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Comcast cable box question

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I just purchased a Motorola DCT 2244 cable box off ebay. I have basic analog cable currently at my house. I want to subscibe to digital cable and the plan was to use the new box and have the Comcast tech set it up. When I called a Comcast salesperson she was not aware that this could be done and that I would have to use their box. This box is compatible with the service in my area and I am just trying to save on the box rental fees. Is she giving me a line? She says they only allow you to use your own modem for broadband. Thanks for any help.
post #2 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by coasterman View Post

I just purchased a Motorola DCT 2244 cable box off ebay. I have basic analog cable currently at my house. I want to subscibe to digital cable and the plan was to use the new box and have the Comcast tech set it up. When I called a Comcast salesperson she was not aware that this could be done and that I would have to use their box. This box is compatible with the service in my area and I am just trying to save on the box rental fees. Is she giving me a line? She says they only allow you to use your own modem for broadband. Thanks for any help.

She is correct. Comcast and most if not all other cable companies require you to use their own box or a CableCard. If you bought the box off ebay the box is most likely stolen or from Canada where they sell the boxes directly to the consumer. Comcast is under no obligation what so ever to activate your box on their system.
post #3 of 41
Please do a SEARCH before posting! This question has been asked no less then 100 times. Here is the answer I gave to last person who asked it.

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 99.99% of cable companies aren't 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 #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

Please do a SEARCH before posting! This question has been asked no less then 100 times. Here is the answer I gave to last person who asked it.

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 99.99% of cable companies aren't 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!

I did a search. I found 1 reference to my question in the last month and it still was not what I needed. I was not looking to steal cable services as I was going to have a Comcast tech hook it up and just save for the mothly rental. If indeed this box was stolen I will contact ebay where I purchased it from and yet have not received it and take care of matters.
post #5 of 41
You have already commited a crime. Wether you were planning on stealing the cable feed too is not the issue. You purchased stolen property. End of story. Return the box. You should have come here and either Searched or Asked BEFORE you purchased this box.
post #6 of 41
He could have purchased the box from a Canadian... no crime!
post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

You have already commited a crime. Wether you were planning on stealing the cable feed too is not the issue. You purchased stolen property. End of story. Return the box. You should have come here and either Searched or Asked BEFORE you purchased this box.

You know sir I did not come here to be chastised - I came here for help. I do not live on these boards although I do vastly enjoy the information gained from them. Certainly if I new that these boxes were not available for regular purchase I would have not done what I did. Enough said.
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

He could have purchased the box from a Canadian... no crime!

Boxes taken from Canada to the USA are also illegal. They were designed and sold in Canada and not the USA for a reason.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by coasterman View Post

You know sir I did not come here to be chastised - I came here for help. I do not live on these boards although I do vastly enjoy the information gained from them. Certainly if I new that these boxes were not available for regular purchase I would have not done what I did. Enough said.

You got your help, now return the stolen property. Go do the right thing. Some cable company is out there looking for this box.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

Boxes taken from Canada to the USA are also illegal. They were designed and sold in Canada and not the USA for a reason.

Owning a cable box bought in Canada is not illegal. There is no US embargo on cable boxes. As no cable companies will authorize one they are useless, but far from illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

You got your help, now return the stolen property. Go do the right thing. Some cable company is out there looking for this box.

Calm down, no one is here for a lecture in law and morals. Please be careful stepping down from your high horse.
post #11 of 41
Is it wrong to step up and defend someone who is being stolen from? It may be a cable company in this case, but that doesn't make it any less of a crime. It seems like half the people on here expect the cable company to give them this and that for free.... whether it's stealing unencypted programming or authorizing stolen boxes, its all wrong.

There may not be an "embargo" on Canadian boxes, but the companies who makes these boxes surely do not allow importation of them. They have designated market areas and the USA's general public is not one of them.

