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Comcast Technology Topic - Page 26

post #751 of 838
Thread Starter 
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).
post #752 of 838
Thread Starter 
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
post #753 of 838
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.
post #754 of 838
Thread Starter 
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/
post #755 of 838
Yup, the Consumerist article is spot on ...... I called Comcast tech support a week ago due to intermittant connectivity issues for my high speed internet dropping out every 5 minutes that started 5 or 6 days earlier (with and w/o my router). The first tech rep was excellent and spotted my issue of a low Upstream Signal-to-Noise ratio of 20 where it should be around 30 or more (ideally like 36 .... similar to my downstream S/R ratios). He scheduled a tech for the next day. Unfortunately, just like Motorola modems, the Upstream S/N ratio on the Arris modem is not displayed here at home for the consumer.

After ending the call, I remembered that I paid Comcast $28 about 18 months ago to install a 90 foot coax run from the garage and through the full height crawl area of my daylight ranch style home over to the other end of the house where my rented Arris TM722 modem is located. It was an easy job that took only about 20 minutes due to the design of the full hight and full length crawl space area. But the tech did not have a single 90 foot run of coax on the truck so he installed the last 10 feet using a coupling connection in an easy access area of the garage but right above a door sill that gets slammed regularly (working backwards from the modem location). Being an engineer myself, I wondered if that coupling might be going bad from door slam vibration, so I went into the garage and replaced the dual threaded coupling torpdeo and called Comcast back to get a reading on my Upstream S/N ratio.

This time, the tech I got did not know what I was even asking for and took 20 minutes to finally pull up my Upstream S/N ratio which was back at 36, so I cancelled the service call for the next day.

No connectivity issues ever since then!

It is disappointing (yet not surprising) that Comcast phone support is so spotty and that the installer used a coupling over my objections at the time. However, Comcast at least refunded the $28 wiring fee when I called 18 months ago to complain about the shoddy wiring job .... But now I understand why they were so quick to refund ...... the reason being that the new wiring is now considered part of my house wiring on their books according to the first tech on the phone, and I would probably have been charged for the service call that I cancelled ..... to simply replace the bad coupling in the garage located on what is now considered my house wiring!

Shame on Comcast.
Edited by George-O - 3/11/13 at 3:39am
post #756 of 838
Thread Starter 
George-O I Have also had similar problems both with my internet and TV service. Some techs could understand the problem and resolve the problem while most either gave inaccurate advice of just wanted to send a technician to my house when it clearly was an external problem. The only way I could get the issue properly resolved in most instances is getting second level (or higher) support.
post #757 of 838
Thread Starter 
New DTA Will Extend Cable TV to Retail Devices


Broadcom Corp. has introduced a new chipset for digital transport adapters (DTAs) that will help some of the nation's largest cable operators deliver their basic video tiers in encrypted form to Boxee boxes, smart TVs and other types of IP-connected video devices that are purchased at retail.

Broadcom's fifth-generation DTA chip, the BCM7576, supports HD video and an IP mini server that can convert encrypted QAM video channels into protected IP streams. Following that conversion, this new class of E-DTA can then shuttle those IP video streams for viewing on consumer electronic devices via home network connections that utilize Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) technology with DTCP-IP content protection. (See Broadcom E-DTA SoC Targets IP Video and CableLabs, CEA Agree on DTCP-IP.)

The IP mini server piece is a critical addition following a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote last fall that lifted a ban that had prevented cable operators from encrypting their basic service tiers in all-digital systems. Cable pushed hard to get the ban lifted, claiming that it would help operators cut down on service theft and enable them to activate and deactivate video services remotely and reduce truck roll costs.

To help get the vote, the largest six incumbent cable operators agreed to provide the technology necessary to let IP-based retail devices, such as the Boxee box, support basic TV tiers without the need for a CableCARD. It's expected that most of those operators will support that condition by supplying free DTAs with home-networking capability.

Broadcom's new chipset will power a new class of E-DTAs that are expected to help those operators meet that FCC condition. In such deployment scenarios, the E-DTA will decrypt the basic TV signals and pass them along to the third-party retail device. CE companies will also have the option to license and embed that technology into their retail video streaming devices.

