Comcast provides cable TV. What is being provided? There is an additional charge for a cable box or cable card. The cable box or cable card should free, as part of the cable service, since a subscriber cannot own his own cable box.
06-12-2009 12:40 PM
06-12-2009 01:01 PM
Sorry WarEagle57 that response doesn't hold water. Comcast profits soar (below) and comcast service plummits. Channels are being removed from basic service almost daily; thus making a cable box almost manditory.
Comcast Profits Jump 80% on Revenue Growth and One-Time Gain ...Apr 27, 2007 ... Comcast Corp., America's largest cable company, reported an 80% increase in first quarter profit yesterday, fueled by ongoing subscriber ...
Comcast Profits Jump 54%Feb 14, 2008 ... Comcast Corp. on Thursday reported a 54 percent jump in fourth-quarter 2007 profits thanks to demand for cable TV and an acquisition. ...
Comcast Profits Rise Despite Recession -- Cable -- InformationWeekApr 30, 2009 ... The company's subscriber base was boosted by the digital television transition, but it is facing increased competition from Verizon and ...
06-12-2009 02:00 PM
We have lots of choices for watching TV now. Many shows are free on the internet through their networks or through Hulu, or $2 an episode through amazon. If you wait a year, you can rent or buy the DVDs. There is currently also still the choice of finding a friend with a VCR who will record things for you. You can use the cost, convenience, and quality trade-offs of these options to decide if cable is a good value for you. If enough people do not find cable to be a good value and drop or downgrade their service, Comcast will have to lower its prices. Otherwise, Comcast will have to raise its prices (to the extent permitted by regulatory agencies) until it finds the supply/demand equilibrium (which is itself a moving target). While people continue to see cable as a good value, prices will go up and Comcast's profits will rise.
I think WarEagle57's point wasn't really about costs, but pointing out that in this case it makes more economic sense (from the point of view of both consumer and service provider) to charge more for more services (like extra box rentals) than it does to charge everyone the same price. If so, I agree. In fact, I think it's the case that extra box rental fees are kept artificially low by FCC regulations. Considering extra cost to Comcast in terms of customer service and equipment, I don't think Comcast comes out very far ahead on the extra box rental fees on the standard boxes, at least where I live (where the fee is $1.99 per month; maybe they are much more where you live). I don't know how much the actual CableCARD hardware costs, so these might be more of a moneymaker; they are also the subject of lots of FCC rules, and Comcast probably accounts these as the source of lots of legal and lobbying costs.
I think there are two important points that can be made here that go along with your complaint:
06-13-2009 05:11 PM
Has anyone purchased a comcast box on say ebay or craigs list? Does it or could it work? I want one for my workshop but I don't want to spend $10 more monthly. I am in bristol county
The CATV CONVERTER MODEL NUMBER IS: DCT2524/1612 on ebay
06-17-2009 11:55 AM
06-17-2009 01:41 PM
I don't know why they don't go and do the whole Cell Phone model.
Give a nice selection of boxes with capacity and feature's, much like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc... provide many different selections of cell phones.
Then, like a wireless provider, you can 1) Sign a 2yr contract and purchase the equipment at a discounted rate ie $199, $99, etc.. depending on what box you get. 2) Don't sign a contract and purchase the equipment at full retail value ie $499, $299, etc... 3) Stay with the current no contract/no purchase nessesary / monthly rental model
Like a Cell phone, the box would still be 'locked in' to the provider you signed up with until the contract is up. If I go out and buy an iPhone with AT&T, if I'm a new customer (or eligeable for an upgrade) I can get the IPhone 3G 8GB for $99, or the 16GB 3GS for $199 or the IPhone 32GB 3GS for $299. Of course I would be in a new 2 year contract, a minimum service level is required, and yes the phone is 'locked into' AT&T. You couldn't put in a T-Mobile card and expect it to work! Not unless the operator gives the proper unlock codes. "Unlocked" boxes, like "Unlocked" cell phones that work on any provider would certainly also be available at a much higher premium. An Unlocked 16GB IPhone 3G goes as much as $777 on e-bay for example.
