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Quote:
Originally Posted by artwire /forum/post/18705376


ROckinroll69: ...since there's only one antenna input on the recorder, if you're trying to capture both (antenna AND cable), you would need to install a small adapter that takes both the coax from the cable feed and the coax from the ota antenna on one side, and it feeds out by a single coax on the opposite end. There's a toggle switch so you can go back and forth between the two. You just have to remember to flip it from OTA to cable, or vice versa when you are recording from a different source....

That might not be a good idea, since both the Philips and Magnavox versions of these machines have to rescan each time you switch from OverTheAir to cable or the other way around.


You can scan for OTA, or for cable, but you can't set the machine up for both at the same time.


With the amount of time it'd take to rescan each time you want to "throw the toggle switch", it'd probably be better to just get two machines and set one up with an antenna and the other with a cable feed.


Expensive, yeah, but a whole lot saner than trying to use both sources on one machine.
 

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Yeah, you're absolutely right... I'd forgotten about that rescanning issue when I posted, sorry. But, thinking back to my old set up, i used to feed the OTAantenna into a cecb or an old DVD recorder --ideally one with an atsc tuner, then feed that to line input on the Maggie.. The internal tuner had the cable channels. Not a great solution, resolutionwise, since you're turning digital overtheair to analog, but it looks better than nothing and it's cheaper than a second recorder for casual viewing. If they have an old coupon box handy it's worth a try , but I'd definitely agree, a second Maggie is always a good option.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockinRoll69 /forum/post/18705290


I think this is one lesson I've learned. Obviously, I'm a newb. I even had to Wiktionary AFAIK. Since my first post I've been reading most of the links that have been posted and I'm learning some of the basics, e.g. I had never heard of an IR Blaster.


I see now why somebody referred to it as Comcrap. Amongst other reasons: needing to scan, rescan, AON and still not able to rely on a single frequency for any given channel. I'm looking into satellite to see if it would be a better set up for me.


I just didn't understand. I thought we were being told that if we have cable we were in the clear. I thought that even if someone didn't have cable and acquired the over-the-air digital converter that the way it worked was it processed the signal and converted the entire signal to analog. I didn't realize it was channel specific and therefore basically turned a DVR/VCR/TV, etc. into a monitor/slave. Since I received the basic channels via direct connection to my CRT TV I thought the cable box was more or less the computer for the menus, channel guide, reminders, etc. and that Comcast preprocessed the signal before transmitting. On top of that, I thought that since the 2160 has a digital tuner I could receive the over-the-air digital signal with an antenna and without a converter. Going way back, I remember when TVs had separate VHF/UHF dials and you had to have a cable box (manual/before IR) to receive any channel over 13(uh, er, 26?-Please forgive my faulty memory) but you could still get channels 2-13/26 via a direct connection through the antenna adapter. I thought that's the way the digital conversion would work as well. So, that's where my misunderstanding came from. Live and learn.


The 2160 is my first DVR and I love it. The secondary bummer about the whole thing is that I had recently told my aunt about it. She ordered one online and it arrived yesterday. I'll guess I'll be taking it back for her.


Thanks, again, everybody!

I've been discussing this situation for a short while with a few of the regular posters on this fine thread. In our city, Comcast is making the full digital switchover ("digital migration" in Comcast's marketing-speak) on November 30, however all but the local broadcaster's QAM channels, and a few others, have already been scrambled. On November 30, they will shut off the analog channel stream. I must admit, it is a bit confusing, and somewhat misleading on Comcast's part regarding those of us with analog TVs. When the move to DTV occurred, Comcast told everyone that "there was no need to worry, as the analog channels would continue to be available." They just didn't tell us for how long!!


Admittedly, the move to full digital is technically a good one, as it frees up frequency spectrum (5 digital channels for 1 analog channel), as well as allowing for increased broadband speeds. However, it is a "big hit" for those who have the latest and greatest kilo$ 1080p flat panel with a nice QAM tuner, or us on this thread with the superlative H2160-series. Comcast's move to scramble all QAM channels in the Expanded Basic tier is tantamount to a hypothetical move in, say the mid-80s: Everyone was purchasing TVs with cable-ready tuners at that time, and what if each cable company still required the use of their own STB, aka a converter in those days. People would have been furious!


