trying to do with the X1 but is seems that there are so many bugs still out there on the AVS and Comcast X1 forums. That is the single reason I have not upgraded.
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post #851 of 870 Old 06-13-2014, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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PaulGo, Thanks for the continued updates. I wonder if I can call and ask for the X2 set up? I love what they are trying to do with the X1 but is seems that there are so many bugs still out there on the AVS and Comcast X1 forums. That is the single reason I have not upgraded.
The hardware for the X1 and X2 platforms is the same. The latest firmware / software in my area I believe is X2. Is it less buggy than X1? It's an evolutionary process. I would say that each update resolves some bugs and possibly introduces others that need to be resolved. For me I currently have no prooblems with non-dvr Pace boxes except when you press the channel number their is a noticable lag before the channel number appears on the screen (a few seconds). I have one of these Pace boxes going through a Sony HDMI receiver and it correctly recognizes the surround sound setting. The Motorola X1 STB for me still has some bugs. I like to shut off the STB when it is not used, however this, after two shutdowns causes the STB to lock into the 720p mode (it goes through a Pioneer HDMI receiver) which cannot be changed until a reboot of the STB. For me the temporary solution is to leave the DVR STB on (no problems shutting down the Pace boxes). All in all I am happy with the X1 / X2 platform - also in my area I have the cloud DVR storage function which is nice since it allow me to watch all content (live TV, VOD and recorded content) on my Android phones and my two computers.
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post #852 of 870 Old 06-29-2014, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Tests Self-Install Kit For X1

New Option Could Help MSO Accelerate Deployment Of Next-Gen Platform 6/27/2014 4:00 PM Eastern

By: Jeff Baumgartner
If successful, a new self-install option for X1 could help Comcast accelerate the deployment of its next-gen, IP-capable video platform

In a move that might accelerate the deployment of its IP-capable video platform, Comcast is testing a self-install kit for X1 in select markets, with expectations that it will launch the option more broadly later this summer.

Comcast declined to identify all of the areas where it’s testing the new kit, but an official said employee trials got underway in February, and customer tests starting just recently.

Comcast offers X1 in all its systems and has been targeting it primarily to triple-play customers, but hasn’t said how many of its 22.6 million video customers are on it. Earlier this year, the operator said it was deploying the platform aggressively, at a rate of nearly 20,000 X1 boxes per day.

A self-install option could help Comcast expand the reach of X1 more rapidly, as the MSO has previously touted that the platform has resulted in improved churn, increased VOD usage and general “double-digit returns,” and is setting plans to have X1 reach the majority of its customer base over the next few years.

According to avideo about the self-install option for X1, the kit includes set-up instructions, the X1 set-top, a power cord, remote control, two coax cables, and a six-foot HDMI cable. Once customers follow connectivity instructions, the customers must follow some on-screen instructions to activate service on the device. Comcast has also posted some info about the X1 self-install kit on its online customer forum.

And a shift to more self-install kits for X1 should reduce costly installation truck rolls. According to people familiar with the trials, Comcast has also set up a system to determine if the a technician would need to do some preparatory infrastructure work outside the customer’s home after a self-install kit is requested. That work, for example, could entail the checking of signal levels to ensure that they are acceptable for the X1 platform, or other activities outside the home that would not require the customer to be present.

http://www.multichannel.com/news/tec...-kit-x1/375443
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post #853 of 870 Old 06-29-2014, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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post #854 of 870 Old 07-08-2014, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast's neighborhood hotspots may raise customers' electric bills $23 per year, Connectify says

June 29, 2014 | By Tammy Parker

A few folks find Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) policy of using Xfinity Wi-Fi residential and business routers to create neighborhood hotspots alarming and worry about potential privacy issues from putting a second SSID for the public on a router. But Connectify alleges it has found something else that should concern Xfinity customers: the extra power consumption, and potentially higher utility bills, that these devices engender.

Comcast has indicated that it costs subscribers nothing extra on their Xfinity bills to install and use routers that enable public Wi-Fi access as well as private access. However, Connectify contends the public's use of these hotspots will raise their hosts' electric bills.

