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Bronze Problem Solver
lunski
Posts: 1,757
Registered: ‎09-03-2008

Encryption of Channels Discussion

[ Edited ]
  • Prior to the World of More digital migration (Project Cavalry), all channel lineups were protected against illegal reception of the programming Comcast provides - either through digital encryption, filters or traps.
  • During the World of More digital migration, there was a window of time where the Expanded Basic digital channel lineup was not protected.
  • A recent FCC ruling allowed Comcast to deploy content protection (channel encryption) for the Digital Transport Adapters (DTAs). Starting in October 2009, Comcast will begin to encrypt these channels again on a market-market basis.
  • All pay TV providers - cable, satellite, or telco - are required by content providers (companies like Disney, Viacom and NBC Universal) to protect content from unauthorized reception and distribution. It is important to note that our competition (DirecTV, DISH, others) require a box to view these channels.
  • Customers will be notified at least 30 days prior to encryption technology being deployed. Notices may be sent in various forms, including: bill inserts, postcard, legal notice mailer and/or newspaper advertising.
George Lunski
"Retired" Comcast Help Forums Administrator
Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-01-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels

Congratulations Comcast, you broke my DVR. Thanks for nothing.
Recognized Contributor
Posts: 840
Registered: ‎04-01-2007

Re: Encryption of Channels

So what does this mean for the regular comcast user/consumer like myself? in laymans terms please.
Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

It means that you will need either a digital converter, DTA, or CableCard on each of your TVs to view expanded basic channels.
Recognized Contributor
Posts: 840
Registered: ‎04-01-2007

Re: Encryption of Channels

so I need some sort of box? to watch channels 1-99.

 

is it free?

Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels


Pharrell wrote:

so I need some sort of box? to watch channels 1-99.

 

is it free?


If your expanded basic channels have been converted from analog to digital you will need a free DTA to receive those.  Local channels will still be available without the DTA.

Recognized Contributor
Posts: 840
Registered: ‎04-01-2007

Re: Encryption of Channels

okay got it.
Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 509
Registered: ‎04-03-2008

Re: Encryption of Channels

How did this break your DVR? What kind of DVR do you have that is now broken?
Contributor
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎01-16-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

If you have a non-Comcast DVR, it can no longer tune into the non-Basic channels.

 

The work-around is to use a STB to do the decryption. But you need a different box for each tuner, and have to have a IR Blaster device to change the channel on the STB.

 

This is a big pain in the **bleep**. My DVR has three tuners. Two of them can only get the equivalent of over the air channels, because my other STBs are in use on other TVs.

 

I am strongly considering switching to Basic Cable and using Netflix or TV Anywhere to get TV episodes.

Regular Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-31-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels

I have limited basic cable television and prior to the switchup I had the local networks in HD served via QAM. Apparently these channels are now encrypted or no longer broadcasting. Has anyone else experienced this? Doesn't the FCC require Comcast to broadcast the HD channels of networks unencrypted? It's like paying for a steak and getting SPAM instead. C'mon Comcast..
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

Local HD channels shouldn't be encrypted.  They may be temporarily blocked by a filter during the analog/digital transition.
Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-26-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels

I'm also having the problem where some of the local HD channels are now not coming in.  I get a few but I don't get FOX, ABC, or NBC anymore.  I tried e-mailing customer service but first I was told that I had to pay for any HD channels including the ones that should be free, then I was told that I had to get a set top box to receive any HD channels even though Comcast's website says differently, then I was told to try re-scanning my channels even though in my original question I mentioned that I had tried rescanning the channels on my TV and computer with TV Tuner.  Hopefully the channels come back soon.
Contributor
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels

I also have Limited Basic and have lost 7 of 9 HD channels and 4 SD channels.

I'm starting to think this is permanent because the HD channels have been converted to stripped-down, 4:3, SD channels up in the 200s.

Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

The presence of SD channels shouldn't be at the expense of the HD equivalents.
Contributor
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels

I have yet to see an Administrator explain this Limited Basic meltdown.

How about it ComcastGeorge?

Regular Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-31-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels

I'm not an administrator so please take this info with a grain of salt:

 

From what I gather from searching forums across the internet, this removal of the HD versions of the broadcast channels is most likely permanent. When Project Calvary was enacted, they switched around the frequencies of the digital channels and the broadcast HD channels were also moved around. 

