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post #961 of 983 Old 04-20-2015, 03:27 PM
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Comcast Lowers X1 Upgrade Fee

Down to $19.99 in Some Markets as MSO Pushes New Platform

By: Jeff Baumgartner

In another indication that Comcast is trying to accelerate the rollout of its IP-capable X1 platform, Comcast has lowered the “upgrade fee” for X1 in markets such as Philadelphia, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Though it's not clear that the policy is in place across Comcast's footprint yet, customers in those areas have mentioned on the DSL Reports message board that the upgrade fee, which comes into play when video subs on Comcast’s legacy video platform are moved over to X1, has been lowered to $19.99.

Depending on the market, the original one-time X1 upgrade fee ranged from $49.99 to $99, with Comcast noting then that the fees went toward the development and enhancement of X1 features. Customers on X1, a video service that features a cloud-based user interface and access to apps and other new elements such as in-home video streaming on PCs and tablets and acloud DVR, also require new boxes.

A Comcast customer who was alerted to the smaller upgrade fee for X1 noted on the DSL Reports message board that the price drop -- from $49.99 to $19.99 -- became effective on March 3, 2014, with Comcast citing “changes in business costs."

Notably, Comcast now offers a self-install option for X1, which should help to reduce deployment costs because it removes truck rolls from the equation (Comcast began to test the X1 self-install kit last year).

Comcast didn’t comment on how it will shape and revise its policy for X1 upgrades in the weeks and months ahead, but this Web page about it still notes that subs who convert to the new platform are subject to a “one-time fee of up to $99 that is assessed, with limited exceptions that vary by market…”

Comcast has not announced how many of its 22.38 million video customers are on X1 today, but did say in October 2014 that it had deployed more than 5 million X1 boxes, and, even prior to that, said it was shipping about 20,000 X1 boxes per day. On that basis, back-of-the-napkin math suggests that Comcast has deployed more than 3.5 million more X1 boxes since late October, pushing its grand total toward 9 million.

Comcast initially rolled out X1 in Boston in May 2012, and now offers it in all systems.

Last fall, Neil Smit, president and CEO of Comcast Cable, reiterated that the current plan is to have the majority of Comcast’s customers on X1 within three years. “We’re right on track,” he said at the time.

http://www.multichannel.com/news/tec...ade-fee/389899
Couple of questions -
1. Comcast required users of the X1 system to also pay for land line and internet service. Do they still do that?
2. There seemed to be a number of complaints about the "worthiness" of the service posted on AVS and elsewhere. Is the service now ready for prime time?
3. The most useful "feature" of the present DVR system is the ability to FF thru ads etc. I start watching a sporting event 30-60 minutes after start time. By using the 30 sec. skip button on the remote, FF thru ads, timeouts, half time etc. Can the X1 remote be programmed to have a 30 sec. skip?

Thanks.
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post #962 of 983 Old 04-20-2015, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Couple of questions -
1. Comcast required users of the X1 system to also pay for land line and internet service. Do they still do that?
2. There seemed to be a number of complaints about the "worthiness" of the service posted on AVS and elsewhere. Is the service now ready for prime time?
3. The most useful "feature" of the present DVR system is the ability to FF thru ads etc. I start watching a sporting event 30-60 minutes after start time. By using the 30 sec. skip button on the remote, FF thru ads, timeouts, half time etc. Can the X1 remote be programmed to have a 30 sec. skip?

Thanks.
1. In most parts of the country you can get X1 with TV and Internet (no telephone).
2. For the most part X1 works pretty well and Comcast is constantly making improvements. I find it to be a lot better than the standard DVR service.
3. I am able to program a 30 second skip feature (which replaces the 5 minute skip feature). The way it works is you are not reprogramming the remote but using the remote to reprogram the X1 box to do a 30 second skip instead of a 5 minute skip.
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post #963 of 983 Old 04-21-2015, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Takes Its Gig to South Florida

