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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have lived without a DVR because I run a HDHomeRun and can record basic HD content from the big networks. ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX.

Now Comcast decided to scramble EVERYTHING and I get nothing without a box. My HDHomeRun doesn’t use a cable card, so I am dead in the water.


I am ready to cut the cord and get an Ooma (for phone) because I am just sick of Scumcast.


However, I thought the FCC required cable companies to broadcast local HD content unscrambled?


Has anyone had success in getting Comcast to unscramble local HD, or is it just time for me to move on?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k  /t/1472537/comcast-scrambling-everything-now-need-direction#post_23309611


So I have lived without a DVR because I run a HDHomeRun and can record basic HD content from the big networks. ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX.

Now Comcast decided to scramble EVERYTHING and I get nothing without a box. My HDHomeRun doesn’t use a cable card, so I am dead in the water.


I am ready to cut the cord and get an Ooma (for phone) because I am just sick of Scumcast.


However, I thought the FCC required cable companies to broadcast local HD content unscrambled?


Has anyone had success in getting Comcast to unscramble local HD, or is it just time for me to move on?

The FCC used to require them to leave OTA channels in the clear. However late last year I believe they changed their mind and have now started letting the cable companies scramble everything. So yeah, you are pretty much going to have to move on. Either upgrade your HD Homerun to one that can use a cable card, and get a cable card from Comcast, or start looking at OTA, or a different pay TV provider.
 

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It's my understanding if the broadcaster doesn't have an issue with cable carriage of his/her channel being scrambled, then nobody's saying anything. The broadcaster would have to demand clear QAM. And I doubt many will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess I am going to call them and discuss cutting the cord.


I figure take off phone (switch to ooma) -~50 take off TV -~50 turn in some hardware -12-15 and then just keep internet.


Start up with Hulu plus netflix and amazon instant and there is enough there to make my entire family glazed over stupid.


Anyone know of a REALLY good OTA antenna must be super cheap!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not much OTA where I am. one or two channels I think.


I just think I am going to try to redefine the role of TV in my house. For all my life the stupid idiot box was running 24/7 practically, and it was inoffensive. Now TV is so corrupt and the commercials so bad that it really isn't safe or healthy to have there for background noise.


I am looking at AEREO but do I really want to pay $8 a month just for 4 channels? I may...they also PVR that as well. Dunno.


All I know is Comcast is the worst, well cable and dish are just scam laden and frustrating messes.


I want tv on my terms.


Funny thing is that I will miss stupid things, like "Channel Surfing" I know I will miss that even though 99% of the time it is frustrating and I just give up.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k  /t/1472537/comcast-scrambling-everything-now-need-direction#post_23322695


Not much OTA where I am. one or two channels I think.

Just out of curiousity, can you post your tvfool results? ( your address will not be shown).


Unless you live in a very remote area, you should at least pick up the major networks with a decent antenna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepier  /t/1472537/comcast-scrambling-everything-now-need-direction#post_23322920


Just out of curiousity, can you post your tvfool results? ( your address will not be shown).


Unless you live in a very remote area, you should at least pick up the major networks with a decent antenna.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1ddaf4246b93de


So I couldn't get tvfool to work the other day and antennaweb was the one giving me the bad results.

This seems somewhat more promising, so I guess i will try a roof top or attic antenna first.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k  /t/1472537/comcast-scrambling-everything-now-need-direction#post_23323041

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1ddaf4246b93de


So I couldn't get tvfool to work the other day and antennaweb was the one giving me the bad results.

This seems somewhat more promising, so I guess i will try a roof top or attic antenna first.

You have an ABC station close by at the top of the list, but thats about it, the rest is Telemundo, ION. And they are all in different directions.


So you are better off trying to get the Boston stations to the South of you. All the stations come from the same direction ( at 162 deg).

Good news is you only need a UHF antenna. Examples of some antennas are these sold at Radio Shack:
http://www.radioshack.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2032205&allCount=25&s=D-StorePrice-RSK&s=D-StorePrice-RSK&fbc=1&f=PAD%2FProduct+Type%2FUHF+only&fbn=Type%2FUHF+only&filterName=Type&filterValue=UHF+only
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, Mike!

I will let you know how the saga progresses I got my phone replacement, a google voice bridge coming tonight!


In a semi-related question does Windows media center know how to post listings for OTA channels?
 

