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Visitor
jacklx
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-31-2012

Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I have Limited Basic service.   Up until early this year, it worked flawlessly with my two HDTVs, both of which have clear QAM tuners.   Since then, Comcast has apparently decided to move the channels around rather frequently, forcing me to rescan the channels periodically.  Now I have a new problem:  only about 15 channels show up.  The local broadcast channels are missing completely.    (I'm getting the shopping channels, some SD channels--but not the major network local broadcast, and one HD channel, WGN America.)  It's no use calling customer service--they insist I have an analog TV and need a digital adapter to watch anything. 

 

Has anyone else encountered this problem?   Does anyone have suggestions about how to reach someone at Comcast who understands Clear QAM?

Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 169
Registered: ‎08-28-2004

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic


jacklx wrote:

I have Limited Basic service.   Up until early this year, it worked flawlessly with my two HDTVs, both of which have clear QAM tuners.   Since then, Comcast has apparently decided to move the channels around rather frequently, forcing me to rescan the channels periodically.  Now I have a new problem:  only about 15 channels show up.  The local broadcast channels are missing completely.    (I'm getting the shopping channels, some SD channels--but not the major network local broadcast, and one HD channel, WGN America.)  It's no use calling customer service--they insist I have an analog TV and need a digital adapter to watch anything. 

 

Has anyone else encountered this problem?   Does anyone have suggestions about how to reach someone at Comcast who understands Clear QAM?


Oh they understand all right...

It looks like I will be in the same boat as you in the next week or two. "Thanks to Comcast", clear qam users will lose HD on local channels and have to watch them in SD using their DA's and remotes with yet another wall-wart to boot.

I'll probably be going elsewhere for TV service.

 

New Visitor
nuclearpkt
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-23-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Looks like they decide that clear QAM is not in there best interest. Earlier this week they cut off all the clear qam channels. Not even a note or a warning and customer mis-service was of no help. I have no faith in Comcast to do anything but overcharge you for horrible service.

New Visitor
Anon567
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-23-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I have a similar issue. I have been able to receive my Comcast limited basic service channels over a QAM tuner without issues for a couple years. That is until 2 days ago, when all of my channels (except for two random ones) disappeared - no signals whatsoever. A call to Comcast this morning resulted in the same as your call - they tell me I need a DTA box, because they can't troubleshoot otherwise. It appears as though Comcast has begun encrypting the signals, but I cannot find any articles or evidence that this has taken place. I'm in Chicago, FYI.

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

What I have to wonder is why a Comcast rep has not entered into this Subject, as it appears to be happening in multiple locations and therefore not likely to be an individual operator screwing things up?  I have heard of several location where Comcast is indeed encrypting local/basic channels, but as far as I know the FCC has not issued them the authority to encrypt them all.  I was also under the impression that when/if Comcast does encrypt them, they would be supplying customers with uDTAs (that are like the existing DTA, but handle HD and have an A/V output along with the RF output)

Visitor
jacklx
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-31-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Comcast's Web site is very clear about this: you DO NOT need any extra equipment if you have a TV with a Clear QAM tuner. http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/using-a-digital-tv-with-qam-tuner/ The last update was on June 18, 2012. If they've changed their policy, they need an update. I don't even get the SD versions of local broadcast channels... but I still get SOME channels, and I even get one HD channel. Go figure. I'm not a big TV watcher... I have Limited Basic because it's cheaper to get Internet service bundled with Limited Basic than to get Internet service by itself.
Contributor
rbuss12
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-25-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

So a nice chat with a customer service rep got me this. Sounds like there's nothing to do but switch to a different provider for TV/Internet or get antennaes - see below

 

