Admittedly, I've been procrastinating on this QAM/encryption deadline, so I found some time today to hopefully settle the situation.
Sadly, it seems that Comcast's customers know more about their policies than their own reps do.
After being told by the L1 rep that he admittedly didn't know whether the HD Technology fee is a one-time, or recurring charge (he thought the former), he transferred me to the local sales call center.
That rep rightly pointed out that in order to avoid said fee, I'd have to downgrade to Limited Basic, which, considering my habits, I'm ready to do, at least until I suss out an OTA solution.
However, I didn't catch the distinction between an HD DTA and HD Digital Converter (with $2.50 charge--per the price list on my bill, not $2 as told) during the conversation, and I assumed that the thirty units that she told me that were in stock locally are of the latter Converter, and not the DTA I desire.
Since someone else mentioned that they were able to check stock though the live chat, I tried that instead, and wasted half an hour with a rep who could only follow their script, avoid my direct question, and finally give up by telling me I'd have to place a phone call.
Heck, I'm not sure I even understand all the policies, but I'm not dreaming when I assume I can get one free (primary) HD DTA with Limited Basic service, right?
Under that assumption, my second desire is not to wait in line only to find that the local office doesn't have them.