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Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 433
Registered: ‎08-13-2003

Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

I just received a letter ftoday rom Comcast informing me that I am eligible to get two "FREE" digital boxes from Comcast.

 

The letter says nothing about it being for a year or two years or any time limit.  Just two free digital boxes.

 

It mentions that these boxes have nothing to do with the Analog TV signals being discontinued.

 

1.) Has anyone else gotten this letter yet ?

 

2.) Does anyone know exactly what model/type of box they are giving out ?

 

I currently have two addtional Boxes they offered free for one year, but I am now paying $8.99 EACH for them.

 

They are the Motorola DCT700 boxes.

 

I'd love to get two MORE of these boxes for Free.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

I haven't seen that offer, but you should see what happens if you call them and take them up on it.  They may at least take off the charge for the two you're now paying for.
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 433
Registered: ‎08-13-2003

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

[ Edited ]

After a little more investigation, it looks liee Comcast is making some sort of changes to their lower end line-up and going purely digital.

 

I also think this offer is for two DC50X Boxes made by "Pace" which are only DTA converters and not considered a STB.  From what I have read.... some market areas have been give THREE free boxes.  The areas that get THREE free boxes can get One STB and TWO DTA's.   For some reason, MY area is only offering TWO plain old regular DTA's.

 

They are not addressable or two-way and cannot be used for any On-Demand features.

 

I don't have the entire picture of what these really are supposed to accomplish, but I'm betting it has something to do with increasing revenue for Comcast somehow.

 

People who may have several Televisions hooked up to an outlet and bringing in the signals won't be able to do it anymore without having to get a box.  They give you two boxes... but if you have 4-5 tv's hooked up... you will be S.O.L. to use your other tv's any longer... UNLESS you want to pay for them.  People who though they were not chained to a stupid box to receive cable are out of luck.

 

After reading many, many comments and reviews about these particular boxes... it seems they are of very poor quality and nearly impossible to get set up and running.

 

So it looks like I won't be getting any more DCT700 boxes..... DARN-IT !!!

 

Foolish me... thinking Comcast was doing something to make the customer happier.

Message Edited by pratzert on 07-16-2009 12:26 PM
Message Edited by pratzert on 07-16-2009 12:36 PM
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

Actually, they're doing something to make me very happy.  They are converting expanded basic channels from analog to digital.  Each analog channel recovered will be able to carry 10 SD digital channels or 2 (sometimes 3) HD channels.  As a result, in a couple of weeks those of us in the Seattle suburbs will have access to 101 HD channels.  Analog is on the way out.  Comcast cannot compete with other services by catering to its analog customers at the expense of the more profitable digital (especially HD) users.  You will still be able to receive the basic (mostly local) channels without a box, though.
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 433
Registered: ‎08-13-2003

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

WarEagle57,

 

I agree with you that the Days of Analog ar dead.  Digital is the way to go.  I have absolutely no complaints about that.

 

It's just that I wish Comcast would handle this transition in a way that would not cause customer to lose something while possibly gaining something else.

 

I would as happy as a pig in mud if they handed out DCT700 boxes instead of the DC50X thingys.

 

I would not expect them to give out 15 boxes to each house....  but only getting two is not enough.

 

I am paying for two DCT700's now as well as an HD-DVR and still think it wouldn't be too much for them to give out those boxes instead to people who have a higher tier of services.  BTW... I have the "Premier Triple Play" bundle.

 

I read that the DCT700 boxes have actually been replaced by a DCH70 or something like that.

 

 

Cable Expert
cypherx
Posts: 1,063
Registered: ‎08-02-2005

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

They legally cannot hand out DCT-700 boxes anymore because they do not hae seperate security (ie, cable card).  All new boxes must have Cable Card.

 

The DTA boxes are exempt because it cannot tune encrypted channels. 

Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 433
Registered: ‎08-13-2003

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

I understand that is why they "gave" them away before prior to the FCC cut-off date.

 

I have heard that as long as a particular DCT700 box had been deployed in the field prior to the cut-off, it can be put in and out of use/service.

 

It does not have the cablecard capability and that is also why they are using the DCH70 box as a replacement.

 

So I wonder if they have any of the DCT700 which had been turned back in that I can get.

 

I'll call and try my luck.....

