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Houston, TX - Comcast / DBS - Page 209

post #6241 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by jruhnke View Post

Comcast can cap your modem at 6Mbps even if it's capable of more. When I first bought and installed my Motorola Surfboard modem, I was regularly getting 20+Mbps speeds during speed tests. Nowadays, though, it's capped at the advertised Comcast limits: 6Mbps, plus a 12Mbps "SpeedBoost" for the first few seconds of a large transfer.

I wonder if that's because you bought your own modem and, as a consequence, Comcast is just being spiteful. I use the modem Comcast provided; so do most of my friends who've upgraded their router/firewall and/or done speed tests for me (or out of their own curiousity). Some of them do have their own modem (not at my suggestion), but none of them experience this performance capping.

Of course, the problem that I would expect you to have if you were to call Comcast for help about this is that they will simply say that you are getting what they have advertised. That's just a cop-out, in my opinion, but there may be little that you can do about it. The only suggestion I have is to somehow get a Comcast internet service technician to come to your house -- I don't know how -- and convince him to call into "the center" to get them to set your "service tier" up. (Those were the words I heard the technician that came out to my house use.)

It's because of events such as this that I will just keep what Comcast provides, because I know they can't complain about their own equipment (and if they do, I can just ask that it be replaced), and because I know that I can always say I'm not getting the advertised service and force a visit from a technician.

Another little tidbit for you: Comcast apparently has something that's similar to the overpriced service the phone company has offered for years: inside wire maintenance. I don't know what Comcast calls it (never looked at the details on the bill), but I think it's about $2 per month. If you had that, you could do something like break a cable or one of the connectors on the end of it and have them come out to fix it; then, while they were there, have them fix the "throughput problem" you're having as well. I don't need Comcast to fix my cables or connectors, but it's worth it to me to be able to force them to send out a technician (whereupon they can be asked them to look at other problems).

--
WB
post #6242 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by WmHBlair View Post

I wonder if that's because you bought your own modem and, as a consequence, Comcast is just being spiteful. I use the modem Comcast provided; so do most of my friends who've upgraded their router/firewall and/or done speed tests for me (or out of their own curiousity). Some of them do have their own modem (not at my suggestion), but none of them experience this performance capping.

I think it's simply a case of "Your mileage may vary." Infrastructure has been built out over the Houston area over different timeframes (and even by different companies, before being absorbed by TimeWarner/Comcast). It may be that Comcast has different tools in place in different areas, or for other reasons chooses to manage their network differently in different parts of town.

All I wanted to point out was that, without regard to Comcast's motives for doing so or whether they were likely to do it to a specific customer, it's clearly possible for a modem capable of faster speeds to be capped by Comcast to deliver no more than their max advertised speeds.

Quote:


Of course, the problem that I would expect you to have if you were to call Comcast for help about this is that they will simply say that you are getting what they have advertised. That's just a cop-out, in my opinion

Whatever. Comcast advertises 6Mbps. I get 6Mbps. I don't care that some other folks get higher speeds; bully for them. I'm not gonna bitch about getting what I paid for.

Quote:


It's because of events such as this that I will just keep what Comcast provides, because I know they can't complain about their own equipment (and if they do, I can just ask that it be replaced), and because I know that I can always say I'm not getting the advertised service and force a visit from a technician.

To each his own. In my case, I was more interested in getting service that worked than playing games with Comcast. My original (circa 1998) TWC-provided modem died. I swapped it out at the local customer counter, and the replacement modem would randomly conk out periodically. A tech came out and replaced it with a modem that worked, but had some sort of issue that kept it from exceeding 1Mbps for any length of time. After about two months of crappy performance because of screwed up cable modems (for which I was now paying a ~$4/mo or whatever it was rental fee), I decided to pick up my own gear. I've been happy since.

Quote:


If you had that, you could do something like break a cable or one of the connectors on the end of it and have them come out to fix it; then, while they were there, have them fix the "throughput problem" you're having as well. I don't need Comcast to fix my cables or connectors, but it's worth it to me to be able to force them to send out a technician (whereupon they can be asked them to look at other problems).

