Reply
Regular Contributor
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

Sorry in advance if this is a really noobish questiob, but I've been looking everywhere and have yet to get a clear answer to my question. The TV I have in my bedroom is new Vizio flat panel HD Digital TV that I got as a birthday gift last June. Ever since I hooked the DTA box up to this TV I lost all my HD channels and everything is in SD. Apparently the only way to get HD back is to hook up yet another box, which is just absurd. I shouldn't have to hook up a box to watch HD channels on my HD TV, nor should I have to pay and extra $7 per month to get HD channels on my HD TV, It's beyond ridiculous. I have to say I feel robbed, and the fact that I now have to pay extra to get HD channels on my HD TV makes me feel taken advantage of. What is the point of having a nice new HD TV if you have to have a box hooked up to it that prevents you from receiving HD programming? I hate having to have that stupid box sitting there taking up space, I hate having to use the cheap little remote that came with the box and I hate that I lost all my HD channels. So my question is this, do I really need to use the DTA box if my TV had a digital tuner built in, or is Comcast now encrypting the channels in such a way that my TV's digital tuner won't be able to pick up?
Most Valued Poster
Acadia
Posts: 796
Registered: ‎07-02-2004

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

[ Edited ]

Go here, http://digitalnow.comcast.com/FAQs.aspx?map=all_faq_map , and go to FAQ number 29.  I've been told that your local Comcast should have the necessary splitter and switch.

 

Good luck,

Acadia

Message Edited by Acadia on 03-09-2010 03:37 PM
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,670
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV already had a digital tuner?

[ Edited ]
If basic channels and local HD are all you need, you can just remove the DTA box and use the TV tuner to receive the unencrypted QAM channels.
Message Edited by WarEagle57 on 03-09-2010 01:59 PM
Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV already had a digital tuner?

WarEagle57, I am being told here in Baltimore that the local HD channels will NOT be available unencrypted after the transition--only a handful of SD channels.  Is that likely to be true?
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,670
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV already had a digital tuner?

[ Edited ]

As far as I know, Augusta, GA is the only area with encrypted local HD, but I passed the question on to the Comcast forum administrator for clarification.

 

JayInAlg informs me that Augusta has no analogs, but the locals, SD and HD, are unencrypted.  I must've misinterpreted ComcastGeorge's statements about Augusta (which is good).

Message Edited by WarEagle57 on 03-10-2010 01:34 PM
Bronze Problem Solver
lunski
Posts: 1,757
Registered: ‎09-03-2008

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV already had a digital tuner?


jboland wrote:
WarEagle57, I am being told here in Baltimore that the local HD channels will NOT be available unencrypted after the transition--only a handful of SD channels.  Is that likely to be true?

 

Hello jboland,

 

I know the transition and all thev variables can be very confusing. As WarEagle57 mentioned, you will be able to receive Local HD using your TVs digital QAM Tuner after the transition. However, if you wish to have any additional HD, a subscription to our Digital Tier and HD service will be required.

George Lunski
"Retired" Comcast Help Forums Administrator
Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV already had a digital tuner?

George, the more I learn, the more confusing it becomes.  I understand from your reply that after the transition I will be able to receive local channels in both SD and HD through a QAM tuner.  But I don't understand your next statement.  Since I do subscribe to the digital tier and to HD, does that mean that my QAM tuner will be able to receive other, non-local HD channels after the transition?  Or will all non-local HD be encrypted?  (Note: I receive a few dozen non-local HD channels now.)

 

Many thanks for the information.  It has been impossible to get a coherent, or even consistent explanation from the customer service or tech support people.

Most Valued Poster
Acadia
Posts: 796
Registered: ‎07-02-2004

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV already had a digital tuner?

[ Edited ]

jboland said, "It has been impossible to get a coherent, or even consistent explanation from the customer service or tech support people."

 

 

 Indeed, I have learned much more from this forum than from the Comcast phone techs.  When I mentioned needing a splitter and A/B switch in order to continue receiving the local HD the tech said to me, "Where did you hear that?".  When I said, "digitalnow.comcast.com FAQ number 29", he merely replied, "Oh".  But he was very helpful otherwise (after I got him to stop trying to sell me a higher tier).

