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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
*i hope this is the right place for this*


comcast is converting to all digital in my area (reston VA) starting september 1. they are saying that all TV, yes ALL, with out a comcast box or cable card will be required to get this DTA device. I have comacs and on one of my TVs i even hav the HD box however on a difffrent TV, this tv is a digital ready TV is a able to get a cable card but i dont have one, i dont ahve a box. after this digital switch will they be brodcasting the channels like ESPN in clear QAM or will the be encrypted?


thanks for any help in understanding this matter.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gliff159 /forum/post/16999688


*i hope this is the right place for this*


comcast is converting to all digital in my area (reston VA) starting september 1. they are saying that all TV, yes ALL, with out a comcast box or cable card will be required to get this DTA device. I have comacs and on one of my TVs i even hav the HD box however on a difffrent TV, this tv is a digital ready TV is a able to get a cable card but i dont have one, i dont ahve a box. after this digital switch will they be brodcasting the channels like ESPN in clear QAM or will the be encrypted?


thanks for any help in understanding this matter.

After September 1st you should rescan the channels on your digital TV to find out what you may receive. If your TV has a clear QAM tuner you should be able to tune all the "services" that a DTA will tune. Keep in mind that a clear QAM tuner equipped TV will find the "services" on sub-channels that will differ from the Comcast scheme of "mapped locations" used by their DTAs, converter boxes and Cable Cards. To unscramble encoded services you need the Comcast converter box or a Cable Card. Comcast DTAs do not unscramble encoded services.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Originally Posted by DigaDo /forum/post/16999813


After September 1st you should rescan the channels on your digital TV to find out what you may receive. If your TV has a clear QAM tuner you should be able to tune all the "services" that a DTA will tune. Keep in mind that a clear QAM tuner equipped TV will find the "services" on sub-channels that will differ from the Comcast scheme of "mapped locations" used by their DTAs, converter boxes and Cable Cards. To unscramble encoded services you need the Comcast converter box or a Cable Card. Comcast DTAs do not unscramble encoded services.

yes my TV has a clear QAM tuner currently i get like WETA on say 21.6 so after sept 1 say ESPN would have a similar format like 26.5? oddly i cant get cartoon network or hallmark currently but there inforjmation says that these cahnnels will be available with the DTA
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gliff159 /forum/post/16999931


yes my TV has a clear QAM tuner currently i get like WETA on say 21.6 so after sept 1 say ESPN would have a similar format like 26.5? oddly i cant get cartoon network or hallmark currently but there inforjmation says that these cahnnels will be available with the DTA

I would suggest rescanning your channels now to see what you get. Then, after September 1st rescan your channels again to see what you get. Then you may determine if you need or want a DTA.


Not everything that Comcast tells its customers is the whole truth.


"A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth. (J.I. Packer, Introductory Essay, The Death of Death, page two, Banner of Truth Trust, 1959, reprinted 1963).
 

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Even if they encrypt everything else, the locals should at least be left in the clear (in HD, too).


Comcast usually gives out at least two, free DTA's to customers. So if you do need them, be sure to ask specifically for them (free, that is). If they don't offer them to you, tell them you'll be cancelling for some other provider, and they should.


The DTA's are only standard definition.


(By the way - what the heck is "comacs"?)
 

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(Background: Note that service providers may actually be transmitting three signals for the same local broadcast channel: [possibly down-converted] analog, HD, and/or ADS [or "SD digital"].)


People disagree about what the regulations require, but the way it actually works is that service providers generally leave at least one signal for each local broadcast channel unencrypted (but sometimes encrypt one or both of the others).


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Related question: Do DTAs have analog tuners? (I think the answer is "no" -- and if that is the case, until a service provider gets a waiver, they cannot encrypt both digital signals for a local broadcast channel wherever they've deployed DTAs, but again, can still encrypt one of the two.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 /forum/post/17000879


Do DTAs have analog tuners?

A DTA is a clear QAM only tuner that maps "services" to "locations" according to the cable company numbering scheme. The Comcast Pace DC50X DTA provides only an analog RF output. Locally the DTA provides extended basic and a few other unencoded services.


The DTA is the cable version of the Coupon Eligible Converter Box used for ATSC (antenna reception). CECBs provide a better picture quality composite (and in a few models, S-Video) output not found on the Pace DTA.


 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Originally Posted by DigaDo /forum/post/17001666


A DTA is a clear QAM only tuner that maps "services" to "locations" according to the cable company numbering scheme.

does this mean that its able to get channels that another clear QAM tuner wouldn't be able to get? wouldn't that go against separable security as the "box" and security are not able to be separated?
 

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First: The short answer is "no, that doesn't go against separable security". The DTA, as it is now, doesn't give you access to services that you couldn't get otherwise, it simply tunes in a specific frequency based on your call for a specific service.


I think the confusion stems from the fact that CableCARDs do both things: serving the decryption and service mapping. However, the regulation that brought about CableCARD pertains only to the security aspect (to the decryption). You can access all the services that the DTA provides without the DTA, with your own QAM tuner, but you'll just have to do the mapping in your head (or on a piece of paper).


So no violation there.


Second: It is possible to get a waiver from the separable security regulation. Comcast hasn't been granted one yet, but a lot of people think that it is inevitable.
 

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Just going back to my question, earlier, about whether there was an analog tuner in a DTA. Given DigaDo's answer of "no", that means that in areas where DTAs are deployed, we can rest assured that at least one of the two digital signals for a local broadcast channel will be unencrypted, along with the analog signal for the local broadcast channel. Effectively, of the three different possible signals for a local broadcast channel, generally speaking, only the HD signal can be encrypted in areas where DTAs are deployed.
 