Yeah, and I could also steal gum from the convenience store, but I won't. I've got no interest in gaming the system. Besides, waiting for the cable tech is something to be avoided whenever possible--I either have to take off work or give up a Saturday, and that's a personal cost I don't like to pay unless I have to.
post #6243 of 9937
Anyone take a look at their last cable bill! I thought they had provided a channel line up, but it turned out to be 3 pages of billing changes!

OH - and the best part - in their pitch about all the great things they did last year and will do this year, they actually said they only added 2 HD channels last year - My20HD and TWCHD!

Oh, but much more to come - hey Comcast, how about not raising my bill UNTIL those channels are there??
post #6244 of 9937
and deleted Mojo and HDNet Movie... even steven
post #6245 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmatheny View Post

Anyone take a look at their last cable bill! I thought they had provided a channel line up, but it turned out to be 3 pages of billing changes!

OH - and the best part - in their pitch about all the great things they did last year and will do this year, they actually said they only added 2 HD channels last year - My20HD and TWCHD!

Oh, but much more to come - hey Comcast, how about not raising my bill UNTIL those channels are there??

The last page is the Channel Line-Up.
post #6246 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by WmHBlair View Post

Horsehockey. They either "see" the modem from their end, or they don't. He may be talking about their process, which means that it could take some time for your new modem to be put into the system (to be recognized). But normally that happens immediately, literally (unless there is some genuine, but not unusual, problem at their end -- I understand that Comcast's administrative infrastructure is ... er ... uh ... "difficult"). How many such problems can they reasonably have? Do they have such problems all the time? I dunno ... I doubt it ... sounds like it just didn't work for some reason and he just wanted to get you off the phone to improve his responsiveness stats.



Never say never, but not bloody likely. Did you power it off for about a minute before reconnecting it to your PC?



Yep, certainly should. I've never had any of my friends that have done this report any problem at all. It just worked ("right out of the box" so to speak).



Please do let us know the results.

--
WB


Hey WB,

They musta been telling the truth because I got home from work yesterday and the modem was working fine and I really noticed the speed boost. So I called and cancelled my appointment.

Later
post #6247 of 9937
Hello everybody.

I am relocating to Sugar Land and have a couple of questions. In my current location, I have a DB2 antenna from antennasdirect.com. I use that to get most of my HDTV from OTA signals. My HOA has cable with some channels sent clear-QAM, which I also used.

I'd like to know if I'd need to upgrade my antenna if I live in Sugar Land.

Second, I'd like to know what clear-qam channels are available. It looks like Comcast is the main cable guy in town, and I am frankly reluctant to go with them because of all the bad news about them (bandwidth caps, etc). However, clear-qam through cable is the only real option for my HTPC. I just love my HTPC more than any other DVR.

So any opinions? (I'm gonna post the OTA question in the Houston-OTA forum as well.)
post #6248 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadianton View Post

... I'd like to know what clear-qam channels are available. ... clear-qam through cable is the only real option for my HTPC.

I don't have a list. But I recently bought a new HD TV. To see if it actually worked before I threw away the box and went to a Comcast store to pick up an HD STB for it, I hooked it up directly to the Comcast cable and allowed it to search for any channels it could find on the raw cable. What a surprise. There were so many!

There were at least two dozen channels in the high STB channel number ranges (anything above 99) that I figured would be encrypted (such as The History Channel HD) and therefore unviewable. However, all of my favorite HD channels (with the exception of the 4 HD movie channels that Comcast Houston carries) were detected. What is surprising about that is that if you rent an HD STB, you have to pay extra for "HD Service." Surely they would have encryped all of the channels that are not part of the base package (whatever they call it). But no, obviously they don't. I considered not even getting an STB for this TV, but management directed me to get a DVR, so off to Comcast I went.

One of the screens on the TV's Menu options explicitly indicated the number of "channels" that could be selected using the "next channel up and down" buttons on the remote: 123. I remember that because it was such an unusual number. Now, many of those stations had to be removed from the TV's memory because they were completely uninteresting (local access, shopping, in languages we don't speak, children-oriented channels, etc.), but we were left with more than 60 channels that management would tolerate clicking through to find what she wanted, and between the three of us, we would have found something worth watching on each one of those 60+ channels (at least every now and then).