Broadcom's newest chipset uses a Full-Band Capture digital tuner, meaning it can grab channels from anywhere on cable's spectrum up to 1GHz, and do away with multiple tuners. The Full Band Capture feature will also enable the new DTAs to support fast channel changes and up to four concurrent service streams. This means the E-DTA can deliver content to a TV set while also distributing content to as many as three more retail devices that are hanging off the home network.

Broadcom says the BCM7576 is currently sampling and is being demonstrated at this week's CableLabs Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla. Broadcom has not identified any OEM partners for the new chipset, but candidates include Pace plc, Motorola Mobility LLC, Technicolor SA and Evolution Digital LLC, among others.

Broadcom Senior Product Group Manager Brett Tischler wouldn't speculate on when set-top vendors might introduce E-DTA products, but noted that customers are already starting to build them. Given that products usually lag silicon by at least six months, it's possible that this new class of E-DTAs could appear late this year or during the first half of 2014.

Why this matters

The emergence of the E-DTA will give cable operators an important tool to help them support the revised basic TV encryption rules. The new class of device will also give MSOs a way to bridge basic TV services to retail video devices without leaving that content unencrypted, a decision that will keep programmers happy.

The E-DTA's retail support implications could give the FCC yet another reason not to pursue AllVid, a possible successor to the CableCARD that would be applied to cable operators, telcos and satellite TV operators.

http://www.lightreading.com/internet-video/new-dta-will-extend-cable-tv-to-retail-devices/240150431
post #758 of 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

George-O I Have also had similar problems both with my internet and TV service. Some techs could understand the problem and resolve the problem while most either gave inaccurate advice of just wanted to send a technician to my house when it clearly was an external problem. The only way I could get the issue properly resolved in most instances is getting second level (or higher) support.
Paul .... Comcast is like a box of mixed candy .... we never know what we'll get smile.gif
post #759 of 838
Thread Starter 
Entropic cuts outlook on delay in set-top box orders
March 18, 2013|Reuters


(Reuters) - Entropic Communications Inc, which designs chipsets for video and broadband multimedia applications, cut its outlook for the first quarter as a U.S. pay-TV service provider delayed orders for set-top boxes.

Shares of the company were down more than 8 percent at $4.26 in morning trading on Monday.

Entropic's chips are used in set-top boxes made by network gear makers such as Cisco Systems Inc and Motorola Solutions Inc. Service providers including Verizon Communications Inc, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable Inc deploy these set-top boxes.

Entropic said the delay in orders were related to high-definition digital terminal adapters (HD-DTA) set-top boxes, which enable service providers to deliver HD content to their basic subscribers.

Benchmark Co said it believes the service provider delaying set-top box orders is Comcast Corp.


"Because of the delayed rollout of these boxes to basic cable subscribers, it will take a few quarters for HD-DTA set-top box suppliers to burn through Entropic inventory," the brokerage said.

Entropic now expects first-quarter revenue of $74 million to $76 million, down from its previous range of $79 million to $81 million.

It expects a profit of up to 1 cent per share, excluding items, compared with its previous forecast of 2 cents per share.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-18/business/sns-rt-us-entropic-outlookbre92h0l2-20130318_1_set-top-box-hd-content-hd-dta
post #760 of 838
Thread Starter 
Major Cable Players Rally Around CCAP
Quote:
Cable Next-Gen IP Strategies: Entering the Zettabyte Era -- Three major U.S. cable operators -- Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks -- plan to deploy or at least start trials this year on a new, super-dense cable architecture that will help converge all their services and forge a path toward IP video.

That architecture, called the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP), will eventually combine the functions of the edge QAM and the cable modem termination system (CMTS) while aiming for a 50 percent space and 60 percent power saving while supporting about four times the capacity of current gear.

Following an operational readiness trial, Comcast is entering a "deployment pilot" phase where it will install the equipment, test it out, and then keep it there for a future, bona fide deployment, said Comcast VP of Access Architecture Jorge Salinger. Comcast has pilots underway in "more than a handful of markets" across all of the MSO's divisions. "We're starting to deploy the [CCAP] playbook."
He said deployments will begin in the second half of 2013, and he expects most MSOs to have deployments underway by 2014.

