Dropping ALL analog signal (1 Viewer)

daveh505@comcast.net

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 18, 2008
104
2
Las Cruces NM
Hi All
I have a number of questions I brought up to the Comcast service center that they couldn't answer very well.

1. As I understand it the Digital Perferred package will no longer have any analog signals that will be viewable even with a new LCD TV that has all the right tuners. Yes No Explain.

2. Will Comcast provide a free set top box so analog TV and new LCD TV that has all the right tuners can be used.

3. When will Las Cruces NM go to all digital si9gnal?
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,673
3,256
Sheboygan, WI
Yes, but not overnight.

Comcast here did the Xfinity conversion a couple of weeks ago. We ended up losing 4 or 5 analog channels, but there are still 50 or so left. They will transition off over time, probably the next year or so.

They are promising us an "adapter". I don't know what that means, but it apparently is less than a full receiver.
 

meinename

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 9, 2008
587
0
Portland, OR
Hi All
I have a number of questions I brought up to the Comcast service center that they couldn't answer very well.

1. As I understand it the Digital Perferred package will no longer have any analog signals that will be viewable even with a new LCD TV that has all the right tuners. Yes No Explain.

2. Will Comcast provide a free set top box so analog TV and new LCD TV that has all the right tuners can be used.

3. When will Las Cruces NM go to all digital si9gnal?
1. Yes if Comcast NM have announced it, then you have been warned. See point 3 for more.

2. Comcast was providing 2 DTA's or 1 Digital cable box for free. Rental charges applied for every box afterward. SD Digital cable box was $5, DTA's were $2, and HD boxes were $10 (with HD sub) after the first box

3. They announced the Portland, OR area 6 months ahead of time. They slowly transitioned the more rural areas beginning 2 months after the announcement. 6 Months later, they transitioned the 3 largest areas over the space of a week.
From what I could tell, they took 2 months in 2 week periods to go over each phase.
Phase 1: PSA Commercials inserted every half hour stating you will need a DTA or digital cable box (2 different devices)
Phase 2: announce that DTA's and Digital cable boxes are available for delivery and pickup at service centers. PSA Commercials altered to reflect a certain date of analog shut off.
Phase 3: switch all analog channels to slates with contact info (similar to PSA info). Basic analog (local antenna, Discovery, and Public access) Ch.2-23 were still on in analog though.
Phase 4: Stop airing PSA. Turn off analog channels and add more digital services as head-end/node equipment becomes available and installed.

Yes, but not overnight.

Comcast here did the Xfinity conversion a couple of weeks ago. We ended up losing 4 or 5 analog channels, but there are still 50 or so left. They will transition off over time, probably the next year or so.

They are promising us an "adapter". I don't know what that means, but it apparently is less than a full receiver.
The standard digital cable box has Parental controls, a guide, various settings, PPV, On-Demand and RCA Yellow-White-Red outputs
The DTA is very basic cable tuner. RF Ch.3-4 output, no guide. just a channel number and a callsign on the bottom left.

New cable boxes are not to have any built-in non-removable decryption, but the DTA have it installed anyway. Comcast got a wavier of the separate-able encryption/decryption rule for the DTA's from the FCC after having the DTA's deployed. Once Comcast had the waiver, the local Comcast office encrypted the Clear-QAM channels within the week.
ALL OF THEM including the HD-antenna locals.

So the Clear-QAM tuners in new LCD TV's are useless now. :mad:
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,673
3,256
Sheboygan, WI
Thanks. That clear up a lot of the confusion that Comcast seems to be slinging around here. Fortunately, I'm moving at the end of the month and can hopefully go back to DISH.
 

meinename

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 9, 2008
587
0
Portland, OR
If you have a new TV with a QAM tuner, you'll be able to get all the channels you currently get without a box.
Tell that to my HDTV and Haupauge HVR-1600's.

They all come up encrypted in TSReader on the HVR-1600's

The Olevia 527V has them all flagged as skipped and won't show them like it would before they turned on the encryption.
I used to check what was flagged as skipped and make a table of channels to tune on the Olevia.
Nothing shows up anymore.
 

wilcoxon

New Member
Aug 25, 2010
1
0
US
What is the point of Comcast encrypting non-premium channels? The huge PR cost would seem to far outweigh the possible extra profits from forcing people to rent STBs.
 

meinename

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 9, 2008
587
0
Portland, OR
What is the point of Comcast encrypting non-premium channels? The huge PR cost would seem to far outweigh the possible extra profits from forcing people to rent STBs.

They want to move to the Satellite model.

  • No need to roll a truck to place a filter when a sub cancels service (saves money).
  • Only subs can see only their subscribed channels.
  • Set-top boxes record what, when and how long some channels was watched.
    [*]Useful in channel-cost negotiations
    [*]Useful for problem solving
    [*]Can be sold as advertising data​
  • No box, No programming.

If it ain't receivable by an OTA antenna, it's premium to the cable and satellite providers.
 

