Suggestions on an EMTA Docsys 3 modem for a college kid at her 1st apartment

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What hardware do you recommend for EMTA addition to an existing Docsys 3.0
modem?

Just called Comcast to help a kid out on her first apartment outside the
dorms at college, and I haven't kept up on Internet (I'm on WISP).

Here's what Comcast told me over the phone:
A.  $50/month
Brand: "Performance Plus Saver Double Play"
Price: $49.99/month (plus tax, plus any rentals, plus any installation)
Contract: 2 years
Speed: 55Mbps down, 5Mbps up, no bandwidth caps
VOIP: Unlimited nationwide calling (requires Docsys 3.0 EMTA modem).
TV: no

B. $60/month
Brand: "Internet Plus Choice"
Price: $59.99/month
Contract: 1 year
Speed: 55Mbps down, 5Mbps up, no bandwidth caps
VOIP: no
TV: no
(Yes, I know it's more money for less ... that's marketing.)

C. $90/month
Brand: "X1 Starter Doubleplay"
Price: $89.99/month
Contract: 1 year
Speed: 100Mbps down, 5Mbps up, no bandwidth caps
VOIP: no
TV: 140 digital channels

D. $110/month
Brand: "Xfinity Voice Unlimited"
Price: $109.99/month
Contract: 1 year
Speed: 100Mbps down, 5Mbps up, no bandwidth caps
VOIP: Unlimited nationwide calling (requires Docsys 3.0 EMTA modem).
TV: 140 digital channels

The kid probably only needs "B" but "A" is cheaper (that's marketing), at
least for the first two years (which will be long enough as she's a junior)
so now that leaves the EMTA "thing" up in the air.

I shipped her a two-year old Costco Arris SB6141 modem, which is Docsys
3.0, along with a 2-year old Netgear AC1700 router (which is fast enough),
but I didn't have anything called EMTA in my spare box.

What do you recommend for this EMTA capability?
Is it just a modem with an RJ11 port for a regular phone line?

PS: We'll go for the "self install" kit, which will probably cost $15 or
$20 (or less) just to have them flash the modem - which will save the $10
per month modem rental - and where if we need to, we'll buy a new modem
that is EMTA capable but the kid doesn't even want VOIP as she lives on a
cell phone.

PSS: I haven't pressure-washed the pots yet (have to hide them from the
wife for a while until I clean them up. I told her they are still soaking.)

Re: Suggestions on an EMTA Docsys 3 modem for a college kid at her 1st apartment
On Tue, 1 Aug 2017 02:01:09 -0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

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EMTA means "Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter" which is a DOSCIS
3.0 cable modem and a VoIP telephone adapter built into one package.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_modem#MTA

I use Arris TM722g and TM822g adapters for the purpose on Comcast.  If
you buy on eBay or such, be sure that it will work on Comcast.  The
firmware is different for different ISP's.  Also, make sure that it
comes with a battery so that the phone works when the power fails.
<https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=arris+tm722g+comcast
<https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=arris+tm822g+comcast
The TM822g is faster than the TM722g and should be the first choice.
Typical price is $50 to $90.  At that price, compared to the $10/month
lease for the Comcast gateway, break even is less than a skool year.

That works only if you want to subscribe to both Comcast phone and
internet service.  It's probably a good idea because the price of
internet service alone is about the same as internet plus phone.
However, like using your own router, you can also bring your own VoIP
service provider.  Adapters vary from $30 to $100.  VoIP service can
be as slow as $75/year.
<http://www.future-nine.com/plans.html

Comcast does have a retail gateway (everything in one box).  I'm not
going to dig out the model number from the Comcast user hostile web
pages:
<https://mydeviceinfo.xfinity.com
<https://www.xfinity.com/support/internet/list-of-approved-cable-modems/
I don't recommend this gateway and prefer separate boxes.



--  
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Suggestions on an EMTA Docsys 3 modem for a college kid at her 1st apartment
On Tue, 01 Aug 2017 08:40:59 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

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Thanks for the help, Jeff, and the others.

The kids finally figured out what service to buy and have it working now
using the Costco Arris SB6141 I shipped them.  

