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post #91 of 4664 Old 02-28-2004, 03:02 PM
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I spoke with the General Manager of Charter in the Birmingham area yesterday and he was very nice. I asked him about HD info and he said he would try to get more specific information from corporate and get back to me.

He did say that ESPN and Charter did reach an agreement so ESPH HD should be coming soon, but they have been given any indication for launch dates as of yet. My thought is with the all of the college basketball in HD on ESPN during the conference tournaments in two weeks, we should try to push for it quickly. My best guess is that we should be calling them at the corporate level for that.

He also said they were negotiating with CBS and ABC still and there were issues that needed to be resolved and "worked through" but he felt it would happen. He did not think it would happen before the Final 4, however.

He also said he would check on HDNet and WGN for me. I forgot to ask about INHD, so that will have to wait for him to call me back.

This is not HD related, but I didn't know that if you subscribe to HBO, Showtime and Cinemax with Charter, you have access to their On Demand for each FREE. I played around with it yesterday, and found I could watch most any show on any of those three networks when I wanted to, with the stop, pause and rewind features. They are channels 986, 987 and 989 on my guide. The GM also admitted they have communication issues with their customers and assured me that they are working on that. He seemed very appreciative of all my input.
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post #92 of 4664 Old 02-28-2004, 03:57 PM
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With 720P on ABC we are told that a 480 channel will work fine also. Program on 2 channel is not set yet.
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post #93 of 4664 Old 02-28-2004, 05:34 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by bearmur
With 720P on ABC we are told that a 480 channel will work fine also. Program on 2 channel is not set yet.

Cool. Thanks for the info. I guess that is the advantage of 720p - leaving extra spectrum to multicast another channel. It's good to know that you will do a full 720p signal.
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post #94 of 4664 Old 02-28-2004, 08:54 PM
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I'm considering getting HD in Helena, either via Charter (have expanded basic now) or via Dish Network. Quick questions for y'all:

1) Is Charter HD available in Helena? I heard that some suburbs/neighborhoods don't have it available yet.

2) How much are Charter's packages, i.e. how much is Digital cable and HD?
They don't publish package prices AT ALL anymore since Charter bought up all the local cable companies (Shelby/Mt. Brook cable). I'm paying right at $53 a month for expanded basic, i.e. a ripoff, especially when one considers that this package was once $21 under Shelby Cable. I guess the extra $32 pays for all the latino and women's channels........

3) What HD receiver does Charter provide?

I was all set to dump Charter and go with Dish, (not just for HD, but for more programming), but the more I read on this forum and others about Dish is that their receivers (811 in particular) seems VERY problematic, and definitely is not a mature product right now. 6 months from now that may no longer be true, but I'm tired of continually putting things off wrt HDTV......

Thanks in advance,

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post #95 of 4664 Old 02-28-2004, 09:03 PM
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1) Is Charter HD available in Helena?

I would think so. It is available in Alabaster.

2) How much are Charter's packages, i.e. how much is Digital cable and HD?

I just signed up for a package called "The Biggest Deal". It has expanded basic, digital, HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Encore, Showtime. Includes one non-HD scientific atlanta convertor. Costs $59.99 month. A normal digital box is $6.95 and the HD box is $8.95. You could substitute the HD box for the non-HD for an additional $2 or pay $8.95 and get 2 digital boxes. You can get the HD box without siging up for the HD package. If you do that you get HBOHD, SHOHD, and the locals for nothing. For an additional $3.99 (I think) you get the HD package which only adds Discovery channel. They should get ESPNHD soon and you would need to pay the $3.99 to get it.

3) What HD receiver does Charter provide?

Scientific Atlanta 3100HD. It is a pretty crappy receiver if you ask me.
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post #96 of 4664 Old 02-28-2004, 10:15 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by fw_fw
I'm considering getting HD in Helena, either via Charter (have expanded basic now) or via Dish Network. Quick questions for y'all:

1) Is Charter HD available in Helena? I heard that some suburbs/neighborhoods don't have it available yet.

2) How much are Charter's packages, i.e. how much is Digital cable and HD?
They don't publish package prices AT ALL anymore since Charter bought up all the local cable companies (Shelby/Mt. Brook cable). I'm paying right at $53 a month for expanded basic, i.e. a ripoff, especially when one considers that this package was once $21 under Shelby Cable. I guess the extra $32 pays for all the latino and women's channels........

3) What HD receiver does Charter provide?

