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Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

wayner92
I'm a reliable contributor

Found out something rather interesting.  I don't know if this applies to Rogers since they never used CableCARDs, but apparently this is a problem with older SA boxes.  It is kind of a Y2K issue.

 

'Time warp could cause millions of old 'PowerKEY' set-tops to go on the blink (lightreading.com)' 

 

"Millions of digital cable set-tops that use the "PowerKEY" conditional access (CA) system originally developed by Scientific-Atlanta decades ago could go on the blink in late 2024 due to an internal computing clock issue that will cause the devices to "time out" and become inoperable.

Boiled down, the internal clock of those boxes – based on a so-called "epoch time" that sets the zero point/starting time in certain computing systems – will effectively roll over in November 2024 because of memory limitations in the secure microprocessor that keeps time. That time rollover won't prevent the underlying PowerKEY security system from operating as designed, but the clock on the box's secure micro will no longer match up properly and will therefore prevent the set-top from decrypting video."

 

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Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

mebe
I'm a trusted contributor

In your other related thread, this Y2K-like bug, apparently has a potential death date of Nov. 2024, and yet your email has an end of April 2024 death date.

Thus, unless Rogers only has a few thousand subscribers with only these older boxes, Rogers could still perhaps limit the "decommissionings to specific areas, rather than all at once.

How many current customers can Rogers migrate to Ignite from now until let's say May?

Wouldn't it be better to spread the older box shutdowns from Jan. 2024 till Nov. 2024?

I suppose it's possible that some subscribers already had their older boxes decommissioned.

I didn't click any of your previous links, but even if one of them lead to an official Rogers page declaring that ALL of its subscribers would have their older boxes killed by the end of April, I'm still not sure I believe it would be done. If it actually happens all at once, May is going to be a bad month to try to cancel a service, or switch to Ignite ... due to longer than normal wait times.

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

Pauly
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Rogers never used Cable Card, but their set top boxes certainly use PowerKEY. This could be one of the reasons why however the decision for Rogers to decommission digital cable was made BEFORE this time out error was discovered. It might just happen to be coincidence however this is a very old cable platform, at the end of its useful lifespan, if your still hanging on to this technology, it's time to upgrade.

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

wayner92
I'm a reliable contributor

Agreed, this bug seems to be a catalyst to get them to change.  One of the reasons that I have been holding out is the cost.  I have ten boxes on my account.  My monthly rental fees have been zero.  How much is it going to cost me if I want to still have ten boxes?  It seems like you get something like three boxes as part of your basic deal and then you have to pay $10/box.  So to replicate my current setup am I going to have to pay $70 in box rentals?

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

Biollw
I'm a senior advisor

You get one TV box free with Ignite, others are on rental cost $10/month. Unless they give you a special offer.

Why does Someone have 10 boxes? Many kids bedrooms? lol...

I have 3 Xi6 but only use one, others are occasionally only, like twice a year.

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

wayner92
I'm a reliable contributor

Currently I have three boxes connected to a media server and I use capture devices to record TV and store it to my media server.  And then seven other throughout my house.

But even if I stop using the media server, I have TVs in nine rooms: Kitchen, Office, Exercise Room, Home Theatre Room, 4x bedrooms, Pool Cabana(May-Oct).  Not all of these rooms currently have boxes because they use other ways to play back from the media server.

If I keep using the media server I could probably get away with 3-4 boxes.

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

Pauly
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

As someone whos family went thru this before.  Here is my 2 cents.  My parents had as many as 6 Digital Cable set top boxes in their house at one point with the legacy Digital Cable from rogers, they were all owned boxes so no monthly rental fees.

 

Recently my parents switched to Ignite and was wondering should they get a set top box for every TV? they decided NOT to and only got the one Ignite Set Top Box that is included with the Ignite TV.  They have more than one TV in their house but one is a smart TV they use to watch youtube, etc,  another TV in the basement they now just use for Video games when the grandkids come over, and the other TVs they gave away.

 

The fact is, its totally up to you to decide to get a set top box for every TV in your house or not, but most people do not do this anymore, even if u were to switch to another company such as Bell, you would have to rent the set top boxes with them too, so you should be thankful you saved a lot of money by owning your boxes.  The thing is, times have changed and you can not hold on to what you have for ever, so your going to have to make some tough decisions.

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

Pauly
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Hello Wayne

 

I must admit, you have a very complex setup and I admire that.  It is unfortunate that this technology coming to an end will affect you. I think now is a good time to think and plan what your TV setup will be going forward in the future. You may want to take your time and research some viable solutions, or maybe consider what they do in sports bars where they have multiple TVs like 10 to 20, but a handful of set top boxes like 3 or 4, and they can distribute the signal to multiple TVs.

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

As mentioned by @Pauly : When/if you have IgniteTV things will change.  The IgniteTV boxes only have one output connection and that's HDMI to the TV (or AVR).  Any connections to a capture device/media server would therefore be encrypted and probably not recordable, etc. 