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I thought that the FCC said that local stations must be both unencrypted and not "materially degraded". Downrezzing to SD would be materialy degrading it. Therefore I think he HD feed of local stations must be left in the clear. I think that there is one exception to this: if the retransmission consent agreement specifically allows the cable company to scramble the signal. I have heard rumors of some cable companies paying stations a lot more money for permission to encrypt the HD feed and put it on an HD tier. Apperently any out-of-market stations the cable company DXs in can also be encrypted. Bright House of Bakersfield scrambles the digital feeds of L.A. stations. The analogs are not.
 

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The material degradation issue has already been beaten to death, so let's not rehash it here. I'll simply say, "Good luck getting the regulations interpreted the way you would like them to be interpreted." The reality that people are experiencing does not match what you've described, and so until you achieve your legal victory no one should get the impression that things are supposed the way you suggest.


And there is no foundation in the regulation for any type of single exception, like you assert. I'm not sure where you got that from.


Cable companies can and do encrypt HD local broadcast channels. Not many of them do, but some do, and there is no indication that your interpretation of the regulation applies such to prohibit that.
 

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Big question, will i still get HD locals on my HDTV with basic expanded cable with this all digital crap I do not want a stupid box. Also will the QAM channels like 110-12 and so on will they be there. I need a good answer from someone who has gone to the all digital change over.


Thanks
 

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You will most likely not be able to get anything but the HD and SD locals, and whatever local subchannels they offer, along with the local public interest channels, without their box.


The general rule here is to advise people to scan and see what they would pick up first, and if they're not satisfied with what they get, then they will need their tuner.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclone16 /forum/post/17011572


Big question, will i still get HD locals on my HDTV with basic expanded cable with this all digital crap I do not want a stupid box. Also will the QAM channels like 110-12 and so on will they be there. I need a good answer from someone who has gone to the all digital change over.


Thanks

Every market will be different. Comcast Chicago went one way. Comcast Galesburg is going DTAs. Comcast Peoria has not announced yet. (I have not checked Comcast Bloomington/Normal) You will have to wait and see. It's just like the OTA converter boxes. Reception problems were not reliably predicted. It took the final transition, analog shutdown, and power adjustments to make problems seen. Your local forum is where information should be found/shared.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=45
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclone16 /forum/post/17011572


Big question, will i still get HD locals on my HDTV with basic expanded cable with this all digital crap I do not want a stupid box. Also will the QAM channels like 110-12 and so on will they be there. I need a good answer from someone who has gone to the all digital change over.


Thanks

Clear QAM tuner equipped devices not provided by the cable company tune the sub-channels (the ones with dashes/decimal points). Cable company provided STBs, DTAs and Cable Cards "map" services to different whole number "locations" according to that cable company's own numbering scheme.


A question is how many or how few clear QAM sub-channels--whether "analog" in origin, "digital," or "HD"--may local cable companies be providing through their raw coax cable feeds? Another question is how long will a local cable company continue to provide those clear QAM sub-channels through their raw coax cable feed? Most likely the local cable company will not give you truthful answers to such questions. It is becoming more common that cable companies tell their customers that they are required to have a STB, Cable Card or DTA to receive their services.
 

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Most likely the local cable company will not know what they are going to do next year or the year after. Like all service providers, they monitor the marketplace and operations. If customer needs change, or cable theft increases, then service providers will react to those changes appropriately.


Also, one reason that cable companies are now bottom-lining service offerings by saying that a STB, CableCARD or DTA is required is that they are not in the business of teaching people how to use every possible consumer electronics device on the market. All they are required to do is provide us local broadcast channels in the clear, or a working CableCARD. If they can get local broadcast channels working with one of their DTAs, and get other channels working with one of their separable-security-compliant STBs, then they've done their job. If we want to do something beyond that, then it is our obligation to learn how to properly connect and use the device. That's the law. And that's a reflection of what we consumers are willing to pay for. I can tell you I surely don't want to pay extra so someone down the street can bug customer support every few weeks with their confusion about the customer-owned device they purchased. I took the time to learn about what I was buying, and how to use it properly, so I shouldn't have to subsidize someone else who isn't as conscientious about the things they purchase. Let them pay extra for premium support or something -- don't make me pay extra because of their reticence in that regard.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 /forum/post/17013362


Most likely the local cable company will not know what they are going to do next year or the year after. Like all service providers, they monitor the marketplace and operations. If customer needs change, or cable theft increases, then service providers will react to those changes appropriately.


Also, one reason that cable companies are now bottom-lining service offerings by saying that a STB, CableCARD or DTA is required is that they are not in the business of teaching people how to use every possible consumer electronics device on the market. All they are required to do is provide us local broadcast channels in the clear, or a working CableCARD. If they can get local broadcast channels working with one of their DTAs, and get other channels working with one of their separable-security-compliant STBs, then they've done their job. If we want to do something beyond that, then it is our obligation to learn how to properly connect and use the device. That's the law. And that's a reflection of what we consumers are willing to pay for. I can tell you I surely don't want to pay extra so someone down the street can bug customer support every few weeks with their confusion about the customer-owned device they purchased. I took the time to learn about what I was buying, and how to use it properly, so I shouldn't have to subsidize someone else who isn't as conscientious about the things they purchase. Let them pay extra for premium support or something -- don't make me pay extra because of their reticence in that regard.

I agree 100%.
 

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cyclone16 -


Once you get an official notice from the cable company telling you that you need their tuner, scan your own tuners and see what you pick up first.


But until you get that notice, I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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