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Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-11-2009

Change of cable TV signal

My area has just recently started changing the transmission signal. Up until last weekend I was able to have my coaxial cable connected directly between my PC DIGITAL TUNER Card and the cable outlet jack.

The DTA is completely useless because it converts the Digital Signal to an Analog Signal.

Since Comcast is doing this for profit (to combat stealing services), then Comcast also needs to supply its customers with a way of retaining their paid for services without adding cost.

Since anything made with an Analog Tuner is being phased out of production, Comcast needs to provide their customers who do not need a Tuner Box a way of decoding the signal so the Digital Tuner built into the customers product (be it a TV or PC Tuner Card) will work.

As of right now I am being forced to pay for additional Digital Tuners from Comcast that I don't need. I'm also being forced to go through the trouble of setting up IR Blasters to change the channels on these unnecessary Digital Tuner boxes. The least Comcast can do is provide these Digital Tuners for free to any customer who does not need them but must have them to decode the new transmission signal.

FIOS is in negotiations with my apartment complex to start providing service in here. As soon as FIOS is available here, you can bet your profit that I will be switching service. And most likely I will be switching my phone from Comcast back to Verizon, or possible to Vonage (who offers way more features/services for half the price).

It would be nice if the Cable Monopoly is broken up: allow any cable company to provide service in any area, just like the phone and electric is done.

If Comcast would stop making those horrible "rap" commercials, they could pass the savings onto their loyal customers.

 

Service Expert
Moguns
Posts: 839
Registered: ‎01-31-2008

Re: Change of cable TV signal

I am confused about the DTA boxes that your are talking about so I have notified my administator.

Please check back in a couple days to see what he says.

SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

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Retired Administrator
CC_Dete
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎07-01-2010

Re: Change of cable TV signal

 


DonCorneo wrote:

My area has just recently started changing the transmission signal. Up until last weekend I was able to have my coaxial cable connected directly between my PC DIGITAL TUNER Card and the cable outlet jack.

The DTA is completely useless because it converts the Digital Signal to an Analog Signal.

Since Comcast is doing this for profit (to combat stealing services), then Comcast also needs to supply its customers with a way of retaining their paid for services without adding cost.

Since anything made with an Analog Tuner is being phased out of production, Comcast needs to provide their customers who do not need a Tuner Box a way of decoding the signal so the Digital Tuner built into the customers product (be it a TV or PC Tuner Card) will work.

As of right now I am being forced to pay for additional Digital Tuners from Comcast that I don't need. I'm also being forced to go through the trouble of setting up IR Blasters to change the channels on these unnecessary Digital Tuner boxes. The least Comcast can do is provide these Digital Tuners for free to any customer who does not need them but must have them to decode the new transmission signal.

FIOS is in negotiations with my apartment complex to start providing service in here. As soon as FIOS is available here, you can bet your profit that I will be switching service. And most likely I will be switching my phone from Comcast back to Verizon, or possible to Vonage (who offers way more features/services for half the price).

It would be nice if the Cable Monopoly is broken up: allow any cable company to provide service in any area, just like the phone and electric is done.

If Comcast would stop making those horrible "rap" commercials, they could pass the savings onto their loyal customers.

 


 

Hi there, 

 

I'd be happy to share your feedback with our leadership teams. Just to clarify a few points you've raised in your post, Comcast is upgrading its network to deliver TV programming in an all digital format.

This upgrade will not only allow us to deliver higher quality digital picture and sound to our customers, but will also allow us to offer more HD and On Demand programming, faster Internet speeds, and enhanced home phone services. Also, to minimize the impact this has on our customers, we are providing each home with 2 to 3 free dtas.

Just 'Dete'
Retired Help Forums Admin
Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-11-2009

Re: Change of cable TV signal

The 2-3 free Pace DTAs are useless for me, especially since they only output an analog signal and are extermely difficult to get to work properly with IR Blasters.

The Cisco RNG100 also is not very good since it also only outputs an analog signal, though are much more compatible with IR Blasters.

Without paying even more, there is not even an option of getting a digital output tuner box.

What I need, and any customer who has a digital tuner device and does not use the two-way services, is a simple signal decoder box, or a signal decoder/descrambler box, without built-in tuners.

Digital tuner devices do not need an external tuner, unless we want to use two-way services. The external tuner prevents us from using the features, or complicates the use, of our digital tuner devices.

Customers with digital tuner devices are being forced to pay for tuner boxes they don't need, and in my case, don't want.

 

I am fine with Comcast encoding the signal to prevent theft of services, but I should not be forced to pay more for the services already subscribed to.Prior to enabling the new encoded signal, Comcast did not make sure it would meet the needs of all its paying customers to ensure that they would not be so heavily impacted by the changes:

 

Prior to this signal encoding change I had just the coaxial cable connected to my digital tuner directly from the cable jack and received the channels I wanted most.

Now I have to have two tuner boxes to supply a seperate input for each of my built-in digital tuners, loss of digital signal, lower video quality, setup IR Blasters to work with the two tuner boxes, add a power strip to plug the two tuner boxes in, add an Auxiliary Input Connector in my PC for the second tuner on my TV Tuner Card (before it split the single coaxial cable connection internally for each of the built-in digital/analog tuners) and had to buy composit audio/video cables for the AIC to be connected to the second tuner box.

If I didn't have good technical knowledge, I would have had to pay someone to do this.

The end result is a heavy impact that was not considered. This was known from at least October of 2010 and it appears Comcast could care less about its paying customers, so when FIOS is finally available in my complex, I will be at the front of the line to switch.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎07-31-2006

Re: Change of cable TV signal

It seems you are confusing yourself of a very basic simple thing, such as saying you had difficulty with the IR blaster, which could not be easier to use.  It is as easy to hookup and use as flipping a light switch, which makes one wonder what technical knowledge you are speaking of.

