question about comcast digital migration and my over the air hd? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 65 Old 03-15-2010, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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i currently have two tvs connected to just comcast cable. there are no cable boxs connected to the tvs. since they both have digital tuners inside of them i am able to get my local channels in HD. now i guess comcast is doing this digital migration thing tomarrow. and i have to connect digital adaptors to my two tvs to be able to get all of the channels. will this now mess up my free local hd stations i currently get? thanks guys
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post #2 of 65 Old 03-15-2010, 08:00 PM
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No, local HD will still be in clear QAM, which is how your HDTVs are picking them up from Comcast.

As they do system maintenance, you may lose those stations, and have to re-scan to find them again. In some cases, the local HD stations may re-appear on different channel numbers than where they are now; in some areas they show up over 100.

The local channels you may find starting at 200 will be non-HD versions.

In most Comcast areas, if you are currently subscribing to Standard Basic, which is what used to be analog channels 1-99, you should get 1 free SD box, and 2 free DTA boxes if needed. I'd look into what the cost of the least expensive digital package is, usually called Digital Starter. It will get you at least some national HD channels, in addition to local HD.

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post #3 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
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i already have my main tv hooked up to a premium plus. i just want my two digital tvs to perform like they used to perform. like for example on both of my tvs, i have my favorite channel lists all setup. and i also like using my tvs remotes. will i have to use two remotes now?
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post #4 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

In most Comcast areas, if you are currently subscribing to Standard Basic, which is what used to be analog channels 1-99, you should get 2 free DTA boxes and 1 free HD box.

That would be 2 DTA boxes and 1 SD box. If you want an HD box it will cost more.
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post #5 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
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So is this digital migration going to be better for tvs or just more of a hassel??
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post #6 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 05:00 AM
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Yes. Better since it means they can carry far more HD channels, and more of a hassle if you have secondary TVs you want to watch SD on without a box.
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post #7 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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My question is, is it going to easy to view my free HD channels now on my secondary tvs?
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post #8 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 05:36 AM
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Quote:


My question is, is it going to easy to view my free HD channels now on my secondary tvs?

They could move them around from time to time.
As stated above you may need to perform an occasional channel scan to find them.
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post #9 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok cool. Also I have to set the box to channel 3. How can I scan my channels if my tv is always set to channel 3?
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post #10 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 10:38 AM
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If you are going to use a DTA (STB) at the other TV's you won't be able to get the HD channels as is.
Any method around this will require you to split the cable signal.
Split the cable signal, feed one leg to the DTA.
If you have a VCR or DVD recorder you can feed it with the output of the DTA and feed the TV with composite, S or component cable.

If you don't have a vcr or DVD recorder you will still split the cable feeding one leg to the DTA and the other to a 2 way switch, next take the output of the DTA and feed the other port of the 2 way switch, take the common of the 2 way switch and feed the TV.

If you use the above method when selecting the DTA signal leave the channel on 3.
When selecting the direct input just tune to the desired channel.
After doing this with the direct input you access the TV's menu and perform a channel scan (making sure you choose cable analog and digital) and see what you get.
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post #11 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregdpw View Post

Ok cool. Also I have to set the box to channel 3. How can I scan my channels if my tv is always set to channel 3?

Don't use their boxes. Just keep the cable plugged directly into your TV from the wall like you have it now. As Ken H said, the local digital channels will not be encrypted, and since your TV has a digital tuner it should be able to tune the channels just fine.
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post #12 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 12:45 PM
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Of course, without any Comcast box, you still won't have any EPG (Electronic Program Guide) functionality...one of the advantages of getting your locals via OTA.
Also, there's no guarantee you'll get local station's subchannels...although Comcast is good about adding them in some markets.

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post #13 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homcom View Post

That would be 2 DTA boxes and 1 SD box. If you want an HD box it will cost more.

Right, and, technically, the configuration is, first, 1 SD Box, then, 2 DTAs.

Some areas mandate the first TV to have an SD Box. In our area, one has an option on the first TV, of either an SD box or a DTA.
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post #14 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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if i dont use the box, i am loosing channels
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post #15 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homcom View Post

That would be 2 DTA boxes and 1 SD box. If you want an HD box it will cost more.

