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post #91 of 164 Old 03-10-2008, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Y2KFirehawk View Post

Quick question, did an RCN tech have to come out to install the cableCARDs in your TiVO?

IMO the interface of the RCN DVR is horrid and clunky for the Motorola DCT-6416 III box that I have. (This coming from a previous exclusive MCE2005 user) It doesn't seem like the box has enough "horsepower" for the HD stuff. (i.e. Recording two shows in HD and trying to do anything else.)

Yes an rcn tech had to come out. Three of them. And it took them over 3 hours...RCN techs are NOT trained on this. Not their fault. Its RCN's.
As far as the motorola box is concerned...try getting a new one. I had problems in the beginning with the 6416 but I think I now have a moto 3416 which is all digital and I have no issues recording 2 hd shows while watching a third. The stuttering used to be really bad on the box but now its never an issue.
I miss the tivo 30 second skip for sure but rcn is coming out with new software this year that has the 30 second skip enabled.

Tivo is great if you have never had a DVR..then its like magic. But I have a replay tv and have the moto box and IMO tivo is way overrated.
Not to mention the PQ is better from the moto box(marginally) and the sound is MUCH better.
The fact that you cant watch a show while viewing your library was really annoying.
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post #92 of 164 Old 03-11-2008, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by gdog2004 View Post

...now have a moto 3416 which is all digital...

Does it look like this?

Because that peaks my interest...

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post #93 of 164 Old 03-11-2008, 08:41 AM
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Re: cable card installation. The RCN tech who installed mine was able to get it right the first time and we didn't need add'l dispatches. The key was insisting that he follow the directions provided by TiVo. If you follow them exactly, you increase your chance of success.

Re: gdog's comments about the TiVo interface, I couldn't disagree more. TiVo's interface is the most intuitive of any DVR. It simply works, all the time, which I can't say about the Moto DVRs I dealt with before the S3 TiVo came out. We've been a TiVo family for nearly 6 years and can't imagine TV without it.
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post #94 of 164 Old 03-12-2008, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by flyersfan View Post

Re: cable card installation. The RCN tech who installed mine was able to get it right the first time and we didn't need add'l dispatches. The key was insisting that he follow the directions provided by TiVo. If you follow them exactly, you increase your chance of success.

Re: gdog's comments about the TiVo interface, I couldn't disagree more. TiVo's interface is the most intuitive of any DVR. It simply works, all the time, which I can't say about the Moto DVRs I dealt with before the S3 TiVo came out. We've been a TiVo family for nearly 6 years and can't imagine TV without it.

You got lucky on the RCN tech. Anyway...
I dunno...
Things I hated about tivo interface

No play show from the beginning
No idea how much space is left
cant watch show and browse recordings
cant watch show while browsing guide (guide covers whole screen)
no on demand...(this will really blow when RCN gets HD on demand later this year)

Picture quality not a sharp
Sound quality FAR worse

Outside of that I loved the tivo

Cost was not an issue..I got the tivo S3 for 79.00....and I returned it. To me it was that bad.
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post #95 of 164 Old 03-14-2008, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Y2KFirehawk View Post

Does it look like this?

Because that peaks my interest...

no it doesnt look like that. It looks just like the 6416....
but the 3416 with the latest firmware updates is ROCK solid. No stuttering at all even if your recording 2 hd programs and watching another.
Last year this time wiht the 6416 it was a friggin mess with all the stuttering.
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post #96 of 164 Old 03-21-2008, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Y2KFirehawk View Post

Partially correct. ATSC OTA is exactly as you stated, you have a physical antenna and it is picking up HD signals "over-the-air."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATSC_tuner

If you have coax running to your TV only, and using a local cable provider (RCN or Service Electric) the HD content you are picking up (on the strange # channels) is QAM-based HD programming on the cable line.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAM_tuner

For RCN specifically, you will not see some of the HD channels that are listed in their "HD Lineup" because you need their "tuner box." Discovery HD is an example that does not come in over QAM.

thanks.... i just have internet thru Service Electric and I hooked up the cable to my XBR4 and now have about 35 Analog channels coming through and 65 Digital channels (a bunch are just music), but none are HD. I guess it's not bad for free.

