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Local HDTV Info and Reception

marshdom's Avatar marshdom
11:28 AM Liked: 10
post #271 of 4865
09-23-2004 | Posts: 132
Joined: May 2003
mastahkaz,

I believe that Chris is mistaken. You should not NEED to sign up for digital cable to get HD stations beyond the locals. The rule of thumb is that you get the HD versions of whatever stations you are already getting (by signing up for their HD service). So, if you are already getting ESPN (which is a part of your basic cable service), you would get ESPNHD. If you are already getting Discovery (don't know - is this part of basic cable?), you would get DiscoverHD.

BTW ... there have been reports of Comcast CSR's telling you that you need to sign up for digital cable to get ANY HD, but that is not correct.

As for the Super Bowl, I don't recall. It was CBS last year, so it must be FOX or ABC this year. Comcast has ABC right now ... may "never" get CBS ... and who knows on FOX (but it isn't even an option until our local FOX affiliate starts broadcasting in HD sometime next month).
footballnut's Avatar footballnut
12:24 PM Liked: 10
post #272 of 4865
09-23-2004 | Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2004
Fortunately Superbowl is on ABC this year!
footballnut's Avatar footballnut
12:35 PM Liked: 10
post #273 of 4865
09-23-2004 | Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2004
Marshdom I have Digital package which includes HBO. I only had one box which was fine since I only watch HBO on one tv set. When I upgraded to HD, comcast made me give them my digital box before they would give me the HD box. Seems like since they charge me $5 for the HD box I should have been able to keep the digital box. It would be nice to use VOD on my other tv in the family room. Anyone else have this problem?
Chris Arnesen's Avatar Chris Arnesen
12:46 PM Liked: 10
post #274 of 4865
09-23-2004 | Posts: 47
Joined: Jan 2003
Quote:


Originally posted by marshdom
You should not NEED to sign up for digital cable to get HD stations beyond the locals. The rule of thumb is that you get the HD versions of whatever stations you are already getting (by signing up for their HD service). So, if you are already getting ESPN (which is a part of your basic cable service), you would get ESPNHD. If you are already getting Discovery (don't know - is this part of basic cable?), you would get DiscoverHD.

I just triple checked with Comcast and the following channels are required by contract to be bundled together, one isn't available without the other:

Discovery Kids
Discovery Home
Discovery Health
Discovery Times
Discovery Wings
Discovery HD Theater

ESPNews
ESPN Classic
ESPN HD

Even though Expanded Basic Cable includes regular Discovery and ESPN, they are not part of the required bundled package.

--Chris ^_^
mastahkaz's Avatar mastahkaz
12:48 PM Liked: 10
post #275 of 4865
09-23-2004 | Posts: 1,271
Joined: Jan 2003
Hummm, well I do get ESPN and Discovery channels with my non-digital cable package I have now.

If I could get ESPN-HD i would definatly order Comcast HDTV. Can anyone that has the standard non-digital ($41.00/mo) package confirm that you get ESPN-HD without having to upgrade to a digital package?

I could have sworn when I was looking into HDTV months ago that somewhere on the comcast website it said you did in fact need a digital package for ESPN-HD, but now I cant find anything that says that, so maybe it's changed?

Also, I see they charge you a $30.00 installation fee. I don't want a tech to install it, I want to do it myself (dont want them screwing up my setup). If I just have them drop the box off at my door does that still count as "installation" or is there any way to get around it? As you can see i'm a cheapskate.
mastahkaz's Avatar mastahkaz
12:50 PM Liked: 10
post #276 of 4865
09-23-2004 | Posts: 1,271
Joined: Jan 2003
I guess I replied too slow. Well that sucks. Guess i'll have to wait a few years until I can actually get more than one or two stations in High-Def.
footballnut's Avatar footballnut
07:26 PM Liked: 10
post #277 of 4865
09-23-2004 | Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2004
I didn't get charged an installation fee. CSR told me to bring digital box in and then they gave me HD box. Same remote works both boxes so told me not to bring in remote. I have ESPN news and ESPNHD but don't think they give me Espn classic. What channel number is it?
ZXTT's Avatar ZXTT
09:25 AM Liked: 10
post #278 of 4865
09-24-2004 | Posts: 57
Joined: Dec 2003
Quote:


Originally posted by footballnut
Marshdom I have Digital package which includes HBO. I only had one box which was fine since I only watch HBO on one tv set. When I upgraded to HD, comcast made me give them my digital box before they would give me the HD box. Seems like since they charge me $5 for the HD box I should have been able to keep the digital box. It would be nice to use VOD on my other tv in the family room. Anyone else have this problem?

