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Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

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Posted by
Official Employee

Member Since: ‎01-09-2012
Posts: 13,316
Message 1 of 60 (5,945 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

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Member Since: ‎09-17-2013
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Message 2 of 60 (6,238 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

FYI

I'm on limited basic using just an LG tv with built-in QAM tuner.  I can still get the main local channels (in HD) but I do have to re-scan every few months as other channels keep getting moved around.  Last month I lost several channels including some main local channels and re-scanning did not pick them back up.  I waited a few days and re-scanned again without luck.  After a couple weeks of re-scanning I was desperate so I did a factory reset on my tv and then re-scanned.  For some reason, that did the trick.  I was able to get all of my channels back, inlcuding some new ones.  Just something for you to try if this happens to you. 

Posted by
Gold Problem Solver

Member Since: ‎12-03-2007
Posts: 11,589
Message 3 of 60 (9,450 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


araposo wrote: ... How do I go about getting a HD-DTA? Do they charge monthly for these now? ...

http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/limited-basic-encryption/ says:

What will the digital adapters cost?
Limited Basic customers who currently do not have equipment on their account are eligible for up to two (2) DTAs, at no charge for two (2) years (five years if you also receive Medicaid) if they request DTAs during the equipment offer period at or around the time of encryption.

Customers who subscribe to a higher level of service and receive Limited Basic service on a secondary TV without Comcast supplied equipment are eligible for one device at no charge for one year.

DTAs available under this offer must be ordered during the equipment offer period; beginning 30 days before the date of encryption and for 120 days after encryption. A notice will be sent to all customers informing them of their eligibility and the start of the offer period for their system.

And:

I would like an HD device instead of an SD device, is this possible?
An HD digital adapter is available upon request with this offer regardless of your service level.

I currently have an HD service and I want to take advantage of the promotional offer.

Customers who subscribe to HD service at the time of encryption and receive Limited Basic service on a secondary TV without Comcast supplied equipment are eligible for one device (HD digital adapter, upon request), at no charge for one year if ordered during the promotional offer period; beginning 30 days before the date of encryption and ending 120 days after encryption.
Posted by
Silver Problem Solver

Member Since: ‎01-11-2010
Posts: 5,620
Message 4 of 60 (6,586 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

We are just customers like yourself. We would not be able to tell you if your local office has HD DTAs.

I don't think Comcast has those released nationwide yet. Only the people at your local office would know if they have them and what the monthly fee would be. I would expect there to be a charge since Comcast has started charging for the SD DTAs.

I would recommend going to a nearby office. Otherwise calling the 800 number you would probably get whatever they have on hand. There would be no guarantee that if you asked for a HD DTA over the phone that is what they would send you.

 

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎07-30-2013
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Message 5 of 60 (6,656 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Yes, I am in the Dartmouth/New Bedford/Fall River MA area.

 

I did not receive any notice what-so-ever. How do I go about getting a HD-DTA? Do they charge monthly for these now? (yet ANOTHER charge for something that was free)

 

I'm only interested in getting the network stations nbc abc cbs in HD on that particular television. 

 

 

Posted by
Silver Problem Solver

Member Since: ‎01-11-2010
Posts: 5,620
Message 6 of 60 (6,661 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

And he stated that his other boxed tvs are working.

I think araposo needs a box for his kitchen tv.

 

Posted by
Bronze Problem Solver

Member Since: ‎12-13-2007
Posts: 3,325
Message 7 of 60 (6,665 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

OK, other post indicates this is in Darmouth, MA area...

Posted by
Bronze Problem Solver

Member Since: ‎12-13-2007
Posts: 3,325
Message 8 of 60 (6,671 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


araposo wrote:

I'm wondering if this is what just started happening in my town as of this morning. My small kitch HD tv, along with my parents small kitchen HD tv and my mother in law's kitchen hd tv all have had straight cable to the QAM tuner connections for the past 5 years. We only have have limited HD stations on those tv's, but we never had any issue with it as they are mostly to watch local news in the morning or at night.

 

All of a sudden the stations are just black screens and no sound.  

 

What gives? Please advise....

