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post #3931 of 4033 Old 07-23-2010, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mjh99 View Post

The FCC also affirmed that cable operators must carry HD broadcast signals without material degradation.

'Material dedregradation' refers to signal quality, not if channels are encrypted or not. If a cableco chooses to carry local HD, then they must not materially degrade the signal quality.

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For Comcast, clear QAM is the only way to meet the "must carry HD" requirement that I am aware of. If there is some other way, feel free to explain how. As noted by CEB II, encrypted QAM would not be in the FCC's area of concern.

By carrying local channels in SD, in both analog and digital, cableco's meet FCC must carry requirements. There is no 'must carry HD in clear QAM'. Go back and read the entire article you quoted before, from Broadcast Engineering:

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Viewability requirement

The new rules do not mandate dual carriage as many broadcasters had urged. Rather, they are based on the Communications Act's requirement that cable operators deliver local broadcast signals in a manner that is viewable by all subscribers. To meet this viewability requirement, cable operators can either:

1. Ensure that all of their subscribers have the necessary equipment to view digital signals by providing digital set-top boxes, or

2. Downconvert broadcasters' digital signals into analog for their analog subscribers. Digital subscribers would still receive the digital signal.


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post #3932 of 4033 Old 07-23-2010, 11:10 PM
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If a local station broadcasts in HD, then if the cable company carries the channel at the request of the broadcaster, then they MUST provide the signal in HD. To do otherwise is clearly a material degradation of the signal. Conversion to 480i from 720p or 1080i is unequivocally a tremendous a degradation of the signal. From your own quote, "Digital subscribers would still receive the digital signal." The only possible way that can be done is via clear QAM on our local Comcast cable system, since I've not seen any other alternative.

As a matter of fact, Comcast violated the must carry HD rule for a period of time. Channels 14.1 and 50.1 were broadcasting over-the-air in HD quite some time before Comcast finally started carrying them in HD.

There is normally only one ATSC signal being transmitted by over-the-air broadcasters for each station. That is the signal that a cable provider must deliver to its customers in a viewable format. They can provide any additional signals they want, but if the source includes HD, they must deliver HD. If it is HD, they can also deliver the signal in analog and/or SD digital, which is exactly what Comcast is doing, at least right now.

The one source I quoted is just one of 85,800,000 links provided by Google for "fcc must carry". There are lots of discussions of the topic for those that care. Comcast is following the rules. Good for us.

Do you really think that Comcast would provide "free" (clear QAM) HD if they were not required to do so? I think not, because without clear QAM, Comcast subscribers would have to pay for HD converters at $7.00 per month or more. Why would Comcast turn down that income if they had a choice? They wouldn't!!!
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post #3933 of 4033 Old 07-24-2010, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh99 View Post

If a local station broadcasts in HD, then if the cable company carries the channel at the request of the broadcaster, then they MUST provide the signal in HD. To do otherwise is clearly a material degradation of the signal. Conversion to 480i from 720p or 1080i is unequivocally a tremendous a degradation of the signal. From your own quote, "Digital subscribers would still receive the digital signal." The only possible way that can be done is via clear QAM on our local Comcast cable system, since I've not seen any other alternative.

They are providing the signal in HD, if a subscriber wants it they can rent an HD STB or get a CableCARD device. Nowhere does it say the local HD channels must be in the clear, and nowhere does it say a cableco can't mandate use of a conditional access device to receive them.

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As a matter of fact, Comcast violated the must carry HD rule for a period of time. Channels 14.1 and 50.1 were broadcasting over-the-air in HD quite some time before Comcast finally started carrying them in HD.

Now you're agreeing with what I said before; the FCC doesn't enforce rules and regs on this matter.

Quote:


Do you really think that Comcast would provide "free" (clear QAM) HD if they were not required to do so? I think not, because without clear QAM, Comcast subscribers would have to pay for HD converters at $7.00 per month or more. Why would Comcast turn down that income if they had a choice? They wouldn't!!!

Comcast has always provided local HD in the clear on all systems they have HD on, since they first offered HD back in 2002. This was at the same time other cableco's, like Cox, were encrypting them. So yes, Comcast has provided local HD in the clear without being forced to, and they have never charged for them; they come included with all cable packages, even the least expensive Limited Basic.

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post #3934 of 4033 Old 07-25-2010, 08:07 AM
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The failure to carry 14.1 and 50.1 in HD was short term. It seems reasonable that Comcast would be allowed time to make the necessary adjustments. In fact, the change from SD to HD by Comcast suggests that there IS enforcement of the local HD must carry.

