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Comcast HDTV - Page 389

post #11641 of 11981
Comcast Starts to Kiss Analog TV Goodbye

January 6, 2012 | Jeff Baumgartner

In its effort to reclaim analog spectrum, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has gotten down to its most basic video service tier.

It's possibly the last phase of Project Cavalry, where Comcast is distributing Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) devices to shift channels to digital format, freeing up valuable analog capacity. The initial phase converted 35 to 40 channels, and now Comcast is working on the rest -- those in its most basic "B1" packages (an average of about 20 channels, depending on the system). (See Comcast's $1B Bandwidth Plan and Comcast Sends In the All-Digital 'Cavalry'.)

A Comcast spokeswoman estimates that this phase -- which is underway in Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Houston, Chicago, Boston and other markets -- is 22 percent complete. It started in March 2010 with Augusta, Ga., which coincidentally is the technical trial site for Xcalibur, a nimble video platform that will rely heavily on the cloud. (See Comcast to Swing Xcalibur Wide in 2012, Comcast Tests Broadband-Fed Xcalibur Service and Comcast Courts the Cloud.)

Customers with older analog TVs will be forced to use set-top boxes to get B1 channels. While some customers will certainly howl about that, Comcast is trying to appease them by offering three free DTAs. (Comcast offers two DTAs and one interactive, VoD-capable set-top for free to customers who subscribe to B2, the advanced basic tier). (See Comcast Seeds Digital Shift With Free Boxes.)

All this reclaimed spectrum is going toward more digital services. The MSO, for example, is increasing its HD lineup to about 120 channels from about 100 in B1 migration markets, while reserving capacity for other future services such as Xcalibur.

Comcast is migrating B1 to digital just as the U.S. cable industry is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to let MSOs encrypt their basic tier once they've gone all-digital. Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) obtained a special waiver from the FCC about a year ago to do so, meaning that customers who use digital TVs with embedded QAM tuners to receive basic channels "in the clear" are now required to use set-tops or TVs that can support the CableCARD, or boxes that support the MSO's new downloadable security system. (See Cablevision Looks to Lock Up Basic Video Tier .)

DTAs don't use CableCARDs, but the models Comcast deploys are capable of activating a content protection scheme called "privacy mode." (See Comcast Lights Up DTA Encryption .)

Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

http://www.lightreading.com/document...treading_gnews
post #11642 of 11981
Here are the problems with the HD On Demand as a 100% substitute for the missing premium channels in HD.
1) A lot of movies are missing. Channels like the extra Cinemax and Showtimes show a lot of older or independent movies that are not in the HD On Demand library.
2) Fast Forwarding and reversing is not as convenient as doing that to a recording you make on your DVR.
3) The on demand menus are finicky and will sometimes will error out.
4) Reduces the fun of channel surfing and catching something interesting by accident.

You know what, why not place some of those newer channels that dont have enough HD content into the On Demand library similar to what we have in channels like FEARNET. If you are a new channel, prove yourself in the On Demand library first.
post #11643 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy W View Post

So you're lazy, and want to be told what to watch and went to watch it instead of browsing through a list of available programs and watching them at your convenience.

Hey Bro, nobody hurled an insult at you. You have your opinion and I have mine. And BTW, for over $200/month I resent having any features taken away from me, especially when it's done to add third rate programming.
post #11644 of 11981
Anybody in the Henrico, VA 23060 area have the Motorola DCX3400M AnyRoom HD-DVR with Comcast? Trying to verify if Comcast has a multi-room HD-DVR similar to Verizon FiOS in my area.

Looks like I have to go back to Comcast since FiOS will not offer any deals or roll over any of the discounts I got last year to keep me as a customer (other than the $300 visa card). My bill would be going up $70 a month if I stay with FiOS. I hate playing these games.
post #11645 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy W View Post

So you're lazy, and want to be told what to watch and went to watch it instead of browsing through a list of available programs and watching them at your convenience.

I'm disappointed that On Demand doesn't have everything I want to watch. I have a DVR, but there is a limit on what I can record because some programs are on at the same time as others I want to record.
post #11646 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal1981 View Post

As for your argument in regard to wasted bandwidth, the vast majority of the channels that were added are, by and large, useless and, I would submit, a far greater waste of said bandwidth than the premium HDs ever were. As was stated previously, when you are paying top dollar for your cable package, it's a bit disconcerting to be made to feel that those with basic or even extended packages merit more consideration than you.

AMEN! I would trade all those extra channels for an all-HD premium channel offering.
post #11647 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal1981 View Post

Hey Bro, nobody hurled an insult at you. You have your opinion and I have mine. And BTW, for over $200/month I resent having any features taken away from me, especially when it's done to add third rate programming.

Also, OnDemand has an additional monthly charge tacked on as you're forced to rent their crappy hardware to even view it. If the quality is equivalent, or better, to a linear channel offering, and I wouldn't have to use, and pay for, some Motorola garbage to view it, I'd probably use OnDemand on a fairly regular basis.
post #11648 of 11981
I just called Comcast and they had no clue or answers to my questions.

What cable boxes will work with the Motorola DCX3400M AnyRoom HD-DVR with Comcast?