At one point I still had the three pages on which I had made notes about each channel for which the TV had located an unencrypted signal. I was going to construct an Excel spreadsheet that cross-referenced the actual ATSC tuner cable channel number against each channel's standard Comcast STB channel number. But when management directed that a DVR be acquired, I (unfortunately, I realize now) just discarded the notes, since she would no longer be manually entering ATSC channel numbers.

So the best answer I can give you now is: lots. But I don't have a detailed list. Surely somebody here does.

--
WB
post #6249 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadianton View Post

Hello everybody.

I am relocating to Sugar Land and have a couple of questions. In my current location, I have a DB2 antenna from antennasdirect.com. I use that to get most of my HDTV from OTA signals. My HOA has cable with some channels sent clear-QAM, which I also used.

I'd like to know if I'd need to upgrade my antenna if I live in Sugar Land.

It'd be helpful to know where you're moving from, but the good news is that most of the Houston stations' broadcast antennas are located in the Sugar Land / Missouri City area, so chances are you're moving closer to the antenna farm. You might be so close you could pick up signals just fine using a coat hanger...

The AntennaWeb site may also be useful if you'd like help selecting a TV antenna.
post #6250 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by jruhnke View Post

It'd be helpful to know where you're moving from, but the good news is that most of the Houston stations' broadcast antennas are located in the Sugar Land / Missouri City area, so chances are you're moving closer to the antenna farm. You might be so close you could pick up signals just fine using a coat hanger...

The AntennaWeb site may also be useful if you'd like help selecting a TV antenna.

Moving from Utah actually.
post #6251 of 9937
I hate that Comcast has dropped HDNet Movies. I wouldn't have minded checking out the Friday the 13th films in HD tonight.
post #6252 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadianton View Post

Moving from Utah actually.

Aha! I thought you were just moving across town. : )
post #6253 of 9937
I've been getting pretty bad packet loss from this host: po-17-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net (60-80%) for the last 10+ hours. Anybody else having problems with their Comcast internet? My speed is fine when I test it, just lots of pauses and time outs while surfing. I tried call tech support twice, but both times, and I kid you not, the tech went to put me on hold and both times they hung up one me. .I can't make myself call them again...at least not today...I'm scared of what I would say (need to cool down a little).
post #6254 of 9937
Called back...they checked my modem "signal", sent a "refresh hit", and then told me there was no problem yet I'm still getting crazy packet loss from po-17-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net . I asked if they could perform a traceroute to my modem and if they could, see if it went through that particular host. I was told their system isn't setup for that and they would have to send a tech out to my house to do that. So now I have to hope po-17-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net somehow gets fixed on it's own, if not I have to wait until Wednesday afternoon because that was the earliest appointment.

Seems like a waste of money to order a truck roll for something that could be diagnosed over the phone but I guess they can just raise rates to make up for it. (at least they didn't hang up on me this time).

P.S. does anybody know a Comcast email address that I could send this information and line test results to where it will be understood and not ignored?
post #6255 of 9937
sasmallen...have you done a quick check of all your wiring? i.e. your home run and splitters?

Obviously, it could be on their end. However, severe packet loss can also occur on your end as well.

Last time I had that, with TW, it was the fact that some lazy contractor split my already split signal off into another apartment in our attic. I found it and took it off.

PS - I can't tell you how my connection on comcrap is as I'm now on Uverse /happy dance.
post #6256 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Str0ntium View Post

sasmallen...have you done a quick check of all your wiring? i.e. your home run and splitters?

Obviously, it could be on their end. However, severe packet loss can also occur on your end as well.

Last time I had that, with TW, it was the fact that some lazy contractor split my already split signal off into another apartment in our attic. I found it and took it off.

PS - I can't tell you how my connection on comcrap is as I'm now on Uverse /happy dance.

Str0ntium, thanks for the input. I did remove the splitter to check if signal was the problem, but I got the same results. The tech did say my signal looked fine, if that means anything. Do you think poor line quality can cause the packet loss to show up on the same host 3 hops away from me over and over? Maybe somebody here on the forum can run a few traceroutes to 98.200.74.120 to see if they get any packet loss from po-17-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net. On some runs it's perfect, but most of the time it's from 30-80% packet loss only from that host.
post #6257 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by sasmallen View Post

Maybe somebody here on the forum can run a few traceroutes to 98.200.74.120 to see if they get any packet loss from po-17-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net. On some runs it's perfect, but most of the time it's from 30-80% packet loss only from that host.