 


If indeed they have started encrypting local stations in your area, could you tell us what that area is (Major city, etc. "NOT A STREET ADDRESS")?  Then when we see a problem show up for that area in the future (and we will), we can advise them better on what to do..  Tks. Ed

Posted by
Silver Problem Solver

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Message 9 of 60 (6,676 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

araposo

If a re-scan of the tv's doesn't get anything then more then likely the tier has been encrypted and will require a cable box of some sort.

Only your local office will be able to tell you if they have HD-DTAs available.

And you won't know until you talk to them directly, safer in person but they might know if you can reach them directly by phone.

Comcast has no up to the minute inventory of cable boxes available that could be checked over the phone over the 800 number.

Comcast should have sent some sort of notice prior to this if they were encyrpting the channels. It could have come in a prior bill.

 

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Member Since: ‎07-30-2013
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Message 10 of 60 (6,693 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

I'm wondering if this is what just started happening in my town as of this morning. My small kitch HD tv, along with my parents small kitchen HD tv and my mother in law's kitchen hd tv all have had straight cable to the QAM tuner connections for the past 5 years. We only have have limited HD stations on those tv's, but we never had any issue with it as they are mostly to watch local news in the morning or at night.

 

All of a sudden the stations are just black screens and no sound.  

 

What gives? Please advise....

 

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Member Since: ‎07-30-2013
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Message 11 of 60 (40,129 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

I picked up an HD-DTA device for my HD TV today since they started encrypting my local HD channels last week - I subscribe the Limited Basic service and previously received HD channels directly via my cable connection with my QAM tuner. When first connected to my TV via the enclosed HDMI cable, the HD-DTA device only provided SD versions of the local channels (e.g., Seattle area, channel 5). Comcast provides the HD version of the local channels in the 10X range so that the HD version of channel 4 is channel 104, and HD for channel 5 is 105, etc. However the HD-DTA unit did NOT initially  allow me to access these HD channels. After confirming that my local Limited Basic cable should allow me access to these local channels, tech support performed multiple resets with no change. Finally the last tech support person confirmed they needed to send a code to my HD-DTA unit to allow me to see these HD channels - and it finally worked. This took 5 different calls to Comcast in order to have them find this problem and correct it - I can now see my local channels in HD using this HD-DTA device. Comcast explained these units are just now being released - hopefully future units will be correctly coded so users can see all the HD channels they should be receiving.

Posted by
Silver Problem Solver

Member Since: ‎01-11-2010
Posts: 5,620
Message 12 of 60 (40,210 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

ed

Agreed on the lack of orginization. Just thought you might have seen some more information.

It would not suprise me if Comcast would not supply all areas with a HD DTA if they have the SD DTAs available. At least give it a try.

We can only survive day by day.

 

Posted by
Bronze Problem Solver

Member Since: ‎12-13-2007
Posts: 3,325
Message 13 of 60 (40,218 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


commanguy wrote:

ed

Have you seen any updates on how many markets that Comcast may have the HD-DTAs in use?

I know in my market even using a HD Set Top Box there is no HD Technology Fee for Limited Basic tier. In my town I don't think we have access to HD-DTAs yet.

 


Finding out what Comcast is actually doing is impossible!  As I understand it, the HD DTAs will only be available when that market encrypts basic service (which would destroy my HDHomeRun tuners!).  Really hard to fathom how this company can be so disorganized (unless that is their plan: keep everybody guessing about where the bodies are buried...

Posted by
Silver Problem Solver

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Posts: 5,620
Message 14 of 60 (40,225 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

ed

Have you seen any updates on how many markets that Comcast may have the HD-DTAs in use?

I know in my market even using a HD Set Top Box there is no HD Technology Fee for Limited Basic tier. In my town I don't think we have access to HD-DTAs yet.

 

Posted by
Bronze Problem Solver

Member Since: ‎12-13-2007
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Message 15 of 60 (40,243 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


RevJATB wrote:
Knowing that they have an HDMI connection & can do 1080i is good. I suppose, though, that even with the HD-DTA instead of the more expensive box, we'd still have to pay the monthly "HD technology fee"?