"Based on our tests, we expect that by the time they roll it out to all of their subscribers, Comcast will be pushing tens of millions of dollars per month of the electricity bills needed to run their nationwide public Wi-Fi network onto consumers," Connectify said in a blog post on its Speedify website.

Connectify, which markets an application and service that bonds Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE and wired channels for greater bandwidth and faster connections, came to its conclusions regarding the extra power consumption by testing what it described as the standard Xfinity Hotspot setup for use in an office. The equipment sent to Connectify by Comcast included a Cisco DPC3008 cable modem and BelAir 20E Wi-Fi router, which broadcasts the Xfinity public hotspot.

In an experiment, Connectify connected two Microsoft Windows laptops to the Xfinity hotspot, with one streaming Netflix and the other downloading files. "You could immediately see the difference in the power meter, as the devices jumped from 0.14 Amps when idle, up to 0.22 Amps when actually being used," the company said.
Connectify used the average cost of power in the Mid-Atlantic, which it said is $0.162 per kilowatt-hour, to calculate how much hosting a Xfinity Hotspot might cost a residential or business customer in terms of electric utility charges. Connectify said that in Philadelphia, where it is based, the cost could run up to $22.80 per year, or $1.90 per month.

Connectify initiated a change.org petition "to demand that Comcast offers increased Internet speeds to compensate their customers who are footing this bill for them." The company contends that at Comcast's going rate of $0.25 per one Mbps, anyone that hosts an Xfinity Home Wi-Fi Hotspot should get about 7.6 Mbps of extra speed in exchange.

On the petition site, Connectify wrote: "With the new public hotspots projected to be in millions of homes by the end of 2014, that translates to customers footing a bill upwards of $40,000,000 to roll out Comcast's public Wi-Fi network."

Notably, Connectify's allegations emerged the same week that the Society of Cable Television engineers, in league with Comcast and other cable operators, announced Energy 2020, a plan to develop new standards, technology, solutions and training to significantly cut the energy use and cost of cable networks by 2020.
Meanwhile, others remain concerned about security issues surrounding Comcast's neighborhood hotspot plan, particularly with regard to potential man-in-the-middle attacks. Ars Technica recently noted that an attacker could easily spoof both the "xfinitywifi" SSID and the Xfinity login page to get Xfinity credentials from devices set to automatically log into Xfinity public hotspots.

"By the way, those Xfinity Wi-Fi login credentials? They're the same set of credentials used to gain access to Comcast customers' account billing information, webmail, and other services," Ars Technica noted.

Similarly, Network World specified how a Wi-Fi Pineapple hacking tool would be used to create "hot-spot honeypots" targeting Xfinity users.


http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/s...r-c/2014-06-29
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post #855 of 870 Old 07-09-2014, 06:36 AM
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What that article fails to recognize is that Comcast no longer requires, nor even allows, logging into xfinitywifi or CableWifi hotspots with username and password every time you reconnect; connect once, get validated with the username and password of a Comcast account, and the system logs your device's MAC address and will log you in automatically after that; there's no opting out of that any more.  (Downside: if a device is lost, stolen, sold, or given away, the previous user has to phone Comcast's customer service to get its MAC address taken off the account.  Unfortunately, that can't be done by the customer.)  So if you subsequently come across a hotspot whose SSID is "xfinitywifi" or "CableWifi" but it asks for your login credentials, you'll know it's a fake.

When the xfinitywifi network first started, someone in a post I read somewhere recommended adding an unprivileged username to one's Comcast account, with no access for changing anything but its own password, and using it for logging into Comcast's public hotspots.  What I'm doing now is that when I get a new device, I add a new username to my Comcast account, log the device into the xfinitywifi network at my own modem's hotspot, and delete the temporary username.  The device's MAC address remains on record and it still can use xfinitywifi and CableWifi hotspots.

Two-factor authentication would probably be the best answer of all, no doubt.
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post #856 of 870 Old 07-09-2014, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post
Comcast's neighborhood hotspots may raise customers' electric bills $23 per year, Connectify says
Not just hotspots, but cable TV boxes are becoming the second largest use of electricity in a home...bad enough to pay and arm & leg monthly for the cable bill, but now you're paying more to the electric company!