You've provided no evidence that Comcast is carrying HD in the open voluntarily. The explicit statement quoted several times about HD must carry is actually pretty clear that Comcast has no choice in the matter.

Yes, Comcast could provide an HD set-top box in lieu of using clear QAM, but it would have to be included in the basic level pricing, just like the DTA box that is being provided for old analog only (and any other) customers for free (for the first two).

Quite frankly, I'm tired of this exchange. I think I've made my point with reasonable evidence and logic. Your assertions are your opinion and nothing more. You are welcome to your opinion. I know what I believe to be true. For those who want to spend more time on the issue, there are millions of links on the Internet.
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post #3935 of 4033 Old 07-25-2010, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh99 View Post

You've provided no evidence that Comcast is carrying HD in the open voluntarily. The explicit statement quoted several times about HD must carry is actually pretty clear that Comcast has no choice in the matter.

Well, Cablevision is encrypting local HD in their Brooklyn and Bronx market areas. And they did this with the blessing of the FCC.

You're right that it has been Comcast's practice to carry local HD in clear QAM, but it is not at all clear (har har) that they must do this.
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post #3936 of 4033 Old 07-25-2010, 11:44 PM
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If you read the details about Cablevision's encrypting channels in the Brooklyn/Bronx market areas starting in January, they had to seek explicit approval from the FCC to encrypt any local channels, including analog, SD or HD. That makes it obvious that the FCC rules default is clear QAM for digital locals. Cablevision's wavier request (which took several months to process), was based upon the saturation level of set-top boxes and cable cards already in use by most all of their paying customers. The driving force for the waiver request was that cable theft was a severe problem in those areas. With all-channel encryption, they could eliminate most of the theft problem. Apparently, there will be a review of complaints to the FCC over a period of time to determine whether the wavier should remain in place.

SO, without a similar waiver, Comcast clearly IS REQUIRED to provide all local channels in the clear, whether they are analog, SD or HD.

The actual Cablevision FCC waiver request is available for reading if you want to do a little Google searching.
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post #3937 of 4033 Old 07-27-2010, 10:36 AM
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I think we've beat this horse to death. Comcast is currently complying with FCC requirements and would require FCC approval to eliminate local HD broadcasts in their broadcast resolution from Clear QAM access or to encrypt them and only provide 480i digital conversions in Clear QAM.

I am a bit disturbed though when thread contributors appear to "hard line" a corporation's talking points and current legal opinions. In that vein, it would be appropriate for Ken H to provide full disclosure or his and/or his firm's relationship(s) or obligations to Comcast, even if they are just that Comcast is a paying sponsor and/or advertiser on AVS Forum.
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post #3938 of 4033 Old 07-27-2010, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CEB II View Post

I am a bit disturbed though when thread contributors appear to "hard line" a corporation's talking points and current legal opinions. In that vein, it would be appropriate for Ken H to provide full disclosure or his and/or his firm's relationship(s) or obligations to Comcast, even if they are just that Comcast is a paying sponsor and/or advertiser on AVS Forum.

I take your comment as a direct insult, but will not reply in kind.

Boilerplate:
AVS is not your garden variety Internet forum. With over 800,000 active members and well over 30 million unique page views per month, we are the largest, most popular home theater forum on the Internet. We typically rank in or close to the top 1500 websites in the U. S., and the top 4500 world wide. I've been a member here at AVS since late 1999, and have moderated the HDTV Forums since 2000. In that time, I’ve establish a reputation for accuracy of information. Due to this, my comments on HDTV issues have been solicited by mainstream and online publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, The Associated Press, Slate.com, EngadgetHD, HDTV Magazine, etc., and have been interviewed multiple times on HDNet for their annual CEDIA show program. I have also been a contribution writer for Digital TV & Sound Magazine, on both programming and technical issues, including CableCARD. In addition to having direct participation by television industry members ranging from local engineers to HD network owners on the forum, I also receive information on a regular basis about HD stations, networks and providers that I'm asked to pass along to the forum. This information comes from TV industry insiders, including those at the highest levels of the business. AVS directly influences television decision makers by discussing HD issues on these forums. =30=

I have no financial relationship with Comcast, other than buying video and Internet services from them. To my knowledge, AVS has no relationship with Comcast. In my time at AVS, I have never been asked or told to represent an opinion of any kind, in any way, shape, or form. My comments here are my own and not influenced by any other entity.