Not for the Basic tier.  That HD DTA is something that Comcast had to agree to in order to get FCC permission to encrypt the Local/Basic channels.  If you had a higher level of service and wanted to view those channels in HD, then indeed you would have to pay the $10 per month HD fee (and have your set-top box replaced with an HD set-top box).

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎07-21-2013
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Message 16 of 60 (40,266 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Knowing that they have an HDMI connection & can do 1080i is good. I suppose, though, that even with the HD-DTA instead of the more expensive box, we'd still have to pay the monthly "HD technology fee"?
Posted by
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Message 17 of 60 (40,595 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Explorer2008 wrote--

Standard Definition (480i resolution) television is easily confused with the term "analog".  A DTA does not convert anything to analog. It decodes encrypted digital cable channels and downconverts them to SD (480i), in a form which can be received by a television's NTSC tuner on channel 3 or 4.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm pretty sure that NTSC is Analog, whereas ATSC and QAM are Digital tuners/receivers.  In order for people who have TVs with only NTSC tuners Comcast puts out the DTA to convert the SD digital channels to Analog and output that signal on the RF plug (they use the SD channels because Analog is not capable of carrying HD).  Thus a DTA is like the digital converter boxes that the Government mandated (and subsidized (with $40.00 coupons) to convert the new OTA "digital" stations to analog for those same people with NTSC tuner TVs...

Posted by
Edited on
‎07-25-2013 11:00 AM

Silver Problem Solver

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Message 18 of 60 (40,609 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

[ Edited ]

Explorer2008

Looking at the PDF sheet for the Motorola HD DTA the picture they show for outputs are HDMI jack and a standard RF Coax output. Links below for the sheets.

Neither the Pace or Cisco show anything other than coax and HDMI outputs.

 

Pace

http://www.pace.com/Documents/Products/Am/STB/DC60XU.pdf

Cisco

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/video/ps8611/ps8612/ps10771/7023333_a.pdf

Motorola

http://moto.arrisi.com/staticfiles/Video-Solutions/Products/Video-CPE/All-Digital-Set-Tops/HD-DTA100...

Posted by
Cable Expert

Member Since: ‎03-02-2007
Posts: 17,726
Message 19 of 60 (40,618 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


Shadowstep wrote:
So why does Comcast want to encrypt ALL QAM channels? I subscribe to limited basic and pay for limited basic TV as well as Comcast Internet. I don't really see any advantage for Comcast to encrypt basic TV unless they just want to make their customers mad, which wouldn't surprise me.

There are two reasons, to prevent theft of service, and to be able to disconnect a customers service without sending out a truck to do a physical disconnect.  Then the next person moving in can do a self install without having to wait for a tech to connect the drop again.  Not sending out a tech to do disconnects and reconnects saves Comcast big bucks.




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Posted by
Contributor

Member Since: ‎07-01-2012
Posts: 21
Message 20 of 60 (40,620 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

So why does Comcast want to encrypt ALL QAM channels? I subscribe to limited basic and pay for limited basic TV as well as Comcast Internet. I don't really see any advantage for Comcast to encrypt basic TV unless they just want to make their customers mad, which wouldn't surprise me.
Posted by
Regular Contributor

Member Since: ‎04-22-2007
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Message 21 of 60 (40,629 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


Shadowstep wrote:

It may stand for Digital Transport Adapter but the signal ends up as an analog signal and your TV has to be on channel 3 or 4 (analog).


Standard Definition (480i resolution) television is easily confused with the term "analog".  A DTA does not convert anything to analog. It decodes encrypted digital cable channels and downconverts them to SD (480i), in a form which can be received by a television's NTSC tuner on channel 3 or 4.

 

A full-feature SD cable box can be connected to composite video inputs and thereby can bypass television's NTSC tuner.  The picture is still 480i SD.

 

Nearly all televisions manufactured since 2007, and a few sets made before 2007, have triple tuners: one for traditional NTSC (all of which are SD), the second for ATSC to receive over-the-air digital broadcasts (some of which are SD and some of which are HD), the third for "Clear QAM" to display NON-ENCRYPTED cable channels, some of which are SD and some of which are HD.

