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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak3883 /forum/post/11845800


I think come 2009 and/or in the future, Comcast can encrypt HD locals, the FCC rule doesn't apply to ATSC channels, only NTSC or something like that. Short term you will be fine, but eventually(probably at least a couple years) analog cable will be gone, everything will be encrpyted and need a cablecard or box.


I don't think that is correct. Right now, there is a difference of opinion on whether ATSC OTA channels sent as QAM to cable customers can be encrypted, because ATSC isn't specifically mentioned, AFAIK. However, Comcast has decided to leave the ATSC Locals in the clear. Seeing as they send NTSC locals in the clear now, when ATSC becomes the only standard, I see them continuing to send them in the clear, even if there isn't an FCC mandate obligating them to do so; athough, I bet there will be.


To get the cable HD channels(ESPNHD,CSNHD,HD Theater, etc), they recently stated that you need to have at least "expanded basic" to do this. Expanded basic and "digital starter" cost difference would be about $6, $5 for the HD box, and $1 difference(at least in my area). Or you could get a cablecard if your TV supports it(getting harder and harder to find). Some report you can get it with just digital starter or expanded basic and an HD box, some say you need digital classic in order to get the cable HD channels.

Actually 'Expanded' and 'Digital Starter' have a $1 difference, (the latter includes an otherwise $4 SD box). However, one can upgrade the included SD box to an HD box, for $9 in this configuration, total extra cost is $10 to go HD. (The $5 HD box upgrade fee only appplies to Digital Classic and above.) But, it is not clear from the letter, without seeing an updated price card, whether Digital Starter and an HD box would yield just HD Locals or those plus the national 'cable' HD channels listed above.

Quote:
But network HD channels are in the clear around SE PA, at least for now, along with a few others. Most people don't know about this, so I don't think this is exactly at the top of the priority list for Comcast. Heck with just basic cable and a QAM tuner, one can get like 10+ cable channels, and all the local HD's... b/c they aren't encrypted... yet... Comcast does NOT want you to know that.

I think it is just a matter of them wanting to get their cable box in one's home. Also, they keep moving around the Local QAM channels, so it is something for which they don't want to provide support.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftaok /forum/post/11844628


I think that you can, but it depends on your area. What you want (and should request) is Basic Cable plus the HD package. They will probably want to upsell you to digital blah blah blah. For this combo, you'll need a STB or Cable Card.


Some systems have changed the packages and now require Expanded Basic and/or Digital before you can add on the HD package. Subscribers in those areas that previous had Basic/HD tier were offered a special price for upgrading to Digital/HD tier.

Apparently, this Comcast region changed its requirements for the national 'cable' non-premium HD channels. The channels formerly only requiring Basic and Digital Classic, now, according to the letter, require a 'level of service including Expanded Basic'.


Its sounds like Basic and Expd. is all that is required, but possibly, Digital Classic is also still required; it could have stated that in the letter, but didn't. Maybe they figure, it is understood, since all the letter receipients had Digital Classic or Preferred already.


Or Digital Classic isn't required, and by taking the discounted Digital Preferred Package, one won't figure this out, unless one actually reads the pre-requisites on the new price/channel cards sent in December for January changes.



We could find out now, if there have been changes since printing, they print interim updated cards. However, when downgrading from Digital Classic/Preferred to Starter, the HD Box goes from $5 to $9, but there is still a net savings of Clasisic $8/ Pref. $11.


For the DVR, one needs Digital Classic or above anyway, but we shall see what they require in January.


Unless there was another letter sent to Basic subs with HD boxes, that configuration still works, HD Box is $9 in this config. and receives the HD Locals.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftaok /forum/post/11846595


While I don't think Comcast goes out of their way to tell people that all they may need is a TV with QAM, I don't think they are hiding it. They even list the HD locals as part of the Channel line-up for Basic.



Yeah, like I said, I'm in Media, so you're probably on a different system. Even so, I would imagine that you'll get at least the 7 locals in HD plus UniversalHD. Many people in the area get UniversalHD.

