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Comcast April 24 Network Upgrade

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Got a mailing announcing the upgrade which says I need a cable box or digital adapter on all TV's. Online, Comcast says a digital TV tuner will work as well. Sounds to me like the cable version of the broadcast transition to digital.

Not mentioned is how this may relate to clear QAM channels, which I use a lot: most of my viewing is tied to these. Might these be affected?
post #2 of 11
QAM channels will be unaffected. The only tv's in your house that will be affected are those without a cable box right now. You will need either a cable box/dvr or one of their small DTA's at each tv to continue to receive all the channels you get now. If you have an HDTV that you currently use with just analog cable AND QAM channels, you will need to get a splitter and an A/B switch, and you will need to switch the switch every time you want to go between analog and qam channels.
post #3 of 11
The key phrase is "clear QAM" channels, which typically is only locals (limited basic). If you subscribe to expanded basic (USA, TNT, Spike, Food, etc.), then you will need a cable box for your HDTV for the additional subscribed channels.

If you have non-HDTV's and/or TV's without an internal clear QAM capable tuner, you can usually get two DTA's for free and get all subscribed channels (non-HD).

The bottom line is what tier of service you currently subscribe and the capabilites of the TV's you need to have serviced.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

The key phrase is "clear QAM" channels, which typically is only locals (limited basic). If you subscribe to expanded basic (USA, TNT, Spike, Food, etc.), then you will need a cable box for your HDTV for the additional subscribed channels.

Excellent - that's the way I do it now. Thanks :-)
post #5 of 11
cool
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gring40 View Post

Got a mailing announcing the upgrade which says I need a cable box or digital adapter on all TV's. Online, Comcast says a digital TV tuner will work as well. Sounds to me like the cable version of the broadcast transition to digital.

Not mentioned is how this may relate to clear QAM channels, which I use a lot: most of my viewing is tied to these. Might these be affected?

Where do you live?

Comcast is switching to all digital systems in some areas, and without a box the only channels you'll get are the clear QAM's.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Where do you live?

Comcast is switching to all digital systems in some areas, and without a box the only channels you'll get are the clear QAM's.

I'm a bit north of Chicago, and I assume I got the notification in the mail was precisely because I was affected.

Going digital is fine with me. I do have a digital box and see some cable shows through it, but most of my viewing is tied to clear QAM, and I couldn't quite tell from the announcement if it would remain clear (unencrypted).
post #8 of 11
For now the limited basic channels must remain clear QAM. The FCC is currently considering changing that rule and may soon allow systems that have eliminated all analog channels to go 100% encrypted QAM. I hope they don't.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

For now the limited basic channels must remain clear QAM. The FCC is currently considering changing that rule and may soon allow systems that have eliminated all analog channels to go 100% encrypted QAM. I hope they don't.

I hope they don't as well. I found this link on the Silicon Dust forum to submit a comment to the FCC; the proceeding number is 11-169.

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/display?z
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, Comcast did go digital in my area as promised; the analog channels just show an announcement saying that seeing it means you need digital equipment.

But reception in QAM Is fine, and my RTV still records perfectly through my STB using the composite input. So much for the claim that the digital transition would render the RTV unusable.

Any word on whether the FCC will let the cablecos encrypt clear QAM?
post #11 of 11
None that I can see. Just about all the info on it traces back to the SiliconDust link.
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