Comcast no more analog HBO - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 55 Old 02-21-2007, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Got a message last night while watching HBO in my bedroom (with no cable box) saying that starting Feb 28th I would need a cable box if we wanted to continue watching HBO. adds $8.95 to my bill.

With the advertising on the menu guide and now this I think I have had it with Comcast.


I live outside of Philly
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post #2 of 55 Old 02-21-2007, 11:58 AM
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Any advertising in your TV's built-in TVGoS guide is not done by Comcast.

If your Comcast uses Motorola hardware, then you will soon be able to get the ad-free Tivo software upgrade at a small monthly premium. You can see screenshots of it right here.

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post #3 of 55 Old 02-22-2007, 11:11 AM
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You should check with Comcast to see if they will let you upgrade to get a box for HBO for free. That's what Cox is doing in my area, but you won't get any features of the box like the guide.
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post #4 of 55 Old 02-22-2007, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
no more analog HBO

'Bout time!!!!!!!! My TWC kicked the analog HBO 2 years ago. I think I'm going to go have a party!!!!

"PLEASE HELP STOP HDTV ABUSE! FEED YOUR HDTV AN HD SIGNAL!"
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post #5 of 55 Old 02-22-2007, 02:25 PM
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Not fair if you've been an HBO (analog) subscriber for 20 years and now will be forced(?) to rent a cable box.

Get realistic.
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post #6 of 55 Old 02-22-2007, 03:58 PM
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Luke D,

Where are you located? I've got analog cable with HBO and haven't heard anything about it going away. I'm in Exton, PA.

EDIT: You know what, I'm an idiot, I didn't even look at your profile to see that you are in Springfield... In any case, which Comcast franchise provides your cable?

Jason Litka

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post #7 of 55 Old 02-22-2007, 06:30 PM
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Does not completely surprise me. Many cableco's over the last several years have done away with analog premium channels, primarily to get their subs to upgrade to digital. Mediacom has not offered analog premiums in Albany, GA for quite some time now.

Scott

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt...

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post #8 of 55 Old 02-22-2007, 06:48 PM
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No analog of ANY premiums offered here, by Adelphia or Time Warner CRAP, for a good 2 years now.
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post #9 of 55 Old 02-23-2007, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Not fair if you've been an HBO (analog) subscriber for 20 years and now will be forced(?) to rent a cable box.

Get realistic.

Comcast did the same thing to me about two years ago when they got rid of the analog channel for Cinemax. I had been an analog subscriber to Comcast Cinemax for @ twenty years. Needless to say, I did not upgrade to their digital package. I did upgrade to the HD DVR last year when I bought my DLP so now I have analog and HD but still no digital just to keep the costs down.

Comcast sucks! But I am stuck with them since I have too many tv's and I do not want the expense of renting a box from Fios or DirectTV.
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post #10 of 55 Old 02-23-2007, 06:57 AM
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Luke D: like bendog said, check with Comcast to see if they offer something like that. When Cox did away with premiums on analogue, we offered a mode called PAYNODIGI... where you get the box for the cost of the rental but pay for no digital service, i.e. the box just acts as a tuner and gets none of the IPG features, PPV abilities etc.

Also, if you get a box you will most likely be allowed to receive the HBO multiplex channels. For instance, before Cox dropped HBO from analogue, all HBO customers paid $11 a month for HBO... however the analogue-only customers only had access to 1 HBO channel while digital-box customers had/have access to 9 HBO channels.
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post #11 of 55 Old 02-23-2007, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Not fair if you've been an HBO (analog) subscriber for 20 years and now will be forced(?) to rent a cable box.

Get realistic.

Too bad its not 1987 anymore! I think you need a time machine. I cannot even begin to imagine what people are going to say when the cable systems begin to switch to 100% digital! OH...the PAIN!!!!

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post #12 of 55 Old 02-23-2007, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by litkaj View Post

Luke D,

Where are you located? I've got analog cable with HBO and haven't heard anything about it going away. I'm in Exton, PA.