XBR-55X850, KDL-40XBR4 8000+ hours
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post #97 of 164 Old 04-03-2008, 02:42 PM
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Firehawk and others. I've been looking to get a dvr, but RCN's charge for HD DVR is $17.99 a month. I think that's high. So I've been looking at options. Looks like in the near future, the FCC is pushing for open access to third party hardware, and the Cable Companies would allow access to their premium services via M-card cable cards. Yes, I know that's what Tivo currently is, but currently they are the only choice. More will come, including cable card tv cards for PC's. So, here's my question. I'm sure many here have searched Ebay and found Motorola DVR's like the DCH 3416 that Firehawk is showing. And for reasonable prices. So, knowing that RCN does use this same model, what would stop a person from purchasing one of these dvr's from an ebay vendor, and then just renting the cable card? In fact, in my case, I already have a cable card that I use in my Toshiba lcd tv. I'm guessing that I can just pop it out of my tv and put it into one of these boxes and be off and running. Anyone with input on this? Has anyone done this already?

Thanks!
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post #98 of 164 Old 04-29-2008, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by vath View Post

thanks.... i just have internet thru Service Electric and I hooked up the cable to my XBR4 and now have about 35 Analog channels coming through and 65 Digital channels (a bunch are just music), but none are HD. I guess it's not bad for free.

You should be getting the "broadcast" network HD channels in the clear. I do.
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post #99 of 164 Old 04-30-2008, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by WaltA View Post

You should be getting the "broadcast" network HD channels in the clear. I do.

He's not paying for cable service at all, just internet service (unless I misunderstood the original post).
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post #100 of 164 Old 06-17-2008, 09:55 AM
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I don't know if I'm just too picky, but my regular non-HD digital channels are absolutely terrible. Sometimes they're right up there with YouTube in terms of compression quality. The HD channels are okay (although there's extremely poor blocking in the reds and blacks). I'm surprised there's not more of a local outrage about how terrible the standard digital channels look.
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post #101 of 164 Old 06-17-2008, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by zillion29 View Post

I don't know if I'm just too picky, but my regular non-HD digital channels are absolutely terrible. Sometimes they're right up there with YouTube in terms of compression quality. The HD channels are okay (although there's extremely poor blocking in the reds and blacks).

zillion, I agree. The normal def looks very bad on an hdtv. But I think that's the norm for any cable service. These sets, at least most, don't handle sdtv very well. That said, RCN signal quality has had some issues the last week or two. Myself and a few other's I've talked to, have seen one or both of the following when watching HD content.
1- much pixelation and jerkyness of the picture on HD
2- picture, but audio goes away.
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post #102 of 164 Old 06-19-2008, 11:11 AM
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You're right, it has gotten worse of late. Even my wife, who never notices stuff like that, noticed that PBS Sprout looked more like YouTube than SDTV. I live in Northampton, but a coworker who lives in Catty had four of her HD channels just disappear. We went about two months of Fox Reality Channel having no sound - WTF was that all about?
I guess most people are oblivious to the poor quality of SDTV on HD sets. Then again, consider the overwhelming majority of viewers who don't realize that they're watching Everybody Loves Raymond reruns in stretch-o-vision anyway.
I guess I'll just have to live with it, but it shows what a sham digital cable is.
Theoretically, shouldn't SDTV be DVD-quality? I mean, in a perfect world where they didn't have to compress MPEG? I guess that's why I'm angry - they sell you this BS line about how great your picture is going to look, but the technology just isn't capable of it.
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post #103 of 164 Old 06-22-2008, 09:06 AM
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Hi Zillion, I'm also in Northampton. The issue isn't that the technology isn't up to the billing, but that it costs money for the suppliers that they don't want to spend. RCN has been reducing the "free" content in their extended basic, while charging more, and making more and more available in the additional cost "digital" package. My parents live just north of Nazareth, at the very far end of Service Electric's coverage. They have just horrible service. The signal is so low, that they only get 2 of the 14 or so "in the clear" HD channels. When I called for them, to complain, SE just said that they don't guarantee HD for anyone (they quoted that they are charging anything for the "in the clear" stuff, so they can't be held accountable for it). But my point was that others in SE do get it, and are paying the same amount my parents are paying. But SE wouldn't do a thing. I'm just hoping that RCN starts to carry more HD in the clear. I'd thought that they'd start to carry WFMZ- 69 by now, but still nothing.
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post #104 of 164 Old 07-31-2008, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by quattroG View Post

I'm just hoping that RCN starts to carry more HD in the clear. I'd thought that they'd start to carry WFMZ- 69 by now, but still nothing.