The gigabit tour rolls on.
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) announced today that it will introduce symmetrical multi-gigabit broadband service to more than 1.3 million customers in southern Florida starting in May. While there are no details yet on pricing, Comcast said its Gigabit Pro service -- which uses fiber-to-the-home networks to deliver Internet speeds of up to 2 Gbit/s -- will debut in the Miami; Fort Lauderdale; West Palm; and Jacksonville regions. The company has also announced that it will launch Gigabit Pro in Atlanta next month and in California in June. (See Comcast Preps 2-Gig Service… Over Fiber.)



http://www.lightreading.com/gigabit/...d/d-id/715215?
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post #964 of 983 Old 04-27-2015, 04:02 PM
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The requirement for Triple-Play was only in the early days of X1, when the supplies were limited, and they wanted to give it to the highest margin subs (even at $10-$20/mo incremental, phone has ridiculously fat profit margins). They offer it now with Double-Play. Not sure why anyone would have Comcast TV and someone else for internet unless they had a muni fiber provider that didn't have TV or something. If you have FIOS internet, you're going to have FIOS TV.
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post #965 of 983 Old 04-27-2015, 06:34 PM
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The requirement for Triple-Play was only in the early days of X1, when the supplies were limited, and they wanted to give it to the highest margin subs (even at $10-$20/mo incremental, phone has ridiculously fat profit margins). They offer it now with Double-Play. Not sure why anyone would have Comcast TV and someone else for internet unless they had a muni fiber provider that didn't have TV or something. If you have FIOS internet, you're going to have FIOS TV.
People who have a landline are the minority in many areas.
As for internet, you are correct 99% of the time -- except there are some number of people that want to cut the cable cord and just buy internet so they can customize their their TV watching.
In home #1 , we have cable TV via the HOA (broad pkg. incl. HBO and SHO etc.) and internet via Comcast as well (which we pay for directly.
In home #2 , we are in the 1% that has internet from a high speed 3rd party. All residents get 100Mbps for $25 added to their HOA dues. (I was able to combine wiring to get 250+) Cable is from Comcast, but we are able to make use of Xfinity Go (poor quality), HBO, ESPN,etc. via their apps with perfect quality.
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post #966 of 983 Old 04-29-2015, 08:29 PM
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People who have a landline are the minority in many areas.
As for internet, you are correct 99% of the time -- except there are some number of people that want to cut the cable cord and just buy internet so they can customize their their TV watching.
In home #1 , we have cable TV via the HOA (broad pkg. incl. HBO and SHO etc.) and internet via Comcast as well (which we pay for directly.
In home #2 , we are in the 1% that has internet from a high speed 3rd party. All residents get 100Mbps for $25 added to their HOA dues. (I was able to combine wiring to get 250+) Cable is from Comcast, but we are able to make use of Xfinity Go (poor quality), HBO, ESPN,etc. via their apps with perfect quality.
I know a lot of people have internet and not TV from their cable provider, either because they are cord-cutters/nevers, or they have satellite TV, but having TV and not internet from the cable provider wouldn't make any sense. If you have FIOS internet, you'd have FIOS TV.

Yeah, a situation where you have another internet option that doesn't do TV, or are in a FIOS town without a TV franchise would be the only situation I can think of, and that's a tiny part of the market. Comcast is keeping a lot of landlines alive that couldn't survive at a $30 or higher price point by offering it so cheap in their Triple Play packages, and offering incentives on Triple Play. I don't really have a need for a landline, but I might get one at some point if it's only an incremental $10 plus tax, just for the convenience. At that point, it's almost so cheap it's worth it.
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post #967 of 983 Old 05-05-2015, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Introduces Voice-Controlled TV Remote

X1 Viewers Can Search, Set Recordings and Get Recommendations with Natural Speech