I was all set to dump Charter and go with Dish, (not just for HD, but for more programming), but the more I read on this forum and others about Dish is that their receivers (811 in particular) seems VERY problematic, and definitely is not a mature product right now. 6 months from now that may no longer be true, but I'm tired of continually putting things off wrt HDTV......

Thanks in advance,

Frank

If you have Charter Cable, you should be able to get the HD as well.

To add to what BWC posted, they also have a bundled deal that gives you everything he mentioned, plus their highest speed internet service (2MB) for $79.99. You get basic and extended, the movie channels already mentioned and one "tier" of their digital channels. I have the sports tier. You can add additional tiers for $4 each. Showtime and Movie Channel are available as a tier. The $79.99 includes one cable box (I was told the HD box was not more expensive, so I guess I will see when I get my bill) and cable modem rental (normally $5/mo). I pay $6.95 for a second (non-HD box).

I wasn't given the impression by the Charter GM that ESPN HD will be extra, but I will ask him specifically when I talk to him next week. Basically, I figure when all is said and done, my bill which will include all of the cable mentioned, the HD package and the high-speed internet and fees, will run me right around $100 month. I was paying about $125 until this new package came out. All I gave up were most of the digital channels between 100 and 315. The Sports tier allowed me to keep the Fox Sports channels, ESPN News and ESPN Classic.

I haven't had any problems with the Scientific Atlanta box, but I am not real familiar with the differences between HD Receivers.

I really like the HBO, Showtime and Cinemax On Demand as well. Wish I'd have known about it sooner.
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post #97 of 4664 Old 02-29-2004, 08:58 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by BWCDawg
1) Is Charter HD available in Helena?

I would think so. It is available in Alabaster.

2) How much are Charter's packages, i.e. how much is Digital cable and HD?

I just signed up for a package called "The Biggest Deal". It has expanded basic, digital, HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Encore, Showtime. Includes one non-HD scientific atlanta convertor. Costs $59.99 month. A normal digital box is $6.95 and the HD box is $8.95. You could substitute the HD box for the non-HD for an additional $2 or pay $8.95 and get 2 digital boxes. You can get the HD box without siging up for the HD package. If you do that you get HBOHD, SHOHD, and the locals for nothing. For an additional $3.99 (I think) you get the HD package which only adds Discovery channel. They should get ESPNHD soon and you would need to pay the $3.99 to get it.

3) What HD receiver does Charter provide?

Scientific Atlanta 3100HD. It is a pretty crappy receiver if you ask me.

Interesting......in other words for $6 more you are getting the works, i.e. I'm subsidizing other people's digital packages. Geed, almost as bad as the phone companies, where it is almost always cheaper to get the works than the basic plan, and the total costs are never really publicized.

A phone call to them seems to be in order.......thanks for your help guys!!!

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post #98 of 4664 Old 02-29-2004, 09:15 AM
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Tell charter to take a hike!
Get a DTV dish and OTA atenna. You will save money and have lots better PQ
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post #99 of 4664 Old 02-29-2004, 09:31 AM
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I often have drops on Fox because their transmitter power is so weak. Will all the current local channels be increasing their power in the future??
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post #100 of 4664 Old 02-29-2004, 10:20 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jwoodward
I often have drops on Fox because their transmitter power is so weak. Will all the current local channels be increasing their power in the future??

I have heard that there is some good news on the way regarding WBRC (Fox 6) but I was not told any specifics.
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post #101 of 4664 Old 02-29-2004, 12:16 PM
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Fox network O&O will be on D*. Will be NY feed. May be why Fox in B'ham is running so low power.
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post #102 of 4664 Old 02-29-2004, 12:19 PM
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Most stations will not increase power until more viewers or FCC demands it.
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post #103 of 4664 Old 02-29-2004, 04:47 PM
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Charter.

I have the "complete" Charter package and pay $110.67 monthly. This includes Basic, Exp. Basic, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, TMC, Starz/Encore, Digital Tier, Digital Receiver, 2MB pipeline and modem. They used to break out the charges for each service so you could know exactly what each costs but I believe it to be ~$69.99 minus the pipeline.

The SciAtl3100HD doesn't allow non-HD (4:3) content to automatically fill a 16:9 set as the non-HD converter does. The picture quality is good as I've not been able to compare it to anything.

Charter started HD offer as an extra charge but I would imagine they'd not get the same subscribers if they decide to go this direction. Their history shows a new package will be developed and new pricing will be attached.

For what it is worth an OTA antenna is all you need here is B'ham unless you have a Dish service.
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post #104 of 4664 Old 02-29-2004, 05:00 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by danog
For what it is worth an OTA antenna is all you need here is B'ham unless you have a Dish service.

