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I've been pestering Comcast here in Southfield MI and today got a return call from Richard Ruggeiro who I think is in charge of local public relations. Sorry I didn't get his exact title.


He didn't really give much new information but he did confirm the following:


* Comcast will be roling out cable HDTV to selected but unspecified areas around Detroit by the end of the year.


* It is likely they will first be in the areas already digitally rebuilt, like mine here in Southfield.


* They will first carry 4 networks (he wasn't certain which ones, but guess) plus HBO and Showtime.


* You will of course need to be paying for the digital converter box.


* Shows my priorities on this but I didn't even think to ask what it would cost. ;)


Rich just purchased an HDTV set himself and was very interested in this forum. We also discussed that this forum may well replace effort expended in focus groups and the like.


I invited him here so lets give him a very warm welcome if he shows up.


- Tom
 

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Tom


Thanks for the update. I've called Comcast several times and I keep hearing 4th quarter '02. They have also assured me that if digital cable is available in your area then you will be able to get HD. I just hope they offer a HD package.

Quote:
They will first carry 4 networks (he wasn't certain which ones, but guess) plus HBO and Showtime.
I hope they include PBS. For those who will be experiencing HDTV for the first time with Comcast would be missing out if they didn't have PBS. PBS is perfect for those odd hours because you're pretty much guaranteed some HD content anytime. Not to mention they provide some of the best HD images I've seen (don't have DirectTV so no HDnet for me)


Rick
 

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Great work Tom.


Please let Mr. Ruggerio know we eagerly await Comcast's HDTV entry in the Detroit market and tell him he'll find no better source for HDTV information and no better place to gage their performance than here at AVS.
 

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Clear something up for me. Why is there such a need for Comcast to provide HD? People in the Southfield area should be getting a solid signal on all HD channels with a small to moderate antenna, at no cost. Why pay Comcast the cable rate, and pay for a STB on top of that, to get what you get for free? I'm west of Flint and get all the Detroit stations except PBS. After years of sub standard service from Comcast I may be a bit biased, but there is no way I'd pay them for something I can get for free.


The only advantage I can see is if you have a HD ready set and don't have a receiver. But I sure would do a cost analysis to see how long it would take with Comcast exorbitant rates and rental fees on the box to pay for a good DirecTV/OTA box.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Matt L
Clear something up for me. Why is there such a need for Comcast to provide HD?
Primarily because most people do not want to use antennas, of any kind.


This is the major reason why cable TV is what it is, with such a high market penetration. With DTV on cable, reception problems will go away, more channels will be available than from satellite and potential cost savings combining cable DTV service with high speed Internet access & digital telephone from one provider.


Ok, forget all of the above. The single justifying reason for having cable TV offer HDTV, is to insure the satellite providers (or provider, if the merger goes through) have competition. I'm convinced the only way to keep prices down, service options up and to encourage providers to offer new service options, is with heated competition.
 

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Quote:
Ok, forget all of the above. The single justifying reason for having cable TV offer HDTV, is to insure the satellite providers (or provider, if the merger goes through) have competition. I'm convinced the only way to keep prices down, service options up and to encourage providers to offer new service options, is with heated competition.
Definitely the main reason.


Up until about 3 years ago I had both cable (MediaOne->ATT->Comcast) and a non-HDTV DirectTV dish. But I canceled DirectTV in a fit of anger at their service when I was offered a better deal for a digital cable/Internet package.


DirectTV keeps changing their plans so whatever combination of channels you become accustomed to receiving will eventually require a Total Choice package.


But not using satellite right now means I don't currently get HBO and Showtime in HD, and I would like these.


Also, even in northern Southfield with a rooftop rotor I still get breakups on some channels, especially when they run at lower power. My house is surrounded by trees.


- Tom


edit: Ken - BTW, during the phone call I took the liberty of mentioning your name as moderator and possible contact point. Hope that's ok. You seem to be in the center of coordinating this sort of activity around here.
 

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I asked comcast:

Quote:
I am a subscriber to dish network. I have comcast internet and comcast

digital phone service.


I'm with Dish for their HDTV service. Is comcast going to offer HDTV service in the ann arbor area? If yes, how can I show my interest? Are you offering any deals to entice satellite customers?
Their reply:
Quote:


Dear Mr. Shankar


Thank you for your interest in Comcast's products and services.

Although HDTV is not currently available in the Detroit Metro area, We

will begin the testing phase for this service sometime around the third

quarter of 2002 with a launch date of early 2003.


Thank you for your interest in being a test participant for the HDTV

service. I have added your account information to the list I am

compiling of people willing to test the service.


Thank you for your patience.


>From your Comcast Customer Care Professional,


Michele
Sounds like a standard reply. I'm committed to Dish at least for 1 year. Comcats sent an offer home for a $400 refund for satellite customers. After I read the forum members' reviews, I may switch after April 2003. Keep the posts coming


Shankar
 

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Ken, I concede that you have some very valid points. People don't like antennas. I think many of us here are so involved with tweaking their system that we forget that the average person just wants to watch TV.


As for competition I think it's the other way around. I don't know the rates in Detroit but my aunt called me and asked me to put a satellite package together for her after she got her latest Comcast bill. She has extended basic, or what ever it's called now, and her bill is $49.00 a month--analog only, no STB, no Internet, no movie channels, with crappy reception that Comcast claims is fine. I can certainly find her a package with MUCH better PQ from either D or E* for the same or less.


Having had Comcast as my cable provider for over 20 years I can honestly say that they are one of the worst utilities I have ever dealt with. I found them totally unresponsive in any dealings I have had with them. It was a pleasure to cancel my service with them a few years ago. It is with trepidation that I see them entering the HD market, while they may expand the HD base, somehow I know they will screw it up.
 
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