May 05, 2015 11:52 AM Eastern Daylight Time
PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Comcast today announced the consumer launch of its new remote control that allows customers to navigate tens of thousands of shows and movies on the X1 platform with their voice. The new Xfinity remote with voice control lets viewers search for networks, shows and movies; set DVR recordings; get recommendations; navigate Xfinity On Demand and more.
“Say it and see it. It’s that simple”
“Say it and see it. It’s that simple,” said Sree Kotay, Comcast Cable’s Chief Software Architect. “We want viewers to get to the shows and movies they love quickly, and we’ve built a remote control that’s smart, fast and intuitive. You don’t have to learn a new language or speak like a robot. Just press the blue button, say what you want to watch and it appears on screen. It’s easy, just like watching TV should be.”
The Xfinity Remote with voice control recognizes thousands of common commands including things like:
  • Changing the channel: “Watch ESPN”
  • Searching for movies or shows: “The Walking Dead
  • Browsing Xfinity On Demand: “Show me kids movies”
  • Setting a recording: “Record Saturday Night Live
  • Finding sports teams, games and events: “When do the Phillies play?”
  • Getting recommendations or seeing what’s popular on TV right now: “What’s trending?”
The remote even recognizes hundreds of popular movie quotes. As an example, saying “Life is like a box of chocolates” will find the movie Forrest Gump.
The voice remote is available to all eligible X1 customers. New customers will get the remote during their installation and existing customers can either go to an Xfinity Store to pick one up for free or order online at xfinity.com/voiceremote (shipping & handling charges may apply).
In addition to voice search, the new remote is backlit for nighttime viewing and uses radio frequency (RF4CE) transmission that lets users point anywhere when channel surfing and store their X1 set-top box in a cabinet or another room. It also is more ergonomic with contours that comfortably fit in the viewer’s hand. The setup is simple, and X1 customers can program it to control their TV and AV receiver or sound bar in just a few easy steps.
From a technology perspective, the remote records sound from a microphone when the Mic button is held down and then uses voice-over-RF4CE™ ZigBee® technology to compress and transmit that recording over a low bandwidth link to the X1 platform. Using natural language processing (NLP) coupled with advanced entertainment metadata and relevancy algorithms, X1 easily gets you to what you want.
This device is also another example of Comcast’s commitment to making its products and services more accessible. The company recently launched the industry’s first “talking guide” for customers with a visual disability, and with the availability of this new remote, Comcast has become the only company to elegantly combine “voice in” and “voice out” in one entertainment experience.
“Voice control is a solution for customers with a visual disability or a physical challenge like arthritis,” said Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President of Audience, Comcast, who focuses on the usability of the company’s products and services by people with disabilities. “But it’s also empowering for kids, seniors or anyone else who wants a new and easier way to discover content. Voice search is the great equalizer and a terrific complement to our talking guide.”
http://www.businesswire.com/news/hom...lled-TV-Remote
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post #968 of 983 Old 05-06-2015, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Tees Up 4K Box, Bigger 4K Service

4K-Capable ‘Xi4’ Box to Launch Later This Year 5/06/2015 10:45 AM Eastern
By: Jeff Baumgartner Follow @thebaum inator




Diving more deeply into the 4K video pool, Comcast announced Wednesday that it will launch a 4K/Ultra HD set-top later this year alongside the launch of an expanded lineup of 4K content.

The box, called the Xi4, will run on Comcast’s cloud-based, IP-capable X1 platform, enabling customers to create “virtual 4K linear channels” via MSO’s UHD library. A version of the Xi4 (pictured) from Cisco Systems was spotted passing through the FCC in January.

Comcast said it also developing the Xi5, a device that will support high dynamic range (HDR), an emerging format that supports a wider palette of colors and more brighter pixels. HDR will apply to both HD and 4K content.

On the content end, Comcast said it will offer “hundreds” of titles via an Xfinity in UHD catalog/library that will feature films and other content produced for IMAX from K2 Communications and Havoc TV, full current seasons of TV shows such as SyFy’s Defiance, USA’s Playing House, Satisfaction and Suits, and original fare from Starz, including Outlander and Power. 4K content will be delivered to the Xi4 via Comcast's managed VOD service.

"With Xfinity in UHD, our customers can easily and seamlessly enjoy some of the best 4K programming available today as part of their subscription with no additional equipment or costs," said Matt Strauss, EVP and GM of video service for Comcast Cable, in a statement. "We are committed to providing the highest-quality entertainment experiences across platforms and our next-generation set-top boxes deliver on that promise—providing our customers with UHD and HDR programming on the biggest screen in the home."

