Originally posted by Azanon
... Comcast digital cable, and their HDTV package, requires that you use their STB (Motorola 5100), so an alternative STB such as the one you're linking is not an option in Little Rock. The only other routes for HDTV, as you know, is DirectTV and Dish Network that unit doesnt support. OTA "only" HDTV STB units should be much cheaper (100 dollars?).
Comcast's policy is to add DTV as they become HDTV capable, which is why I "assume" they still only provide 7 and 11. They went on record stating as soon as a new local station provides HDTV transmission, they will add it to their lineup.
7 & 11 HD on comcast digital cable being received "in the clear" with only a QAM tuner. No comcast 5100 box was used, and the cable subscription was "analog basic" only. NO digital sub. I heard that ESPN-HD and the basic digital tier also were receiveable, but can't confirm.
IIRC, comcast policy is to send OTA HD channels (ie 7 & 11) unencrypted, but need to know for sure if other channels (ESPN-HD, etc.) are stil receivable without renting a 5100 from them and only using a QAM capable tuner like the LG 3100A.
If the 3100A were available locally, my friend would just buy one and try it. If it didn't work, he would return it. But right now, the 3100A is only available online. If he can find out for sure which channels are unencrypted, he'll order one online. If not, he's dumping comcast for the FREE Dish HD special at Sears or Custom Satellite (Free 3 room system installed. One of the 3 boxes can be either their new Dish 811 HD STB or a DishDVR non-HD box.).