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post #1 of 454 Old 11-06-2004, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I just spoke to a Charter customer rep in Pasadena, and she told me they have the new DVR HDTV boxes. Does anyone know what box they use? I wasn't aware there are DVR HDTV boxes for cable.

Also, does anyone in the Pasadena area user the CableCard? How are the HD signals through the card? I know that with my box right now (SA 3100D), channel 4 HD is sometimes choppy. Do you also know if the premium HD channels are offered through the cable card? I'm talking about ESPN HD, Discovery, etc.
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post #2 of 454 Old 11-12-2004, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I took the plunge and finally got the box. It turns out they offer an SA 8000HD box. Although the specs seem tempting for an HDTV PVR, I can't really recommend to go this route.

When I received the first box, there was a problem with the YPrPb output as it was only outputting black & white. I ended up returning to the box and picking up a new one.

After I installed the new box I programmed a few recordings. When I got home, it turns out nothing was recorded in the "Recorded Programs List". I attempted to record the USC football game and SNL last Sat, and nothing showed up. I also had it set up to record Scrubs & The Daily Show.

On Tuesday, still, nothing showed up. Then suddenly in the middle of recording the Southern Cal Sport Report, the machine did a reboot, and all my recordings showed up on the list. I clicked to play one of them, and all I got was a grey screen. The only thing that recorded was the first 5 minutes of the So. Cal Sports Report before the reboot.

It also seems like there's a problem with the pausing of Live TV. If I'm watching TV and decide to hit pause, the screen greys out again and I can't see anything.

I think I'm about to give up on this box. I might just order the CableCard from them (for regular HDTV and cable viewing), and split the cable into an HTPC for DVR.
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post #3 of 454 Old 11-24-2004, 04:03 AM
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Can it really be that Charter does not provide local CBS-HD? Is nobody else really bothered by that?

Also, it's a shame that they're still pushing the single-tuner SA8000HD DVR with its 80gig hard drive instead of the dual-tuner 8300 that other areas are getting. Seems customer complaints might at least let them know how we feel.
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post #4 of 454 Old 11-26-2004, 05:33 PM
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My friend (in Topanga) picked up her DVR today at the Charter office. I'm installing it for her over the weekend.

It's a new 8300HD, not the old 8000HD as I had feared. Good news.

Now if they'd only carry KCBS-DT and KCET-DT and not just KNBC-DT, KABC-DT and KTTV-DT. Hopefully that will change before too long.

I also wonder why they're not in the group of other cable companies (e.g. Comcast) which carry INHD1/2 but instead have HDNet and HDNet Movies (which are not on Comcast)? Strange.
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post #5 of 454 Old 12-01-2004, 08:37 PM
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Learned they have the new boxes, so just ordered today. I do think it's the 8300HD box, as the features described to me mirror that box (and not the 8000HD). Rep told me that Charter doesn't have a signed agreement w/ KCBS yet, so no Ch. 2. Same total $9.99 price as their standard DVR service.

But ... it's another $6.99 for ESPN, Discovery and HDNet -- that seems a ripoff for now, until more channels are added.

Mostly, as you may know from reading my other posts here, I'm just happy to be getting KABC (which I can't get from my Long Beach Airport adjacent antenna).

Will post an update over the weekend.
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post #6 of 454 Old 12-05-2004, 08:28 AM
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I'm in Burbank and had a couple SA 3100HD boxes with one being used for a projector. Right before the Olympics I decided to begin the HD PVR service for that one. I don't know the model number they gave me back then but it took me about one hour to decide that the picture quality from it's output was not nearly as good as the standard HD boxes I had so I returned it. The good news is they updated me to the 3250HD which seems to be a nicer standard HD box and it does a few things the old one did not.

I've done searches and can't seem to find the answer to this question. Does Charter in LA put out the full spec 1920x1080, or cable in general, or is it a lower resolution? No complaints here other than no CBS yet.

Thanks much
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post #7 of 454 Old 12-08-2004, 01:41 PM
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So far, so good on the new Charter SA8300HD DVR box.

I have always had some issues with the analog channel quality from Charter, and using this new box is no different, but the digital channels look fine, and, most important, the HD channels also look fine.

