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Anyone else having problems with Comcast QAM tuning?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am having trouble tuning QAM channels in Atlanta from Comcast, and was wondering if the problem is something on my end, or if Comcast has locked channels in the past 24 hours.

I am having problems with QAM tuning in Windows 7 with a Hauppauge 1600MCE card. Up until today, I was able to use my comcast cable box as one tuner, and my HTPC as a second tuner with a cable that is not connected to a comcast cable box (using Win7MC as a QAM tuner). Last night, I lost all of my guide listings and channels and had to re-do the procedure to set up tv signal. I reprogrammed almost all of my QAM channels this afterroon, but noticed that about 4-5 of my previously available QAM channels were showing up as locked.

I turned my TV on tonight, and noticed that I had only one tuner (the cable box) that was able to access channels. I re-did TV Signal setup, and now all of my QAM channels except for local channels (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, etc) are locked. This means that I only have dual-tuner capabilities on these 5-10 channels.

I am not stealing cable -- we have Comcast service up through the digital starter package, so appromiximately 100 channels from the cable box, plus all of the HBO's.

Did Comcast lock these QAM channels very recently, or is there some error on my end? Up until today, I was able to use the QAM tuner to duplicate all of my channels except for the HBO's, and now I can only get dual-tuner capability on less than 10 channels.

Thanks for your help ahead of time.
post #2 of 11
No that is typically how Comcast does things when they transition an area to all digital service (aka Project Calvary or World of More)

Step 1 - Unencrypt all basic digital channels (at this point only locals were unencrpyted)
Step 2 - Deploy Digital Terminal Adapters
Step 3 - Add HD Channels
Step 4 - Reencrypt all basic digital channels expect for locals

They really didn't change anything...for whatever reason Comcast decrypts all the digital basic channels before they deploy the DTAs and then turns the encryption back on after they are done. You are only supposed to receive local channels in ClearQAM.
post #3 of 11
Yep...I'm starting to see some of my non-basic channels go away up in Lawrenceville. TruTV, History International, Cartoon Network and probably a few others. I still get a couple dozen or so outside local broadcast channels, but I don't expect them to last much longer either.

Sucks, but it was a good run when it lasted.
post #4 of 11
Is Comcast the only people doing this?
post #5 of 11
Most cable companies never even provided any basic beyond the locals in unencrypted QAM.

I'm in Atlanta as well and have been enjoying the ride. I knew it would end eventually - was hoping it would at least last until the Ocur Infinity 2 cablecard had come out, as I don't need a $400 4 tuner cable card when the majority of what I record are local channels that I can continue to record with my existing dual tuner. I haven't checked channels in the past 2 days, but I know over the last week I've been gradually losing channels to encryption, though only a few so far.

This Silicon dust website is a good source to know what channels are offered in clearqam. Just select Comcast from the provider drop down list at the top left after you enter your zip code.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

Is Comcast the only people doing this?

I can confirm that Charter Communications does the same thing. Plus, Music Choice is unencrypted and I believe the CSPANs are unencrypted as well.
post #7 of 11
I can't tune any ClearQAM channels from my Comcast Basic (Internet) feed.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoulderGeek View Post

I can't tune any ClearQAM channels from my Comcast Basic (Internet) feed.

Are you saying all you signed up for was internet and do not have a cable subscription? If so, you aren't getting any channels at all because the cable company installed a filter on your line to block everything but internet.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte View Post

Are you saying all you signed up for was internet and do not have a cable subscription? If so, you aren't getting any channels at all because the cable company installed a filter on your line to block everything but internet.

Historically, I got basic+extended analog stations along with my cable. However, Comcast recently deactivated all of the extended stations from my area, and demand that I pay for and use a cablecard STB. Which I refuse to do.

So, now I only have internet & <**ahem**> unfiltered analog coming to the house. But, even without a filter on the regular line, I could not receive QAM stations. Perhaps there is also an upstream filter that I am unaware of.

These days ATSC OTA to the HTPC (Win7MC), Boxee & Netflix streaming take care of my needs.
post #10 of 11
1. You should post Atlanta Comcast questions in the Atlanta Comcast thread here on AVSforum:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=188046

2. You're seeing exactly what you're supposed to see. Everything above ch. 30 is now encrypted, except for locals.

3. Comcast started rolling out this "digital transition" last fall in cities across the nation. Atlanta's transition was scheduled for yesterday (4/27). Here in Seattle, this happened last December.

4. You should have received notices from Comcast about this transition - mostly that point out that you will need to instal their "DTA" boxes on all analog TVs to continue receiving channels > 30.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmallory View Post

...

They really didn't change anything...for whatever reason Comcast decrypts all the digital basic channels before they deploy the DTAs and then turns the encryption back on after they are done.

They did this in the past, mostly because it was illegal for them to enable encryption on their DTAs. It wasn't until they got a waiver ruling from the FCC in August that they were allowed to use encryption on the DTA boxes. I wouldn't be surprised to see them skip the "un-encrypted digital first" step in the future - and go right to the end goal, which is everything encrypted except for locals.
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