Tuner on Mag 53x series not up to current Comcast digital? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-03-2012, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Until July 2010 my enhanced basic cable service from Comcast delivered about 120 channels with no box. Coax into (analog) DVD recorder, then out to TV.

Starting in July 2010 the cable channels above number 31 could not be received without a box supplied free by Comcast. The box was not necessary to receive the channels below number 32. I could still record programs from those channels on my analog DVD recorder but not those on channels 32 or above.

In June 2012 it became necessary even for those subscribers who only get the basic service (up to channel 31) to get the box to receive anything. The morning after that switchover I happened to have my analog DVD recorder tuned to one of those basic channels and saw the following on the TV screen:

"If you can see this message, the TV you're watching isn't ready for Comcast's digital network enhancements. Call 1-877-634-4434 to avoid service interruption."

Today I made the connections for the Mag 533 I brought home from Wal-Mart on Wednesday, did a scan and got the following results:
Those basic service channels display that message in the paragraph above. The channels above number 32 just show a black screen.

As recommended on this forum, I've set it up so that the coax from outside goes straight to the Mag, not through the cable box first.
Am I missing something or is the tuner in the Mag just not up to handling what Comcast has done? If so, should I call the phone number they provide and tell them how pissed off I am about this?
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-03-2012, 12:23 PM
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Hmmm, they jumped the gun by a few months. The FCC ruled, on Oct 11 2012, that cablecos (led by Comcast) could encvrypt ALL their channels if they went "all-digital."

 

Other Comcast subs can prob. expect the same after their systems go "all-digital." Smaller, less predatory cablecos (like mine) may or may not follow suit, depending on their reach, resources and "concern" for their subs. NO ONE knows for sure how fast or extensive this movement will become with any cableco beyond Comcast. If your cableco announces that they are going "all-digital," at some point thereafter they could well encrypt ALL their channels and require a separate cable box to see or record anything.

 

Just to be sure... you did do an Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/Digital), then press the DTV/TV button to go thru both analog and digital tuners with CH+/-  looking for channels?

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post #3 of 10 Old 11-03-2012, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lades View Post

"If you can see this message, the TV you're watching isn't ready for Comcast's digital network enhancements. Call 1-877-634-4434 to avoid service interruption."

If so, should I call the phone number they provide and tell them how pissed off I am about this?
Not unless you are ready and willing to cut the cord to back it up. Being pissed off means nothing to them if you continue to write the checks. If you do, their response is a justifiable "what-ever".

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The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #4 of 10 Old 11-04-2012, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lades View Post

As recommended on this forum, I've set it up so that the coax from outside goes straight to the Mag, not through the cable box first. Am I missing something or is the tuner in the Mag just not up to handling what Comcast has done? If so, should I call the phone number they provide and tell them how pissed off I am about this?

I have similar situation, and I run my cable to the box first and then to Mag, and lastly to TV. Works great! I hope this will be the case for you also.
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-05-2012, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ud346 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lades View Post

As recommended on this forum, I've set it up so that the coax from outside goes straight to the Mag, not through the cable box first. Am I missing something or is the tuner in the Mag just not up to handling what Comcast has done? If so, should I call the phone number they provide and tell them how pissed off I am about this?

I have similar situation, and I run my cable to the box first and then to Mag, and lastly to TV. Works great! I hope this will be the case for you also.

 

Do you set your Mag on ch. 3 or 4 then to receive the channel the box is tuned to, or what?

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post #6 of 10 Old 11-05-2012, 09:00 AM
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TV and Mag are both set to Channel 3, with cable going from wall to box CABLE IN; CABLE OUT from box to IN on Mag; OUT from Mag to CABLE/ANTENNA on TV; HDMI from Mag to TV (check TV manual to help choose the correct HDMI, and then use INPUT button on TV remote to select the same one). I have this same setup in two locations, with one having the regular cable box, and the other a smaller box (DTA) that has less channels and no OnDemand.

With this setup, I can only record from the channel that the box is currently displaying, and I cannot watch one channel while recording on another. These drawbacks did not apply when I experimented awhile back and set up the TV and Mag without cable, just going over the air with local channels. Hope this helps.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-05-2012, 09:05 AM
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-05-2012, 09:13 AM
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You're welcome. (Note that I was still editing my post when you replied!)
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-06-2012, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all these posts.

Learned and realized a lot but before I get to that let me say that I _was_ missing something when I sent the post that started this thread. With the way I originally connected the Mag, as recommended on this forum, it does pick up the channels that go with Comcast's basic service here. No expanded basic (ESPN, CNN, and many more). But those basic channels show up not, for the most part, with the numbers Comcast assigns to them, but with what I believe are their actual DTV channel numbers. For example, the NPR over-the-air channel here is number 23. For many years if you've had Comcast cable you punch in channel 4 in the Comcast remote. Since digital, that NPR channel has two additional channels, Create and World (only available, I believe, to Comcast subscribers).
Members of that channel get a monthly program guide that lists the original channel as number 23.1, Create as 23.3, and World as 23.4. I never understood what that was about since Comcast provided Create on its channel 27 and World on its channel 28. But the mag tuner does show those channels respectively as 23.1, 23.3, and 23.4, as they are listed in the channel's program guide.

As far as making the connections so that, as probably Wajo put it, the Mag is a slave to the box, as far as the family room where that Mag will be located, it will never work in a three-person household like mine. Could never program it a week in advance and expect that it would be on the channel I want when it's time to record.

HOWEVER, as I thought about what's going on when you keep the DVD recorder on channel 3 I realized that you're not using the built-in tuner at all so I wondered whether I could even use my old analog DVD recorder in that way. And yes, it works, even to get programs on the expanded basic channels..

As I said in the original post, the tuner in my analog recorder stopped getting Comcast's expanded basic channels in July 2010 and even the basic channels in June 2012. It wasn't really that much of a problem between those two dates because I very rarely want to record anything on any channel other than the NPR channel, which that tuner could get until July 2012.

So my current thought is to set up the Mag the way I originally had it set up, which will let me record programs from the NPR channel. And I can hook up the analog DVD recorder to the, rarely used, TV in the basement, and IF there's anything I want to record on any of those Comcast expanded basic channels that the Mag tuner can't get, I can get them downstairs where I don't have to worry about someone else changing the channel between the time I program it and the time for recording.

If you've followed me all the way through this, thanks a bunch for the posts that led me to try and succeed at these various approaches.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-06-2012, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Whoops. Mentioned NPR several times in the post I just sent. Obviously meant PBS.
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