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post #1 of 167 Old 09-14-2004, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been hearing for over a year now that RCN would be releasing HDTV in Chicago soon. I guess soon is a relative term.

Has anybody heard a definite timeframe on when it will happen? My building only supports RCN and I'll be pulling the trigger on an HDTV set soon and really don't want to be limited to DVDs.

My building is already converted to digital and RCN did this major upgrade to their broadband speeds in Chicago but still no word on HDTV.

Don't you think that more customers care about HDTV over SDTV than Mach7 over Mach5???

If anyone has some info I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
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post #2 of 167 Old 09-14-2004, 08:56 PM
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RCN is a joke. Do you know that if you subscribe to cable internet, you automatically get analog cable FREE because they have no way to filter out the analog channels? Ridiculous.

Anyway, I went through the same thing for three years in my apartment on Ohio Street. They kept saying "Digital / HD are coming." Never came. Never will. Only a matter of time before RCN is bought by Comcast - then it'll happen.
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post #3 of 167 Old 12-03-2004, 09:53 AM
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Anybody have any news on this? I have an HDTV just sitting wating for my RCN only building to get upgraded...
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post #4 of 167 Old 01-03-2005, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I spoke with an RCN rep in Chicago and he said that HD should be available in Chicago in mid-Jan. He also said that if your tv has a Quan-Tuner you could get it right now. He said to bypass the cable box (straight from the wall jack) and tune in to channels 103-109 for the broadcast.

My tv doesn't have an internal tuner (sammy 5674). Is a quan-tuner just a regular built in hd tuner? And if it is can somebody experiment to see if HD is working through RCN in Chicago? The best time would be prime-time as he said most broadcast stations only do high-def at primetime.

Thanks for your help
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post #5 of 167 Old 01-03-2005, 02:14 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by ks-man
I spoke with an RCN rep in Chicago and he said that HD should be available in Chicago in mid-Jan. He also said that if your tv has a Quan-Tuner you could get it right now. He said to bypass the cable box (straight from the wall jack) and tune in to channels 103-109 for the broadcast.

My tv doesn't have an internal tuner (sammy 5674). Is a quan-tuner just a regular built in hd tuner? And if it is can somebody experiment to see if HD is working through RCN in Chicago? The best time would be prime-time as he said most broadcast stations only do high-def at primetime.

Thanks for your help

The rep means "QAM tuner" - that's the modulation system (QAM 256) used by most cable companies when sending video over cable. 8-VSB is the other modulation scheme, and it's used for over the air HD signals.

So make sure your HD tuner supports QAM if you want to pick up broadcasts over cable.

Flicks? Here's my collection. And I've seen a lot, too.
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post #6 of 167 Old 01-04-2005, 07:50 AM
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I called and the rep said a few months for my downtown address... (hopefully she was wrong) But has anyone else seen or heard anything about this?
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post #7 of 167 Old 01-17-2005, 07:55 PM
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I live downtown (750 N. Dearborn) and thank GOD for Directv! I get so many channels! I can not get the 119 satellite but I get all the 101 and 110 stuff.

Why do buildings use RCN? Do most people just care about regular TV?

They have no future plans of HD according to a call I made today.


Why don't these buildings just put a big dish on the roof!
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post #8 of 167 Old 02-02-2005, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I decided to go out and buy a Qam capable tuner and hooked it up to my Sammy 5674. I can truthfully say that through my RCN cable jack I am getting HD on the broadcast stations. It looks great. The tuner picks up about 50-60 channels (including sub channels), though most of them just say No Signal (but do also say Digital Audio).

I get about 7 or 8 channels that seem to be HD or SD upconverted to HD. They are CBS, NBC, ABC, WB, Bloomberg, Horse Racing, and though there seemed to be a problem today with it, I've heard from others that Fox comes in as well.

I'm hoping the lineup increases, but until RCN launches regular HD through the cable box, at least I have some way to watch HD.
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post #9 of 167 Old 02-04-2005, 07:05 AM
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How did you do this? I have RCN in Chicago and have a Directv HD box. I tried to plug the cable into the DirectvHD box that is for cable and it did not work. What do I need to plug the cable into? Should my HD Directv box work?

So no ESPNHD?
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post #10 of 167 Old 02-06-2005, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by rstokas
How did you do this? I have RCN in Chicago and have a Directv HD box. I tried to plug the cable into the DirectvHD box that is for cable and it did not work. What do I need to plug the cable into? Should my HD Directv box work?

So no ESPNHD?

I'm not sure if the directtv box would have an internal Qam tuner (I guess it would), and if it would be compatible this way. I go from the cable jack, to the cable in on my Sammy tuner, than to the DVI input on my tv. I then had to set the tuner to search for cable channels. I found the channels in the 100s.