Comcast entered the 4K era late last year with the launch of an on-demand streaming app that’s initially available on 2014 Samsung UHD TV and provides access to a small, free content library.

DirecTV was the first U.S. MVPD to launch a UHD service. Dish Network is expected to launch a 4K service later this year in tandem with the debut of the 4K Ultra HD Joey box, which was unveiled in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.

They are all getting into the 4K game amid UHD services from OTT players such as Netflix, M-GO and Amazon.








http://www.multichannel.com/news/tec...service/390434
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post #969 of 983 Old 05-07-2015, 05:21 PM
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HD broadcast question...
My community that I get free cable with(well maintenance fee) just upgraded to digital preferred. With HD channels & we got new HD receivers. The models I have are
Comcast branded RNG110
Arris branded RNG150N
Both boxes are only able to give me 1080I.
Does Comcast not give you 1080P? Or is that something extra you have to pay for? Better box? I found the menus to switch the resolutions for both boxes & the highest they go are 1080I. My Blu Rays will do 1080P so It's not the TV's.

thanks
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post #970 of 983 Old 05-07-2015, 06:00 PM
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Comcast does not give you 1080p (at least none that I had discovered, though someone mentioned the possibility that there may be some VOD program that might be 1080p). All HD cable networks that I am aware of are either 1080i (70 to 75% of the HD networks) or 720p (25% to 30% of the HD networks); none are 1080p.

You can check this Wikipedia page, but note that AccuWeather, which is listed here as 1080p, is listed on its own WikiPedia page as 1080i.

I'm fortunate that the HD DVR that I am renting from Comcast allows NATIVE as one of the video format options, which takes whatever video format it is receiving from the channel (or from the recorded program) and uses that format to send it on to the TV, so the TV would do any rescaling that might be necessary. As I said, I had never observed the TV reporting 1080p for any Comcast channel. (I seldom do VOD, never had done PPV, and still I have never seen 1080p, though I have the HD DVR configured to pass through 1080p.)

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Sony BDP-S3100 Blu-ray player, Roku N1000 (original model), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (120Mbps/12Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Preferred Plus), DVD/VHS player.
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post #971 of 983 Old 05-08-2015, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Some Comcast boxes are capable of upscaling to 1080p. All the X1 boxes have this capability plus some non-X1 DVRs. The Comcast boxes that are capable of 1080p did an excellent job of upscaling. For me the second best mode is native with the third best being 1080i on a 1080p set. The only problem with 1080i is not taking advantage of giving you the full benefits of 720p broadcasts.
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post #972 of 983 Old 05-08-2015, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
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Some Comcast boxes are capable of upscaling to 1080p. All the X1 boxes have this capability plus some non-X1 DVRs. The Comcast boxes that are capable of 1080p did an excellent job of upscaling. For me the second best mode is native with the third best being 1080i on a 1080p set. The only problem with 1080i is not taking advantage of giving you the full benefits of 720p broadcasts.
The DCX-3501 that I rent from Comcast does both native and 1080p among other settings, and everything I just quoted from PaulGo holds true of it.  The additional advantage that setting the box to 1080p has over native mode is that there isn't the wait for the box to tell the television to switch resolutions whenever you change to a channel or a recording at a different resolution from what you were watching a moment ago.  On the other hand, the disadvantage of 1080p is that if the box is turned on (from standby) tuned to an SD station, at least with my television sometimes there will be no picture until I (a) change the box's resolution setting to something else [and then if I want, back to 1080p] or (b) switch to an HD station or play an HD recording still stored on the DVR and then go back to the SD content.
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post #973 of 983 Old 05-08-2015, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Before I switched to X1 I had the DCX3501. I had this box in the 1080p mode and never had problems on the SD channels. In theory everything (including SD channels) should be in 1080p so all your TV should know is that it is viewing a 1080p source. Could be a bug in the DCX3501.
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post #974 of 983 Old 05-09-2015, 05:53 PM
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Or it could be a bug in my television.
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post #975 of 983 Old 05-11-2015, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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5 Essentials From INTX

