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post #121 of 4033
I wonder if you need to call Comcast and have them reset your box to get ABC?

When I look at that line-up of shows the only truly compelling show for me is CSI, which is missing. When they get CBS I WILL get an HDTV and switch from Dish to Cable... Now if I can just find my 2001 and 2002 bonus plus that tax refund we had earmarked for the TV before my wife put the money in the baby account...

(I'll take cable until the HD-PVR technology matures enough to make it worth the investment.)
post #122 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by Tom Roper
That has me wondering...

If I hook up a terrestrial antenna, the same antenna receives both analog (NTSC) and digital (ATSC) signals. When the coax from the terrestrial antenna is thus connected to my Sony HD200 set top box, I can play analog and digital programming on the TV.

The Mits should work the same way, the difference being the ATSC decoder is internal to the TV, instead of inside a separate set top box like mine.

Basic cable might work the same way. ATSC + NTSC on the same cable just as if coming from a terrestrial antenna? If so, the Motorola 5100 set top box might not be necessary if you already owned an ATSC tuner? Just run the cable into the set top box? Could it be, the Motorola 5100 serves (2) functions, an ATSC tuner for people who don't already have a set top box? And for decoding encrypted broadcasts, PPV, premium channels?

I wonder.

That is interesting but note that the new Mits integrated sets also have QAM HD decoding ability. I do not know what modulation Comcast is using but QAM is typically used in all cable systems. I suspect Comcast is using QAM modulation for their HD signals and IF that is the case then the basic ATSC tuner (which demodulates 8VSB, and NOT QAM) will NOT be able to decode the HD signals (I don't think the DirecTv or Dish receivers can deal with QAM).

What I am saying is that it seems likely one would have to rent or buy a QAM capable HD receiver (unless you already have a STB or integrated TV with that capability) in order to watch HD programming on Comcast.

I may be wrong - to end this speculation we need to know if Comcast sends HD as QAM or ATSC.....
post #123 of 4033
Thanks Geof. The specs for my set top box say 8-VSB and no QAM, so you are probably right about needing the Comcast tuner.
post #124 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by Tom Roper
Thanks Geof. The specs for my set top box say 8-VSB and no QAM, so you are probably right about needing the Comcast tuner.

I have learned that the Comcast supplied Motorola DCT5100 only supports QAM so an ATSC 8VSB STB won't work with Comcast. But, according to Ken H's Official AVS HDTV Forum STB Synopsis - Summer 2003! thread it looks like there will be several alternatives to the DCT5100 "shortly".

It may still be worthwhile to buy a QAM capable STB rather than rent it from Comcast but I wonder if that will stop working when they end their "free" period.
post #125 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by Geof
That is interesting but note that the new Mits integrated sets also have QAM HD decoding ability. I do not know what modulation Comcast is using but QAM is typically used in all cable systems. I suspect Comcast is using QAM modulation for their HD signals and IF that is the case then the basic ATSC tuner (which demodulates 8VSB, and NOT QAM) will NOT be able to decode the HD signals (I don't think the DirecTv or Dish receivers can deal with QAM).

What I am saying is that it seems likely one would have to rent or buy a QAM capable HD receiver (unless you already have a STB or integrated TV with that capability) in order to watch HD programming on Comcast.

I may be wrong - to end this speculation we need to know if Comcast sends HD as QAM or ATSC.....

Comcast is using QAM. FWIW, Zenith is coming out with a STB with QAM & ATSC demodulators, WITH a hard drive HD recorder. Such a STB should be able to pick up Comcast's QAM signal without a subscription to any of their "Digital" packages. However, one would not have access to any premium or PPV programing.