  • Problem: Local HD channels are missing
  • Maricor > Hello, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Maricor. Please give me one moment to review your information.
  • Me > My Issue: Local HD channels are missing
  • Maricor > I am sorry to know that you are missing channels.
  • Maricor > No need to worry. I am here to provide you with excellent customer service today. I will do my best to pin point what the problem is and work on getting this fix for you.
  • Maricor > Just to verify, may I know when did this started, please?
  • Me > This evening. There was a "glitch" in service last night and according to comcast forums this is happening elsewhere
  • Maricor > I understand.
  • Maricor > Is there an error message on your screen when you access on your HD channels, please?
  • Me > no. i rescanned, since there was no picture, and it actually skipped the channel because of no signal
  • Maricor > we are going to perform some troubleshooting steps, will this be okay with you?
  • Me > yup
  • Maricor > May I have the serial number of the affected box so we can work on the correct equipment, please? Serial numbers can be found on a white sticker at the back/bottom of the device and usually starts with M or T followed by a series of numbers and letters.
  • Me > nope. no boxes here. i have limited basic and up until tonight i was receiving local hd channels just fine. i sincerely hope comcast is not phasing these out
  • Me > and forcing LIMITED BASIC customers to rent a box
  • Me > i only have this subscription because its actually cheaper to have my internet with it.
  • Maricor > Would you mind waiting for 2 minutes while I research some information in my system in order to better serve you?
  • Me > please do
  • Maricor > Thank You.
  • Maricor > While waiting, let me share with you one of our free services-- Comcast CustomerCentral. You will not only be able to view and pay your bill online but you can also check Service Health Status for outages in all lines of services. Service Appointment Management is also available in Customer Central where you may reschedule or cancel appointments ( except installation appointment ).
  • Maricor > Our goal is to provide you with a consistently superior customer experience - that's our guarantee. Learn more about the Comcast Customer Guarantee at http://www.comcast.com/corporate/Customers/CustomerGuarantee.html?fss=customerguarantee
  • Maricor > Thank You for waiting.
  • Maricor > Upon checking our system, your area is ongoing Digital migration. This is about government-mandated Digital Transition Program requires that all broadcast television stations must switch from analog to digital technology to transmit their signals. This is the reason why you are losing certain channels or not getting any channels at all on your TV that does not have a cable box.
  • Maricor > No need to worry,. We are providing FREE DTAs. DTA (Digital Transport Adapter) has no access to On Demand, PPV, premium but it will give you a digital quality picture for your Limited and Expanded Basic channels ( usually channels 2 - 99 ).
  • Me > but i have the required built in HD Tuner that is QAM. i shouldn't need a box. especially when the boxes are built for CRT tv's and the picture is horrible on all of my QAM/HD built in tuner tv's
  • Me > it's a digital picture, which i have those now, and they are not even close to the hd
  • Me > i know it's not your fault but it's ridiculous. this is comcast's service link
  • Me > http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/using-a-digital-tv-with-qam-tuner/
  • Me > customers should be notified that they'll need these awesome boxes that don't provide the picture for LOCAL hd programs
  • Me > so we can move service
  • Maricor > That is good that you have the QAM tuner, however, the advantage of having the Adapter is we can troubleshoot your issue when you have channel or reception problems by sending a signal to the Adapter.
  • Me > personally i don't care about the troubleshooting. its the limited basic.... if anything it's a service area issue that i won't need help with. i might as well go get digital antennaes and save money
  • Maricor > I understand, actually, there is no additional charge on your bill by having the Adapter, since it is for free and no monthly rental charge.
  • Maricor > As of the moment, you may try to unplug the coax cable cord connection from the wall and plug back again after 2 minutes.
  • Me > i understand. it's digital and not hd..
  • Me > so basically i might as well end my tv subscription with comcast, move internet to customer link for a third of the price, and buy antennaes for my tv's.
  • Me > like i said i know its not your fault but comcast should've updated their qma service page and notified people so they can weigh options
  • Maricor > The announcements has been posted online, on your bill and on newspaper ads, last year. Since it was mandated by the government since last year though, it did not take effect at the same time on all areas.
  • Me > Mmmkkkk. Thanks Maricor. I appreciate your time. Can I cancel service online?
  • Maricor > It's sad to know that, however, you may call this Department 1-800- (934-6489), for cancelling service. This Department will be open Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 5pm EST.
  • Me > thanks maricor. have a good evening.

 

Gold Problem Solver
BruceW
Posts: 7,500
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

That "mandated by the government" bit is BS of course:

 

1. The mandate was for broadcast stations, not cable.

2. A QAM TV can tune Limited Basic channels even if they are digital, as the help page you linked states.

 

I wish Comcast would get its facts straight.

Visitor
jimcgreen
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-27-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I also have a new TV with a clear QAM tuner and it doesn't receive any Comcast Limited Basic channels. It's a Samsung LN37D550K1FXZA. I can receive several channels in HD with an indoor antenna.

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic


jimcgreen wrote:

I also have a new TV with a clear QAM tuner and it doesn't receive any Comcast Limited Basic channels. It's a Samsung LN37D550K1FXZA. I can receive several channels in HD with an indoor antenna.


Are you getting any channels directly from your Comcast cable?  Have you tried doing a re-scan with your TV.  Are you receiving all your local/basic channels with a Comcast box (DTA or Set-top)?

