Okay, Comcast has so far visited me TWICE in a vain attempt to upgrade my limited basic service to HDTV without success.
Here is the whole story:
I have DirecTV. I also have DirecTV w/Tivo and I won't give it up.
I used to have cable, and I STILL have a Comcast Cable modem. Service still beats DSL for price/value.
Almost a year ago, Comcast sent me a letter offering me FREE limited basic service for a year (in some poor attempt to lure me back). I said okay and they installed a single limited basic service in my house.
The service is "limited" through the use of a switch on the pole. If the box is not hooked directly up to the service, then I get no channels.
The basic cable will NOT work when hooked up to a cable ready TV. The picture actually sort of sucks. For most of the year, the box has sat unused. I hooked up my Tivo standalone to it, and mostly ignored it.
Fast forward a year: I buy an HDTV (Sony 36XBR800
)! I'm happy. I buy a used DTC-100 and I can get HBO-HD, SHO-HD, HDNET and CBS-HD (OTA).
But I can't get NBC-HD (damn!) and I can't get Alias (I mean ABC-HD).
After I am now broke I decide to drop that lousy limited basic service, since its about start costing me real money (which i have much less of now...).
While poking around Comcast's website I found this:
where it tells me that I can those channels as part of my LIMITED BASIC SERVICE (not regular basic). Hell, that's worth the $16 a month extra for limited basic!
I call COMCAST and they tell me that they CAN DO THIS!
We set a install date and 2.5 weeks pass.
I stay home from work ALL DAY. The installer shows up 45 minutes late. He hooks up the Motorola 5100 and we are both greeted with High-Definition snow.
When I explain my hookup, he says that I can't get those channels without digital service (~$40 a month). I say no. That I can get those. I remind him that those are must-carry channels and I believe are always part of ANY cable package. He seems to take offense at my comments (I was NEVER RUDE) and decides that I am just making him late and am a waste of time.
He is IN HIS VAN about to leave, when I emerge from my house with my laptop SHOWING HIM THE ABOVE WEBPAGE. Only then does he finally call his supervisor and find out that he is wrong. We schedule ANOTHER VISIT, and since I can't take work off again and I am busy next Sat I wait ANOTHER week and half.
So finally Yesterday (SAT) they arrive again and this install guy has special instructions for hooking it up. But the diagram seems to assume the box has a RF BYPASS unit on the back of the box, and the box that they delivered has none.
This guy was at least pleasant.
Didn't seem to argue when I gave him the side-by-side presentation of COMCAST Analog local channels and DirecTV local channels (DirecTV LOOKS BETTER).
So he has actually LEFT ME with a non-functioning Motorola 5100, along with my old Analog box and has given me a number to call on Monday to see if they can fix it remotely. (Which I doubt).
What's wrong? Any cable expert out there actually KNOW how this thing should be setup? I used to have a Monster Coax splitter with power-pass-thru on one output. I thought that might let me use the analog box to turn on the RF switch on the pole and just split the feed to the between the two boxes. But I can't find that splitter and all my other splitters just result on 2 cable boxes with snow.
I also am not convinced that a RF BYPASS unit is what is needed. It sounds more like a feature on the box needs to be enabled. But I'm just an engineer, so what do I know.