Full Story

Quote:
The seemingly innocuous appliances — all 224 million of them across the nation — together consume as much electricity as produced by four giant nuclear reactors, running around the clock. They have become the biggest single energy user in many homes, apart from air conditioning.


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post #857 of 870 Old 07-09-2014, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Not just hotspots, but cable TV boxes are becoming the second largest use of electricity in a home...bad enough to pay and arm & leg monthly for the cable bill, but now you're paying more to the electric company!

Full Story
The new Comcast set top boxes are Energy Star certified and use a lot less energy. The 2017 Energy Star specifications are for even substantially less energy that todays standards. The older boxes are real energy hogs and can some of them can use as much energy as a refrigerator. I urge anyone with an older Comcast box to go to their Comcast office and trade it in for a newer box such as the DCX series or the RNG 150 or RNG 200 series. Another option is the new X1 boxes. The energy saving will be substantial. Also the new HD-DTA boxes are energy efficient.
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post #858 of 870 Old 07-09-2014, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Trials Its 'Super DVR'

There's a new DVR service in town.


Not content to let Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) soak up all the DVR glory, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is now trialing a "Super DVR" service that lets users record and watch up to 15 programs at the same time. TV ads for the service were spotted in select cities back in May and reported by users on the DSLReports forums.


Since then Multichannel News has confirmed (subscription required) that Comcast is piloting its Super DVR in the northeastern regions of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
While Comcast is marketing the Super DVR as something new, it appears that the branded service is really only a way of highlighting to consumers that they can hook three X1 set-tops together to maximize tuning and recording capacity. A source within Comcast noted that it's actually possible for X1 users to combine set-tops in any Xfinity market, and that the service should work with both Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Pace plc DVRs. Comcast leases DVRs for $20 per month each


Touting the recording capacity of a DVR service -- like promoting the number of HD channels in an earlier year -- is the new marketing measure for pay-TV providers. However, it's not clear that subscribers actually care about being able to watch and record more than a handful of shows at once.


On the marketing score sheet, Comcast now ties Cablevision, which also enables recording of up to 15 shows with its network-based DVR. Verizon supports 12 concurrent shows with its Quantum TV service.



http://www.lightreading.com/cable-vi...d/d-id/709856?

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post #859 of 870 Old 07-09-2014, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast, TiVo Complete VOD Connection

MSO Now Offers Xfinity On Demand Via Retail TiVo DVRs In All Markets

Comcast confirmed Wednesday that the MSO has completed the integration of its Xfinity On Demand service with certain retail-bought TiVo DVRs in all Comcast markets.

Completion of that integration has been expected. After putting that plan on pause last year, TiVo announced in February that it and Comcast had since resumed that work and expected to wrap up the deployment in all Comcast markets, including leftover such as Chicago, Atlanta and Houston, as early as June 30, 2014. A Comcast official said all markets are on board as of today (July 9).
The integration enables TiVo devices purchased at retail by Comcast customers to access and stream the MSO’s massive VOD library, including its Streampix catalog. Integration of Comcast’s VOD service is currently limited to TiVo Premiere hardware as well as its newer Roamio models. Those devices can also access Comcast’s live TV lineup, so long as they are paired with a CableCARD security module.

In February, TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers said TiVo has performed well at retail in the Comcast markets where it’s been integrated with the MSO’s VOD platform. He likewise viewed Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable as a positive because it offers “further opportunity” for TiVo to expand its VOD connection to Comcast in more key markets.

TiVo and Cox Communications are working on a similar plan to integrate Cox’s VOD service with retail-bought TiVo boxes. In that scenario, Cox is looking to deliver VOD content to retail TiVo devices via IP – the same way it’s delivering VOD to its “Contour” app for tablets.

Beyond those retail-focused partnerships with Comcast and Cox, TiVo also has more direct, lease-based partnerships with several other U.S. cable operators, including RCN, Suddenlink Communications, Grande Communications, Mediacom Communications, GCI, Atlantic Broadband, Midcontinent Communications, Vyve Broadband and Wave Division Holdings, among others. A growing number of those partners also support Netflix in TiVo-powered boxes that they lease to subscribers.