Hmm. Just ran 40 pings to po-17-ar02; 3 packets were lost, but rest bounced back @ min 14ms, max 30ms, avg 19ms.
Second batch of 40 similar: two lost packets, rest bounced back min 14ms, max 59ms, avg 23ms.
Several tracerts came back clean.
You used to live not far from me (University Green, I think?). I'm just across Bay Area from there.
post #6258 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by jruhnke View Post

Hmm. Just ran 40 pings to po-17-ar02; 3 packets were lost, but rest bounced back @ min 14ms, max 30ms, avg 19ms.
Second batch of 40 similar: two lost packets, rest bounced back min 14ms, max 59ms, avg 23ms.
Several tracerts came back clean.
You used to live not far from me (University Green, I think?). I'm just across Bay Area from there.


jruhnke, thanks for running those...those results were less loss than I'm seeing but there shouldn't be any. I did live there, but we moved to the southbelt/pearland area now. I am getting more runs with just 2 or 3 lost packets...maybe it's clearing up?
post #6259 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by sasmallen View Post

Str0ntium, thanks for the input. I did remove the splitter to check if signal was the problem, but I got the same results. The tech did say my signal looked fine, if that means anything. Do you think poor line quality can cause the packet loss to show up on the same host 3 hops away from me over and over? Maybe somebody here on the forum can run a few traceroutes to 98.200.74.120 to see if they get any packet loss from po-17-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net. On some runs it's perfect, but most of the time it's from 30-80% packet loss only from that host.

If your lines all look good, etc... it seems it could be the server, on that route. Keep in mind that any routers and/or modems can be potential problems, as well. But, based on your last post, it seems like it may have just been a network issue.
post #6260 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by jruhnke View Post

...most of the Houston stations' broadcast antennas are located in the Sugar Land / Missouri City area, so chances are you're moving closer to the antenna farm. You might be so close you could pick up signals just fine using a coat hanger...

The AntennaWeb site may also be useful if you'd like help selecting a TV antenna.

Follow-up for gadianton: Just ran across this FCC site that actually shows where the transmitters are physically located for each station in your area, so you can see how close they'll be to your new house:

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/
post #6261 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by sasmallen View Post

Called back...they checked my modem "signal", sent a "refresh hit", and then told me there was no problem yet I'm still getting crazy packet loss from po-17-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net . I asked if they could perform a traceroute to my modem and if they could, see if it went through that particular host. I was told their system isn't setup for that and they would have to send a tech out to my house to do that. So now I have to hope po-17-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net somehow gets fixed on it's own, if not I have to wait until Wednesday afternoon because that was the earliest appointment.

Seems like a waste of money to order a truck roll for something that could be diagnosed over the phone but I guess they can just raise rates to make up for it. (at least they didn't hang up on me this time).

P.S. does anybody know a Comcast email address that I could send this information and line test results to where it will be understood and not ignored?

I have the same problems with
po-17-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net
(68.85.244.129)

It is ruining my connection to Warcraft 3. I have reported it to Comcast through tech calls, the online support, and in person to a tech that came to my place to replace the modem. I included the server name and IP and they said they would fix it. 10 days later it still was not fixed and I called again and the guy on phone told me that no one has done anything since the 10 day ago period when I provided them documentation of the problem with ping tests.

It has now been another 4 or so days (Feb 16 2009) and the problem is horrible right now. The "best" loss I have gotten since later January is about 4% for short periods and most of time around 10 to 15%, but in peak hours its 25% to 35%.

Any other ideas on how to get Comcast to fix this?
post #6262 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by killer.dk View Post

Any other ideas on how to get Comcast to fix this?