Bright House will begin CCAP deployments by the third quarter of 2013, said company Senior Director of Network Strategy and Architecture John Dickenson. He said an in-house study on an all-IP migration revealed that a cable system might have to support 7 Gbit/s of capacity for every 400 homes passed. CCAP can provide that kind of port density, but that transformation could take more than ten years, he predicted.

Time Warner Cable has plans to start CCAP trials this year, said Chief Architect Tom Gonder, but he didn't commit to any specifics. "We're evaluating a few CCAP platforms," he said. "We're bullish on … CCAP. We want to deploy it as quickly and widely as possible." He said a challenge on the horizon is the issue of product qualification and getting operations prepared for the platform.

The vendors are getting ready, too. Cisco Systems Inc., for example, has historically used separate parts of the company to test Docsis and video traffic. "So we've had to converge those to test that [CCAP] platform," said John Horrobin, marketing manager for Cisco's Cable Access Business Unit. "We're going through that learning process as well."

As for CCAP products, CommScope Inc. is developing gear to address both mid- and large-sized systems using common blades. "It's hard to find a one-size-fits-all," said Shane Eleniak, CommScope's VP of advanced broadband solutions.

The market will likely accept "a couple of flavors of CCAP," said Gerry White, the chief architect of networks infrastructure for Motorola Mobility LLC's Home unit. Motorola is working on a fully integrated CCAP as well as a non-routing version that will end up looking like a giant edge QAM.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

http://www.lightreading.com/head-ends/major-cable-players-rally-around-ccap/240151312
Edited by PaulGo - 3/21/13 at 9:43am
post #761 of 838
Is there any way to find out a rollout schedule for the X1? I'm DYING for a better guide experience. I loved the Uverse guide, but it is unavailable where I am now. I'm really getting tired of the 2001 era Comcast guide interface.
post #762 of 838
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishdoom View Post

Is there any way to find out a rollout schedule for the X1? I'm DYING for a better guide experience. I loved the Uverse guide, but it is unavailable where I am now. I'm really getting tired of the 2001 era Comcast guide interface.

You can call Comcast, but usually the Comcast representatives don't know much more than you. From what I have read on other forums the X1 platform is still a bit buggy and Comcast is still pushing out updates to correct the problems. Comcast may be delaying the rollout until the problems are resolved.
post #763 of 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishdoom View Post

Is there any way to find out a rollout schedule for the X1? I'm DYING for a better guide experience. I loved the Uverse guide, but it is unavailable where I am now. I'm really getting tired of the 2001 era Comcast guide interface.

TiVo. CableCard is the only reason to have cable.
post #764 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast's X1 Sets Sights on Nation's Capital
March 25, 2013
Comcast Corp.'s next-gen video platform will secure a showcase near the political pulse of the country later this month, when the operator launches its IP-capable X1 platform to customers in Washington, D.C.

Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts made reference to the coming deployment last Thursday during a Q&A session at the Economic Club of Washington. X1, he said, will be rolled out to "every major city" served by Comcast in 2013.

Comcast has not revealed a specific date for the launch, but D.C. is poised to become the eighth market to get X1, a service that features an IP-fed, cloud-based guide that's housed at the Comcast Media Center (CMC) in Centennial, Colo. Following an initial launch in Boston in mid-2012, Comcast has introduced X1 in Colorado Springs; Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; San Francisco; and the Philadelphia area.

The current version of X1 is a QAM/IP hybrid delivered to an HD-DVR from Pace plc that can share content with an HD client box called the RNG150N. Video services are still piped in via QAM technology, but the guide and its integrated apps are delivered in IP via the box's integrated cable modem.

Future versions of gateways that support X1 will bake in a transcoder that can convert QAM video signals into IP streams and pass them along to tablets, PCs, IP-only HD client boxes, and other devices that are hanging off the home network. (See Comcast All-Service Gateways Go 'Headless' and Zenverge Eyes More Streams for More Screens .)

Comcast is developing a new version of its cloud-based guide, internally referred to as "X2," that will incorporate more personalized recommendations based on viewing habits and other data, giving customers a new way to discover and find live and on-demand content they might be interested in. At the National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC) Winter Educational Conference last month in Las Vegas, Comcast Senior Director of Product Management Rachel Lee said X2 will provide a "stronger editorial voice throughout the guide." (See Comcast's X2 to Get Personal With the TV.)