 

As for the HD-DTA, from what I've read, this box is NOT connected via RF jacks to a television's NTSC tuner.  An HD-DTA is connected to HDMI or component video inputs.  It is capable of providing HD 720p and 1080i, as well as SD 480i.

 

Finally, at a very quick pace, Comcast is exercising its newly-granted FCC authority to ENCRYPT all of the QAM channels including the ones which until recently were Clear QAM.  So as a practical matter, those Clear QAM tuners are going to be absolutely useless on Comcast systems.  I don't like it, but CC makes the rules, we as end users don't.

 

 

Posted by
Problem Solver

Member Since: ‎02-27-2013
Posts: 886
Message 22 of 60 (40,768 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


Shadowstep wrote:

edpeters wrote:
Actually DTA stands for Digital Transport Adapter.  It is true that the RF output is an analog signal (not digital).  They do not downgrade HD signals to SD (720/1080i to 480) they just use the SD channel for that staion you want it to output on the RF output.  An HD DTA (AKA uDTA) operation is as noted by Commanguy above.  If the people in your town wanted to see HD on their HD TVs, then they should invest in the HD service (app. $10.00 month) and use a Set-Top box that handles HD.  I agree that the majority of Customer Service Reps. have very limited training from Comcast, that why there are people on this board to try to assist with problems...

It may stand for Digital Transport Adapter but the signal ends up as an analog signal and your TV has to be on channel 3 or 4 (analog).


That is the case for the standard DTAs, but not for HD DTAs which can output an HD signal--the HD ones are mainly used for decryption purposes when Comcast encrypts their feed, rather than to change digital to analog, as well as decryption, that the standard ones are used for.

Posted by
Silver Problem Solver

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Message 23 of 60 (40,863 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Shadowstep

Can you then explain what the HDMI output does? These HD DTAs have both outputs. The specs on the Motorola showed video outputs of 480i, 720p, and 1080i.

On the Cisco sheet I found months ago they state the HDMI output is to be used for HD tvs. The coax output for all other tvs.

 

Posted by
Contributor

Member Since: ‎07-01-2012
Posts: 21
Message 24 of 60 (40,884 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


edpeters wrote:
Actually DTA stands for Digital Transport Adapter.  It is true that the RF output is an analog signal (not digital).  They do not downgrade HD signals to SD (720/1080i to 480) they just use the SD channel for that staion you want it to output on the RF output.  An HD DTA (AKA uDTA) operation is as noted by Commanguy above.  If the people in your town wanted to see HD on their HD TVs, then they should invest in the HD service (app. $10.00 month) and use a Set-Top box that handles HD.  I agree that the majority of Customer Service Reps. have very limited training from Comcast, that why there are people on this board to try to assist with problems...

It may stand for Digital Transport Adapter but the signal ends up as an analog signal and your TV has to be on channel 3 or 4 (analog).

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Member Since: ‎07-08-2013
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Message 25 of 60 (40,897 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

here's the scoop

The HD-DTA are great.

The remotes are far far better

The output is 1080i (max)

The SD channels are crystal clear.

I don't have HD service plan, so I cannot test that

 

Bottom line is that whether you have HD service or not.... if you plan on having a television that has HDMI inputs (most if not all plat panels screens), you should use a HD-DTA for the best possible picture and sound.

Posted by
Edited on
‎07-22-2013 01:43 AM

Contributor

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Message 26 of 60 (40,947 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

[ Edited ]

_____________________________________________________________

edpeters wrote:
I agree that the majority of Customer Service Reps. have very limited training from Comcast, that why there are people on this board to try to assist with problems...
_____________________________________________________________
Not only are they untrained, they can't speak English. They also take up my time because people that call Comcast never get any results they can understand from Comcast's untrained support and they call me. Next time someone calls me for Comcast help I'm going to start speaking another language!

Posted by
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Message 27 of 60 (40,957 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


RevJATB wrote:
"HD-DTA" doesn't make any sense, since DTA means Digital To Analog. What a DTA does is downgrade the 720p and 1080i signals to 480i, thus making everything SD. Sounds like once again Comcast's employees are morons. There are so many people I know in our town with DTA's hooked up to HDTV's because Comcast told them they "had" to have them. Even the Comcast OFFICE here has a big HDTV in the lobby, hooked up to a DTA, showing movies in 480i Stretch-O-Vision. Pitiful.