Well, looks like RCN has added a few more HD in the clear. we now have LMN HD, FoodTV HD,Animal Planet HD,Discovery HD, The CW , TLC HD. They're coming along, slowly though.
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post #105 of 164 Old 07-31-2008, 04:25 PM
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Another movie channel in HD, like AMC HD or Universal HD would make me very happy. I don't see myself watching the new additions much, if at all.
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post #106 of 164 Old 10-02-2008, 11:12 AM
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So I got rid of the POS Motorola box and purchased a TiVo (Series3) HD DVR a few months ago. The RCN techs came out and installed (1) Multi-stream CableCARD (M-Card) in my TiVo and I haven't looked back...

RCN has also added a few more HD channels recently. We finally have Discovery HD! (In addition to Discovery Theater)

Mark
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post #107 of 164 Old 10-02-2008, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Y2KFirehawk View Post

The RCN techs came out and installed (1) Multi-stream CableCARD (M-Card) in my TiVo


Firehawk, can you post a pic of the M-card or tell me what it looks like? I had RCN come out a few months ago to try and install an M-Card into a Motorola DCH 6416 that I puchased on Ebay. These boxes come with an M-card installed, but RCN would not activate that card. But they would put one in the box from them. Which is ok by me. I already rent a cable card from them for my Toshiba TV. But we couldn't get the new card to be seen by RCN. I really don't think the guys had M-cards with them. The card they brought was the same card that I had in my TV from two years ago. Are you sure what you have is an M-card?
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post #108 of 164 Old 10-02-2008, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by quattroG View Post

Firehawk, can you post a pic of the M-card or tell me what it looks like? I had RCN come out a few months ago to try and install an M-Card into a Motorola DCH 6416 that I puchased on Ebay. These boxes come with an M-card installed, but RCN would not activate that card. But they would put one in the box from them. Which is ok by me. I already rent a cable card from them for my Toshiba TV. But we couldn't get the new card to be seen by RCN. I really don't think the guys had M-cards with them. The card they brought was the same card that I had in my TV from two years ago. Are you sure what you have is an M-card?

The M-Card they gave me looks just like the single-stream cards... (with the exception that it is labeled as an M-Card on the label) The main difference being that the M-Card allows for 2 simultaneous streams.

I am absolutely sure I have an M-Card; I can record/tune 2 HD-tier channels at the same time and I only have one card in my TiVo.

What I can tell you is that the RCN techs that came here were fascinated with the M-Card and had only seen one previously and I think I knew more about what was going on then they did...

Mark
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post #109 of 164 Old 10-03-2008, 07:00 AM
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Yup, I think that's what happened with me. They did NOT have the M-card. Just the normal single stream card. That's why it wouldn't sync with my box. I'll have to try to get them out again. The thing with RCN, is that they now use independent contractors to do the home work. You never know who's going to show up, and what their level of experience is. Most have been fine. But when I called about getting the M-card installed, they said that they ONLY had m-cards. But what the guy showed up with, didn't look any different than the card I have been using for over a year, and no where on that card, does it say M-card. Boy, I'd love to try your card in my Moto box.
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post #110 of 164 Old 03-13-2009, 07:36 AM
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I live in Eastern PA and have RCN cable. On their web site, it states that they have over 50 HD channels. But I only have access to half that. I called and asked where the other 25 were. They stated that in my area (Lehigh Valley, PA), they have not yet upgraded all the subscribers cable lines to be digital compatible. So until they do that, they do not have the bandwidth to offer more HD content in this area. I then questioned why I was paying the same high rate as someone in their Washington DC area that does get all 50 channels. They had no response......
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post #111 of 164 Old 03-13-2009, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by quattroG View Post

YupThey did NOT have the M-card. Just the normal single stream card. That's why it wouldn't sync with my box. I'll have to try to get them out again.

I forgot to update this thread. I did have them come out with an M-card. But it still didn't work. They need to have the mac address of the box enterened into their system to get this to work. From what the tech told me. RCN had/has plans to move to allow customer owned equipment on their cable system. But, (Please read my other post on this thread regarding HD channels) because of still being behind in the Lehigh Valley with switching everyone over to digital, and being able to offer more HD channels. They have decided to postpone supporting customer owned equipment until the get the digital switchover done.
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post #112 of 164 Old 03-13-2009, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by quattroG View Post

They have decided to postpone supporting customer owned equipment until the get the digital switchover done.