Comcast is marketing X1 primarily to new customers who sign up for the MSO's triple-play bundle, though it could also be used as a retention tool as the company tries to close the gap on video subscriber losses. Comcast shed 336,000 video subscribers in 2012, but is currently on a nine-quarter streak of improved results in the troublesome category. It would've gained video subs in the fourth quarter of last year if not for the effects of Superstorm Sandy.

Comcast Corp.'s next-gen video platform will secure a showcase near the political pulse of the country later this month, when the operator launches its IP-capable X1 platform to customers in Washington, D.C.

Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts made reference to the coming deployment last Thursday during a Q&A session at the Economic Club of Washington. X1, he said, will be rolled out to "every major city" served by Comcast in 2013.

Comcast has not revealed a specific date for the launch, but D.C. is poised to become the eighth market to get X1, a service that features an IP-fed, cloud-based guide that's housed at the Comcast Media Center (CMC) in Centennial, Colo. Following an initial launch in Boston in mid-2012, Comcast has introduced X1 in Colorado Springs; Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; San Francisco; and the Philadelphia area.

The current version of X1 is a QAM/IP hybrid delivered to an HD-DVR from Pace plc that can share content with an HD client box called the RNG150N. Video services are still piped in via QAM technology, but the guide and its integrated apps are delivered in IP via the box's integrated cable modem.

Future versions of gateways that support X1 will bake in a transcoder that can convert QAM video signals into IP streams and pass them along to tablets, PCs, IP-only HD client boxes, and other devices that are hanging off the home network.

Comcast is developing a new version of its cloud-based guide, internally referred to as "X2," that will incorporate more personalized recommendations based on viewing habits and other data, giving customers a new way to discover and find live and on-demand content they might be interested in. At the National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC) Winter Educational Conference last month in Las Vegas, Comcast Senior Director of Product Management Rachel Lee said X2 will provide a "stronger editorial voice throughout the guide." (See Comcast's X2 to Get Personal With the TV.)

Comcast is marketing X1 primarily to new customers who sign up for the MSO's triple-play bundle, though it could also be used as a retention tool as the company tries to close the gap on video subscriber losses. Comcast shed 336,000 video subscribers in 2012, but is currently on a nine-quarter streak of improved results in the troublesome category. It would've gained video subs in the fourth quarter of last year if not for the effects of Superstorm Sandy.

http://www.lightreading.com/tv/comcasts-x1-sets-sights-on-nations-capital/240151653
post #765 of 838
Thread Starter 
Clear QAM Fades to Black
April 16, 2013 | Mari Silbey

Several major cable companies are now encrypting basic digital cable signals after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled to lift a ban on the practice late last year.

Comcast Corp. has dominated recent headlines, but subscriber reports indicate that Charter Communications Inc. and RCN Corp. have also begun encrypting QAM signals that were previously broadcast in the clear.

The FCC's rule preventing basic encryption was a major thorn in cable's side. Clear QAM broadcasts allow any digital TV or retail set-top with a QAM tuner to access select cable stations without a cable box. However, cable operators argue that clear QAM also makes theft of cable services easier, and that subscribers without a set-top require a truck roll any time service has to be activated or deactivated.

The ban on encryption stayed active in part because retail IP set-tops like those from Boxee and Simple.TV have made use of clear QAM as a way to avoid the expense of integrating CableCARD technology.

As a compromise between cable and CE combatants, the FCC mandated last year that the six largest cable companies still have to support basic channel access for retail boxes even as new encryption is implemented. A new class of digital terminal adapters is making that condition easier to meet. On its website, Comcast details the specific type of Ethernet DTA, or E-DTA it will provide for free for two years to Boxee customers.

http://www.lightreading.com/comcast/clear-qam-fades-to-black/240152983
post #766 of 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

Comcast CSR Provides Perspective On Why People Hate The Company

With my experince with Comcast, which I had for an extremely long time, it isn't really how Customer Service treats their customers, it is how Comcast from Corporate treats their customers.

I helped my Grandfather get a digital to analog box fixed. Took 90 minutes going through prompts. Never talked to a person.
They always try to fix an issue from their seat. Even if you tell them what is wrong, policy has it to fix from their computer chair, and if they can't they will send someone out at a charge to the consumer to replace broken equipment.
The bills are never the same. Price is always different. One month notice and sometimes no notice at all in bill increases.

