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Comcast cable question.. thank you

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I live in Denver and currently use Comcast as my cable provider. I have my JVC connected to the Comcast's HD-DVR but my standard tv in my bedroom is connected directly to the cable My wife would like to have an additional box set up on our bedroom so that she can use the "guide" button to see what's on.. I called Comcast and they said it would cost an additional $7.00 a month to get the box.

So I looked on Ebay and found tons of Comcast boxes (from the standard box to DVR boxes) I talked to a Customer Service rep at Comcast and they said that none of those boxes would work but I have a hard time believing them. So I'm asking you.. can I buy one of these boxes from Ebay and be able to just use it? Is this legal? I'm not buying something to get channels I'm not paying for.. just to get the guide button.

Also, can I go a step beyond that by buying a DVR box and connecting that to my bedroom tv?

Thank you in advance

Rob
post #2 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by milehi rob View Post

So I'm asking you.. can I buy one of these boxes from Ebay and be able to just use it? Is this legal?

With Comcast, you can't. It's not illegal, its against Comcast policy. They have to add the unit serial number to their head-end in order for the box to work and they apparently will not add outside boxes.

Also, as someone is certain to point out, as these boxes are generally only available as "rental" units from Comcast and other US cable providers, you have to ask yourself where the (USA) eBay units are coming from. It is popular belief that they are usually "stolen".

In Canada, its entirely different Generally everyone owns their Motorola box. The cable companies will add your box to their "inventory" and everything works great. The Motorola boxes are sold by all the regular electronics outlets like Best Buy, etc. Canadian eBay units are generally not "stolen" and work well.
post #3 of 38
Considering the amount of trouble people report having with cableco boxes, I believe you are better off NOT owning it. Besides, when you own the equipment, the response you are likely to get from the cableco first will be to blame YOUR equipment for the problem.

YMMV
post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thanks to both of you for the quick response and thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

I will be taking your advise!

Cheers!
Rob
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMike6by9 View Post

when you own the equipment, the response you are likely to get from the cableco first will be to blame YOUR equipment for the problem.

Actually, as odd as it seems, that is not an issue.

The cable company will swap out my privately-owned DVR if it proves to be at fault. As I understand it, dud units are simply exchanged with Motorola.
post #6 of 38
The box will NEVER get authorized. The box is stolen anyway! SA/MOTO does NOT sell these boxes to consumers in the USA. They are owned by cable companies only and no cable company is going to let you put a two-way box on their system that they don't own. You must lease one of their boxes or use a CableCard TV. You cannot simply plug in a stolen box and expect it to work!
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

The box will NEVER get authorized. The box is stolen anyway! SA/MOTO does NOT sell these boxes to consumers in the USA. They are owned by cable companies only and no cable company is going to let you put a two-way box on their system that they don't own. ...

EXCEPT the DCP501. While not a DVR, this Motorola unit has a built-in DCT2000 and is the only two-way box I'm aware of that was available for retail sale. You'll need to check with your local cable company to see if they'll authorize it, but I know of several that have (including the one I live in - I have two of these).
post #8 of 38
If you want the on screen guide and a DVR, I may have the solution. I purchased a Panasonic DMR-EH55. It has a 200 GB HD and TVGuide onsceen (free!) it is not as detailed as he comcast digital guide but it can be used to set the DVR and show the TV schedule for 2 weeks in advance. It also records to dvd if you want to. Check it out. Its like a TIVO but free!
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonypolo27 View Post

If you want the on screen guide and a DVR, I may have the solution. I purchased a Panasonic DMR-EH55. It has a 200 GB HD and TVGuide onsceen (free!) it is not as detailed as he comcast digital guide but it can be used to set the DVR and show the TV schedule for 2 weeks in advance. It also records to dvd if you want to. Check it out. Its like a TIVO but free!

Unless I'm wrong, this device is nearly useless. It does NOT have a QAM/ATSC or CableCARD slot. It only has NTSC which is not good. This will not help solve the OP's problem.
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

Unless I'm wrong, this device is nearly useless. It does NOT have a QAM/ATSC or CableCARD slot. It only has NTSC which is not good. This will not help solve the OP's problem.