EDIT: You know what, I'm an idiot, I didn't even look at your profile to see that you are in Springfield... In any case, which Comcast franchise provides your cable?

not sure it is in Delaware County
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post #13 of 55 Old 02-23-2007, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendog2784 View Post

You should check with Comcast to see if they will let you upgrade to get a box for HBO for free. That's what Cox is doing in my area, but you won't get any features of the box like the guide.

thanks for the info
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post #14 of 55 Old 02-24-2007, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by miniz View Post

Too bad its not 1987 anymore! !!

Too bad it's not 2017! By then perhaps everything will be digital and in HD. Then, we wouldn't have to listen to your grandstanding anymore.

I wonder what you'll have to harp about then? I'm sure you'll find something!
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post #15 of 55 Old 02-28-2007, 11:52 AM
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In RI, with Cox, we've always(at least for as long as I can remember) needed at least one of those little black non-digital boxes for the premiums. I had no idea this was a new idea in some areas of the country.
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post #16 of 55 Old 02-28-2007, 10:29 PM
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Quote:


In RI, with Cox, we've always(at least for as long as I can remember) needed at least one of those little black non-digital boxes for the premiums. I had no idea this was a new idea in some areas of the country.

Right, you could get the channel with an analog box. Earlier this month (I think Feb 15th) Cox in RI/CT shut off their analog premiums requiring a subscriber to get a digital box. It makes sense for cable co's to turn off the analog. You can fit all 9 HBO's (at least in my area) and sometimes more channels on the space that the one analog HBO takes up.
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post #17 of 55 Old 03-01-2007, 10:58 AM
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All I have to Say is Comcast SUCKS I live in Burlington County NJ I can not get a good pitcher on any of my TV sets. When I call them they Just for the most part blow me off.
Down with Comcast!!!!!
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post #18 of 55 Old 03-01-2007, 11:27 AM
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That stinks. Im in Montgomery County (Penn Valley). Seems like the nixing of my HBO is inevitable. Ditto for my Cinemax.

And HBO wonders why so many people go and download torrents of their shows...
You got the crowd of people who dont want to pay a premium for HBO...
Then you got the crowd of people who dont want to upgrade to digital just for HBO after having it removed from their analog service.

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post #19 of 55 Old 03-01-2007, 11:53 AM
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That is how I feel. I will start to look into Directv and see what they have . I do know that they are cheaper over Comcast!!!
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post #20 of 55 Old 03-03-2007, 12:07 AM
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This blows. I enjoyed watching HBO in my bedroom on my old CRT. I don't have room for a box nor do I want one in that room. The I only want one box in my house... in the HT.

But I'll probably get one as Comcast sucks away my soul and wallet and drives me further into a complete and total mindrot of consumerism. I'm already 99% a complete tool of big business, why not buy more??? Why go outside, just enjoy Comcast Digital all day, on every TV.
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post #21 of 55 Old 03-04-2007, 10:36 AM
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Comcast here hasn't had any analog scrambled premiums since perhaps 03'. Smaller cable outfit by us "Service Electric Cablevision" dropped all of their analog's even before that. They used to have Jerrold analog boxes for premiums, but they switched to Motorola digital boxes back in 98 or 99'. Why are they changing it to digital? Well here's at least three reasons:

1. Analog signals take up a ton of space. 1 Analog channel can hold 12-16 SD Channels or 2-3 HD Channels. A Typical 750 MHz cable plant has 115 Analog channel slots. Minus one or two for cable modem/digital voice, 5-8 for video on demand, and 70 for analog TV, you don't really have much more space to fit all of the upcoming HD and SD Channels.

2. Security. Back when we used to have traps on the line, anyone in an MDU or with underground service could just go out and remove the traps. Simple, cost free way to get HBO, Cinemax, Starz. Then when they did away with the traps and went to analog scrambling, anyone could just go to e-bay and buy a 'hotbox' for $100 or so. Wam, free premiums, including every PPV event. This was all way too easy. When moving to digital, the bitstream is encrypted via high security computer logic. To date it has been proven the most secure way to protect a cable companies assets. Less theft is better from a buisness perspective no matter what the business is.