I could have made use of my old digital box as well, but the reason why you have to turn it in is because the HD box simply costs $5 MORE per month than the digital box. It's not surprising - the HD box has to cost Comcast more.
sotti's Avatar sotti
09:30 AM Liked: 175
post #279 of 4865
09-24-2004 | Posts: 6,640
Joined: Aug 2004
Quote:


Originally posted by mastahkaz
Hummm, well I do get ESPN and Discovery channels with my non-digital cable package I have now.

If I could get ESPN-HD i would definatly order Comcast HDTV. Can anyone that has the standard non-digital ($41.00/mo) package confirm that you get ESPN-HD without having to upgrade to a digital package?

I could have sworn when I was looking into HDTV months ago that somewhere on the comcast website it said you did in fact need a digital package for ESPN-HD, but now I cant find anything that says that, so maybe it's changed?

Also, I see they charge you a $30.00 installation fee. I don't want a tech to install it, I want to do it myself (dont want them screwing up my setup). If I just have them drop the box off at my door does that still count as "installation" or is there any way to get around it? As you can see i'm a cheapskate.


It was explained above, and I can confrim you DO NOT get ESPN-HD with basic.

You must have basic digital to get ESPN-HD.


You can however got to a comcast office (there is one on nimbus ave right across from washington square), and sign up for digital basic and grab a set top box. You however cannot get a cable card, those must be installed.
ridgefamus's Avatar ridgefamus
10:39 AM Liked: 12
post #280 of 4865
09-24-2004 | Posts: 1,662
Joined: Mar 2003
Quote:


Originally posted by footballnut
Fortunately Superbowl is on ABC this year!

Superbowl is on Fox in 2005 http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=351489

So a few things have to happen before we KPTV viewers will get to see it in HD. KPTV needs to get their "splicer" up and running for us OTA viewers. If they stick to the 10/15 crank-up, we should be in good shape. For Comcast subs, KPTV and Comcast need to strike a deal for carriage of the HD signal. For D* and E* subs, I'm just not sure whether they have already hammered out deals with Fox affiliates.

Bob
mastahkaz's Avatar mastahkaz
11:48 AM Liked: 10
post #281 of 4865
09-24-2004 | Posts: 1,271
Joined: Jan 2003
Quote:


Originally posted by sotti

You can however got to a comcast office (there is one on nimbus ave right across from washington square), and sign up for digital basic and grab a set top box. You however cannot get a cable card, those must be installed.

Humm, well thats cool. So could I just go down to the office and pick up a box without subscribing to a digital plan?

Also, whats a cable card?
Chris Arnesen's Avatar Chris Arnesen
01:37 PM Liked: 10
post #282 of 4865
09-24-2004 | Posts: 47
Joined: Jan 2003
Quote:


Originally posted by mastahkaz
Humm, well thats cool. So could I just go down to the office and pick up a box without subscribing to a digital plan?

Also, whats a cable card?

I just wanted the locals in HD, so I didn't signup for Digital Cable and just picked up a box from the Nimbus location. They were really friendly and didn't even question why I was getting a box even though I didn't have Digital Cable. Also, you'll get a bunch of free On Demand programming (I'm a big fan of The Anime Network), but they also have free sports highlights and other programming (Discovery, HGTV, DIY, all On Demand).

BTW, a CableCard goes directly into your television and allows your TV to tune in the channels without a separate box. I don't know much more about them.

--Chris
footballnut's Avatar footballnut
08:39 PM Liked: 10
post #283 of 4865
09-24-2004 | Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2004
Question for anyone. Why does ESPNHD (Ch 735) show the football game with the gray area on both sides of the picture? They are making the game only 4:3 even tho they say HD. ESPNHD does it also when they go to the studio. Thanks in advance.
ridgefamus's Avatar ridgefamus
09:57 AM Liked: 12
post #284 of 4865
09-25-2004 | Posts: 1,662
Joined: Mar 2003
footballnut: ESPNHD is only HD when it wants to be. Just like NBC, CBS or all other network programming that only put out selected shows in HD. The exceptions to the rule are the HD-only programs from INHD and DiscoveryHD (on Comcast) or HDNET (on DirecTV or Dish). ESPNHD is doing us RPTV owners a favor by putting those grey bars on the sides of their 4.3:1 SD programs. Otherwise, you get the black bars with a digital broadcast that could subject your set to burn-in at the sides for the static image (blackness).

So other than the selected baseball and football games and Sportcenter, most other ESPN programming shoen on ESPNHD is carried in SD. Programming for ESPN analog is the same as what is shown on ESPNHD. They do not produce a separate feed for HD.

Bob
footballnut's Avatar footballnut
01:34 PM Liked: 10
post #285 of 4865
09-25-2004 | Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2004
Bob, Thank you. I still have a lot to learn about these networks until they give us more HD programming.
mastahkaz's Avatar mastahkaz
05:52 PM Liked: 10
post #286 of 4865
09-25-2004 | Posts: 1,271
Joined: Jan 2003
Well, I went down to Comcast today and picked up the HDTV box. The guy asked me if I wanted to upgrade to digital in order to receive ESPN, INHD, INHD2 and Discover... I declined and said maybe at a later date.

