I realize I'm late to this because apparently this all happened last summer:http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r229...to-ComcastPace
And so this is a pointless argument. I understand it's a done deal. I just wasn't aware of it because I've been happily receiving extended basic for years and only now get notice of the "digital migration".
I also understand that analog had to go away eventually. But it seems to me that eventually is coming a lot quicker that it should have - when the OTA transition occurred last year, comcast made a big deal out of the fact that their customers weren't affected.
The problem is the DTA IS A BAD DESIGN.
Perhaps this seems unusual, or uncommon, but I don't have any "audio equipment or BD player" next to my TV. It's a flat panel, it hangs on the wall. The entire point is not to have a bunch of wires and electronic junk exposed in my living room. I've gone to the trouble of placing that stuff out of sight. Do you really think that is such a weird thing to do? Apparently comcast does. Every advertisement I see for TVs shows a bunch of happy people in front of a pristine flat panel. Every ad touts how thin each latest model is. Why does comcast get to say no you can't really do that?
So, problem number one is, now I have a DTA that has a remote. I use windows 7 media center. Like a lot of people. Now I have to figure out how to run wires so this device, that adds NO VALUE FOR ME, can change the channel. Thanks for breaking my entire system comcast.
Oh and I wonder, since I haven't received this DTA yet: how does it control the volume? Or doesn't it? Did that not perhaps occur to the people who came up with this idea?
Problem number two is, is since the DTA won't tune in HD, I have to use my QAM tuner, with its own remote, to get the local HD channels. Thanks for breaking my entire system comcast.
As for how comcast should distinguish between limited and extended basic, I'd ask how are they doing it now? Switching from an analog to a digital transmission method somehow translates that they got all worried people might get channels they're not supposed to?
And don't tell me the quality is better: the channels are the same, they're not in HD, there's really no difference to the customer. A few extended basic channels have been available in clear QAM on my system, and I can't tell the difference between those and the analog ones.
They charge a little less than $20 for extended where I live, not the $40-$50 you mention. So there's no great differential between limited and extended. They could just have put the extended channels in clear QAM, a feature that every new TV has, and it wouldn't have changed a thing. Not a single customer would have been inconvenienced or even noticed a change. There would have been no need for a "digital migration". Except maybe they would have saved millions of dollars not producing and distributing a bunch of DTA dongles.
What it comes down to for me, and I suspect others, is the following: if it becomes more of a hassle to get extended basic than it is worth, I just won't bother with it, I'll watch those channels on their web sites. And since I'm not going to pay the same for less service, I'll probably just ditch the cable altogether.
Like a lot of people, I already have Netflix, I already have Hulu, Boxee, etc. None of these require converters and wires and additional remote controls. There's getting to be more choice every day.