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post #181 of 4859 Old 06-30-2004, 09:24 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by cyberized
...Discovery HD Theater - will also be added anytime now.

Don't forget the occasional Mariners Baseball HD feed on channel 700:

Friday, July 16: Cleveland Indians at Mariners 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 17: Cleveland Indians at Mariners 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 18: Cleveland Indians at Mariners 1:00 p.m.
Monday, July 19: Boston Red Sox at Mariners 7:00 p.m.

Friday, July 23: Anaheim Angels at Mariners 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24: Anaheim Angels at Mariners 7:00 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 13: New York Yankees at Mariners 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 15: New York Yankees at Mariners 1:00 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 10: Boston Red Sox at Mariners 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 12: Boston Red Sox at Mariners 1:00 p.m.

My RPTV-based "Narnia Theater"
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post #182 of 4859 Old 06-30-2004, 12:09 PM
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Hooray! Today we have Discovery HD here in Portland, OR area. Lookng GooD!

TKS Comcast, Michael
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post #183 of 4859 Old 07-08-2004, 02:48 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by cyberized
Hooray! Today we have Discovery HD here in Portland, OR area. Lookng GooD!

TKS Comcast, Michael


What channel is is it on?
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post #184 of 4859 Old 07-08-2004, 03:08 PM
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707
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post #185 of 4859 Old 07-13-2004, 08:55 AM
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FYI--as you will probably not be surprised to find out--the misinformation level at Comcast re: cablecards is extremely high.

I called Comcast customer service on Saturday and asked about cablecard availability. The rep on the phone assured me that they have cablecards available at the service center at 30th and Sandy and that I could go there and pick one up.

I got there on Monday morning and they said, "What's a cablecard?" After I explained, they said, "Oh yeah, we have a memo about those, you have to set up an appointment for a technician to come install it."

No appointments available for less than a week out--I'm just hoping they can find the cards when the time comes. They were very courteous and waived the installation fee since I drove over there based on misinformation their rep gave me.

I talked to a guy at Video Only who apparently had a shouting match over the phone yesterday with a Comcast employee who insisted that Comcast didn't have "high def cable cards" only the regular ones that "don't work with HDTV."

Has Comcast ever heard of training? It must be awful to be constantly blindsided by customers who know more about your products than you do.
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post #186 of 4859 Old 07-13-2004, 09:42 PM
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doretta: Your post puzzles me. What is a cablecard and what does it do?

I have made the decision to abandon D* after 8 years and go with Comcast for their Digital Plus and HD pkg. I had installers from both D* and E* try to find a location on my property from which to pull in an HD signal, to no avail! I have too many trees in the way to "see" any of the HD sats. My D* dish is pointed thru a very small window in the trees which I am certain will close in the next year or 2.

I was loath to expand my current Comcast contract from their Limited Basic package since the signal I get is marred by ghosting bars and other artifacts. Hopefully, their digital feed will have better quality.

I get all the digital locals and their HD via OTA. But I need ESPNHD and now that DiscoveryHD is in the Comcast lineup, I couldn't resist. The installer comes on Thursday.

But I don't recall seeing any controversy in these forums about a "cablecard". I want to be prepared for whatever is coming my way on Thurs., so if you can shed any light on this, it'd be most appreciated.

Bob
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post #187 of 4859 Old 07-13-2004, 09:46 PM
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Bob,

I believe this is a card that goes into QAM HDTV sets with cable ready decoder/tuners inside.

It should be the authorization card to enable the built-in tuner to properly decode encrypted HD and SD broadcasts without using a cable box.

That's my guess.

Mike

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post #188 of 4859 Old 07-13-2004, 09:55 PM
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Yeah, I figured it was similar to the card in my DirecTV receiver, primarily used for PPV and channel viewing authority. But I'm curious about the non-availability of cards for tuners they distribute. Would seem odd that an installer would come with a box and no card. But ya never know ....
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post #189 of 4859 Old 07-13-2004, 10:01 PM
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Bob,

Probably the cable boxes don't need the card.

But new-fangled HDTV sets may need the card.

Prbably a chicken-and-the-egg kind of problem.

