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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, sorry if this is 1 of many cable card threads. I'm not sure which would suit my needs and I need some advice. My cable service is Comcast. I recently purchased a 42PX50u. I will be ordering either a ccard or a hd box from Comcast on 8/29. I currently have basic cable $11/mo. with a few perks (espn, espn2, wgn, tnt, tbs, etc..) However I would like to experience true HD TV viewing. I don't have any cable boxes or dvrs. DRV is not a concern for me now. I was informed by a Comcast rep that ccards will probably become extinct in the next couple of years and that I should go with a hd box cause I get nav features and the HDMI connection to the tv. Also they said I don't have to upgrade to digital to get the box and that I can get "demand" movie with the box without upgrading to digital(hmmm?). I've read hear that typically ccards produce better PQ with sd channels than the hd box. Both are being offered at $5/mo. The box also gives you the option of using a DVR. When I purchased my TV, I also got the $100 special from Comcast for HD cable (HBOs and lots of HD programming). They pay for my first 2 months of service then I bet the price jumps to $60+/mo. I can cancel the HBOs and I think the price goes down to $40/mo. I kind of like the under $20 route (current service+ccard or the hd box). Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

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I have a ED Panny plasma also, and IMO you really do want the Comcast HD-DVR Motorola 6412 - its a bargain at $9.95/mo. It records in high def using dual tuners, and my experience with it has been very positive. I use the component connection (1080i output) because it seems to produce better blacks than DVI/HDMI, but your set may be different. And you do get VOD, a very nice freebie from Comcast, which you do not get with the cable card (yet).
 

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Well, you've got the tradeoff fairly well understood.


Box gives you On Demand and DVR and one more box and remote. CableCard gives you better picture. In your market they are the same price, so that isn't a factor. CableCards are newer and less common, so there is more chance of a problem with the installation.


Remember that the cable company would prefer you have the cable box so they can sell you On Demand. This is one reason why they are emphasizing the negatives of the CableCard.


In the end, you need to get what you will be happy with.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters
Cable Card/HD Box questions should really be posted in one of the digital cable forums, not the plasma forum.
I hear there is an opening for a Forum "Moderator"


any takers??? :p
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd2none06
Cable Card vs HD Box...


I was informed by a Comcast rep that ccards will probably become extinct in the next couple of years...
This is typical smoke being blown by your Cable provider. Not only are CableCARDs here to stay, but soon there will be 2-way CableCARDs that support all the premium service options that CATV providers jealously guard. The FCC has mandated cable providers open their networks to support an Open Cable environment where subscribers will be able to purchase DCR (digital cable ready) devices like an HD-Tivo to connect to what has been historically a monopoly TV service.


You will get better picture quality and sound with a CableCARD, that's a given, but currently won't be able to take advantage of some of the convenience features available with an STB (PPV / On-demand / DVR).


If you consider yourself to a "serious TV watcher..." for the $1.75 per month charge to lease a CableCARD... you can probably afford to have both. ;)
 

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VOD is not the same as PPV. Comcast has a large library of movies and shows that are free, as well as PPV movies also. If you have a premium channel, you get the premium movies and programs for that channel in VOD for no added charge. What they don't have is VOD in hi-def, at least not as far as I can find.
 

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I liked "The Chronicles of Riddick" as much as the next guy... but how many times can you watch the same movie, on-demand, over & over & over again? :rolleyes:

Most shows aren't that good the first time ;)
 

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Sorry if this question has been asked too many times, but if I buy a TV with a cable card slot now, will it work with the 2 way card when it comes out?


Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q&A
Sorry if this question has been asked too many times, but if I buy a TV with a cable card slot now, will it work with the 2 way card when it comes out?


Thanks!
No, with this detailed explanation:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dt_dc
Short answer:


According to the specs at the CableLabs OpenCable site ... that's exactly the scenario for "CableCard 2.0", "2-way CableCards", "Bi-directional CableCards" or whatever you want to call it.


