Are All Your QAM Channels Scrambled? - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 507 Old 12-11-2013, 02:20 PM
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Well, that's a pleasant (but odd) surprise. The first is free; but the second will really cost you!

I guess we just need Silicon Dust to start selling 4-tuner Primes biggrin.gif
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post #272 of 507 Old 12-11-2013, 02:38 PM
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I was looking for their 6-tuner but it appears to be discontinued. I also dont want to try the Ceton due to Amazon consensus being that they are flaky.
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post #273 of 507 Old 12-12-2013, 10:20 AM
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the previous QAM channels here in North Central Florida from Cox are somewhat still there, but the (I don't recall the terminology) data is completely mangled and WMC couldn't make hide or hair of them. That was using a HDHR dual.

The Simple.TV tuner I just bought saw the same channels but is unusable because the channel names can't be
configured like tuned channels in WMC. Actually, PBS was still in the clear with the correct program data and name.
FYI, the Simple.TV tuner coudldn't find NBC tower <6 miles from me; it must have a weak tuner frown.gif

It always seems like DIY stuff in the tech world only ever works for 2-3 years before some company breaks it and then we have to learn a whole new method or adopt new tech. So very tiresome.
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post #274 of 507 Old 12-12-2013, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cravit8 View Post

the previous QAM channels here in North Central Florida from Cox are somewhat still there, but the (I don't recall the terminology) data is completely mangled and WMC couldn't make hide or hair of them. That was using a HDHR dual.

The Simple.TV tuner I just bought saw the same channels but is unusable because the channel names can't be
configured like tuned channels in WMC. Actually, PBS was still in the clear with the correct program data and name.
FYI, the Simple.TV tuner coudldn't find NBC tower <6 miles from me; it must have a weak tuner frown.gif

It always seems like DIY stuff in the tech world only ever works for 2-3 years before some company breaks it and then we have to learn a whole new method or adopt new tech. So very tiresome.

Two or three years seems about normal, five if used lightly. Cars used to be like that, but I had my last one for 15 years.

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post #275 of 507 Old 12-13-2013, 06:53 AM
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As of Tuesday of this week (12/10/13), Mediacom in Albany, GA has scrambled their QAM channels.

Now, when I record a program to my Magnavox 535, I record it directly from my cable box using composite cable.

Scott

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt...
Hot Off the Press / Philips and Magnavox DVD Recorders

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post #276 of 507 Old 12-13-2013, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SowegaBowler View Post

As of Tuesday of this week (12/10/13), Mediacom in Albany, GA has scrambled their QAM channels.

Now, when I record a program to my Magnavox 535, I record it directly from my cable box using composite cable.

I used to do that too. Sorry for your loss.

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post #277 of 507 Old 12-13-2013, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cravit8 View Post

FYI, the Simple.TV tuner coudldn't find NBC tower <6 miles from me; it must have a weak tuner frown.gif


It always seems like DIY stuff in the tech world only ever works for 2-3 years before some company breaks it and then we have to learn a whole new method or adopt new tech. So very tiresome.
Two or three years seems about normal, five if used lightly. Cars used to be like that, but I had my last one for 15 years.
The difference, though, is that cars are mechanical devices that inevitably wear out over time. But electronics don't wear out, at least not nearly as quickly. Instead the problem is that content providers keep changing the way they provide their content to different (and more restrictive) forms.

It's as if oil companies decided to stop selling gasoline, so everybody had to junk their gas-powered cars and switch to diesel; then a few years later, they decided to only sell jet fuel, and everybody had to junk their cars and switch again. Or it's as if power companies decided to switch from 60 Hz to 50 Hz, then a few years later decided to switch from 120 V to 48 V, etc., and we had to keep buying new appliances or adapters to keep up with all the changes.

Obviously some of those changes are clear improvements, as with the switch from analog SD to digital HD, and so were worth the pain. But encryption is the exact opposite: it's specifically intended to make things (especially making and sharing recordings) harder for their customers.
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post #278 of 507 Old 12-13-2013, 08:15 PM
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Comcast in Bloomington Indiana went QAM dark today blacking out all my local channels. Goodbye DVD recorder, it was nice while it lasted.
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post #279 of 507 Old 12-14-2013, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast in Bloomington Indiana went QAM dark today blacking out all my local channels. Goodbye DVD recorder, it was nice while it lasted.


Sorry to hear. Comcast isn't slowing down.