Visitor
jimcgreen
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-27-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I had the TV hooked up to an indoor antenna and just switched that to a direct connection to cable. I changed the input on the TV menu to cable and rescanned the channels. The rescan didn't find any channels. I have seen some posts saying that the cable modem needs to be power cycled when switching to a direct connection to a clear QAM tuner. I'll try that tonight.

I have a DTA that I planned to use with an older TV. I didn't expect to have to use it with this new TV.

New Visitor
JoJoMinute
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-27-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

So glad I found this thread as I thought I was nuts. I called Comcast 3 times and they were just clueless with what I was referring to in the issue. I have limited basic and it worked fine with my 2 QAM tuners up until around Sunday 9/23. Now one TV can't pick up the signal and the newer 19inch says 'scrambled'.

 

Called Comcast and they were just useless. I said 'something changed', they said sir we need to check connections and the existing adapters (on my analog TVs). I said - well I took the 19inch to the garage and plugged it into the cable direct and all it says is 'scrambled'. She said I don't know how those channels were getting through, but we didn't make any changes. She proceeded to try to sell me digital cable for an extra 9.95 a month plus 9.95 for each digital box. YAY COMCAST and it's monopoly.

 

 

Regular Contributor
ieee488
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎07-08-2010

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I am in central NJ, and thankfully, my new LG HDTV still works.

For me, I lost the NJ PBS station. That is annoying since I just made a small donation to them.

But the Philadelphia broadcast stations all are now HD.

 

But now I know what to look for if I start "losing" more stations.

 

May be time to switch to FIOS.

Visitor
jimcgreen
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-27-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I power cycled the modem and rescanned the channels and it found a whole bunch of channels.

But now if I tune to a limited basic channel I get a message on my TV that says "If you can see this message, the TV you're watching isn't yet ready for Comcast digital network enhancements"

I called Comcast and the tech said that I need a box or DTA for all TVs no matter what service I receive. I asked if all of Comcast's website FAQs and other info listed for the digital transformation was wrong about the Limited Basic not needing a DTA and he said "yes, it was wrong. All TVs need some kind of box now."

My service is in San Rafael, CA.

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic


jimcgreen wrote:

I power cycled the modem and rescanned the channels and it found a whole bunch of channels.

But now if I tune to a limited basic channel I get a message on my TV that says "If you can see this message, the TV you're watching isn't yet ready for Comcast digital network enhancements"

I called Comcast and the tech said that I need a box or DTA for all TVs no matter what service I receive. I asked if all of Comcast's website FAQs and other info listed for the digital transformation was wrong about the Limited Basic not needing a DTA and he said "yes, it was wrong. All TVs need some kind of box now."

My service is in San Rafael, CA.


If the local channel you are tuning to is an analog channel then indeed you aren't going to have that channel available much longer.  That would be something like channel 4 (an analog channel indicator), however, you should not get that message on channel 4.1 (a digital channel indicator).  To see channel 4 you would indeed need a DTA to convert the digital channel and output it to an analog tuner (which would be set to channel 3 on your TV).

The only info I can find relitive to QAM from Comcast is at Comcast on QAM: http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/using-a-digital-tv-with-qam-tuner/ 

New Visitor
nscribner
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-28-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I live in East Brunswick and use QAM for all the broadcast channels. (And only those.) They do move around.

In the last several days it seemed that WNET (13) was gone altogether, but a rescan restored it.

All you can do is hope for the best.

The FCC regulations seem to have enough loopholes about the numbers of

commercial and non-commercial (ie public) broadcast channels the cable company must carry

and issues related to agreements with the broadcasters as well.

However, I may complain to the FCC about COMCAST's persistent attempts to

confuse their subscribers.  If enough of us complain, we may get some relief.

Regular Contributor
ieee488
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎07-08-2010

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

[ Edited ]

@nscribner - Are you getting NJTV (channel 23)?

 

My complaint to Comcast via their website resulted in a long email replay with no useful information. It said that NJTV was on channel 23. Duh. I knew that. The email suggested that it may be connection problem. Uh no, because I get all the other channels crystal clear. The email also suggested reseting the converter box. Uh, did that twice by rescanning my TV's tuner. Channel 23 is showing up as "scrambled".

 

 

 

 

Visitor
jimcgreen
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-27-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

With the digital migration Comcast does not broadcast any analog channels. The channels 2,3,5,7 etc are all digital but not in HD. HD channels are not available on the Limited Basic plan.

The website you provided a link to says "If you have a Digital QAM tuner, you don’t need a digital device to view limited basic cable channels."