As soon as I received the letter from Comcast informing me of the "end date" for the digital migration in our service area, I ordered the "free" STB (a decade old Motorola DCT2000-series), and 2 ea. "free" DTAs. I have not implemented any, and will not until the week of November 21. Many STBs allow for timer recording to a VCR or DVDR, but the basic DCT2000 series does not. NOTE: The still available as new, and excellent, Panasonic DMR-EA18 tunerless DVDR (no HD) does include an IR Blaster, and firmware to control the channel changing on STBs, and I've confirmed that it does work with the DCT2000 that I have here.


When using the DTA through the use of two 2-way splitters and an A/B Switch, the H2160A can be used to record the encrypted channels on a timer basis, however, the DTA must be left ON, and the H2160A's timer must ALWAYS be set to Channel 3. With the A/B Switch, the Maggie can directly record the locals on clear QAM, bypassing the DTA.


Has the capability and versatility of the H2160-series been compromised with Comcast's digital migration and encryption of all "worthwhile" cable channels - you betcha' it has!. But so have all other units without CableCARD capability. For those of us who are time-shifters, or love archiving old movies on TCM, Comcast's digital migration complicates the process substantially. Of course, TiVo with a multi-stream CableCARD solves the problem, and its output can be streamed to either a PC, or to a DVDR - BUT, at a cost!


All of Comcast subscribers here on this thread are aware of this problem and challenge, but in a weird way, I'm looking forward to November 30, as I assure you that there will be an uproar in this community once the "non-geeks" discover that they can no longer timer record their favorite program, or archive a movie, on their VCRs or DVDRs as they've been doing for over 20 years. It's going to be very interesting!
 

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Yes, Comcast began to scramble all channels. It is not just Magnavox H2160A. All TVs, DVRs, HDRs and video devices with QAM tuners are now useless. They want you rent their set top boxes for every device. Good for them to make money for them but very inconvenient for consumers and defy the purpose of including a tuner for TV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colloquor /forum/post/18750572


As soon as I received the letter from Comcast informing me of the "end date" for the digital migration in our service area, I ordered the "free" STB (a decade old Motorola DCT2000-series), and 2 ea. "free" DTAs.

I'd wait until December 15 or so until the Comfat lady sings!


Ever wonder why you have to "activate" a box they give you free that only has crappy output quality? (Interestingly, according to Bicker1, DTAs only deal with privacy, they don't decrypt. WTH!)


Here's my recurring dream scenario.


A Swedish friend of mine in the Witness Protection Program tells me that Comcast's warning letters are part of a 2-Stage Viewer Capture Program (VCP). It was designed by Comcast's head marketer, Rudy Johansson, who is a native of Stockholm, Sweden.


Stage 1 is designed to make you an angry but helpless captive, and Stage 2 is designed to convert you to a WILLING PARTICIPANT in your captivity along the lines of Rudy's first professional program, the Stockholm Syndrome Project.


In Stage 1, they announce that people will be losing their old, comfortable TV at a specified date in the future. This gives them X months to capture your imagination and play some NEW "cable games" that the digital transition laid in their lap.


Stage 1 starts when they send out their Capture letters. Then, to engender the utmost fear, they don't wait for their own stated date, they start deleting the analogs and "scrambling" (privatizing?) most of the existing digitals immediately. No one will question WTH the "specified date" in the letter was the date all about!?


Abject fear will drive people to Comcrappy boxes prematurely… they KNOW most people don't want to "lose their TV" for even a day, but they're ALREADY losing it! They also know that people who start using them won't like those boxes and will quickly want to order the cableco's "real" higher-quality fee-based boxes... not just because of their Comcrappy quality, but also because it makes timer-recording multiple channels to a non-fee-based recorder more difficult and could easily force people to one of their fee-based DVRs... the cableco "holy grail."


Stage 2 now starts where people grumble and groan but decide there's no escape from the ever-crueler captivity and eventual doom. Many people quickly relent and try the Comcrappy boxes and actually "activate" them, signaling the initial success of Stage 2: converting people to WILLING PARTICIPANTS IN THEIR CAPTIVITY. These people are now proudly listed in Comcast records as Rudy's Premature Ejaculators (RPE).


