Lehigh Valley, PA HDTV - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 164 Old 03-20-2009, 06:23 AM
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Well, I had called RCN about this and got nowhere. When I got home last night from work, the only HD channels still being passed in the clear were ABC,CBS,NBC and the local PBS. They are even blocking the local FOX channel. So I called again this morning, and they basically told me to pound sand. And that they might block ALL HD content in the future, including the local major networks.

We are screwed. I'm going to contact my local congressman. This is just not right. We don't have anywhere else to turn.
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post #122 of 164 Old 03-20-2009, 06:27 AM
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The FCC requires the local networks to be made available in the clear. If they're not doing that, they're violating FCC regulation.

- Trip

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Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

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post #123 of 164 Old 03-20-2009, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

The FCC requires the local networks to be made available in the clear. If they're not doing that, they're violating FCC regulation.

- Trip

That's what I thought, and what's been posted many times here on AVS forums. But that's not what the person I spoke to at RCN stated. When i questioned about why the local Philly FOX station was being encrypted, they just stated that they were encrypting it. And that the other major networks might also follow. She stated that they presented to the FCC what they were going to be doing (this recent change in hd ) and that they were approved. So again, who do we complain to?
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post #124 of 164 Old 03-20-2009, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quattroG View Post

That's what I thought, and what's been posted many times here on AVS forums. But that's not what the person I spoke to at RCN stated. When i questioned about why the local Philly FOX station was being encrypted, they just stated that they were encrypting it. And that the other major networks might also follow. She stated that they presented to the FCC what they were going to be doing (this recent change in hd ) and that they were approved. So again, who do we complain to?

I recall reading elsewhere in these forums that although cable companies are required to provide 'Must Carry OTA' stations in-the-clear, they are NOT required to provide all versions of said channels, meaning they are free to choose the SD or HD feeds. They could be in complete compliance as long was they provide a SD signal.

It's a grey area in terms of what they must provide and what they are willing to provide, depending on the agreements and the status of each channel with the said cable provider.

Cheers!
-Doug
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post #125 of 164 Old 03-29-2009, 07:57 AM
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I thought I was the only one. Tried re-scanning the channels also. No FOX (thank God its not football season!), no comcast channel, no ESPN2. Used to get about 18-20 HDTV channels...now only a handful. This does not bode well.
I also bought a TV with QAM tuner but I don't subscribe for a box. I have a TIVO series 2 "crudely" hooked up so I can record, but not in highdef. I can't even afford what I got now...no way i can get a box. How much do they charge for the HD box?
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post #126 of 164 Old 03-29-2009, 08:48 AM
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...the HD channels I now recieve from RCN through my QAM tuner are...
CBS (92.3), ABC (93.5), PBS (103.3), NBC (104.3) LVTV (local...116), and the CW (118.3). I had 18 channels over a week ago.
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post #127 of 164 Old 03-30-2009, 06:44 AM
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Yup, that's it. I was one of those who just two years ago, said that there's no way I'm spending money on an HD set until there are some decent channels in HD. Well, when I purchased my first HD set, a small 20" for the kitchen, and found out that there were at that time, about 14-16 channels in HD, I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade the rest of the sets in my home. Why not? HD pictures and space savings to boot. Well, now I'm like the rest of RCN customers. I do rent one HD box for my main TV viewing, because we also subscribe to the digital tier with Showtime, Cinemax and other premium channels. But there's no way I'm paying another $11.99 a month rental for any additional boxes. That's extortion. They advertise HD Free, but you need to rent the box. Like someone else stated here or on the dslreports forum on this subject. That's like saying free food, but you need to pay for the knives and forks to eat it.

I would much prefer they go back to filters on everyones home and let us subscribe to HD, but then it's open to the rest of the home. Then they can unfilter on a home by home basis. Why would I want to purchase these new expensive TV's that have the digital tuners built in, only to never use the tuners because I'm going to rent a box?
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post #128 of 164 Old 04-12-2009, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janitorcap View Post

...the HD channels I now recieve from RCN through my QAM tuner are...
CBS (92.3), ABC (93.5), PBS (103.3), NBC (104.3) LVTV (local...116), and the CW (118.3). I had 18 channels over a week ago.