It works fine for the Wireless companies, and they are very profitable. Why wouldn't this work for cable companies? It actually would BENIFIT cable companies, because people would be less likely to go to the office and swap out a box for a newer one, when there's actually nothing wrong with the box they have. Some of that responsibility would be off of the cable operators back. Not everyone would have to go with this model. Some might not want a contract, and not want to pay full price for equipment. In those situations the current working monthly rental fees would suffice.
I would like a Moderator to forward this idea on to higher powers. Additionally I would like a comment from a Comcast executive if this is a buisness model that could be considered for the future.
06-24-2009 07:58 AM
06-24-2009 04:42 PM
06-25-2009 02:15 AM
How about swapping Cable Cards and rebuilding the account in the billing system instead?
How often does AT&T, Verizon or Sprint swap cell phones to fix problems? Ok, it's still done but on a case-by-case basis if your warranty is intact.
OK so the argument is, hey, maybe cable boxes are just too complex? Well it's not really that more complicated than a Computer or an IPhone. My IPhone is far more powerful. It does fluid animations and rich graphics, plays video & music, talks back and forth to the network, can be remotely disconnected from the network if I don't pay the bill, etc... So it has 8GB of memory, a far cry from 160GB in a DVR. No biggie, just memory size.
06-25-2009 08:37 PM
06-26-2009 09:04 AM
Something else to think about. With DirecTv, you own the boxes after you have finished your 2 year commitment, but you still pay the box fee for each additional box, even after the commitment. As well, they charge $50.00 for EVERY service call required.
The Cell Phone model is great... except when you drive over your blackberry without any insurance... then you have to pay the full rate for a new phone. The same concept would work with Comcast. If you own your own modem, for example, if something happens to that modem, Comcast is NOT responsible for it, and therefore you will have to purchase another one.
Personally, I prefer to pay $6.95/month to rent a box and them have the option to have it exchanged, at no cost to me, if something happens to it. My DVR at the moment needs to be switched out, if I had to eat the cost of the DVR, cable TV wouldn't be worth it.
06-30-2009 01:43 AM
06-30-2009 09:52 AM
06-30-2009 10:34 AM
Well I would most likely continue to rent as well for the ability to just 'swap it out' if needed. But I'm pulling for this option because perhaps it would open up the marketplace a bit. It would be nice if you could choose the DVR with the hard drive space you want, and the processing power you want. Maybe I want one that does yahoo widgets on screen, or one with Pandora online radio included. Perhaps I want to download a twitter, facebook or flikr client to utilize those services on the TV.
I just think an open marketplace would help move these innovations along. Service providers like AT&T, and Verizon are trying to work these innovations in, but Comcast, along with most traditional cable TV operators is not. So if they don't, let the box manufacturer take over. I'm not talking about just a Tivo or Moxi either. We need more choices along with the ability to do VOD.
So yeah, I would rent for now, but would love to see much better products come out of the chance to buy, along with see people who would rather own have that ability.
06-30-2009 09:53 PM
07-01-2009 12:37 AM
07-01-2009 07:42 AM
Note that you don't have to rent the cable box from Comcast. If you have receiving equipment with a CableCARD slot, it can be used without a cable box. Cypherx mentioned wanting the ability to choose your DVR. TiVo supports CableCARD, so you can do that right now, and I'd expect other DVR manufacturers to follow suit.
There are some things you can't do with CableCARD, though, such as On Demand and PPV. Try2Way is the new standard that will allow an open market for these features.
07-01-2009 04:07 PM
No they wouldn't. THere are 2 reasons comcast rents equipment.
1. The government says they can.
2. Comcast wants to bleed you dry of cash.
Same reason we pay $7 for a cable modem rental.
IMHO, if a customer needs a piece of equipment to use a service, the equipment should be provided at no cost to the customer. When you cancel service, you are responsible for returning said equipment. When I was a cablevision customer you we're given a cable modem to use for internet, but had to rent an STB.
02-22-2012 01:21 PM
Since responses to ancient threads seldom make any sense I'm locking this one.
02-22-2012 01:25 PM
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