The goal of my comments in this topic is accuracy of information.

In the pursuit of the facts on this matter, I have contacted the FCC directly and am awaiting their reply. I will gladly post what they tell me in this topic so we can all move forward, regardless of how it turns out.

By the way, contrary to your perception about Comcast, their considered legal opinion, at least a few years ago, was that local HD in clear QAM was required by FCC rules and/or regulations. This is why they have never encrypted local HD, while at the same time other cableco's disagreed with them, and conducted their business as such; encrypting local HD.

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post #3939 of 4033 Old 08-02-2010, 10:59 AM
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Update: I've spoke to a couple of different people (legal & technical) at the FCC, but unfortunately they can not comment on the record. They directed me to the media relations department, where I have left two messages and have not heard back yet. I will keep trying.

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post #3940 of 4033 Old 08-10-2010, 11:32 AM
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Fort Collins received the xfinity upgrade a couple of weeks ago. (65 more HD channels)

Shortly after the upgrade, I noticed that the only My20 (channel 657 on the comcast HD converter box) is being delivered in clear QAM.

I rescanned for clear QAM Sunday 8/8 thinking that they just moved the other local HD channels, but no luck, I did find several spanish speaking non-HD channels in addition to RMPBS being sent in clear QAM but My20 is the only HD channel not encrypted.

Has anyone else noticed this? (Not looking forward to calling comcast CS to find a CSR who actually knows what QAM is)
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post #3941 of 4033 Old 08-12-2010, 07:05 PM
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I'm in boulder, and also lost most of my local digital channels about two weeks ago. I still get 20.1 and 2.1.

I called the comcast 800 number, and while the person I talked to was fairly knowledgeable, she told me that since she was at a national call center, there was nothing she could do or tell me. She advised that I go down to the local comcast office and talk to them.

I haven't had a chance to go down there yet, but I'll update when I do.

cnorman, have you been able to get anywhere?
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post #3942 of 4033 Old 08-12-2010, 09:15 PM
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A note on the material degradation. Doesn't Comcast compress the hd signals to fit in more streams per channel?

Regarding antenna. I made a coat hanger shoebox antenna with very good results near rose medical center.
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post #3943 of 4033 Old 08-13-2010, 10:46 AM
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Yes they compress the HD channels except for the locals.
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post #3944 of 4033 Old 08-13-2010, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjh404 View Post

Yes they compress the HD channels except for the locals.

I have world cup samples recorded with my computer OTA and with the newer hd-DVr to do a comparison. At the time I had the impression that the ota was much better quality but I haven't taken the time too look into it seriously yet.

My comparison of course will assume that each file has not been materially degraded getting it from the airwaves or coax into transport streams.
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post #3945 of 4033 Old 08-15-2010, 07:08 AM
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I'm in Westminster. I've been watching for the new channels. Got the card in the mail yesterday and checked. They are here.

Still have the analog channels. I thought that they removed those first???

Anyone seen a guide upgrade beyond A25? I have seen posts from other locales outside of Denver, that indicate that they got a newer guide version A28, when all of this went down.
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post #3946 of 4033 Old 08-17-2010, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rhassle View Post

I'm in Westminster. I've been watching for the new channels. Got the card in the mail yesterday and checked. They are here.

Wow, any indication why Westminster was delayed so long compared to the remainder of the metro area?
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post #3947 of 4033 Old 08-18-2010, 05:33 PM
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So I take it that KUSAHD and KDVRHD haven't come back yet for anyone (QAM)?

I may just call to cancel my basic package and use OTA for the locals...
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post #3948 of 4033 Old 08-18-2010, 10:46 PM
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I don't know about anyone else, but I still have 27 analog channels and 54 clear QAM channels in Erie. This has not changed since the non-local analog channels were removed. All of the local HD channels are still available in clear QAM. It would seem that those without their local channels in clear QAM are in the minority. Only a couple of people have taken the time to complain to the forum. The rest appear unlikely to have the problem, or they would be complaining too.
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post #3949 of 4033 Old 08-21-2010, 06:41 AM
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Well I did a rescan yesterday and got KUSA-HD AND KDVR-HD back...But now I have duplicate channels (one is blank and the other works).