WB - 103
ABC 107
NBC - 108
CBS - 109
Fox - 115

The channels work all the time but the HD programming is usually only during prime time. Hope this helps.
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post #11 of 167 Old 03-28-2005, 12:53 PM
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RCN was in my building last week selling digital cable upgrades, and the guy told me HDTV will be available downtown on April 15th. so cross your fingers...
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post #12 of 167 Old 04-21-2005, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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HDTV is now available in Chicago. If you call RCN you can get them to set up an appointment to install the box. I think they are installing the DCT6200 box. The HD-DVR service won't be available for another month or two.
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post #13 of 167 Old 04-21-2005, 12:00 PM
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But I bet the HD channels look terrible right?
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post #14 of 167 Old 04-30-2005, 05:19 PM
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bottom line for the delay is because rcn chose to use crappy boxes in the chicago market. most mso's are using scientific atlanta and motorola. rcn uses motorola in all other cities so why they didn't in the chicago market does not make sense
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post #15 of 167 Old 05-09-2005, 12:25 PM
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What's the price on their service and also their HD-DVR service? Anyone using it? Impressions?

And if you have a QAM tuner, can you still get their HD offerings for free?
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post #16 of 167 Old 05-17-2005, 07:09 PM
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Have LG Quam Tuner and ran cable through it. Works great.
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post #17 of 167 Old 06-15-2005, 10:53 AM
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So, I've had it for about a month. A couple problems:
1) I forget which one, but I think Comcast Sports dropped out completely for a couple days. Seemed to be resolved.
2) lately, NBC has been breaking up a lot, along with PBS. Also HBO-HD has had problems as well.

Besides that, it's great. HDNet and HDNet Movies are great. Still haven't called to see if the HD-DVR is available yet, but I will soon.

Just wish they would carry Universal HD or TNT HD.
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post #18 of 167 Old 09-09-2005, 02:01 PM
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I have a friend who has RCN in her building and is looking at getting their HDTV/DVR service. There hasn't been a lot of activity in this thread - can anyone pass along some details about their service? What channels do they have, what hardware are they using in Chicago for the HDDVR now?
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post #19 of 167 Old 09-20-2005, 02:44 PM
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I've got HDTV/DVR through RCN. They use Motorola 6412's, I'm actually on my second, which is working great. They've got CBS, NBC, ABC, WGN, WTTW, FOX but no UPN. Their HD Tier includes HDNet, HDNet Movies, CSN, DiscHD, and HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax main channels in HD. Overall, I'm happy. I get occasional breakup/artifacts both live and recorded, on the premium channels, sometimes the locals. Definitely don't have enough space to record everything in HD that catches my eye. Instead, I just have to record the things I want to see.
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post #20 of 167 Old 10-03-2005, 11:20 AM
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I have recently moved from the western suburbs (Naperville) to the Lakeview area of Chicago.

I previously had Comcast HD-DVR in Naperville and was very happy - but once I moved (last month) Comcast came out to install after 16 days of waiting for an installer and said I needed to have a letter from the building owner before they would drill ---- Fine --- But they said they are booked for another 2 weeks!!! 30 days waiting for cable was unnacceptable (when you consider it would cost them $100 to send someone out and I'd be paying well over 1k / year... grrr)

Anyway - I switched to RCN as of last thursday.

I don't know if they compress their HD more than comcast in Naperville did or if I have a weak signal coming to my box --- but the PQ is noticiablly poorer on RCN than it was in Naperville with Comcast.

The PQ on SD is noticablly better on RCN than Comcast ---- noticablly Poorer HD.

I would rather have better HD than SD.

I have a tech coming out tommorow to test the signal and test it out with a CableCard instead of their HD-DVR box.... but I am discouraged and on the brink of putting my tail between my legs and crawling back to Comcast.

Has anyone else noticed a PQ difference between the two?

Advice would be appreciated.
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post #21 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ks-man View Post

I'm not sure if the directtv box would have an internal Qam tuner (I guess it would), and if it would be compatible this way. I go from the cable jack, to the cable in on my Sammy tuner, than to the DVI input on my tv. I then had to set the tuner to search for cable channels. I found the channels in the 100s.

WB - 103
ABC 107
NBC - 108
CBS - 109
Fox - 115

The channels work all the time but the HD programming is usually only during prime time. Hope this helps.


Anybody else who suffers thorugh RCN in Chicago with us know if HD channels are still accessible with a QAM tuner?

I called RCN today. But, after two disconnections and being placed on hold for 27 miutes on the third try, I got the run around for a customer service rep. (That company needs to be punished as retribution for the way it treats customers. I would not select them - my building did. )
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post #22 of 167 Old 10-13-2005, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eza View Post

I've got HDTV/DVR through RCN. They use Motorola 6412's, I'm actually on my second, which is working great. They've got CBS, NBC, ABC, WGN, WTTW, FOX but no UPN. Their HD Tier includes HDNet, HDNet Movies, CSN, DiscHD, and HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax main channels in HD. Overall, I'm happy. I get occasional breakup/artifacts both live and recorded, on the premium channels, sometimes the locals. Definitely don't have enough space to record everything in HD that catches my eye. Instead, I just have to record the things I want to see.