So UniversalHD is in the clear? Can anyone in Philadelphia confirm this?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesDax /forum/post/11847117


So UniversalHD is in the clear? Can anyone in Philadelphia confirm this?

It was (i'm in South Philadelphia) but I lost it around 3 months ago, when it suddenly disappeared one day.


I did a new scan about a week ago, and it still has not come back. However, other areas do still have it, apparently ...
 

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Well, I just called comcast and apparently I have to get a STB even with basic cable. Not sure why that is though. Just for the heck of it I got a spliter and plug one cable into my HDTV and the other back into my modem.( I currently have Comcast HSI) I got all the local HD/SD stations as well as Toon Disney and TV Land.
 

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Was the audio and video during Heroes on NCAUDT out of sync for anyone else? I also got the white horizontal specks again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkraft /forum/post/11850870


Was the audio and video during Heroes on NCAUDT out of sync for anyone else? I also got the white horizontal specks again.

Looked and sounded fine to me. Chuck before that also.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midd /forum/post/11832778


How can that be done??

When you go to set a recording, hit "view all settings" or "view recording settings for this program". (it depends on if you are doing an individual recording or a series recording) You will see "Start recording" and

"Stop recording". The default is "On time" but they both can be changed. I think that's it. Now if we only knew which programs would run later than scheduled ...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkraft /forum/post/11850870


Was the audio and video during Heroes on NCAUDT out of sync for anyone else? I also got the white horizontal specks again.

Yes, just watched it and it was out of sync here. I didn't notice the white lines this week, maybe I'm getting used to them.
 

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I got the white lines, and some minor ghosting or tracing, you could see it when the faces moved across a dark background.... i didn't notice the audio.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by frantic1049 /forum/post/11851432


Yes, just watched it and it was out of sync here. I didn't notice the white lines this week, maybe I'm getting used to them.

Kinda Sad if you say your getting used to them? LOL. j/king but still its bad when you can say your getting used to them.


Anyone also know of anything if anyone gets fricken The Weather Channel HD if its going to be Free QAM or only encrypted?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkraft /forum/post/11850870


Was the audio and video during Heroes on NCAUDT out of sync for anyone else? I also got the white horizontal specks again.

I saw this for the first time Fri night when I tuned into Las Vegas for a bit, I can't believe how bad it is. First thing I did was switch over to OTA, still there. Glad that none of my shows I watch this season are on NBC. Also of note, I didn't see it on Leno last night(or have I ever seen it, when flipping over to Leno)

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Anyone also know of anything if anyone gets fricken The Weather Channel HD if its going to be Free QAM or only encrypted?

I don't think Comcast has even announced they will carry TWCHD, have they? Even if/when they do, I'm sure it will probably be encrypted, it is not a local channel, around here Comcast encrypts all the non-local HD channels as they should/can do. But I have no clue why Universal HD is still and always has been in the clear. It still is for me, on 110-2.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 /forum/post/11847005


Apparently, this Comcast region changed its requirements for the national 'cable' non-premium HD channels. The channels formerly only requiring Basic and Digital Classic, now, according to the letter, require a 'level of service including Expanded Basic'.


Its sounds like Basic and Expd. is all that is required, but possibly, Digital Classic is also still required; it could have stated that in the letter, but didn't. Maybe they figure, it is understood, since all the letter receipients had Digital Classic or Preferred already.


Or Digital Classic isn't required, and by taking the discounted Digital Preferred Package, one won't figure this out, unless one actually reads the pre-requisites on the new price/channel cards sent in December for January changes.



We could find out now, if there have been changes since printing, they print interim updated cards. However, when downgrading from Digital Classic/Preferred to Starter, the HD Box goes from $5 to $9, but there is still a net savings of Clasisic $8/ Pref. $11.


For the DVR, one needs Digital Classic or above anyway, but we shall see what they require in January.