They told me they're now paying $40/month (plus taxes of course) and that
they're supposed to get 55Mpbs down (5Mpbs up) with no installation charge.

Comcast did initially charge them $14.99 for a "device" that the kids told
me is a "PR150BNM", which they hand picked up at the Comcast store so as to
wipe out that 15-dollar charge. The kids tell me this PR150BNM is free,
which is news to me that Comcast gives out free hardware sans a monthly
rental fee.

At this very moment, they're still hooked up to the Costco Arris SB6141
modem, where they don't know what to do with this PR150BNM hardware.

In looking up what the PR150BNM is, apparently "Pace" makes it (which is
probably the "PR") and the "N" apparently means it's has "anyRoom DVR"
capability.  

This has some information about the PR150BNM which is apparently something
called a "secondary boxs that is typically used with X1 DVR deployments"
http://www.dslreports.com/faq/17173

This press release apparently describes what this PR150BNM is, but I need
an interpreter to tell me what this press release says, in plain English.
http://www.lightreading.com/comcasts-x1-gets-a-multi-room-partner/d/d-id/700445

Re: Suggestions on an EMTA Docsys 3 modem for a college kid at her 1st apartment
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:09:08 -0000 (UTC), Danny D. wrote:

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I belatedly figured out what the Pace PR150BNM was, which is what Comcast
calls a "TV Box".  One "TV box" comes, supposedly free, with their
"Internet Plus Choice with Limited Basic TV" (55Mbps/5Mpbs, no contract,
10+ TV channels)

Apparently the supposed $30/month plan the kids have comes with HBO TV
which the PR150BNM TV Box enables (plus a handful of local channels).

The kids didn't even know this (and they don't even have a TV) so it's no
wonder they didn't bother hooking it up.

However, Comcast is deceitful in not telling the kids that they charge what
I consider to be bogus fees on that $30/month plan, which bump the true
cost to $52/month, which is 173% of the advertised monthly price!

So, I'm going to call Comcast to figure out what's better for these kids.

Re: Suggestions on an EMTA Docsys 3 modem for a college kid at her 1st apartment
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:40:38 -0000 (UTC), Danny D. wrote:

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Comcast did not explain to these kids that the plan actually cost 40% more
per month than they advertised!      

http://i.imgur.com/GivVUvT.jpgNotice the deceitful arbitrary "fees"!
http://i.imgur.com/Qt0gpnP.jpg

I found a better $30 Comcast plan for the kids, sans TV.
https://www.xfinity.com/learn/offers

I first tried calling as myself to ask about "new" service but Comcast
wouldn't even bother to explain what packagages are available since there
is no cable where I live (WISP mountains near Jeff Liebermann).

So I searched the net for an empty apartment in the same zip code, and
called that number to confirm it was empty and that it had Comcast service
lines. Additionally I made up a name and a local phone number (which I
called to ensure wasn't in service).

Armed with my new name-address-phone persona, I called as that persona (
855-855-4577x2x2) and asked for "new" service and told them I didn't have a
TV nor did I want a VOIP phone.  

For the first time in many calls, they offered me the $30/month 1-year
"introductory offer" for the "Performance Plus Internet" plan at 55Mbps
down & 5Mbps up, with no bandwidth caps.  

This plan is 58% cheaper, and, since they don't even own a TV, they lose
nothing (where they can give back that useless Pace/Arris PR150BNM TV box).

The moral of this story is that the TV plans have a hidden charge which
makes the TV plan 30% more than the advertised price of $40/month!

Another moral is that you have to call repeatedly, posing as a new customer
each time, armed with the best plan from the previous call, before you will
ever get the "best price" that they offer for your area.

Re: Suggestions on an EMTA Docsys 3 modem for a college kid at her 1st apartment
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:50:34 -0700 (PDT), trader_4 wrote:

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I understand what you're saying which is that Comcast is just passing on
their costs. Everything depends on how Comcast positions that cost, since
the kids were unaware of it when I spoke to them today (but they're just
kids).

