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Forcing customers to use set top boxes

I've had Spectrum TV for almost a year now, and have been very satisfied with the internet as well as TV and lack of outages.  That said, I completely lost respect for Spectrum last night when there were messages on all of my TVs last night saying "scrambled".  I have the coax plugged directly into the back of each TV and this has worked great.  All of my TVs are within 2 years old, each with an internal digital tuner.  Seems that Spectrum has scrambled their signal to the point that you MUST now use a set-top box to receive a signal.  Spectrum will not give out the smaller digital adapters anymore either.  Here's my problems:

1 - I have all of my TVs mounted to the wall with cables hidden.  The set top boxes are bulky and I have nowhere to place this large set top box (SET TOP BOX - the origin of the name meant you would place the box on top of the TV.  Guess what?! we are now in the 21st century where we can no longer place a box on top of our TVs!!!)

2 - An extra remote is required.  I don't want to have two remotes to operate my TV

3 - Each box also requires a power supply.  Need to find another plug, plus they use a lot of power over time.  

4 - The biggest kicker of all - Each set top box is $11.75 per month PER TV!  If I hook up all 4 TVs in my home, thats an extra $47 a month plus fees.  REDICULOUS.  

5 - The same end result could be achieved by placing a box outside before the coax splits off and goes to each TV.  Spectrum telling you that you must have a box for each TV is a scam and just an extra revenue stream for them.  This may increase your sales in the short term, but will greatly hurt you in the long term.  

 

As of right now, I could stream all of the stations I want for less than the rental fee of the set top boxes alone.  That is what i'm currently looking into doing.  Spectrum, you are hurting yourselves in the long run by doing this.  I don't understand how your executive management does not realize this.  

23 REPLIES
Expert

Re: Forcing customers to use set top boxes

Sounds like you're here in NE Oh... what's your zip code?

 

Are the locals scrambled? Plenty of DTA announcements sent out over the past 18 months on the changes...

 

Do a rescan on the TV's, allocations may be changed..

Sorry but the fault is with the TV MANUFACTURERS not the cable companies.

 Rather than building in CableCard slots like they were supposed to, they went with IPTV (smart tv and casting)

 How would you expect to get only the channels you pay for without an individual ID/encryption for the sets you have? Cable theft is a huge issue!

 

As for cable boxes, the RF remote and IR extender ones can be located in the garage or basement but they do need an HDMI or component cable run to the sets for HD video.

 

Sharer

Re: Forcing customers to use set top boxes

This has been coming for a LONG time.   It happened on my system years ago.   Analog signals are being removed to be replaced with digital signals in efforts to free up bandwidth for faster internet speeds.  Encyption eliminates unauthorized viewing of channels, and allows the cable company to control your subscription from the head office instead of rolling a truck to install / remove filters. and/or disconnect you.  It also prevents people from running an extra cable over to their neighbors house. 

 

The cable company (and the content owners) will never sign up for having their HD digital content available in your home unencrypted.  And the "outside" box you describe would essentially be a head end for a hotel-type TV system - and they aren't cheap.

 

Almost every other payTV provider, included DBS Satellite, requires rented equipment to watch video programming on  each TV.  TWC was one of the last hold-outs.

 

The cost of a STB in a Spectrum Plan is $4.99 / month.  If you are a legacy TWC subscriber, yes, it's $11.75 / mo.  The STB remotes can be programmed to control the power and volume on your TV's.  Be aware, if you migrate to Spectrum pricing, your channel lineup will change, and you may got get all teh channels you are currently getting w/o adding some Digi-Tiers.

 

You have some options, though:

 

1.  If you are also an internet customer, you can buy and install Rokus, which are much smaller than STB's and can be powered by USB.  They typically run under $50.  It's a one-time cost.  They are the size of a deck of cards, and the Roku Streaming Stick actually plugs directly into the HDMI port behind your TV - you won't even see it.  They take the place of the box, and will pay for themselves rather quickly.

