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Portland, OR - Comcast - Page 4

post #91 of 4853
I have a Hitachi 50V500A LCD RPTV. This is using a pretty cheap DVI cable from cablestogo.com, which replaced a set of Monster Series 2 component cables. The colors appeared more vibrant and there were noticeably fewer artifacts on both HD and SD signals.
post #92 of 4853
I'm in Portland and have had my DCT 5100 (tech rep says it's been converted to a 6200 ?) box for about a month. Still on firmwar v. 5.03, no DVI as of 2-26-04. Does Comcast require the box to be on (or off) to load the update

post #93 of 4853

Originally posted by JG_Humphrey
I'm in Portland and have had my DCT 5100 (tech rep says it's been converted to a 6200 ?) box for about a month. Still on firmwar v. 5.03, no DVI as of 2-26-04. Does Comcast require the box to be on (or off) to load the update

Unplug AC cord, wait about 10 secs, plug it back and check version.
post #94 of 4853
Thanks Walter. I'll give that a try tonight

post #95 of 4853
Thread Starter 
Well, I just signed up for VOOM with installation in about 9 days. I'll post my findings here. They just added HBO to their lineup today.
post #96 of 4853
Thread Starter 
LOL! Now Dish is having problems negotiating with CBS and has threatened to drop them completely. I hope the greedy execs at CBS wake up to the fact that they can't ask for the moon. Their problem is they spent huge money on programming getting out of the ratings last place they were in a few years back that they now have to recoup. I hope sat and cable providers hold the line rather than pass the cost onto end users. Most just went through a rate hike.

Waiting for VOOM hookup tomorrow....I will get CBS HD for free (V* installation includes OTA channels).
post #97 of 4853
I also signed up for VOOM. Installation is next Wednesday. Let me know how your installation goes.
post #98 of 4853
Thread Starter 
Good luck Walter! I had my install scheduled Saturday between 8am-12. At 1 pm, after I called the installers cell 3 times (got number from Installs Inc.) he finally shows up. Has my gear, but his compass/inclination meter is broken. Eyeballs it and says it probably won't work. Probably? (I says). Yeah, but you got a great shot at Dish - says he. He's obviously in a hurry to go fishing or something so he says he'll be back the next day (sunday) with his boss's meter. I wait around all day sunday, calling his cell, calling Installs Inc, calling Voom...nobody knows where he is (fish must have been biting good I thinks). Install Inc says they emailed him to call me today. Guess what? It's almost 5pm and I still haven't heard from him. So I just called Voom and demanded another installation company. They were nice about it (it's not their fault) and set it up. The only problem is now I have to wait until March 15th. Geez, I'm ready to go back to cable...at least there the installers call you when they screw up. Hope you don't get Adams Communications as your installer.
post #99 of 4853
vince, I'm sorry to hear that it went so bad. Thanks for letting me know. I'll call Voom tomorrow and let them know that I don't want Adams and why. I'll let you know how mine goes.

Talking about screw up, the comcast tech was suppose to pick up my cable box today but he didn't show up. I called Comcast and they told me that I was suppose to take the box to their office. I didn't accept it so they agreed to pick it up tomorrow after 6PM. Maybe Comcast also subcontracted Adams...

post #100 of 4853
Thread Starter 
Walter, before you ditch Comcast, you may consider the fact that you may not get Voom. Their satellite is really low on the SE horizon (about 10 degrees) and if you have any hills or trees in the distance you're SOL. They didn't design it for the Pac NW. The first Adams guy said he's installed only 5 out of 25 orders in Portland because of this. Of course, much of that could be due to his incompetence so take it with a grain of salt. I'm sure you're aware of these issues, but others considering Voom should beware. Here's a useful tracking site for Voom's Rainbow 1 to see where you need to point:
post #101 of 4853
Vince, well the installer showed up at the scheduled time and with a working meter . However, he couldn't get a clear path to the sat because of some high trees about 1/2 mile away covering up 20 degrees . He confirmed what you just mentioned that he has been only able to install about 20% of the orders. He mentioned that Voom is working on getting bandwidth on another sat which would be about 45 up to cover the west coast since there is a lot of demand (and similarly low success rate) in the LA area, but he didn't know when. I'm now thinking about my options: going back to comcast, dish or directTV or move to to the east cost or mid-west to get Voom .. I would be happy with Comcast if they just add Discovery HD
post #102 of 4853
Thread Starter 
Walt: I finally got another installer to come out. He was great. He found the sat and did the install, but my signal quality is weak (around 25-30 when it should be >50). Hence, I get alot of dropouts. We tweeked all we could, but that may be the best we can do.
The other problem is the only local I can get OTA is CBS. I live just a couple miles from the tower, but on the other side of the hill. Doesn't make sense to me why they don't all come in with the provided Stealth antenna. I may try using a paperclip or rabbit ears!
The picture is awesome though when it is working. But I can imagine further signal loss as soon as the clouds return (unusally nice weather lately eh?) so I may be in the same boat you are....looking at DirectTV, may keep cable. Let me know if you come across any deals. I hear Voom is considering using an additional satellite that West-coasters could use since it has become a major problem for them, but I'm not holding my breath. Anyways, I have 30-days to decide whether Voom is going to work for me.
post #103 of 4853
WB is now on channel 703.