Speed, OTT, ‘Skinny Bundles,’ Title II Generate Buzz in Chicago

http://www.multichannel.com/5-essentials-intx/390506
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post #976 of 983 Old 05-21-2015, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets

In a series of rapid-fire announcements this morning, Comcast revealed half a dozen new regional targets for its Gigabit Pro broadband service.
Comcast's new Gigabit hit list includes the Twin Cities in Minnesota, the MSO's entire footprint in Utah, the Houston area, Oregon, parts of Washington and parts of Colorado. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) also announced that it will launch a new Extreme 250 service tier in the same regions offering Internet speeds up to 250 Mbit/s. The rollouts are all expected to occur later this year.
The Gigabit Pro service beats out other Gigabit offerings by doubling symmetrical speeds to 2 Gbit/s. Using a fiber-to-the-home strategy, Comcast Corp. has previously said it will bring Gigabit Pro to Atlanta, parts of Florida, areas of California, the Greater Chicago region and parts of Tennessee, including Chattanooga. The company is aiming to extend availability of the service to 18 million homes by year's end. (See Comcast Preps 2-Gig Service… Over Fiber.)
Comcast VP of Network Architecture Rob Howald recently explained that the company's ability to deliver multi-gigabit speeds stems from the operator's fiber-deep strategy. With more than 145,000 route miles of fiber deployed across the country, Comcast has been able to shrink service group sizes in select markets down to only about 100 subscribers per fiber node. That gets customers very close to fiber termination and makes it relatively easy for Comcast to extend fiber to the home for households that want Gigabit Pro service. (See Comcast Goes N+0 in Gigabit Markets.)

Even as Comcast has accelerated its Gigabit rollout plans, it still faces competition on several fronts from the likes of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and Google Fiber Inc. Comcast hasn't announce pricing for its highest-speed services yet, but a promotional website discovered earlier this month suggested that Gigabit Pro would start at $299 per month. Comcast has since said the web pages were put up in error, and that no official price has been listed yet for the service. Several municipal and non-profit institutions are also driving delivery of high-speed Internet services across the country, including EPB Fiber Optics in Chattanooga and UC2B in Urbana-Champaign, Ill., through its partnership with private company iTV-3. (See Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps and Taking a Different Path to 1 Gigabit.)
Starting in 2016, Comcast has said it will also introduce Gigabit services over hybrid fiber coax networks using DOCSIS 3.1. At the Internet & Television Expo, the company showed off a new gigabit gateway it will use for D3.1 deployments. (See Comcast Readies D3.1 & RDK-B.)
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading


http://www.lightreading.com/gigabit/gigabit-cities/comcast-targets-6-new-gigabit-markets/d/d-id/715880?
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post #977 of 983 Old 05-21-2015, 07:12 PM
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Well good luck with it if they try to charge that price. Heard that Google was going to be 120 for a triple play like package with gig internet, we'll see.
I'm in Portland Oregon and would drop them in a second if Google offered a decent package for 120 that can use my HD HomeRun Prime and the phone modem I recently bought.
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post #978 of 983 Old 05-22-2015, 04:17 PM
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So how does PQ compare between Comcast and Dish network satellite? I ask because they have pretty good deals right now, TV with all the channels I need plus 105mbps internet(thanks to the new fiber optic network their about to activate) for $99 a month for 12 months. With Dish alone I'm around $150 a month already. My only concern is HD PQ, traditionally cable isn't as good. Has it gotten better?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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post #979 of 983 Old 05-22-2015, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plissken99 View Post
So how does PQ compare between Comcast and Dish network satellite? I ask because they have pretty good deals right now, TV with all the channels I need plus 105mbps internet(thanks to the new fiber optic network their about to activate) for $99 a month for 12 months. With Dish alone I'm around $150 a month already. My only concern is HD PQ, traditionally cable isn't as good. Has it gotten better?
All I can tell you is that (it might be my imagination) HBO Go via our 100+ solid internet seems better than HBO from Comcast in our other location. The place w. the fast internet in a condo that made deal w. something called a peer-to-peer network for $25 for each unit. There's an antenna on the roof. No modem necessary. They use one of the pairs of phone wires (out of the 3 pairs to each units) and put an ethernet jack next to the phone jack. We used to have Comcast internet and, on occasion, Netflix would have to buffer.
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Well good luck with it if they try to charge that price. Heard that Google was going to be 120 for a triple play like package with gig internet, we'll see.
I'm in Portland Oregon and would drop them in a second if Google offered a decent package for 120 that can use my HD HomeRun Prime and the phone modem I recently bought.
Well the equipment is going to be different on a non-HFC provider. That's just how it goes. Of course the 2gbps service is going to be expensive. You should be surprised it's only $299 considering that it's MetroE based.