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I still have Comcast for internet and just for grins hooked up an HD HomeRun to that cable and I am getting a bit over 80 channels including all the locals in quasi-HD. I also get OTA with a dual tuner card and CM-4228HD antenna and am working on combining both sets of sources in Media Center. One thing I have found with the Comcast ClearQAM signals is that many have incorrect or missing ID/EPG info so you have to manually scan and name them to get the correct guide info to display. I need to go back through the Comcast channels and populate a spread sheet with all the locations of clear channels and what they are, what resolution and what EPG name to map them to. Then I can use that information to track changes as they move channels around, which I have heard is common. Assume you have rescanned for clear channels, if not give that a try.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k  /t/1472537/comcast-scrambling-everything-now-need-direction/0_20#post_23323041

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1ddaf4246b93de


So I couldn't get tvfool to work the other day and antennaweb was the one giving me the bad results.

This seems somewhat more promising, so I guess i will try a roof top or attic antenna first.

You might want to take your TVFool results and post them in the HDTV-Local forum for the area that is specific (or close enough to you). You should get responses on what folks in your area are using for antennas etc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k  /t/1472537/comcast-scrambling-everything-now-need-direction#post_23323638


Thanks, Mike!

I will let you know how the saga progresses I got my phone replacement, a google voice bridge coming tonight!


In a semi-related question does Windows media center know how to post listings for OTA channels?

It's been a while since i've used Windows media with my Hauppauge tuner stick, but i think it does show listings for OTA channels.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy2k  /t/1472537/comcast-scrambling-everything-now-need-direction#post_23323638


Thanks, Mike!

I will let you know how the saga progresses I got my phone replacement, a google voice bridge coming tonight!


In a semi-related question does Windows media center know how to post listings for OTA channels?

Yes and no is what I have found. Most OTA channels in my area have the proper guide information and a few don't. Funny thing is that zap2it.com suppliers the guide information to MS for WMC and if I create an account on zap2it, enter my zip code and get listings for OTA channels, those are all correct. But if I go into WMC, set up the tuner with my zip code, I run into some missing and incorrect listings. If you contact zap2it, they tell you all they do is supply the date to MS and it is not their problem.


So what I have found that works is the DVBLogic TVSource package that lets you insert alternative EPG sources into WMC. What I do is run the zap2xml script to pull down an XMLTV guide listing then I assign those channel guide sources to entries in that listing. I also find WMC adds a number of channels that are not receivable that I need to go and disable. Nice thing is that the TVSource package lets you define the exact set of channels you actually do receive and bypass whatever scanning that WMC does. If you add the DVBLogic connect server package you can export that same guide and channel setup to other WMC machines on your network and only have to deal with the one configuration.
 

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Stickboy, Your 162 degree stations are about the same strength as mine and are all 1edge. It took me three years to dial in my OTA but I finally succeeded with an Antennas Direct 91xg, CM7777 preamp, and LG tuner in the TV. I now reliably get all the stations I want. The secret for me was 1) antenna placement, 2) TV tuner, and 3) preamp. I have hills and a patch of big fir trees across the street from me between my house and the towers in Seattle. At first I placed the antenna at the sides of the house to try to go around the trees and got spotty reception. As a final attempt, last summer I moved the antenna so it was pointing directly into the middle of the trees and got an excellent signal. Go figure! The antenna is about 25' off the ground.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taperwood  /t/1472537/comcast-scrambling-everything-now-need-direction#post_23327707


Stickboy, Your 162 degree stations are about the same strength as mine and are all 1edge. It took me three years to dial in my OTA but I finally succeeded with an Antennas Direct 91xg, CM7777 preamp

I have the same antenna and pre-amp. Based on my experience with stations in the same signal-level range (yellow zone on TVFool), that's what I would recommend, too. One of the first two antennas in the Radio Shack link posted previously (U8000 or MXU59) might give similar results.


If you want stations from other directions besides Boston, add a rotator. If you want 9 and 11, add a high-VHF (ch 7-13) antenna; it doesn't have to be very big because those two stations are pretty close by and strong.
 

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I have just recently discovered that Comcast is scrambling their Channels.

 

I am in the process of writing to the FCC to find out if it is actually legal to scramble public channels.  

 

We will see.

 

In the meantime I have a question:

What kind of antenny other than a rooftop/outside, if any can I use.  I live in a rural area in MA and used to get Boston, Hartford and Springfield using a rooftop antenna with a rotor.

 

That antenna is still there but is no longer hooked up except to my stereo receiver.

Any suggestion will be much appreciated

Thanks
 

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The FCC (if they respond) will say that the local cableco can encrypt their channels.


I'd suggest hooking up the existing antenna that worked before for TV. There's a good chance that it will work now (with some inspection and clean up).
 
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