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post #1501 of 16109 Old 01-01-2004, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for the answer guys. I will stay with Comcast. Does anyone know if you can negotiate with them on pricing? I have the basic digital at $50 per month, and I don't watch a lot of TV.
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post #1502 of 16109 Old 01-01-2004, 03:19 PM
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Rose Bowl not in hd! The digital picture looks mediocere. The sd channel lookd just Bad.
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post #1503 of 16109 Old 01-01-2004, 03:27 PM
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I think KING has been having alot of issues on there end, I know Comcast had planned on launching them earlier than they did and in fact had the signal out there for quite some time unmapped due to the fact that KING was having so many dificulty's maintaining a watchable signal transmitting over the fiber link.

Friends dont let friends watch Pan & Scan!
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post #1504 of 16109 Old 01-01-2004, 03:43 PM
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BTW checked all the guides there was no HD football at all for today 1/1/04 crazy!

Friends dont let friends watch Pan & Scan!
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post #1505 of 16109 Old 01-01-2004, 05:14 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by tluxon
I am extremely disappointed! For some reason the Tournament of Roses Parade is in HD on Comcast's carriage of KTWB, but I can't get it off the air. The OTA signal is blacked out with a statement that says,

Anybody know what the deal is?
Tim

I got it fine OTA HD from 22-1. I believe the deal is that they have to take down the second subchannel in order to broadcast in HD. So you have to get it from their original tower, not the repeater on 13-2. I bet they will be back to normal duplication of signals by Friday or Saturday.

I've run out of witty sayings...
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post #1506 of 16109 Old 01-01-2004, 06:49 PM
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I agree with Tivolicious on all counts.

The defining feature for me, as well as my parents, brother and sister, has been the season pass. Keyword search for a show, tell the PVR to record it (first-run only? all episodes?), and tell it how many to keep (5? All, until space needed?).

Tivo and ReplayTV have had this kind of functionality for at least four years. In addition, I'm quite sure that many of the PC PVR software packages have similar functionality.

Is there a patent issue? I can't think of another reason (that doesn't mean much, though...) that we are stuck with such a basic UI for the 6208, which along with its 5200 ancestor, has been in development for years.

On the point of conflict resolution, I've had both a single-tuner, stand-alone Tivo and (now) a pair of dual-tuner DirecTivos. Yes, conflict resolution is not as critical on a dual-tuner unit. Guess what, the 6208 isn't a dual-tuner device. Yes, the 6408 is coming out, sometime in the future, but waiting for it to become available seems like a piss-poor alternative to a simple conflict resolution feature.

Both of these issues bring us back around to traditional cable people "not getting it."

--Mike
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post #1507 of 16109 Old 01-01-2004, 08:51 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jimre
I think you're simply asking for the box to offer an anamorphic output mode. A reasonable and common feature request. But as far as I can tell, one that's not on Comcast/Moto's radar screen.

Motorola and General Instrument before them were never a fast acting company. Nobody's breathing down their neck about to steal their lunch. Comcast has been a far better cable company than AT&T and Viacom before them but they are hamstrung by the snails pace at which Motorola deploys products. Plus Motorola seems to enjoy inflicting the "osbourne syndrome" on themselves by hyping products years before they are ever deployed, like the DCT5K /w PVR ability they were pimping years ago. It never showed. Then it morphed into the DCT6K. Which is now out but lacks PVR. Then the 6K with PVR was anounced as a dual tuner, but now it's a single tuner with the dual tuner comming later, if ever.

I saw a demo of the MSFT powered DCT2k over two years ago. It made that box do things the hacks at Gemstar probably didn't even know was possible. I am truely shocked that we are still stuck with the Gemstar/TVGuide software today when The Evil Empire has an awesome platform solution.

And I concur with the previous poster who compared these current DCT against first gen DirecTV boxes. I'd say that while the DCT5K is faster than my ancient RCA D* box, it's not better.

Advice to Motorola: Quit working with Gemstar. They suck. Take your hardware and SDK and give it to TiVO and Replay and say "make your dope-ass software run on this box." And then give me the option of selecting which one I want to rent.
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post #1508 of 16109 Old 01-01-2004, 08:59 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Llamas
I agree with Tivolicious on all counts.

The defining feature for me, as well as my parents, brother and sister, has been the season pass. ..

Tivo and ReplayTV have had this kind of functionality for at least four years. In addition, I'm quite sure that many of the PC PVR software packages have similar functionality.

Both of these issues bring us back around to traditional cable people "not getting it."

--Mike

I agree. I use a ReplayTV AND a WindowsXP Media Center machine. The MCE box is ALMOST caught up with the Replay. Not quite but CLOSE and the video quality via DVI to my projector is excellent. And it does first run -vs- repeat recording as well as a rich conflict resolution and space managemnet features.