As of today, Easter Sunday. RCN is passing the FOX HD from Philly in the clear in the Lehigh Valley area. Not sure if this is a fluke or not. But it's there again. I had sent an email to FOX 29 from Philly, informing them that RCN was blocking their HD broadcast in the Lehigh Valley area. I don't know or claim that the email in any way made a difference. But I figured it couldn't hurt. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it remains in the clear.
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post #129 of 164 Old 04-21-2009, 06:13 AM
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I've had the same experience as everyone else. Going from 19 to 6 clear HD channels. Very disappointing to say the least. I'm going to seriously consider switching back to Service Electric. I had them for about 2 years for just Internet service and they were decent. Browsing their website it seems Service Electric has more HD channels than RCN and their prices are somewhat lower. Anybody know how many unencrypted channels they have?
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post #130 of 164 Old 04-21-2009, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by hackmeister View Post

I've had the same experience as everyone else. Going from 19 to 6 clear HD channels. Very disappointing to say the least. I'm going to seriously consider switching back to Service Electric. I had them for about 2 years for just Internet service and they were decent. Browsing their website it seems Service Electric has more HD channels than RCN and their prices are somewhat lower. Anybody know how many unencrypted channels they have?

Hackmeister, from talking to some friends that have SE, they are also now encrypting all but the major networks in HD. Looks like this is what we have. What gets me, is that we spend all this money on these HD sets, with the built in digital tuners, only to use the sets as a dumb monitor. Why not just buy a set without the tuners built in. SHould save us some money. But I don't think anyone makes this.
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post #131 of 164 Old 04-22-2009, 11:05 PM
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I have never spoken to someone who moved from RCN to SE and been happy with the HD quality. Everything I've read says they over compress the HD to accommodate so many channels and quality suffers for it. A guy I worked with had SE for less than 4 months before switching back to RCN.

The RCN rate hikes are annoying and I understand the frustration over channels not being in the clear any more. But I'd still rather have quality over quantity. When FIOS gets here, RCN will have to step up because they'll finally have competition.
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post #132 of 164 Old 06-14-2009, 09:59 AM
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I purchased a Channel Master A/D converter for my bedroom Samsung 17" LCD. Nice converter with S-Video and ability to update channels. I receive signals from North (Scranton), West (Harrisburg), South (Philly), and East (New York). There is also a Channel Master Rotator with remote.

As of yesterday, when I rescanned, I am able to receive OTA Digital channels:

2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10,12,15,16,17,21,22,23,25,28,29,33,35,39,43,4 4,48,50,51,52,56,57,60,61,65,68,69. These are the old designations.

One problem was scanning in 25-1 in Reading and 25-2 in NYC. I wasn't able to get 25-1 in both Reading and NYC. No 9, 11, or 13 from NYC, due to the local and Scranton stations on the same frequency. Lancaster 8 blocks New Brunswick 8. NYC 5 carries WWOR on subchannel 5-2.

My EyeTV 500 was able to selectively pick up just about everything. I had a small problem with adding PHL 35 before adding PHL 10. Switching the process got all three PHL 10 channels and al three PHL 35 channels. The EyeTV 500 isn't quite as sensitive as the CM D/A converter.

Some of the signal strengths on the NYC channels are low and subject to digital blocking. I may need to add an LNA to boost before distributing.

I use a VHF Blonder-Tongue antenna and a pair of Finco (old) UHF yagis cut to 14-51 MHz with Finco 20 db preamps on both VHF and UHF.
LL

Eph
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post #133 of 164 Old 09-19-2009, 06:41 PM
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So what's the deal with the local HD upgrade? Anyone done already?

Am I correct in saying that the only TVs that will need the "converter" box are those without a digital (QAM) tuner? i.e. older SD TV's

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post #134 of 164 Old 09-20-2009, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Y2KFirehawk View Post

So what's the deal with the local HD upgrade? Anyone done already?

Am I correct in saying that the only TVs that will need the "converter" box are those without a digital (QAM) tuner? i.e. older SD TV's

Nope, EVERY TV will need a converter box. RCN is encrypting all channels. They claim it's needed due to the fact that they are using mpeg4 compression to free up the most bandwidth. This will allow them to offer more HD and other programming. If you get the Morning Call, todays paper has a consumer advocate article regarding RCN(I have a small quote in it). So if you are like me, and spent the money to upgrade your tv's so that when the digital transition happened with cable, you've wasted you money on getting something with a digital turner built in.
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post #135 of 164 Old 09-20-2009, 10:01 AM
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I sympathize for the QAM users who thought they'd be able to avoid a cable box when the crush occurs.