MiD
post #126 of 4033
This is just speculation on my part but I have a suspicion that when the Comcast "free" period ends you will need to use the Comcast box - or at least a box they can "enable" for HDTV. The Zenith sounds interesting though....
post #127 of 4033
To follow up... The following is from a 1/13/03 Zenith press release:

"The HD-PVR330 HDTV Receiver/Personal Video Recorder, with the new TV GuideĀ® on-screen interactive program guide, is a versatile next-generation HDTV PVR designed to provide an enhanced viewing/recording experience. It is equipped with a high-gain ATSC tuner for HDTV terrestrial reception and a QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) tuner for unscrambled HDTV cable reception, as well as an NTSC tuner for standard-definition (SD) analog reception. A generous 80 GB hard disk drive allows viewers to record and play back more than eight hours of HDTV programming while taking full advantage of the advanced, intuitive on-screen navigation system and program listings service from TV Guide. The service instantly delivers seven days of listings of all shows, with a new service that "tags" favorite shows for easier surfing--plus news, sports, and weather information--all at the push of a button. Additional features include Dolby Digital recording, a video browser using thumbnail images, live pause, drag and play, smart skip, 300x fast-forward, and a jack package with DVI+HDCP (Digital Visual Interface with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), RGB, component, S-video, and A/V outputs. The HD-PVR330 is expected to be available in the third quarter at a suggested price to be announced."
post #128 of 4033
According to Ken's thread the HD-PVR330 is now known as the LG LST-3410A (and will list at $999). According to this thread the LG LST-3410A will not be avaliable until December.
post #129 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by Geof
This is just speculation on my part but I have a suspicion that when the Comcast "free" period ends you will need to use the Comcast box - or at least a box they can "enable" for HDTV. The Zenith sounds interesting though....

If I'm not mistaken, Federal legislation will require that cable providers transmit local HDTV programing unscrambled by the end of 2006. HDTVs hitting the market now with internal QAM decoders can now (and should in the future) display these signals without Comcast's "box." The situation today is really the same, you can hook cable up to a cable ready SDTV and watch non-premium/PPV programing.

MiD
post #130 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by mjmbond
If I'm not mistaken, Federal legislation will require that cable providers transmit local HDTV programing unscrambled by the end of 2006. HDTVs hitting the market now with internal QAM decoders can now (and should in the future) display these signals without Comcast's "box." The situation today is really the same, you can hook cable up to a cable ready SDTV and watch non-premium/PPV programing.

MiD

Yes, that sounds right too. I wonder why Comcast is saying this is free now but won't be later. Maybe the locals will always remain free and they'll start charging for the other HD channels.

I guess if I had a real urge to watch the two local HD channels that really disgust me (KMGH and KUSA)(and assuming Comcast will carry KMGH) then I'd be inclinded to get a ATSC/QAM receiver. As it is I get KCNC-DT just fine on my DirecTV/ATSC receiver.

The one thing I do want to check into is if I get Basic Cable will my Cable Modem bill be reduced by $10/mo. If that were true then Basic Cable would really only cost me an additional $3+ dollars/mo -- I can deal with that.....
post #131 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by Geof
Yes, that sounds right too. I wonder why Comcast is saying this is free now but won't be later. Maybe the locals will always remain free and they'll start charging for the other HD channels.

I guess if I had a real urge to watch the two local HD channels that really disgust me (KMGH and KUSA)(and assuming Comcast will carry KMGH) then I'd be inclinded to get a ATSC/QAM receiver. As it is I get KCNC-DT just fine on my DirecTV/ATSC receiver.

The one thing I do want to check into is if I get Basic Cable will my Cable Modem bill be reduced by $10/mo. If that were true then Basic Cable would really only cost me an additional $3+ dollars/mo -- I can deal with that.....

I think Comcast will tell you that the fee in 2004 will be a converter box rental fee. It may be that channels such as ESPNHD, INHD, INHD2 & the soon to be added Discovery HD will not be available without the Comcast box... just the locals. IMO, $5 isn't too much to pay for full access to expanded programing as well as PPV & special events. The Zenith (LG) STB interests me only for it's ability to time shift HD cable programs.

I know what you mean about the bill... It would be nice if Comcast had some decent package deals that included ISP & HD services.