Can any Comcast cable box access (play) the recorded shows on a Motorola DCX3400M AnyRoom HD-DVR within the same house?

Thanks!
post #11649 of 11981
I believe only the DCX 3200 will work with the DCX3400m or DCX3501m for multi room DVR sharing.
post #11650 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy W View Post

So you're lazy, and want to be told what to watch and went to watch it instead of browsing through a list of available programs and watching them at your convenience.

The ondemand interface is beyond archaic. It's slow, ugly, and hard to navigate. The iOS apps make it a bit easier, but I'm sorry it's not laziness. It's a piss poor interface.
post #11651 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by chad473 View Post

The ondemand interface is beyond archaic. It's slow, ugly, and hard to navigate.

I can appreciate this, and understand it. However, it seemed to me that the argument was more against the entire concept of VOD, not just the current interface used to access it.
post #11652 of 11981
I returned the Motorola DCT6200 HD box and got the new slim box hoping that the channel change would be faster. But it is in fact slower. Music Choice is much worse. At least with the DCT6200, the Music Choice channel would change audio instantaneously while the still image would take a couple of secs. It didnnt bother me as I could just change the channel if I didnt like the song. With the new box, when ever I change the channel, the screen blanks out and the new channel (audio and video) comes after some 2-3 secs. It is worse for music choice.

I read online that it could be due to HDCP handshake delay. After all these years we still have the HDCP handshake issue? So I used a component cable and set the output resolution on the HD box to 480p (well my projector is only 480p). Absolutely no difference. Same delay. No difference with 480i either.

So I dont think it is the HDCP handshake issue. It is just the cheap box made offshore. They also got rid of the channel number display on the front panel, may be to cut cost?

Anyone noticed this delay between channel change? I have to swap the new box with the old Motorola DCT6200.

I also noticed that in the HD box menu, you cant scroll up and down. If you go to one entry and change something, you have to turn off the box, turn on and then turn off again and hit MENU to go to the HD box menu again. Why change something like the DCT6200 when it was working fine. Sure it was bigger and there was some delay in changing channels but not as bad it is now.

I hope they are still issuing the old DCT6200 box.
post #11653 of 11981
Hey there, I have a quick question.

I recently signed up for Comcast Blast internet ($40 a month) and they gave me a little cable box for my TV for free. I hooked it up and noticed that I get a ton of channels (FX, Comedy Central, MTV etc), yet I never signed up for a cable service.

Is this normal? Can I rent an HD box from them and access these channels in HD?
post #11654 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preditor74 View Post

Hey there, I have a quick question.

I recently signed up for Comcast Blast internet ($40 a month) and they gave me a little cable box for my TV for free. I hooked it up and noticed that I get a ton of channels (FX, Comedy Central, MTV etc), yet I never signed up for a cable service.

Is this normal? Can I rent an HD box from them and access these channels in HD?

I cannot tell what part of the country you live in or whether you have Motorola or SA/Cisco hardware; however, it sounds to me as if they've given you a DTA box (Digital TV Adapter) that allows you to receive basic and extended basic channels that used to be delivered in analog, but now all channels are delivered in digital format. However, if you ask for an HD box, they're almost certainly going to charge you for that.

On a side note: The issue of "Cable Ready" HDTV's that are using "SD only" DTA boxes (the only ones available currently) has been brought up, and Comcast says that the next generation of DTA's will allow basic subscribers to receive at least local stations in HD. Delivery, "sometime in 2012".
post #11655 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mupi View Post

I returned the Motorola DCT6200 HD box and got the new slim box hoping that the channel change would be faster. But it is in fact slower. Music Choice is much worse. At least with the DCT6200, the Music Choice channel would change audio instantaneously while the still image would take a couple of secs. It didnnt bother me as I could just change the channel if I didnt like the song. With the new box, when ever I change the channel, the screen blanks out and the new channel (audio and video) comes after some 2-3 secs. It is worse for music choice.

I read online that it could be due to HDCP handshake delay. After all these years we still have the HDCP handshake issue? So I used a component cable and set the output resolution on the HD box to 480p (well my projector is only 480p). Absolutely no difference. Same delay. No difference with 480i either.

So I dont think it is the HDCP handshake issue. It is just the cheap box made offshore. They also got rid of the channel number display on the front panel, may be to cut cost?

Anyone noticed this delay between channel change? I have to swap the new box with the old Motorola DCT6200.

I also noticed that in the HD box menu, you cant scroll up and down. If you go to one entry and change something, you have to turn off the box, turn on and then turn off again and hit MENU to go to the HD box menu again. Why change something like the DCT6200 when it was working fine. Sure it was bigger and there was some delay in changing channels but not as bad it is now.

I hope they are still issuing the old DCT6200 box.

Anyone?
BTW the number of the new slim box is RNG110. It is really slow.
post #11656 of 11981
I love the DCT6200's. They're still my favorite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mupi View Post

I returned the Motorola DCT6200 HD box and got the new slim box hoping that the channel change would be faster. But it is in fact slower. Music Choice is much worse. At least with the DCT6200, the Music Choice channel would change audio instantaneously while the still image would take a couple of secs. It didnnt bother me as I could just change the channel if I didnt like the song. With the new box, when ever I change the channel, the screen blanks out and the new channel (audio and video) comes after some 2-3 secs. It is worse for music choice.