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post #280 of 507 Old 12-14-2013, 11:15 AM
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Why would they slow down?
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post #281 of 507 Old 12-14-2013, 06:43 PM
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They might slow down if they were getting a lot of push-back from their customers. But I bet about 90% of their customers are renting Comcast's STBs and DVRs anyhow, so they don't care; and most of the rest probably aren't complaining. (A few are going to OTA, and some of those are dropping Comcast; but evidently not enough to change Comcast's corporate mind.)
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post #282 of 507 Old 12-14-2013, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackProton View Post

Comcast in Bloomington Indiana went QAM dark today blacking out all my local channels. Goodbye DVD recorder, it was nice while it lasted.

You may not have to say goodbye completely to the DVD recorder. I rearranged mine so that it's tuned to Channel 4 and gets the signal from the STB. At least I can record whatever channel the box is tuned to, I just have to make sure I have it set to the channel I want. to record.

The setup isn't nearly as flexible, useful, or convenient as before, but at least I can still do something with the DVD-R. frown.gif
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post #283 of 507 Old 12-14-2013, 09:06 PM
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You may not have to say goodbye completely to the DVD recorder. I rearranged mine so that it's tuned to Channel 4 and gets the signal from the STB. At least I can record whatever channel the box is tuned to, I just have to make sure I have it set to the channel I want. to record.

The setup isn't nearly as flexible, useful, or convenient as before, but at least I can still do something with the DVD-R. frown.gif

I'd briefly considered the idea but had dismissed it. Maybe I should reconsider though. Comcast did offer me (another) "free" "DTA" which I found a bit infuriating at the time considering I was calling to complain about losing the ability to record digital broadcast channels with my own equipment. If those DTA boxes at least had s-video or composite video and stereo audio outs.... Anyways, thanks for the suggestion, I'll think it over a little more.

BTW, I never did understand why no one ever made a DVD recorder with a cablecard slot.
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post #284 of 507 Old 12-14-2013, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

They might slow down if they were getting a lot of push-back from their customers. But I bet about 90% of their customers are renting Comcast's STBs and DVRs anyhow, so they don't care; and most of the rest probably aren't complaining. (A few are going to OTA, and some of those are dropping Comcast; but evidently not enough to change Comcast's corporate mind.)

That time passed a while ago when cable companies were given the go-ahead to scramble all basic cable channels forcing customers to rent some sort of cable box or other instead of being allowed to use as many TVs and recording devices as we wanted without extra charges and having to rent equipment. This latest insult only affected us hold-outs who were still "getting away with" using technology we owned and controlled ourselves. Perhaps we should be asking the FCC why we now have less access to compatible equipment and functionality than we did only 10 years ago and how that serves the "public interest".
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post #285 of 507 Old 12-15-2013, 01:11 PM
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Even before last December's ruling, cable companies were allowed to encrypt quite a lot. The ruling was just the final nail in the coffin. The only good news is that not all cable companies are as anxious as Comcast to encrypt everything. Customers of Cox cable and Verizon FIOS seem most likely to keep at least some clear QAM signals for a few more years.

The CableCARD was "supposed to be" the universal solution for customers to keep using their own equipment. But if you want to make and sell something with a CableCARD tuner,you first have to convince the industry it won't open up some DRM loophole, especially if it records or has any outputs (besides encrypted HDMI). So while someone could make, say, a DVD recorder with a CableCARD tuner, I doubt anyone's willing to jump through the hoops necessary to get one approved.
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post #286 of 507 Old 12-15-2013, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JackProton View Post

I'd briefly considered the idea but had dismissed it. Maybe I should reconsider though. Comcast did offer me (another) "free" "DTA" which I found a bit infuriating at the time considering I was calling to complain about losing the ability to record digital broadcast channels with my own equipment. If those DTA boxes at least had s-video or composite video and stereo audio outs.... Anyways, thanks for the suggestion, I'll think it over a little more.

BTW, I never did understand why no one ever made a DVD recorder with a cablecard slot.

You're welcome, glad to be able to help a little.