Here is a recent lawsuit update, August 2017, on the lawsuit against
Comcast for hiding these fees from customers like these kids.
https://consumerist.com/2017/08/08/comcast-fails-to-shut-down-customer-lawsuit-over-broadcast-tv-regional-sports-fees/

These "fees" are all made up bogus ways of passing on costs to you without
it *looking* like a cost (they try to position it as an "implied"
government fee which it is not but which people naturally think it is):
https://consumerist.com/2016/10/18/customers-accuse-comcast-of-using-broadcast-tv-regional-sports-fees-to-illegally-hike-rates/

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I think the fact they hide it in plain sight is what makes it deceptive,
but, since they do tell people in the teeny tiny print, it's probably not
illegal (up to a judge to decide though). I think the marketing genius is
that these hidden charges are probably "assumed" to be legit government
fees by most people - which is the deceptive part. Again, up to a judge to
decide because they never explicitly "said" it was a government fee.
  
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I appreciate your advice because I have WISP so I'm almost completely
ignorant of cable hardware and I still have questions.

The $40 (actually $52 with these fees) "Internet Plus Choice with Limited
Basic TV" plan comes only with the following for that $52/month:
1. One free Pace/Arris PR150BNM TV box (useful for only 1 TV)
2. 10 basic channels (local + HBO)
3. Internet 55Mbps down, 5Mbps up

I had shipped the kids the following which are necessary:
4. Costco Arris SB6141 Docsys 3.0 modem
5. Netgear AC router

Since they don't have a TV, a friend is willing to give this to them:
6. Trinitron KV-27FV17 27-inch TV

My main question now is whether that older model TV can work with the thing
that Comcast calls the "TV box"?

Re: Suggestions on an EMTA Docsys 3 modem for a college kid at her 1st apartment
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:00:55 -0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

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Don't do it.  It's a CRT type TV.
<https://www.google.com/search?q=Trinitron+KV-27FV17&tbm=isch
Such a TV is unlikely to be able to display anything batter than SD
video, and certainly doesn't have an HDMI connector.
<
http://i33.tinypic.com/vslv2q.jpg




--  
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Suggestions on an EMTA Docsys 3 modem for a college kid at her 1st apartment
On Tue, 1 Aug 2017 02:01:09 -0000 (UTC), Danny D. wrote:

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Bearing in mind that I'm not up on the latest cable stuff because I live in
mountains where we don't have cable, so we get our Internet via rooftop
transceivers.

On the net, most people seem to say that Comcast will *require* an EMTA
device (because of 911 laws) if the service includes VOIP.

Obviously it's a bad financial decision to rent the EMTA device from
Comcast, so, that brings up the need to for the kid to buy an EMTA device
in order to save the $240/2 years that renting the device would cost the
kid.

Googling, I see that a good Docsys 3.0 modem with EMTA seems to be the
Arris TM22G so I wonder if you have experience with that (or if there's a
better EMTA device out there nowadays).

I can't see any "standalone" EMTA (digital to analog converters) devices
yet, but that's also an option if they exist.

Any suggestions from those of you who live closer to civilization?

Re: Suggestions on an EMTA Docsys 3 modem for a college kid at her 1st apartment
On 7/31/2017 10:05 PM, Danny D. wrote:
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Give this web link a try; https://mydeviceinfo.xfinity.com/

Put in the zip code and enter the anticipated speed.

Then make sure to check the voice option on the left of what comes up  
along with the speed and go down to the DOCSIS option and pick 3.0.

This should get you a list of modems that can Comcast will support that  
your friend can consider purchasing.

When in doubt, call Comcast to verify they will support the device you  
select.

Re: Suggestions on an EMTA Docsys 3 modem for a college kid at her 1st apartment
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That is not true, unless they have different requirements for different  
service areas. I specifically asked Comcast about this when I signed a  
2-year contract that included TV/Internet/VOIP, because I didn't really  
need the VOIP, but it was significantly cheaper to get all three bundled  
services than it was to just get TV and Internet.  

I can still make and receive calls to/from the VOIP number assigned to  
me without an EMTA, via the Xfinity app on my iPhone. For internet  
service, I am using my own DOCSIS 3 Arris SB6183 modem, which does not  
contain a VOIP adapter.  

As always, YMMV.

--  
Dave

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