What makes D* so awesome is the OTA tuner that is integrated into the regular guide. Why can't cable add an OTA tuner to the boxes that they rent the customers.
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post #105 of 4664 Old 02-29-2004, 07:24 PM
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I have the "complete" Charter package and pay $110.67 monthly. This includes Basic, Exp. Basic, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, TMC, Starz/Encore, Digital Tier, Digital Receiver, 2MB pipeline and modem. They used to break out the charges for each service so you could know exactly what each costs but I believe it to be ~$69.99 minus the pipeline.


Sounds like you are getting ripped off. I get all that minus the pipeline for $59.99. That would mean pipeline is costing you around $50 a month.



The SciAtl3100HD doesn't allow non-HD (4:3) content to automatically fill a 16:9 set as the non-HD converter does. The picture quality is good as I've not been able to compare it to anything.


This is only true if you use the component output. The box outputs on all three (s-video, composite, component) at the same time for non-HD material. The other outputs can be stretched to fill a 16:9 screen.
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post #106 of 4664 Old 03-01-2004, 07:15 AM
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The SciAtl3100HD doesn't allow non-HD (4:3) content to automatically fill a 16:9 set as the non-HD converter does. The picture quality is good as I've not been able to compare it to anything.


This is only true if you use the component output. The box outputs on all three (s-video, composite, component) at the same time for non-HD material. The other outputs can be stretched to fill a 16:9 screen.

This is correct, it does require an input change. Do you know if a higher end box allows this via component?
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post #107 of 4664 Old 03-01-2004, 09:18 AM
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I have the "complete" Charter package and pay $110.67 monthly. This includes Basic, Exp. Basic, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, TMC, Starz/Encore, Digital Tier, Digital Receiver, 2MB pipeline and modem. They used to break out the charges for each service so you could know exactly what each costs but I believe it to be ~$69.99 minus the pipeline.

The newest deal they have includes only one Digital Tier (you pick it) and everything else you mentioned minus Showtime for $79.99/month plus taxes and fees. Digital tiers can be added for $4/month. I chose the Sports Tier and Showtime Tier (which includes Movie Channel) so I pay $83.99/month plus $6.95 for a second digital box. I also pay $6.99/month additional for HD programming (I think). I may be off a couple bucks on the HD, since I haven't seen a new bill yet.

I was just informed that they will be adding ESPN HD very soon. I wasn't given a launch date for Birmingham, but barring problems it could be within the next 2 weeks, which would be in time for college basketball conference tournaments. March 8 is the earliest it could be launched. I have my fingers crossed.
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post #108 of 4664 Old 03-01-2004, 09:51 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by danog
[b]
This is correct, it does require an input change. Do you know if a higher end box allows this via component?

yes, I think most all of the newer cable boxes offer the option to output in 480i/p, 720p and 1080i via component and give several zoom options. they also will let you pass SD in 4:3 via component so that you can let the tv do the scaling and zooming if you prefer.

unfortunately, cable cos. are never on the bleeding edge with their end user equipment....on the flip side, you don't have to buy the equipment, they just lease for a couple bucks a month. so, it's cheap but you get what you pay for....a tradeoff.

charter is using the motorola dct 5100 box in some markets. I think this box provides all of the features I described above. I have not heard if/when this box or another one will be rolled out in b'ham to replace the 3100hd.
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post #109 of 4664 Old 03-01-2004, 05:19 PM
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Nbc no audio/video again.
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post #110 of 4664 Old 03-01-2004, 07:44 PM
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Thanks bdouble. I might call Charter and amuse myself asking them about a dct5100. Maybe I'll get someone who actually knows more than reading how to documents.

WVTM, whats up with the HD? Has something changed and Las Vegas is no longer in HD? Hope not! Too bad Fear Factor isn't in HD!!!! Maybe next season.

Anyone have any experience with those automatic antenna rotators? That might solve the minor delima of changing the direction to pickup ABC when they go live without messing with a combiner and second antenna.
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post #111 of 4664 Old 03-01-2004, 08:19 PM
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NBC has no audio/video for me over the air, but it is on charter. Strange.

Don't bother asking charter about the motorola dct 5100. The Birmingham system is a Scientific Atlanta system, therefore only those boxes work here. No Motorola. I think the SA3250HD would work better, but I have heard they may be getting the SA8000HD box. That is the DVR box with included HD.
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post #112 of 4664 Old 03-02-2004, 12:21 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by danog
Has something changed and Las Vegas is no longer in HD?

