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What is going to happen with cable cards on 10/12/2010 ?

What is going to happen with cable cards on 10/12/2010 ?

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
Message 1 of 22
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 I just received a letter about possible issues with my cablecard(s), there is a phone number to call but that is of no help. When you call that number you get routed around (maybe disconnected it happened to me) and finally connected to someone who does not handle this. While they tried to get information there was not a clear answer.I have a Panasonic plasma with internal cablecard it seems that one of a few things are going to happen. 1) Nothing 2) loss of all channels 3) Loss of premium channels. I also heard that this enhancement will be going out to other areas on 9-15-2010.

 My suggestion to Verizon is before you make such enhancements understand what they are going to do and inform your back-office people. That way when you send out a letter like the one I received they will be able to answer the quest "What are they talking about?"

 If anyone knows what will happen please let me know.

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Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 2,325
Registered: ‎08-05-2008
Message 2 of 22
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What is happening is that Verizon is adding Simulcrypt (which is part of the cable card specification) in order to support both Motorola and Cisco platforms on the same network.

 

The question that needs to be asked is for your cable card device manufacturer.  Do they currently support Simulcrypt?  If not, is there an update to the device firmware that will allow support of Simulcrypt?  TIVO (for instance) has updated their firmware to support, but ATI is no longer supporting their cable card tuners for PCs and will not be issuing an update.

 

Here is a LINK to an ENGADGET article.

 

 

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
Message 3 of 22
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 Actually, I beg to differ. Since it is Verizon making the change then Verizon needs to make sure that the cablecards support their new enhancement. Therefore Verizon needs to verify that the cablecards they are supplying will work with their enhancements. And if not take action to address the situation.

 But, even more interesting after calling Verizon they could not give me a clear answer as to what will happen.

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Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 2,325
Registered: ‎08-05-2008
Message 4 of 22
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@swanscn wrote:

 Actually, I beg to differ. Since it is Verizon making the change then Verizon needs to make sure that the cablecards support their new enhancement. Therefore Verizon needs to verify that the cablecards they are supplying will work with their enhancements. And if not take action to address the situation.

 But, even more interesting after calling Verizon they could not give me a clear answer as to what will happen.


 

If you read the article I linked to and what I said, the problem is not with the cable card.  It is with the device that the card plugs into and not a Verizon supplied piece of equipment.  How do you expect to Verizon to know what every XYZ manufacturer has in their device's firmware?

 

The cable card has not changed.  What is required is that the device it is plugged into (the USERS equipment) support Simulcrypt which is part of the cable card specification that is now being implemented.  Some devices will support and it and others won't.  Don't know how much clearer I make this statement but here goes:

 

THE MANUFACTURER OF THE DEVICE USING THE CABLE CARD MUST SUPPORT SIMULCRYPT (a part of the cable card specification).

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
Message 5 of 22
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 We will continue to disagree. In my post I was speaking about something going to occur not something that has occurred (at least to me). I referenced the letter and the call(s) I made to Verizon the result of those call was they did not know what was going on either and could not give any guidance. Your post gave me more information than I received from Verizon FIOS support, I happen to view this as a problem. A enhancement like this that causes problems for customers is not a enhancement. And I seem to remember back that Verizon may similar arguments to yours regarding the HDMI STB problems. Yes, we can expect them to do better testing and integration since this is the business they want to be in.

 Now back to your post I have my Verizon supplied cable card in a Pioneer TV so it should work. But as a consumer if a action on my vendors part causes me a problem I view it as theirs to resolve. I have learned that the term "Enhancement" is a code word for taking things away or charging more or both.  In my case I will not get rid of the TV and I do not want to use a STB so my choice may be comcast. In truth I do not want to use a STB even if it is free, I have a very nicely wall mounted (recessed)and framed my TV, and adding a STB would just be ugly, beside they consume too much power.

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Gold Contributor IV
Gold Contributor IV
Posts: 1,340
Registered: ‎10-13-2008
Message 6 of 22
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I'm reposting the actual link Keyboards is speaking about.  I'd make a quick call to the Manufacturer of the TV just to see if it supports the simulcrypt.

 

Cable card article

 

 

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Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 1,953
Registered: ‎05-27-2010
Message 7 of 22
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Gonna have to concur with Keyboards here as well...  the CableCard specification dictates how a manufacturer's device (i.e. your TV)  interacts with the CableCard.   It's a standard.   There are various parts of this standard the provider can choose to enable/disable at their descretion but regardless of which features the provider chooses to utilize, the standard says that the device (again, your TV) must be able to support any and all of them.   That's why it's called a standard.

 

What Verizon is doing is sending out letters to people letting them know that they are going to be utilizing a part of standard/specification that hadn't previously used.   Normally, this should be a non-issue because if the manufacturer actually did their jobs correctly in implementing the standard on their device, it will "just work".   The reason for the letter is that evidently, some manufacturers "cheated" the standard and either in a rush to bring their product to market or in a belief that certain parts of the required standard were never going to be used failed to implement or correctly implement the features.  Perhaps they figured that if and when the features ever were needed, they would simply supply the customer with a firmware upgrade to their TV.   Regardless of the reason, the manufacturer is the one who has the issue here and the customer is responsible for working that out.   Because there are literally thousands of manufacturers who have hundreds or more potential models of equipment, it's just not practical for Verizon to tell each customer if their TV will have an issue.   They're just trying to make you aware of the potential issue and give you time to validate that you won't have a problem before they light up the changes.   If you do have the problem, then you need to work out the lack of specification compliance with the manufacturer.

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Silver Contributor III
Silver Contributor III
Posts: 402
Registered: ‎07-07-2010
Message 8 of 22
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Is this a mandated (like FCC or..) change or one chosen by Verizon to implement?

 

If it's mandated, then lasagna's statement is correct: "... the manufacturer is the one who has the issue here and the customer is responsible for working that out". If it isn't mandated, then it's Verizon's choice to take a chance with their customers, who if affected, will do one of three things: Fix or replace their equipment, lease new equipment (STB, DVR), or leave Verizon. In this case, they are taking a crapshoot that enough folks will upgrade their rented equipment to offset the loss of revenue of the ones who leave.

 

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Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
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Registered: ‎05-27-2010
Message 9 of 22
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My understanding is that it's a required change in order to enable the new STB's to be able to be used on the network in conjunction with the existing Motorola boxes.   So, it's a technical requirement in order to allow them to enhance their service offering to the customer base at large.  It's not a case of "we don't want to do it any more", it's a case of "we need to make this change to allow us to offer new and improved services".

 

You are right that people have the option of "voting with their feet", but since this is a "standards" issue, if the enduser device doesn't properly support it and the manufacturer stated that they were CableCard compliant, I'd go back to the manufacturer and demand a fix or claim they sold you a defective product or are guilty of false advertising.   If Verizon were implementing something which wasn't part of the standard as already defined, then I'd see the point differently, but in this case I think they are well within their rights

 

I'm betting Verizon is eyeing the upside of enhanced DVR's, etc. in their service offering as a valuable revenue stream which will far offset any fallout from folks who have faulty equipment.

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎08-13-2009

 So the 12th has come and gone and now things do not works as they should. While I seem to still have most channels there are some missing for example I get 680 but not 681 get 685 but not 690 (there are others missing also).

 As to a technical requirement I do not buy it and here is why. The CC's currently co-exist with the existing STB's from Motorola therefore they should be able to exist with the new STB's.

 BTW, Pioneer plasmas have always been compatible with CC's my equipment is not faulty the Verizon process is broken.

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