Whatever, as long as I get all the locals in HD I'll be ok. Still thinking about discontinuing the Xfinity TV. It's $18/mo and I can get what I want OTA.
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post #3950 of 4033 Old 08-23-2010, 12:28 PM
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So I currently am a DirecTV customer. But the advent of the new Ceton 4 tuner cable tuner card has me considering a switch to Comcast. I am just SW of Longmont and Comcast serves my area. It seems that if the cable co is using SDV then in addition to a cablecard you need one or more tuning adapters to use the Ceton tuner. Does anyone know if Longmont Comcast is using SDV?

Thanks in advance
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post #3951 of 4033 Old 08-31-2010, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnorman27 View Post

Fort Collins received the xfinity upgrade a couple of weeks ago. (65 more HD channels)

Shortly after the upgrade, I noticed that the only My20 (channel 657 on the comcast HD converter box) is being delivered in clear QAM.

I rescanned for clear QAM Sunday 8/8 thinking that they just moved the other local HD channels, but no luck, I did find several spanish speaking non-HD channels in addition to RMPBS being sent in clear QAM but My20 is the only HD channel not encrypted.

Has anyone else noticed this? (Not looking forward to calling comcast CS to find a CSR who actually knows what QAM is)

Still no clear QAM love (for local broadcast channels) in Fort Collins. I've submitted an email support request. The reply said thankyou, but please contact us through the online chat.

Contacted support through online chat tonight. This person tried to tell me that after the digital upgrade set top boxes or DTA's are required for viewing all content including local broadcast channels.

The only HD channel I am receiving in clear QAM in Fort Collins as of a rescan 8/29 is still My20 20.1(KTVD-DT)

I do receive several non HD channels in clear QAM. (KRMA, KPXC, WGN, HSN, QVC, and several spanish language channels).

I'll attempt to call support via telephone this week.
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post #3952 of 4033 Old 09-03-2010, 06:04 AM
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Here is what the comcast Support Database seems to be telling the Comcast support representatives:

If you have a QAM tuner device (in a Cavalry market), at the completion of our conversion of the expanded basic tier to digital, you will be able to receive our Limited Basic line-up, which includes broadcast channels in analog and HD (if you have an HDTV), without the use of additional equipment.

You will not be able to access, without additional equipment, any other level of service or interactive features such as our On Demand service and the interactive programming guide. To receive non-broadcast channels in HD, an HD set top box is needed.

customers who have a device with a QAM tuner. These customers would need additional digital Comcast equipment (adapter, set-top box, or CableCARD) to receive anything more than Limited Basic channels, unless those signals are appropriately trapped.

This says to me that they intend to not encrypt "Limited Basic" channels including those available in HD. I did a channel lineup lookup for my market's "Limited Basic". I compared this to the channels I was able to decode (non-encrypted). I am receiving all of Limited Basic lineup in clear QAM except the HD channels (ABC,NBC,CBS, Fox etc.) I am receiving PBS (KRMA) but not in HD. The support person suggested I go to the local office to inquire. I hope to do so this Saturday.
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post #3953 of 4033 Old 09-04-2010, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnorman27 View Post

Here is what the comcast Support Database seems to be telling the Comcast support representatives:

If you have a QAM tuner device (in a Cavalry market), at the completion of our conversion of the expanded basic tier to digital, you will be able to receive our Limited Basic line-up, which includes broadcast channels in analog and HD (if you have an HDTV), without the use of additional equipment.

You will not be able to access, without additional equipment, any other level of service or interactive features such as our On Demand service and the interactive programming guide. To receive non-broadcast channels in HD, an HD set top box is needed.

customers who have a device with a QAM tuner. These customers would need additional digital Comcast equipment (adapter, set-top box, or CableCARD) to receive anything more than Limited Basic channels, unless those signals are appropriately trapped.

This says to me that they intend to not encrypt "Limited Basic" channels including those available in HD. I did a channel lineup lookup for my market's "Limited Basic". I compared this to the channels I was able to decode (non-encrypted). I am receiving all of Limited Basic lineup in clear QAM except the HD channels (ABC,NBC,CBS, Fox etc.) I am receiving PBS (KRMA) but not in HD. The support person suggested I go to the local office to inquire. I hope to do so this Saturday.


I went to the local comcast office this morning per Comcast online support person's suggestion, hoping to talk to a technician or engineer. Unfortunately all they can do at the local office is schedule a technician to come to your house. So I scheduled an appt for a technician to come by this afternoon so I could ask him why the local broadcast HD channels (the ones in the "limited basic" plan) are encrypted now after the project cavalry upgrade.

