Settop box extortion
DontRipMeOff1
Newbie

I just want to voice my displeasure of having to pay rent for set top boxes.  I pay rent for 1 DVR, 3 Set top boxes and 2 digital adapters totalling $45.92/month!!! That is $551.04 a year!!!

It used to be convenient to be able to place a tv in any room I choose, however we have lost this ability do to Verizon's set top box extortion plan.

I think a fair solution is that I should own the equipment after one year. Verizon has recouped the cost of the equipment after that first year of rent...after that it is just "gravy" for them.

I think it is time for all Verizon subscribers who object to being extorted call Verizon and voice your concern and DEMAND that this practice be stopped immediately.

...but right now I have to call Verizon to get them to roll back the Starz subscription they slapped on me without notification for the last two months....I dispise that practice too.

What a terrible way to run a company and treat your customers.

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11 Replies
jumpin68ny
Master - Level 2

It would be nice to "buy" your own STB but VZ is not the only one that does this.  The cable company does the same thing too.    Its the way the industry is.

Jim

tns
Master - Level 2

@jumpin68ny wrote:

It would be nice to "buy" your own STB but VZ is not the only one that does this.  The cable company does the same thing too.    Its the way the industry is.

Jim



Its worse than that.  Dish for example was charging the same price for having service to additional owned units (the included one rented or owned  with there base fee) as they charged for renting.

Keyboards
Master - Level 3

@DontRipMeOff wrote:

I just want to voice my displeasure of having to pay rent for set top boxes.  I pay rent for 1 DVR, 3 Set top boxes and 2 digital adapters totalling $45.92/month!!! That is $551.04 a year!!!

It used to be convenient to be able to place a tv in any room I choose, however we have lost this ability do to Verizon's set top box extortion plan.

I think a fair solution is that I should own the equipment after one year. Verizon has recouped the cost of the equipment after that first year of rent...after that it is just "gravy" for them.

I think it is time for all Verizon subscribers who object to being extorted call Verizon and voice your concern and DEMAND that this practice be stopped immediately.

...but right now I have to call Verizon to get them to roll back the Starz subscription they slapped on me without notification for the last two months....I dispise that practice too.

What a terrible way to run a company and treat your customers.


If you don't like that you can always opt for TiVO or MOXI if you'd rather pay  the costs upfront.  Then you only need to rent a cable card.

All cable companies are going to this model for their systems.  Unless you can find a TV with a cable card slot, the only thing you will be able to receive are the local stations (as most TVs besides having an ATSC also have a QAM tuner).  Really the blame belongs with the MPAA and their ilk that are paranoid about content protection.

DontRipMeOff1
Newbie

I think the cable company gives you the first three devices included with the triple package...which is appreciated...but it's still not right that we are being forced to rent equipment....I want to buy and be done with it....I'm on my second year and have paid more in rent then the equipment is worth!!!

If they need this for content protection then give me one box at the service entrance and let me connect tv's anywhere in my house that I want again.

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Keyboards
Master - Level 3

@DontRipMeOff wrote:

If they need this for content protection then give me one box at the service entrance and let me connect tv's anywhere in my house that I want again.


That is the problem.  If they give you whole house decoded then any device can record the content. 

Also, I'm not sure you're aware of what the hardware would have to be to do what you request (I am an eletronics engineer and I do know what would be required).  There would have to be tuner and modulator for each and every channel on the system in order to decode all channels simultaneously and then distribute them over the coax.  Extremely cost prohibitive and the box would have to be monstrous in size (think over 300 RF tuners and modulators).

pl
Enthusiast - Level 3

@Keyboards wrote:


That is the problem.  If they give you whole house decoded then any device can record the content. 

Also, I'm not sure you're aware of what the hardware would have to be to do what you request (I am an eletronics engineer and I do know what would be required).  There would have to be tuner and modulator for each and every channel on the system in order to decode all channels simultaneously and then distribute them over the coax.  Extremely cost prohibitive and the box would have to be monstrous in size (think over 300 RF tuners and modulators).


Are you certain that is the case?  I had thought the STB was getting a digital feed of all the channels available on the subscription at the coax connection, much like any other cable system.  Perhaps the cable box is doing more than acting as a tuner (ignoring peripheral functions needing the ip connection).  I haven't tried it, but does the coax feed to the box supply anything when plugged directly into a tv having a digital tuner?  I guess I could look around here and find out were I not lazy.

ffrcoupe
Enthusiast - Level 3

@Keyboards wrote:

If you don't like that you can always opt for TiVO or MOXI if you'd rather pay  the costs upfront.  Then you only need to rent a cable card.


Not only that, but if you buy a STB then it's yours to maintain. Part of the rental fee from Verizon includes replacing and upgrading your STB.

I do wish the rental rate was discounted somehow because we have 7 STB's in our house and it costs us $76.00 / month for STB rental. I don't blame Verizon for that cuz it was our choice to get that many boxes.

Hubrisnxs
Legend

I'd call them, they have new bundle discounts for people with 5 and more set top boxes,   makes the price real attractive.  you may be able to save a couple bucks.    just ask them for help bundling your set top box prices so you can get a better discount. 

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ffrcoupe
Enthusiast - Level 3

Yeah, our contract is up and I've been meaning to go into the local Verizon store to renegotiate it .

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ulfkdn
Newbie

I totally and whole heartily AGREE; this and other issues like having to pay for channels in a "bundle" we never look at; but we as customers should actually do something about it; we have the power to do so by either reduce our plans, cancel and change to other services or simply reduce our TV watching and go with an antenna for, say some 3-6 months; if a couple of thousand Verizon subscribers did this we could perhaps force them and other services to change their policies; the question is if a large majority of subscribers have the will to do so.  can be reached at {edited for privacy}

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lasagna
Community Leader
Community Leader

So I look at it this way ...

I add up the cost of the base TV service plus all of the STB's that I have in my house and get a monthly cost for having FiOS TV.

Then, I add up the cost of the base TV service plus the STB's (excluding digital adapters which aren't need presently on the cable company network -- although in my area that is changing shortly and every TV will require a digital adapter device) and get a monthly cost for havlng Cable TV.

Now I look at those two prices for the same service discounting the quality of the signal of one over the other or other items which might factor into the decision -- and I see which gives me the best value for the money.

You know what?  For me, they're pretty close with at last check Verizon being slight cheaper month over month (and with a better quality signal and a few more channels).   So -- Verizon presently gets my business for TV regardless of individual STB box cost.

I don't look at it as the cost of STB's but as the overall monthly cost to make all the TV's in my house work from each provider.