Thanks for the correction. I have edited my post.

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post #16 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregdpw View Post

if i dont use the box, i am loosing channels

Probably, yes, but it depends on what cable package you have. The only cable package that will have all it's channels available without a box is Limited Basic, which has locals, public service (gov, edu), shopping, and one or two others.

All the other cable packages, like Standard Basic, which is what used to be analog channels 1-99, will need some kind of cable box (or a CableCARD host device like a TiVo HD or Moxi).

So, if you want local HD you'll have to use the internal HDTV tuner. If you want the other channels in Standard Basic you'll have to use a box. For both, you'll have to switch back and forth between the box and the internal HDTV tuner.

If you rent an HD box from Comcast, you can use it for all the channels.

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post #17 of 65 Old 03-16-2010, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregdpw View Post

Ok cool. Also I have to set the box to channel 3. How can I scan my channels if my tv is always set to channel 3?

Unless you have 2 RF coax inputs on the HDTV (one for the non-HD box, one for the internal HDTV tuner), you'll have to do what RCbridge outlined above, or get an HD box.

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post #18 of 65 Old 03-17-2010, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregdpw View Post

if i dont use the box, i am loosing channels

Yes. You will lose all the channels that are part of expanded analog basic, channel 23 to around channel 80. If comcast doesn't scramble them then anybody who has a QAM decoder in their tv will get them for free.
The boxes comcast gave you are digital to analog converter boxes and they are for analog tvs not HDTVs. Any output on these type of boxes will be analog regardless of how they are hooked up.
They gave you the boxes because you only suscribe to analog expanded basic.

They are probably going to move the local HD channels into the analog basic channel package so you will probably only be able to get the analog basic lineup in the clear. They might leave the music choice channels in the clear also. If you want to get the expanded basic channels you will have to get a HD set top box from comcast or buy a moxi or tivo and get a cablecard for it.

For reference here is the physical analog basic RF channels in order from 54 MHz to 216MHz.
2,3,4,1,5,6,95,96,97,98,99,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,7,8,9, 10,11,12,13.
NOTE: Channel 1 is only 4MHz in size the rest is 6MHz in size.
NOTE: Channels 95,96,97 are the same frequencies as the FM radio band. So there is usually no tv channels put in this range because of ingress (noise) getting into these channels because of the strength of local FM radio stations.
Ingress will mainly occur in the customers home because of the use of bad, poor quality, outdated, or improper installation of wiring, F connectors, splitters, and cable amps.
From channel 23 to channel 135 (865 MHz), to 158 (1000MHz) are in order and are also 6 MHz in size.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_A...on_frequencies
http://www.mastervideo.com/ntsc_chart.htm

Another benefit for comcast doing this is they can move most if not all of their channels below RF channel 80. This will eliminate a lot of truck rolls because of wiring related issues in the customers home. A lot of homes that are older have some very old coaxial wiring, splitters, and cable amps that only support about 500 Mhz to at most 600MHz.
My cable company is the oldest (62 years old) in the USA and this is a huge problem.

The only digital channels that are in the clear on my system are the digital copies of the analog basic line up, the music choice channels, Cspan, Cspan 2, NASA, the HD locals, and QVC HD. This is how its been for three years now.
I have an all digital line up for my cablecards since may of 2007. The only analog channel I have is the analog TVGOS host channel.

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post #19 of 65 Old 03-17-2010, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
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would it be a hassel using a spliter then?
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post #20 of 65 Old 03-17-2010, 05:30 AM
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You should just plug the cable directly into the TV perform a scan and see what you get!!
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post #21 of 65 Old 03-17-2010, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Right now when I plug the cable into the tv and the channels I don't get are just a blue screen and it says I have to upgrade my service.
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post #22 of 65 Old 03-17-2010, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregdpw View Post

Right now when I plug the cable into the tv and the channels I don't get are just a blue screen and it says I have to upgrade my service.