I just called and confirmed that Cable Card users will not be affected. It might have been obvious to some but every voicemail and postcard has always mentioned an STB and I don't remember them ever saying anything about the CCs. So at least all those HDTiVos and other BYO digital DVRs will keep working.
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post #136 of 164 Old 09-20-2009, 02:22 PM
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Wow, so I totally had it all wrong. Thank you guys for setting me straight...

I currently have a CableCARD in my HD TiVo but I guess I will need "boxes" for my other 3 displays. Anyone have info on these "boxes?" I would assume they have HDMI out. I hope they aren't ****** like their Motorola DVR boxes; I had one of those for a while till I ditched it for a TiVo.

Damn, another remote!

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post #137 of 164 Old 10-19-2009, 08:11 AM
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For some unknown reason, Service Electric in the Lehigh Valley has made their QAM listings public. You can find them at

http://www.sectv.com/LV/PDF/QAM%20Locations.pdf

I can't imagine why anyone would want a set top box to get digital or HD.

RCN does not offer QAM, since they are Mpeg4 Digital.

Eph
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post #138 of 164 Old 10-19-2009, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fithian View Post

For some unknown reason, Service Electric in the Lehigh Valley has made their QAM listings public. You can find them at

http://www.sectv.com/LV/PDF/QAM%20Locations.pdf

I can't imagine why anyone would want a set top box to get digital or HD.

RCN does not offer QAM, since they are Mpeg4 Digital.

Wow, that's awesome! I ditched RCN this past Friday and went DirecTV. Good riddance!

Mark
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post #139 of 164 Old 10-20-2009, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by fithian View Post

For some unknown reason, Service Electric in the Lehigh Valley has made their QAM listings public. You can find them at

http://www.sectv.com/LV/PDF/QAM%20Locations.pdf

I can't imagine why anyone would want a set top box to get digital or HD.

RCN does not offer QAM, since they are Mpeg4 Digital.

I printed this out a few weeks ago and took it to my parents who have SE. They have two LCD HD sets with QAM. But not all the channels showed up on their sets as listed. Some were not even close. (at least the HD channels which were the only ones that I looked at).

But, from everything that I've heard, SE will eventually drop analog and move to all digital. Just don't know if they will go the same route as RCN with mpeg4 and encryption.
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post #140 of 164 Old 10-20-2009, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by quattroG View Post

Just don't know if they will go the same route as RCN with mpeg4 and encryption.

My guess is that they will do the same thing as RCN. They'll wait now and cash in on people switching to them. You can already see that their pricing for the equipment/service is very similar to RCN. They just aren't forcing it right now like RCN.

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post #141 of 164 Old 11-04-2009, 04:42 PM
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When the RCN changes happened in my area last month (Oct 28), I lost my TVGOS listings. I have a Sony DHG HDD250 dvr with CableCard installed by RCN, and have used it successfully for 2 1/2 years. Now when I try to do an AutoScan, I get the message "Warning Auto Scan Cable or Auto Scan All are not available with an active CableCARD." This has never been a problem before. Has anyone else had this happen, and is there a solution? I am plenty disgusted that I can no longer use Twin View in my TV nor control the channels I want to record from my VCR or my DVD recorder, and the DVR is practically useless as well. All because of RCN's "improvements".
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post #142 of 164 Old 11-05-2009, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennzy View Post

I lost my TVGOS listings.

Pennzy, there is a thread on here just for the TVGOS issue that is showing up with the conversion to digital only signals. Many of the older equipment have TVGOS programming that is only compatable with analog. But you'll need to verify that is the issue with your dvr. There are many others who just needed to do some resetting to get the tvgos to go out and find the "new" location of the guide info. I had a Toshiba tv with cable card some time ago. I experienced the same issue. This happened over a year ago when RCN first started changes for the analog crush. In my case, it turned out that my set was new enough that the tvgos was able to get the digitial guide info. I ended up emailing MacroVision directly and was able to work with them to resolve my issue. After all the work to get TVGOS working again on my set, I ended up having other issues with it that ended up with Toshiba buying back the tv. Anyway, here's the link to the TVGOS thread here.