 

IgniteTV recordings are done in the cloud and there is a 200 hour/1 year limit on an account, with is perfectly acceptable for the task of time-shifting, which is what these systems are designed for.  Many programmes are available on demand, so recording them is not always necessary.

 

It's also possible to stream the IgniteTV signal using a computer, Phone, Tablet, so again, not all TVs require a box, as indicated by @Pauly.

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

wayner92
I'm a reliable contributor

One of the reasons to keep using the media server is to only need a few boxes that feed the media server and then continue to use my existing hardware to watch from any locations.

 

In terms of what you are mentioning with sports bars - this is similar to centrally distributed video where you have all of your sources in one location, often in a rack, connected to a video matrix switch and then distribute to each room, often using HDMI over Ethernet adapter.  That tends to be expensive as the matrix switches are very expensive, as are the HDMI to Ethernet adapters, and you generally need a dedicated Ethernet drop in each room for video alone.

 

Too bad Rogers doesn't have an Ignite app for the common streaming box platforms like Roku, FireTV, AndroidTV, etc.  IMO that would be the ideal solutions, but then they would be forgoing box rental.

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

wayner92
I'm a reliable contributor

Thanks 57 - I am somewhat familiar with Ignite as I have used it at friends' homes.  My main use of timeshifting is recording sports, especially Leafs games, Raptors games and golf.  So streaming is not as much of an option unless I get rid of cable and pay for streaming versions of TSN, Sportsnet and the Golf channel.  I can continue to record the major networks like CBC, CBS, NBC, FOX, etc using OTA tuners in my media server.

 

p.s. We used to have these discussions about cable boxes, etc on DHC 20+ years ago, assuming that you are using the same handle (57) here as you used there.

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

dittmann
I've been here awhile

I have  question related to this supposed  "decomissioning" of older SA boxes. I have 2 sets... feeding my main set I have a 4K Nextbox that is rented from Rogers.  The other set is fed by a SA8300HD box that I own.     I am certainly not ready to take the bait and move to Ignite, so what  would be my options for a newer model legacy cable box (that I would procure) that would still be supported ?  No need for it to be a PVR.
Thanks,

Frank

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@dittmann : Here's a list of the boxes that are being decommissioned:

 

https://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/Account-Support/Rogers-email-about-decommissioning-cable-boxes...

 

They are all SA (and Pace) boxes, so any boxes by Cisco (9865, 8642, etc) are not on that list and might be around a bit longer, but be advised that the migration to IgniteTV will not take very much longer. IgniteTV has been around for almost 6 years now and Rogers is losing money on all the Legacy Digital customers.

 

I believe I read somewhere that Rogers will NOT be activating any legacy boxes for different customers, so you are perhaps out of luck regarding another box.  Check with Rogers. 

 

If they will let you...you can probably pick up a box or PVR for next to nothing on Kijiji or similar or for nothing from some other people.  Make note of the following caveats regarding purchasing a box:

 

https://www.digitalhome.ca/threads/guidelines-for-selling-and-buying-a-used-rogers-set-top-box-in-on...

 

 

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@57 wrote:  I believe I read somewhere that Rogers will NOT be activating any legacy boxes for different customers, so you are perhaps out of luck regarding another box.  Check with Rogers. 

I see now where I read that.  Here's the link. It's for Shaw, but it would not surprise me if Rogers, who owns Shaw, implemented the same restriction here.

 

https://support.shaw.ca/t5/tv-articles/about-legacy-tv-box-upgrade-program/ta-p/9242#content-section...

 

"Note: These boxes cannot be re-activated or moved from one account to another."

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

dittmann
I've been here awhile

Thanks for all those details. I'll take my chances that they are bluffing on the April 30 date, or that it will be pushed out.  Only impacts our "secondary" TV, so  will deal with it when necessary.

Frank

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

wayner92
I'm a reliable contributor

Old legacy cable boxes like the SA4250HD, SA8300HD, etc were supposed to stop working on April 30, 2024.

Does anyone know if that actually happened?

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

jimsteryow
I plan to stick around
Mins still works like my 2 4 k boxes...all good

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

jimsteryow
I plan to stick around
I have SA box on list...still works May 1

Re: Is this why Rogers is decommissioning older boxes?

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@wayner92 wrote:

Old legacy cable boxes like the SA4250HD, SA8300HD, etc were supposed to stop working on April 30, 2024.

Does anyone know if that actually happened?


I have not heard anything yet.  Also, there is no mention of April 30 anymore on the support pages:

https://www.rogers.com/support/digital-cable

https://www.rogers.com/support/digital-cable/digital-tv-box-retirement

 

... only that the older set-top boxes are still slated for retirement.

 

There also has not been any updates about the discontinuation of the Digital TV service either:

https://www.rogers.com/support/tv/discontinuation-of-our-digital-tv-packages

 

 

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