CableCARD Tested! Golly Gee, It Really Works! Here's My Experience, Post Yours Here - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 748 Old 07-02-2004, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
dt_dc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,333
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Moderators Note:
Topics merged, see Gary Merson's post, #6, for info related to the topic title.



Original post:
Just wondering if anyone is using any CableCard equipment (with a CableCard). I know ... not much equipment available yet ...

But the implementation deadline was July 1 ... just curious if anyone's up and running (and any impressions).

I was surprised to see my local cable company already has a CableCard section on their web site ... with prices:

$1.99 / mo
$29.99 installation

"Must be installed by technician", hopefully they'll allow a self-install once the kinks are worked out.

https://www.cox.com/fairfax/digitalcable/CableCARD.asp
dt_dc is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 748 Old 07-03-2004, 12:33 AM
 
HDTVFanAtic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: 3rd Rock from the Sun
Posts: 8,143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I have a cable card TV supposed to be arriving on July 9th.

I can't wait to see what the cable company has to say as they have been OUT of SA3250HD firewire boxes since mid-May.
HDTVFanAtic is offline  
post #3 of 748 Old 07-03-2004, 06:48 AM
AVS Special Member
 
foxfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,013
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Installed by technician???

1. Insert card into slot (we've all used an ATM or sat receiver before)
2. Call cable company (done that many times before)

What kind of morons do they think we are?%
foxfan is offline  
post #4 of 748 Old 07-03-2004, 10:28 AM
Member
 
$$MUTHATRUCKA$$'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mancowland
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I work for Comcast.......I'm sure you are a better technician then many of my co-workers...:)

010000100110100101101100011011000010000001000111011000010111 010001100101011100110011110101001101011110010010000001001000 011001010111001001101111
$$MUTHATRUCKA$$ is offline  
post #5 of 748 Old 07-03-2004, 11:15 AM
QZ1
AVS Special Member
 
QZ1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: S.E. PA
Posts: 5,047
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally posted by dt_dc
Just wondering if anyone is using any CableCard equipment (with a CableCard). I know ... not much equipment available yet ...
This question should be asked in one of the TV sections, because there are no CableCard STBs out, AFAIK. The Motorola STB was supposed to be out in late Q2, but was moved to early Q3.
QZ1 is offline  
post #6 of 748 Old 07-03-2004, 07:44 PM
Advanced Member
 
Gary Merson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Hicksville, NY USA
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I was able to obtain a digital cable ready set on July 2nd and with the cooperation of Cablevision on Long Island (Woodbury) I got a CableCARD up and running.

Cablevision sent two of its top installation management guys to assist and observe.


One of the things that the cable companies aren't telling you is that CableCard should look better (than a cable set top box) with SD content and equal to DVI with HD since there is no upconversion or digital to analog being performed in a set top box.

The ease of tuning all the cable channels without picking up another remote is terrific.

Channel changes take the same time to execute as my Scientific Atlanta 4200HD.

CableCARD provides identifiers for every cable channel i.e. WCBS-HD; In HD etc.

If you would like to post your results, please include the name of the cable company, location and type of card, Scientific Atlanta (Power Key) or Motorola (Digicipher)

Cablevision Long Island uses NDS, they are the only ones to do so.
Gary Merson is offline  
post #7 of 748 Old 07-03-2004, 09:04 PM
Member
 
faheem5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
nice to hear it works....quick questions

1. cablecard only works for local hdtv channles, or even premium ones, like inhd1-2, hbo and so on.
2. also im intrested in your claim of signal looking better than dvi connection. Because i am assuming you connect your caox in the back of tv, and you put in card, and flip channels. So wouldnt the tv do the analog-digital conversion??
faheem5 is offline  
post #8 of 748 Old 07-03-2004, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
dt_dc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,333
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally posted by QZ1
This question should be asked in one of the TV sections
Last I checked, this is the 'HDTV Hardware' forum and a CableCard is a piece of hardware.

Thanks for the responses.
dt_dc is offline  
post #9 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 05:09 AM
Advanced Member
 
Gary Merson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Hicksville, NY USA
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 11
CableCARD tunes all cable channels, encrypted analog standard definition (SD) ,encrypted digital SD, unencrypted digital SD and all HD channels.

I am saying that the digital signals go unaltered into the TV. They then get converted to the digital display's native resolution using the TV internal scaling/ de-interlacing

Cableboxes tend to be built on the cheap since the cable company charges a few dollars for a rental, they have an incentive to pay as little as possible for the box. My experience is that the pictures from SD source programs look poor when fed from the HD cable box to digital displays.


