TiVo Co-Founder Jim Barton Resigns

Strange how this matter was posted in an SEC filing and not a press release. Conversely, Comcast just slightly raised their additional digital outlet fee while drastically reducing the cutomer owned equipment discount. The net effect is customers are paying a $7.45 Cablecard fee for each additional Cablecard device (a 45% increase). Yikes! For that money you can lease an HD set-top-top with On Demand capabilities. Yep, paying a $7.95 monthly fee for a stinkin' $29 Cablecard. Obviously, Comcast does not want consumers using Cablecard devices. :(

As much as I like Tivo their business model is in real trouble...and the cable companies aren't helping matters.
Where are you that there is a $7.45 additional CC fee per device? Where I am 1st one is free (same for you I assume) and $1.50 for each additional card per device, so devices that only use 1 card have no fee. Also, where I am for each device I own, there is a $2.50 credit for customer owned equipment.
Where are you that there is a $7.45 additional CC fee per device? Where I am 1st one is free (same for you I assume) and $1.50 for each additional card per device, so devices that only use 1 card have no fee. Also, where I am for each device I own, there is a $2.50 credit for customer owned equipment.

If you're only receiving a $2.50 credit for customer owned equipment, then you too are paying $7.45 for each additional Cablecard device you have on the network. The recent programming rate increases were modest...well, they were in line with the additional charges being demanded by programmers. However, the Tivo/Moxi/TV (Cablecard) folks having multiple Cablecard devices are getting screwed with what amounts to an 88.6% price increase. Let's look at my bill:

Old Price:
Comcast Digital $80.00
CableCard $0.00 (first device)
Additional Outlet $9.25 - $5.30 (customer owned equipment discount) = $3.95
Sports Entertainment Package $6.95
Discount -$10.90
Performance Internet w/PowerBoost $45.95

New Price:
Digital Preferred $86.55 +7.11%
Additional Outlet $9.95 - $2.50 (customer owned equipment discount) = $7.45 +88.6%
Sports Entertainment $8.95 +28.78% (Flyer says $7.95)
Discount -$10.90
Performance Internet w/PowerBoost $48.95 +6.25%

Now, if I were to lease a Comcast HD set-top-box I would be charged $9.95. This includes the "digital outlet fee" + built-in Cablecard + the rental price of the set-top-box. Additionally, it includes the Programming Guide and two-way services such as VOD and PPV. So how and the heck is this fair? It is not! I am paying $7.45 and get only the Cablecard. WTF? Verizon FiOS charges us $3.95 for each Cablecard...there are no "digital outlet fees" of any other such nonsense. At one time we leased five (5) multistream cablecards and paid Verizon $19.75 per months to suppport all our owned devices (Tivs, Sony HD DVR, HDTVs, etc.). If we had Comcast these rate would be 4 x $7.45 or $29.80 each and every month. Too much for a $100 worth of cablecards IMO. If they're going to charge customers $9.95 per month for each additional digital outlet, then they certainly need to provide, at least, a $6.00 customer owned equipment discount.

The bottom line is that customers should not pay more than $3.95 per month to lease a Cablecard (my opinion). I have complained twice to the FCC because this pricing policy does not encourage people to buy their own set-top-boxes. It is an unfair practice that discourages people owning Tivos, etc. We currently have three houses we're maintaining (not by choices) and I am traveling/living in all three. Because of the price increase I was forced to drop-down to Blast Internet w/lifeline cable channels (require Internet, but don't need television since I have an OTA antenna) for $59.95 per month, and I have been given two $10 per month credits for 12-month for each FCC complaint. I will just have to do without digital cable...heck, I'm already paying for the channels with FiOS so I don't need to pay for them a 2nd or 3rd time. I can stream them with my Slingbox, but that sucks on a 60" screen! Perhaps I may look at an Slingbox HD. We shall see. I plan to continue filing complaint with the FCC until Comcast has a Cablecard friendly pricing policy that is in accordance with the Telecommunications Act.

My new bill as of yesterday:
Blast Extra (doubleplay w/Limited Basic and one digal adapter) $69.95
Promotion Discount -$10.00 for 12-months
FCC Complaint #1 discount -$10.00 for 12-months
FCC Compaint #2 discount -$10.00 for life
I humbly disagree.

I don't pay additional outlet fees, I have 3 devices with cable cards, my bill has no additional outlet fees at all and 3 credits of $2.50. My base service is $79/month for digital preferred with blast internet, yes it's a promo but promo or not, no additional outlet fees, with taxes etc and after credits I pay $81.23 a month.