Actually DTA stands for Digital Transport Adapter.  It is true that the RF output is an analog signal (not digital).  They do not downgrade HD signals to SD (720/1080i to 480) they just use the SD channel for that staion you want it to output on the RF output.  An HD DTA (AKA uDTA) operation is as noted by Commanguy above.  If the people in your town wanted to see HD on their HD TVs, then they should invest in the HD service (app. $10.00 month) and use a Set-Top box that handles HD.  I agree that the majority of Customer Service Reps. have very limited training from Comcast, that why there are people on this board to try to assist with problems...

Posted by
Silver Problem Solver

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Message 28 of 60 (40,970 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

The HD DTAs have both a Coax output and a HDMI output.

http://www.bing.com/search?q=Motorola+HD+DTA&FORM=R5FD6

The first item on that search has a PDF spec sheet from Motorola

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Message 29 of 60 (40,991 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

"HD-DTA" doesn't make any sense, since DTA means Digital To Analog. What a DTA does is downgrade the 720p and 1080i signals to 480i, thus making everything SD. Sounds like once again Comcast's employees are morons. There are so many people I know in our town with DTA's hooked up to HDTV's because Comcast told them they "had" to have them. Even the Comcast OFFICE here has a big HDTV in the lobby, hooked up to a DTA, showing movies in 480i Stretch-O-Vision. Pitiful.
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Message 30 of 60 (41,713 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


hdmont wrote:

I have a little more info, the conversation with the comcast tech told me the cable from the wall direct to the back of my TV does nothing with out a box.  So when I called asking why these TVs were working with a few local channels 1 day and stopped the next they didn't know because those stations were not being provided by them.  This is not the case.  I ended up doing a channel scan on both TVs the next one started working right after, the other TV took 2 scans and it started working just fine again.  Tried to disconnect the cable from the back of the TV and got nothing.  So the cable from the wall to the TV does supply these local channels.  Why woudn't comcast know this?  Hmmm.


Because Comcast does not give their support people any information at all.  Just a book of "cheat sheets" on how to respond to customers questions.

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Message 31 of 60 (41,730 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Here's the scoop.

I complained to Comcast like I have never complained before. My complaint was that I have 3 newish TV's with QAM tuners and I also have limited-basic service and up until recently, all the TVs worked fine when directly connected to straight cable (no box). I simply had to remember all the weird numbers associated with the HD channels (22.1=NBC, 40.1=ABC,40.2=FOX, etc). Three weeks ago, ALL of the TV's suddenly were getting nothing. The Toshiba 23" showed that all of the channels were there (100% signal), but that it was showing as encrypted. I made the assumption that all of the TVs were now being fed encrypted channels (tossing theory of channels moved).

As mentioned, I complained to comcast and I did so twice for this issue.. 1st time when it started and also just a few days ago. The first Einstein I spoke with basically told me that they went 100% encrypted and that I was SOL. The most recent call I placed was a little different. Although she confirmed that yes, they are 100% encrypted now and that I would either need a DTA or a QAM tuner (QAM is not true for encryption). I told her and the first tech that the DTAs suck (clip off the sides of a program and the definition is junk). To my delight, she says that she can exchange those DTAs for the new HD-DTAs and would prevent this. I asume that it also allow me to onc again get the local channels in High def. They are being mailed to me now. I'll update when I know more

Posted by
Edited on
‎03-25-2013 08:56 AM

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Message 32 of 60 (46,630 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

[ Edited ]

I have a little more info, the conversation with the comcast tech told me the cable from the wall direct to the back of my TV does nothing with out a box.  So when I called asking why these TVs were working with a few local channels 1 day and stopped the next they didn't know because those stations were not being provided by them.  This is not the case.  I ended up doing a channel scan on both TVs the next one started working right after, the other TV took 2 scans and it started working just fine again.  Tried to disconnect the cable from the back of the TV and got nothing.  So the cable from the wall to the TV does supply these local channels.  Why woudn't comcast know this?  Hmmm.