 

Now I've heard of one fella who managed to get his broadcast HD channels back by having Comcast send a tech out to change out the frequency trap on his line to the newest one post-frequency switching. This guy, like myself, only has the basic package and just wanted the broadcast channels in HD. However, I have not had any luck convincing the Comcast Service Representative to send out a tech to perform the same trap upgrade. My assumption is that the old frequency trap blocks the frequencies of the moved broadcast HD channels that we previously had been able to view via our QAM tuners.

 

As far as the legality of the process, it all appears kosher as per the latest FCC rules. In a recent ruling, the FCC determined that re-broadcasting the HD channels as SD versions was not materially changing the content and therefore Comcast can skate by any legal challenges since they claim that the SD versions of the HD channels (channel numbers in the 200s) are provided with as good quality as the HD broadcasts. I would tend to disagree since the resolution is obviously decreased due to the letterboxing.

 

So unless the FCC revokes that ruling, I forsee this problem to be permanent. Most Comcast Service Representatives will tell you QAM is not supported and therefore they will not go out of their way to help resolve the issue. Furthermore, they will suggest getting a DTA box (up to 2 free per household) to tune to the HD channels. However, this is a fallacy since the DTA box only converts the digital SD channels to an analog signal, and does nothing to allow the HD channels to pass through to the television.

 

As such, a solution that Comcast would suggest is to upgrade to a Digital Basic package which costs a lot of money and also requires renting an HD box from them. Or, if you are like me and would just like the broadcast channels in HD, then you may want to consider getting out that old antenna and getting the channels over the air (OTA). A benefit of doing so is that you'll likely get more channels than before, and the signals are also less compressed than over cable. So in effect, you'll get more channels and higher quality picture for taking advantage of the free OTA signals. 

 

Just weighing in on the whole issue here. Please message me if you have any questions. And please, don't flame me. I'm just trying to pass on the information that I know. Thanks.

Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

I don't believe the local QAM HD channels are being encrypted.
Contributor
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels


WarEagle57 wrote:
I don't believe the local QAM HD channels are being encrypted.

 

They are not being encrypted but they are being trapped.

I borrowed an HD box from someone who has a Digital package and connected it to my cable.When I tuned to the channels I have lost it did not say "Not Authorized" but rather "The channel will be available shortly".It should also have said "but don't hold your breath".The box was authorized to receive those channels but there were no channels to receive because of the trap.

I still find it difficult to believe that they are blocking "unauthorized access" to 3 OTA SD PBS channels that are part of my published Channel Line-up.

Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

[ Edited ]

Call Comcast and ask them to remove the trap.  After Project Cavalry is implemented there is no longer any need for an analog trap filter.

 

(Boxes are only authorized for use with the original account.)

Message Edited by WarEagle57 on 01-04-2010 11:39 AM
Contributor
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels

[ Edited ]

I called again last week and asked if the trap could be removed.They said they couldn't remove it because if they did I would be able to get internet.

WHAT?!

Unfortunetly,this is all too typical.

Message Edited by KatyWalker on 01-05-2010 05:38 AM
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

I assume you meant "unable" -- but at any rate it makes no sense.  I'll refer this to the Comcast forum administrator for investigation.
Contributor
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels

What he meant was I would be able to get unauthorized access to the internet through the cable if the trap was removed.

My "legal" internet is DSL.

Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

Well, that makes no sense to me since you need a lot more than an unfiltered cable to access internet.  I amended my note to the administrator to clarify your situation.
Bronze Problem Solver
lunski
Posts: 1,757
Registered: ‎09-03-2008

Re: Encryption of Channels


KatyWalker wrote:

I called again last week and asked if the trap could be removed.They said they couldn't remove it because if they did I would be able to get internet.

WHAT?!

Unfortunetly,this is all too typical.

Message Edited by KatyWalker on 01-05-2010 05:38 AM

 

katy,

 

i have been on vacation during this entire thread. i apologize for the delay.

 

as for the trap. removing the trap will not help recover any lost hd channels. hd channels were unencrypted during our digital migration. you will either need hd service from comcast and/ or a a/b switch to receive hd over the air for free. local channels will remain unencrypted however, we have started to broadcast them in digital, eventually either required a comcast dta or digital tuner(typically in most new model tvs).

