Comcast scrambling everything now, need direction - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 34 Old 05-13-2013, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
stickboy2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 27
So I have lived without a DVR because I run a HDHomeRun and can record basic HD content from the big networks. ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX.
Now Comcast decided to scramble EVERYTHING and I get nothing without a box. My HDHomeRun doesn’t use a cable card, so I am dead in the water.

I am ready to cut the cord and get an Ooma (for phone) because I am just sick of Scumcast.

However, I thought the FCC required cable companies to broadcast local HD content unscrambled?

Has anyone had success in getting Comcast to unscramble local HD, or is it just time for me to move on?
stickboy2k is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 34 Old 05-13-2013, 09:10 AM
AVS Special Member
 
RCbridge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Limerick Pa
Posts: 1,894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Is Over The Air a possibility?
RCbridge is offline  
post #3 of 34 Old 05-13-2013, 01:17 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Beerstalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 1,978
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k View Post

So I have lived without a DVR because I run a HDHomeRun and can record basic HD content from the big networks. ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX.
Now Comcast decided to scramble EVERYTHING and I get nothing without a box. My HDHomeRun doesn’t use a cable card, so I am dead in the water.

I am ready to cut the cord and get an Ooma (for phone) because I am just sick of Scumcast.

However, I thought the FCC required cable companies to broadcast local HD content unscrambled?

Has anyone had success in getting Comcast to unscramble local HD, or is it just time for me to move on?

The FCC used to require them to leave OTA channels in the clear. However late last year I believe they changed their mind and have now started letting the cable companies scramble everything. So yeah, you are pretty much going to have to move on. Either upgrade your HD Homerun to one that can use a cable card, and get a cable card from Comcast, or start looking at OTA, or a different pay TV provider.
Beerstalker is offline  
post #4 of 34 Old 05-13-2013, 05:11 PM
Super Moderator
 
DrDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 12,544
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked: 222
It's my understanding if the broadcaster doesn't have an issue with cable carriage of his/her channel being scrambled, then nobody's saying anything. The broadcaster would have to demand clear QAM. And I doubt many will.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
DrDon is online now  
post #5 of 34 Old 05-14-2013, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
stickboy2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 27
I guess I am going to call them and discuss cutting the cord.

I figure take off phone (switch to ooma) -~50 take off TV -~50 turn in some hardware -12-15 and then just keep internet.

Start up with Hulu plus netflix and amazon instant and there is enough there to make my entire family glazed over stupid.

Anyone know of a REALLY good OTA antenna must be super cheap!!
stickboy2k is offline  
post #6 of 34 Old 05-14-2013, 12:08 PM
AVS Special Member
 
RCbridge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Limerick Pa
Posts: 1,894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Look here at
antennaweb.org

This will determine the type of antenna that you will need for your location and distance from the transmit towers.
RCbridge is offline  
post #7 of 34 Old 05-14-2013, 01:26 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 14,293
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Liked: 251
Or, perhaps for more detail(s).....
http://tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
Ratman is online now  
post #8 of 34 Old 05-16-2013, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
stickboy2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Not much OTA where I am. one or two channels I think.

I just think I am going to try to redefine the role of TV in my house. For all my life the stupid idiot box was running 24/7 practically, and it was inoffensive. Now TV is so corrupt and the commercials so bad that it really isn't safe or healthy to have there for background noise.

I am looking at AEREO but do I really want to pay $8 a month just for 4 channels? I may...they also PVR that as well. Dunno.

All I know is Comcast is the worst, well cable and dish are just scam laden and frustrating messes.

I want tv on my terms.

Funny thing is that I will miss stupid things, like "Channel Surfing" I know I will miss that even though 99% of the time it is frustrating and I just give up.
stickboy2k is offline  
post #9 of 34 Old 05-16-2013, 09:23 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mikepier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Long Island and Upstate NY
Posts: 2,437
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k View Post

Not much OTA where I am. one or two channels I think.

Just out of curiousity, can you post your tvfool results? ( your address will not be shown).

Unless you live in a very remote area, you should at least pick up the major networks with a decent antenna.
mikepier is offline  
post #10 of 34 Old 05-16-2013, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
stickboy2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepier View Post

Just out of curiousity, can you post your tvfool results? ( your address will not be shown).

