Jun 4 2010, 07:43 PM
I am a campground owner who provides Cable TV (and Wifi) at no additional cost to my guests. Recently I was informed that my cable provider (Comcast) is changing the way it delivers the cable signal to require each TV to have a converter box w/remote attached directly to the set in order to receive cable. This is a system-wide change for entire metro area. I am concerned about how this will affect my guests, because the TV sets in RV's are not easily accessed to connect such a box. If they are doing it in my area it could soon happen nationwide. I would like feedback from RVers and campground owners about this.
Jun 5 2010, 07:56 AM
You are correct about not easy to get at. Think about this as well, tons of older analog sets in use with converter boxes in use plus lots have been changed over to the new DTV sets. Now you add TV sig. into the TV cable under service bay but that will not help you at all. Comcast will need to work on this problem or lots of RV people will be up the creek soon. Not everyone has a dish to pick up TV.
Jun 5 2010, 08:14 AM
This is going to affect a lots more than RV parks. Usually the local government grants a monopoly to a company and the local politicians have great power with them. I would go see your local representative and demand that they fix it.
Jun 7 2010, 10:23 AM
I've looked at this from several angles, but only see it as a Lose-Lose situation for RVers and Campground owners. Here are some reasons why:
Each guest would have to be issued a box and remote control upon check-in. Upon departure, they would need to return these. As an overnight park, this would just not be feasible to do. I have a lot of "regulars" who enjoy being able to pull in at anytime of day or night without having to look up the hostess or myself. Forgetting to return the box will also be a major concern.
Second, getting the box connected is going to be very difficult for some. In other words, "more trouble than it's worth". Besides, some rigs have 3 or more TV's onboard. Under this new arrangement, each one will need it's own box.
These two aspects pretty much render the cable useless to everyone except a few who are willing to go thru the effort to hook up the box, possibly limited only to those who are on an extended stay.
As a campground owner, I had to sign a ten-year agreement in order to get the cable at a "bulk rate". I'm not sure if I can get out of this agreement (five years left on contract) even though they are changing the service in such a drastic way. One huge disappointment for me is that I will basically lose an amenity that has been popular with my guests. Many who have satellite dont want the hassle of having to set up their dish for just a one night stay. So in effect, many would expect to pay less per night, because they are not getting as many amenities as they used to.
I would like to be able to prevent this from happening, but doubt that my small voice will be heard by such a large company. I plan to contact my Comcast rep again now that I have been able to poll my guests and get feedback from them. My next step will probably be to contact the local governments that act as the franchise authority for this area. I will keep you informed of what happens.
Jun 7 2010, 11:00 AM
Ok, I just spoke with my Comcast rep. He has given me some hope that they may be able to leave my service as it is by installing some sort of special equipment that allows my vicinity to operate as a separate "node" from the rest of the system. He has not received final word yet from the higher-ups, but I'm optimistic about it right now. I'll sleep better tonight. Thanks
Jun 9 2010, 12:14 PM
I dont see why they would not try to help you. Under your circumstances, you cannot ask everyone to have a box just to use your campground. As stated, it would/could be a pain to install for overnights or weekends.
A reason they would help you - viewers. Cable companies need consumers to have as many tv's on as much as possible so they can show advertisers how many people in an area see an ad. The cable company will be more than willing to help when they realize that they will lose 100 (or how ever many sites you have) viewers. A sudden drop like that hurts them when the advertisers look at the viewer numbers.
Feb 8 2011, 10:16 AM
Yes, we have been able to continue to receive Cable TV without any special converter boxes. So far the system is working as planned. Our campground and a nearby hotel are isolated in some way from the rest of the area by some special equipment.
Long-term campers do have the option of getting a digital box to be able to access features like On-Demand and On-screen TV Guide, plus they get a few more channels. However, I've learned that, while digital signal does give some benefits in the way of features and better picture quality, it demands near perfect connections throughout the entire system. This has proved to be problematic, not only in my park for the few who obtained digital service, but for the entire area. Frequently, even at my house, I experience momentary loss of sound or the screen will freeze or "pixelate". Comcast Technicians reported they had hundreds of service calls as soon as the conversion to digital was done. Most of these were simply to repair a connection that was fine for analog, but was not sufficient for digital signal.
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