Good luck.. There's a lot of pages to sort through.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...=tvgos&page=80
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post #143 of 164 Old 01-08-2010, 08:39 AM
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Anyone else looking around now that SECTV disbanded their bundled packages? If so, what are you looking at? Nothing like getting socked an extra 20% for the same thing.
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post #144 of 164 Old 01-25-2010, 06:37 AM
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I have a question for Lehigh Valley area people who use an antenna for their HD. I have been able to receive just about all the major networks for the exception of WPVI (ABC) from Philly. I can get all the stations from the Scranton/Wilks area. Also some from NY and NJ areas. But WPVI will not come in. I have a dirctional antenna and I use a good quality booster from Motorola. Can anyone explain why Channel 6 is not available here in the lehigh valley OTA?
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post #145 of 164 Old 01-25-2010, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quattroG View Post

I have a question for Lehigh Valley area people who use an antenna for their HD. I have been able to receive just about all the major networks for the exception of WPVI (ABC) from Philly. I can get all the stations from the Scranton/Wilks area. Also some from NY and NJ areas. But WPVI will not come in. I have a dirctional antenna and I use a good quality booster from Motorola. Can anyone explain why Channel 6 is not available here in the lehigh valley OTA?

Can you tell me your setup please and how many channels you receive? I need to get into this "free" HD business with my sony quam

XBR-55X850, KDL-40XBR4 8000+ hours
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post #146 of 164 Old 01-25-2010, 02:03 PM
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Can you tell me your setup please and how many channels you receive? I need to get into this "free" HD business with my sony quam

I'm not sure what you're asking? You mention QAM. But that is used with Cable only. I'm talking about OTA signals you can pick up with an antenna. I have cable, and I bought a tv card for my pc that should also be able to get cable clear QAM signals. But there's a problem with the card. It's an ATI TV Wonder card. It appears that there is a driver issue with it for QAM signals. I have Windows 7 and ATI (now AMD) will not have an updated driver for some time. So, since my local cable company, RCN, encrypts everything except the major networks and PBS anyway, I thought that I'd just use the antenna instead. I get quite a few of the local and pbs type stations. I'm just not able to get the WPVI signal from Philly. I see that it's a "known" issue for many people. I was on their web site and there are several posts stating the same thing.
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post #147 of 164 Old 04-02-2011, 10:56 AM
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I thought I would just post a bit of info, with the possibility that it might someday help someone else.

I just got a CableCard for my older Toshiba LCD HDTV. This TV also has TV Guide On Screen (TVGOS) but is old enough that it can only get its data from an analog channel.

SECTV is pretty good in supporting TVGOS, with a dedicated analog channel 50.

However, when I first installed my CableCard, it was set up to offer only digital channels. For example, "50" was mapped to digital channel 69-1, not analog channel 50. This prevented my TV from accessing analog channel 50, and therefore, prevented from accessing the TVGOS data.

The "trick" is to ask SECTV to program your CableCard for channel mapping #3. With this, "2" thru "69" map to their analog channel counterparts, and more specifically, "50" maps to analog channel 50. As soon as SECTV did this for me, I started to once again get TVGOS data!!!!

BTW, even with channel mapping #3, "70" thru at least "622" continue to map to the appropriate digital channels. So, I still get all the HDTV channels.
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post #148 of 164 Old 09-12-2011, 07:14 AM
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Got a cablecard from RCN to use with Silicondust HDHomerun Prime on my MythTV DVR: http://patdavila.wordpress.com/2011/...-prime-review/
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post #149 of 164 Old 01-24-2013, 12:56 PM
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Just bringing this thread to the top. It's quite old. Anyone have any new info on the status of HD in the Lehigh Valley area? Any progress on Fios expansion in the Valley?
I just got the latest bill with the most recent rate hike from RCN. WOW! I need to do something. My problem is that I need high speed internet for my work. And RCN is the only source for that where I live. So switching to satellite like Direct TV or DishTV is out of the question.
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post #150 of 164 Old 01-24-2013, 01:55 PM
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Curious about the bill as I was planning on switching to RCN from DirecTV as I use RCN for internet and would be much cheaper to use RCN for both.
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