MiD
post #132 of 4033
I'm trying not to go insane with TV (but not succeeding very well). I already have DirecTV and get their HD package (HDNet, HDNet Movies, Discovery HD, ESPN HD) along with SHO HD and HBO HD. I can get KCNC-DT OTA along with KRMA-DT (iffy) and KDVR-DT (which blows). For the most part I'm satisfied with DirecTv. If I could get all that and all the locals from Comcast without feeling like a whore in heat I would be tempted to switch. But so far Comcast hasn't made a compelling case.....
Quote:


It may be that channels such as ESPNHD, INHD, INHD2 & the soon to be added Discovery HD will not be available without the Comcast box

You worded this better but that is what I was trying to say when I wrote "Maybe the locals will always remain free and they'll start charging for the other HD channels. "
post #133 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by Geof
I'm trying not to go insane with TV (but not succeeding very well). I already have DirecTV and get their HD package (HDNet, HDNet Movies, Discovery HD, ESPN HD) along with SHO HD and HBO HD. I can get KCNC-DT OTA along with KRMA-DT (iffy) and KDVR-DT (which blows). For the most part I'm satisfied with DirecTv. If I could get all that and all the locals from Comcast without feeling like a whore in heat I would be tempted to switch. But so far Comcast hasn't made a compelling case.....
You worded this better but that is what I was trying to say when I wrote "Maybe the locals will always remain free and they'll start charging for the other HD channels. "

My EXACT situation and feelings, ditto. All I really care about is MNF on ABC.

$13.44 basic
$ 9.95 converter box rental
$ 5.00 to be added in 2004
_______
$ 28.39 is just not very compelling, or put another way, will I pay that much for MNF? Only 12 weeks left

Maybe I should just find a sports bar instead.
post #134 of 4033
OK, but,despite the website information, does anyone with Comcast actually get ABC/KMGH? I spoke with a CSR today who said that they were supposed to start transmitting ABC this week, but that it hadn't quite happened yet. He made it sound like an agreement had been reached and that it was a technical issue of some sort, not a legal one.
post #135 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by Tom Roper
All I really care about is MNF on ABC.

$13.44 basic
$ 9.95 converter box rental
$ 5.00 to be added in 2004
_______
$ 28.39 is just not very compelling, or put another way, will I pay that much for MNF? Only 12 weeks left

Maybe I should just find a sports bar instead. [/b]

Tom,
You can get the basic cable package ($13.44), and rent their cable box for $5/ month and get Fox 480p, NBC, ABC, PBS. The $9.95 is for the premium HD channels INHD1and2, ESPNHD etc. which you don't have to get. So it's a bit less than you were thinking. the sports bar is still a good idea though

Happ
post #136 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by gakon
OK, but,despite the website information, does anyone with Comcast actually get ABC/KMGH? I spoke with a CSR today who said that they were supposed to start transmitting ABC this week, but that it hadn't quite happened yet. He made it sound like an agreement had been reached and that it was a technical issue of some sort, not a legal one.

I hope they're not relying on picking up the signal OTA with that puny toy transmitter KMGH is using.
post #137 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by happ14
Tom,
You can get the basic cable package ($13.44), and rent their cable box for $5/ month and get Fox 480p, NBC, ABC, PBS. The $9.95 is for the premium HD channels INHD1and2, ESPNHD etc. which you don't have to get. So it's a bit less than you were thinking. the sports bar is still a good idea though

Happ

Happ, you posted the $13.44 and $5 figures in the tower thread - are you not paying $9.95 and therefore not getting IND1 and 2, ESPN HD etc.??

If that is the case then perhaps your bill won't increase after the "free" period....
post #138 of 4033
Well I just called Comcast and asked about the Basic service for $13.44 along with an HDTV Box. The CSR I spoke with was very informed and told me this was okay to do - and it would cost $18.44/mo (the box rents for $5/mo). This would also lower my Cable modem bill by $10/mo. so the net increase on my bill would be $8.44/mo. She mentioned there are only 3 HD channels available with this package.....Fox, NBC, and PBS. According to her ABC is NOT available and will not be available for some time. She said the web page is incorrect. She also said ABC was the one station everyone wants but she could give me no time frame as to when it will be offered.

Now, this was what she said....although she was very well informed and knowledgeable it is certainly possible that ABC is going to happen sooner rather than later. I declined to get the package as I could care less about KUSA. MNF might have made me go for it but right now that isn't available. Personally I will re-evaluate the situation when they offer more local channels.
post #139 of 4033
Thanks Happ, for the info.

Geof, I would think Comcast would be mining for gold by delivering ABC (KMGH 7) in HD. Perplexing to me.
post #140 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by Tom Roper
Thanks Happ, for the info.

Geof, I would think Comcast would be mining for gold by delivering ABC (KMGH 7) in HD. Perplexing to me.

