I wanted to stop paying rental fees for my STBs like everyone here, however, when I went to the TWC office and called, I was told that TWC does not sell the boxes (they want you to pay in perpetuity). I asked if I purchased a supported STB from a third-party, could it be activated on the TWC system and was told no. Does anyone know if that is the case?
I have tried different ways to reduce or eliminate the STB rental fees:
1) Use TWC App on Samsung TV
My TWC App works fine, but the only issue with the TWC APP for Samsung is stripped down. The TWC App for Samsung does not have a EPG and there is no way to tune directly to a channel number.
2) Use Roku
Roku is full featured and provides Electronic Program Guide (EPG), however, you will also be streaming over the internet and the Roku has no channel buttons, so you'll have to scroll to you channel, like the Samsung TV TWC App.
3) Samsung Media Player
I also tried Samsung Media Player (GX-SM530CF). Although it worked fine, it required a CableCard ($3.00/month) and had Cable in and HDMI out. Great option and the EPG was working fine until Samsung discontinued their EPG service recently.
So, if I you want an EPG and pay no STB rental fees Roku looks like the best option, but the scrolling and no direct tuning would bug me and my wife, which is why I want to buy 3rd party STB.
Has anyone come up with any other option (besides paying the rental fees)? Does TWC activate 3rd Party STBs?
Nope... No DTA's, DVR's or STB's
Tivo with cablecard and TA or a Silicon devices HR or Ceton or a Hauppage with cablecard and TA would be the other coaxial options.
Hello MsRaye - Thank you for the response. I bought a TiVo from BestBuy but they didn't tell me that it too requires a monthly subscription so I took it back. My current setup up With Samsung SMP and TA worked, but Samsung discontinued the EPG service. Does the EPG work with Silicon Devices, Ceton, and Hauppauge STBs on TWC infrastructure?
no, You need an outside guide provider.
rental fee? yes for a cablecard and TA
BTW, the FCC is working on a ruling to allow customer owned cable boxes as the rentals are gouging consumers.
Thank You again MsRaye. I am happy about FCC taking a stand on this. It may or may not be gouging, but the cable providers should certainly make it an option to BYOD.