Most RPE have above-average TV equipment and value quality, so they even begin to order fee-based DVRs and upgrade their service, well before the dreaded "full-captivity" date... they've now become CONFIRMED RPEs, or CRPEs, and fully invested in their own captivity!


Comcast marketeers will be able to start counting the CRPEs as "enhanced billing units" and be assured that more will come ("they'll be back!").


On the other hand, those with patience will see a completely new channel alignment with clear-QAM digital channels and the old analogs also on digital channels… AFTER THE 'SPECIFIED" FULL-CAPTIVITY DATE OF COURSE!


On the other hand, CRPEs will not even LOOK for anything different due to their Stockholm Syndrome, which convinces them that Comcast is a nice company that's doing everything they can tp enhance their viewing experience.


My confidential source was not certain on this, and he's got to be careful cuz he thinks there might be a "snitch" in his Witness Protection Force, but he thinks they've been trapping the PEs during the run-up period to seal the deal, i.e., make sure they won't be able to find the moved analogs later, like the day after the cut-off date? Nah, they wouldn't be that nasty!



Of course, some people will HAVE to activate because they can't afford a new TV or upgraded digital service but, still, even they don't have to do that until the Comfat lady sings! Those people will be served well by the free Comcrappy boxes that de-privatize the digitals so they can use the DTA like their TV tuner, so not much changed for them… and the FCC is happy because lots of low- or fixed-income people aren't complaining.


Analog programs on digital channels are no big deal to a cableco,.. I've got some on digital channels now, and many people being charged more for a "digital" pkg are actually getting analog programs and the channels register as analog in their Tivos. And, after all, they just said people would "lose" their analog channels, but they're certainly not gonna tell you where to find them!.


Hey, I'd make a good Comcast strategizer/marketeer... maybe head of Rudy's Captivity Retention and Augemtation Program (CRAP)!?



It's hard to remember a dream accurately, but I think this covers it pretty well. Now, if only this dream scenario comes true!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo /forum/post/18752178


On the other hand, those with patience will see their analogs moved to clear-QAM digital channels AFTER THE STATED CUT-OFF DATE OF COURSE!

Well, it is the other way around. This is what happened in Philly yesterday and Pittsburgh today: after enjoying the analogs on clear-QAM digital channels since forever ago, Comcast began scrambling those channels.
 

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Hi folks! If i can make a quick suggestion it would be this: DUMP COMCAST. I used to have many of the problems you all are having too. Very frustrating. When i had comcast the problems never seemed to end. Then i called E*. After getting satellite service most if not all the problems suffered by cable subscribers,or should i say victims, evaporated in a NY minute. Do yourselves a favor, lower your chances of having a heart attack, enhance your tv viewing time, and generally make life less stressful. Call dish network. Just my .02 cents. G.
 

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Yeah, I've been telling people about that here for a couple of years, too. As long as you don't need service to multiple TV's, and you're able to put up a dish in the right spot, it can be a lot cheaper, and most of their tuners have fully-featured manual timer-setting abilities (they also have that "HD free for life" promo going on right now, too).


I only pay $40.00 a month (no taxes) for a basic SD package, with service to two TV's, and that's with locals - without would be even 5 bucks cheaper (no TCM in that lowest package, though - which might matter to certain people here - you know who you are. Next package up has it, though).


Also, I should mention, for those that think it's a major issue, that my signal doesn't really go out any more than my old Comcast service did (really, really heavy rains). And when it does, it's only for a minute - with Comcast, it was usually more like an hour and a half.


The tuner with the timers is what really makes it worth having more than anything, though (I have the 322).


For anyone who's considering U-Verse an an alternative, they should know that their non-DVR tuners have no way to change the channels on their own.
 

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In my Comcast area, all the analogs above 22 (everything other than locals and public access, cspan etc.) have been turned off. AFA clear QAM it's about the same channels, local HDs and a couple shopping channels.