Mike

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post #190 of 4859 Old 07-14-2004, 01:54 AM
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Bob
No expert, but here is what I understand. The Cablecard has nothing to do with the classic HD cablebox. Unlike DTV STB's, no special user available access card is required in cableboxes
As mentioned, some of the newest TV's, literally available only for the last few months, have a built in Cable/QAM tuner. I believe as of July 1 some % of all new HD ready sets must have them.
To access this capability, individual cable companies must have available cable cards for these TV's, so that their customers can use the built in tuner, with that cable system.
Apparently this is 1st generation technology and will limit some of the services currently available with the use of the routine cablebox, such as VOD. movie ordering and some guide issues.
Unless you have a built in QAM tuner in your TV, and again this is very new, cablecards have no significance for your situation
Michael

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post #191 of 4859 Old 07-14-2004, 09:15 AM
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Cablecards are for TVs, not for set-top boxes.

I have a new Sony KD34-XBR960 TV with a built-in HDTV tuner. The cablecard from Comcast will allow decryption of scrambled channels so I don't need a set-top box from Comcast in order to watch all the channels my cable plan entitles me to watch.

Cablecards are currently one-way so no VOD and no interactive channel guide. A two-way standard is under deveopment but I'm a minimalist when it comes to TV viewing and don't really care about that stuff at this point. My new TV lets me set up a 16 channel favorites list and I'll be choosing from that for 99% of my TV viewing.

On the other hand, I hate set-top boxes.

The availability of cablecards from Comcast is a factor in why I finally went for HDTV after a lot of years of considering it.
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post #192 of 4859 Old 07-14-2004, 10:11 AM
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Well that certainly clears things up. Thanks to you all!

I had been watching in another thread the advance of the QAM tuner in new TVs but don't recall any mention of this enabling device. I think I was going under the impression (wrongly) that those TVs were ready to go to descramble signals from cable cos. But it makes sense since the only thing we get "free" is OTA. Ahh, the things we learn here.

Hope you enjoy your new Sony, doretta. (Off subject: How well does the OTA tuner perform?)

Bob
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post #193 of 4859 Old 07-14-2004, 12:06 PM
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Now lets keep the pressure on Comcast to add Hd Fox and Koin to their lineup before fotball season
I know Fox's contract is close to being done and Koin is at the mercy of the owners, Emmis, back east, but reminders to them that is is vey crucial to keep people from going back to D, can't hurt
Michael

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post #194 of 4859 Old 07-14-2004, 01:24 PM
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The cable card will also fit into Sony's soon to be released HD PVRs.

They're supposed to do HD OTA, unscrambled QAM, and with the card preimium scrambled QAM.

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post #195 of 4859 Old 07-14-2004, 02:13 PM
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Any ideas on when we might see the Moto 6412s or 6416s (HD-PVR) surfacing in our area?
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post #196 of 4859 Old 07-15-2004, 10:00 AM
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Bob asked:

Off subject: How well does the OTA tuner perform?

It seems good to me but I'm only using it with a cable signal, I don't have an antenna. I'd heard bad things about this TV's display of analog channels but after watching it for a few days they seem unfounded to me.

It's like my previous TV, if it gets a good signal it looks pretty good as SD goes. If it gets a lousy signal it doesn't look as good. It doesn't seem to handle a lousy signal any better or worse than my old TV, which I bought because in my estimation it had the best picture available.

Mostly I'm watching HD on it, which looks great. I'm not a big fan of the Tonight Show and now I can hardly stand to have it on--it feels too much like Jay Leno is in my living room.
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post #197 of 4859 Old 07-20-2004, 04:22 AM
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Does anyone have any info any when and if Comcast will be upgrading their Guide platform.
In comparison to other providers, like DTV it really is pretty rudimentary. Not having sometype of grid system for searching what is currently on, and what will be on in the few few hours, is, at least in my mind, completely unacceptable.
If they will just upgrade their guide platform, and CBS and Fox locals, I will be a much happier puppy.
Ok, why not be greedy, add a few more National HD feeds as well
Michael

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post #198 of 4859 Old 07-20-2004, 11:10 AM
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Michael, I agree with ya 100%. We just switched from Dtv to comcast and ugraded to HD package. I've been pretty much stuck on the 700 channels so I haven't been using the so called "guide". I found that the yahoo guide is much more friendly than the comcast thing.