Well, I just got done hooking it up and guess what? I have every single HD channel. Even HBO, Starz, Cinemax, ESPN, etc. etc.

SCORE!
devwild's Avatar devwild
06:58 PM Liked: 10
post #287 of 4865
09-25-2004 | Posts: 104
Joined: Apr 2004
You sir, are a bastard
footballnut's Avatar footballnut
10:06 AM Liked: 10
post #288 of 4865
09-26-2004 | Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2004
Ridgefamus, Since I'm new to HDTV, perhaps you can explain the following. If i put my setbox to 720p and football game is not in HD, I get a picture of 12:9 and pretty good picture with black bars on both sides of the screen. This result is true even if I go to channel 6. However, when I put the setbox to 480p, ALL channels are 16:9 with a pretty good picture. It does appear slightly stretched but not bad. When I go to DISCHD, I get the same HD picture regardless of setbox being at 480p or 720p. I thought setting the setbox to 720p would give me the better picture. Any comment is appreciated. Thanks.
mastahkaz's Avatar mastahkaz
11:01 AM Liked: 10
post #289 of 4865
09-26-2004 | Posts: 1,271
Joined: Jan 2003
Quote:


Originally posted by devwild
You sir, are a bastard

Well, i'm not that much of a bastard. The channels seem to be locked out now. At least I got one day of free HD movies!

But, damn... now they got me hooked and I might have to pay for them now. Maybe i'm the sucker here...
ridgefamus's Avatar ridgefamus
11:20 AM Liked: 12
post #290 of 4865
09-26-2004 | Posts: 1,662
Joined: Mar 2003
mastahkaz: Tell me what you get today. I exchanged my 6200 a couple of weeks ago and got all those extra premium channels that I don't pay for, for that day only. Next day I was back at my usual lineup.

footballnut: I may be a little out of my league here so others with more knowledge, please chime in. But as I understand it, most digital TV setups will allow you to stretch any analog feed, which is what comes in directly from your cable coax line-in. If you route the signal thru the Motorola box or feed the TV the digital signal from an OTA tuner, you cannot use your TV to stretch the digital image. But you may be able to use the box to do the stretching, depending on the information sent by the broadcaster with the signal. If the signal is HD (as in DISCHD), no manipulation is required since it's presented always in 16:9. True HD is always 16:9. The digital signal sent out on 2-1 by KATU-DT for non-HD material, for instance, is a wider image when viewed on a widescreen TV - the black bars are narrower.

Setting the cable box to output 720p or 480p, etc. is usually overridden by the TV which presents the image is what it's native output setting is governed to be by the manufacturer, typically an up-rez to 1080i. Some sets do allow greater user control. Search through the HDTV Hardware forums and you can probably learn a lot more than what my rudimentary (and maybe uninformed opinions) learning can tell you. You can usually discern those who have the right stuff from wannabees and fledglings like me.

Bob
footballnut's Avatar footballnut
12:51 PM Liked: 10
post #291 of 4865
09-26-2004 | Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2004
Bob, Thanks. What you say makes sense. I have the component out from Comcast box to component in on TV. I use DVI out from my DVD to TV. I prefer the 16:9 picture I'm getting from Ch 6 and Ch 12 so I'll leave the comcast box at 480p. However, for Monday night football, I'll try 720p and see if I notice any difference. In both cases, 480p or 720p, picture should be 16:9 since game is shown as HD.
ceccacci's Avatar ceccacci
10:11 AM Liked: 10
post #292 of 4865
09-27-2004 | Posts: 487
Joined: Oct 2003
Footballnut- If you set the output of your Comcast box to 480p, you aren't getting HD at all. You should set it to 720p or 1080i, depending on the native resolution of your display. That's typically going to be 1080i for a CRT based display, 720p for plasma/DLP/LCD.

Either the box or your TV should be able to stretch 4:3 material to 16:9 if you prefer it that way.
sotti's Avatar sotti
10:57 AM Liked: 175
post #293 of 4865
09-27-2004 | Posts: 6,640
Joined: Aug 2004
So what channels actually push a 5.1 signal for audio?
footballnut's Avatar footballnut
11:13 AM Liked: 10
post #294 of 4865
09-27-2004 | Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2004
Ceccacci, I'll put setbox to 720p tonight for MNF. My tv is DLP plus ABC transmits at 720p. I must say tho that last night's game on ESPNHD came in perfect with box set at 480p. I love MNF since it comes with 5.1 audio.
sithead's Avatar sithead
02:26 PM Liked: 10
post #295 of 4865
09-27-2004 | Posts: 41
Joined: Nov 2003
Hey, I think I have the 5100 box and I have the output set to 720p. I use the DVI out. HD sources look great and I never have any problems. But, when I view SD, there are major overscan issues with the bottom being chopped.

