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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As it currently stands I got my HTPC up working very well after quite a bit of tweaking. My question is I get cable internet and basic cable package from comcast ever month (basic cable is like 13 bucks). With the HTPC and TV tuner card will I be able to cancel that basic cable package and have the TV Tuner card tune those digital channels without paying for comcast?


Also...my HTPC is able to see a LOT of channels (like Disney, Nickelodeon, HGTV, etc) but can't tune into them. If I was to upgrade my comcast service to the next level where I'm supposed to get those channels, will my tuner THEN be able to pick them up?


Thank you!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBunni /forum/post/18241579


As it currently stands I got my HTPC up working very well after quite a bit of tweaking. My question is I get cable internet and basic cable package from comcast ever month (basic cable is like 13 bucks). With the HTPC and TV tuner card will I be able to cancel that basic cable package and have the TV Tuner card tune those digital channels without paying for comcast?


Also...my HTPC is able to see a LOT of channels (like Disney, Nickelodeon, HGTV, etc) but can't tune into them. If I was to upgrade my comcast service to the next level where I'm supposed to get those channels, will my tuner THEN be able to pick them up?


Thank you!

No you can't


They put a filter on your cable line to disable the tv signal when you drop the service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OH! And one more question. Im running windows 7 MC...My TV supports 720p or 1080i and it picks up the signal from the PC as 1080i. How can I tell the computer to output in 720p instead?
 

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With timewarner I noticed that after i cancelled my cable the line was active for 6 months before they finally disconnected it. It seems like they have to come out to the box and unplug it or put a filter on it. for 720P can't you just go into MC under settings and select the 720p? It should work then.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBunni /forum/post/18241579


As it currently stands I got my HTPC up working very well after quite a bit of tweaking. My question is I get cable internet and basic cable package from comcast ever month (basic cable is like 13 bucks). With the HTPC and TV tuner card will I be able to cancel that basic cable package and have the TV Tuner card tune those digital channels without paying for comcast?


Also...my HTPC is able to see a LOT of channels (like Disney, Nickelodeon, HGTV, etc) but can't tune into them. If I was to upgrade my comcast service to the next level where I'm supposed to get those channels, will my tuner THEN be able to pick them up?


Thank you!

Most likely you will need an OTA antenna to get local channels. Disney, nick etc are pay channels and you will need to get a subscription.


That being said, comcast may not put a filter on your line, and you might still get the QAM channels, but this is not a good long term solution, as comcast has started encrypting everything. You will need a Digital cable tuner soon to get any channels from comcast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriramc /forum/post/18241732


Most likely you will need an OTA antenna to get local channels. Disney, nick etc are pay channels and you will need to get a subscription.


That being said, comcast may not put a filter on your line, and you might still get the QAM channels, but this is not a good long term solution, as comcast has started encrypting everything. You will need a Digital cable tuner soon to get any channels from comcast.

Well I have a Hip 2250 Tuner card...You are saying that will no longer work soon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justinm0424 /forum/post/18241667


With timewarner I noticed that after i cancelled my cable the line was active for 6 months before they finally disconnected it. It seems like they have to come out to the box and unplug it or put a filter on it. for 720P can't you just go into MC under settings and select the 720p? It should work then.

Yeah, You would think so...My TV still displays in 1080i even when I set it to 720p in WMC.
 

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You'll probably find that if you cancel your $13 basic cable then your cable internet fee will increase about $13.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBunni /forum/post/18241798


Well I have a Hip 2250 Tuner card...You are saying that will no longer work soon?


Is that an ATSC tuner card? It should work you'll just need an antenna.


Yeah, You would think so...My TV still displays in 1080i even when I set it to 720p in WMC.

Weird...Whats the resolution you have for the computer? If you change it to 720P does your tv display the 720p?
 

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ok let me chime in.


first if you cancel cable they MAY put a filter on it, but they might now, they only do it when they come out the house or area, they dont make the trip just for you, they ar etoo busy.


if you keep internet and basic antenna service you will get all the channel that are broadcast in the clear, this includes the local HDs.


if your tv can get the channels without a cable so can your htpc. you just need to add the right ones. they wont be labled as the channels name but some other channels number. and you need to manually set the guide data to these channels, since windows has no idea what they are.


i dropped my cable tv and kept internet and i was able to negotiate internet at a promotional rate by threatening to leave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
While I got this thread rolling...


Some of the HD local channels my tuner card pulls in will occasionally have random distortion/pixelation. Is this a defect in the coax cable? The card? Or should I just not expect perfection?


Thanks for the help thus far guys!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBunni /forum/post/18242020


While I got this thread rolling...


Some of the HD local channels my tuner card pulls in will occasionally have random distortion/pixelation. Is this a defect in the coax cable? The card? Or should I just not expect perfection?


Thanks for the help thus far guys!

you should see a clean picture.
 

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You should have a clear image. Maybe when changing channels or something it might be a little messedup but you shouldn't ever experience ramdom distortion.


I would try to isolate the problem by plugging in the coax cable into your tv and watching the channel. See if the problems the cable or on the cable companies line. Sometimes they'll split the main feed too many times without an amp and you'll loose quality.