Posted by
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Message 33 of 60 (46,809 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

QAM tuners act pretty weird sometimes. I have a QAM tuner on by HDTV and on my DVR. Sometimes a channel will change on my DVR and not on my TV or vice-versa. A friend of mine has a Vizio and it refuses to rescan properly and he had to buy a separate QAM tuner (HDMI). The new tuner works fine. Then Comcast changes their clear QAM channels occasionally to make matters worse. Then some users don't know the difference between a 16:9 aspect and a 4:3 aspect ratio and have no clue if they are watching an HD channel or a non HD channel. I'll give half the blame to Comcast, nearly half to TV users and some to TV manufacturers.
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Message 34 of 60 (46,811 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Sure, I've had it rescan.  It then removed those channels from the lineup.

 

I think the interesting part is that my older TV continues to get the channels that are missing from the newer TVs.

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Message 35 of 60 (46,823 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


lsitongia wrote:

Just discovered this discussion while searching on this problem.  I've been using my TVs without the DTA boxes to avoid the degraded HD channels.  I get basic in Boulder, CO.  Lately, two TVs, which are the newer ones, stopped getting the CBS and ABC affiliates.  The older TV, a Sony Bravia of about 8 years of age, still gets those stations on the same channels as always.  The newer TVs are blank when on those channels (4-1 and 7-1).  I live in the foothills and was never able to get a reasonable OTA signal in the analog days.


I'm in Lafayette and get OTA (Pointing towards south Denver with a roof antenna (app. $60.00)).  I also get all the networks (including CBS and ABC) just fine on my clear QAM tuner.  Although I haven't seen an Freq. changes, you might try doing a re-scan with your TVs, maybe it just lost a bit in it's memory??

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Message 36 of 60 (46,853 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Just discovered this discussion while searching on this problem.  I've been using my TVs without the DTA boxes to avoid the degraded HD channels.  I get basic in Boulder, CO.  Lately, two TVs, which are the newer ones, stopped getting the CBS and ABC affiliates.  The older TV, a Sony Bravia of about 8 years of age, still gets those stations on the same channels as always.  The newer TVs are blank when on those channels (4-1 and 7-1).  I live in the foothills and was never able to get a reasonable OTA signal in the analog days.

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Message 37 of 60 (46,886 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Me too. They have no response except that we have to pay more... I was tricked into paying for three extra's (DTA'S)  and receiving two at no charge until this month...( on a tech note... all my TV's are capable of receiving a QAM signal, which is what Verizon require's to avoid an adapter ) now I have to pay for all of it.

Not only that but they raised the rates..... Verizon, here I come. If I have to pay, I might as well enjoy the same waaaaaaay better pic my neighbors have.

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Message 38 of 60 (46,914 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Do you receive stations on any Comcast boxes (indicating that you still have a cable signal)?  Have you tried doing a re-scan on your TV (there was one report that a user had to unplug their TV before a re-scan worked) which may be needed if Comcast has moved the Freqs. for the Basic channels?  Or if Comcast has begun encrypting the Basic channels they you would need a Comcast box (or Cable card for an appropriate tuner).

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Message 39 of 60 (46,967 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Up to today, I have been able to pick up the few local channels on my 2 digital tvs w/o boxes (over the air i suppose).  today both tvs display no signal once i turn them on.  Any reason why this would just stop working today?  thanks

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Message 40 of 60 (48,218 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Sounds like it may be time to unbundle the local stations from the rest of the cable package and make them an add on.  I could save a few bucks on the local HD retransmission fees since I can get the locals over the air.

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Message 41 of 60 (48,378 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Monthly rental fees for HD boxes have become a very profitable revenue stream for Comcast.

 

That may be part of why Comcast makes it exceedingly difficult to use a QAM tuner to access what few unencrypted Limited Basic channels exist.

 

Another point to consider - Comcast is not the only greedy party here. Your "local" over-the-air broadcast channels which you can (at least potentially) receive for free with an antenna have figured out they can demand high fees for "retransmission consent".