Ditto.
Then again it may be KMGH that isn't cooperating. The management at that station is sadly lacking.
post #141 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by Geof
Ditto.
Then again it may be KMGH that isn't cooperating.

No, that couldn't be it, could it?

I suspect the needed converter for KMGH to supply a signal to Comcast would probably cost $300,000 and just not be worth it since everyone will be able to get their signal in a couple weeks from the new tower.

(for those of you not playing along in the other thread, please take the previous paragraph with heavy doses of sarcasm)
post #142 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by Geof
She also said ABC was the one station everyone wants but she could give me no time frame as to when it will be offered.

CSI ain't on ABC... I want CBS! (Tennis is there, too! <-- get my wife into the game)
post #143 of 4033
When I had comcast installed, I pumped the install tech for information on CBS and ABC coming onto the system and he said (reluctantly and off the record because he had been warned not to discuss it) that CBS was still a national issue that hadn't been resolved but ABC was a local negotiation and that Comcast had bent over backward giving KMGH a digital feed where noone else had one among other concessions, and had been promised an immediate connection when Comcast was ready. Comcast tried to get the feed when this rollout started and KMGH refused. He had a few other choice words about KMGH that I can't print here...


Happ
post #144 of 4033
May be. But Comcast should not be advertising Hi-Def KMGH-ABC on their website if they cannot deliver the product.
post #145 of 4033
Tom - that's true, but maybe we should start bugging KMGH more. When I called them last week just before getting Comcast, the woman I spoke with said "Comcast can get the signal right now". I didn't pursue it to see what she really meant, but I may call again on Monday.
post #146 of 4033
Quote:


He had a few other choice words about KMGH that I can't print here...

Rest assured he is not alone.

Don
post #147 of 4033
Quote:


Originally posted by donyoop
Rest assured he is not alone.

Don

Not by a long shot.
post #148 of 4033
The KMGH logo and ABC lineup are no longer on the Comcast web site. Hmmm...
post #149 of 4033
Quote:
Originally posted by gakon
The KMGH logo and ABC lineup are no longer on the Comcast web site. Hmmm...

Comcast is going in the wrong direction -- they should be adding programming. This moonwalking ABC from the web site is like a broken promise.

In caital hill, I've been pleased with the signal, but disappointed in the content. The INHD movies are forgettable C movies whch can't be redeemed by better display. ESPN HD will broadcast a total of 7 sporting events in October -- all FB -- a tiny percentage of their programming. Why not MLB playoffs in HD? Fox 31 in the HD lineup is a near fraud, saved by the asterisk on the HD channels card explaining that it's "extended definition digital widescreen" -- that's not HD. And KRMA HD isn't Ch. 6 KRMA but mostly HD Demo stuff coming from the national PBS HD feed.

So we don't get ABC, CBS, WB, Discovery HD, or Mark Cuban's HDNet which was the subject of Den Post article this morning. And despite CSR assurances at sign-up and on a second call, HD subscribers won't get HBO or ST w/o paying the added subscription price for these prem. channels. Yes, HD is free until 2004, but almost not worth this price.

Seeing FB on HD makes it painful to watch SDTV. Any suggestions how we can motivate Comcast to provide relief, in the form of worthwhile HD programming?
post #150 of 4033
Quote:
Originally posted by JKM
Any suggestions how we can motivate Comcast to provide relief, in the form of worthwhile HD programming?

Your entire post was a pretty well stated argument, but you missed the part about the random switching between SD and HD on KUSA/NBC. Unfortunately, some of the content isn't totally under Comcast's control (ABC and CBS). However, some of us were under the impression that a lot more content was available, or would be available soon (other people were smarter and did some homework or waited to find out). The question is, how many people on this forum actually have signed up for HDTV from Comcast in Denver? Even if it's a small number (which I suspect), phone calls to Comcast aren't going to hurt. We should make the points you did in your email, and push for concessions. I'm afraid that any CSR you talk to will only suggest that you cancel your service, but there's still the argument that you lost time and money just for the installation and first month of service. And that you could get a whole lot more HD content via ABC and CBS using a set-top box. You'd miss ESPN and InHD, but (you put it better), what's to miss?
I'll let you know what they say (probably call tomorrow).
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