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post #1 of 111 Old 02-07-2006, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm hoping there are enough folks in/around the KC Metro area with Comcast service that we can share enough info to make a separate thread worthwhile.

Channels currently available (as of February 2006):
202 ESPND
204 TNTHD
205 DHDTV (Discovery HD Theater)
206 INHD
207 INHD2 - Replaced by UHD until after Olympics
210 KMBCD (ABC)
211 KSHBD (NBC)
212 KCTVD (CBS)
220 KCPTD (KCPT HD, Different Programming than 220)
221 DKCPT (KCPT Digital, No HD)
228 HBOHD
233 MAXHD
234 WDAFD (FOX)
236 KCWED (UPN)
238 SHOHD
248 S-HD

To get it started, I have a couple of questions.

1 - Does anyone know when OnDemand will be coming to our area? I got a letter from Comcast Independence saying it was "coming very soon," but haven't heard a peep about it since then. Also curious if it will include any HD offerings.

2 - Has anyone picked up an STB newer than the series-1 6412? Wondering about availability in the area.
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post #2 of 111 Old 02-08-2006, 09:11 AM
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I'm here in KC but currently am using D* and OTA. I have been considering Comcast and am curious if you know what they are sending (480P, 720P or 1080i) per channel?

Thanks
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post #3 of 111 Old 02-08-2006, 09:42 AM
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Is Comcast ever going to get HDnet?
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post #4 of 111 Old 02-08-2006, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsuhr View Post

1 - Does anyone know when OnDemand will be coming to our area? I got a letter from Comcast Independence saying it was "coming very soon," but haven't heard a peep about it since then. Also curious if it will include any HD offerings.

The last time that I called Customer Service and asked about OD they said that it was being tested in-house, and they hoped to have it launched in March. Of course, when I signed up in November, they said it would be available in late December. :-)
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post #5 of 111 Old 02-08-2006, 09:28 PM
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It doesn't really bother me, but I am sure my wife would like the WB in HD. I notice that TW just announced that they were going to carry it. Any word on Comcast?

Walt Schwartz
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post #6 of 111 Old 02-09-2006, 05:56 AM
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I have both Comcast HD and D*. I'm having a hard time deciding which to keep, although my wife would prefer to keep Comcast. Comcast has replaced INHD2 with Universal HD until after the Olympics. D* has added TNT-HD to its lineup starting 02/17. I called Comcast and they said they are not going to add HDNet.
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post #7 of 111 Old 02-10-2006, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, as far as Comcast vs. D*, until D* is able to bring me a reasonably-priced, well-functioning HD DVR and HD locals, I'm stuck with Comcast. Plus, I'm addicted to the 5-6mb Internet connection and don't know if I could ever go back to DSL.

I'm definitely not Comcast's biggest fan, but I think they outweigh the alternative at this point for HD junkies like me.
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post #8 of 111 Old 02-10-2006, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d2s2 View Post

D* has added TNT-HD to its lineup starting 02/17.

I have TNT-HD on Comcast here in Olathe on channel 204...
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post #9 of 111 Old 02-10-2006, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike51 View Post

The last time that I called Customer Service and asked about OD they said that it was being tested in-house, and they hoped to have it launched in March. Of course, when I signed up in November, they said it would be available in late December. :-)

No kidding. The notice I got about it "coming soon" was almost a year ago.
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post #10 of 111 Old 02-10-2006, 10:54 PM
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Most of the delays with On Demand coming to comcast's kansas city area were due to where the equipment was coming from. Comcast in it's infinite wisdom, chose to move the equipment from another service area in the Chicago area... a few of those pieces came in... then comcast decided to buy the rest of the equipment new... when i say comcast decided, i mean regional/corporate. It seemed every month the plan changed... then they decided to not put it in the budget for FY2005... they were going to wait till FY2006... hince the delay up to this point... i can say, first hand, that the equipment has been installed, and is operational to the extent that the guy loading it is doing so now. It will take till March, at a minimum, to load all the content Comcast has available. However, they will not need to wait for all the content to be loaded for it to be rolled out and made public. My understanding is that at least the premium channel content (HBO,Showtime,Starz,Cinemax) must be fully loaded before the system can be made available. I have played with the initial setup at the Independence office, and i can say first hand, that there is going to be -tons- of stuff in there. It does not look like there will be any HD content at least yet. Testing to 'friendlies' (comcast employees) has not begun yet but if other things (like the trainer getting OnDemand on the digital boxes in his room) are any indication, that should begin in a week or 2. i would guess that it would be at least 2 to 3 weeks from the start of that testing before it would be made public, but that is if there aren't any hang-ups during testing. I know someone who is still employed by comcast so i'll let you all know when that begins...

also, CDV - Comcast Digital Voice - is going to be coming here pretty soon too... maybe March - April when testing beings for that... i'll forward what i know when i do.

