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Comcast question. Do I have to "rent" their cable box?
Posted by: volcs0
Date: September 29, 2009 02:00PM
We have two TV's right now with expanded cable - one is an old CRT with an old-style cable box. The other is an LCD TV with a digital DVR. Now we want to hook up another TV - with each TV, I'm paying another montly "rental" fee. Without the box, I only get a few channels (up to 30 or something). Any other options? I bought a cable modem years ago to stop paying that rental - any analogy for cable boxes?

Thanks.
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Re: Comcast question. Do I have to "rent" their cable box?
Posted by: Doc
Date: September 29, 2009 02:30PM
> Any other options? I bought a cable modem
> years ago to stop paying that rental - any
> analogy for cable boxes?

They don't sell the boxes.


> Any other options?

If your tv is one of the rare ones that supports cable cards, you could rent a cable card instead of a set-top box. It's slightly cheaper and you'll lose the channel-guide.

...Or, you could use a house-antenna and get over-the-air digital for free instead of paying for cable. Your old CRT would need a digital converter tuner box.
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Re: Comcast question. Do I have to "rent" their cable box?
Posted by: Gilbert
Date: September 29, 2009 02:49PM
Another route (albeit not free or cheap) would be to purchase a Tivo or Moxi DVR. The Tivo HD and the Moxi DVR can both take cable cards that Doc mention. The Tivo S2 can't handle cablecards but can handle the cable analog channels.

With the Moxi, you don't have any monthly fees but the purchase price is very steep ($800) and with Tivo, you would have either monthly fees (probably as much or more than your current CableCo box rates) or pay for a lifetime subscription.

Don't think (at least in the US) you can buy just a cable box.
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Re: Comcast question. Do I have to "rent" their cable box?
Posted by: volcs0
Date: September 29, 2009 03:34PM
OK. Thanks.

What a great system they have. Reminds me of the very-old days when one had to pay for each computer in the house that was getting broadband. I remember registering a router - thinking I was "clever" - in that the router appeared as a single computer to the cable company.

But in this case, each tuner needs its own cable box. So, I guess I'm stuck paying the cable company more for each TV I have...
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Re: Comcast question. Do I have to "rent" their cable box?
Posted by: DavidS
Date: September 29, 2009 03:57PM
I recently asked about this, as you can find "Comcast-ready" cable boxes for sale on eBay. They said that each box has to be registered to get service. If you buy one from a 3rd party and then try to activate it with Comcast, you'll be charged the same service/rental fee.

Remember when you had to "rent" your phone from Ma Bell?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/29/2009 03:57PM by DavidS.
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Re: Comcast question. Do I have to "rent" their cable box?
Posted by: volcs0
Date: September 29, 2009 04:03PM
I just called Comcast, "How much for the next tier of service."

They would not give me any info without my account information.

OK.

Then she says, "Well, you are getting one of your cable boxes for $1.99/month, which should be $5.99. If you upgrade, then that $1.99 promotional price goes away, and you will start paying $5.99 for that box."

Me: "You mean, if I upgrade to the next tier - from Digital Starter to Digital Classic, you will increase the costs of the cable box I already have?"

Her: "Yes."

Me: "Well, then I guess I shouldn't upgrade."

Her: "Uh, well, uh, ok."

Me: "Bye."

What a great business model.

Anyway, they are still getting $75/month from me between the digital starter, the digital DVR, an extra cable box (non-HD) and the internets. What an operation.
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Re: Comcast question. Do I have to "rent" their cable box?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 29, 2009 04:03PM
I don't think Comcast is allowed to require you to rent a box from them, but I guess the problem becomes getting one of your own. I suspect some of the on-demand features might not work so well.
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Re: Comcast question. Do I have to "rent" their cable box?
Posted by: Octave Doctor
Date: September 29, 2009 05:01PM
Each box has to be authorized by one of their "highly trained technicians"--my landlord's been going round and round with Comcast for the last week, and there's still a couple channels that aren't working.

Good thing I had several VHS tapes I'd been saving for just such an occasion.
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Re: Comcast question. Do I have to "rent" their cable box?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: September 29, 2009 09:00PM
IF you want to choose to do it . . . you could get a splitter out of one of your cable boxes and run to another TV. You would have to deal with the wire and have to watch the same Channel on each TV (or, tune the box to the channel you want for the second TV when you turn off the first TV).

Just a thought . . .



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Comcast question. Do I have to "rent" their cable box?
Posted by: Dakota
Date: September 29, 2009 10:45PM
I just replaced my Comcast boxes with the ones that have HDMI ports. I spent two days on and off on the trying to get the activation right. Yes, it is silly to have to have a box for each TV. We could use 4 of them. BTW, do they have to be that large? I think making boxes for Comcast is the last business Motorola has.



After you discover you're riding a dead horse, your best strategy is to dismount.
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