DJ Rob

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
1,576
1
Denver, Colorado
They did their conversion in my area a couple of weeks ago. I was getting channels 2-78 in analog subscribing to basic cable. We got about a month advance notice that we needed to pick up converter boxes and then only channels 2-22 are now left in analog. So they can do it pretty quickly. Only our local OTA channels are unencrypted QAM and the rest require a converter box from Comcast.
 

yaz96

Baby, It's Cold Outside
Dec 22, 2005
12,829
0
Front Range, Colorado
What is the point of Comcast encrypting non-premium channels? The huge PR cost would seem to far outweigh the possible extra profits from forcing people to rent STBs.

The main reason is to increase bandwidth. By switching analog channels to digital they are increasing bandwidth for other channels, internet speed, etc. The digital channels require a box that can convert them for your TV.

And of course, to help prevent cable theft.
 

meinename

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 9, 2008
587
0
Portland, OR
DanLee said:
Does anyone know why they cannot provide HD feeds through these converter boxes? Or is it that they don't want to?

The DTAs only have an RF. Ch 3-4 analog output on them.

The why of Comcast not providing a unencrypted digital feed breaks down to these points:
Clear QAM are considered unsecure. Hollywood channel contracts demands and require the channels be transmitted securely. Hollywood won't agree to an HD channel being carried without encryption. Comcast prides itself (to Hollywood) as having the most secure cable network. The head office where I live flags every non-OTA channel to be copyprotected (thereby locking the recording to the unit that recorded it) on the analog outs of every cable box.

QAM channel encoders are not cheap, nor are they small. If you want one as a consumer ZeeVee is the only company who will talk to you. Zpro 250 starts at $900.
The Zpro unit is the size of a 1U network switch.

EDIT: thanks for reminding me. Apparently Engadget missed the release of the Zbox 170. But It can only do one source and is limited to 720p60, no 1080i/p
The Zbox 150 was $700 at release I believe. However all the 150 did was put your PC monitor on a QAM channel.

The supposed good news:
The compromise the FCC and the cable co. Along with Dish and DirecTV are working on a standard to replace CableCard and tru2way with will be a server that outputs the channels over Ethernet unencrypted.
The bad news is like CableCard and tru2way (the naysayer in me says) it will take 10 years before anything will make it to demostrations like CES let alone go into production.
 
Last edited:

daveh505@comcast.net

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 18, 2008
104
2
Las Cruces NM
As I understand it the Local affiliate's HD signal is not provided by Comcast, the HD signal somehow "piggy-backs" on the cable so that any LCD TV that has a 'QAM' tuner can pick up the signal from your cable and display it in HD. Comcast Tech support says that Comcast has nothing to do with the affliate's HD signal and did not appear to be concerned about its use.
I have two LCD TVs with DTAs and am able to display the affiliate's HD signal by using a antenna/cable switch and a duplex splitter.
The signal first goes through a duplex splitter and is split between the DTA and the antenna side of a antenna/cable switch. The signal that goes through the DTA is then routed into the cable side of the antenna/cable switch. If I want to watch the affiliates in HD all I do is switch the antenna/cable switch to 'antenna' and make sure I have auto searched all of the HD signals. Since your TV is set to channel "3 or 4" to use the DTA you never have to auto search more than once. If I want to use the DTA to watch TV I switch the antenna/cable switch to cable and am ready to go.
I hope this is clear as mud.
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,673
3,256
Sheboygan, WI
As I understand it the Local affiliate's HD signal is not provided by Comcast, the HD signal somehow "piggy-backs" on the cable so that any LCD TV that has a 'QAM' tuner can pick up the signal from your cable and display it in HD. Comcast Tech support says that Comcast has nothing to do with the affliate's HD signal and did not appear to be concerned about its use.
I have two LCD TVs with DTAs and am able to display the affiliate's HD signal by using a antenna/cable switch and a duplex splitter.
The signal first goes through a duplex splitter and is split between the DTA and the antenna side of a antenna/cable switch. The signal that goes through the DTA is then routed into the cable side of the antenna/cable switch. If I want to watch the affiliates in HD all I do is switch the antenna/cable switch to 'antenna' and make sure I have auto searched all of the HD signals. Since your TV is set to channel "3 or 4" to use the DTA you never have to auto search more than once. If I want to use the DTA to watch TV I switch the antenna/cable switch to cable and am ready to go.
I hope this is clear as mud.

Well, that's the theory. In reality, cable operators change the mapping of the QAM pass through channels every few months in order to meet their bandwidth needs. In addition, several members have reported that their local systems have totally removed the QAM feeds and now require a box to receive locals.

I didn't think the latter case was legal, but the operators seem to be getting away with it.
 

berck

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2006
829
5
Pleasanton, CA (SF Bay Area)
As I understand it the Local affiliate's HD signal is not provided by Comcast, the HD signal somehow "piggy-backs" on the cable so that any LCD TV that has a 'QAM' tuner can pick up the signal from your cable and display it in HD. Comcast Tech support says that Comcast has nothing to do with the affliate's HD signal and did not appear to be concerned about its use.

Yes and no. The Local's provide a more raw digital feed to the Cable company. The Cable company still puts the QAM modulation on it to put it up on a cable channel. They can easily encrypt it if they wanted too.
 

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