Cable Expert
cypherx
Posts: 1,063
Registered: ‎08-02-2005

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

Well they only have a limited supply of DCT-700's that have been in service prior to the FCC's separate security ban date.  So supply + demand.  They will charge normal set top rates for the DCT-700's (here it's $8.90 a month).

 

The new DTA's are much cheaper.  They are unencrypted QAM tuners.  There's a very simple encoding algorithm available, but due to FCC regulations they cannot activate it.  Set top manufacture are now trying to petition the FCC to lift the ban, so now the FCC is hearing it from both ends.  Maybe they will eventually hand out waivers, but likely only to low cost DTA boxes.  Low cost = minimal processing ie)no on screen guide or VOD client application. 

Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 433
Registered: ‎08-13-2003

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

That means I either pay up or lose the use of about 3 televison in my home.

 

Oh well....   what can I do ?  

 

Thanks for the comments and info.

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

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.


pratzert wrote:

I understand that is why they "gave" them away before prior to the FCC cut-off date.

 


What FCC cut-off date? Do you mean June 12? That date had nothing to do with cable TV.

 

Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 433
Registered: ‎08-13-2003

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

No.   I mean the cut-off date last year or the year before... I can't remember for sure....  but it was the FCC mandate that Comcast ( or any cable company ) could not deploy boxes without the ability for the cable card or something like that.

 

It has been a little while since that occured.  But when it did, Cocmact was offering those DCT7000 boxes free for a year in order to get them into service prior to the cut-off.  As long as the box was "in service" prior to the date, they could be re-deployed indefinately.

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

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

I think it was about two years ago last May.  I had one of the DCT700 boxes free for a year, too.  They appeared to be trying to get them deployed so that they would be able to reissue them after the deadline.
Email Expert
madylarian
Posts: 8,394
Registered: ‎06-30-2003

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

We got the letter too.  But the funny part is that we already pay for digital service and have DVR and digital cable set-top boxes so I had always assumed that we didin't need the DTAs.

 

mady

Honi soit qui mal y pense
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 433
Registered: ‎08-13-2003

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

HiI Mady.

 

It sounds like you are already good to go...

 

But.. if you have any outlets in your house with Televisions hooked up which do NOT have any sort of digital box hooked up to the outlet, than you are going to need to get one of those free DTA to continue to receive the channels on your TV.

 

The strangest thing about this entire fiasco with the DTA and Comcast going "Digital" is that I have not ever recieved ANY notice or information from Comcast explaining ANYTHING about this Digital Conversion.

 

The only hint of anything happening is when I got this letter about getting DTA.s for my house.

 

It's definately a case of putting the cart before the horse or complte lack of communication from Comcast to their customers.

 

Either way... I don't like it.

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

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

Mady -- You don't need the DTAs unless you have other locations in your house without a cable box.
Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-02-2006

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

Can someone identify where these free boxes are being provided?  Too bad that geographic location of users is not identified on the forum.

 

I just took advantage of a promo and upgraded to what seems to be Premium Service (including HBO).  The rep scheduled a technician to come out next week.  She said that a free box and remote are included in the promo deal.  I have 2 tvs, so she said that the cost in my area is $6.99 for an extra box/remote.  I asked if this was a rental fee.  She said yes.  I asked if the boxes could be purchased?  She said yes, but could not quote me a price because of different promos in different market.  She said best to check with my local Comcast store regarding purchase price.  Well, my husband went down there and was informed that the boxes are not for sale!  They can only be rented for $6.99/mo.  How do you like that?

 

I had asked the rep I spoke to on the phone what the boxes are called.  She said to just ask for an "additional outlet box".  I asked her if the boxes were the same thing as a DTA?  She said NO, they are not.

 

So, do I have any other options than to pay Comcast an extra $6.99/mo in order to receive service on both TVs?

 

 

New Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-02-2005

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

So, no matter how new the tv's are, you need a cable box for each one?
Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-02-2006

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

In my case, our TVs are old technology.  However, I get the impression that the boxes are necessary regardless of how new the TVs may be.  If I'm wrong, I welcome someone to step up and correct me on this.
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.


baylynx1 wrote:

Can someone identify where these free boxes are being provided?  Too bad that geographic location of users is not identified on the forum.

 

...

 

So, do I have any other options than to pay Comcast an extra $6.99/mo in order to receive service on both TVs?