Where is my Discovery?
post #104 of 4853
No doubt, what does WB even have in HD? What a worthless channel to add when there are so many good ones that they haven't added.
post #105 of 4853
Although my VOOM installation attempt last Wednesday failed (no-lign-of-sight), last Friday I got a call from Adams requesting permision to send a 2nd installer (for a 2nd opinion). The 2nd installer came and after taking some measurements, concluded that there was not problem on getting the signal (even at ground level). He's scheduled to do the installation today. I'll report later how it goes.
post #106 of 4853

Originally posted by EchoOfGecko
No doubt, what does WB even have in HD? What a worthless channel to add when there are so many good ones that they haven't added.

Your local WB is no doubt giving Comcast its digital signal for free, whereas the "many good ones" are asking for $$$ (which is their right to ask for).

Of course, if Comcast pays the $$$ which is being demanded, Comcast then passes along the increased cost to you. For now, Comcast doesn't want to do that -- especially with the local network stations (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, WB, UPN).

(WB has 10 to 11 hours of HD per week during primetime. All shows, no sports-- although some local WB stations do show local sports in HD.)
post #107 of 4853

Originally posted by Tsar Chasm
WB is now on channel 703.

Where is my Discovery?

Discovery == Sat TV
post #108 of 4853
From a business perpective it doesn't make any sense to Comcast to add any new HD channels now. HD customers are limited and programing is expensive not only in terms of licensing but also in terms of bandwidth. They make more $$$ by using the xtra bandwidth for On-Demand, Local Phone service, doubling internet speed or simply adding more SD channels. I don't expect any new HD channels in the near future.
post #109 of 4853
Thread Starter 
Walter: Hopefully you get the guy I had. His name is Steve I think...red pickup with a trailer (the trailer is VERY organized, with all the cable rolls neatly laid out.....a good sign!). Anyways, he knows his stuff...good luck! Let me know how the OTA's come in. Also, I called VOOM today and they said this morning they were having problems with the sat. so many had low signal quality...perhaps that was my problem this morning. We will see tonight. Maybe we should start a new thread...."VOOM in Portland" so as not to annoy the good cable folks here?
post #110 of 4853
Or maybe we should just change the name of the thread to Comcast & satellite HD in PDX? I'm interested in your guys' results with VOOM. I'd love to go with a satellite solution (ditch Comcast), but I'm pretty sure that I'm too close behind a big hill (Mt. Scott) to catch any OTA. Does anyone know of any local outfits that would come to my house and tell me what (if any) OTA signals I could receive ... yes, I know that I could try myself, but I don't trust myself to do it right and don't feel like putting out all of the effort. Or maybe I should just sign up with one of the satellite guys and see what kind of luck their installer has?

On another note, I don't think that anyone has mentioned much about VOD recently. I just noticed this weekend that Comcast VOD appeared on my Moto 5100 box. I haven't had a chance to play around with it yet (and there's no HD content), but I'm just happy to see some progress in offerings. Same way that I feel about WB ... doubt I'll watch it much, but glad for the progress. WB has shown Mariners games in the past ... maybe they'll get some of the Fox Sports Northwest Mariner feeds in HD?!?! (wishful thinking ...)
post #111 of 4853
Thread Starter 
Great suggestion Marshdom....DONE! I think it is important to include competing technologies, especially as more HD offerings become available. At the very least, we should never miss another superbowl in HD!

BTW: In my experience, you can get someone out to see if you have a shot at the sattelite for free, but none of them will confirm the OTA signals. From what I've heard, if you can pick up the signals with rabbit ears, you shouldn't have a problem.
post #112 of 4853
Thread Starter 
Hey, the name change didn't work. Maybe I need to contact the administrator. Sorry.
post #113 of 4853
The 2nd installation attempt yesterday ended successfully!!! (after 1st installer had reported "no-lign-of-sight" last week") A simple word summarizes VOOM PQ: astonishing . Never seen something like that on my Panny 42PX20U. I watched "Artic Mission" on Discovery HD last night and I couldn't belive it.