On some stations, for example when they show the scores at the bottom of the screen, I can't even see them, or maybe I can see the top half of the letters only. Also, sometimes I see a thin line across the top of the screen, as if no image is there. I think it's an issue with my box because DVDs and video games look fine, even if they are 4:3. And like I said, there are no issues with HD channels, even if the aspect ratio is 2:35:1, the bars on top and bottom are perfectly equal. But if they do widescreen on an SD channel, the bar on top is way thicker than the bottom bar. Anyone else have this problem?
mastahkaz's Avatar mastahkaz
10:49 AM Liked: 10
post #296 of 4865
09-28-2004 | Posts: 1,271
Joined: Jan 2003
Well, I was craving more HD goodness than just 4 channels. So I ordered the Digital Gold package from Comcast. They had a deal going on where it was like $59.00/month for 3 months if you order HBO and Showtime. My roomate and I were up all night last night watching K-1 Fighting on INDH. It was great. I now also have like a billion regular channels on my normal 19" TV set. But, after watching stuff in HD on my projector I just can't go back to normal TV.

I have one question though, about the DD 5.1 sound. My receiver is set so that when it detects a Dolby Digital or DTS signal it'll switch to that mode, otherwise it just stays in Pro-Logic mode. When it changes into a digital mode a bunch of lights come on and it says "DOLBY DIGITAL" or "DTS" on the screen. Well, the other day when I first set up my HD box, my receiver would switch over to DD on some shows, and others it wouldnt. I noticed that if I was watching a movie when it first started playing on any of the movie channels, it would switch to DD. But then I would change the channel then come back to the movie later and it wouldn't detect the DD. Then maybe a little bit later it would detect it again. But in the past few days I havnt been able to get my receiver to go into Dolby Digital mode on anything, even though it will say the show is presented in DD 5.1 on the on screen menu. So, i'm not exactly sure whats going on here, does anyone have any ideas?
footballnut's Avatar footballnut
11:22 AM Liked: 10
post #297 of 4865
09-28-2004 | Posts: 141
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I know I'm talking to the choir since we all have HDTV, but I had friends over to watch Dallas/Wash game who hadn't seen a home theater before. With the comcast box set at 720p and audio at 5.1 they were blown away with the experience. With Al Michaels' voice from the center speaker and crowd noise from the surround speakers and a picture as perfect as it could be, my friends thought they were in a skybox at the game,only better since they were right on the field. They admitted it was going to be hard for them to watch MNF in SD in the future. I just wanted to share this experience.
footballnut's Avatar footballnut
11:32 AM Liked: 10
post #298 of 4865
09-28-2004 | Posts: 141
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Mastahkaz, I've had that experience with DD also. I believe our receiver is correct but just because TV says it's 5.1 doesn't mean its so. Last night's MNF was digital 5.1 on my receiver and clearly sounded that way. After the game, the next program, my receiver said it was dolby pro logic. We'll see what others say.
mastahkaz's Avatar mastahkaz
11:43 AM Liked: 10
post #299 of 4865
09-28-2004 | Posts: 1,271
Joined: Jan 2003
Well, I watched Monday Night Football too and it wasnt coming in as DD5.1. I couldn't get one thing to come in DD, even the movies on HBO and Cinemax that are supposed to be were not coming up with DD (and havnt for the past few days, yet the first day I had the box almost all the movies on these channels were).
ridgefamus's Avatar ridgefamus
04:11 PM Liked: 12
post #300 of 4865
09-28-2004 | Posts: 1,662
Joined: Mar 2003
Quote:


Originally posted by footballnut
I know I'm talking to the choir since we all have HDTV, but I had friends over to watch Dallas/Wash game who hadn't seen a home theater before. With the comcast box set at 720p and audio at 5.1 they were blown away with the experience. With Al Michaels' voice from the center speaker and crowd noise from the surround speakers and a picture as perfect as it could be, my friends thought they were in a skybox at the game,only better since they were right on the field. They admitted it was going to be hard for them to watch MNF in SD in the future. I just wanted to share this experience.

Invite them over next Sat. afternoon to watch whatever SEC game CBS is carrying. IMO, even though KOIN doesn't have capability to present it in DD 5.1, it is the best football experience in HD. Use your receiver to do PL or PLII and you hear the school bands in the sides/rears along with the crowd - stirring! And again, IMO, CBS does the best HD job for football. And I love Verne Lundquist!

Glad you're becomming an HD evangelist!

Bob

Oops, just relaized this is the Comcast thread and you can't get CBS from them. Do you have OTA? That's how I do it.

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