My grandma asks for phone service and channels 2-13. You give her 2-89 and tell her that those extra channels are free for 3 weeks. She then gets billed for all 2-89 channels and force her to pay for what she never requested for.


Service could also be better. Where my dad lives during peak hours internet is slower than 56k, literally. For us, TV service dropped out a lot or freeze for a second or two.

It is stuff like that that Comcast does all the time. This is why Comcast is always in the ranking for worst companies in America by The Consumerist.
2nd in 2009 and 2010, 1st in 2010, 3rd in 2011 and 3rd in 2013.
post #767 of 838
Thread Starter 
How To Install an HD Digital Adapter - XFINITY
post #768 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast Starts to Lock Up Its Basic TV Tier
MSO Offers Free Boxes to Descramble Signals in 'Select Markets' Where it Has Unleashed Basic Encryption

Comcast has begun to encrypt limited basic channels in its most basic "B1" tier in a select number of all-digital systems, a move that comes about four months after new rules at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) paved the way.

The decision will affect a small portion of customers who are receiving that tier on TVs without a set-top in systems where Comcast has introduced basic encryption. According to a Web page detailing the plan, limited basic customers who currently do not use set-tops are eligible to receive up to two Digital Transport Adapters (DTAs) at no charge for two years, or five years if they also receive Medicaid, if they request DTAs during the equipment offer period at or around the time of encryption. Customers who subscribe to a higher level of service and get limited basic service on a secondary TV without a Comcast-supplied set-top are eligible for one device at no charge for one year.

Customers who subscribe to HD service at the time of encryption and get limited basic on a secondary TV without a Comcast-supplied box are eligible for one HD-DTA, upon request, at no charge for one year if it's ordered during the promotional offer period, which begins 30 days before the date of encryption and ends 120 days after encryption. DTAs are one-way, downstream-only devices that don't have access to pay-per-view content, premium channels, or Comcast's video-on-demand programming.

"We are beginning to proactively notify customers in select markets that we will begin to encrypt limited basic channels as now permitted by last year's FCC B1 Encryption Order," Comcast said, in a statement. "While the vast majority of our customers won't be impacted because they already have digital equipment connected to their TVs, we understand this will be a change for a small number of customers and will be making it as convenient as possible for them to get the digital equipment they may need to continue watching limited basic channels."

Comcast isn’t revealing which all-digital systems are encrypting B1 early on, but a spokeswoman noted last week that the MSO expects to phase in basic tier security in additional markets over the coming months.

As reported earlier, Comcast is also making available a new type of “Ethernet” DTA with home networking capabilities that enables Boxee’s new Cloud DVR box to receive the encrypted version of the B1 tier. E-DTAs are not compatible with the original Boxee Box, however.

FCC lifted the basic TV encryption ban on Dec. 10, 2012, clearing the way for operators to secure basic tiers in all-digital systems. Cable successfully argued that basic encryption would help operators cut down on service theft and reduce truck rolls, because it would allow MSOs to activate and deactivate services remotely in most cases.

The largest six incumbent U.S. cable MSOs (Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks), representing about 86 percent of all U.S. cable subscribers, also agreed to let IP-based retail devices receive basic TV tiers without a CableCARD. Longer term, CE companies will also have the ability to license that technology and build it into their products.

Boxee and Comcast signed a separate agreement that focused on the E-DTA component, but it’s representative of the retail component of the new FCC rule.

http://www.multichannel.com/distribution/comcast-starts-lock-its-basic-tv-tier/142741
post #769 of 838
Makes me wonder if they'll even make the HD DTAs available to non-limited basic customers, given that they can do everything but VOD and cost a whole lot less than Comcast's ripoff $10 charge per HD STB every month.
post #770 of 838
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Makes me wonder if they'll even make the HD DTAs available to non-limited basic customers, given that they can do everything but VOD and cost a whole lot less than Comcast's ripoff $10 charge per HD STB every month.

It first will be made available to the Limited Basic tier and as they get more of the HD DTAs it will be made available to all Comcast customers. These devices have the ability to decrypt all of the Comcast channels except for premium channels such as HBO. Since it is a one way device it cannot do VOD but it will have program descriptions. Hopefully it will happen soon since I currently have five set top boxes plus three standard definition DTAs. I would replace the DTAs with HD DTAs and probably replace two of my set top boxes with the HD DTAs.