Unless there was another letter sent to Basic subs with HD boxes, that configuration still works, HD Box is $9 in this config. and receives the HD Locals.

Just wanted to chime in on this subject. I just ordered Digital Starter for $33 per month( a promotion for 6mos but they gave me 12 ), the HD package for $8.95 and the HD DVR for $11.95. My understanding, according to the tech, is that I'll get all the HD channels with this config.


Edit: Just got my serviced installed this afternoon and it turns out I had to upgrade to digital classic after all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesDax /forum/post/11848653


Well, I just called comcast and apparently I have to get a STB even with basic cable. Not sure why that is though. Just for the heck of it I got a spliter and plug one cable into my HDTV and the other back into my modem.( I currently have Comcast HSI) I got all the local HD/SD stations as well as Toon Disney and TV Land.

I think the reason that you need a STB for Basic is that you're in Philly. There's too much cable theft in the city because the housing units are typically touching each other. So they block everything and required a STB. As for the locals, I don't think they encrypt (as you can plainly see).


Does your HDTV have a QAM tuner? If so, do they pass the local HDs in clearQAM?


ft
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftaok /forum/post/11874371


I think the reason that you need a STB for Basic is that you're in Philly. There's too much cable theft in the city because the housing units are typically touching each other. So they block everything and required a STB. As for the locals, I don't think they encrypt (as you can plainly see).


Does your HDTV have a QAM tuner? If so, do they pass the local HDs in clearQAM?


ft

Yes, local HD's are in the clear.
 

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Well I just surfed through my HD channels here in Toms River NJ and got a few new ones


NGC HD

UHD

NFL HD

TBS HD



Good to hear! I wonder what else we are going to get
 

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The instructions for my new TV say to choose 1 of these 3 types of cable connections (I'm plugging the cable directly into the back of the TV -- as it has a QAM tuner).


The 3 possibilities are: STD; HRC and IRC


So which does Comcast use (Standard, HRC or IRC)? I understand they are different ways that cable operators transmit signals.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by caesar1 /forum/post/11877759


The instructions for my new TV say to choose 1 of these 3 types of cable connections (I'm plugging the cable directly into the back of the TV -- as it has a QAM tuner).


The 3 possibilities are: STD; HRC and IRC


So which does Comcast use (Standard, HRC or IRC)? I understand they are different ways that cable operators transmit signals.

My LG tuner/dvd player asks the same question. While I have no idea what comcast uses, IIRC I got the best results with Standard, similar results from HRC and poor results from IRC.


Personally I would try each to see what gave you the best results as there is no harm in doing the scan for channels.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark521 /forum/post/11879100


My LG tuner/dvd player asks the same question. While I have no idea what comcast uses, IIRC I got the best results with Standard, similar results from HRC and poor results from IRC.


Personally I would try each to see what gave you the best results as there is no harm in doing the scan for channels.

Here's the history as I understand it:



In the early days of the cable TV industry, only Channels 2-13 were

used. Just as in the over-the-air broadcast world, second-harmonic

distortion was a potential problem; however, the fact that Channels

2-13 were split into two separate octaves rendered this problem moot:

all second harmonics fell outside of the bands of interest.



But as the industry grew, more channel space was needed, so channels

14-22 were added in the midband (120-174 MHz). Once those were used,

more channels were added in the superband (above channel 13).



These new channels were vulnerable to, and created, all sorts of

distortion products that fall in other channels. These products are

classified as follows:



SECOND ORDER DISTORTION: F1 +/- F2 (including second

harmonics). Example: the sum of the channels 3 and 4

visual carriers:



61.25 + 67.25 = 128.5 MHz.



This combination produces a spurious signal at 128.5

MHz, which falls 1.25 MHz above the visual carrier of

cable channel 15, right in the middle to the video

sidebands, where it causes rolling horizontal lines in

the picture.