Unless you live in a very remote area, you should at least pick up the major networks with a decent antenna.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1ddaf4246b93de

So I couldn't get tvfool to work the other day and antennaweb was the one giving me the bad results.
This seems somewhat more promising, so I guess i will try a roof top or attic antenna first.
stickboy2k is offline  
post #11 of 34 Old 05-16-2013, 11:33 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mikepier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Long Island and Upstate NY
Posts: 2,437
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k View Post

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1ddaf4246b93de

So I couldn't get tvfool to work the other day and antennaweb was the one giving me the bad results.
This seems somewhat more promising, so I guess i will try a roof top or attic antenna first.

You have an ABC station close by at the top of the list, but thats about it, the rest is Telemundo, ION. And they are all in different directions.

So you are better off trying to get the Boston stations to the South of you. All the stations come from the same direction ( at 162 deg).
Good news is you only need a UHF antenna. Examples of some antennas are these sold at Radio Shack:
http://www.radioshack.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2032205&allCount=25&s=D-StorePrice-RSK&s=D-StorePrice-RSK&fbc=1&f=PAD%2FProduct+Type%2FUHF+only&fbn=Type%2FUHF+only&filterName=Type&filterValue=UHF+only
mikepier is offline  
post #12 of 34 Old 05-16-2013, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
stickboy2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Thanks, Mike!
I will let you know how the saga progresses I got my phone replacement, a google voice bridge coming tonight!

In a semi-related question does Windows media center know how to post listings for OTA channels?
stickboy2k is offline  
post #13 of 34 Old 05-16-2013, 12:14 PM
Member
 
4Crawler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Santa Clara, CA. USA
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
I still have Comcast for internet and just for grins hooked up an HD HomeRun to that cable and I am getting a bit over 80 channels including all the locals in quasi-HD. I also get OTA with a dual tuner card and CM-4228HD antenna and am working on combining both sets of sources in Media Center. One thing I have found with the Comcast ClearQAM signals is that many have incorrect or missing ID/EPG info so you have to manually scan and name them to get the correct guide info to display. I need to go back through the Comcast channels and populate a spread sheet with all the locations of clear channels and what they are, what resolution and what EPG name to map them to. Then I can use that information to track changes as they move channels around, which I have heard is common. Assume you have rescanned for clear channels, if not give that a try.
4Crawler is offline  
post #14 of 34 Old 05-16-2013, 12:44 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Otto Pylot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 7,077
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Liked: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k View Post

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1ddaf4246b93de

So I couldn't get tvfool to work the other day and antennaweb was the one giving me the bad results.
This seems somewhat more promising, so I guess i will try a roof top or attic antenna first.

You might want to take your TVFool results and post them in the HDTV-Local forum for the area that is specific (or close enough to you). You should get responses on what folks in your area are using for antennas etc.
Otto Pylot is offline  
post #15 of 34 Old 05-16-2013, 06:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mikepier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Long Island and Upstate NY
Posts: 2,437
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k View Post

Thanks, Mike!
I will let you know how the saga progresses I got my phone replacement, a google voice bridge coming tonight!

In a semi-related question does Windows media center know how to post listings for OTA channels?

It's been a while since i've used Windows media with my Hauppauge tuner stick, but i think it does show listings for OTA channels.
mikepier is offline  
post #16 of 34 Old 05-17-2013, 11:56 AM
Member
 
4Crawler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Santa Clara, CA. USA
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k View Post

Thanks, Mike!
I will let you know how the saga progresses I got my phone replacement, a google voice bridge coming tonight!

In a semi-related question does Windows media center know how to post listings for OTA channels?

Yes and no is what I have found. Most OTA channels in my area have the proper guide information and a few don't. Funny thing is that zap2it.com suppliers the guide information to MS for WMC and if I create an account on zap2it, enter my zip code and get listings for OTA channels, those are all correct. But if I go into WMC, set up the tuner with my zip code, I run into some missing and incorrect listings. If you contact zap2it, they tell you all they do is supply the date to MS and it is not their problem.