I've got a question, my HD network channels - ABC, CBS, PBS all come in with a blocked picture, they do not stretch to 16.9 but stay like a small 4.3 picture with black bars on all four sides. Is this normal? All other HD channels stretch to 16.9 and look maaarvelous.


Thanks,
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post #199 of 4859 Old 07-20-2004, 11:32 AM
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Lance: I'm in exactly the same state as you - just killed my DirecTv in favor of Comcast HD, and I agree, the "guide" is atrocious.

I think unless the feed from the networks is HD, you will get the bars. HD is the only format that comes in 16:9. So if the network is giving a digital upconvert and not native HD, we get bars (mine are only on sides, not top and bottom). But at least on my Zenith OTA tuner, I can stretch the picture to fill my screen. The Motorola has no such feature and my Sony detects a signal type that doesn't allow me to use its wide/stretch features. At least I have the option to pull the signal OTA for the networks but I was hoping to minimize my switching to OTA for CBS, Fox and UPN only. At least until Comcast and Emmis, et al get it worked out. But now I need to make sure I don't do hours on end viewing of network non-HD material to prevent the bars from burning in.

Bob

Lance: Sorry, but it just dawned on me that you must have a full screen TV and not a widescreen, ergo the bars top, bottom and sides.
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post #200 of 4859 Old 07-20-2004, 04:42 PM
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I just setup my Sony XBR960 over the weekend and have an antenna and basic Comcast cable (so typically I only get up to channel 33). However, during setup for Digital Cable, it found all sorts of other channels that were available, including (I believe), MLB Extra Innings, all sorts of music channels, and some of the HD stations (91.2 for ABC and 91.7 for NBC I think). Even watched the Mariners game in HD last night. Does anyone else know if there are other HD chanels that you get over basic cable without the cable card in Portland? I just worry if I pay for ESPN HD that I'll lose the other channels it can find for free.

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post #201 of 4859 Old 07-21-2004, 08:10 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Smackrabbit
I just setup my Sony XBR960 over the weekend and have an antenna and basic Comcast cable (so typically I only get up to channel 33). However, during setup for Digital Cable, it found all sorts of other channels that were available, including (I believe), MLB Extra Innings, all sorts of music channels, and some of the HD stations (91.2 for ABC and 91.7 for NBC I think). Even watched the Mariners game in HD last night. Does anyone else know if there are other HD chanels that you get over basic cable without the cable card in Portland? I just worry if I pay for ESPN HD that I'll lose the other channels it can find for free.

Add OPB HD to that list. As I understand it, you should not lose any of the channels you are currently getting when you pay for ESPN HD.

Comcast blocks your access to channels in two ways, they give you a cable box with a tuner based on your subscription (analog for analog only, digital to add SD digital channels, or HD for all three kinds of channels) and they also scramble some channels.

By buying your 960 you have negated the first approach because your TV can tune all three kinds of channels without the help of a cable box. The cablecard will be programmed by Comcast to unscramble channels you pay for, like ESPN HD. My understanding is that it doesn't take away channels you can get otherwise although I expect it does do some channel number mapping also, I'll know after I get mine tomorrow.

If I'm missing something and you do lose channels when you install the cablecard, you can always take the cablecard back to Comcast and go with what you have now.

Comcast can always choose to scramble more channels in the future but I think they are unlikely to do that with the OTA HD channels.
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post #202 of 4859 Old 07-22-2004, 02:41 PM
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I think I have a unique setup that may answer some of your questions.

We were able to get the HD box from comcast and we only subscribe to the most basic package. Which is $17 a month. (Then they subtract $10 for having comcast cable!). So for $7 a month we got the HD box, A number of the basic channels, A majority of On-Demand. (Everything but HBO, etc)

And on top of that we are getting the following HD channels: ABC, NBC, PBS, WB. I also got the Mariners game on Channel 700 yesterday.

How CBS can say Comcast is charging extra for HD does not make sense to me. Comcast can't be making money off me.
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post #203 of 4859 Old 07-22-2004, 04:50 PM
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Comcast is definitely not charging for HD. If you have a digital cable ready TV and don't need a cable box, you don't pay anything for HD.