TiVo ended the first quarter of 2014 with about 4.5 million subscribers, with 3.58 million coming way of its MSO partnerships, and 957,000 TiVo-owned subs. TiVo is also expanding its relationship with MVPDs via its recent $135 million acquisition of search and recommendations firm Digitalsmiths.

http://www.multichannel.com/news/tv-...nection/375794
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What that article fails to recognize is that Comcast no longer requires, nor even allows, logging into xfinitywifi or CableWifi hotspots with username and password every time you reconnect; connect once, get validated with the username and password of a Comcast account, and the system logs your device's MAC address and will log you in automatically after that; there's no opting out of that any more.  (Downside: if a device is lost, stolen, sold, or given away, the previous user has to phone Comcast's customer service to get its MAC address taken off the account.  Unfortunately, that can't be done by the customer.)  So if you subsequently come across a hotspot whose SSID is "xfinitywifi" or "CableWifi" but it asks for your login credentials, you'll know it's a fake.

When the xfinitywifi network first started, someone in a post I read somewhere recommended adding an unprivileged username to one's Comcast account, with no access for changing anything but its own password, and using it for logging into Comcast's public hotspots.  What I'm doing now is that when I get a new device, I add a new username to my Comcast account, log the device into the xfinitywifi network at my own modem's hotspot, and delete the temporary username.  The device's MAC address remains on record and it still can use xfinitywifi and CableWifi hotspots.

Two-factor authentication would probably be the best answer of all, no doubt.
What bugs me about that CableWiFi hotspot thing is that when I pass one my iPhone connects to it but then when I'm out of range it naturally drops the connection and goes back to cellular. The problem with that is if I'm listening to a streaming ball game for example I lose the broadcast and have to wait for the phone to re-buffer enough data to start playing the broadcast again. I've started just turning WiFi off when I leave the house now when I know I'll be using a streaming service such as MLB's AtBat.
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post #861 of 870 Old 07-19-2014, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast, TiVo Working On Non-CableCARD Approach

To Support Comcast’s Linear TV & VOD Mix on TiVo Boxes Sans Security Modules 7/15/2014 9:15 PM Eastern

By: Jeff Baumgartner
TiVo and Comcast have agreed to collaborate on a two-way, non-CableCARD security platform that would enable TiVo boxes bought at retail to access Comcast’s full lineup of linear programming as well as the MSO’s video-on-demand service.

Following the recent completion of an integration, Comcast currently supports both live TV and VOD services on retail-purchased TiVo Premiere and Roamio devices in all of the MSO’s markets, so long as those devices are paired with CableCARD modules.

TiVo and Comcast, which disclosed the agreement in an FCC filing dated July 14, didn’t go into explicit technical detail on how the non-CableCARD approach would work, though it's possibile that the intended approach would use a downloadable version of video security. But they did note that Comcast will make the solution available to other cable operators “on commercially reasonable terms.”

Under the agreement, Comcast customers that wish to use TiVo retail devices to access Comcast’s full suite of cable-delivered services will continue to have that option at a future date using a non-CableCARD solution that will be supported in both TiVo retail and Comcast-supplied devices, they added, noting that the CableCARD-free approach “can also be supported in other compatible customer-owned devices.”

“This agreement demonstrates that the marketplace is working to provide innovative device solutions for consumers to access MVPD services and thereby advance the Commission’s navigation device goals,” Comcast and TiVo said in the filing. “Comcast is already delivering IP cable services to smartphones, tablets, and other customer-owned devices in the home in certain Comcast markets.”

In the same document, Comcast said it had likewise committed to continue providing and supporting CableCARDs in retail device notwithstanding the D.C. Circuit’s EchoStar decision last year that vacated certain CableCARD rules. That decision was not central to CableCARDs, but, according to TiVo, it did raise questions about cable’s obligations to support consumer access to the removable security modules.

“Comcast will ensure that all CableCARD-enabled devices will continue to have access to all linear channels in all Comcast markets,” they added.