 

if i missed something or need to clarify please let me know. 
 
 

 

George Lunski
"Retired" Comcast Help Forums Administrator
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

George, did you mean to say that her HD channels are now encrypted, including the locals?
Contributor
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels

The experiment with the HD box mentioned above proves the channels are being trapped rather than encrypted.That box got everything, including things like NHLHD, on my line.If the channels were there,it would have pulled them in.

At any rate,my patience has evaporated and I am going to cancel my service.

FIOS offers a similar package at an affordable price and hopefully without the bullfeces I've received from Comcast over the last month (although I wouldn't bet on it).Alternatively,I might look into an antenna,but I might have a problem with trees here.

Thanks WarEagle for your help,and thanks sorrento for your informative post.

Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎06-21-2006

Re: Encryption of Channels

[ Edited ]

Just a thought, you may have a signal strength problem.  I split off to 5 TVs, a media center computer and the cable modem. When the channels went digital I lost them until I added a bi-directional cable amplifier from Radio Shack and then I was back in business. You can first verify if this is your problem by connecting your cable directly to only one tuner with no splitters and see if the channels appear. If needed it must be a bi-directional amplifier or you will lose your internet access. I have DTAs on the 3 TVs which lack a QAM tuner. I don't want, get or pay for the uppermost digital tier which is encrypted but I get plenty of digital channels including some HD right now with the preferred service.  It is still unclear to me what the Comcast plan is, but I will be really ticked if ALL digital channels get encrypted because then my HD digital TVs and tuners become useless unless I attach a DTA which will downgrade me to the standard quality analog signal the DTAs provide.

 

I also get confused with the different terminology for the cable tiers.  According to my bill I have "preferred service" -- where does that fit in with the "expanded basic" people have mentioned? 

 

Message Edited by Webfeet on 01-24-2010 09:47 PM
Message Edited by Webfeet on 01-24-2010 09:49 PM
Message Edited by Webfeet on 01-24-2010 09:59 PM
Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-06-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels

I just finished a chat with a Comcast rep.  It looks like they are moving SyFy to digital which means my recently purchased DVR won't be able to pick up my favorite shows.

 

All this JUST DOESN'T SEEM RIGHT!  They moved the TV Guide channel to digital which meant my old Panasonic DVR with TVGOS (TV Guide On Screen) wouldn't work anymore.  So I purchased a new digital DVR, but found Comcast likes to move its digital channels around.  And now I'm hearing about encryption.

 

I've been a Comcast customer for about 14 years.  Why are they doing everything in their power to force me to RENT their DVR when I've got one bought and paid for?!?!?  I'm a business man, so I understand about the bottom line, but I also understand about customer satisfaction.  And speaking as a Customer, I'm not satisfied.  (Sorry for the rant.)

 

Any ideas how to get a Philips DVR to work with these latest changes?  It doesn't look like it supports IR blaster.

 

Thanks

Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

You could return the DVR, buy a TiVo, and install a cablecard.
Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-06-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels

Thanks for the reply.

 

Can you use a TiVo without a (TiVo) subscription and without a phone connection?  Last time I looked at TiVo you had to have both.

 

Sadly, I purchased the DVR when Circuit City went out of business.

Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

You need a subscription plus either a phone or internet network connection (wired or wireless).  Moxi has a similar unit, more expensive, available without subscription.
Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-06-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels

Thanks.

 

Yes, I definitely want to avoid monthly subscription fees.  Now, if only Comcast would give me a free DVR upgrade! (sigh)

Bronze Problem Solver
lunski
Posts: 1,757
Registered: ‎09-03-2008

Re: Encryption of Channels

Hello Everyone,

 

I want to continue to try to communicate as clearly as possible regarding this.

 

I have composed the below that might help explain a few items here.

 

-

 

Many of our customers have Digital Televisions with QAM tuners. These TVs have the ability to pick up local over-the-air HD channels without the need for an HD cable box. Prior to the World of More digital migration, you could receive both the expanded basic channel lineup, as well as the local over-the-air HD programming on their QAM tuner TV.

Once a DTA or a digital cable box is connected to a QAM tuner TV, you will have to use an A/B switch or splitter to continue viewing over-the-air HD programming.*

You do have the option to not connect a digital device and continue receiving the local HD programming, but you would lose access to the Comcast expanded basic channel lineup.**

Remember, for an additional charge, a you can always upgrade to an HD capable device offered by Comcast and receive even more HD programming options.