JHBrandt explained the situation with CableCARDs. Cable Labs, the agency in charge of approving CableCARD devices, didn't seem eager to give customers additional independent recording choices and they dragged their feet for years. Some TVs came out with CableCARD slots and then went the way of the dodo as cablecos made it as inconvenient as possible to get a card installed (requiring an appointment to have a tech come in, say, between 8AM and 4PM to install it). The details are getting fuzzy in my mind now, but when XP Media Center came out some PC manufacturers produced HTPCs, but the hurdles were too great throughout the Vista period; IIRC you needed to have a PC with a specially marked BIOS or something. It wasn't until Windows 7 was already out for a while that they finally relented and made it easier for users to set up their own recording equipment with any Win7 computer.

And now they're scrambling almost everything, so of course anything that doesn't have a CableCARD or a cable box in the mix is of very limited use. mad.gif
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post #287 of 507 Old 12-27-2013, 06:53 AM
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for those who had internet-only service and are considering to add comcast tv service, you may find the 'internet plus hbo' package to be a good value to consider.

it costs $20 to upgrade to internet-plus-hbo from performance-starter-internet. it adds 8 HBO channels and a low-def box, plus HBO GO, increases internet from 8Mbits to 30Mbits . per second.
i opted not to rent any box from comcast, only using the default non-hd explorer 2200. non-hd via composite video is fine for much material.
I'm using google chromecast & HBO GO when i want to watch HD HBO . also it adds xfinity streampix for a bunch more streaming movies which i haven't checked. (already got netflix) .

and as far as the old unencrypted qam channels, they are encrypted now but are included with internet-plus-hbo service. including weather channel.
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post #288 of 507 Old 12-27-2013, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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for those who had internet-only service and are considering to add comcast tv service, you may find the 'internet plus hbo' package to be a good value to consider.

it costs $20 to upgrade to internet-plus-hbo from performance-starter-internet. it adds 8 HBO channels and a low-def box, plus HBO GO, increases internet from 8Mbits to 30Mbits . per second.
i opted not to rent any box from comcast, only using the default non-hd explorer 2200. non-hd via composite video is fine for much material.
I'm using google chromecast & HBO GO when i want to watch HD HBO . also it adds xfinity streampix for a bunch more streaming movies which i haven't checked. (already got netflix) .

and as far as the old unencrypted qam channels, they are encrypted now but are included with internet-plus-hbo service. including weather channel.


What was the price for "performance-starter-internet?" I have seen several posts that indicate that when they get "cable internet only" they also pick up a few basic cable TV stations. When Comcast scrambles those "free" TV stations I guess they will be unhappy. My cable company doesn't sell "cable only". They make you pay $20 a month for local and junk channels and provide one free DTA. The slowest internet service is 5/1 for $30.

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post #289 of 507 Old 12-27-2013, 08:50 AM
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FWIW I just re-upped my double play promo with Preferred cable and Performance HSI for $80/mo. for a year. I've been on some sort of promo with them for years now, always less than $100/mo. for cable+internet.
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post #290 of 507 Old 12-27-2013, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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FWIW I just re-upped my double play promo with Preferred cable and Performance HSI for $80/mo. for a year. I've been on some sort of promo with them for years now, always less than $100/mo. for cable+internet.


I feel it's virtually impossible to compare prices between two locations even if both have the same provider. Someday Comcast will buy everyone else. Then we might have parity. I just moved 8 miles, same corporation and service, different office. My bill went from $120 to $110. There was a slight fight since I didn't want the SD basic service and my new office was very confused. They seldom read their own rate chart I guess. I keep my internet slow to avoid temptation to stream from Amazon or Netflix.

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post #291 of 507 Old 12-27-2013, 11:05 AM
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performance starter internet is 7 down 2 up. $49.99/month. the only unencrypted channel is the comcast-infomercial-channel explaining the wonderfulness of DTAs .
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post #292 of 507 Old 12-28-2013, 07:53 AM
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I feel it's virtually impossible to compare prices between two locations even if both have the same provider. Someday Comcast will buy everyone else. Then we might have parity. I just moved 8 miles, same corporation and service, different office. My bill went from $120 to $110. There was a slight fight since I didn't want the SD basic service and my new office was very confused. They seldom read their own rate chart I guess. I keep my internet slow to avoid temptation to stream from Amazon or Netflix.

Well sure but the easy way to see if there's a double play promo in your area is to call your local Comcast number, select the option to downgrade/cancel service, and then talk to a nice retention rep to see what they can offer. This has worked for me as long as I've been their customer (over 10 years after they bought out AT&T Broadband here).
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post #293 of 507 Old 12-28-2013, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Well sure but the easy way to see if there's a double play promo in your area is to call your local Comcast number, select the option to downgrade/cancel service, and then talk to a nice retention rep to see what they can offer. This has worked for me as long as I've been their customer (over 10 years after they bought out AT&T Broadband here).