You're wrong, I believe.

Tho OP has a "standard TV connected directly to cable", sounds like NTSC extended basic cable to me. No mention of QAM or digital cable.
post #11 of 38
He already subcribers to digital/HD cable, so why would he want this NTSC only box? He could access all of his channels in his bed room by leasing a STB. Spending $400-500 on a nearly obsolete analog input only DVR doesn't make much sense to me. He could rent that STB for 4-5 years before that DVR would make any sense.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

He already subcribers to digital/HD cable, so why would he want this NTSC only box? He could access all of his channels in his bed room by leasing a STB. Spending $400-500 on a nearly obsolete analog input only DVR doesn't make much sense to me. He could rent that STB for 4-5 years before that DVR would make any sense.

We weren't talking about money. You said:

Quote:


This will not help solve the OP's problem.

Which is wrong.
post #13 of 38
Explain to me how this DVR will allow the OP to get his digital channels and the TV guide on-screen........oh.......it WON'T!
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

Explain to me how this DVR will allow the OP to get his digital channels and the TV guide on-screen........oh.......it WON'T!

Let me explain this, the OP has made no mention of wanting digital channels on this particular set.

Here are his questions;

Quote:


my standard tv in my bedroom is connected directly to the cable My wife would like to have an additional box set up on our bedroom so that she can use the "guide" button to see what's on..


Also, can I go a step beyond that by buying a DVR box and connecting that to my bedroom tv?

And here is the relevant reply;

Quote:


If you want the on screen guide and a DVR, I may have the solution. I purchased a Panasonic DMR-EH55. It has a 200 GB HD and TVGuide onsceen (free!) it is not as detailed as he comcast digital guide but it can be used to set the DVR and show the TV schedule for 2 weeks in advance. It also records to dvd if you want to. Check it out. Its like a TIVO but free!

Now granted, I haven't seen this device, but according to the poster it does EXACTLY what the OP asked.

Get it?
post #15 of 38
He can purchase anything he wants, it just doesn't make much sense to go throw $400-500 in the trash on something that is going to be obsolete shortly. The FCC no longer allows analog tuner-only TV's to be sold for a reason!
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

He can purchase anything he wants, it just doesn't make much sense to go throw $400-500 in the trash on something that is going to be obsolete shortly. The FCC no longer allows analog tuner-only TV's to be sold for a reason!

Please explain what this has to do with the subject at hand?
post #17 of 38
As mentioned elsewhere on this site, cable companies will be distributing analog signals for years to come. TV's can last for 15 years or better (I know I have one I wish would die!), if the OP just wants a TV for his wife to watch in bed he may be happy with analog. I submit that miniz has every right to be an HDTV afficianado, but not all of us can just toss out a perfectly operating analog SDTV just to get the latest tech. Certainly not for a bedroom TV. My wife originally hated the new "gadget" (DVR / DVD recorder) but has come to like it very much.
post #18 of 38
post #19 of 38
Thread Starter 
thanks for all of you for offering your time to help me!

all my hd viewing is done in the family room where I have the new JVC 61 inch tv that I got from TigerDirect (I got is last week!) ..all I care about in the bedroom is having a guide channel so that my wife can pick the shows she wants to watch on a standard tv.. Although I have Digital Classic package on my big Tv, the standard TV in our bedroom only has basic cable.. and yes, the cable goes straight from the wall to my standard tv.

Money is a concern because I could always just rent an additional box for $7 a month.. but instead of renting, I was just seeing if there was a cheaper way to go.. mainly by buying a box from Ebay.. I figured why spend $77 a year on renting something if I can just buy one for $50?