Basically, the next-gen cards will work with current (unidirectional, one-way) hosts to provide the same functionality you get now. Of course ... you need a next-gen host to get next-gen functionality.


Longer answer:


There are two issues here. 1) Unidirectional vs. bidirectional and 2) single-stream (single tuner) vs. multistream (multiple tuners).


The difference between a unidirectional and bidirectional CableCard system is NOT in the cards themselves. It's in the hosts (and of course the cable company head-end). Ie, there is NO difference between a "unidirectional / 1-way" card and a "bidirectional / 2-way" card. They're the exact same. All the differences are in the actual "host" (TV, STB, DVR, whatever). So ... the cards will work in both because the cards are the exact same.


The difference in cards comes with single-stream vs. multi-stream support. Current cards being deployed are single-stream (referred to in the specs as S-Cards). If multi-stream support is ever mandated (which presumably would be part of a "CableCard 2.0", "bi-directional CableCard agreement), cable companies would have to start deploying multi-stream cards (referred to as M-Cards in the specs). However ... all "M-Cards" must be able to run in a single-stream mode (S-Mode) for use in single-tuner hosts.


So ... that all gets back to the short answer ... the next-gen cards work with current (unidirectional, one-way) hosts to provide the same functionality you get now. Of course ... that assumes everything is implemented to spec :eek:


However don't be too surprised if we never see Bi-directional / CableCard 2.0. The FCC recently gave CableLabs time to explore a "Downloadable Software Security Model" that could be used instead. Basically ... CableCard without the cards. At the very least ... it's going to be a while.
 

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If you are using analog cable, then using digital cable card will be very similar, only with improved digital channels and HD channels. The cablecard is unidirectional, meaning that you can't use menus, PPV, on demand, or other services that require you to communicate to teh cable company. I am not sure how the cable company can tell you that you can use the digital cable box and not use digital cable. The cable company has to come out to your house an setup the box and in order to use any of the features you have to have digital cable. Maybe they are telling you this because everything come into the house on the same line, I don't know. But, you can get a HD DVR box which allows you to records programs and use the menu interface. I use an HDDVR box in my main room and cable card in my other rooms (because they are much cheaper). When comcast says CableCard extinction is near that could be because cable companies with their pathetic service is pushing everyone to direct-tv.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the info, but now I'm confused. However, it seems that the HD Box is the way to go with my only HDTV in the apartment.


Now the issue appears to be can I get the HD BOX and all its features without having to upgrade to digital cable ($40+/mo.)


I will call Comcast this Sunday to find out more details. Hopefully, I can get that dual HD BOX tuner, then I'll probably get the DVR to record the Michigan football games =0)


Will I be able to get all the HD programs too or do I have to upgrade again to a HD programming package (that special that CC has; Comcast pays for your first 2 payments, $100 total) Has anyone purchased that offer?


Also, can I get the NFL or College football package through Comcast with this HD BOX or is that unique to Direct TV?


BTW 40 hours left for my 100 hr breakin period!

Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd2none06
Thanks for all the info, but now I'm confused. However, it seems that the HD Box is the way to go with my only HDTV in the apartment.


Now the issue appears to be can I get the HD BOX and all its features without having to upgrade to digital cable ($40+/mo.)


I will call Comcast this Sunday to find out more details. Hopefully, I can get that dual HD BOX tuner, then I'll probably get the DVR to record the Michigan football games =0)


Will I be able to get all the HD programs too or do I have to upgrade again to a HD programming package (that special that CC has; Comcast pays for your first 2 payments, $100 total) Has anyone purchased that offer?


Also, can I get the NFL or College football package through Comcast with this HD BOX or is that unique to Direct TV?


BTW 40 hours left for my 100 hr breakin period!

Thanks.


Most apartment complexes & condos here in Florida include the Basic Cable Service, and you can upgrade the basic service for an additional amount. Many times the Cable Co. will have a special arrangement w/the Apt. Complex or Condo Assoc. for a reduced rate. You should check first before you order.
 
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