Update on my M-I-L's digital conversion adventure. Exchanged STBs, per technical supports direction, at Wheatridge Comcast center on June 1. Replacement STB was a slightly different model than the original, but everything "upscale" had also been deactivated or blocked, including a set of component outputs. These boxes look like they were re-manufactured and de-contented in the process.
Anyway, hooked up the replacement STB that day. The good news was that the Guide actually showed up on the screen with this box, but other things weren't there yet. Made the activation phone call (third time the charm, maybe) per the notes provided by the Comcast person who did the STB exchange. Activation robo-message stated that activation had been initiated; however, near the end of the message there is a break in message that Comcast is having system problems and repairs will be done shortly. Nothing going on with the box so I call technical support and I get the message that Comcast is having system problems. I try to get to a tech support person, but the robo-phone just cuts off my call. I give up for that day.
Finally got back to my M-I-L's digital conversion yesterday (she was starting to panic as they were showing a message on her analog channels that analog would be shut off on 14 June). Seems the activation took place in my absence (probably initiated and completed after Comcast's system problems were resolved). All was working as described in the book. Guide is rather slow and clunky, but it will get you there if you are patient. Channel changing is also rather slow, but it gets it done. Bottom line, although the transition wasn't seamless or smooth it got done and M-I-L likes having a guide back and somewhat sharper PQ on her non-local channels.
Biggest problem now is getting M-I-L to smoothly transition back and forth from the Clear QAM tuner for her locals in HD to the Comcast STB for cable channels. That "Source" button on her Samsung remote is causing her no end of fear and trepidation. She also hasn't given up on watching her analog cable channels because she can't find some of her regular shows (i.e., Comcast uses some different channel numbers for certain cable outlets on digital versus analog; she doesn't know the channel names, she just memorized the analog numbers, so she is lost over in the digital guide). Things will get better when Comcast finally shuts off those analog channels and she is forced to deal with Comcast digital and local HD on Clear QAM.