Comcast will probably time the HD DTA distribution with the encryption of all QAM channels.
post #771 of 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

It first will be made available to the Limited Basic tier and as they get more of the HD DTAs it will be made available to all Comcast customers. These devices have the ability to decrypt all of the Comcast channels except for premium channels such as HBO. Since it is a one way device it cannot do VOD but it will have program descriptions. Hopefully it will happen soon since I currently have five set top boxes plus three standard definition DTAs. I would replace the DTAs with HD DTAs and probably replace two of my set top boxes with the HD DTAs.

Comcast will probably time the HD DTA distribution with the encryption of all QAM channels.

They don't have DVR functionality, so they're pretty useless. Better to go with the TiVo or MCE whole-home systems.
post #772 of 838
Has anyone found an update on the planned 6 tunner XG5 DVR and\or its comapanion XI3?
post #773 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast’s X1 Takes a Crack at OpenStack
MSO Taps the Open-Source Cloud Operating System to Help it Break the Old, Closed Set-Top Paradigm
By: Jeff Baumgartner Apr 30 2013

Looking to break away from the old, closed way of developing and delivering apps for set-top boxes, Comcast’s IP-capable X1 platform is being built on OpenStack, an open-source cloud operating system founded by Rackspace and NASA.

As a keynoter at this month's OpenStack Summit in Portland, Ore., Mark Muehl, Comcast's SVP of product engineering for the MSO's National Engineering Technical Operations unit, outlined the strategy and explained how the MSO is implementing an OpenStack-based private cloud with Cisco Systems.

He said Comcast started to investigate OpenStack about a year ago as the MSO sought a way to shift its video platform away from a vertically integrated, closed environment to one that is more open and able to accelerate the MSO's ability to create and integrate applications.

Muehl explained that under the old approach, Comcast would typically buy the set-top, some inter-media communication infrastructure and servers from the same company. Under that model, the majority of the intelligence of the service would reside in the set-top.

“We have very little visibility into how that system works,” he said of that old approach. “It takes us a long time to make changes on that platform.”

With X1, a service that relies on a private cloud made up of open source servers, software and standard IP technology, “we decided that we needed to try to change the paradigm,” he said.

Under this new paradigm, the communication of data from the set-top to Comcast’s network runs through Comcast’s OpenStack production cloud.

And by moving most of the intelligence to the cloud, Comcast can more rapidly develop and deploy apps that were difficult if not impossible to offer via the legacy approach. As an example, he noted that Comcast was able to integrate a Rotten Tomatoes movie database app in about three weeks, explaining that it would have been impossible to accomplish it using the old model in part because set-tops don’t have enough memory to support all of that data. “Here [with X1] we can do it all in the cloud and just send the data back,” he said.

Muehl noted in a follow-up blog post that Comcast and Cisco intend to contribute much of their OpenStack work back to the OpenStack community.

Comcast’s X1 service features a media-rich cloud-based interface and an IP-based applications ecosystem. The next version, internally referred to as "X2," will add features such as personalized recommendations based on viewing habits and other data. The initial version of X1 runs on a Pace-made hybrid QAM/IP HD-DVR called the XG1 that can share content over a Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA)-based home network with an HD client box called the RNG150N. Comcast is working with Arris and other vendors on a “headless” gateway called the XG5 that will work with an IP-only HD client device called the Xi3. The XG5 will also house a transcoder that converts QAM video into IP streams that can be shared with tablets, smartphones and other devices hanging off the home network. All of those products run on the Comcast Reference Design Kit (RDK), a pre-integrated software bundle for gateways and set-tops.

Comcast is aiming X1 primarily at new triple-play subscribers. Comcast launched X1 in Boston in mid-2012, and has since introduced it in Colorado; Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; San Francisco; and the Philadelphia area. The MSO plans to launch X1 in all its major markets this year.


http://www.multichannel.com/distribution/comcast%E2%80%99s-x1-takes-crack-openstack/143016
post #774 of 838
Hello, I recently rented a uDTA from Comcast in the SouthEastern MA. region. I had a DVR mirror box, but they were charging $10 per month and I did not use the DVR features or ONDemand. It works fine for me now, I still receive a full channel line-up with HD available, but there is no Electronic Guide. I know that they are working on making a guide, but I don't want to wait a year to see if I want to stay up and watch something. I just want a basic guide that can be integrated into there cable box. I have another room with a TV that I may put one of these devices if getting some type of guide is possible.