I do think the OTA HD channels I receive (KCBS, KCAL, KTTV, KOCE) look better than Charter's offerings, and KABC's football HDcasts have been sort up "jumpy," but for the same price as I was paying for their SD DVR box ($9.99), it is worth the upgrade. I finally feel as if I'm getting the full functionality from of my HD set. And, actually, the DVR functionality in this box is MUCH improved over the earlier SA DVR model we had - no playback hiccups or delays to set recording times, quieter whirrrr sound from the hard drive. Also an improved IR remote than before (although I cannot use all the AUX buttons functions for my Sony stereo as I could before).

Would I pay another $7 for ESPN and HDNet? No, it would take at least 7 more channels that I couldn't already get in SD before I would consider paying another 7 dollars.

I would recommend checking out the HD box to try out the HD DVR service. Hopefully they'll add PBS-HD and the other local channels soon.
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post #8 of 454 Old 12-29-2004, 06:39 PM
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I HATE CHARTER!!! I asked them to make sure I had ESPN HD and the newest HD Box they had. Some guy came out with the exporer 3250 hd box and i had to wait an hour or two for them to finally give me espn which they claimed i didnt ask for.

Anyways, I was not overly impressed with the quality. Marginally better than normal. i'm assuming this is only 480p or an up converted 720p on the widescreen modes. Does anybody else have the 3250 HD box? Does anyone else have a newer version of the box given to them by charter? I was told this was their newest box but i have a feeling im being fed another spoonful of BS by my local charter blood suckers, errr providers.

Am I going to have to get the DVR version (8000 hd) of the box or switch to direct tv to experience true 720p or 1080i signals? 480p should not be considered HD, what BS.
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post #9 of 454 Old 12-29-2004, 06:42 PM
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I'm not sure it matters which channel is better since my exploerer 3250HD box is only supporting 480p output. Do you have the 480p box? I think im getting conned with this fake hd box.
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post #10 of 454 Old 01-25-2005, 06:10 PM
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Saw the Laker game in FSN-HD last Friday. When looking through the Menu, it appears that the channel is only on for ~ 5-6 hours per day when a Laker or Clipper game is shown. Wondering when they will go 24-7 with FSN-HD.

alinski...

P.S.: I have the SA-8000HD DVR box.

Edit: DVR was NOT 8300HD
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post #11 of 454 Old 01-25-2005, 06:28 PM
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What channel does FSN-HD show up under? 7xx? I guess I'll find out tonight; lucky we got a new cable box (someone cut down a tree and knocked out the power to my house; fried the cable box) for tonight.

I'm waiting for my CBS-HD to show up (someday...)

--Tim
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post #12 of 454 Old 01-26-2005, 04:07 PM
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Hey clintrad4, I live in Glendale as well. This thread prompted me to call and see what they have to offer. I currently have the SA 3100HD. The guy who answered didn't know the type of box it was that they had (he said, "It's the SA 900 I think") I then asked if it recorded the HD channels. He says I have to order the HD tier first, which I then told him that I already have it. He says that I don't. more

I then ask him if it has two tuners, he says says. I ask if I can just pick up the box and install myself. I ask him why, and he says that with HD, the guy has to go out because it needs "special setup". That's when I told him that I would call back later. I guess I'll stop by their office and talk to them in person.

-Jorge
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post #13 of 454 Old 01-28-2005, 08:28 AM
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So I called Charter again and finally got a rep who actually knew anything about DVRs. I asked to have my HD box to the SA 8300HD, and she said no problem. I could even pick it up at the local office, which I did. I installed it, and I am now very happy that I can record HD shows, and two at the same time to boot!

I can't say I'm thrilled with their DVR capabilities after using the TiVo software for almost 5 years now, but having the capability of recording HD shows, I can live with it.

My friends are going to piss their pants when they come over for the Super Bowl next Sunday!

Now, to pressure Charter to pick up CBS-HD.....

-Jorge
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post #14 of 454 Old 01-28-2005, 09:56 AM
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TivoDaddy,

Just want to verify that you got the SA8300HD and not the SA8000HD box. I called Charter yesterday and they told me they don't even have the 8300HD in their system. Both can record HD (DVR), but the other one is a newer model.