It may be a while but I suspect Replay, Tivo and even MSFT will do opencable solutions. When that day comes I think Motorola will find them selves blown out of the cable box market. Some folks who don't know better or can't afford better may stick with their stuff, but the rest of us will be running a 3rd party box from some vendor that "gets it."
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post #1509 of 16109 Old 01-01-2004, 09:43 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by tluxon
miatasm,
In reference to http://www.cjhengineering.com/DCTsetup.htm: This is a very informative page but misses the comparison between the 480i output to the 1080i output.

What we need a SD DVR to be able to do is "see" the full widescreen picture as depicted on a 16:9 HDTV. All that would be required is for the downconversion to be done as if it were going to display 480i (NOT to be confused with 4:3) on a widescreen SD television, exactly like a DVD would do. I'll do a screen capture of the difference between what my Hughes HIRD-E86 does and what the DCT-5100 does on their respective 480i outputs.

Tim

Okay, here's a picture that illustrates how the HIRD-E86 converts HD to 480i vs. how the DCT-5100 does it. I grabbed a frame of the US Open Final that came from the HIRD-E86 and placed it on the right and I grabbed a frame from this morning's Rose Parade that came from the DCT-5100 on the right. Both of them are from the s-video 480i output of those respective boxes as they were recorded on the ReplayTV and I've scaled the image down to fit within the 640x640 pixel limitation of the forum's "attach file" feature.

I've had similar results when recording on a VCR - with less quality of course - so I assume that ANY DVR/VCR/? that records this input is going to store a LOT better information from the picture on the left. This is why I'm begging for a better output from the Comcast box or I don't know if I'll EVER be able to give up my OTA box. As a matter of fact, for time-shifting purposes, I'm getting BETTER results with the non-HD broadcasts than I am with the very poor downconversion of HD broadcasts (i.e. Ch 4 vs. Ch 104) from the 5100.

Tim

[edit]I think I'll just add the pictures here to show them better. The first one is from the HIRD-E86 and the second one is from the DCT-5100. Sorry if they're a little large, but I wanted to show them actual size as they came off the Replay.


LL
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post #1510 of 16109 Old 01-02-2004, 11:02 AM
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BTW, does anybody know if there's anyone at Motorola we can contact to raise this "letterboxing" issue? It sure doesn't seem that it would be that big a problem to have the option of downconverting or setting the s-video to a 16:9 format.

Thanks,

Tim
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post #1511 of 16109 Old 01-02-2004, 08:42 PM
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Is anybody suffering from pixelation on HD broadcasts? It occurs on all HD channels even if the broadcast is in SD. Is it Comcast or is it my connection?

Steve Lew
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post #1512 of 16109 Old 01-02-2004, 08:42 PM
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Is anybody suffering from pixelation on HD broadcasts? It occurs on all HD channels even if the broadcast is in SD. Is it Comcast or is it my connection?

Steve Lew
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post #1513 of 16109 Old 01-02-2004, 08:58 PM
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Quote:


Is anybody suffering from pixelation on HD broadcasts? It occurs on all HD channels even if the broadcast is in SD. Is it Comcast or is it my connection?

Not me. Not me.

Seriously, you may have a bad connection. How often does it occur? I sometimes see pixelation, but it is rare, very rare.

BTW: I have a home run back to the distribution box without any splitters. Coax only.
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post #1514 of 16109 Old 01-02-2004, 11:22 PM
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So it looks like the E86 is doing a 1080i -> 480i anamorphic conversion? That is quite cool.

So, what we should be able to do is tell the DCT we have a 16:9 display and any time it encouters 1080i, 720p or 480p wide material have it do and anamorphic squeeze on it for the 480i output.

However, this would require a scaler of some sort and who knows if the chipset in the DCT can spew both HD on the HD output and do the squeeze/downcovert on the SD outputs.

Regardless, that would be VERY welcome. My Replay5K does a decent job recording given a clean signal. Being able to timeshift HD stuff as 16:9 anamorphic video would be the optimal use of the device until we get a robust HD/Sd pvr solution sometime down the road.
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post #1515 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 01:56 AM
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I've had Directv HD for a couple of years. I was pretty happy with it, but got tired of never having any hope of getting HD network TV so I made the switch to cable. On Directv I had three HD channels: HDNet, HDNet Movies, and Discovery HD. I don't count ESPN because I never saw any HD on it!

I thought I would be awash in HD, but I'm underwhelmed by Comcast:

1. The three channels I had on Directiv were good, but none of them are on Comcast.

2. There is no CBS HD and it has a lot of good programming. Why can't Comcast just buy a freakin' OTA STB and rebroadcast channel 7!?