If its not the line it could either be the card or the pc's doing something like running antivirus or under heavy load. This is pretty rare though.
 

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ClearQAM is your friend. All I have is Comcast Internet and I have about 100 channels via my cable line including my local HD channels. (the rest are mostly SD). Though that number may go down in the future as Comcast is going through some changes on their system in my area.


If you get rid of cable service completely...you may lose it completely...but if you keep the internet you should still have access. At least that's the way it works for Comcast. To provide the service they can't put the filter on...so the signals still come through alongside your internet service.


This is how I'm saving a bit on my monthly bill. Better than trying and failing to get good reception with an OTA antenna. Trust me I know.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thor79 /forum/post/18243182


ClearQAM is your friend. All I have is Comcast Internet and I have about 100 channels via my cable line including my local HD channels. (the rest are mostly SD). Though that number may go down in the future as Comcast is going through some changes on their system in my area.


If you get rid of cable service completely...you may lose it completely...but if you keep the internet you should still have access. At least that's the way it works for Comcast. To provide the service they can't put the filter on...so the signals still come through alongside your internet service.


This is how I'm saving a bit on my monthly bill. Better than trying and failing to get good reception with an OTA antenna. Trust me I know.

Thanks to the FCC (seriously) at least the hd locals can't be encrypted for the foreseeable future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by justinm0424 /forum/post/18242726


You should have a clear image. Maybe when changing channels or something it might be a little messedup but you shouldn't ever experience ramdom distortion.


I would try to isolate the problem by plugging in the coax cable into your tv and watching the channel. See if the problems the cable or on the cable companies line. Sometimes they'll split the main feed too many times without an amp and you'll loose quality.


If its not the line it could either be the card or the pc's doing something like running antivirus or under heavy load. This is pretty rare though.

It seems to only happen on the HD channels...For instance Fox on 31.1 when watching American Idol last night it would be clear for like 20 seconds, then everything would get distorted...It would fix itself, be fine for a little while longer, and then it would happen again. Some nights, however, It will run clear all the time.


Thor79- how are you getting 100 channels? As I said Im paying for the basic package right now and as it stands I get all the channels I got when I had the coax plugged into the TV (save the locals in HD) and nothing extra. Is it possible it's just my area that has those extra stations scrambled?
 

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It changes based on area...here in my area of Chicago (west-northwestern burbs) they are broadcasting about 100 in the clear. Some have audio that isn't quite compatible with my speaker system...for some reason it can't pick up what should be played on the center channel, so I have to switch it to stereo to watch those channels (other channels that come in stereo it can pick out the center channels sounds). I would say those channels probably make up about 25 out of the 100.


My understanding is that Comcast is in a transition with ClearQAM in my area...and that sometime mid summer I'll likely get knocked back to only the local channels in HD...which for me is good enough.


I was quite surprised by what I got when I tried picking up ClearQAM. I had struggled for the first couple of weeks trying to get an OTA antenna working but could only pick up about half of the local HD channels...and even those weren't always reliable.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBunni /forum/post/18243507


It seems to only happen on the HD channels...For instance Fox on 31.1 when watching American Idol last night it would be clear for like 20 seconds, then everything would get distorted...It would fix itself, be fine for a little while longer, and then it would happen again. Some nights, however, It will run clear all the time.


Thor79- how are you getting 100 channels? As I said Im paying for the basic package right now and as it stands I get all the channels I got when I had the coax plugged into the TV (save the locals in HD) and nothing extra. Is it possible it's just my area that has those extra stations scrambled?

basically you could drop your cable and still get the same channels, as long as they dont install a filter. every area gets different channel as thor79 said.


basic cable is just a broadcast of digital and analog qam. you dont need a cable box to see the unscrambled channels. if you need a cable box you can set up windows to use it but you wont be able to tune to the hd channels as there is no hd input to capture the picture.


your htpc will only pick up what your old tv did. if you want to see them all go into the channel setup and edit listings, you will be able to see every channel that win7 is picking up, and if they are encrypted or not.


you could also go here and see what others in your area are getting.

http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/channels_us


as far as you hd picture goes, try updating video drivers or the tuner drivers, its also possible the signal is too weak or too strong, do you have a lot of splitters or any amps on the line? pc tuners are way more sensitive to signal strength than tv is.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinm0424 /forum/post/18241667


With timewarner I noticed that after i cancelled my cable the line was active for 6 months before they finally disconnected it. It seems like they have to come out to the box and unplug it or put a filter on it. for 720P can't you just go into MC under settings and select the 720p? It should work then.

Yes, my understanding is that it is a physical connection. If you have a set top box, they can kill it remotely, but the line is still active until someone comes out. If it is left unlocked you could... but that is illegal.


I personally have limited basic which I don't use. I get my internet cheaper with it than without. Furthermore, I keep renegotiating them down. I have them at $40 total for my 28mbit internet and basic cable (which I don't use). I keep minding to hook up the cable to my daughters room, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
 

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I pay like $14 a month for "broadcast cable" which gives me all the local channels. Somehow I magically have USA and TNT though which gives me a lot of stuff to watch I wouldn't have had.
 
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