*Many markets offer A/B switches at no additional charge; check with your local office to see what options are available for you to receive an A/B switch in your market.

**If you are living in Augusta, GA we require a digital device with all levels of service.

George Lunski
"Retired" Comcast Help Forums Administrator
Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-06-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels

Thanks George for the reply.  BTW: In my area, there is NO over the air reception--analog or digital.  So if you want to watch TV, you have to pay for it.

 

I did go by my local Comcast office and pick up my 2 free DTAs.  And to Comcast's credit, they weren't as difficult to install/activate as was the experience of others.

 

But, I'm still left with a $300 bought-and-paid-for DVR which will no longer record SyFy (and many other previously analog channels) once the transition is complete in my area and it's not even out of warranty.

 

The $10/month Comcast DVR is not such a good deal when (1) in 2.5 years I could have purchased it instead of renting it and (2) it won't even burn DVDs of what I record.  I have been a Comcast customer since 1996--think of how much I've paid you guys over the years ($15K+ by my calcs).  And even after dropping the premium channels (currently I'm on Digital Preferred + HD), eventually I'm paying you just as much and more.

 

The execs at Comcast may not have realized this, but until now the only difference between you, AT&T Uverse, DirectTV, and Dish Network was I could watch MANY analog channels w/o a converter box.  Now, what is my incentive to continue to be a loyal Comcast customer?  You, George, may care, but it seems like the "suits" in the Executive Offices at Comcast don't.

 

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

[ Edited ]
What kind of DVR did you get that doesn't have an IR Blaster? That's been a standard accessory with ReplayTV and TiVo since they first came out.
Message Edited by Barmar on 02-25-2010 04:26 PM
Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-06-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels

Philips DVR

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

Sigh, looks like some Philips models have it, some don't.
Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-06-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels

And it now looks like Philips is dropping DVRs.  Why is it you can't find DVRs with hard disks anymore unless they come with a subscription?  Oh, well....
Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Encryption of Channels

In my area (Denver) the process to continue to get local stations in HD with digital Starter

(from Camcast Cable) is togo: Wall to splitter, Splitter one to DTA in, DTA out to A/B in A,

Splitter two to A/B in B and A/B out to TV..

 

Of course you're going to pay a bundle for a remote controlled A/B switch.  Wouldn't it have been

nice if some paid engineer at ComCast had allowed the ability to Power off the DTA, thereby

passing the original RF through to the output?  Boy, talk about dreaming!

Silver Problem Solver
andyross
Posts: 3,528
Registered: ‎10-17-2003

Re: Encryption of Channels

[ Edited ]

Another way to do it that doesn't involve a switch, but might weaken signals even more:

Splitter 1: One leg to DTA, other leg to a channel 3 or 4 block (aka: Notch Filter)

Output of DTA to a combiner (splitter connected backwards.) Output of channel block connected to other leg of combiner.

'Input' of backwards splitter to TV.

 

As mentioned, this can further weaken the pass-thru signal due to the double-splitter. It can also cause issues with the DTA's output, as that also gets weakened going through the combiner.

 

This depends what is on analog 3 or 4, if you even care. On my system, they are QVC and TVGuide.

Message Edited by andyross on 03-07-2010 08:28 AM
Bronze Problem Solver
lunski
Posts: 1,757
Registered: ‎09-03-2008

Re: Encryption of Channels


rbratton wrote:

Thanks George for the reply.  BTW: In my area, there is NO over the air reception--analog or digital.  So if you want to watch TV, you have to pay for it.

 

I did go by my local Comcast office and pick up my 2 free DTAs.  And to Comcast's credit, they weren't as difficult to install/activate as was the experience of others.

 

But, I'm still left with a $300 bought-and-paid-for DVR which will no longer record SyFy (and many other previously analog channels) once the transition is complete in my area and it's not even out of warranty.

 

The $10/month Comcast DVR is not such a good deal when (1) in 2.5 years I could have purchased it instead of renting it and (2) it won't even burn DVDs of what I record.  I have been a Comcast customer since 1996--think of how much I've paid you guys over the years ($15K+ by my calcs).  And even after dropping the premium channels (currently I'm on Digital Preferred + HD), eventually I'm paying you just as much and more.