How much are they charging for HD tier and the DVR? A quick googling shows a 120GB hard drive and no HDMI out. Is that the one you have? Do you also have a cable modem? If so, do they have to split the line three ways in order to use the dual tuner feature of the 6412?

Thanks!
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post #23 of 167 Old 10-15-2005, 02:32 PM
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I have RCN for high speed internet. Their SD pics are good, but don't even bother with this. Get Direc Tv and an over the air antenna. You will be much happier.
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post #24 of 167 Old 10-15-2005, 04:16 PM
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Unfortunately, the landlord isn't too keen on the DirecTV satellite dishes, so it's either stick with RCN, switch to Comcast, or do OTA only (which means no premium channels).
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post #25 of 167 Old 10-16-2005, 09:32 PM
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Ordered today. Good news: thanks to cable card, my bill only goes up $1.68. Bad news: due to high demand, they are only giving DVRs to people who subscribe to their damned "Power Packs," i.e. TV, Internet, and Phone. I guess two out of three of those isn't enough to engender any loyalty towards their consumers.

Guess I'm off to the DVR forum to see if there are any standalones out yet.
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post #26 of 167 Old 10-18-2005, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Fletcher View Post

Ordered today. Good news: thanks to cable card, my bill only goes up $1.68. Bad news: due to high demand, they are only giving DVRs to people who subscribe to their damned "Power Packs," i.e. TV, Internet, and Phone. I guess two out of three of those isn't enough to engender any loyalty towards their consumers.

Guess I'm off to the DVR forum to see if there are any standalones out yet.

I'm going to buy a 42A10 this week. It has the Cable Card slot and built in tuner. Do you just ask RCN for the Cable Card and use that? How hard is it to configure? Do you need to have the digital cable package in order to get HD broadcasts? Is there any programming benefit you lose (e.g. no ESPN) if you just use the cable card? Are the channels still freely available if I were to use the QAM tuner?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Draft
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post #27 of 167 Old 10-18-2005, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Draft1 View Post

Do you just ask RCN for the Cable Card and use that?

Yep. It'll be much cheaper than renting a cable box. However, you can't use a CableCard and their DVR at the same time (more on this in a second).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draft1 View Post

How hard is it to configure?

A technician will still have to come out to set it up, so you shouldn't have to configure anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draft1 View Post

Do you need to have the digital cable package in order to get HD broadcasts?

Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draft1 View Post

Is there any programming benefit you lose (e.g. no ESPN) if you just use the cable card?

Nope. A cable card is just another version of a cable box. They provide the same service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draft1 View Post

Are the channels still freely available if I were to use the QAM tuner?

I don't have service yet, but I'll try it out when I do.

After checking out the woefully slim lineup of standalone DVRs, I had decided to sign up for one of their stupid Power Packs. However, the person I talked to this time told me she could just transfer my a la carte cable and Internet service to the Power Pack bundled version and still get the DVR! I guess two out of three is enough to rate the recorder. Glad I called back.

However, the DVR is not CableCard enabled, so I'll be inputting to my set through component (which they say is the only way to connect, though I could have sworn the 6412 had DVI). They'll also provide a component cable for $25.
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post #28 of 167 Old 10-19-2005, 08:20 AM
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Thanks so much for all of the answers. One point to clear up:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Draft1 View Post

Do you need to have the digital cable package in order to get HD broadcasts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Fletcher View Post

Yep.

Currently, I have just analog cable. It's free in my building. If I get HD and use a cable card, do I need to pay anything on top of the $1.68 for the cable card rental? What costs would be associated with this?

Thanks again,
Draft
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post #29 of 167 Old 10-19-2005, 09:59 AM
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$1.68 isn't the amount for the CableCard rental; it's the amount my bill increased with the rental and the change to digital cable. However, I was already paying ~$100 a month for expanded basic with HBO and cable modem service. You'll have to check with RCN for their rates for digital cable plus a CableCard, HDTV converter box, or HDTV DVR (the CC will be the cheapest).

EDIT: If your set supports it, you could also just grab yourself a Zenith Silver Sensor antenna and try to get HDTV OTA broadcasts for free. Of course, you'd only get the local stations (no premium content).
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post #30 of 167 Old 10-19-2005, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Fletcher View Post

$1.68 isn't the amount for the CableCard rental; it's the amount my bill increased with the rental and the change to digital cable. However, I was already paying ~$100 a month for expanded basic with HBO and cable modem service. You'll have to check with RCN for their rates for digital cable plus a CableCard, HDTV converter box, or HDTV DVR (the CC will be the cheapest).

EDIT: If your set supports it, you could also just grab yourself a Zenith Silver Sensor antenna and try to get HDTV OTA broadcasts for free. Of course, you'd only get the local stations (no premium content).

Thanks for the info!
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