3. The networks only have a handful of shows on at night that are in true HD. You'll be watching a lot of stuff that is 4:3 SD windowboxed. I have to admit that the SD shows look damn good when transmitted on the HD channels, though.

4. The Comcast analog channels (100 and under) look awful. They look like poor reception OTA and have some interference. I always had perfect PQ, except for the occasional storm, with the non HD stuff on Directv.

5. My daughter's favorite channel, PBS Kids (110) inexplicibly turns to a black screen for hours at a time when the TV Guide says it should be showing content.

6. I pay about the same I paid for Directv but I DON'T get Tech TV. I guess I have to pay more to get this "premium" channel...

7. I ordered three HD cable boxes for my three HD TVs. The guy showed up with one HD STB and the rest SD. I called and complained and they said that because of high demand they only allow one per household.

8. Like other people have reported, I'm having horrible breakups with King 5. It's pretty much unwatchable.

9. Oh, and ya, just like everybody said, the user interface for Directv is much, much better the the TV Guide crap.

Anyway, it's not my intention to pick on Comcast. I know that HD cable in Seattle is fairly new and they are doing the best they can. My point is, they have a lot of bugs to iron out so don't be in a hurry to get Comcast for just for the HD. Once they get CBS HD and Discovery HD online; and rollout that PVR, I'll be a happy camper.

I would imagine that once Directv figures out how they can broadcast the networks in HD, they will take a lot of customers from Comcast.

PSN Gamertag: chris5977

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post #1516 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 02:26 AM
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I have DirecTV and have Comcast coming on Monday to give cable a try for the first time in several years. One of the things I was hoping for is that the analog channels would actually be better than the overcompressed DirecTV channels which can look pretty nasty sometimes. I guess that will depend a lot on my location. I'll report back after Monday when I can take screenshots of both and see how they compare.

I'm also looking forward to the much larger selection of HD content, and even the SD content on the HD channels should look much better than the overcompressed stuff on DirecTV.

The UI on my DirecTivo box is definitely a lot better than what I've seen of the Motorola boxes, but cable does lend itself better to using PVR software on my HTPC since it's easier to tune the cable directly on the PC than try to remotely-control a DirecTV receiver. I also think that Comcast will be able to improve the UI situation sooner than DirecTV will be able to solve their bandwidth issues. Long-term, cable should have the advantage.

--
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post #1517 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 09:23 AM
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I may use cable to get just the HD channels - Comcast seems to have a $6/mo. deal for that, which seems pretty reasonable.

Today is "go dig in the crawlspace and find that old cable line" day

Conor
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post #1518 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 10:07 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by chris5977
2. There is no CBS HD and it has a lot of good programming. Why can't Comcast just buy a freakin' OTA STB and rebroadcast channel 7!?

Um... because it's not theirs, and they'd be thrown in jail for stealing it? Comcast is happily showing local CBS-HD affiliates in many markets - so I place the blame for this one squarely on KIRO and their owner Cox Communications for dragging out the negotiations witn Comcast.
Quote:



4. The Comcast analog channels (100 and under) look awful. They look like poor reception OTA and have some interference. I always had perfect PQ, except for the occasional storm, with the non HD stuff on Directv.

Well, that's digital for you. It's either perfect, or non-existent. Maybe you need to check your analog signal levels. My analog PQ on Comcast isn't as good as digital - but it's not bad. I had to add a couple signal amps to my distribution system to improve my analog PQ.
Quote:



5. My daughter's favorite channel, PBS Kids (110) inexplicibly turns to a black screen for hours at a time when the TV Guide says it should be showing content.

Well, ch. 110 isn't really PBSKids channel. It's a part-time channel aired by the local PBS affiliate - "KCTS for Kids". They only broadcast 7a - 5p. After 5p they use the bandwidth to air their HD channel (108 on Comcast). I don't know why their guide data is so far off, but the Comcast guide is mostly useless anyway. The actual schedule for this channel can be found here.
Quote:


7. I ordered three HD cable boxes for my three HD TVs. The guy showed up with one HD STB and the rest SD. I called and complained and they said that because of high demand they only allow one per household.