Letting the TV do all the converting work gets the source program into the TV without degradation. Today's sets have better deinterlacer/scalers than the found in current cable set tops. The result, better pictures.

An added note. The quickest way to get 2-way CableCARD TVs with SVOD is the rapid public acceptance of one-way!

If CableCARD starts to trend subscribers significantly away from those crummy 2 way rental boxes, the cable industry will be anxious to resolve the issues that are holding up a 2-way CableCARD agreement. Loss of potential revenue is a huge motivator for the cable executives.
Gary Merson is offline  
post #10 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 05:55 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
bfdtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Gary,

What digital cable set are you testing? And is there any sort of channel listing that you can select on the screen? Or do you only see the callsign when you change channels?
bfdtv is offline  
post #11 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 06:06 AM
Advanced Member
 
Gary Merson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Hicksville, NY USA
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 11
panasonic plasma. You only see the call letters for the channel when you change channels or hit the recall button.

Contrary to what has been widely written in the mass media, there will be sets with interactive channel guides available beginning next month. They will have the latest version of TV Guide On Screen. Several manufacturers will include it in CableCARD models
Gary Merson is offline  
post #12 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 06:55 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
bfdtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Gary,

Is the QAM remapping done correctly on the Panasonic? So all channels are in the exact order with the exact channel designations as the box from the cable company?
bfdtv is offline  
post #13 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 07:13 AM
Advanced Member
 
chrispy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Saylorsburg, PA
Posts: 815
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
This is awesome. I will keep my fingers crossed that we will soon see PC cards which are CableCARD-enabled.

- Chris
chrispy is offline  
post #14 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 07:41 AM
Advanced Member
 
Gary Merson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Hicksville, NY USA
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 11
BFDTV,

Yes, I-Dentical :D
Gary Merson is offline  
post #15 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 09:06 AM
Senior Member
 
rmalbers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 440
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
I'm interested in channel change speed. Above it's stated that is the same as your cable box was. My channel change speed is not very good with my cable box. With the cable card is it like the regular NTSC channel change speed of a TV or is it really slower like with the cable box.
rmalbers is offline  
post #16 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 09:12 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
bfdtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
rmalbers,

It is the digital technology itself, not the cable box, that is responsible for the slower channel changing speed.

Digital channels require MPEG-2 decoding / decompression, so channel changing speed will never be as fast as it is with uncompressed analog (NTSC) channels. In the future, technology may offer improved channel changing speed (i.e. <=1.0 second instead of 1.5-2.0 seconds), but for now, cable-ready televisions and cable boxes are both using similar components and technologies.
bfdtv is offline  
post #17 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 04:39 PM
Senior Member
 
rmalbers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 440
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Thanks, that makes since. I'm think I'll still jump in as soon as COX makes it available. I HATE having a seperate cable box.
rmalbers is offline  
post #18 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 05:35 PM
Advanced Member
 
Gary Merson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Hicksville, NY USA
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Cable CARDs were available as of July 1st from all the major cable companies as long as you are in a digital area.

Of course, you will need a digital cable ready set for it.
Gary Merson is offline  
post #19 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 07:22 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Ken H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 45,876
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Topics merged.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

Ken H is offline  
post #20 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 07:55 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DoubleDAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Peoria, AZ (75 Ave & T-Bird)
Posts: 9,856
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Quote:
Originally posted by Gary Merson
I am saying that the digital signals go unaltered into the TV. They then get converted to the digital display's native resolution using the TV internal scaling/ de-interlacing.
I see what you are saying and suppose this is true to a point. But, even if they go into the TV unaltered, they still have to go through an internal digital tuner of some sort for decoding and then to the internal scaler/de-interlacer. Wouldn't this basically be the same as what happens with Pass-Through mode on the 3250HD whereby all it does is decode the stream and pass it to the TV?

Of course the decoding part might be a bit better being as it's closer to the latest offered and perhaps different than what is in current external boxes, and there are no Component cables involved, but I'm not sure any increase in PQ can be credited simply to the lack of a 'cheap' (to use your term) external tuner. IMO, there are simply too many other things in the mix, like the Component cables I mentioned, to blame PQ differences on the external tuner itself.