But looks like I can't since Comcast still has to do something on their end to make the box I would buy from Ebay work..

again, thanks to everyone for their opinions!
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by milehi rob View Post

thanks for all of you for offering your time to help me!

all my hd viewing is done in the family room where I have the new JVC 61 inch tv that I got from TigerDirect (I got is last week!) ..all I care about in the bedroom is having a guide channel so that my wife can pick the shows she wants to watch on a standard tv.. Although I have Digital Classic package on my big Tv, the standard TV in our bedroom only has basic cable.. and yes, the cable goes straight from the wall to my standard tv.

Money is a concern because I could always just rent an additional box for $7 a month.. but instead of renting, I was just seeing if there was a cheaper way to go.. mainly by buying a box from Ebay.. I figured why spend $77 a year on renting something if I can just buy one for $50?

But looks like I can't since Comcast still has to do something on their end to make the box I would buy from Ebay work..

again, thanks to everyone for their opinions!

So what did you decide on doing? Renting?
post #21 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

So what did you decide on doing? Renting?

I decided to tell my wife to save the TV guide that comes with our Sunday paper!

Seriously, I told her if she really wants it, we'll rent the box.. but she said she's going to "try" to live without it for now..
post #22 of 38
bfoster: why do you always insist on nitpicking like you are doing with miniz? it is not constructive at all.
post #23 of 38
because he likes to see the number go up next to his name and not end up actually helping the person.
post #24 of 38
that's what i thought. he did the same thing with me in another thread. and he was completely full of it... correcting me for using the word "grade" in lieu of "size"... lol.
post #25 of 38
Just look at the number of times he said

Quote:


Which is wrong.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by blankfaze View Post

bfoster: why do you always insist on nitpicking like you are doing with miniz? it is not constructive at all.

Add me to the list also.

It has nothing to do with "post count". Take it for what it's worth. You can trust info from whomever you choose. Just remember... I told you so!
post #27 of 38
miniz & blankfaze,

Nitpicking? Or accuracy?

You both tend to make broad, blanket statements that are not completely true, and get upset when someone corrects or clarifys your generalizations.

miniz: "...no cable company is going to let you put a two-way box on their system that they don't own. You must lease one of their boxes or use a CableCard TV..."

I know of at least two MSO's in five locations that will authorize customer owned Motorola equipment. The OP may be able to buy one of those units for $100 and get it authorized. Am I nitpicking for bringing that up after you said it couldn't be done?

blankfaze: You made several general statements regarding RG-59, RG-6, "...RG-59 has thinner dielectric shielding." and compression connectors "...As for connectors, no contest, at all, compressed connectors are superior...", ignoring any quality concerns.

As someone mentioned (and you laughed at the comment), quad-shield RG-59 - with as much shielding as RG-6 - has been used in headends for some time. And is still being used. Totally "coax-free" headends are rare by comparison (I'd like to see one, though).

As for connectors, sure there's a contest. MOST of them are better than crimp style, but I've seen some very poor compression connectors lately that shouldn't be used for ...anything. I think the OP should be advised to get GOOD compression connectors, not ANY.

You can call it nit-picking if you like, but I think the people asking the questions deserve the clarifications.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
I know of at least two MSO's in five locations that will authorize customer owned Motorola equipment. The OP may be able to buy one of those units for $100 and get it authorized. Am I nitpicking for bringing that up after you said it couldn't be done?

That is nit-picking! What do you want me to say???? There is an exact 99.7234567567845789586578570643976847689473767987% chance that your cable company will not allow or authorize a box that was not leased directly from them to be used on their cable system. Come on!!!!
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

That is nit-picking! What do you want me to say???? There is an exact 99.7234567567845789586578570643976847689473767987% chance that your cable company will not allow or authorize a box that was not leased directly from them to be used on their cable system. Come on!!!!

Interesting figure that you pulled out of your... whatever.

Actually, there is a 100% chance that my cable company WILL authorize another box for me if I buy another one.

I didn't say there were ONLY 5 locations. I just personally know of those. If two of the largest three MSO's in the country will authorize personal boxes in a couple locations, it may be that they will in others. I just didn't want to throw out another unsubstantiated "fact" (I'll leave that to others ).
post #30 of 38
May I ask where you are buying those MOTO boxes? DOES EBAY ring any bells?
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