Vince: I got the same installer as you did (Steve). I agree with you, that guy is a real professional. Very organized, consulted every detail of the installation with me, ran outdoor cables hiding as much as possible, etc.
By the way, he told me that he've been doing installations for 11 years.

OTA also works great. I'm picking up ~10 channels. I'll report later more details on this.
post #114 of 4853
From a short term business perspective it may not make sense for Comcast to add channels. But after seeing both regular digital and HD on OTA vs. the analog channels on Comcast, I'm ready give Comcast the boot. A simple $15 antenna works just fine. Granted, it's a little ugly (the radioshack double bow-tie). But it works flawlessly and I've never adjusted it since I found it's "spot". If Comcast doesn't come online as their customers do, their customers will see better PQ as they search for alternatives and move on.

How's the regular non-HD PQ on VOOM? I'm leaning towards DishNet for it's price, but seems like everyone's non-HD PQ suffers on the larger TVs right now.

On the quieter HD sound I saw above, OTA HD/digital is quieter to.
post #115 of 4853
Before you go for the Dish, consider VOOM. With the zero down, no commitment offer there is no risk for trying.
Also, even if you don't want VOOM, consider DirectTV before Dish (see this thread )
post #116 of 4853
Thread Starter 
Walter...Congrats! Voom has been having issues the past two days with their signal, so I'm suprised you were able to get a decent signal. My signal quality is in the 20-30 range. I am still not getting much OTA. They are sending out another installer tomorrow to re-adjust the antenna. I don't know if this will help, as Steve did everything he could as it is. BTW: You may find the box a little quirky, mine has frozen up a couple times. Voom will updated software in a week or so (faster channel changes too!).

Willi: the non-HD stuff I've seen is better than Comcast (which I still have so I can A/B them). I think that is because the Voom box upscales to 1080i (at least that is what my projector says it is) whereas the Comcast does 480p. Ya think?
post #117 of 4853
Vince, my signal quality after installation was ~41 (~5 PM). Last night I watched for ~3 hrs and only had one frozen-up for ~4 seconds. Later on the night, I checked signal quality and it was 48.
I agree with you: VOOM picture quality is better than Comcast on both HD and SD content.
post #118 of 4853
Check out this web site to accurately tune your OTA antenna.
post #119 of 4853
I have Comcast in the Portland area and need some advice from the wise sages that lurk in this forum. I have a grandfathered TV package called Perfect TV (ATT) that costs me $56 a month and includes the digital basic , Encore, and HBO. Since HDTV has been available I have had the convertor. Recently comcast has pulled my access to ESPNHD,INHD1, and INHD2 leaving me access to the local's HD feed and HBOHD. I really could care less about INHD1&2 but ESPNHD during march madness.......I'm livid. I called up the office and they informed me that to get ESPNHD I would have switch my digital cable package to one that provides me ESPNClassic & ESPNnews to enable rights to see ESPNHD. The manager was friendly and gave me the number to the cable regulatory board to discuss further.

My argument point is that I have already purchased the rights to ESPN and therefore should have rights to the ESPNHD feed. IMHO Espn is shouldering the HD costs and it makes no sense for Comcast to gain $15/mo from me to see the content that ESPN is providing to them at no additional charge. This argument seems to support KOINs actions regarding HD being a revenue stream for Comcast. I will contact the regulatory board on monday but is their any other avenues that I should address?
post #120 of 4853
It seems to me you have a good argument for ESPN HD, and you have stated your case very well. Whether federal law and FCC rules support your argument, I don't know.

I do know that Comcast's basic philosophy is that it should not pay extra for HD programming when it is a simulcast of an SD channel. So you definitely have a sympathetic argument. If necessary, you could pursue it at the corporate level (start with regional VP, for example).

However, re March Madness, ESPN HD is of very little help, since all the games are on CBS. Most of what ESPN HD does right now is NOT HD, but stretched SD. However, on April 4th, Sportscenter is supposed to go HD (all Sportscenter shows every day, which I think means the studio shots are in HD and some highlights are in HD but most highlights during the show will still be in stretched SD). If I were you, I would check the ESPN website for ESPN HD, where you will find the schedule of live events in HD before April 4th, to see if it matters to you.

Of course, after April 4th, ESPN HD will have more HD value, so even if there is little in the way of appealing HD before April 4th, that of course doesn't ultimately resolve your dilemma.
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