I am mobile right now or I would try to grab a screen shot

I know comcast has regional billing setups as I remember different fees/tiers where I was back in Michigan. Seems as if we are in different billing systems. Then again, knowing comcast, you are right and mine is screwed up in my favor. If my bill looked like yours with those fees, I'd join you in complaints about fees since you (and I) are taking on the responsibility of replacement costs and maint.

Have you tried discussing with the corporate offices? I have had a wonderful experience with them, I wonder if they would be able to help here. If you google it, it's a 215 area code and it reminds me of the ceo@echostar email from back when I had dish.


FCC Cablecard quote
Look at 3rd item
•Use your own set-top box without extra charge. FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5)(C). Your cable operator may charge you to lease a CableCARD or tuning adapter, but may not charge you an additional service fee for using your own digital-cable-ready television or set-top box.

This line along with comcast's fees of $0 to $1.50 in my area. So anything above that would cause me to complain to FCC.
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I think Comcast is screwing-up your bill in your favor. They did that with my bill years ago...and I certainly wasn't going to bring it to their attention or change my services which would probably trigger a reset of my account billing. Perhaps it's that our area was converted to all digital last year? Not sure! It is my understanding that Comcast agreed to provide customers with one free Cablecard per some issue they had with the FCC a few years ago. I believe it had to do with Comcast not being ready to provide customers with separable security (e.g., Cablecard) in their set-top-boxes by an FCC mandated date. In liu of penalties, they agreed to this provision...although I could be wrong. It's not a bad deal...assuming you only have one Cablecard device on the network.

Regardless, I gave my folks a Tivo Premiere back in 2010 and their first Cablecard is free of charge. Of course, I checked out their price list filed with their local franchise authority and it's pretty much the same as mine...they charge an additional $9.95 digital outlet fee and provide customers with a multi-stream Cablecard (which is included in the fee). They then credit customers with an "owned equipment" credit which I do not understand one bit. Nor do I understand why last year the credit was $5.30 and now this year it was reduced to $2.50. How did they arrive at this number? Haven't equipment costs gone up? In essense, it's nothing more than a 88.6% increase for customers having more than one Cablecard devices.

When I was asked my regional executive service representative why I was being charged a $9.95 digital outlet fee I was told, "it's not for the Cablecard but for all of the services being provided by Comcast at this outlet such as Programming Guide, Video On Demand, Pay Per View, DVR service, etc." "Okay," I told her...but I don't own any Comast devices, just two Tivos, so Comcast is not providing me with a Guide, VOD, PPV and certainly not DVR service...I receive those services through my Tivo subscription. So you're basically charging me $7.45 for the Cablecard...right?" Somehow she could not comprehend this factoid. Likewise, when I asked why it was fair that Comcast charge customers $9.95 to lease an HD set-top box (or whatever the current charge is these days) that includes the $9.95 additional outlet fee, Cablecard, VOD, PPV and Programming Guide...she merely pointed out all the services being offer to the "outlet" and not the device. What a bunch of bohinka!

Anyway, I found Comcast's equipment policy that I will have to view when I have time: Customer Owned Equipment Policy


  • Comcast_Bill-R.pdf
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I see what you are saying and yeah, I think they are screwing up my bill in my favor and I'm not going to complain, but I certainly would if I was getting charged additional outlet fees on equipment I own that takes the place of all the comcast services and can't provide me ON-Demand content. I feel your pain and I think Comcast is in gross violation of the cablecard intended rules.

I know down the road when the Ceton Q comes out, I'll be considering it since it's a 6 tuner with extenders like a WMC >360>extender etc.
I was hoping to see some progress on the All-Vid gateway device but no such luck. Customers should pay one "gateway" fee to connect whatever devices they wish (TVs, DVRs, computers, tablets, mobile phones) to view the content they are paying to receive. Anyway, in the above scenario Comcast customers can self-install their own Cablecards and Comcast is providing no additional services (since Cablecard is one-way) like DRV, PPV, VOD and EPG other than provisioning a $29 Cablecard to sit on the network. Seriously, $4 per month is more than enough IMO.

I would ask for a redacted copy of your Comcast Bill, but I don't think my local Comcast is going to budge on this issue. All I can ask is that people file a complaint with the FCC if they feel this practice to be unfair. Of course, the FCC referred me to the LFA and the LFA referred me back to the FCC because they don't handle "price" issues. Ugh! Everyone knows this is an unfair business practices, but nobody seems willing to do anything about it since it involves Cablecard. Hopefully FiOS will be in the neighborhood soon so I at least have another choice.

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