This is false. I have a digital QAM tuner and I cannot view limited basic cable channels. The Comcast tech even said that the information on the websites is false and that they have been getting many calls about it.

Limited Basic cable channels do not include 2.1,3.1,5.1 etc.

The FAQ is here

http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/who-is-affected-by-digital-migration/

 

it also states that Limited Basic customers with a QAM tuner don't need a DTA

Regular Contributor
ieee488
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎07-08-2010

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I don't know about where you are jimcgreen, but my channels 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 etc are all in HD.

The video is gorgeous. There are also SD subchannels at 2.5, 3.5, etc. I delete those from my TV's channel list, so I skip them when using the Up/Down channel button on my remote.

 

My bill says Limited Basic $15.35.

 

All I want now is for them to give me NJ TV the NJ PBS station back which was also HD before it went "away", though to be honest I don't watch that PBS station all that match.

 

 

Regular Contributor
jj97403
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎01-14-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Any updates on this issue? I don't think comcast would provide the DTA box for free, would they?

Gold Problem Solver
BruceW
Posts: 7,500
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

[ Edited ]

jj97403 wrote: Any updates on this issue? I don't think comcast would provide the DTA box for free, would they?

It depends on the market. Many do offer 2 DTAs at no extra charge, others charge $2/month. Visit www.comcast.com/digitalnow or call 1-877-634-4434 for more information.

Regular Contributor
ieee488
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎07-08-2010

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic


BruceW wrote:

jj97403 wrote: Any updates on this issue? I don't think comcast would provide the DTA box for free, would they?

It depends on the market. Many do offer 2 DTAs at no extra charge, others charge $2/month. Visit www.comcast.com/digitalnow or call 1-877-634-4434 for more information.


Here in central NJ, the offer is 2 DTAs at no extra charge.

 

 

New Visitor
Anon567
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-23-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Update here... The day after my previous post, I rescanned my channels once again, and this time my channels magically reappeared, all in the same positions. Something changed on Comcast's end, now everything seems to be back to normal here for the time being. The following day, I picked up and activated a DTA from Comcast just to have it around for the next time this happens. If I lose my QAM channels, I'll hook up the DTA. If I get channels over the DTA, I'll know that Comcast is messing with (or finally removing) the QAM signals. If I get no channels over the DTA, I can call Comcast and have them send a signal to the DTA for troubleshooting. Just to clarify the DTA pricing, i learned that if you only have a limited basic subscription, you're entitled to two DTA's at no cost. If you have a digital cable package, the DTA's cost $1.99 a month.

New Visitor
Anon567
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-23-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

rbuss12 - This is similar to the verbal conversation I had with my Comcast rep. They don't understand anything technical; they just read things off a sheet. The loss / encryption of QAM signals has absolutely nothing to do with the government-mandated "digital transition," as your rep stated. The government only mandated that the old analog TV frequencies be freed up for other uses.

 

As another example of their lack of knowledge, I actually argued with my rep (and finally just gave up), because she kept telling me a DTA would "convert my analog signal to digital." I kept telling her she had that backward, but she continued to argue. If they aren't knowledgeable of the basic functionality of the equipment they provide, there's no way they will be able to help with QAM tuners. It is unfortunate and very frustrating to be more knowledgeable than the person trying to assist you, but Comcast doesn't care to educate their support staff, because that would mean they actually need to pay them an honest wage.

Contributor
rbuss12
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-25-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Anon - Completely 100% agree with you. That's why i had mentioned twice that i know its not the rep's fault, cuz they are just reading off a script, but c'mon, give them a base understanding. I purchased an antennae this morning, cheapy just to see what a cheap one will do, and will have it in place hopefully tonight. I'll post back with my findings.

New Visitor
Steve424
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-02-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Here in San Jose similiar problems with limited basic.  For the last few years we have received digital  channels (CBS, ABC, FOX, KQED, etc...)  with our TV that has a QAM tuner.  In the last week we lost NBC when the digital migration happened.  Called Comcast and said I needed a box.  Received the box yesterday: a digital to analog adapter.    Requires you to tune TV to channel 3 so everything is SD.  Called Comcast and asked why we were no longer seeing digital channels.  One Comcast rep said our previous digital channels were being received by our TV's internal antenna.   The next rep told me limiited basic no longer includes HD channels.  I would have to upgrade to a higher level service.  The third rep understood the problem but could not explain why the web site says limited basic subscribers with QAM tuners do not need any additional equipment.   Comast has serious problems with the digital migration.  Why has Comcast not updated their website to address all the confusion?  All the Comcast reps are greatly confused about digital vs. analog. 