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Originally Posted by plissken99 View Post
So how does PQ compare between Comcast and Dish network satellite? I ask because they have pretty good deals right now, TV with all the channels I need plus 105mbps internet(thanks to the new fiber optic network their about to activate) for $99 a month for 12 months. With Dish alone I'm around $150 a month already. My only concern is HD PQ, traditionally cable isn't as good. Has it gotten better?
Neither one is very good. Probably Comcast has a slight edge, but it's hard to say. DirecTV and FIOS are better.
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post #981 of 983 Old Yesterday, 08:35 PM
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Well the equipment is going to be different on a non-HFC provider. That's just how it goes. Of course the 2gbps service is going to be expensive. You should be surprised it's only $299 considering that it's MetroE based.



Neither one is very good. Probably Comcast has a slight edge, but it's hard to say. DirecTV and FIOS are better.
What's the big deal about having super high speed internet at home? At 50Mbps, you'd have no trouble dling anything Netflix has to offer. Our Oakland condo gives all the units 100Mbps up and down. It costs the HOA $25/mo. a unit from the provider. (I am getting about 280Mbps up/down because I got the installer to make use of all 3 pair of the cat 5 phone wires to the unit.)
I see NO DIFFERENCE in my day to day stuff, like accessing AVS. I don't upload or download gigantic files. I could see the advantage of more upload bandwidth than CCast gives you if you have a few security cameras that feed to a security service.

As for HD quality - It might be my imagination, but I think the HD pic we get in Okld. via HBO GO and the high speed internet (solid speed, not erratic like CC) is better than the direct HBO in Miami via CC.

What internet speed would you need to carry 4K video stream?
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post #982 of 983 Old Today, 06:34 AM
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So I have the X1 self install kit on the way to me right now, and yesterday after resetting my current non DVR HD box, (the guide wasn't working as I hadn't used the box at all in a while) I noticed that I had access to my upstairs DVR on it. I know this wasn't the case before, and it wasn't some sort of glitch, as I was able to playback one of the shows. So I guess you really don't need the X1 platform for the cloud DVR? Comcast just flips a switch on their end and you have it? Has anyone else had this happen?
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post #983 of 983 Old Today, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by snidely View Post
What's the big deal about having super high speed internet at home? At 50Mbps, you'd have no trouble dling anything Netflix has to offer. Our Oakland condo gives all the units 100Mbps up and down. It costs the HOA $25/mo. a unit from the provider. (I am getting about 280Mbps up/down because I got the installer to make use of all 3 pair of the cat 5 phone wires to the unit.)
Most users, even fairly advanced users don't need more than about 50/20 today. Even a big family of heavy bandwidth users would probably be fine with 100/20. I'd get gig for $70 just for the heck of it, but not more.

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What internet speed would you need to carry 4K video stream?
Netflix and Amazon are both around 16mbps, so they need about 25mbps to handle buffering.

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Originally Posted by buttasuperb View Post
So I have the X1 self install kit on the way to me right now, and yesterday after resetting my current non DVR HD box, (the guide wasn't working as I hadn't used the box at all in a while) I noticed that I had access to my upstairs DVR on it. I know this wasn't the case before, and it wasn't some sort of glitch, as I was able to playback one of the shows. So I guess you really don't need the X1 platform for the cloud DVR? Comcast just flips a switch on their end and you have it? Has anyone else had this happen?
Probably got flipped on because X1 is on your account.
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