Addition - The Phase 3 6412s are coming in to the local area, i have one, but currently DVR and HD box availablity have been flakie... so call ahead to find out if there are any in the front office...

Another Addition - On the Missouri side, the KCPT HD feed is on 221... i thought it should be the same over on the Kansas side... are we sure that the HD-KCPT is 220 in Olathe?
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post #11 of 111 Old 02-11-2006, 01:26 PM
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HBombtoo -
The HD channels are sent out as they are received. So if Discovery HD is putting out 1080i, that's how it is sent... the weirdness comes in with the HD box (HD-DVRs are in the same boat), the firmware on the HD box is supposed to have an Auto or Native option in the User Settings Menu... but it doesn't... so what ever that is set to, 720p, 1080i, 480p or i, is what the box will output to your TV regardless of the channel's signal. So you'd have to change it manually to get it native to the channel you're watching.

PS- To access the User Settings Menu...
1) Turn off the digital box only. Tv should be on...
2) Press the Menu button on the comcast remote
3) if all is hooked up properly, you should see the user settings menu on the tv...
4) go to the line that says'YPbPr Output' and press the left or right arrow buttons on the remote to change the setting...
(If you don't see the menu... look at the front of the box, if you press the down arrow button once it will change the display on the front of the box to shift between 'YPP' and 'OUT', then you can press the left or right arrow buttons to change the setting... if you go through every setting option on there and still see no menu on your screen, your TV is on the wrong input or things aren't hooked up correctly.)

PPS- If anyone has any connections with any home theater installation company and is aware of them hiring... could you please PM me? Thanks
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post #12 of 111 Old 02-11-2006, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Jerky-

Thanks for all the great info, especially on the OnDemand stuff. Keeping my fingers crossed for some eventual HD content. Big opportunity there for them to deliver HD movies before we can even get our hands on a reasonably-priced next-gen disc format.

In your opinion, is a 6412 Phase III enough of an improvement to warrant a trade-in of a Phase I?
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post #13 of 111 Old 02-12-2006, 03:50 PM
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in my experience, i haven't heard of any issues that were only effecting one box or the other. Although i'd look at a newer version of any equipment over an older version normally... i don't believe there is all that much of an improvement over the phase 1 box. that and comcast pretty much doesn't have any in stock right now.... i haven't heard as to when they'll have more... sounds like there aren't any in the warehouse, which means if you end up having a troublecall, they don't have any Dual tuner DVR boxes to swap it out with...

By the way... a really good general rule of thumb for troubleshooting any comcast digital box... is cycling power... un-plug the power cable going to the box for about 5 seconds.. the front of the box should go completely blank... then plug it back in and give it about 2 minutes... that will usually clear any sort of software glitch, which is the source of most box weirdness, and make things happy again.

if you call into customer service, -most- anyone should have you try that... i used to be the guy they'd transfer you to if they couldn't figure things out... i don't work there anymore so i can share pretty much anything now... i hope i prove useful to you all
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post #14 of 111 Old 02-12-2006, 06:07 PM
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There was an ad in the Star on 02/12/2006 that Comcast now has On Demand. The ad said to use your box and go to Channel 1. I have tried this, but have not been able to get channel 1.
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post #15 of 111 Old 02-13-2006, 11:42 AM
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Jerky -

Thanks for your insight. It is appreciated.
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post #16 of 111 Old 02-13-2006, 01:20 PM
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Jerky -

Since you seem to be in the know, a couple of questions for you:

1) Does Comcast of Independence compress their HD offerings, or do they pass them thru untouched? Do they lower the bit rate?

2) Is ADS coming to our area soon? I called and asked one of the CSRs not too long ago, and she had never heard of it. She thought I was asking if the local channels were shown both analog and digital.

Thanks...
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post #17 of 111 Old 02-14-2006, 02:41 PM
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mike51 -

Because of the way that digital channels are sent (QAM64, for non-hd channels, QAM256 for HD channels...) it is compression, but then again not... i honestly couldn't say if it's lossless... i would imagine that there is a degree of loss... but it's minimal... i know that the Digital Channels/HD channels are grouped... so 6-SD Digital Channels fit into the same spectrum as 1 analog digital channel. and i believe 2-HD Digital Channels are in the same space as 1 analog channel. I know they do some traffic shaping to keep things managed...

As for ADS... I'm honestly at a loss.. i'm not familiar with the term...

