Originally Posted by linkstur
I don't think your information is quite correct. I can buy the exact same MOTO box (with DVR and dual tuner) for around $300. That's ONE at a time. When you're buying 10's of thousands, I would imagine you'd be getting a slight discount off of that. Also, the box in my house is almost 5 years old. At $17/month, that's about $1000.00 the cable company rakes in. I believe that equipment rental is a HUGE source of income for the cable companies. It also secures their services. Unlike in the early days when they relied on filters and first gen scramblers that were easily defeated.
Not here. $300 almost gets you a non DVR HD STB. My system is privately owned and only buys a small amount of HD DVRs at a time. The only box that is in large quantites is the old Motorola DCT 1700, which is over 10 years old. This is the most widely used box in the system. There is still a lot of these boxes that are new in plastic yet. Even people with HDTVs have it hooked up to the RF input on thier tvs because it is only $4.95/month. The Pace RNG 110 is also $4.95/month but you have to subscribe to the HD channel fee for an additional $13/month, which is a major turn off for most customers. The last Motorola box bought here was the DCX 3400, which is the last box Motorola made before they sold the Home Unit with the Moblie Unit to Google quit a few years ago. There is not many in the system but a good portion of them had to be repaired because of over heating and abuse by the customer. This is another service that costs money which adds to the cost of each box. Box rentals are not a good source of revenue because of all the costs associated with them. It is a dream of the cable tv operators that people would buy their own hardware and they only had to issue CableCards because it would eliminate all the hiden costs and put it directly on the consumers. But the consumers are not willing to shoulder the costs for the hardware, and in turn the CE manufacturers will not produce the devices as there is no demand from the public. This is why the DHG appeared and disappeared so quickly.
Since Google did not want to be in the STB business they recently sold the Home Unit to Arris. The down side is Arris has to settle the DVR patent suit that Tivo brought against Motorola. Right now the only companies selling STBs to the cable operators is Cisco, Pace, Arris, and Tivo.
The $17/month rental fee you pay does not all go directly to the cost of the box as there is a monthly guide fee and a monthly DVR service fee included in that price. In my case those fees go to Rovi. I do not know who is the guide and DVR service provider in your system but they probably get more than half of the monthly rental fee you pay. There is even a monthly fee for VOD as this is another service provided by an outside vendor. We will be getting TV anywhere soon but this is going to be another monthly fee that will go to yet another vendor to pay for the service. I think the RNG series STBs that Comcast is using are made by Cisco. I also do not know who holds the patents on the RNG series boxes as there is more than one manufacturer making them.