Word is that Las Veags is behind schedule and they need more time to edit the hd master. I love this show but if Nikki Cox isn't in HD, I don't bother to watch!
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post #113 of 4664 Old 03-02-2004, 02:34 AM
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It looks like 10.1 is now showing the PBS HD full time programming (no loop) that launched on March 1st. Hopefully APT will fix the guide data so we can actually know what is playing.

Here is a link about on satguys about PBS HD launch.
http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthre...4207#post54207
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post #114 of 4664 Old 03-02-2004, 09:09 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by bhambrad
It looks like 10.1 is now showing the PBS HD full time programming (no loop) that launched on March 1st. Hopefully APT will fix the guide data so we can actually know what is playing.


Saw several of PBS's HD shows last night. Incredible. Easily the best HD programming out there, IMHO.

Regarding the programming guide - - I have been using TitanTV.com to see what is on in HD. Seems to work fine.

-William Wood
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post #115 of 4664 Old 03-02-2004, 09:47 AM
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I have emailed APT to ask them to get the guide info corrected. Last night at 2:30 am it said sign off when the PBS HD is a 24/7 network. I will love to see the widescreen and HD specials and programs like NOVA and other cool things that have that A&E feel to it.
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post #116 of 4664 Old 03-02-2004, 01:03 PM
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2:30am, so did you get sucked into HD viewing or are you normally awake each night that late? I've been engulfed in HD before so I understand!
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post #117 of 4664 Old 03-02-2004, 01:27 PM
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When I spoke to the Charter GM, he asked me which HD box I had, Motorola or Scientific America, so I am guessing there are some Motorola's out there. ESPN - HD to launch within 2 weeks, if not sooner.
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post #118 of 4664 Old 03-02-2004, 01:32 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by danog
2:30am, so did you get sucked into HD viewing or are you normally awake each night that late? I've been engulfed in HD before so I understand!

No, those are my prime hours. Cranking out websites and watching HD at 2am - can't beat that!
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post #119 of 4664 Old 03-02-2004, 08:26 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Bham Slugger
When I spoke to the Charter GM, he asked me which HD box I had, Motorola or Scientific America, so I am guessing there are some Motorola's out there. ESPN - HD to launch within 2 weeks, if not sooner.

I read this article a while back. It has since expired from yahoo, but this is why I thought we were stuck with Scientific Atlanta.

Dow Jones Business News
Charter Communications To Unveil New TiVo-Like Boxes
Wednesday January 7, 3:42 pm ET
By Ellen Sheng, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES


NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Charter Communications is preparing to launch a new digital video recorder in the next two months.
The St. Louis-based cable operator has been working with Digeo Inc., a media software and interactive TV provider started by Microsoft Corp. (NasdaqNM:MSFT - News) co- founder Paul Allen. Charter, which is also controlled by Allen, will be deploying Digeo's Moxi platform.

The TiVo-like boxes, which allow viewers to record programs, pause and replay live TV, are currently being tested in Rochester, Mich.

Tom Cullen, senior vice president of advanced services and business development who spoke at a Smith Barney Citigroup conference earlier Wednesday, projected the new DVR boxes will be launched in 12 systems this year.

Charter's cable systems are evenly split between technology offered by Scientific-Atlanta and Motorola (NYSE:MOT - News) . Systems running Scientific-Atlanta's technology can't work with Motorola and vice versa. For its Scientific-Atlanta systems, Charter launched the popular Explorer 8000 DVR box in four California systems late last year. Cullen said the Explorer box will be launched in four more markets before the end of the month, and 14 systems during the year. Cullen declined to list what markets, citing competitive reasons.

"We are big believers in personal video recorders," he said.

-By Ellen Sheng, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5863; ellen.sheng@dowjones.com
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post #120 of 4664 Old 03-03-2004, 06:35 AM
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I got a call from APT today after I emailed them about incorrect 10.1 guide data. They will be looking into it. I also asked if it was possible to scale back on the stream of 10.2 to give the HD channel 10.1 more bandwidth becuase of the heavy pixelization. They currently are running 10.1 at about 14.5mbs and giving 10.2 3.5-4.0 mbs. He seemed open to the idea. What is the minimum mbs that you ca run a SD digital stream? If 10.2 could run on 2mbs then the picture would look about like what we see on D*

Anyone else who is interested in APT may want to use the website to provide feedback. This new PBS feed is awesome - hopefully they can trim the SD down and give the HD feed more juice. It's always cool when these engineers take time to figure out these isses. Way to go APT!

http://www.aptv.org
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