Contributor
skeets011
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-02-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Lost mine last night here in NH, started out early yesterday with channels shifting their numbers.  This morning we were down to 3 or 4 working channels, mostly duplicates.  Upon re-scanning, all the channels were gone.  Only reason I was keeping basic cable was for PBS (kids shows), time to go try out some antennaes and save the last $20 or so bux a month.

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

[ Edited ]

I'm app. 50 miles from Denver antenna farm, and installed a fairly cheap ($50-60) roof antenna that is able to pull them all in.  A lot better than pulling in the old analog RF signals...

Contributor
skeets011
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-02-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

My own support request, my survey feedback at the end.  I would use an antenna if I could....signals don't deal well with the woods/hills of NH (and lack of broadcasting stations doesn't help either)

 

  • Problem: I have a digital TV with a built in QAM tuner, I've been using this to view Limited Basic channels without a DTA. Last night the channels appeared to have rearranged and this morning all the channels were gone after a rescan.
  • Me > My Issue: I have a digital TV with a built in QAM tuner, I've been using this to view Limited Basic channels without a DTA. Last night the channels appeared to have rearranged and this morning all the channels were gone after a rescan.
  • Sanny Jay > Hello Wichita, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Sanny Jay. Please give me one moment to review your information.
  • Sanny Jay > It is indeed great to have you on this chat. I will be looking forward to address your concerns.
  • Sanny Jay > Witchita, I will be uploading the document for the QAM tuner since this support is not scope of cable services since QAM tuners got there signal through a different bandwidth.
  • Me > so I have no support for limited basic service?
  • Sanny Jay > You have indeed Limited Basic as your Comcast cable services however, our scope is limited only to cable boxes or equipment owned by Comcast.
  • Me > Can I cancel my service through you then?
  • Me > Or would I need to call in?
  • Sanny Jay > I have verified that the QAM channels are over the air channels, Wichita.
  • Sanny Jay > You are experiencing this because you need to have a cable box to support the channels you have (Limited ABsic)
  • Sanny Jay > Basic*
  • Sanny Jay > The first cable box/DTA is for free.
  • Me > that's not what your support documents say
  • Me > http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/using-a-digital-tv-with-qam-tuner/
  • Me > Additionally theres a guide here to set up HD OTA channels by directly connecting
  • Me > http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/connecting-digital-adapter-to-hdtv/
  • Sanny Jay > The advertisement is not updated.
  • Sanny Jay > I am unable to send a signal stream to any device since there has been no cable box in your account.
  • Sanny Jay > Have you tried scanning the channels, if I may ask?
  • Me > twice
  • Me > at different times of the day
  • Me > If I understand correctly the free DTA tuners you provide will only convert to standard def analog correct?
  • Sanny Jay > It will convert the Digital format for you to receive the channels in your TV.
  • Sanny Jay > The DTA is not a tuner, it is definitely a type of cable box used as a transmitter.
  • Me > but it will be letterboxed in standard definition right?
  • Me > your free DTA converters do not provide HD
  • Sanny Jay > We do have an HD capable DTAs.
  • Me > they're free?
  • Sanny Jay > There has been a charge for the HD DTAs.
  • Sanny Jay > And as of the moment it is only available in selected markets.
  • Me > So in order to have the same television service I had until yesterday, I "might" be able to pay more...
  • Sanny Jay > Yes you are correct.
  • Sanny Jay > Tyhe QAM channels are over the air and Comcast broadcasted channels through a cable line/outlet.
  • Me > so what changed?
  • Sanny Jay > Thank you for patiently waiting.
  • Sanny Jay > Comcast indeed broadcasted the channels through a cable line from the start, Wichita.
  • Sanny Jay > We are not broadcasting over the air.
  • Sanny Jay > Over the air broadcast is free and you will get it when you have an antenna or an equipment just like the QAM tuners to pick up the free services.
  • Me > Where I live, the OTA channels I can get via Antenna do not match what Comcast provided with limited basic service. The whole reason I had television service was for those basic channels.
  • Me > I understand that you have no control over the decision to stop providing that service, but is there any way for my feedback to reach those that did make that decision?
  • Me > I am considering cancelling service if I'm going to have to pay extra for the same service I originally signed up for
  • Sanny Jay > Thank you so much for your understanding. Wichita.
  • Sanny Jay > Let me check out if there has been a document here on my end with regards to QAM support.
  • Sanny Jay > The QAM channels are indeed not part of Comcast since their channel numbers have decimal point with it.
  • Sanny Jay > Thank you for patiently waiting.
  • Sanny Jay > As per document check there has been no QAM support as of the moment since this channels are being broadcasted for free and there has been no company who specifically handle this./
  • Me > Again, any option for my feedback to reach those that decided to stop broadcasting those channels?
  • Sanny Jay > As per verification there has been no possible way as of the moment to escalate the feedback since there has been no liable company for QAM channels.
  • Me > Thanks, I'll go to my local office then to either ask for a DTA or cancel service
  • Sanny Jay > It is indeed a pleasure for me to serve you.
  • Sanny Jay > At your service anytime, Wichita.
  • Sanny Jay > It has been an honor to chat a customer like you. You showed utmost concern and sincerity with your cable services. It is indeed heart-warming.
  • Sanny Jay > Would there be anything else that I can assist you with for today? I would be glad to address your concern further.
  • Me > That is all, thanks
  • Sanny Jay > Lots of blessings and graces ahead! Best wishes in your endeavors.
  • Sanny Jay > Just a quick recap before we end the chat. We have isolated the concern and I informed you all about the QAM tuner support and the need for a DTA box.
  • Sanny Jay > It was truly a pleasure to chat with you today. We value and appreciate your business!
  • Sanny Jay > Thank you for choosing Comcast as your cable TV provider. Our goal is to provide you with excellent service. If you need further assistance, you can chat with one of our Customer Support Specialists 24 hour a day, 7 days a week at http://www.comcastsupport.com/videochat. To close this chat, click the exit chat button on the upper right corner of the chat window, to rate the interaction we have done today. Thanks in advance. Have a great day ahead!

