MOD EDIT - Courtesy of keenan:San Francisco Bay Area Comcast Information
This thread contains posts regarding Comcast HDTV service in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Bay Area. (This covers San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties.)
For Solano County see note below.
To summarize status as of August, 2006:HD Channels:
Note: Not all channels are available everywhere. Check with your local Comcast office, or better yet, post the question here as you will get the most accurate, up to date, information from this group. Having a location/city in your profile helps tremendously.
702 KTVU-DT (FOX) 720p & DD 5.1
703 KNTV-DT (NBC) 1080i & DD 5.1
704 KRON-DT (MyTV) 1080i
705 KPIX-DT (CBS) 1080i & DD 5.1
707 KGO-DT (ABC) 720p & DD 5.1
709 KQED-DT (PBS) (on air 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) 1080i & DD 5.1
719 INHD (encrypted in most areas) 1080i
720 INHD2 (encrypted in most areas) 1080i (FSNBA-HD see note below)
FSN Bay Area HD (some Warriors, A's and Giants games inserted onto 720, pre-empting INHD2 programming) FSN Bay Area Website-- HD Schedule
722 Discovery HD Theater 1080i & DD 5.1
723 ESPN HD (encrypted in most areas) 720p & DD 5.1
725 ESPN2 HD (encrypted) 720p & DD 5.1
HD Special Events
-- NFL Channel HD (NFL Game of the Week, Weds. and Thurs. Evenings)
-- INHD programming (third INHD feed) whenever NBA game is on INHD
-- Other HD programming TBA
730 HBO HD West (encrypted) 1080i & DD 5.1
732 Cinemax HD West (encrypted) 1080i & DD 5.1
734 Starz HD West (encrypted) 1080i & DD 5.1
736 Showtime HD West (encrypted) 1080i & DD 5.1Note re encryption:
This varies from one head end to the next. Some premiums and/or ESPN HD and/or InHD may be unencrypted in your area, but that will change as soon as Comcast gets all the necessary equipment to encrypt. Only the local HD channels will be "in the clear" once all the head ends have the proper equipment.Note re ADS:
ADS, or A
imulcasting, is when the analog channels are duplicated as digital subchannels. This allows for cheaper, smaller digital boxes as the analog tuner is not needed. ADS also eliminates the need for MPEG encoders in the DVR's. The primary advantage is the elimination of interference typically associated with analog signals.
Most 750/850MHz systems in the Bay Area have implemented ADS. The surest way of obtaining the digital versions of the analog channels is to incorporate at least one Motorola 3412 STB in your household. Once the headend receives the signal that you're in an "ADS-ready" area, your other STB's will automatically start using the digital channels. To find out if you're receiving the digital channels, tune both of your tuners to channel 2, go in to the diagnostics menu, and go to "d06 CURRENT CHANNEL STATUS". If both tuners say 'QAM 256" then you're receiving the digital version of the channel. If they say "Analog" then you are receiving the analog version of the channel.Note re 550 Mhz systems:
Not all (or any) HD channels may be available in some Bay Area systems because they are not yet "rebuilt" to either 750 mHz or 860 mHz and thus have less bandwidth to devote to HDTV. As it stands August 2006, there doesn't appear to be any plans to upgrade these systems to bring parity with the rest of the SF bay area. The prevailing assumption is that as we move closer to the analog OTA shutdown date, Comcast will be moving analog channels to digital, and thus, freeing up bandwidth for more channels and services on these systems. This looks to be a long and slow process covering years so don't expect anything new to appear on these systems anytime soon. On these systems you will NOT get: INHD*
FSN Bay Area HD*
, Showtime HD, KRON HD and/or HD Special Events among others depending on the particular system.
But, you will pay the same rates as subscribers who do receive the full complement of channels and services. This is an inequity that Comcast, to date, has not addressed and continues to remain silent on.
These systems are located in, among other areas,
INHD and INHD2 are available in areas of Saratoga, Milpitas and Los Gatos even though these are primarily 550 Mhz systems.Note: Solano County.
Information obtained from Comcast subscriber heyjjjaded in Vacaville.
1. Our local HD channels are all out of Sacramento
2. Unlike Sacramento though, all of our HD channels are in the 700's (the way they are in San Francisco)
3. We get standard network non-HD channels (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox) from both Sacramento & San Francisco
4. The 800 telephone number on our Comcast brochure puts us through to the bay area
5. Our HD problems (break-ups, audio-drops, failure to switch from INHD2 to FSN HD) almost always coincide with the same problems reported by the Sacramento customers
For further Sacramento information, see the Sacramento Comcast ThreadHD Capable Set Top Box/Firmware:
Motorola 5100 and Motorola 6200
The 6200 has a faster processor and two firewire (IEEE 1394) ports.
Firmware 7.15 (7.10 in some areas). DVI and Firewire are activated with both versions but are more stable and user friendly with 7.15.
Current software is 51.88-2002.
See the rest of the thread, below, or the 5100/6200 thread in the HDTV Hardware forum for more specific information.HD-DVR/Software:
Motorola 6412-- first became available in December 2004. (6208 was originally projected to be available November/December 2003). Costs extra $9.95 per month (or $4.95 per month more than a non-DVR HD STB rental from Comcast) above what you are otherwise paying for now.
Software for the HD DVR the iGuide, by Guideworks, a joint venture of Comcast and Gemstar-TV Guide. Software for all other HD boxes will eventually be the iGuide but has not yet been downloaded to them as of February 17, 2005.
Current firmware version for the 6412:
Current software version for the 6412: 71.44 1203 (revision should be coming in the next couple of months)
Motorola 6412 PIII--same as 6412 listed above but has HDMI video output vs DVI for the above 6412.
Current firmware version for the 6412-PIII: 12.31
Motorola 3412--same as 6412 PIII only it has no analog tuner. The 3412 is a digital-only DVR and can be used only on systems where ADS has been implemented.
Current firmware version for the 3412: 12.22Costs:
Limited basic cable, which is required for all subscriptions, ranges from $9 to $17 per month depending on your area. HD STB rental (non-DVR) is $5 per month. To get INHD and ESPN HD, if encrypted, you need Digital Classic tier at $9.95 per month. Premium HD channels, if encrypted, are received with any a la carte or package subscription that includes the SD versions of those channels.
HD-DVR (6412-3412) cost: $4.95 more per month than the standard HD STB. To be eligible to rent the DVR you must have a subscription to Standard Cable and at least Digital Classic--average cost--$57
Note: All the above prices prices and packages will vary somewhat from area to area, check with others in your location and/or contact the local Comcast office that serves your area.
I will update this summary as information changes. If anyone has different or updated information to the above, please post it to this thread and I will incorporate it.