THIRD ORDER DISTORTION: F1 +/- F2 +/- F3 Example:

channels 7, 8 and 9 visual carriers:



175.25 + 181.25 - 187.25 = 169.25 MHz



This combination produces a distortion product at 169.25

MHz, approximately at the visual carrier frequency of

cable channel 22. But (assuming that the three carriers

are generated by independent oscillators), this product

will not fall precisely on the visual carrier, so it

produces a "thumbprint" in the desired picture. If the

oscillators drift, the thumbprint dances around.



These problems became particularly severe as amplifier cascades became

longer: the more amplifiers in a cascade, the worse the distortion at

the end of the line. (The design goal for most cascades was a maximum

of 20 amplifiers, but I once heard of a cable system in California

that had a 67-amp cascade!)



To solve (or at least hide) these problems, various schemes were

developed for locking the visual carrier frequencies together at the

headend. The goal was to force the distortion products caused by the

interaction of visual carriers to fall precisely on top of other

visual carriers, effectively masking them.



Two schemes were developed:



- INCREMENTALLY RELATED CARRIERS (IRC)

(not to be confused with Internet Relay Chat)



This scheme phaselocks all visual carriers to a master oscillator

operating at F0 = 6.0000 MHz according to the formula



F = F0 * N + 1.2625



where N is an integer and 1.2625 is a constant (it was originally

1.25, but it was offset to 1.2625 to avoid conflict with aeronautical

communications -- but that's a different story).



Thus:



Channel 2 visual falls at 55.2625 N = 9

Channel 3 visual falls at 61.2625 N = 10

Channel 4 visual falls at 67.2625 N = 11

Channel 5 visual falls at 79.2625 N = 13

Channel 6 visual falls at 85.2625 N = 14



This scheme solves the third-order distortion problem, although it

doesn't solve the second-order problem.



Note that this scheme moves Channels 5 and 6 up by 2 MHz.

Consequently, this scheme only works if special arrangements are made

to accommodate this shift. Some cable operators provided special IRC

converters; others just left 5 and 6 vacant. Some "cable-ready" TV

sets were equipped with obscure little switches (or menu options) that

made the shift.



Note that this scheme leaves a 6-MHz gap (72-78 MHz) between Channels

4 and 5. Which just happens to equal one television channel. And

that's cable Channel 1, with a visual carrier at 73.2625 MHz.



- HARMONICALLY RELATED CARRIERS (HRC)

(not to be confused with Hillary Rodham Clinton)



This scheme phaselocks all visual carriers to a master oscillator

operating at F0 = 6.0003 MHz +/- 1 Hz (that's right: plus-or-minus ONE

HERTZ) according to the formula



F = F0 * N



where N is an integer. The master oscillator frequency was originally

6.0000, but it was offset to 6.0003 to avoid conflict with

aeronautical communications -- again, that's a different story.



Thus:



Channel 2 visual falls at 54.0027 N = 9

Channel 3 visual falls at 60.0030 N = 10

Channel 4 visual falls at 66.0033 N = 11

Channel 5 visual falls at 78.0039 N = 13

Channel 6 visual falls at 84.0042 N = 14



This scheme solves both the second order and the third-order

distortion problems.



Note that this scheme moves everything down by (about) 1.25 MHz,

except for Channels 5 and 6 which move up by 0.75 MHz. Like IRC, this

system only works if special arrangements are made to accommodate the

shift. Some cable operators provided special HRC converters, and some

cable-ready TV sets were equipped with switches or menu options.



This scheme also leaves a 6-MHz gap (approximately 70.75- 76.75 MHz)

between Channels 4 and 5. So again, we have cable Channel 1, this

time at 72.0036.



In recent years, the use of fiber optics in cable TV networks has

dramatically reduced the need for long amplifier cascades (some

networks now have cascades as short as two amplifiers). This in turn

has virtually eliminated the need for IRC and HRC frequency schemes.

So most cable TV systems now use the "standard" frequency allocation

scheme: cable channels 2-13 fall at the same frequencies as broadcast

channels 2-13. And "cable channel 1" has been relegated to the

dustbin of ancient history.
 
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