By the way... Most of the ads that are run locally are what are used in a number of service areas, which is why sometimes you get ads for stuff that isn't available. the way they work around the 'false advertising' thing, is there is a little disclaimer at some point during the ad that says 'may not be available in all areas'...... that and they were expecting to have on-demand some time ago... but due to delays with the equipment manufacturer... and the plan changing in mid-stream... we're where we are now... so... there ya go... i promise that as soon as it comes online for employees.. i'll let you all know...
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post #18 of 111 Old 02-14-2006, 05:31 PM
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Is Comcast in Olathe showing Universal HD while the Olympics are going on? If so, do they plan to keep the channel after the Olympics?
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post #19 of 111 Old 02-14-2006, 11:27 PM
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bongohawk -

Unfortunately it sounds like Universal HD will be switched back to InHD2, since they are just using the receiver that is usually used for INHD2 for UHD now. Comcast does have an agreement (National level) to carry UHD, but locally they haven't added it to the line up permanently.. it was decided at the national level that all Comcast areas that had INHD2 would switch over to UHD for the Olympics due to the Hockey coverage.
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post #20 of 111 Old 02-15-2006, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerky View Post

By the way... a really good general rule of thumb for troubleshooting any comcast digital box... is cycling power... un-plug the power cable going to the box for about 5 seconds.. the front of the box should go completely blank... then plug it back in and give it about 2 minutes... that will usually clear any sort of software glitch, which is the source of most box weirdness, and make things happy again.

The main problems I've experienced are the ghost 1989 recordings, and most of the time the power cycle won't clear them (not to mention it blows away all my guide data for at least a few hours). I've been meaning to try the whole reformat process but haven't had a good chance yet.
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post #21 of 111 Old 02-15-2006, 08:57 AM
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OK... so i figured out what ADS is... Analog-Digital Simulcasting.... and no word on that at all locally... i would imagine it would be some time before that would happen... mostly due to the fact that they're still getting the cable network ready for VOD/CDV (Comcast Digital Voice).
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post #22 of 111 Old 02-15-2006, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerky View Post

OK... so i figured out what ADS is... Analog-Digital Simulcasting.... and no word on that at all locally... i would imagine it would be some time before that would happen... mostly due to the fact that they're still getting the cable network ready for VOD/CDV (Comcast Digital Voice).

Thanks for the replies. Not too interested in CDV at the moment as I used my cell as my home phone, but I will be interested to see the VOD.

Also wish they would go with ADS here, as the analog channels look pretty bad on my Samsung DLP.
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post #23 of 111 Old 02-15-2006, 09:13 PM
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I am curious if anyone in Olathe is using the Scientific Atlanta 8000 or 8300HD box? I know someone near Independence that has the motorola and they don't really care much for the box with its bad pixelation.
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post #24 of 111 Old 02-19-2006, 10:57 AM
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Pixelation would be caused by poor signal strength, not a bum box.
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post #25 of 111 Old 02-20-2006, 07:07 AM
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Does anyone know if Comcast has a HD box with HDMI? I am in Olathe. I am using the DVI to HDMI convertor currently and the picture quality seems to be better with it. Will I gain anything by using a HDMI (on the HD Box) and a HDMI (on the TV)? I am not using my TV for sound but rather an Onkyo Receiver.

Also, why can't I view any other channels through the Motorola box using the DVI to HDMI other than HD channels.
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post #26 of 111 Old 02-20-2006, 12:41 PM
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strilan -
Comcast does have a DCT6412 Phase III HD-DVR box that has an HDMI out, however you will not see any difference at all with it. The cable you are using now is passing the digital signal in the exact same way that a straight HDMI cable would (DVI and HDMI send the same video signal) except that HDMI will carry audio directly to your TV too. Honestly, unless you want a DVR there is no point in changing based solely on having an HDMI to HDMI connection.

As for you non-HD channels, I'm not 100% sure, but you might want to check your User Settings menu to make sure the 4:3 Override is set properly according to your TV. If that is set to 480i or Off now, you'll want to change it to 480p... let us know if that works...
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post #27 of 111 Old 02-22-2006, 06:57 AM
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Thanks Jerky for the help. I changed my override to 480p last night and it worked--all channels are coming in through HDMI. Just for an understanding, why does the 480p only work through the DVI?
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post #28 of 111 Old 02-23-2006, 03:44 PM
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Has Anyone used the Ethernet port or the 1394 port on their Motorola Box?
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post #29 of 111 Old 02-24-2006, 08:43 AM
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strilan -
It actually does work through the component connection too.

bongohawk -
The ethernet port on the box is there because they actually have a DOCSIS cable modem built into them, however they are not active, so that connection isn't useable... The Firewire connection is active (per FCC rules) but graphics (menu, guide) are not output on it.
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post #30 of 111 Old 02-24-2006, 02:47 PM
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Sorry Jerky I didn't communicate clearly, the 480I did not work through the HDMI input, I could only view my HD channels through it. Now that you had me change my 4:3 override to 480p (from 480i) all my channels come through the HDMI input. Why could I not see any channels through HDMI when my 4:3 override was set to 480i?
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