I read online that it could be due to HDCP handshake delay. After all these years we still have the HDCP handshake issue? So I used a component cable and set the output resolution on the HD box to 480p (well my projector is only 480p). Absolutely no difference. Same delay. No difference with 480i either.

So I dont think it is the HDCP handshake issue. It is just the cheap box made offshore. They also got rid of the channel number display on the front panel, may be to cut cost?

Anyone noticed this delay between channel change? I have to swap the new box with the old Motorola DCT6200.

I also noticed that in the HD box menu, you cant scroll up and down. If you go to one entry and change something, you have to turn off the box, turn on and then turn off again and hit MENU to go to the HD box menu again. Why change something like the DCT6200 when it was working fine. Sure it was bigger and there was some delay in changing channels but not as bad it is now.

I hope they are still issuing the old DCT6200 box.
post #11657 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mupi View Post

Anyone?
BTW the number of the new slim box is RNG110. It is really slow.

What kind of response are you looking for? The box you got is a flaming pile of garbage. This is nothing new.
post #11658 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by chad473 View Post

The ondemand interface is beyond archaic. It's slow, ugly, and hard to navigate. The iOS apps make it a bit easier, but I'm sorry it's not laziness. It's a piss poor interface.

Try Cox or Time Warner. They use random channels everywhere for ondemand content so you never know where to even start to look for what you want to watch. With Comcast at least you press the one button on the remote, and you can easily find what you want. Yes it still is the same basic interface as it was in 1999, but it's simple and I found it very easy to navigate and speedy enough with a DCX3400m, or even a DCT3416.
post #11659 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy W View Post

What kind of response are you looking for? The box you got is a flaming pile of garbage. This is nothing new.

I am not looking for instantaneous channel change but at least I would like the video not to blank out for 2-3 secs.

I got the DCX3400 and it is a lot better. Music Choice channel change is instantaneous for audio like the DCT6200 and the change for other channels is a lot faster than DCT6200. Guide is also pretty fast. But there is some issue with the audio. The center channel seems to cut in and out and the volume level keeps changing. So I use the stereo mode on my Denon 3310. It is not my AVR as the RNG110 or DCT6200 were not doing that. I am using optical cable for audio as HDMI gives a hum. I dont like using HDMI anyway to my AVR as I like to hook up the projector straight to the HD box.


I have asked for the DCX3200 (non DVR box). Tech is coming to deliver the box as I have been to the Comcast office 3 times already.
post #11660 of 11981
Virginia
Lexington/Buena Vista

Comcast shut off analog today on schedule. Fortunately I am still able to get the HD channels (QAM). Hopefully it stays that was (I am on Basic).
post #11661 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by snash22 View Post

Virginia
Lexington/Buena Vista

Comcast shut off analog today on schedule. Fortunately I am still able to get the HD channels (QAM). Hopefully it stays that was (I am on Basic).

It will for now. But this may change.
post #11662 of 11981
Comcast has put in a application to the FCC in conjunction with the HD DTA to scramble all channels. They say it will save money since it will eliminate a truck roll to turn on or shut off service. (Who will pocket the savings?)
post #11663 of 11981
Yep, this was the logical next step after getting rid of the remaining analogs (scheduled to happen here by end of next week).

If the HD DTAs are cheap enough we will all pocket the savings vs. renting their overpriced HD STBs, but Comcast certainly will for reduced truck rolls.
post #11664 of 11981
Got an automated phone call from Comcast informing me that basic channels will be going all digital soon. I'm hoping that also means more HD channels soon. The big one I'm looking forward to is BBC America HD.
post #11665 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morac View Post

Got an automated phone call from Comcast informing me that basic channels will be going all digital soon. I'm hoping that also means more HD channels soon. The big one I'm looking forward to is BBC America HD.

Wow, I thought they had already converted every system. Guess not.
post #11666 of 11981
They removed all analogs here four months ago but still no new HD.
post #11667 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy W View Post

Wow, I thought they had already converted every system. Guess not.

If you mean the limited basic lineup, NOT by a longshot yet...we're STILL waiting on it here, on all CC IL systems...
post #11668 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Carr View Post

They removed all analogs here four months ago but still no new HD.

Wow. Is this typical? I would have thought the switch to all digital would have brought new HD within a month.

We still have analog here as well & I have no idea when the switch will be made, yet the Philly market has been all digital for a while now.
post #11669 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Jones View Post

Wow. Is this typical? I would have thought the switch to all digital would have brought new HD within a month.

In April and May 2010 we lost Expanded Basic analog and got new HD a week later. Not this time.
post #11670 of 11981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Jones View Post

Wow. Is this typical? I would have thought the switch to all digital would have brought new HD within a month.

We still have analog here as well & I have no idea when the switch will be made, yet the Philly market has been all digital for a while now.




And from what I've read the Philly market has the most HD channels of any Comcast system.
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