I keep hearing how cheap the $500 cable boxes are, and I'll grant there is a difference in scalers/de-interlacers (just as there are between HDTV scalers and de-interlacers), but how much difference is there between the decoders used in external and internal tuners? I don't think I've ever seen anyone post specific information about just what it is that makes an external tuner's scalers/de-interlacers less capable than the ones built into HDTVs. I'll agree my HDTV appears to do a better job, but I really don't know why. It's not like seeing the difference in DVD players with and without a Faroudja chip, know what I mean?

Cheers, Dave
DoubleDAZ is offline  
post #21 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 08:20 PM
Advanced Member
 
Gary Merson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Hicksville, NY USA
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Dave,

My sources indicate that the cable companies are paying around $250-$300 for an HD box depending on quantity and features.

As to PQ, I made a point that HD DVI should look the same as CableCARD as can maintain the native signal in the digital domain to the display.

My own experience with my SA box is that it does a very poor job of deinterlacing and upconversion of native 480i signals.

My point is: the cable company's executives at various meetings I have attended and on panels such as at the NCTA convention have downplayed CableCARD as being inferior to an external STB. They position the external HD STB as the best solution and claim that anyone with a $3000 and above HDTV would not want to use the CableCARD and opt for and rental HD box.


I submit that at best the PQ with the above conditions (DVI) is equal and with non-HD signals, the rental boxes do not do as good a job deinterlacing or scaling based on all observations I have made.

If you prefer the external box, go for it.

One more point. A DVI equipped DVD player with a good deinterlacer/scaler i.e. Faroudja does a better job then with any analog output player (I stick with under $1000 machines) I have observed. The CableCARD frees up a HDMI or DVI input .
Gary Merson is offline  
post #22 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 08:43 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
DaveFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Natick MA
Posts: 17,174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 26
I can understand why cable co's are currently discouraging CableCard use, because there is no VOD support, which brings in alot of money.

CableCard will be good when TVs can offer all the features that STB's do- currently they do not. I will be thrilled when I can run out and buy an all-in-one STB/Mediacenter with CableCard support. It would offer all the features of the Cable Co's box, and run front-end software like Moxi without the adverts.

XBOX Live: Wagmman
PSN: Wagg
BFBC2: Wagman
Steam: Wag

My Second Life character looks and acts exactly like me except he can fly.
DaveFi is offline  
post #23 of 748 Old 07-04-2004, 09:51 PM
AVS Special Member
 
bdraw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Tampa FL 33629
Posts: 2,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I don't know about anyone else but my cable co (BHN) doesn't offer any VOD in HD, which means I don't buy any. I don't see them loosing alot of business with HD customers, without atleast widescreen or DD5.1.

Ben
How good could it be if it isn't HD?
Engadget HD
bdraw is offline  
post #24 of 748 Old 07-05-2004, 01:09 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
bfdtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
My own experience with my SA box is that it does a very poor job of deinterlacing and upconversion of native 480i signals.
I think this is a temporary phenomenon that should be resolved by next-generation cable boxes. Most equipment from Motorola and Scientific Atlanta use Broadcom MP@HL decoders that do not offer 3/2 pull-down for film. The latest Broadcom chip, which should find it into the next round of HDTV cable boxes, does offer 3/2 pull-down and other enhancements to improve picture quality.
bfdtv is offline  
post #25 of 748 Old 07-05-2004, 12:21 PM
QZ1
AVS Special Member
 
QZ1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: S.E. PA
Posts: 5,047
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally posted by Gary Merson
My own experience with my SA box is that it does a very poor job of deinterlacing and upconversion of native 480i signals.

I submit that at best the PQ with the above conditions (DVI) is equal and with non-HD signals, the rental boxes do not do as good a job deinterlacing or scaling based on all observations I have made.
Isn't analog unaffected when one splits the signal before the TV, with one line going to the 'Antenna' input for watching analog, and the other line going to the Digital STB, which then goes to the 'DVI' input for Digital?

Of course, one would have to change input modes between analog and digital with the remote control; I guess you don't have to change modes with the CableCard.
QZ1 is offline  
post #26 of 748 Old 07-05-2004, 02:59 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DoubleDAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Peoria, AZ (75 Ave & T-Bird)
Posts: 9,856
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Gary,

I think I agreed with you on those points and was simply asking if that would not be the same as the Pass-Through option. Essentially, doesn't using DVI do just that while also taking Component cables out of the mix?

Since many folks say they see no difference between Component and DVI on CRT-based RPTVs, it would seem that Pass-Through does, in fact, bypass the box scaler/de-interlacer and passes the signal basically the same way as a CableCard does. I though that was what I was asking. :)

In no way do I necessarily favor external boxes, but many of us will have them for some time to come and I am simply trying to figure out if there really is an intrinsic difference between Pass-Through on my 3270HD and a new CableCard-enabled HDTV.