3. More for your money. Instead of getting 1 HBO for the same price, you might get 10 or more HBO's. HBO2, HBO3, HBO Family, HBO Zone, HBO Comedy, HBO Latino, plus all of the west cost versions and HBO on Demand.

So what's the benefit from getting a digital box in your area? Well Comcast has completed ADS (All Digital Simulcast). With a set top box, you will receive every channel you subscribe to with 100% digital quality, just like DirecTV and DishNetwork have been touting for years now. You also get access to 100's of titles to on demand, plus 45+ free digital music channels and a helpful on screen guide that allows you to search for programs and see what's coming on and when.

Ok so the downside is..... the price. I agree with you there, but here's something I have done. I have a DVR box in the living room, connected to component cables to that TV. Using the RF out, I ran a cable to the basement and tied it into the line that runs to the bedroom. Since we only watch TV in either the living room, or the bedroom (never at the same time), we have the same DVR output in two rooms. I purchased Jensen IR Extenders on ebay for $18 shipped to handle sending the remote commands from the bedroom to the living room. This works great for me. With digital service the first box is free, so this allows us to use two rooms under the same digital service package. Also I have a DVR, which is great since I can access recorded programs in both rooms. YMMV.

As far as getting a box with no guide on it, I don't think Comcast supports that. All Motorola boxes require an OS on them. And to the guy in NJ who has a crummy picture quality... well you can call and have a tech come out and fix that, or just pay an extra $3 or so for a digital box and you'll receive all of the channels in digital quality. AFAIK, All Digital Simulcast is completed in most of PA/NJ/DE region.
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post #22 of 55 Old 03-04-2007, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cypherstream View Post

...So what's the benefit from getting a digital box in your area? Well Comcast has completed ADS (All Digital Simulcast). With a set top box, you will receive every channel you subscribe to with 100% digital quality, just like DirecTV and DishNetwork have been touting for years now. You also get access to 100's of titles to on demand, plus 45+ free digital music channels and a helpful on screen guide that allows you to search for programs and see what's coming on and when...

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your statement but they haven't gone to ADS in my area. I wish they would. We presently have one channel that is simulcast on both analog and digital and I can't believe how much clearer the digital feed is. Of course all the other digital channels are similar but being able to compare the same channel, one really sees the difference.
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post #23 of 55 Old 03-06-2007, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by wdsnls View Post

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your statement but they haven't gone to ADS in my area. I wish they would. We presently have one channel that is simulcast on both analog and digital and I can't believe how much clearer the digital feed is. Of course all the other digital channels are similar but being able to compare the same channel, one really sees the difference.

That sucks that your area does not have ADS. The OP in Springfield, PA however does have ADS. ADS is all over PA/NJ/DE. Hopefully it will be coming soon to your area. It really does improve pictures for those with marginal analog quality.
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post #24 of 55 Old 03-08-2007, 10:56 AM
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I live in Northern DE and got a 2 separate mailers from Comcast. One stated that starting 3/28/07 I will need a Digital STB to receive HBO (which I subscribe to) and it would cost me $1 more per month.

The other mailer was an offer as an analog basic customer to upgrade to a digital STB at no extra cost for one year, after which it will cost $1 more per month. This mailer said to call 1-888-367-2830 and mention offer code "ST2". I did so, and they are shipping my digital STB which I will receive in about 10 business days
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post #25 of 55 Old 03-15-2007, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeybee View Post

I live in Northern DE and got a 2 separate mailers from Comcast. One stated that starting 3/28/07 I will need a Digital STB to receive HBO (which I subscribe to) and it would cost me $1 more per month.

The other mailer was an offer as an analog basic customer to upgrade to a digital STB at no extra cost for one year, after which it will cost $1 more per month. This mailer said to call 1-888-367-2830 and mention offer code "ST2". I did so, and they are shipping my digital STB which I will receive in about 10 business days


They just removed HBO and Cinemax for me. I live right outside of West Philly.