 

2.  You can disconnect your extra sets, and put up an antenna to get OTA Stations on those sets.  I hope you have home-run COAX to a single location somewhere in the house, and not splitters everywhere.

 

3.  A Tivo can be used to replace a STB, but you will need to pay Tivo for Guide Data, unless it has lifetime service.  An older-generation used Tivo capable of using cable-cards, with Lifetime Guide Data, can typically be had on auction sites at reasonable prices.

Re: Forcing customers to use set top boxes

I have always been able to get the channels I pay for in the past wtihout any sort of adapter.  I don't get why Spectrum won't allow customers to use the smaller digital adpaters rather than the expensive, bulky set top boxes.  I did rescan, with no luck. 

VHC
Rookie

Re: Forcing customers to use set top boxes

If you have Roku, Firestick or something similar or have a Smart TV you can download the Spectrum TV app and access all the channels you get through the package you pay for. I am new to this but is seems to work well on our Roku TV. No need to pay for a box for each TV that way.

Re: Forcing customers to use set top boxes

I already have one roku and the other TV's are smart TVs each with cat6 ethernet running to them.  So you are saying that I can somehow get spectrum cable through those means rather than a set top box?

Sharer

Re: Forcing customers to use set top boxes


Orion625 wrote:

I have always been able to get the channels I pay for in the past wtihout any sort of adapter.  I don't get why Spectrum won't allow customers to use the smaller digital adpaters rather than the expensive, bulky set top boxes.  I did rescan, with no luck. 


The DTA's are one-way devices and have been proven problematic to trouble-shoot.  With a STB, provided it's connected to the cable system, signal levels can be read from it.  Not so with a DTA.  Charter wants to get rid of the DTA's.

 

Did they leave one channel unencrypted displaying a static message stating that "Your TV is working" and instructing you that you'll need to rent equipement to get your video back?

VHC
Rookie

Re: Forcing customers to use set top boxes

As long as you are able to download the Spectrum TV app. I just upgraded my service and don't have a set top box in my house yet but am able to use the Spectrum TV app on my Roku TV to get all of the channels. I use only the tv remote. Hope it works for you.
Sharer

Re: Forcing customers to use set top boxes


Orion625 wrote:

I already have one roku and the other TV's are smart TVs each with cat6 ethernet running to them.  So you are saying that I can somehow get spectrum cable through those means rather than a set top box?


YES!  And the fact that you have hard wired LAN connections to each TV makes it all the better...

 

In the Roku Channel store, download the "Specrtum TV" Channel and add it to your Roku. You will use that to watch live TV via the Roku.  (I use this setup on two of my TV sets).

 

For the SmartTV's, if they are Samsung, you might get lucky - see below:

 

From:  https://www.timewarnercable.com/en/support/faqs/faqs-tv/twctvapp/what-devices-can-i-access.html

On what devices can I access the Spectrum TV app?


The new Spectrum TV app is available on the following platforms:

  • Apple devices using iOS 8.0+
  • Devices using Android OS 4.0+
  • Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HDX (excluding 1st generation Kindle)
  • All Roku streaming devices (excluding 1st generation Roku)
  • Xbox One
  • Samsung Smart TV (2012-2016 models)
Expert

Re: Forcing customers to use set top boxes

Where are you ? Zip code?

DTA's have rf remotes and can be tucked behind most sets. Unles single receptacle clock outlets were installed, you should have a duplex behind the set.

TWC legacy customers here in NE oh still have limited DTA availability, Spectrum is pushing out the small 201 STB's and yes, rental is more.  

 Next issue is that 4 TV's and a modem may be over the signal splitting limit.

DTA's will still work but STB/DVR's will require the properly sized amplifier.

 If your house was done up with a builder installed structured wiring cable distro box, it's wrong and needs to be upgraded/replaced,

 If you have smart/cast tv's I'd run cat5e to them...

 What model TV's?

As of 10 minutes ago, we still have analog channels here and some clear QAM