Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Jackson, TX
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I wanted to post my experience with D&E Communications since I know several of the posters in this thread live in State College. I am provided with their Extended Basic cable service as part of my lease agreement with my apartment (otherwise I would probably be an Adelphia customer). I subscribe to their broadband internet service and have had no major problems to speak of.
I decided to upgrade to their digital service so I could see how the digital channels look on my Sony KD-30XS955. They offer 39 digital stations plus 38 music stations. I was already picking up the music stations with my built-in tuner so the only addition is the 39 digital stations which were encrypted. I asked about CableCard availability and they did not know what I was talking about. I explained it and they said they have no plans to offer it. As mentioned in another post, I previously inquired about HD programming and they said they have no plans to offer that either. I obtained their set-top-box on Friday and took it home to install. It is a General Instruments (Motorola knock-off) and only has RF and composite connections. I called them and asked if they had other boxes with an HDMI, component, or S-Video connections. They said they do not. I connected the box using the composite connections (I wanted to reserve my two RF inputs on the TV for an analog connection and my OTA antenna). I was able to receive all of the digital channels (including the premium movie channels). I assume they give you everything for the first month since it is free. The PQ on some of the movie channels is excellent. Other channels look similar to an analog picture. Also, my analog channels are still analog despite the fact the website makes it seem like they would be digital. This is from their website:
See the Digital Difference
Digital cable TV offers many advantages over the old standard analog cable service. The first being clearer, crisper and sharper image quality from the same channels.
Is it typical that the analogs are still analog when subscribing to a digital package? I don't have much experience with cable providers and their digital packages. I do believe that Adelphia's analogs are still analog with their digital package. From what I understand the analogs bypass the digital tuner and are just outputted as analog.
After about 30 minutes of viewing, the box started turning itself on and off for no reason. I suspect it is overheating but I have it in a well-ventilated area with nothing on top of it. I called their technical support and they told me to unplug it from my surge protector and plug it in directly to the wall. I tried that and it didn't malfunction until it had been on for about 2 hours. I called them back today and they said I can bring it back and exchange it for a different one. They said there would be a charge if someone came out and replaced it.
To summarize, D&E sucks. They have minimal offerings and use lousy equipment. I guess it's nice that they do offer a digital package, but I think that is expected in most decent sized markets at this point.