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Old 10-30-2014, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goes to 11 View Post
Last week my DVR (DCX3400) started turning itself off in the middle of the night -- pretty annoying if you have a Harmony remote programmed for always on. I found this thread

http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Xfinity...372013#M111393

in which a purported Comcast employee says this is a new feature via firmware update. I couldn't figure out how to disable it, so I called for tech support. The phone rep treated me like an idiot, insisting -- even though I told him about the Comcast forum and other websites -- that this box has no such feature. He knows because he receives specialized training all the time, and the employee who posted in the forum is just wrong.

Well, guess what. All you have to do is press menu, and go to set up, and you'll see the power save option and can toggle it off. My mistake was going into the more technical set-up menu you access with the box off.

Btw, my understanding is that the box is never truly off and any power saved is negligible, but I could be wrong about that.
Yes, there are several new "features." I couldn't figure out why my units were off either, but I turned them back on all the time. Also on the Setup menu, you can turn closed captioning on and off. And you'll also notice that while watching a recorded program, if you press the Play button, it not only brings up the status bar, displaying where in the program you are, but it also pauses the recording. I don't know who thought this was a feature anyone wanted, but it's there now. Also, on one of my units, not the DVR, the default for viewing Standard Def channels was reset to "stretch" mode, which you can only change by turning off the unit and pressing the menu button.
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Old 10-30-2014, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Goes to 11 View Post
Last week my DVR (DCX3400) started turning itself off in the middle of the night -- pretty annoying if you have a Harmony remote programmed for always on.
Yep, surprised me, too. I found the new Power Saving setting deep in the normal DVR Setup menu tree and turned that puppy off! I thought the DVR had been borked by an update, but nope, it's fine.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:13 AM
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Perhaps some good has come out of this (besides Comcast eating crow when they called back to tell me how wrong their rep was). I discovered--in the setup menu you access by hitting menu within 2 seconds of powering off--that the default is for the box to pass everything as 1080i, but you can change it to native, and choose the resolutions your display can handle. Don't know if this will make a difference (or whether there is any 1080p source material to pass) but it will be fun to experiment.

You can get a manual from Comcast's site, but I grabbed a pdf of it from here without having to log in: http://www.secable.com/S_pdf/dcx3400.pdf

The info is on page 33.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:55 PM
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Thanks for that info. I figured there was a way to force the box to play the native format just never researched it and it drove me crazy to have to choose one HD format for everything
All my other equipment has a native setting or just spits out exactly what comes in and that's the way I like it.
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:18 PM
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Wink

Thank you for taking the time to post about this.
I have notice my DVR has been off in the morning lately, you've saved me the time solving the mystery.
Thanks again,
Earl
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:42 PM
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Has anyone with Comcast X1 service managed to get their card M-card activated for an HTPC / hdhomerun setup? Despite paying through the nose for x1 service they claimed it was against their rules to activate my m-card along with x1 service. Assuming I dump x1 service what is the cheapest I can expect to pay Comcast in June 2015 for a decent cable channel package as well as HBO and maybe STARZ. Directv seems much cheaper even than the cablecard but google is coming here and I would rather not get locked into a two year contract. Yes I know google will be expensive but I would pay a premium not to deal with the likes of Comcast or Centurylink. Appreciate any info. Thanks so much.
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by yes dear View Post
Has anyone with Comcast X1 service managed to get their card M-card activated for an HTPC / hdhomerun setup? Despite paying through the nose for x1 service they claimed it was against their rules to activate my m-card along with x1 service. Assuming I dump x1 service what is the cheapest I can expect to pay Comcast in June 2015 for a decent cable channel package as well as HBO and maybe STARZ. Directv seems much cheaper even than the cablecard but google is coming here and I would rather not get locked into a two year contract. Yes I know google will be expensive but I would pay a premium not to deal with the likes of Comcast or Centurylink. Appreciate any info. Thanks so much.
That's incorrect, ask to speak to a supervisor and keep escalating it until you get the card. The use of a CableCARD has nothing to do with having an X1.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:48 AM
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They were fairly adamant that I had to talk to billing to get some magical code that would enable them to activate the card. Any info on cost of cheapest decent package of cable channels (comparable to dish 150 channels) with m1 card alone. Hoping to find someone who just uses card who can enlighten me about cost. Thanks so much
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yes dear View Post
They were fairly adamant that I had to talk to billing to get some magical code that would enable them to activate the card. Any info on cost of cheapest decent package of cable channels (comparable to dish 150 channels) with m1 card alone. Hoping to find someone who just uses card who can enlighten me about cost. Thanks so much
The rental price of the card varies by market, in the SF market it's $1.50 per card, but you also get an FCC mandated Customer Owned Equipment Adjustment(credit) of $2.50. For example, I have 2 cards and pay only $0.50 per month for them.

As far as the programming costs you'll have to check your local website or office as those will vary by market as well.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:50 PM
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Question Spanish NFL broadcast -- why??

On Sunday on CBS I was getting the Spanish play-by-play on CBS and now again on NFL Network. Not on other channels, and not during commercials. What on earth is going on? Help!
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:32 PM
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Check if you have SAP audio enabled on your cable box. Not every program has SAP.