Thanks, alinski...
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post #15 of 454 Old 01-28-2005, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by alinski
TivoDaddy,

Just want to verify that you got the SA8300HD and not the SA8000HD box. I called Charter yesterday and they told me they don't even have the 8300HD in their system. Both can record HD (DVR), but the other one is a newer model.

Thanks, alinski...

alinski,
Yes, it's the SA8300HD box, I made sure of it when I went down to the Glendale office. Don't believe everything that the reps tell you, some of them don't have a clue. I wish I would have written down the name of the woman that did help me, she really knew her stuff.

I would take your old box (which one do you have?) to your local office and ask them for the 8300HD. Good luck.

-Jorge
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post #16 of 454 Old 01-28-2005, 11:00 AM
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TivoDaddy,

I have the SA8000HD DVR box. I'll go to the local office and see if they have the 8300HD available. FYI, they usually will let me check it out and return the other box in a couple of days without any charge.

Thanks, alinski...
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post #17 of 454 Old 02-09-2005, 01:16 PM
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I just got a SA 8300HD DVR box yesterday. I must say that picture quality appears to be pretty good, though I don't think going thru the DVR quite matches up with viewing HD when the cable is plugged straight into the TV. This is on a Sony KDF50WE655.

The interface on the SA DVRs is really a piece of crap compared to Tivo, which I used for about 3 years. I mean really, how Tivo can make such a slick, beautiful, quick interface, and SA's is SO clunky, is amazing. But right now, this is my only HD recording option, which sucks. I have a Windows Media Center 2005 PC, but that only supports recording OTA HD if you get the right card. I was thinking of going to D* and getting an HD Tivo until I saw how much the boxes are, and heard that they would be useless in 6 months or so when they switch to MPEG4.

Charter, get off your a$$es and get CBS and WB HD. Where are the other local HD channels? Seriously, the feeble amount of HD offered by Charter is truly pathetic. Going to make that request once again, and I hope others in this market will as well.
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post #18 of 454 Old 03-01-2005, 03:56 PM
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Just thought I'd update this with the fact that I returned the 8300 back to Charter. First of all, I reiterate that the interface on this box sucks donkey bal|z. Second, recording and watching of content is much clunkier than it needs to be. Third, the cost of Charter's absurdly small HD programming selection was just too much. As far as networks: ABC, NBC and Fox. That's it? No CBS, no WB, no UPN, no local KCAL, no PBS. CRAP. As far as cable channels, no TNT, no ANYTHING besides ESPNHD and DiscoveryHD. HDNet is weak sauce. And pay out the butt even more for HBO and/or Showtime in HD.

I just want to say that Charter needs to get their collective arses in gear, or get bought out by one of the bigger companies that has the quality hardware and programming to offer consumers.
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post #19 of 454 Old 03-01-2005, 04:58 PM
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sbrown, I feel your pain. Being a fellow TiVo user myself, I find the DVR's interface atrocious, but for the ability to record two HD shows at once, I can live with it. I keep writing once a month to Charter asking them to add more HD channels, and will keep doing so until they add at least CBS. It would be awesome to watch March Madness in HD this year.

I also find fault with TiVo not being able to sign a deal with the cableco's to use their interface. But that's another thread. [sigh]

-Jorge
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post #20 of 454 Old 03-05-2005, 06:08 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by sbrown23
Just thought I'd update this with the fact that I returned the 8300 back to Charter. First of all, I reiterate that the interface on this box sucks donkey bal|z. Second, recording and watching of content is much clunkier than it needs to be. Third, the cost of Charter's absurdly small HD programming selection was just too much. As far as networks: ABC, NBC and Fox. That's it? No CBS, no WB, no UPN, no local KCAL, no PBS. CRAP. As far as cable channels, no TNT, no ANYTHING besides ESPNHD and DiscoveryHD. HDNet is weak sauce. And pay out the butt even more for HBO and/or Showtime in HD.

I just want to say that Charter needs to get their collective arses in gear, or get bought out by one of the bigger companies that has the quality hardware and programming to offer consumers.