I'm in the group of people that suffer under a monopoly. Comcast is 20 miles away. From central PA to central NJ my cable company (www.secv.com) is the biggest. There are many minor MSO companies. From my location there may be 10 different companies in 50 miles. But like you said, consolidation is normal. I could get a triple play from my feed, but my mother still pays for my cell phone and I live with her. It's complicated.

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post #294 of 507 Old 12-29-2013, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
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If you have complaints your cable company encrypted all qam channels and/or caused problems like noise pollution and Interference on cell phones, Wi-Fi, cordless phones, health equipment, and public safety equipment. Go contact the FCC.

Chairman Tom Wheeler: Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov
Commissioner Ajit Pai: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov

FCC complaint form: http://www.fcc.gov/complaints

Been there done that. I also sent a letter about no PSIP and almost no CC. They met expectations and ignored me.

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post #295 of 507 Old 12-29-2013, 07:29 AM
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Been there done that. I also sent a letter about no PSIP and almost no CC. They met expectations and ignored me.
I once contacted my Congressman about some technical issue (don't remember what it was now) and he replied with a "personal" comment that was almost word for word from the FCC statement that I was taking issue with because it was flat out wrong.

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post #296 of 507 Old 12-29-2013, 08:44 AM
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If you have complaints your cable company encrypted all qam channels... Go contact the FCC.

LOL, funny. Someone's a little out of touch, that ship has sailed.
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post #297 of 507 Old 12-31-2013, 04:16 AM
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Western New York, including the city of Buffalo and it's 1st & 2nd ring suburbs, Eire & Niagara counties and the Dunkirk, Westfield & Olean areas;
Analog slowing going away, a few services at a time.
All OTA stations are in the clear as are two shopping channels and local public service stations including their "Time Warner Cable News" (formally YNN). A total of around 25 'in the clear' stations not counting the SD duplicates.
I don't believe all will be encrypted due to economic reasons of our area, but analog will probably go away eventually.

Interestingly, eight RF channels are empty as in no RF carrier which includes four former analog allocations (below ch. 70). They are providing the Cisco DTA170 mini STB free up to next year, after that it will be $1 each to rent which really is reasonable though you will not get all the standard HD services as you would with a full STB w/ a CC.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #298 of 507 Old 12-31-2013, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Western New York, including the city of Buffalo and it's 1st & 2nd ring suburbs, Eire & Niagara counties and the Dunkirk, Westfield & Olean areas;
Analog slowing going away, a few services at a time.
All OTA stations are in the clear as are two shopping channels and local public service stations including their "Time Warner Cable News" (formally YNN). A total of around 25 'in the clear' stations not counting the SD duplicates.
I don't believe all will be encrypted due to economic reasons of our area, but analog will probably go away eventually.

Interestingly, eight RF channels are empty as in no RF carrier which includes four former analog allocations (below ch. 70). They are providing the Cisco DTA170 mini STB free up to next year, after that it will be $1 each to rent which really is reasonable though you will not get all the standard HD services as you would with a full STB w/ a CC.

Thanks for the feedback. I moved this fall and about the same time lost all analog. I also have a few dead air channels, and I'm talking cable. I expect changes to get rolling after tomorrow when the new budgets get released. I should add that I have 5 analog test patterns from channel 2 to channel 135. Funny, but channel 135 looks better than 2.

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post #299 of 507 Old 01-02-2014, 05:51 PM
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This should show encrypted qam and unencrypted qam still could cause problems with public safely equipment like police radios. I had faulty equipment disrupted a cell phone tower. I had to quit using or get fined $10,000.

My comment had nothing to do with interference (a valid FCC complaint) and everything to do with the suggestion that you could complain about your channels being encrypted. That ship has sailed.
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post #300 of 507 Old 01-03-2014, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I try to not reply to posts that don't make a lot of sense. The government was going to fine someone for having faulty equipment? I'm shocked.

 

There is no general cable forum where people can vent their feelings, so I started this one with the hope it wouldn't draw a general audience but just to see who and where clear QAM was being cut. So far it seems Comcast and everywhere are the probable answers. I don't have Comcast, but they could buy my little cable company at any time.

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