Besides that, the chance of the box being a US owned cable companies property is about 95% unless he purchased it on ebay.ca.
post #12 of 41
Minz you've reacted like a person suspecting a purse snatch is going to take place, and and urging the mob to run down the likely suspect with shouts of "stop thief!" There is a strident, self-righteous tone to your posts that is uncalled for by anything the OP wrote.

The OP only stated a desire to save money by buying the box. He was clear that he planed to go openly to CCast about setup. Why take such a minatory tone with him? Would it not have been enough to give him the facts as you understand them, and let him make his own responsible decision?

Your information is good information; it need not be shouted.
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

Is it wrong to step up and defend someone who is being stolen from? It may be a cable company in this case, but that doesn't make it any less of a crime. It seems like half the people on here expect the cable company to give them this and that for free.... whether it's stealing unencypted programming or authorizing stolen boxes, its all wrong.

I'm not for stealing anything at all, stealing from me or the cable company is all the same. However, there is a difference between actively stealing something and receiving free programming because of a cable company mistake. Using a QAM tuner and receiving the programming that is in the clear on cable is not wrong what so ever. It is not the customers responsibility too be aware of the technical details of a cable system and report problem to the cable company. This is not like using one of those old descramblers to receive scrambled programming, this is using a perfectly legal device to receive programming that the cable company send out in the clear either by choice or mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

There may not be an "embargo" on Canadian boxes, but the companies who makes these boxes surely do not allow importation of them. They have designated market areas and the USA's general public is not one of them.

Once that product is sold, the consumer is free to do what ever they want with it. Do you really think that Motorola or the other STB makers are concerned if their boxes are imported into the US where they will become doorstops.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekguy View Post

Minz you've reacted like a person suspecting a purse snatch is going to take place, and and urging the mob to run down the likely suspect with shouts of "stop thief!" There is a strident, self-righteous tone to your posts that is uncalled for by anything the OP wrote.

The OP only stated a desire to save money by buying the box. He was clear that he planed to go openly to CCast about setup. Why take such a minatory tone with him? Would it not have been enough to give him the facts as you understand them, and let him make his own responsible decision?

Your information is good information; it need not be shouted.

I agree, we are all mature enough here to make the decision we see best. No need for lectures.
post #15 of 41
Thread Starter 
A sincere thanks to those of you who KINDLY gave me the info I needed. The box was returned. The guy who sold it had no idea it wouldn't work. He was doing a favor for his girlfriend who owed Comcast some money. She paid her bill off but never returned the box so he sold it on e-bay for her. I guess you could say she stole the box but Comcast probably has the last laugh as it is useless anyways. Thanks again.
post #16 of 41
GOOD!!!!!! Now don't let those ebay scams fool you again.
post #17 of 41
Not really a scam... the seller took it back. No harm, no foul. All is now well in the world.
post #18 of 41
Selling stolen items anywere is a scam. I don't care what story the theif comes up with, its still stealing.
post #19 of 41
I've had comcast charge someone I know a couple hundred dollars for not returning the cable box. Once they charge you for the box, isn't it yours? I don't want to be yelled at but it would seem like if they charge you for the box then it is no longer theirs.

Also couldn't you use a box legally if you only wanted to get non-digital cable channels? Again, I will admit ignorance so please no yelling.
post #20 of 41
Comcast's interpretation of the Communication Policy Act of 1984 [47 C.F.R. 553] might be that connecting an ex- Comcast box without authorization is theft of service.

Here is a part of their FAQ-

Cable theft usually occurs when an individual knowingly and willfully makes illegal physical connections to a cable system or alters (or installs) any unauthorized equipment so that the cable signal can be received without the authorization or knowledge of a cable operator.

As you may know the industry succeeded in making this a federal offense, but I understand that both Spring and Fall are very pleasant in Leavenworth, Kansas.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhpollack View Post

I've had comcast charge someone I know a couple hundred dollars for not returning the cable box. Once they charge you for the box, isn't it yours? I don't want to be yelled at but it would seem like if they charge you for the box then it is no longer theirs.

