Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Chicago, IL, USA. Winnetka, to be exact.
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On a whim last night after reading this forum I called Comcast. They said $15.99 installation plus $5 a month so I said okay. They said, will somebody be home tomorrow between 1 - 5 pm. Literally in less than 24 hours the tech showed up and installed the box. I wish everything was this easy.
He was friendly and seemed knowledgeable. He was a little disappointed when I didn't Ooh and Aah--he said how do you like this HD and I said well this is my second HDTV. So he was a bit deflated. Also, he did not bring cables. Of course, I already had some (good ones), but what if I didn't?
Observations--the only real HD I've watched so far is PBS. It is visually indistinguishable from the OTA version. The sound level is slightly different but that is unimportant. HBO looks terrific. I get the local channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, WGN, Fox and PBS) plus HBO, Showtime, ESPN and Discovery. I have found them all except Showtime and Discovery. I don't pay for Showtime so I guess that's why I don't get anything there. Have not yet found Discovery, if anyone can tell me what channel number to check I'd appreciate it.
Someone else commented that amplifiers in the line affect the signal. I have not only one but two amplifiers in series. I need both presumably because there is a very long cable run from the street to the house. Anyway, the HD channels come in just fine.
The non-HD channels come in too but there is a flaw in the picture, I will describe it as a horizontal kink in the picture. Also the top one quarter of the screen flutters. Seems like my TV (Sony KW34HD1) has some minor incompatibility, or maybe it's those gosh darn amplifiers after all. To deal with it we connected the box not only to RGB but also to an S-video input on the TV. That means a mild inconvenience, because I have to switch inputs between HD and SD. The S video input does not show the flutter, and on HD material is noticeably better than regular NTSC (I'd say approximately equivalent to DVD, or better).
For what it's worth, I already have digital cable ("Silver Package"). I think you could get this HD without the silver package but you wouldn't get HBO.
The box is silver, attractive enough, and obviously computer ready, with connections for Smart Card, USB, Ethernet, optical sound output and DVI. Technically speaking, there's a lot of sh** in there.
Anyway, the event is significant, for me because I now have HD HBO and ESPN (and Discovery I think) (in addition to local HD networks). More significantly, now that the average Joe Customer can get HD, look for this format to really take off. It's not just for us geeks any more.