Already answered; see my posts above. Those channels are gone forever, unless you use a box or have a CableCARD host device.

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post #23 of 65 Old 03-17-2010, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregdpw View Post

would it be a hassel using a spliter then?

In my opinion it will not be much of a hassle if you have a VCR or DVD recorder to run the DTA into. As RCbridge indicated split the cable signal, feed one leg to the DTA Connect the output of the DTA to the input of the VCR or DVD recorder and then connected the output of the VCR or DVD recorder to the TV with composite or S video.
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post #24 of 65 Old 03-17-2010, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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what if i dont have a dvd player or recorder? i just have the flat screen on the wall. i just want to keep my local hd stations, and have all of my channels i usally get on basic cable.
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post #25 of 65 Old 03-17-2010, 06:12 PM
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When you plugged the cable directly into the TV did you get the Local HD channels?
I know the others are gone but did you get HD locals or anything?
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post #26 of 65 Old 03-17-2010, 11:06 PM
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Glad I'm not the only one struggling with this: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1230706

Anyway, here's what I did with "iffy" results.

I have my out of the wall cable going into a splitter. One split going directly into the TV in the TV's coax input, the other split going to the comcast STB coax input. I'm then using the AV/composite output of the STB to my TV's AV input and then I'm getting my QAM stuff on my "Cable" option and all the comcast cable through the AV input.

Unfortunately, that AV input is giving me some pretty poor quality, so I'm kind of stuck on what my next step is going to be to try and improve this...
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post #27 of 65 Old 03-18-2010, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregdpw View Post

what if i dont have a dvd player or recorder? i just have the flat screen on the wall. i just want to keep my local hd stations, and have all of my channels i usally get on basic cable.

You have no choice but rent a HD set top box from comcast or buy a Moxi HD DVR and use a cablecard. Comcast doesn't charge anything for the card but you will have to at least suscribe to the HD channel package.

In 2012, the analog basic channels will be removed and all channels will be encrypted. Then everybody will need some type of set top box or a device that uses a cable card. This will eliminate any possibility of cable theft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FedEx227 View Post

Glad I'm not the only one struggling with this: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1230706

Anyway, here's what I did with "iffy" results.

I have my out of the wall cable going into a splitter. One split going directly into the TV in the TV's coax input, the other split going to the comcast STB coax input. I'm then using the AV/composite output of the STB to my TV's AV input and then I'm getting my QAM stuff on my "Cable" option and all the comcast cable through the AV input.

Unfortunately, that AV input is giving me some pretty poor quality, so I'm kind of stuck on what my next step is going to be to try and improve this...

You can't improve the signal because anything that goes into that box is converted to analog. Those boxes are digital to analog converter boxes that are to be used with analog televisions. See my response to gregdpw above on how to fix your problem.

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post #28 of 65 Old 03-18-2010, 09:16 AM
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So really the only step to improve the overall picture quality is to get an HD stb?
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post #29 of 65 Old 03-18-2010, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FedEx227 View Post

So really the only step to improve the overall picture quality is to get an HD stb?

Basically since you have a HDTV the answer is yes. If you want to watch standard definition analog or digital you should have kept your analog tv or bought a standard definition digital tv.

The answer to your questions are answered here in this link. Specifically 1 through 5, 28, 29, and 32.
http://digitalnow.comcast.com/FAQs.aspx?map=all_faq_map

This is the next step comcast is now starting to make as it refers to the analog basic lineup.
http://www.comcast.com/dtaaugusta/faqs.html

Link to comcasts DTA page.
http://digitalnow.comcast.com/

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post #30 of 65 Old 03-18-2010, 06:03 PM
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Well actually the picture quality is fine, I have no problem with it.

It's really just a motion problem. Lots of movement stutters the pictures. Again like I said the best example is the ESPN Bottomline which is really, really laggy through the STB. Honestly, the rest of the channels or ones that don't have a ton of movement (aka not sports) is fine.

The problem is that doesn't happen when I use the coax output of the stb, but it does happen with I use the AV output.

Is it possible an actual A/B switch as opposed to just a standard splitter would help the problem a little bit?
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