Save for FCC-supplied waivers for devices such as one-way digital transport adapters (DTAs), U.S. operators are subject to an FCC ban on set-tops with integrated security that took effect in July 2007 and was aimed at cultivating a retail market for cable-ready set-tops, TVs and other video devices. That ban has failed to achieve the intended goal. According to a recent report from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the nation’s top nine incumbent cable operators have deployed more than 47 million MSO-supplied set-tops with CableCARDs since the ban took effect, versus only 616,000 CableCARDs for use in retail devices.

This new agreement between Comcast and TiVo comes amid repeated calls by the NCTA for the FCC to end the set-top ban. Last fall, Reps. Robert Latta (R-Ohio) and Gene Green (D-TX) introduced legislation that aims to “remove the unnecessary and costly” set-top security integration ban, putting forth an FCC estimate that the mandate has cost cable operators and consumers more than $1 billion.

That follows a court decision in which EchoStar won its challenge to FCC rules on the ability to record TV programming. The issue was not CableCARDS, but it raised questions about cable obligations to support consumer access to the cards, according to Tivo, which it wants the FCC to clear up since those CableCARDS also allow access to TiVo recording devices.

Additionally, a draft provision in the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) seeks to eliminate the FCC’s integration ban, though the current draft would retain the FCC’s power to reinstate the ban on any successor to the CableCARD regime.

Meanwhile, the AllVid Technology Alliance has urged the FCC to pursue new rules that bring put forth a CableCARD successor that could be applied to all MVPDs, and not just cable operators. The cable industry has argued that market forces, not another government mandate, should determine the post-CableCARD future.


http://www.multichannel.com/news/tv-...pproach/375989
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post #862 of 870 Old 07-19-2014, 11:30 AM
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Would be nice if some form of cable card could do the on demand stuff but I spose if they did that everyone would dump their boxes and cost them rental income. They gave me my Motorola box free and no monthly rent when I finally signed up for full HD and I've moved since and that box is still free. I also have a couple of cable card devices and each one cost me 9 bucks a month for a digital outlet, which is a BS fee, but one of them is a HD HomeRun Prime so it's worth it.
Hope they add features to cable card and stop the creatives "fees" they use as I think they would have a revolt if folks that do use the devices suddenly were locked out after buying them outright to save a few bucks and have some control and choice.
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post #863 of 870 Old 07-21-2014, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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The Post-CableCARD Path

Which One Will Comcast Take?

The commercial agreement between Comcast and TiVo announced last week outlined big ambitions, but provided little in terms of how they intend to execute on a plan to help TiVo boxes bought at retail gain access to Comcast’s full suite of subscription video services without a clunky CableCARD.

TiVo is leaving the sharing of those details to Comcast, and Comcast says it’s “premature” to provide them at this time. After speaking to some parties with knowledge on how they might tackle this one (with FCC waivers and other potential regulatory requirements notwithstanding) here are just three possible options:

-To develop a new, proprietary downloadable security system for an all-IP video product. While Comcast is already delivering a full linear IP simulcast for its Xfinity On Campus product, that rollout is limited and small in scale. It’s not known when Comcast would be ready to pull that off on a massive scale, but it's not expected to occur anytime soon.

- Combine a version of security used today for Digital Transport Adapters (DTAs) with an IP-based video security system that could be used in hybrid (QAM/IP) TiVo boxes sold at retail. The idea would be to use DTA security, which is already deployed on a broad basis, to secure linear QAM video, and use downloadable security on the IP side for VOD and other video services that can be delivered over IP. The good news is that DTA security works, as it’s in use on tens of millions of devices. So-called “universal” DTAs work on digital cable networks based on the Arris/Motorola or Cisco Systems platforms, which is another plus. But the approach might be tricky to implement in boxes with DVR functionality due to the limitations of the current FCC ban on set-tops with integrated security.

-A new interoperable, downloadable conditional access system that works with the legacy security systems. But one industry source views this possible path as an “outlier” that’s fraught with legal and contractual issues, because it would likely require full support from Cisco and Arris.