So what I have found that works is the DVBLogic TVSource package that lets you insert alternative EPG sources into WMC. What I do is run the zap2xml script to pull down an XMLTV guide listing then I assign those channel guide sources to entries in that listing. I also find WMC adds a number of channels that are not receivable that I need to go and disable. Nice thing is that the TVSource package lets you define the exact set of channels you actually do receive and bypass whatever scanning that WMC does. If you add the DVBLogic connect server package you can export that same guide and channel setup to other WMC machines on your network and only have to deal with the one configuration.
4Crawler is offline  
post #17 of 34 Old 05-17-2013, 01:28 PM
Advanced Member
 
Taperwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bremerton, WA
Posts: 912
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Stickboy, Your 162 degree stations are about the same strength as mine and are all 1edge. It took me three years to dial in my OTA but I finally succeeded with an Antennas Direct 91xg, CM7777 preamp, and LG tuner in the TV. I now reliably get all the stations I want. The secret for me was 1) antenna placement, 2) TV tuner, and 3) preamp. I have hills and a patch of big fir trees across the street from me between my house and the towers in Seattle. At first I placed the antenna at the sides of the house to try to go around the trees and got spotty reception. As a final attempt, last summer I moved the antenna so it was pointing directly into the middle of the trees and got an excellent signal. Go figure! The antenna is about 25' off the ground.
Taperwood is offline  
post #18 of 34 Old 05-17-2013, 02:02 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jtbell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Clinton, SC
Posts: 3,822
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taperwood View Post

Stickboy, Your 162 degree stations are about the same strength as mine and are all 1edge. It took me three years to dial in my OTA but I finally succeeded with an Antennas Direct 91xg, CM7777 preamp

I have the same antenna and pre-amp. Based on my experience with stations in the same signal-level range (yellow zone on TVFool), that's what I would recommend, too. One of the first two antennas in the Radio Shack link posted previously (U8000 or MXU59) might give similar results.

If you want stations from other directions besides Boston, add a rotator. If you want 9 and 11, add a high-VHF (ch 7-13) antenna; it doesn't have to be very big because those two stations are pretty close by and strong.
jtbell is offline  
post #19 of 34 Old 01-07-2014, 01:32 PM
Newbie
 
hanne555's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: MA
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10

I have just recently discovered that Comcast is scrambling their Channels.

 

I am in the process of writing to the FCC to find out if it is actually legal to scramble public channels.  

 

We will see.

 

In the meantime I have a question:
What kind of antenny other than a rooftop/outside, if any can I use.  I live in a rural area in MA and used to get Boston, Hartford and Springfield using a rooftop antenna with a rotor.

 

That antenna is still there but is no longer hooked up except to my stereo receiver.

Any suggestion will be much appreciated

Thanks

hanne555 is offline  
post #20 of 34 Old 01-07-2014, 01:44 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 14,293
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Liked: 251
The FCC (if they respond) will say that the local cableco can encrypt their channels.

I'd suggest hooking up the existing antenna that worked before for TV. There's a good chance that it will work now (with some inspection and clean up).
Ratman is online now  
post #21 of 34 Old 01-07-2014, 02:30 PM
Newbie
 
hanne555's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: MA
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10

Thank you for your reply.

 

This is the old antenna with 1 arm hanging.  Unfortunately there is only 1 antenna person in this county and he is not within my budget :P

Can a splitter be added so I can continue to use the antenna for the receiver? (tuner part)

Maybe I can find someone to help out on Craigs list.  

This antenna is quite old, from the 70s.  Will it work now taht all the channels locally are digitized?
Thanks

hanne555 is offline  
post #22 of 34 Old 01-07-2014, 02:51 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 14,293
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Liked: 251
Looks to me like that antenna is probably beyond repair.
1) have someone take it down before it damages your roof (or falls on one of family)
2) install a new antenna during the process
3) or.... take it down and subscribe to satellite, cable or FiOS.
Ratman is online now  
post #23 of 34 Old 01-07-2014, 03:15 PM
Newbie
 
hanne555's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: MA
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10

LOL, Thanks

I have comcast but they are now scrambling basic channels.  I have been considering dropping them for a long time as they keep hiking their prices and/or attempt to force you to buy/rent extras by changing their rules, services and plans.  Honestly the only channel I'd miss is NECN, even if they do tend to exaggerate their weather forecasts :)

 

No chance of it falling down unless we get extreme winds (it has survived 60+mph gusts already :P ) it is not attached to the roof which is metal. My children are grown.  I am no longer capable climbing up there.  So unless I can find someone who needs some extra funds to help,  I guess it stays where it is.

