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How predictable that Charter would take the attitude exemplified in this article. Charter is my old cable company. The one I was more than happy to be rid of due to their poor, ghosty, intereference-ridden signal. Their customer service people continue to tell subscribers that digital cable is the same as HDTV. They ran promotional spots full of misinformation about satellite service all the time.


They angered me on two fronts: poor service and their outright false claims about their competition. Keeping the consumer ignorant is cable's best weapon.
 

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Linda, I have DirecTV plus OTA. My neighbors have Comcast "digital" cable...NOT!!!


They are paying for digital cable, and they have a "digital cable" STB, but the only thing "digital" about it is the internally-generated program guide! No kidding...when they call up the guide it looks nice and clean but when they view any programming it's noisy and full of typical analog cable interference.


Is it possible that they're viewing analog service through this box because it's just not hooked-up right or are they just being screwed?
 

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Dave...I never had anything but Charter's analog cable. They were just rolling out digital around the time I cut them loose. Isn't it true that digital cable includes many channels that are on the analog tier and only a portion are on the digital tier. Unless Comcast is carrying the digital signals from their locals, all of those channels plus many others are still the same old analog tier they had before.
 

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Thanks, Linda. That's probably what's going on. I haven't looked at every channel they get.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by David McRoy
Thanks, Linda. That's probably what's going on. I haven't looked at every channel they get.
Most systems offering "digital cable" (digitized NTSC quality stuff, sometimes as high quality as DIRECTV or DISH's non-HD programming), also have about 80 channels that remain analog, for the benefit of their customers who don't want to deal with a cable STB.


My experience with "digital cable" has been that the digital channels generally are much higher quality (and more consistent) than the analog ones, but certainly far, far lower quality than HDTV. On my Time Warner system, the digital subscription movie channels have 5.1 channel sound, output through a coax connector (of course, since the S-Video output is connected to my Tivo, I have to switch to watching composite video to use this--trading video quality for audio quality--Tivo's buffered video is a second or so out of sync with realtime audio). Some of the earlier equipment had some serious problems--occasional break-ups with missing macro-blocks and inability to sync with a channel without tuning to another channel and tuning back. But those were the early boxes and headend equipment--recent products are pretty damn good.


Now, if they'd only put some HD channels on my system--there are pass-thru 1394 connectors on my Explorer 2000 (though they may or may not be hooked up to anything--I think its an option that the SO can order with the boxes).


-- Mike Scott
 
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