Full article at:


http://www.multichannel.com/blog/bau...rd-path/382628
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Would be nice if some form of cable card could do the on demand stuff but I spose if they did that everyone would dump their boxes and cost them rental income. They gave me my Motorola box free and no monthly rent when I finally signed up for full HD and I've moved since and that box is still free. I also have a couple of cable card devices and each one cost me 9 bucks a month for a digital outlet, which is a BS fee, but one of them is a HD HomeRun Prime so it's worth it.
Hope they add features to cable card and stop the creatives "fees" they use as I think they would have a revolt if folks that do use the devices suddenly were locked out after buying them outright to save a few bucks and have some control and choice.
Tivo Premieres and Roamios have Xfinity on Demand now in all markets. Unfortunately given that Microsoft has abandoned work on WMC, it was never going to happen in that software. But is that really an issue? You can get Xfinity TV Go on the Xbox and on a PC, so it's really not that big a deal anymore.
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I also have a couple of cable card devices and each one cost me 9 bucks a month for a digital outlet, which is a BS fee, but one of them is a HD HomeRun Prime so it's worth it.

Are you getting the $2.50 credit for customer owned equipment for each of those devices? That $9 outlet fee includes charges for boxes you don't have.

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Tivo user since May 2000
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post #866 of 870 Old 07-28-2014, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Where I live the outlet fee (which the FCC in one area ruled illegal) is $9.95, less the $2.50 cable card credit brings the cost to $7.45 for a cable card, which I feel is a lot. I spoke to an FCC representative and they stated the usual cast charged for a cable card is between $2 to $4.

FCC sides with local cable commissions against Comcast

  • Article by: LIBOR JANY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 5, 2014 - 2:00 PM
It upholds ruling telling company to stop lumping “service fees” with equipment.

The Federal Communications Commission has upheld a ruling ordering Comcast to stop charging its customers for cable equipment under the guise of service fees.
The FCC denied an appeal by Comcast, which argued that its practice of charging customers separately for a DTA (digital terminal adapter) — a converter box that allows cable subscribers with older televisions to receive digital channels, which the company said would be provided at no charge — is not subject to rate regulation, because it is a service fee. The ruling was issued on March 19.
After subscribers complained, four Twin Cities suburban cable franchising authorities issued rate orders “requiring Comcast to unbundle the equipment from three different so-called ‘service fees,’ ” said Woodbury attorney Michael Bradley, whose law firm, Bradley & Guzzetta, represented the cable commissions.
The commissions are: North Metro Telecommunications, North Suburban Communications, Ramsey/Washington Counties Suburban Cable and South Washington County Telecommunications.
Municipal cable officials last year called on Comcast, the Twin Cities’ largest cable provider, to be more transparent in its billing practices, Bradley said.
The FCC agreed, ruling that the cable giant is “required to establish separate equipment and programming rates when setting initial regulated rates, by first unbundling (or separating) equipment costs from total regulated revenues.”
In an e-mail last week to the Star Tribune, Comcast vice president of corporate affairs Mary Beth Schubert said the case “involved a relatively minor dispute about the way certain items are presented on the rate card but has no effect on overall pricing.”
But, Bradley argued the FCC’s decision sets a strong precedent for transparency within the cable industry.
“They were lumping the equipment and the so-called service fees all together,” he said. “And what’s important about the ruling is that now the FCC has very clearly told Comcast and all cable companies across the country that it can no longer do that.”