 

But thanks anyways :)

hanne555 is offline  
post #24 of 34 Old 01-07-2014, 03:42 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 14,293
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Liked: 251
LoL... Whatever works for you. tongue.gif
From the photo, it looks like the back half of the VHF portion is hanging and the UHF portion has fallen over.
Ratman is online now  
post #25 of 34 Old 01-07-2014, 04:49 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ctdish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mystic,CT,USA
Posts: 1,319
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Hanne
Maybe these guys could hook you up with an installer: http://www.starkelectronic.com/index.htm
John
ctdish is online now  
post #26 of 34 Old 01-13-2014, 05:57 AM
Newbie
 
hanne555's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: MA
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10

Thanks, I will give those guys a call!

hanne555 is offline  
post #27 of 34 Old 01-13-2014, 03:02 PM
Member
 
4Crawler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Santa Clara, CA. USA
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by hanne555 View Post

LOL, Thanks
I have comcast but they are now scrambling basic channels.  I have been considering dropping them for a long time as they keep hiking their prices and/or attempt to force you to buy/rent extras by changing their rules, services and plans.  Honestly the only channel I'd miss is NECN, even if they do tend to exaggerate their weather forecasts smile.gif

No chance of it falling down unless we get extreme winds (it has survived 60+mph gusts already :P ) it is not attached to the roof which is metal. My children are grown.  I am no longer capable climbing up there.  So unless I can find someone who needs some extra funds to help,  I guess it stays where it is.

But thanks anyways smile.gif

Cable co. is supposed to provide some set top boxes, free of charge to subcribers that need them for basic cable. I think that was the deal with FCC, OK to drop ClearQAM channels, but need to provide free STB to provide access to those channels. I think they charge a monthly fee for the box but then issue a credit of the same amount to negate the cost.
4Crawler is offline  
post #28 of 34 Old 01-14-2014, 08:57 AM
Senior Member
 
gbynum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Greenville SC
Posts: 458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post

Cable co. is supposed to provide some set top boxes, free of charge to subcribers that need them for basic cable. I think that was the deal with FCC, OK to drop ClearQAM channels, but need to provide free STB to provide access to those channels.
Charter has done it here now; for those of us with PC based tuners, the boxes don't meet any need at all ... I use WMC to watch locally, and InstaTV to watch on my Android tablet ... channel selection done by whichever of those is active. EVEN WITH the box selecting the channel, RF output does not allow my selecting closed captioning in the tuner or HD at all.

I filed an FCC complaint, and at least Charter took notice. Their folks talking to me cannot help as it is unsolvable with the clear QAM or locals gone. But they are aware ...
gbynum is offline  
post #29 of 34 Old 01-16-2014, 11:11 AM
Member
 
4Crawler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Santa Clara, CA. USA
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbynum View Post

Charter has done it here now; for those of us with PC based tuners, the boxes don't meet any need at all ... I use WMC to watch locally, and InstaTV to watch on my Android tablet ... channel selection done by whichever of those is active. EVEN WITH the box selecting the channel, RF output does not allow my selecting closed captioning in the tuner or HD at all.

I filed an FCC complaint, and at least Charter took notice. Their folks talking to me cannot help as it is unsolvable with the clear QAM or locals gone. But they are aware ...

Yes, you would probably need a cable-card tuner for that and then have to purchase/rent the cable cards from the cable co. But then there goes the "free" aspect. Maybe they might knock the cost of a basic box rental off the cable card cost?
4Crawler is offline  
post #30 of 34 Old 01-16-2014, 11:23 AM
Senior Member
 
gbynum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Greenville SC
Posts: 458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post

Yes, you would probably need a cable-card tuner for that and then have to purchase/rent the cable cards from the cable co.
What in-computer, computer tunable tuner exists that accepts a cable card. That would meet my needs. Thanks!
gbynum is offline  
Reply HDTV Technical

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off