 

From <https://www.comcastsupport.com/chatentry/?Trouble.CableTV.MissingChannels|chat>

 

 

The support chat itself was fine and the support representative was courteous and prompt.  I have a feeling that some of my questions were being slightly dodged due to the answers that I would need to be given. 

 

Mostly since the answer/solution to my problem was less than ideal.  It appears that locally the OTA signals are no longer being broadcast over the line.  This means that I can no longer tune Broadcast HD channels through my HDTV with a built in QAM tuner.  This is contradictory to the documentation provided on the public support documentation which I understand needs to be updated.  Living in a remote area, these channels were not available via antenna.  The only options outlined were that I would either need to use a free DTA at reduced service (Standard Def only), or that I might have the privilege of paying more for an HD DTA if my market carries them.

 

I feel that Comcast as a corporation is taking advantage of customers where their only option to receive basic services is through them.  A decision was made that would impact services in a manner where customers would need to pay extra to receive the services they are accustomed to and were expecting when originally signing up.  The changes are made without notice to the customer and without even correcting the contradictory documentation available publicly on the support site.

 

Contradictory documentation that is only 4 months old:

Digital TVs with QAM tuners don't need additional hardware for limited basic

http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/using-a-digital-tv-with-qam-tuner/

Broadcast HD for use with a DTA (essentially a direct line from the wall to the HDTV)

http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/connecting-digital-adapter-to-hdtv/

 

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Have you tried?


To get help, you can drop a note to Comcast corporate customer service (we_can_help@cable.comcast.com).

For the quickest response, please include:
Your full name;
Service address;
Phone number & an alternate number if possible;
Account number;
A link to your post.

New Visitor
cfong
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-03-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I have limited basic + HD only, and as of yesterday, 2 tv's stopped receiving local channels in Orinda, (NoCal).

I called and they will send 2 DTA's. 

I assume the DTA will degrade service to lower quality (?).

 

I have another TV on the HD box - It's fine.

I have another TV, no box, but it gets the HD 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 etc.

 

 

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic


cfong wrote:

I have limited basic + HD only, and as of yesterday, 2 tv's stopped receiving local channels in Orinda, (NoCal).

I called and they will send 2 DTA's. 

I assume the DTA will degrade service to lower quality (?).

 

I have another TV on the HD box - It's fine.

I have another TV, no box, but it gets the HD 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 etc.

 

 


That sounds like the two TVs that stopped working have analog tuners and Comcast in your area is no longer sending out analog channels.  Thus requiring QAM (digital tuners) to receive the channels..  DTA indeed will decode SD channels, and put them onto an RF analog freq. (channel 3 or 4) to be used on a TV with an analog tuner.

Contributor
skeets011
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-02-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Any technical experts out there?