You could try this...

http://twitter.com/comcastcares/status/1187142158
post #6263 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by killer.dk View Post

I have the same problems with
po-17-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net
(68.85.244.129)

I can ping that site just fine and have been doing so for about an hour with absolutely no packet loss. Where, exactly, are you trying to send traffic? I tried to get that router to appear in a tracert by sending packets to servers that I know are in various geographic locations all over the country, but no sites that I happened to think of to try were (supposedly) routed thru that box. I can get to it, but nothing I try appears to be routed thru it.

It could be that this is a case where the real problem is with some router on the way back. In other words, your traffic gets to, and through, that router, but they are getting dropped on the way back to you from that router (or from the actual site you're trying to reach). Packets don't necessarily traverse exactly the same route back from a router or node that they did to get there to begin with (that they should come back along the exact, same path they traveled out is one of the great internet myths). It's odd (to me) that people think they should do that (or at least that they always do), but IP routers simply do not work that way. There is no memory of the route originally taken; packets travel back along any path they are able to. Folks read into the output of tracert much more than is warranted. Unfortunately. But what this fact really means to most ordinary end users is that this behavior masks real problems with routers simply by making them appear not to be involved (when in fact they are).

--
WB
post #6264 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by WmHBlair View Post

I can ping that site just fine and have been doing so for about an hour with absolutely no packet loss. Where, exactly, are you trying to send traffic? I tried to get that router to appear in a tracert by sending packets to servers that I know are in various geographic locations all over the country, but no sites that I happened to think of to try were (supposedly) routed thru that box. I can get to it, but nothing I try appears to be routed thru it.

It could be that this is a case where the real problem is with some router on the way back. In other words, your traffic gets to, and through, that router, but they are getting dropped on the way back to you from that router (or from the actual site you're trying to reach). Packets don't necessarily traverse exactly the same route back from a router or node that they did to get there to begin with (that they should come back along the exact, same path they traveled out is one of the great internet myths). It's odd (to me) that people think they should do that (or at least that they always do), but IP routers simply do not work that way. There is no memory of the route originally taken; packets travel back along any path they are able to. Folks read into the output of tracert much more than is warranted. Unfortunately. But what this fact really means to most ordinary end users is that this behavior masks real problems with routers simply by making them appear not to be involved (when in fact they are).

--
WB

It's has been better for me...just 10-20% packet loss now (still not acceptable). It's the third hop from me for any site I ping. Maybe if you ping my ip 98.200.74.120 you will go through it. The tech came by today and said he would notify them of the problem, but it looks like that's not worth too much.
post #6265 of 9937
Wow, picked up an extra HD cable box last month thinking it wouldn't be much of a difference to my bill. Boy was I wrong. Shame on me of course of not checking before hand, but I couldn't believe they are getting away with charging customers $14 per month to rent a box. The last time I check its was $5-6. Mind you, we aren't talking a DVR box, just a plain old HD box. I'll be taking that back. Too bad there isn't one that I can just go buy at Best Buy that will work like a cable modem.
post #6266 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by pale_rider View Post

Wow, picked up an extra HD cable box last month thinking it wouldn't be much of a difference to my bill. Boy was I wrong. Shame on me of course of not checking before hand, but I couldn't believe they are getting away with charging customers $14 per month to rent a box. The last time I check its was $5-6. Mind you, we aren't talking a DVR box, just a plain old HD box. I'll be taking that back. Too bad there isn't one that I can just go buy at Best Buy that will work like a cable modem.

Don't forget - there was aslo a price increase last month. My bill went up w/o any changes
post #6267 of 9937
All -- does anyone know of a comparison of the HD lineups here in Houston versus other areas Comcast serves?

I would like to gauge for myself how far behind the 4th largest city in America is compared to other places...

Thanks!
post #6268 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuta View Post

All -- does anyone know of a comparison of the HD lineups here in Houston versus other areas Comcast serves?

I would like to gauge for myself how far behind the 4th largest city in America is compared to other places...

Thanks!

I haven't checked recently; however, you can do so by going to the Comcast website and enter a different zip code to get the channel line up for say...Chicago.

That said, Houston is well behind some other Comcast systems. They have to work with the basic system they took over from TWC a couple of years ago, and even though they have made some upgrades, they need to reclaim analog bandwidth to use for more HD channels.