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Old 09-18-2015, 10:14 AM
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Check if you have SAP audio enabled on your cable box. Not every program has SAP.
That wasn't it. Had to call Comcast. They said this is happening randomly on a lot of boxes and they don't know why. The fix is different depending on the box you have -- mine is an older Moto DCX3400-M. For me it was to hit "menu" twice, then choose setup, then audio setup. Default audio track was Spanish, but was grayed out. Turn "descriptive video service" off, that enabled default audio track options. Change to (duh) English. Then change bottom option to "optimize."
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:20 AM
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KOIN (and maybe others) has two additional audio services. One is Spanish and the other is "descriptive audio" in which a man literally describes what's happening as if you can't see the screen. I bet Comcast is assuming that KOIN only uses the extra audio channel for descriptive audio, or it's possible the Spanish audio isn't being tagged as Spanish.

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Old 10-09-2015, 07:23 PM
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Comcast moving some HD channels to MPEG-4

Comcast is moving some HD channels to MPEG-4 compression (currently using MPEG-2 compression), which could give us better pictures or allow Comcast to transmit more channels in the same bandwidth.

Has anyone received letters from Comcast telling them to tune their various cable boxes to channel 1995 and see if it reports the box is ready or gives instructions for getting a replacement box?

Channel 1995 is already active in Salem, but the one box I have is already MPEG-4 capable and the message on the screen after a few seconds on channel 1995 is that the box is ready.

The message at http://www.xfinity.com/hdenhanced doesn't seem to be tied to any specific account or even any region of the country, so I don't think the date displayed there is meaningful unless one had also received a letter or a billing statement notice.

Since my 1 box is MPEG-4 capable, I don't put much stock in me not having seen a letter or a billing statement notice; why would Comcast send a notice to a customer who doesn't have any action to take?

My very humble setup:
Spoiler!
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:36 AM
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The only thing I've gotten is several emails from Tivo saying that my DVR is completely compatible with Comcast's MPEG-4 plans so I have nothing to worry about. I haven't heard anything from Comcast but I get my billing through email.

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Old 10-10-2015, 09:20 AM
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I didn't receive anything from Comcast either. But I went to channel 1995 and it claims my box is compatible (DCX3400).
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:37 AM
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I see why Tivo is sending these emails. When you tune one of their boxes to 1995, you get three swirling dots forever and no message.

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Old 10-13-2015, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post
I see why Tivo is sending these emails. When you tune one of their boxes to 1995, you get three swirling dots forever and no message.
Same for my elderly Sony KDF42WE655 with CableCard.

Guess we'll need to shell out for a real Comcast Tuner.

Not having a guide available on that TV has been a bigger drawback than I expected.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:04 AM
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Has anyone received letters from Comcast telling them to tune their various cable boxes to channel 1995 and see if it reports the box is ready or gives instructions for getting a replacement box?
Hey guys, I kinda gave up on AVS Forum when they switched to new software and sold out. It looks like they're back now on something resembling the old software.

Anyway, I got a letter from Comcast. Much as I dislike the message, I think the letter itself was well written and informative.

My letter was sent First Class. I generally ignore anything that's Standard, since I know it's useless crap.

The letter said ACTION REQUIRED in bold uppercase on the outside. So I thought, sigh, I'll actually read it!

Inside it's a bunch of marketing crap about "crystal-clear HD signals" and phrases like that. But it also says:

start is "on or about" 10/27/2015. So quite soon.
The existing CableCARDs I have are already compatible with MPEG-4. It's the devices that might not be.
"There are a small number of CableCARD-enabled devices (such as the TiVo Series 3 and certain CableCARD compatible televisions) that may not be compatible, preventing you from viewing or recording channels delivered in MPEG-4."

So this will affect me, since I have a TiVo Series 3. I also have a TiVo Roamio, which will presumably be OK.

I'm not in any hurry to replace my Series 3. I'll wait and see which channels are affected. But the writing is on the wall. The Series 3 will become a boat anchor soon.
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Old 10-17-2015, 01:53 AM
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I'll wait and see which channels are affected.
In Atlanta they are planning on phasing it in over several months, so here in the Portland and Salem areas it is likely that we will see a few channels at a time move from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 over the course of the next few months.

Comcast's stated intent is to move HD channels to MPEG-4, but to leave SD channels as MPEG-2.

There is some disagreement on whether local HD channels will remain MPEG-2 or will be converted to MPEG-4. Maybe as this gets further along Comcast will post an official word.

My very humble setup:
Spoiler!
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:09 PM
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Does anyone here have a way to tell if a channel is now using MPEG-4?

Tonight I noticed that the buffer for 784 (TCM HD) had 49 minutes, which is more than what I usually see for an HD channel (25 to 30 minutes). Could it be a sign that TCM HD is being sent to us compressed by MPEG-4?

My very humble setup:
Spoiler!