That's just BS. I ordered two HD boxes and they happily installed both of them, no questions asked.
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post #1519 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 10:36 AM
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i hate saying it but "me too",

i also join Comcast in the past two weeks, mostly on the promise of the HD channels.

following the discussion groups, i cant say i am surprised by anything. i got what i expected with the exception of king 5 which sill shows up with vertical bars on my TV even when the show is in HD.

other then that i would agree almost on every point with chris5977

Comcast is doing itself a great service with HD, moving many customers away from Dish/Direct under the promise of of HD but those of us who were there and have seen what Seattleite providers has to offer both on quality of set top box as well as signal quality on non HD channels, knows that TV experience can be much better then the one currently offered.

i agree with Tivolicious from an earlier thread, i don't believe he i asking for the skies, just for some 3-4 years old technology.

i will give the credit to Comcast for the effort to innovate and hopefully the new PVR services will match those of Dish or Direct.

one thing is for sure, the next few month are going to be very interesting ...
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post #1520 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 10:48 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by r_e_l
i got what i expected with the exception of king 5 which sill shows up with vertical bars on my TV even when the show is in HD.

If you are still referring to Evening Magazine - I too, noticed this week their show is in SD, not HD as usual. Probably something to do with the show originating from Japan this week. Otherwise, HD shows on King5 display in HD as expected.
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post #1521 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 02:25 PM
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I believe that recently they have been limiting box's per household for the time being as demand has been through the roof for the HD service here in Seattle.

Friends dont let friends watch Pan & Scan!
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post #1522 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 02:39 PM
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I thought the ABC wildcard game was in HD today?
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post #1523 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 02:43 PM
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Anybody know the phone number of KOMO to get this game turned on in HDTV?
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post #1524 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 02:55 PM
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This kind of problem seems to be a recurring theme in the Seattle area for non-regular east coast HDTV programming (I'm thinking of many of the SEC games that CBS did'nt "flip the switch" on the past two seasons).

Here's KOMOs list of phone numbers.

http://www.komotv.com/contact/

You might also want to try emailing programming@komotv.com.

Tim

[edit]
Nevermind - they just flipped the switch at the last commercial break (2:00 pm).
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post #1525 of 16109 Old 01-03-2004, 03:03 PM
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Finally, someone threw the switch.
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post #1526 of 16109 Old 01-04-2004, 09:46 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Jeremyfr
I believe that recently they have been limiting box's per household for the time being as demand has been through the roof for the HD service here in Seattle.

In my case they didn't have a problem giving me more then one box but before doing so - the tech asked to see the TV's in person to ensure they are HD ready. "demand is too high" - he said. they need to check they are being used right.

sounds fair ....
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post #1527 of 16109 Old 01-04-2004, 04:21 PM
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I'm trying to understand my ever increasing bill sine I moved here in July...
A few months ago I had to fight w/ a service rep because they automatically gave me extended basic for $35 a month when I ordered the Digital Gold package with 2 HD STB's and 1 SD STB. I don't use the analog cable signal so after pushing the Cust rep they downgraded me to Basic analog for $12.30 a month. Why do I have to pay for Analog?
Now, it appears from my bill that I pay for additional digital outlets besides the STB's? So, each outlet/box combo is approx $10 a month? ($5 outlet/$5 STB)


Monthly Charge(s)
01/03 - 02/02 Gold Package 37.99
Includes: Digital Classic, Digital Plus, Multiple Channels Of HBO, Showtime and 1 Standard Digital Set-top Receiver and remote.

01/03 - 02/02 Limited Cable Service 12.30

01/03 - 02/02 Digital Cable 10.10
Additional Outlet with Advanced Set-top Receiver

01/03 - 02/02 Advanced Set-top 5.00
Receiver Upgrade

01/03 - 02/02 High-speed Internet 42.95
01/03 - 02/02 Set-top Converter And 10.20
Remote Control for Additional Outlet

I haven't been able to find anything in the fine-print on their web site or bills that say I have have to pay per outlet for digital? There is no analog outlet charge!

-Stu
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post #1528 of 16109 Old 01-04-2004, 05:47 PM
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I just got my Comcast bill for January and it is $10+ higher than the December bill for the exact same service. The Digital Bronze package has gone from $50.02 to $54.97 and they are now charging a $5 premium for the "advanced" set-top. That means that I am paying $65 per month including taxes and fees for cable TV using a clunky STB on one set with no movie channels.
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post #1529 of 16109 Old 01-04-2004, 06:03 PM
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Does any of you here know the remote code for the Comcast HD box? I'm trying to set up my TV remote to control the cable box since it's more ergonomic to operate then the black one I got from Comcast.

I believe the Comcast box I have is Motorola DCT 5100.

Thx!
Daniel

<nosig/>
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post #1530 of 16109 Old 01-04-2004, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by drewba
I just got my Comcast bill for January and it is $10+ higher than the December bill for the exact same service. The Digital Bronze package has gone from $50.02 to $54.97 and they are now charging a $5 premium for the "advanced" set-top. That means that I am paying $65 per month including taxes and fees for cable TV using a clunky STB on one set with no movie channels.

I gotta say -- that's pretty impressive!

A musing or too much?
I wonder what that a*^ is thinking today.
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