Also couldn't you use a box legally if you only wanted to get non-digital cable channels? Again, I will admit ignorance so please no yelling.

Nope the fee is a lost box fee, there is no transfeance of ownership by paying for a lost box.
post #22 of 41
THIS article sheds some light on legislation regarding STB supplied by cable operators. Here is a quote (emphasis added):

"Comcast will ask the FCC to "immediately" review the agency's rejection of the company's request to be exempted from new rules governing cable set-top boxes.

The regulations, which take effect July 1, require cable operators to offer units that accommodate insertable cards with security features designed to block channels and prevent programming theft. The rules are intended to spur a robust marketplace for the devices.

Many consumers now rent proprietary boxes from their cable operators, meaning that if they switch providers, they must obtain replacements. Under the FCC's plan, a consumer could easily buy a standard box off the shelf and use it with any cable service."


alinski...
post #23 of 41
Quote:


Besides that, the chance of the box being a US owned cable companies property is about 95% unless he purchased it on ebay.ca.

Maybe it was originally purchased at Future shop, or Best Buy...
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targus View Post

Maybe it was originally purchased at Future shop, or Best Buy...

1.) We have already established that the box was infact stolen from Comcast.

2.) I don't know of a single Best Best in the USA that sells Moto digital cable boxes direct to consumers.
post #25 of 41
At this point in time Motorola does not supply cable boxes to the retail trade, but only to service providers.

If and when the rules on user owned equipment go into effect my bet is that there will be no rate reduction for comcast customers and of very likely a refusal to make free trouble calls when user equipment is implicated. The telco service model comes to mind. The savings if any will only take place if the cost of the boxes at retail drops very low.
post #26 of 41
The trouble of this isn't so much of the service but the goods that are required to receive such service. In the 90's I could easily find analog cable boxes in retail stores...there was even a product called a "rabbit" that would mimic a box to another tv. Most TV's even today have tuners so you don't need a box (except naturally for scrambled channels...hbo's, ppv's, sporting events etc)

Everyone knows that digital cable is better in terms of visual and numbers of stations...ultimatly analog will die out. Having said that it seems that cable co's don't want you to have your own digital box for a few reasons

1) they fear hacking to watch pay material (frankly I think this is BS since anyone watching it knows it's a 2way service...the cable co won't send a signal out if it doesn't receive one back...thus it knows who has what)

2) they want to do more targeted advertising. Everything you watch on digital cable (ppv's, shows, commericals, on demand) can easily be given back in demographics is is gold to advertisers...

3) they can make far more in renting something out rather than selling it. Even if a box cost $300 they could rent it out for say $12 a month for a decade or so to a consumer.

The way the courts are ruling is slowing going to develop into a private market. By making it open up just a bit it can help consumers to a point. Let's say someone owns more than one house...now because the cable co's can vary from town to town why should someone rent two boxes if they only need one? Why should one box not work with another provider if the customer is obviously paying for service?
post #27 of 41
I work in the cable industry and I know for a fact that Moto has supplied boxes to the general public! I have actually provisioned a couple of these boxes onto our system. One of these boxes was actually a surround sound type receiver/digi cable box all in one. One of the four that I dealt with was also an employee of Moto as well. Good Luck
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by homcom View Post

Owning a cable box bought in Canada is not illegal. There is no US embargo on cable boxes. As no cable companies will authorize one they are useless, but far from illegal.


Calm down, no one is here for a lecture in law and morals. Please be careful stepping down from your high horse.

Can I have an AMEN!
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anivoc View Post

Can I have an AMEN!

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by miniz View Post

1.) We have already established that the box was infact stolen from Comcast.

2.) I don't know of a single Best Best in the USA that sells Moto digital cable boxes direct to consumers.

I was also wondering about buying a Motorola box off Ebay.
-I didn't think that we "established that the box was stolen."
-You can buy Tivo boxes, sure it's not Motorola, but it's along the same line of thinking.

-You can also buy your own Motorola Cable modem from Best Buy.
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