Last edited by Mark12547; 10-29-2015 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:16 PM
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X1 non dvr question

Got a question and this is a huge thread so didn't poke around the whole thing. Does anyone here know what it costs to upgrade to a non DVR X1 box. I finally took my old DCX 3400 back and got a Pace RNG-110 non X1 box that supports the mpeg4 streams. They never offered a X1 box, just said at my service level the new box is still free and I thought it would be X1based so never asked about it.
The web site really only list the DVR version as that's what they're pushing and I already have a HD HomeRun Prime so don't need or want the DVR.
So anyone here get the non DVR box and how much extra is it or is it the same as what I have now as I've seen the X1 system and it looks great like I'm used to on Plex and Kodi.
Anyways thanks for any info.
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:31 AM
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Finally got a X1 non DVR box

Like title says, I did get a non DVR box finally. The local office refused to allow me to return the other new non X1 box as they said it wouldn't work with a house that also has any cable card based devices like my HD HomeRun Prime, Samsung media player cable card set top box, or a Tivo.
I was bummed but remembered I still had the card they sent me that offered a free self install X1 kit through the mail if I signed up online with the code it gave me. I figured what the heck, I doubt the X1 actually conflicts, they either don't know or are trying to get me to dump my stuff and use their gear again. I ordered it online and it got here in less then a week. Its the Samsung VG2 v2 I think and just to be safe I unplugged the cables to my cable card stuff and the box prompted me to activate onscreen with my address and account number. It recognized me and did it's thing and it was up and running in less then half an hour. After a bit I noticed all the extended basic cable channels I pay for and my one movie channel all said I needed a subscription to watch them etc. I called the main 800 number and waded through a few menus till I got a live tech, told him what it was doing and he said sometimes the system refuses to fully activate all the extended channels and he'd fix it. Took him 2 minutes and almost immediately all my normal channels worked. So far there is no issues at all running my cable card stuff and this box together, everything plays nice and works as it should.
Also as long as it's your main box and no extra DVR included it's a free upgrade, and no rent per month afterwards either. If it's a extra box it will cost whatever they charge to rent another one for the bedroom or something.
SO, price is right, it does work with cable card stuff no matter what they try to say at their offices, and you can get a non DVR version that still includes replay or pause on live TV, plus the much nicer guide that is similar to Plex or Tivo and has a bunch of extra features that are nice.
If anyone here got the free upgrade card and doesn't have any cable card or Tivo stuff you can go to a Comcast office and get one, or if you do have the cable card stuff just order it online and they don't ask anything just send you a box similar to what you had before except X1 based.
The Tech also gave me all HBO channels free for 3 months with it turning off after the 3 months without me having to kill it to avoid paying extra for more movie channels because he said I was a long time customer deserved a free reward for sticking with them. He even had me make sure they all worked before we were done then we chatted about Comcast stuff for a bit, very pleasant experience overall for me and QUICK resolution of my issue.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:47 PM
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How many channels are MPEG-4 now? I see that IFC, Animal Planet, TBSHD, AMC, and SyFy have been switched. Bitrates are as low as 1.7 Mbps!

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Old 01-29-2016, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
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How many channels are MPEG-4 now? I see that IFC, Animal Planet, TBSHD, AMC, and SyFy have been switched. Bitrates are as low as 1.7 Mbps!
I don't know how to monitor bitrates, but I do know that when I pause the Golf Channel, it stays paused a lot longer than it used to. So I assume its bitrates are a lot lower than they used to be too.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:18 AM
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One of the tuners of the HD DVR was tuned to the Science Channel (HD) overnight and this morning I found that it had buffered 1h 21m of programming, whereas normally it would buffer about 25 minutes of an HD channel.

Maybe that will also translate to a bit over three times the amount of HD programming the HD DVR can store from the non-local channels. (Too bad it won't also give me over three times the amount of time I can watch in a day.)

My very humble setup:
Spoiler!

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Old 01-30-2016, 10:58 AM
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It does look like Comcast has set the bit rates of the MPEG-4 channels at about one third the bit rates of the MPEG-2 channels.

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Old 01-30-2016, 01:53 PM
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It does look like Comcast has set the bit rates of the MPEG-4 channels at about one third the bit rates of the MPEG-2 channels.
A poster in the Chicago thread mentioned that he counted 10 HD MPEG4 channels in one 38mb/s QAM slot. That's a lot of compression, even if it is MPEG4.

The conversion hasn't started in the SF bay area yet.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:29 PM
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A poster in the Chicago thread mentioned that he counted 10 HD MPEG4 channels in one 38mb/s QAM slot. That's a lot of compression, even if it is MPEG4.
The advantage of MPEG-4 is that you can drop the bit rate lower and lower without the image completely falling apart. The picture gets softer, you see more banding in smooth areas, and motion begins to have a smeary appearance. Oh, I guess those are the disadvantages.

Add AETV, Spike, and the FYI Network. It looks like the sports channels are still MPEG-2 for the moment.

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Old 02-20-2016, 08:50 PM
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A few of the sport channels are now MPEG4, like CBS Sports Network and the SEC Network. Others like Comcast Sport Network and Pac 12 Network are still MPEG2 for the moment. They're using about one third of the bitrate they were using before. Of course they look fine as far as I can tell.

They haven't switched over any of the 720p channels I watch.

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