They are already doing this on some systems in Portland, OR; Seattle, etc, where they are eliminating all analog channels and providing basic subscribers with a very basic digital decoder that allows them access to the channels they are paying for. These are "free" up to 3 TV's and something like $3 for additional ones. The local Comcast brass say that there will be more HD this year, but have not set out a schedule or channel line-up. You'll note that the DTA (digital to analog adapters) are being rolled out in smaller markets to make sure there are no unexpected issues. I'll ask my contacts within Ccst and see if there's any new info that's not been made public.
post #6269 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by sasmallen View Post

It's the third hop from me for any site I ping. Maybe if you ping my ip 98.200.74.120 you will go through it.

That's an excellent idea. I did a tracert to your IP, and the third hop before you is not the node you think you're having packet loss problems with, but is instead this router:

po-13-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net [68.85.244.133]

That is another illustration of the fact that packets heading to you do not take the same route back when coming from you. That router could be the source of your problem, instead, but not for the reasons (or despite what) you might conclude by simply doing pings and tracerts to it. This is because your route to it might be different than the route taken by packets out to other nodes. As a router along the path actually taken by (at least some) packets coming in to you, while it (or equally likely, some other router along the actual incoming path) could be where packets are being lost, it could be the case that the incoming ICMP ping response packets back from that router to you do not take the same path, and so it would not appear to be the source of the packet loss. In other words, the actual problem router (or connection) could be a peer or a predecessor of po-13-ar02.royalton.tx.houston.comcast.net [68.85.244.133] for packets on the way in to you or even the next downstream (incoming) router on the way out of that router (or its peer). All of that simply means that the problem could be in a router (or in some connection at a router) that neither you nor I can "see" using tracert.

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to determine where, exactly, packets are getting dropped if one's only tools are ping and tracert. The internet simply does not work that way, the way most folks think it works. Routes are not always exactly reversible. Different types of packtes can travel different routes. Different size packets can take different routes. Routers are frequently pooled at high-traffic nodes, and packets can appear to go through one, when in fact they might most frequently go through one of its peers. There are no guarantees.

But if you are, in fact, getting significant packet loss on a continuing basis, there is most likely a problem somewhere that Comcast needs to identify and fix. They have tools to do this, but they aren't in the toolbox of the technician that they can send out to your house. You have to get the attention of a very small, selected set of folks, and unfortunately they are not likely to be physically located anywhere near Houston (which just makes their job harder). I know this from experience as a consequence of several instances where I was having what I felt were throughput problems with various web servers. It actually turned out to be packet loss (each probably for a different reason). The last one lasted 6 weeks after service was finally restored after Hurricane Ike; the (local) technician I did end up talking to on the phone several times (after I finally made a big enough stink that they let me talk to "someone who was competent") confirmed (after it got fixed) that it was a problem with a router that I was completely unable to "see" using tracert. He knew it was there, but outgoing packets were being routed around it, so tracert never saw it. Incoming packets, however, checked in but they didn't always check out. Downloads from certain akamai mirror servers increased from less than 200 KB/sec to over 900 KB/sec after this got fixed.

--
WB
post #6270 of 9937
Quote:
Originally Posted by pale_rider View Post

Wow, picked up an extra HD cable box last month thinking it wouldn't be much of a difference to my bill. Boy was I wrong. Shame on me of course of not checking before hand, but I couldn't believe they are getting away with charging customers $14 per month to rent a box. The last time I check its was $5-6. Mind you, we aren't talking a DVR box, just a plain old HD box. I'll be taking that back. Too bad there isn't one that I can just go buy at Best Buy that will work like a cable modem.

Just hook your HD TV up to the raw cable feed and let the ATSC tuner discover all the unencrypted QAM channels. It will find a boatload of HD channels (where "boatload" is probably much smaller than folks here seem to want Comcast to deliver, of course), many channels that can't be tuned on any Comcast STB in the first place (but they get sent out on the RF cable signal anyway -- go figure), and many SD and HD channels that are numbered above 99 on the STB. In my opinion, unless you want to get the encrypted movie channels and other non-mainstream channels, you don't even need a STB here. For the channels we watch, the only reason we have any STBs is because management has directed that a DVR be in place for that particular TV. Otherwise, we'd have none (and would have no need even to pay for "HD service").

--
WB
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