 

Acadia

Message Edited by Acadia on 03-11-2010 08:37 AM
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,670
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV already had a digital tuner?


jboland wrote:

...Since I do subscribe to the digital tier and to HD, does that mean that my QAM tuner will be able to receive other, non-local HD channels after the transition? 

 

No. 

 

Or will all non-local HD be encrypted?

 

Yes.

...

 

Regular Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-15-2006

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

You can access your local broadcast channels in HD on a QAM tuner TV without any equipment.  Accessing additional HD channels requires either a CableCard compatible device (TV, TiVo, etc.) or an HD set top box.  The reason is that access to the cable network HD channels (ESPN, Discovery, CNN, etc.) are dependent on service level, which requires verification, which requires encryption and a set top or CableCard for decryption.  DTAs do not support HD services, only SD services.
Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

Thanks for the further clarification, Jkco.  The answer to my question doubtless appeared obvious, except that every person I have spoken to at Baltimore City Comcast (3, or possibly 4, I have lost track) has told me quite firmly that ALL of the HD channels, specifically including local channels, will be encrypted after the transition.  Also, I was a bit amused to hear a service rep telling me that receiving those channels through a QAM tuner was improper and possibly illegal.  I was also told this a year or two ago when I first purchased the HDTV in question and was trying to set up the QAM tuner.  A service rep told me at that time that they could not give me a QAM-to-STB table because I was not permitted to access these channels through a QAM tuner.  Please note that I subscribe to the highest digital tier and to HD service and that I have a STB on another TV.

 

Thanks, again.

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

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

Comcast phone reps frequently don't know what they're talking about. We got the answer from the Comcast forum administrator, and I'll take his answer over the phone reps.
Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎07-26-2006

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

Hi,

I have digitial starter and my area was converted  on the 10th. I would like clarification on what I should see on my TV with the cable connected directly to the TV. Prior to the 10th, my TV stated the 4 majors were 1080i, now those stations are gone. The remainder of the stations are still present at the same old 480i resolution that they were before the change. I never paid for the HD (1080i, 720p) channels before, so I don't expect to see DiscoveryHD. Will the 480i channels remain? If so, return the 4 major HD channels and I'm good.

 

Thanks for your help,

Paul

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 10,923
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

[ Edited ]

First, rerun your setup to rescan your channels on the TV connected to the cable outlet and see if the HD's come back.  Many times the QAM's get moved around and you need to rescan to get them back.

 

Normally you would continue to receive the SD & HD locals on TV's connected directly to the cable.

 

If they don't reappear, then post your location.

Message Edited by JayInAlg on 03-14-2010 12:37 AM
Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎07-26-2006

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

Thank you for the rescan suggestion. I had rescanned on the 10th after I lost my channels and found the majors missing. Rescanning a second time yesterday recovered them. Funny that they are nowhere near their local number, 113 vs 7. I now have all my locals in HD (720p, 1080i) and the rest of the channels are in 480i. I am very glad I do not need a box.
Most Valued Poster
Acadia
Posts: 796
Registered: ‎07-02-2004

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

If a person is using a splitter with one cable going directly into the TV and the other going into the box, I assume that when they rescan the TV that they would have the TV set for receiving the signal directly from the cable and NOT from the box, is that correct?

 

Acadia

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 10,923
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

Yes, have the switch position for direct cable input, when you scan your TV.  Since your switching a DTA, you need to add or scan ch 3 from the DTA also.  In other words, you need to scan twice, once to pickup the DTA output, and once for the channels directly on the cable.
Most Valued Poster
Acadia
Posts: 796
Registered: ‎07-02-2004

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

Doesn't my scanning directly from the cable do all channels including channel 3?

 

If not, how would I do channel 3 by itself for the DTA?  Would I set the TV to receive the DTA and rescan?  If so, would that not messup the first scan the I did?  Sorry for the dumb questions.

 

Acadia

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 10,923
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Do I need a DTA box if my TV alredat had a digital tuner?

It matters on the TV more than anything.  Tv's scan differently, with different results.  Some you need to scan twice, once for analogs, once for digitals. 

 

Many times, you can add or delete manually in the menu, so if you scanned the digitals, then add the ch 3 analog manually if you can.