I will say though that external boxes do seem to provide more capabilities than CableCards at the moment when it comes to things like DVRs, etc. My belief is that I and many others will have an external box of some sort for a very long time with or without a CableCard-enabled HDTV and that may be what cableco execs were referring to. Simply passing a digital cable signal to an HDTV should not be much different with a box using Pass-Through or a CableCard, should it?

Cheers, Dave
DoubleDAZ is offline  
post #27 of 748 Old 07-05-2004, 03:24 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DoubleDAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Peoria, AZ (75 Ave & T-Bird)
Posts: 9,856
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Quote:
Originally posted by DaveFi
CableCard will be good when TVs can offer all the features that STB's do- currently they do not. I will be thrilled when I can run out and buy an all-in-one STB/Mediacenter with CableCard support. It would offer all the features of the Cable Co's box, and run front-end software like Moxi without the adverts.
Isn't that basically what the cableco execs are alluding to? Isn't your Mediacenter still an external box? Does anyone think CableCards will ever be able to perform all the functions, including DVR, the same as an external box/Mediacenter/whatever?

I don't get an opportunity to go to shows/conventions, so I don't really keep up with what is coming down the pike, but I view an external box as just another HT component along with all the other components many of us have. Sure, you can listen to TV through built-in speakers, but how many of us do? Sure, you can use a TV with a built-in digital tuner, but don't you also want a DVR which still requires an external box? Granted, many folks just want to plug in the cable and watch TV. They don't care about recording or time-shifting or anything else. But every year more and more customers become more knowledgeable and demand more features/functions. It seems to be much easier and cheaper to upgrade/replace a box than a TV as new stuff comes out.

Cheers, Dave
DoubleDAZ is offline  
post #28 of 748 Old 07-05-2004, 03:26 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DoubleDAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Peoria, AZ (75 Ave & T-Bird)
Posts: 9,856
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
I think this is a temporary phenomenon that should be resolved by next-generation cable boxes. Most equipment from Motorola and Scientific Atlanta use Broadcom MP@HL decoders that do not offer 3/2 pull-down for film. The latest Broadcom chip, which should find it into the next round of HDTV cable boxes, does offer 3/2 pull-down and other enhancements to improve picture quality.
Thanks, that is the first time I've seen any explanation for just why boxes appear inferior in this regard and it makes sense, at least to me. :)

Cheers, Dave
DoubleDAZ is offline  
post #29 of 748 Old 07-05-2004, 03:32 PM
Advanced Member
 
Gary Merson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Hicksville, NY USA
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I have not tested every display, but digital displays generally do not support all scan rates via DVI or HDMI. Many only support 720p and/or 1080i and none I recall testing support 480i.

All native 480i/p sources would have to be scaled by the cable STB to the display's acceptable rate. Hence artifacts. CableCARD displays take all the incoming signals and convert them to the native matrix with circuitry optimized to the CableCARD display.

In conclusion current set tops must convert non-native program material, they are not the best at doing this conversion.

Wait a couple of months as more people obtain CableCARD sets and see for themselves.

BTW I have some SVOD on my cable system via my SA box and I find the content very compressed resulting in poor quality, (big screen) images.

There will be CableCARD sets with optional or built in DVRs from Toshiba, Mitsubishi and RCA. Sony will have a DVR with built-in CableCARD so alternatives to the leased DVR cable boxes are coming.
Gary Merson is offline  
post #30 of 748 Old 07-05-2004, 03:34 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DoubleDAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Peoria, AZ (75 Ave & T-Bird)
Posts: 9,856
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Quote:
Originally posted by QZ1
Isn't analog unaffected when one splits the signal before the TV, with one line going to the 'Antenna' input for watching analog, and the other line going to the Digital STB, which then goes to the 'DVI' input for Digital?

Of course, one would have to change input modes between analog and digital with the remote control; I guess you don't have to change modes with the CableCard.
I'm not sure what generated this comment, but even though I still split my cable (mostly for PIP and recording and only until I get my 8000HD), almost all viewing is done through the 3270HD via Component cables using the Pass-Through option. My analog channels may not be any better through the box than directly to the TV, but they are certainly no worse. Admittedly, I don't watch much analog any more, but hardware and software have evolved to where I no longer need separate connections for analog and digital, at least for me.

Cheers, Dave
DoubleDAZ is offline  
Closed Thread 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