I'm in Temple City and I can get KTLA-DT (WB)
But like everyone here have said, Charter's HD lineup sucks!!
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post #21 of 454 Old 03-07-2005, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by vcxzfdsa
I'm in Temple City and I can get KTLA-DT (WB)
But like everyone here have said, Charter's HD lineup sucks!!

Through the cable box? I'm in the same town; I don't recall seeing that as an option as an HD channel. What channel is it?

--Tim
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post #22 of 454 Old 03-08-2005, 01:33 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by tenton
Through the cable box? I'm in the same town; I don't recall seeing that as an option as an HD channel. What channel is it?

Sorry it's not through the cable box, I'm using HTPC with a HD tuner, the RF frequency channel is 107-3, but that's probably of no use to you with a cable box...
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post #23 of 454 Old 03-09-2005, 10:54 PM
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I came to this forum to see why the Qam tune in my panny plasma wasn't picking up WB-HD... geez, now i know.. .they don't even carry it! That's ridiculous! Isn't WB and CBS the ones with the best HD programming?!!!

Joined in 2002 - STILL A NOOB.
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post #24 of 454 Old 03-10-2005, 03:16 PM
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I'm planning on getting the LG lst4200a.

besides ABC, NBC and Fox, what other channels come through unencrypted for charter? Are channels like ESPN HD, FSW, Discovery HD encrypted? Will I be getting any SD digital channels?
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post #25 of 454 Old 03-10-2005, 07:14 PM
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nope... they are all encrypted other than ABC, NBC and FOX. I don't anything else but the channel that teachers the charter customers how to use their remotes.

Anybody try complaining?

Joined in 2002 - STILL A NOOB.
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post #26 of 454 Old 03-10-2005, 09:02 PM
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wow that sucks. Maybe I won't be getting a hd ota receiver then =(

thanks for the reply though
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post #27 of 454 Old 03-16-2005, 08:48 AM
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Here's the list of unencrypted channels I've found:

NBC - 104-1
FOX - 104-2
ABC - 107-1
ABC - 107-2 (news reruns) (SD only)
WB - 107-3

CSPAN2 - 64 (SD, of course)

varies chinese channels in 79-1 to 79-10 including
CCTV4, JADE, SkyLink, Phoenix, .....


I was hoping to get more when I started this but I guess I'll have to use OTA.
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post #28 of 454 Old 03-16-2005, 10:28 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by vcxzfdsa
Here's the list of unencrypted channels I've found:

NBC - 104-1
FOX - 104-2
ABC - 107-1
ABC - 107-2 (news reruns) (SD only)
WB - 107-3

CSPAN2 - 64 (SD, of course)

varies chinese channels in 79-1 to 79-10 including
CCTV4, JADE, SkyLink, Phoenix, .....


I was hoping to get more when I started this but I guess I'll have to use OTA.

wow JADE & CCTV4 is unencrypted! My dad will be really happy to hear that. It maybe worth it after all, because right now we need to get digital cable to receive jade.
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post #29 of 454 Old 03-23-2005, 01:06 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by vcxzfdsa
Here's the list of unencrypted channels I've found:

NBC - 104-1
FOX - 104-2
ABC - 107-1
ABC - 107-2 (news reruns) (SD only)
WB - 107-3

CSPAN2 - 64 (SD, of course)

varies chinese channels in 79-1 to 79-10 including
CCTV4, JADE, SkyLink, Phoenix, .....


I was hoping to get more when I started this but I guess I'll have to use OTA.

Just so I understand: Are you able to pick these up through a QAM tuner? I'm on Charter in Long Beach where, I'm told, we must use their HD box, but I've not tried to manually search for signals with my built-in QAM (in a Zenith HDTV).

Thanks!
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post #30 of 454 Old 03-23-2005, 01:28 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jrcaesar
Just so I understand: Are you able to pick these up through a QAM tuner? I'm on Charter in Long Beach where, I'm told, we must use their HD box, but I've not tried to manually search for signals with my built-in QAM (in a Zenith HDTV).

Thanks!

I'm usng an HTPC with the Fusion III HDTV tuner card. So if you have built-in QAM tuner in your TV, you should be able to tune to unencrypted channels.

You should get at least ABC, NBC, FOX and maybe WB in HD and a few digital SD channels like I have.
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