 

So I've posted a bunch up above, but now after sucking it up and going to get two new boxes, I'm finding that while my living room HDTV has lost its channels, the one in the bedroom is fine without a box.  I may have to swallow some humble pie if it turns out they did not cut off my signals, but that I have an actual technical issue with my wiring.

 

Anyway, I fire up my living room TV, and dig through the menus, there is a signal quality option.  Looks like my QAM is expectedly pretty crappy.  The thing is, I can run internet off this line just fine.  Also, using the DTA on this line, I can get standard def.

 

Does anyone know what kind of signals are being transmitted and for it to be possible to have a signal drop only affect one tv but not another, or even the internet?  Is it possible for this signal to just eventually die?  I have tried swapping out splitters, removing splitters, swapping out some of the wires (between the splitter and the tv, have yet to try swapping the wall to tv wire).

 

Incidentally, one of the boxes I picked up was an HD box and it simply would not activate on the living room connection.  I have yet to try the bedroom where the TV is working fine.

Regular Contributor
ieee488
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎07-08-2010

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

The Comcast cable from the outside comes into my basement where it goes to a 5-way splitter put in by the subcontractor who installed the cable outlets inside the house.

 

The technician who did the set up told me that the signal was strong enough with the 5-way splitter.

 

I have my HDTV in the family room, and it is connected to my own 2-way splitter. And the signal is fine whether I am watching the TV or watching TV using the DVD recorder's tuner.

 

My cable modem is connected to a cable outlet in one of the bedrooms.

 

I am missing my NJTV PBS channel, but that is nothing to do with signal strength.

Contributor
skeets011
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-02-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Humble pie served and eaten.  My TV has a "fast on" function where it never fully turns off, it simply goes into a low power sleep mode.  I ran a factory reset, which requires a power cycle and an unplug/plug.  Rescanned after and all my channels are back.  I can only guess that the built in tuner never restarts and was feeling the heat of running for too long.  Either that or the firmware in my TV is junk and needed a factory reset to "clear things out".

Regular Contributor
ieee488
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎07-08-2010

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

You don't have to unplug the TV, but you do need to do a re-scan of the channels.

 

I do this every few months. Generally, I start not getting a channel that I did before, so I re-scan.

 

I did a re-scan this morning on a smaller HDTV that I haven't used in a while and the NJ PBS station was there.

 

I am going to do yet another re-scan on my bigger HDTV and see what happens.

Contributor
skeets011
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-02-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Believe me, rescanning was the first thing I did.  Over 72 hours I ran about 10 different rescans and the only fix for my situation was the full TV factory reset + unplug + final rescan.  Its unlikely that my problem is what others are experiencing, but I thought I'd share.  If anyone thinks that this may be their problem, the TV I experienced this on is an older Toshiba Regza 42RV530U.  I believe most of the Regza TV's share at least a portion of their firmware.

Regular Contributor
ieee488
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎07-08-2010

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Around lunch time, I disconnected the larger HDTV's power cord.

Later in the day, I reconnected the power cord and did a re-scan. My NJTV PBS station was back!

I don't know if it was coincidence or not.

My smaller HDTV had also had a disconnected power cord to save energy when I wasn't using it.

So, maybe these TVs keep certain information in memory, and disconnecting the power is needed to clear out its "memory".

 

 

Visitor
jpf1544
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-10-2011

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I also receive the limited basic channels on my clear channel QAM tuner except for the two PBS channels 2.1 and 44.1, which I lost on or about 10/12/12. I've had four calls into Comcast where they keep telling me I need a DTA, one person advised me to rescan, which I have done many times to no avail. Another comast rep blamed the PBS station in Boston. She said they had tweeked their digital signal format. I reached a broadcast engineer at PBS who, as I expected,  said they had not changed anything in the signal format and that I should be still receiving the channels. The only issue with PBS is that Boston PBS is aligning their program content with NH PBS. Comcast has been dropping NH PBS from Massachusetts cable. In fact we lost that about a year ago. Comcast can do that because NH is out of market but we live in the Boston broadcst market.

Thus far no one at Comcast can explain why I lost 2.1 and 44.1. They sent a technician out to the house and as expected he found nothing wrong with the setup since  Its just a cable going into the TV.

Contributor
rbuss12
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-25-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Updating my previous post... Bought a $10 RCA antennae from Best Buy and I actually gained 2 channels (non-local). But I do have all of my locals and then some. Soooo me thinks I'm dropping the cable and going with what I know is sticking around. Just an FYI that the TV will need to have a built in HD tuner.

Regular Contributor
ieee488
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎07-08-2010

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I wished I could use an inside antenna.