I find this strange considering I live in Bethlehem and they didn't even question when I called to ask to have my TiVo connected.

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post #113 of 164 Old 03-13-2009, 09:38 AM
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Speaking of an HD TiVo, I got excited when I turned on the TV last night and had a message showing a whole slew of HD channels were added (mostly in the 600/700 channel # range). Sadly, those channels are not active. I guess whoever updates the guide data for TiVo jumped the gun.

And as far as not supporting customer owned equipment, our HD TiVo has been happily plugging away with 2 one-way cards since Nov 2006. Occasionally I'll see a strange cablecard message when I flip past Animal Planet HD, but otherwise it has worked very well.
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post #114 of 164 Old 03-13-2009, 10:33 AM
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Speaking of an HD TiVo, I got excited when I turned on the TV last night and had a message showing a whole slew of HD channels were added (mostly in the 600/700 channel # range). Sadly, those channels are not active. I guess whoever updates the guide data for TiVo jumped the gun.

I think that also has something to do with what cable package you subscribe to. Lately I have seen a few channels pop up with that message and when I go to check them out, they're blank.

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post #115 of 164 Old 03-13-2009, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Y2KFirehawk View Post

I think that also has something to do with what cable package you subscribe to. Lately I have seen a few channels pop up with that message and when I go to check them out, they're blank.

No, that's not it - we get everything but the foreign language packages. Hopefully they'll go live soon although I expect it'll have to wait for the oft-delayed digital crush.
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post #116 of 164 Old 03-14-2009, 05:45 AM
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when I say customer owned, I mean the Motorola type boxes. Those that rely on the cable operater for it's software. These boxes download the software that drives them once they are connected and authorized on the cable network. The Tivo box is a complete stand-alone box, which relies on a phone connection to keep the guide information up to date.


But right now, I'm more upset about the fact that I pay the same monthly rate as someone in DC, and I only get half thenumber of HD channels. I would like to see a discount until they get the Lehigh Valley up to the same level of service as those other locations.
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post #117 of 164 Old 03-19-2009, 10:01 AM
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So, has anyone noticed any of their "in the clear" HD channels going away? I rent one HD box for my main tv. But I have two other HD LCD tv's that I rely on the tv's QAM tuner to receive my HD channels directly from the cable. For the last two years, I've recieved about 20 HD channels, "in the clear", that the tv's tuner can get. This past week, a few of the HD channels have gone away. The two that we watch the most are ESPN2 HD and Food HD. I still get them with my hd box. So I called RCN and they told me that these channels you now need to subscribe to their HD Tier programs (which I am), but that you'll need the box to get them. And they are now being blocked and you need to rent their HD box. And I was told that many of the other channels that have been in the clear for the last two years, may also go away. So basically the QAM tuner that I paid so dearly for in my HD tv's, is going to be useless. I'm getting very close to telling RCN to shove it.
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post #118 of 164 Old 03-19-2009, 10:19 AM
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I came across this forum after I attempted to research the same issue. Like you, I noticed over the past few days that HD channels were disappearing, and today all but ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and CWPHL--the local channels--have vanished. Where is Fox 29, though? I am about to cancel my services as well, but, for a long time, I had the feeling that my receiving these HD channels without a box was too good to be true.
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post #119 of 164 Old 03-19-2009, 10:49 AM
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maalbrig, one thing to do, is run a new scan of your cable channels. What I have noticed over the last two years is that they move the digital stuff (including hd) around alot. So if let's say you were getting ABC HD on 93.2, it might have moved up or down a digit to 93.1 or 93.3. But, from what the guy told me today on the phone, I also expect to see many of the HD channels no longer "in the clear". This just sucks. Between the cable companies moving many of their most desireable channels to a digital tier, and making you pay extra for what you once got included with basic service. To now hiding all the HD content and making you pay for the service, plus additional charges for the box, I'm ready to leave.
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post #120 of 164 Old 03-19-2009, 05:05 PM
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Thanks, quattroG, I tried to do a rescan, but couldn't find Fox. It seems like they maintained the "local" channels in HD except for Fox, though. I agree with you, I am ready to leave as well. It's unfortunate that we don't live in an area (or, at least, I don't) in which an indoor will suffice. I have gotten so accustomed to all my HD channels that I will have to look elsewhere.
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