I never got a piece of mail, an e-mail, a phone call or even a screen on the TV. They just removed it without notice...not even an advertisement to upgrade to digital to get the channels.

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post #26 of 55 Old 03-15-2007, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Not fair if you've been an HBO (analog) subscriber for 20 years and now will be forced(?) to rent a cable box.

Get realistic.

That's understandable,

But the problem is, cable had too many people pirating their Premium Channel signals with the non-digital boxes. So for security, they required everyone to go to digital if they wanted any premium channels, the commercial free 24x7 music stations, and VOD.

What is cool is that you get tons of added HBO channels for the same price. Time Warner took off our two HBO/Showtime channels about 4 years ago. But now we have with digital 14 HBO's and 17 Showtimes for the same price. $10/mo. for the first premium, $5.00/mo any others.

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post #27 of 55 Old 03-16-2007, 06:29 AM
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I understand the logic behind the move (security and bandwidth savings). I guess what gripes me is that HBO has been analog in this area for over 25 years. Many of us don't want or need a 'cable box'. If Comcast hasn't taken any any measures to curb piracy for over 25 years (with HBO), why penalize the 'dedicated' subscriber now? Understood that technology changes and you have to go with the flow. But that doesn't make the pill go down easier.

If they were to provide a digital cable box and HBO without any additional fee (box, digital tier, etc.) it would not be as disappointing.

BTW... your TWC subs for Premiums are about half the price of what Comcast charges.
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post #28 of 55 Old 03-16-2007, 11:12 AM
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I'd at least call them and tell them I'm switching to satellite to try and finagle some kind of deal out of them.

If you've been legally getting and paying for basic and HBO for many years, I'd think that should mean something to them, and they'd want to try and keep you as a satisfied customer.
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post #29 of 55 Old 03-16-2007, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

If you've been legally getting and paying for basic and HBO for many years, I'd think that should mean something to them, and they'd want to try and keep you as a satisfied customer.

In a "perfect world"... that would be expected. But, it's Comcast.
Hasn't hit in this area YET. But, we'll see what unfolds when the inevitable happens.

My prediction? They may throw a bone and discount for 6 to 12 months depending on how many CSR's you may have to deal with. It still doesn't appeal to a long term subscriber with a the minimal (and desirable) setup.
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post #30 of 55 Old 03-16-2007, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

If they were to provide a digital cable box and HBO without any additional fee (box, digital tier, etc.) it would not be as disappointing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

And 15 bucks more, or whatever the lowest digital tier and box rental will cost, is not exactly a drop in the bucket to many people either.

There is no need to get the 'Digital' service (with box is $12 minimum) to get a Multi-plexed Digital Premium.
Read your Local Comcast Prices/Services Sheet and FCC Regs.
The FCC's 'Tier-Buy Through Prohibition' applies to Single-channel and Multi-plexed Services.
One can get Basic (Locals) and a Premium.
And Comcast's List doesn't say anything in defiance of this reg.

So, in order to get a Digital Premium one would need a Digital Box for $3.95 (and if you don't have a universal remote already, it is $0.20 more).
Now, I can understand, the more TVs one has the more cost prohibitive it becomes.
And, I do understand boxes can problematic to accomodate.

But, there is another option, if one has Basic and Expanded, together called Standard, one can upgrade to Digital Starter for $1, this adds a Digital Box with all of its benefits to Standard.
(Like another person said, Multi-Plexed Premiums, Guide, Music, OD, and PPV.)
Now, I would guess that addtl. TVs would still need to pay $3.95 or $4.15 each.

People have been poorly informed in some areas about this.
Here, I was told they call and/or write to subs and offer them all of the options.

Here, they dropped Starz from Analog (no Box) in Fall '04 and Cinemax from Analog (Box) in Spring '05.
Now, they just dropped HBO and SHO/TMC from Analog (no Box).

Technology moves forward, and all that is needed here is a very small Motorola DCT-700.
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