 

 


If yourlocal Comcast area is going through the analog/digital transition they should be providing the free DTAs.  Call 1-800-COMCAST and ask, or post your location on the forum and perhaps someone will know.

 

Whether you need a second box will depend on what of your package of channels you want to receive on the second TV.  You should be able to receive the local channels, and maybe more, without one.

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

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

A TV with a digital QAM tuner should be able to receive any cable QAM channels that aren't encrypted.  Input your zip code at this site to get an idea of what is available.
Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-02-2006

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

Our TVs are are too old to have built-in digital tuners.  Can someone please explain the difference between a DTA box and an Additional Outlet box?  Considering the vintage of our TV sets, will we be needing both?  Sorry if this seems like a dumb questions to many of you who are better informed.  I'm still trying to get a handle on things here.

 

Some background:  For five years, we have paid for Comcast Basic Service, and were able to receive local channels plus CNN, MSNC, CNBC, AMC, ESPN, Discovery Channel, etc.  Then suddenly this past weekend, channels 39 through 59 went missing.  After many frustrating conversations with different comcast reps (who each had a different spin on things), we realized that Comcast moved these stations over to their digital service offerings.  Therefore, the only way for us to receive these stations is to upgrade our service and pay Comcast a great deal more.

 

 

Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-02-2006

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

Sorry, I forgot to mention that we're in the San Francisco Bay Area... Zip code 94530.
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

Baylynx1 --

 

The DTA box will convert the expanded basic channels from digital to analog and enable you to receive all the expanded basic plus basic channels you were getting before.  Comcast will let you have two of these for no charge.  The additional outlet box is a regular digital box which would possibly let you receive more channels, depending on your package, plus On Demand.  Comcast may also provide you with one of those at no charge, but you'll need to check with them locally.  You shouldn't have to pay any more to receive the channels you were receiving before.  At any rate, call Comcast and ask for the free boxes you need as a result of the analog/digital expanded basic transition.

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

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.


madylarian wrote:

We got the letter too.  But the funny part is that we already pay for digital service and have DVR and digital cable set-top boxes so I had always assumed that we didin't need the DTAs.

 

mady


Many customers who pay for digital service also have additional TVs that don't use the STB. They split the signal and send one branch to the STB, and the other to an ordinary TV. Since Comcast doesn't know whether you're doing this or not, they sent you the letter to warn you that the ordinary TV will need a DTA.
If you don't do anything like this, the letter doesn't concern you. But Comcast has to send the letter to every customer because of this. 

 

New Visitor
Muria
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-26-2010

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

We're signed up for the basic cable service as well, but when the kids' channels disappeared, we stopped watching tv completely.  The only reason we even have cable is that it's something like $5 more expensive to have just the internet service than to have a package.

 

That being said, it seriously irks me that a box is required to view stations that I'm paying for, and I didn't find out until I tried to set up the cable for the kids to watch, and all I got was a blue screen.  Having been busy since then, I haven't actually done anything to rectify the situation, but when the government was getting rid of all the airwave tv, comcast ran commercials saying that if you had cable, you wouldn't need to get the box.  Now it appears I need a box.  Terrific.

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 11,444
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

If you had basic & HSI then you should have only been getting what is called the B1 basic tier of channels.  That is usually about CH2-22 or so, and varies by system.  That usually includes just your local network channels and a few more.

 

If you were on a basic tier and receiving channels up into the 70's, you were receiving expanded basic channels you should never have been getting in the first place.  Sounds like you really are not paying for those channels if you have basic & HSI.

 

No one is losing any channels without a reason.  If you paying for a certain tier, you would be entitled to the equipment to continue receiving those channels.

 

If you want those extended basic digital channels back, then Comcast will expect you to upgrade to the digital package to receive those with the proper digital equipment.  In most area's that would mean upgrading to digital starter.

 

Last year, Comcast was advertising "no converter box" for people wanting to switch from an antenna to a basic cable package.  That still applies, and still does not need a convertor box, since that would be the B1 basic tier of channels.  Anything more would be a upgraded price and digital package.

New Visitor
oskarmatz
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-31-2010

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

So a year later, how many of those 101 HD channels do you actually get in Seattle?

 

Curious / Oskar

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

Re: Comcast Offering Two FREE digital Boxes Again.

 


oskarmatz wrote:

So a year later, how many of those 101 HD channels do you actually get in Seattle?

 

Curious / Oskar


I just counted -- 105.