 

You want HD, get a HD box.

You want all the digital channels and no HD, get a digital box.

You do not want HD or digital and just want to plug the cable into the tv as before, then just get a DTA box, which is the way it is done now for that level of service.

After you get that set up, then add whatever you want, dvr, vcr, game, etc to your set-up or get someone to come out and help you set it up.. 

Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-16-2007

Re: Change of cable TV signal

The signal from the DTA is purposely degraded and it is TERRIBLE.  If you try talking with customer service they keep changing their story.  Comcast wants to charge for what was once free, $15.95/ month for an HD box.

Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-11-2009

Re: Change of cable TV signal

[ Edited ]

barneygumbel wrote:

It seems you are confusing yourself of a very basic simple thing, such as saying you had difficulty with the IR blaster, which could not be easier to use.  It is as easy to hookup and use as flipping a light switch, which makes one wonder what technical knowledge you are speaking of.

 

You want HD, get a HD box.

You want all the digital channels and no HD, get a digital box.

You do not want HD or digital and just want to plug the cable into the tv as before, then just get a DTA box, which is the way it is done now for that level of service.

After you get that set up, then add whatever you want, dvr, vcr, game, etc to your set-up or get someone to come out and help you set it up.. 


I know this is a year ago, but I forgot about this with everything I had to go through.

It is not that simple:

1. Before the change, a device with a Analog, Digital and/or HD Tuner did not need any cable boxes or an IR blaster at all. You connected the coaxial cable wire from the wall outlet directly to the device. Now you can not do that unless the device has a CableCARD slot.

2. Most IR blasters I have come across will not work with the DTAs. The DTAs apparently use a new signal that most IR blasters aren't programmed to use, and only a few devices are upgradeable to "recognize" the new signal. Basically you have to replace your IR blaster device and hope it works on the DTA.

3. Adding a cable box means more wiring. Where you had just the cable wire connected directly to your device which handled the Analog, Digital and/or HD signal internally, now you need to have an extra electrical outlet(s) and the wire(s) for the IR blaster.

4. Where your device's internal tuner was used for channel changing, now you need to hope the cable box responds correctly to the IR blasters signal and the cable box changes to the correct channel for recording. DVRs and VCRs (basically obsolete now) use INTERNAL tuners to switch to the correct channel to record the correct program, which they can no longer do with the new signal.

5. Where the device split the cable signal from the coaxial wire internally for multiple internal tuners, now you need a separate cable box, IR blaster and wiring, for each of the device's internal tuners. 

You don't need to question my technical knowledge. It appears better than yours since you don't seem to have any experience with current technology. If all devices used the same IR signal, then yes it would be like flipping a switch. But different brands use different signals, so you need to set the IR blaster to that signal. Also, as noted above, the device being controlled by the IR blaster does not always respond to the signal correctly.

This is the biggest problem with universal remotes: Yes it does work, but not 100% of the time. And it does not work with all IR devices.

 

I can not tell you how many times in the last year that the TV program I wanted to record was missed because the cable box tuned to the wrong channel and recorded something else. I have adjusted the IR blaster signal several times just to end up with the same results. I have checked the technical diagrams for the cable boxes to make sure where the receiver "eye" is so that the IR blaster sender is properly placed.

 

What was as simple as flipping a light switch?: Connecting the coaxial cable wire from the wall jack directly to the tuner card. Just one wire; no other wires, devices or extra setup.

 

Since my original post, a product has come out that may solve my issue, but again, I had to invest more money; It retails for $199.99. It is a PC add-on tuner card that uses a CableCARD and has 4 built-in tuners (Digital and HD capable) has been released, so I will be trying it. Of course I am still not happy that I have to "shelve" a perfectly good dual-tuner card that I paid around the same for because of this change.

If this new card works as I hope, at least I will be able to get rid of the cable boxes and the extra wires. I am also losing my remote control, but I didn't use one that much anyway. The other issue is having to uninstall all the software for the other tuner card.

 

Unfortunately the new FIOS service here is still being "tweaked", so for now I am still stuck with Comcast.

Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-16-2007

Re: Change of cable TV signal

I am so honored to receive an email today acknowledging my post from 1 year ago. Comcast keep up the prompt service. IRONY IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. Also, you did not respond to my comment. The cost of your services continue to rise much faster than inflation. This year I got a 24% increase without any new services!
Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Change of cable TV signal

My ReplayTV IR Blaster works with the DTA, although I did have to program in a custom IR Blaster code because the vendor stopped updating the software years ago.

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

Re: Change of cable TV signal


marylandguy wrote:
Also, you did not respond to my comment.


This is primarily a customer-to-customer forum. There are Comcast reps who help with technical problems, but there's not much they can say or do about things like pricing.

 

And the message you got today wasn't an acknowledgement of your post, it was probably a notice that someone had replied to it.

New Visitor
gstaples
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-15-2012

Re: Change of cable TV signal

I have the same problem everyone else has with Comcast decision to encrypt the basic TV channels.  The resulting analog signal quality is delivered in 4:3 480i rather than 16:9 720p or 1080i.  The newer flat panel TVs are not designed to display these signals in decent quality.  I live in a high rise condo building in which we pay Comcast to deliver basic cable to all 122 units.  In that there isn't any risk of anyone stealing basic cable, can Comcast deencrypt the basic TV channels at the central feed into the building?  This would restore the same quality of service previously delivered by Comcast.  Other cable companies in the area do not encrypt the basic TV channels.  Although we have a contract with Comcast, I am going to propose, we bring a second Cable company feed into the building to give each condo owner a choice.