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Can an unused cable box be activated on another's system?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Lord Vader, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Mar 3, 2012 #1 of 12
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    Here's the scoop. First, what I'm asking is NOT intended to be anything illegal, in case anyone perceives this as such.

    I have Comcast Internet service and DirecTV. I have no desire to obtain Comcast's cable service. However, because of a 12-month promotional Internet price, they required I take delivery of their digital set top box. In addition, they say that my apt. complex provides for free basic cable, so the box is necessary anyway.

    Fine. I took delivery of it but did not activate it. It's a new, digital box/DVR that's sitting in its box unused. My brother down in Texas has an apartment he uses during the week for commuting purposes and was wondering if my digital cable box/DVR would work on his Comcast cable system there. I told him I'd ship him the thing but wasn't sure if it would work.

    Now, I know these are not exactly like DirecTV receivers. If he had a DirecTV account, I'd just call DirecTV to see if they could switch a purchased receiver I had lying around to his account (I want to keep everything on the level). For Comcast cable, though, especially since I haven't activated this box on my account (nor on his, either), I'm just wondering if he can even use this thing.
     
  2. Mar 3, 2012 #2 of 12
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Comcast around here requires you to return the box when you disconnect service. I dont think they "give" them to you, at least our Comcast doesnt.
     
  3. Mar 3, 2012 #3 of 12
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    But my service isn't disconnected. For some odd reason, when I moved up one floor (due to renovations) last August, in addition to giving me a new, 12-month Internet promo price, they called to tell me I had to take delivery of their digital set top box/DVR. If I didn't, I'd lose the Internet promo price. So, I accepted it and stored it. Never activated it. It's needed to view their basic package here, which is free to us residents.
     
  4. Mar 3, 2012 #4 of 12
    scooper

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    I don't think your brother (not in YOUR Comcast franchise area) can use that cable box, even if you haven't activated it.

    Does Comcast have clear QAM ? My company TWC does, all except for our local ABC - I can get them just fine on just a cable modem internet only sub.
     
  5. Mar 3, 2012 #5 of 12
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    That I do not know.
     
  6. Mar 3, 2012 #6 of 12
    moghedien

    moghedien Legend

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    Does your brother already have service at the apartment? Because I think there is more to getting service than just plugging in a receiver. If he already has service, does his Comcast charge him for adding a DVR above and beyond the monthly rental fee? If not, why go to the bother of shipping the receiver?

    If you are interested in keeping this "on the level" then take down the receiver's model # and have your brother call his local Comcast about activating it on their system. If I were you, I would just keep the receiver on the off chance that your Comcast will want it back...
     
  7. Mar 3, 2012 #7 of 12
    RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    Different Comcast areas run different things. My area is Comcast but used to be Garden State Cable. Different system than Comcast a few towns up that is Comcast of Cherry Hill.
     
  8. Mar 3, 2012 #8 of 12
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    He has, I believe, basic cable service. He was using a digital converter solely to allow him to watch his locals. His roommate/fellow employee has a big box like the one I sent him.
     
  9. Mar 3, 2012 #9 of 12
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    He would probably get the same channels he could get with the cable plugged into the QAM tuner in his TV (analogs - if any, and any unencrypted local digitals). If you did send him the box, his local comcast would have to enter its ID into their system and activate it. The only reason I could think of that it would save him any money over just getting the box from his local comcast, would be if he was wanting it for a second room and didnt want to pay the lease fee for the second box. Im pretty sure they will charge him anyway though, they charge me $8.50 a month for my own Tivo.
     
  10. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    His TV is very old and doesn't have a QAM tuner.
     
  11. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    Have either or both of you talked to Comcast about this? I would think that would be the place to start.
     
  12. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    That might be a good idea. :D
     

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