When I talked to the technician he claims that yes they are now encrypting all HD content, even those in the "Limited Basic" plan. He wasn't really sure if that was their intent, so he called his supervisor and his supervisor verified: They are encrypting/ or intend to encrypt all QAM content so that either a STB, DTA, or CableCARD is required.

He said that I could receive those channels in analog Standard definition, as they are required by law to carry those analog channels, but that does not apply to the HD channels.

Depressing.

I'll keep scanning every so often and hope that my local Comcast will change their mind.
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post #3954 of 4033 Old 09-15-2010, 03:32 PM
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So, I am getting ready to implement SageTV along with some of thier new HD300 extenders...

I live NE of Parker but still in Aurora and have all the new channels.
When I go to automatically map the channels, the new 700's aren't there. This happens with Windows Media Center as well.

Is there a way to fix this or do really have to go back and manually remap 70 or so channels?

Thanks in advance to all!!
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post #3955 of 4033 Old 09-17-2010, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkelley View Post

So, I am getting ready to implement SageTV along with some of thier new HD300 extenders...

I live NE of Parker but still in Aurora and have all the new channels.
When I go to automatically map the channels, the new 700's aren't there. This happens with Windows Media Center as well.

Is there a way to fix this or do really have to go back and manually remap 70 or so channels?

Thanks in advance to all!!

Nice, a fellow sage user. Not sure exactly what your question is. What kind of tuner are you trying to map the 700s in? I'm guessing that the tvtv lineup doesn't yet reflect comcast's changes and you'll just have to wait until it does (hopefully not more than a couple of days). Which channels are you not seeing in the right place? I'm in broomfield, but can check to see if they are showing up correctly in my lineups.
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post #3956 of 4033 Old 09-18-2010, 12:49 PM
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My question is:

1) how do I figure out what channels, if any, I would get over clear QAM from Comcast? It should be local channels, right? does that include the major networks?

Thank you!
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post #3957 of 4033 Old 09-18-2010, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnorman27 View Post

I went to the local comcast office this morning per Comcast online support person's suggestion, hoping to talk to a technician or engineer. Unfortunately all they can do at the local office is schedule a technician to come to your house. So I scheduled an appt for a technician to come by this afternoon so I could ask him why the local broadcast HD channels (the ones in the "limited basic" plan) are encrypted now after the project cavalry upgrade.

When I talked to the technician he claims that yes they are now encrypting all HD content, even those in the "Limited Basic" plan. He wasn't really sure if that was their intent, so he called his supervisor and his supervisor verified: They are encrypting/ or intend to encrypt all QAM content so that either a STB, DTA, or CableCARD is required.

He said that I could receive those channels in analog Standard definition, as they are required by law to carry those analog channels, but that does not apply to the HD channels.

Depressing.

I'll keep scanning every so often and hope that my local Comcast will change their mind.

The info you got from Comcast is wrong. Unfortunately, regarding clear QAM channels this is not uncommon.

Comcast corporate policy is to offer all the local HD they carry in clear QAM.

Most likely what's happened is that after the recent upgrade they have encrypted local HD, which is a mistake. This is also not uncommon. You will need to escalate the issue to a higher level of management that knows what clear QAM is, and can effect getting the system fixed in your area.

Call and politely keep pushing the issue upward until you get resolution. Try contacting the management in local business offices in addition to the standard CSR lines.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #3958 of 4033 Old 09-19-2010, 10:40 AM
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Anyone else having problems getting CBS HD on 4-1 today? I really wanted to watch some football in HD, and I'm getting "Weak or No Signal" message. Thanks.
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post #3959 of 4033 Old 09-19-2010, 10:40 AM
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Also getting this for ABC on 7-1
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post #3960 of 4033 Old 09-21-2010, 12:00 PM
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Thanks Schmoppa!

I am using a basic Comcast HDTV tuner (DCH3200) as the tuner. We have had the updated channels in my area for a while now (one of the first I think) and live in a new neighborhood in 80016.

Just like Media Center, Sage gives me the follwing options:

Comcast Suburbs - Aurora
Comcast Suburbs Digital - Aurora
Comcast Suburbs Rebuild Digitial - Aurora
Comcast Suburbs Tucson - Denver
Comcast Suburbs Tucson Digital - Denver

Sage shows some additional ones that Media Center doesn't like Directv -Denver but I am "assuming" those aren't applicapable.

The problem I am having is when I update the guide, I don't see the new 700's (some of the higher ones are there) channels just the old ones like 654 for KCNC... not 704.
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Reply Local HDTV Info and Reception

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