Without a cable box or DTA it's really a very pathetic selection. And yes they are gone, I tried a rescan on my analog DVDR as well as a clear QAM HDTV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colloquor /forum/post/18750572


I ordered the "free" STB (a decade old Motorola DCT2000-series), Many STBs allow for timer recording to a VCR or DVDR, but the basic DCT2000 series does not.

Colloquor, see if your cable co offers a DCT2500 - as the 2500 has the timer recording' feature intact. This is a slightly newer than a DCT2000 STB. It is slightly smaller and has silver buttons instead of the black ones like on the DCT2000.


I'm not with Comcast but here is my story.


The timer recording' feature is software based. I had the Motorola DCT2000-series for a decade and at one time my cable company offered the timer recording' feature with the DCT2000. A few years ago when my cable co updated the software (added multiple fav channel lists, better search function, etc) at that time the timer recording' feature disappeared. I was really mad and phoned the cable co - they told me that the new features are taking up too much memory and to try and find a used DCT2500. (my cable company lets subscribers buy and sell DCTs as long as they originally came from an authorised seller and the GI number is on their system)


Anyway, I got a used Motorola DCT2500 for $30 and the nice timer recording' feature is indeed there. Apparently the DCT2500 has more memory and is able to handle more software-based features


http://www.novusnow.ca/pdfs/DCT2500.pdf
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Eye /forum/post/18753611


Colloquor, see if your cable co offers a DCT2500 – as the 2500 has the “timer recording’ feature intact. This is a slightly newer than a DCT2000 STB. It is slightly smaller and has silver buttons instead of the black ones like on the DCT2000.

Thanks Super Eye, and to wajo for that fantastic dream sequence!


l may give Comcast a call as the November 30/December 1 timeframe approaches, and ask about a 2500. Given the age of the DCT2000 series, I would assume it has limited memory, as compared to more modern boxes. Memory was much more expensive when the DCT2000 was designed! But, it's certainly strange that they would delete such a popular software/firmware function such as timer recording or future recording as I believe the Motorola calls it in their user manual.


This whole situation is really frustrating, and this plays into wajo's dream theory. But, the last thing I'm going to do is intentionally increase Comcast's revenue stream from my family budget! I will look into other options, including finding a TiVo with a lifetime sub at a decent price, or even satellite - if I can keep the price down. Of course, if I drop Comcast cable TV, my Comcast broadband price increases (gotcha!). Comcast is the only cable provider here, and U-Verse or FIOS are not options, so it's a bit limiting.


A reasonably priced TiVo with an existing lifetime sub may be the answer. I wonder how much our local Comcast office will charge for a multi-stream CableCARD?
 

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Colloquor,

Once the 2000, 2500 got older, my cable company used to rent or sell the DCT2000 and DCT2500 for the same price. Now both units are discontinued and they offer the lower built quality, lacking S-Video DCT700 in its place. Although the DCT700 has the same memory and CPU as the 2500.


I would contact your provider and ask if you could do a free swap - the 2000 for the 2500. Tell them the recording feature is very important to you.
I would do it way ahead of the November mad rush.


I found more differences between the 2000 and 2500

Quote:
DCT2000, DCT2224, DCT2244, DCT2500, or DCT2524



DCT2500 Features:


The DCT2500 offers all of the features found in the DCT2000, plus:


--175 MIPS/ 175 MHz RISC CPU


--High-speed, unified memory design with support for up to 64 MBytes of DRAM


--Video decoder with enhanced VBI data processing power, supporting ATVEF and advanced closed captioning


--Video scaling to support picture-in-graphics display


--High-resolution graphics with support for multiple planes as well as current DCT2000 modes


First, memory in the 2500 can be boosted up to 64 megabytes; the 2000's memory tops out at 6 megabytes. The addition will allow customers to run several applications concurrently and will measurably speed up existing applications, such as VOD, Internet access, chat and electronic commerce.


The new set-tops boast throughput of 175 megahertz. That's below the 300 MHz of the 5100 but far above the existing 2000 series. The processing power and functionality will allow operators to add new applications, such as expanded gaming, which works in rudimentary form in the 2000s.

I guess the 2500 has a faster CPU and more memory among other improvements.

I owned both and I can say that the 2500 is faster and has more software based features including the recording feature - at least on my cable provider's platform.
 
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