http://www.startribune.com/local/east/254058681.html

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post #867 of 870 Old 07-28-2014, 03:18 PM
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Here in the SF bay area CableCARDS are $1.50 and there's no "outlet fee", I have 2 cards and get the $2.50 credit so I end up paying only $0.50 per month for the pair.
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post #868 of 870 Old 07-28-2014, 04:28 PM
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Are you getting the $2.50 credit for customer owned equipment for each of those devices? That $9 outlet fee includes charges for boxes you don't have.
Yes I get the credit but it still is a net loss for me and how can they charge me for boxes I don't have. I hope the ruling just mentioned above forces them to drop this fee as I pay enough as it is and nobody actually mentions the extra taxes and fees, Comcast, cell phone providers, etc.
Hard to get a accurate assement of what we're paying then you don't know for sure till you get your first bill and suddenly it's 20 or more higher then what you were told.
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post #869 of 870 Old 07-28-2014, 05:07 PM
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Tivo Premieres and Roamios have Xfinity on Demand now in all markets. Unfortunately given that Microsoft has abandoned work on WMC, it was never going to happen in that software. But is that really an issue? You can get Xfinity TV Go on the Xbox and on a PC, so it's really not that big a deal anymore.
Don't have a Xbox, don't want a Xbox, and don't want to pay rent for Tivo or pay a bunch extra for a lifetime either.
I finally got the small Samsung media player/cable box working in the other bedroom so put the Motorola DCH3200 back out front so can at least watch the free on demand stuff in the living area again.
At least they aren't charging me rent for it and using my HD HomeRun Prime to record all the shows I want to time shift or keep.
If they'd give me another 3200 free I'd do that and it'd save me 7.50 a month on the cable card for the Samsung.
Also not interested in their latest X1 box/system or whatever its called as it would just cost me more money as far as I can tell.
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post #870 of 870 Old 09-01-2014, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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TiVo Braces For Comcast’s MPEG-4 Shift

8/29/2014 9:30 AM Eastern

TiVo has begun to alert customers to how they will be impacted by an MPEG-4 transition that Comcast has gotten underway in Augusta, Ga.

According to this customer support bulletin, first spotted by the ZatzNotFunny blog, Comcast is looking to transition its system in Augusta, Ga., to MPEG-4 in October, a move that will mean that cable channels in that area will not be viewable on older TiVo equipment that is not compatible with the bandwidth-saving format.

Specifically, TiVo points out that the TiVo Stream (pictured above), a Slingbox-like sidecar device that lets users watch live and recorded shows on mobile devices, won’t work with the MPEG-4 channels until “early 2015,” when TiVo issues a software update.

Likewise, TiVo also notes that its Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro models are compatible with MPEG-4, but their built-in transcoder for streaming (the function also supported by the stand-alone Stream device), will also be incompatible until early 2015, again in line with a Stream software update that will be compatible with MPEG-4.

Older TiVo Series3/HD models will only be able to receive local channels. “These TiVo customers must upgrade to a Premiere Series or Roamio Series DVR to continue to receive Comcast channels via TiVo,” TiVo said.

TiVo users with Series1 and Series2 boxes will need to replace their existing cable boxes with updated cable boxes that support MPEG-4, TiVo said, noting that customers who own a Series 3 or earlier TiVo device can contact the company about “special upgrade offers.”

A Comcast spokeswoman said Augusta is Comcast’s first “trial market” for the transition, pointing out that the operator is only transitioning HD channels to MPEG-4, not SD channels, which will remain in MPEG-2 format.

MPEG-4/H.264 provides a 50% bandwidth efficiency gain over MPEG-2. Operators are also starting to eye HEVC/H.265, which is 50% more efficient than MPEG-4, as they mull 4K/Ultra HD content strategies.

As for the move to MPEG-4 in Augusta, “[t]his will be a much more efficient use of bandwidth and make way for additional product improvements,” the Comcast official said via email.

Comcast has not announced when it plans to embark on similar transition and trials in other markets.

The MPEG-4 shift in Augusta follows other technology decisions made by cable operators that have impacted TiVo. The use of switched digital video by operators such as Time Warner Cable, for example, require that TiVo boxes with CableCARDs to also be paired with separate Tuning Adapters to ensure that they can access channels in an MSO’s switched tier. But that kluge may be fleeting, as TiVo has recently developed an “embedded” way of supporting cable SDV without a Tuning Adapter that relies on updated client software and some additional work at the cable operator's headend. TiVo originally developed that for BlueRidge Communications, and plans to do the same for Cogeco of Canada.

Despite the hiccup around MPEG-4, TiVo and Comcast have been trying to push forward in other areas.

In July, Comcast confirmed that it had completed the integration of its Xfinity On Demand service with certain retail-bought TiVo DVRs in all Comcast markets. Later that month, the companies announced that they were working together on a two-way, non-CableCARD security approach that would allow TiVo boxes bought at retail to access Comcast’s full suite of live and on-demand video services. They haven’t announced how they’ll technically get that done, but industry insiders have speculated on some ways they might go about it.

http://www.multichannel.com/news/tec...4-shift/383450
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