According to tvfool.com, I am not a good candidate for an inside antenna.

 

By the way, using the email address above, I was contacted by someone from Comcast, who told me that they had problems earlier in the week with my NJTV PBS channel. Imagine that!

 

 

Contributor
rbuss12
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-25-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Try an antennae that's got more range and if it doesn't work, return it.

Gold Problem Solver
BruceW
Posts: 7,500
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

The FCC has just ruled that all-digital cable systems can encrypt Limited Basic. The end is near for clear QAM.

Visitor
jacklx
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-31-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

I'm the original poster, with an update...

 

It turns out that in my area (Central NJ), Comcast is still delivering limited basic channels unencrypted.  My problem was that I had a bad signal, due to a filter that was put on my line back in 1999 when I first had cable Internet service installed.  A technician came today and removed the filter, and I have 56 digital channels via ClearQAM.

 

In order to get this problem solved, however, I had to get an HD set-top box from my local Comcast service center.   The Comcast tech support person on the phone told me that without a box, I could not get even limited basic channels.  She was puzzled that I was receiving any channels (I was getting about 15, but none of the local broadcast stations).   So I got the set-top box (it's supposed to cost $2.15 per month).   Even with the set-top box, I still wasn't getting any of the local broadcast channels.  In fact I was getting the same channels I was getting with the ClearQAM connection.  When I called Comcast to report this, they set up an appointment for someone to come to the house.   I showed the tech the problem (using the set-top box), and he immediately knew what it was.   It took just a couple of minutes to fix it.   After he left, I hooked the cable directly to my HDTV, had it rescan the channels, and 56 digital channels--including the local broadcast HD stations--showed up.

 

I'm keeping the the HD set-top box, even though (for now at least) I don't need it.  Comcast will not take problem reports seriously unless you have a set-top box.    If it's really only $2.15 per month (I haven't received a bill since getting it), it's probably worth it.  The box offers a few features that aren't available with a ClearQAM connection:  there's a program guide, some video on demand (including some free on-demand movies), and a few music channels.   It does seem to convert everything (including the SD channels) to 1080i.

 

Everyone I dealt with at Comcast was polite and friendly and tried to be helpful.  Unfortunately, Comcast hasn't given any of them adequate training on ClearQAM.  Even the tech who came to the house said, "you need a box to get anything." 

Regular Contributor
ieee488
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎07-08-2010

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic


jacklx wrote:

I'm the original poster, with an update...

 

ItI showed the tech the problem (using the set-top box), and he immediately knew what it was.   It took just a couple of minutes to fix it.

Do you know what was the real problem the technician fixed? It may come in handy for me, if I should get the same problem in the future.

 

 

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 11,464
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

[ Edited ]

The issue was a HSI trap was on the drop from the subscriber being a HSI or HSI & basic subscriber.  This is common on the forum, but I don't see as many as two years ago.

 

This happens alot when a sub goes from HSI only to a digital TV package and can't get the box activated.

 

The silver canister is the trap inline with the subscribers drop cable.

 

P2040437.jpg

Regular Contributor
ieee488
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎07-08-2010

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

Could explain what that means?

 

I have internet with Comcast along with basic cable.

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 11,464
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

[ Edited ]

When things were analog, traps are used to block certain TV frequencies or bands of frequencies from entering the home.  That is for limited basic TV subscribers, subs with HSI & limited basic, or HSI only.

 

Now that systems are going 100% encrypted digital, these traps are no longer needed but are not removed unless the trap is blocking a frequency band  that is needed for service to the house.  Comcast is not going around removing the traps just for fun, only when there's an issue.

Visitor
jacklx
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-31-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

There's a bit more information about the FCC ruling on encrypting limited basic channels here: http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/15/3506030/fcc-allows-basic-cable-encryption-protects-consumers-open...

New Visitor
ctlguy98261
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-29-2012

Re: Clear QAM and Limited Basic

[ Edited ]

I'm in Oregon. Yesterday, when I returned from a recent trip, I found all of the HD channels were gone from my Limited Basic Cable service. After a call to Comcast support, where I spoke with a totally clueless "tech", I started Googling and found this forum and learned about the digital migration. I tried rescanning for channels but only analog channels were found. My LG TV has a QAM tuner and I don't use a converter or cable box; I just connect the cable directly to the TV. 

 

After reading this thread, I tried unplugging my TV for a few minutes this morning, powered it back up, and rescanned again. All of my local HD channels reappeared and I cancelled my service appointment.