I am not tech savy, so any help from this forum would be appreciated!
post #775 of 838
yeah,This plan allows people the choice temporarily, anyway. So, it's no issue, yett.thanks4.gif
post #776 of 838
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crst04 View Post

Hello, I recently rented a uDTA from Comcast in the SouthEastern MA. region. I had a DVR mirror box, but they were charging $10 per month and I did not use the DVR features or ONDemand. It works fine for me now, I still receive a full channel line-up with HD available, but there is no Electronic Guide. I know that they are working on making a guide, but I don't want to wait a year to see if I want to stay up and watch something. I just want a basic guide that can be integrated into there cable box. I have another room with a TV that I may put one of these devices if getting some type of guide is possible.

I am not tech savy, so any help from this forum would be appreciated!

If you have a smartphone Comcast has an app (xfinity TV) that will that will show you information similar to the guide. Also on the Comcast web site you can access information similar to the guide.
post #777 of 838
"If you have a smartphone Comcast has an app (xfinity TV) that will that will show you information similar to the guide. Also on the Comcast web site you can access information similar to the guide."

Thanks. I do not have a smart phone, but if I did could I use it as a remote control and have it broadcast the channel that I get or would it simply be a guide I could see on my phone. I'd probably do well to get a TV guide magazine, if so.

Would you happen to know if they are going to implement a Electronic Guide with there uDTA's anytime soon?
post #778 of 838
Thread Starter 
They are supposed to implement it soon (but with Comcast who knows what soon means). Probably it will happen when a larger percentage of the country has HD DTAs. A smartphone would probably not work with the HD DTAs as a remote, currently the smartpnone works with only the cable boxes that support two way communication (the ones you pay $10 a month for plus DVRs).

What level of service do you have - I think you wrote the DTA displays all the channels that a regular cable box can display?
Edited by PaulGo - 5/17/13 at 12:09pm
post #779 of 838
I apologize for the incorrect wording. It provides MOST of the channels in the 800 that I have with the regular DVR box. They do take away a few of the 900 channels, and some of the 700's, but by and large I receive all the channels that I generally watch in HD. The only down side is the loss of a guide, but it isn't a life changer, just unfortunate.

Thanks for the help. If any one has some sort of work around I'd still like to know!
post #780 of 838
Thread Starter 
Comcast's new DVR ditches the hard drive, stores your recordings in the cloud

Comcast has just announced the X2, the latest version of its cloud-connected X1 entertainment platform. X2 uses the new XI3 DVR, which uses cloud storage for your recorded shows — in fact it doesn't even have a hard drive for local storage. The box itself is three times smaller and uses 50 percent less energy as a result, and you can now access your recorded shows from a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets. The XI3 is also said to be four times faster than the typical cable box in use today.

The new X2 platform offers a number of enhancements over Comcast's existing X1 service, including personalized home screens that sync across your TV and apps on mobile devices, more recommendations for new shows and content, the ability to start watching on-demand content on one device and then continue it on another, and social integration. Comcast is also upgrading its existing X1 service today to support web video, enabling customers to send video content from their PC or mobile device to their X1 set-top box for viewing on TV. It's essentially Comcast's version of Apple's AirPlay feature.

The path to move your recorded shows from the cable box in your living room to the cloud for easy access has been pretty difficult for cable companies to navigate. Cablevision spent years in court fighting broadcasters for the right to move the recordings to its own servers, with the Supreme Court eventually electing not to hear the case, giving Cablevision a victory by default. Cablevision announced last year that it would launch its own cloud-based DVR service to all of its customers following a trial run in a handful of markets. Comcast's NBC owners may have made it easier for it to launch a cloud-based DVR without much trouble, however.

Comcast still only has its X1 service available in 12 markets, with recent expansion to include Washington DC. The X2 platform is scheduled to launch later this year, but it's not clear exactly how many markets it will be available in at that time.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/11/4418868/comcast-xi3-dvr-ditches-hard-drive-puts-your-recordings-in-cloud
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