 

The execs at Comcast may not have realized this, but until now the only difference between you, AT&T Uverse, DirectTV, and Dish Network was I could watch MANY analog channels w/o a converter box.  Now, what is my incentive to continue to be a loyal Comcast customer?  You, George, may care, but it seems like the "suits" in the Executive Offices at Comcast don't.

 


 

Hello rbratton,

 

I believe the below link/stickie in Cable TV Equipment will help with a TiVO + DTA installation.

 

TiVO + DTA Installation

 

 

George Lunski
"Retired" Comcast Help Forums Administrator
Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎03-23-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels

We are very disappointed in how the encryption process has removed so many channels.  We have had a HDTV box for our main TV and the 2 "free" DTA boxes to our non-hdtv's.  Our 2 HDTV's were receiving 130 channels via their qam tuner hooked directly to Comcast cable.  This past week, the HDTV's have been reduced to only a handful of channels as has our HD-DVR (one we purchased instead of renting from Comcast).  We are in the Augusta, GA area which was the 1st to go digital, unlucky us.

 

When all this digital transitioning was starting, Comcast advertised heavily that with their cable we would not need the boxes the govt. was offering and that with Comcast cable we didn't need to do anything; that we would continue to receive all our channels just like always.  So we purchased a new DVR that had a digital tuner and updated 2 TV's to those with digital tuners.  We thought we were ready.  Now, we have another DVR that is worthless and 2 HDTV's that will also lose their HD component when we are forced to rent 2 more DTA boxes plus no longer will get HBO.  Comcast fed us a bunch of lies.

 

We are already paying for HDTV preferred with HBO.  Having to rent 2 more DTA boxes plus a Comcast DVR will add much more cost to our monthly bill to get even less than what we were already getting.  This encryption thing seems like much more of a money grab than a security measure.   It is forcing us to rent even more Comcast equipment for electronics already equipped for digital signals.  That is just wrong.  We have triple play, so are also paying for internet (which is so much slower than promised by speed checks), and phone.  I think it is time for us to explore other options, since bundling is no longer a good deal either in price or product.

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Encryption of Channels

What kind of DVRs do you have? If they're TiVo Series 3, I believe they have CableCard slots, which can be used to install decryption cards.
Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎03-23-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels

The 1st one was a Toshiba, but only had analog tuner.  The one we bought this past year is a a Phillips with digital tuner.  No card slots, no tivo.  Both were set up with splitter to bypass the cable box.  Both have hard drives.  My hubby liked that he could put his favorite UGA games to disc for rewatching later.  Don't think he'll be able to do that with a Comcast DVR.
Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-06-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels

Yes, I really liked the Phillips box.  When I could keep up with the ever changing QAM channel lineup, it recorded digital channels GREAT!  And being able to save programs to disc to free up hard disk space was an almost required feature.

 

Sadly, it's now just a very expensive paperweight once all the channels go digital.  If Comcast would at least tell us where we could find the unencrypted local digital channels and not constantly move them around, that would at least be something.  Frankly, that AT&T free DVR is looking better every day.

 

randy

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

Re: Encryption of Channels

You are really dreaming if you think they are going to keep their customers informed about moving channels (I've more

than one customer support person claim it was the stations (ABC, CBS, etc.) that were chaning things.  One thing

you could try to make things easier (if your recorder has it), is to add an IR blaster to tell the Dumb Comcast box

to change channels?  Good luck!

Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-06-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels

My Panasonic DVR has an IR Blaster, but it died a while back (power supply problem that seems to be common with that unit) and didn't have a digital tuner.  My Phillips DVR which can tune digital channels doesn't have an IR Blaster.

 

thanks,

randy

Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-31-2009

Re: Encryption of Channels Discussion

Thank you for the information however, I have a box on each of 2 TV's, 2 TV's without boxes just the cable (don't need a box in the Kitchen, oh wait I do...) I pay over $200.00 a month for cable TV, internet and phone. This includes the home and office. Now you take away the channels that I have been watching for over 15 years as standard channels...what is the game here and I know this is a game. Comcast can fix this if they wanted to, to save customers and reputation of the company they certainly should. There are a lot of very unhappy customers now, for the same reasons that I stated. Comcast should take a second look....

Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎03-23-2010

Re: Encryption of Channels Discussion

This is my conversation posted on the Comcast facebook site fwiw:
Comcast  March 28 at 11:52am
The digital transition was a government mandate for all tv stations to broadcast in digital instead of analog.
Kathy  March 28 at 9:56pm
Comcast advertised that with the new digital transition, we would not have to do anything if we had Comcast Cable, and that we would still receive the same programming. You lied!!And left out the part that it would cost us a lot more. Our digital tuner TV's and DVR had no problem receiving digital signals until Comcast decided to encrypt all the channels so we would be forced to rent more equipment. Why should I have to use a DTA box which will show my HD channels in regular format or spend even more on another huge HD box? Not to mention the increase clutter and cheap remote. If Comcast hadn't lied to us saying we wouldn't need the free dig-to-analog boxes offered by the govt, at least my older analog TV's could still get some channels.
Comcast  March 29 at 7:49pm
The signal which is provided to comcast, then to a customer's home is digital. This means that both SD and HD channels are digital. So there is no need to buy or rent any equipment for the digital switch. But for the HD channels that Comcast provides, these require either a HD or HD/DVR. There is also a box required for any premium services that Comcast provides.
Kathy   March 29 at 8:07pm
Incorrect. We have a HD box hooked up to our main TV. Get HD digital preferred w/ HBO there. The 2 "free" DTA boxes hooked to our analog TV's receive SD preferred lineup. Without renting more DTA boxes, the only channels we get on our 2 hdtv's hooked direct to cable are local, PBS, music and a couple others. Not the digital preferred lineup we had only 2 weeks ago. If I go to any of the digital channels we had before the encryption, it says "Scrambled". Local Comcast here in Augusta, GA says nothing above channel 21 without DTA box. We are the 1st market to go all digital so everyone else will be in the same boat soon. We would have to rent a HD-DVR and 3 more DTA boxes to receive the digital preferred on all TV's and even more for HD boxes. Plus have almost new digital tuner DVR that has been rendered useless except for local programming.
Comcast  March 29 at 8:45pm
If you are getting Digital Preferred, you should be getting those channels on all your Comcast boxes. Trying calling into your local Comcast and see if they can remotely reset your boxes. You get the local HD because your tv has a digital converter built in. But if you do have a Comcast HD box, you should also get the other standard HD channels included. It may be an issue with you boxes, so try giving your local comcast a call. Sorry for your issues
Kathy  March 29 at 9:21pm
Exactly my point in that ALL TV's now require a comcast box which cost more money. No longer can receive the signal by direct hookup to cable as before. And our digital DVR will not work with DTA box. Thank you.
Keith  Tue at 4:12am 
The digital transition mandated by the FCC to make all broadcast stations digital was a completely different transition than the one requiring the dta. The Augusta Comcast market is the first to be completely digital signal. This provides it with the ability to have more control by increasing the bandwidth used to better programming, to be able to offer up to 50meg Internet speeds, to have over 100 HD channels available and to minimize the amount of theft of services which cost millions yearly. And it's not just something that we are combatting directv and dish network both maintain complete control over every tv hooked to there system and Knology is in the process of making the same transition.
The tvs that have the dtas on them should be getting all off the programming except the HD channels, on demand, and possibly some of the hbos. If you continue to have a problem please contact the customer service dept. As far as the dvr that you own, it should work with the dta. The program instructions for it should tell you how to set it up and how to use the ir sensor to allow it to switch channels on the dta.
Comcast  Tue at 12:36pm
If you continue to experience problems, please email:
We_Can_Help@cable.comcast. com
Mark  Wed at 1:26am
try to understand that the digital switch over is just not comcast.
Kathy   Wed at 7:54pm
No problem w/digital switch, just Comcast requiring boxes to descramble their signal. I don't want anything I'm not paying for, just shouldn't have to rent more equipment to get it. As in other areas of our lives, we who pay, pay more because of those who don't pay. Why can't they use an in-line device to descramble so we dont have the extra clutter and remote and can still get HD channels?
 
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Re: Encryption of Channels Discussion

The Comcast tech you got in that chat is confused. Comcast's digital transition is totally unrelated to the FCC-mandated switch of broadcast TV.