Officially, bterhune should be paying an extra $5 (on top of the $17-10=$7) for an HD cable box, but Comcast is sometimes lax about keeping track of what people should be paying.

CBS simply wants money and is not bothering to make careful arguments that hold up under scrutiny. They don't care that their arguments are bogus, their leverage is withholding the HD feed and that is what they are doing. The "Comcast is making money" argument is just to put a prettier face on it.

I think it is called cutting off your nose to spite your face, Comcast isn't giving in and CBS is certainly losing an opportunity to attract new viewers.

I know if I feel like channel surfing, I start with all the HD channels first.
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post #204 of 4859 Old 07-22-2004, 04:54 PM
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Comcast installed a cablecard in my Sony XBR-960 today.

It's nice to be able to see the name of the channel I'm watching as well as the channel number and to get rid of the funny channel numbers you see if you direct tune.

And now I can see ESPN HD and Discovery HD as well as the two InHD channels.
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post #205 of 4859 Old 07-22-2004, 10:29 PM
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I called Comcast tonight to get a Cablecard for my XBR960 so I could start to get ESPN HD (and make it easier for my girlfriend to tune stations), but was told they don't offer cablecards for HDTV. I insisted she was wrong, but after arguing for a while, decided to call back tomorrow and hope I got someone else that knew what they were doing. Did you have this same problem?

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post #206 of 4859 Old 07-22-2004, 11:00 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Smackrabbit
I called Comcast tonight to get a Cablecard for my XBR960 so I could start to get ESPN HD (and make it easier for my girlfriend to tune stations), but was told they don't offer cablecards for HDTV. I insisted she was wrong, but after arguing for a while, decided to call back tomorrow and hope I got someone else that knew what they were doing. Did you have this same problem?

No, but I talked to a guy at Video Only a couple of weeks ago that talked to someone like that at Comcast. He had a shouting match with some guy who insisted that for HD you have to have an HD cablecard and they don't have any HD cablecards.

Do not keep calling until you get someone who knows what they are doing. Your TV may be obsolete before they connect you to someone who fits that description.

Tomorrow when you call them, just don't mention that your TV is HD. If they press, just say it definitely has a cablecard slot and it's "digital."

The tech I got today had never done a cablecard installation so I showed him where the cablecard slot was and how you are supposed to orient it to insert it, but he was cool, he understood the basic idea of what they do.
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post #207 of 4859 Old 07-22-2004, 11:08 PM
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Forgot to mention, if you can find a number for them, I'd recommend you call the Customer Service Center on Sandy or the one in Gresham during their business hours to order your cablecard installation rather than talking to some nationwide telephone rep for Comcast on a toll-free number.

I ended up going by the customer service center (3075 NE Sandy) and they seemed to know what to do to order the installation. They even waived the $20 installation fee since I got the wrong info from the telephone rep I talked to first ( mine told me I could go by the customer service center and pick up the cablecard myself.) The Sandy location is open 9-6 M-F and 9-4 Sat.
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post #208 of 4859 Old 07-24-2004, 11:59 AM
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Made an appointment for August 3rd for Comcast to come out with a digital cablecard, despite them telling me that it won't do HD, so we will see how that goes. They won't let you do a self install until late summer for them, which is too bad since I would just pick one up today. Is the cable card and your XBR 960 working out just fine, however?

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post #209 of 4859 Old 07-24-2004, 12:10 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Smackrabbit
Made an appointment for August 3rd for Comcast to come out with a digital cablecard, despite them telling me that it won't do HD, so we will see how that goes. They won't let you do a self install until late summer for them, which is too bad since I would just pick one up today. Is the cable card and your XBR 960 working out just fine, however?

It should go fine. There is only one kind of cablecard so they can't possibly bring you the wrong kind.

Before the cablecard I could get all the analog channels and the local HD channels. Since the cablecard I get all of those and the non-HD digital channels in my plan plus ESPN HD, Discovery HD, and the two InHD channels.

One good thing about having them send a tech to install it is that they check your signal strength at the outlet and work to improve it if it is marginal. The tech that came to my house replaced all the cabling to my 960 and removed a splitter from that circuit at no charge.
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post #210 of 4859 Old 08-02-2004, 02:04 AM
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