 

Part of their hard bargaining with Comcast is that they can demand a higher per-subscriber fee (say, 50 cents per subscriber) for retransmission of their High Definition signal (which may feature popular shows such as American Idol), and to clinch the deal, offer a cheaper rate to Comcast for retransmission of a downconverted Standard Definition feed.

 

The strings attached of such a deal between Comcast and your local Fox/CBS/ABC/PBS/NBC station, is part of why the downconverted Standard Definition signal is carried in unencrypted Clear QAM, but if you want the High Definition signal (that which is provided for free via antenna), a Comcast subscriber needs to pony up a bit of money for an HD box rental because the same station's HD signal is "encrypted QAM", not "unencrypted Clear QAM".

 

This would explain why some Comcast subscribers are complaining that the only Clear QAM feeds they can access of local OTA broadcast channels are downconverted Standard Def feeds.  The network-affiliate stations themselves are the reason for this - they want to receive higher fees if at all possible.

 

 

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Message 42 of 60 (48,381 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners


Blueangel76 wrote:

I have been fighting with comcast people for months. you can reciev HD free-to-air basic channels by directly hoooking your HD-TV(with QAM tuner) to cable, you dont need DTA box. But recently comcast started playing another trick(at least that is what my understanding is), they weaken the HD channel(CBS 2-1, NBC 5-1, 5-2, WTTW 11-1, Fox32-1) signals and now if you want to watch these channels, you have to rent an HD box ($8.99). I had DTA box but DTA box down-grades the signal from crip HD to low quality digital SD. In essence we are paying comcast to down-grade high quality HD picture (which is free)  and make us watch pathetic SD quality picture. Recently i am facing another problem. every time i scan the channels, i get all free-to-air HD channles (though signal is still weak) but if I switch off the TV for a while( more than 1-2 hrs) i loose some HD channel(CBS 2-1, NBC 5-1, 5-2, WTTW 11-1, Fox32-1) and i can get them back by re-scanning. I dont know if this a tv issue or comcast is playing another trick. Does anybody know any regulatory agency where we can report this issue and if there are a lot of such complains, authorities might contact them and aske them to behave...


Theoretically, you can submit a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission.  However, as mentioned earlier, the FCC rules are written with some room for interpretation.

 

Local over-the-air broadcast stations (such as affiliates for NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, PBS as well as the second-tier "local" channels such as ShopNBC, TBN, Daystar, and various "infomercial" stations) are supposed to be retransmitted in unencrypted "Clear QAM" that can be decoded and viewed by a QAM-equipped TV without a box.  However, nothing prevents the "unencrypted Clear QAM" signal from being a downconverted Standard Definition 4x3 feed instead of the High Definition OTA signal.

 

The FCC recently allowed some conditions for cable ops to encrypt even those "Limited Basic" channels, and over time we may see Clear QAM channels to disappear.

 

In the meantime, you will need to frequently re-scan your QAM tuner because of Comcast's habit of switching QAM frequencies around on a random, unscheduled basis and without notice to viewers like you.

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Message 43 of 60 (48,418 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

For local/basic tier stations, if they are not encrypted by Comcast, you can plug the Comcast cable directly into your new TV.  For all other tiers, and local/basic (if Comcast is encrypting them) you will need a box.  A DTA will get you SD for Local/Basic and Digital Startup.  A set-top box would be needed for anything above Digital Starter, pay for view, Ondemand, etc.  And HD service (with associated Comcast Box) for HD stations.

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Message 44 of 60 (48,422 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

I currently receive Comcast through TiVo using cablecards but have two additional sets using DTAs. I'm considering getting a new TV with a QAM tuner and wondering what I need to get my comcast programming into that set.

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Message 45 of 60 (54,551 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Sorry not required, actually I have been banned from the site for the last five days (and have no idea why)!  I  did a Google on the KWorld SA295-Q DE HDMI tuner (honestly I had never heard of it before) and it looks like TigerDirect has it for $111.xx.  Of course if the FCC allows Comcast to encrypt local/basic channels (which they apparently do in several locations) it will have no value.  SiliconDust used to maintain a site:

http://www.silicondust.com/support/channels/  that listed available channels by zip-code, however, it doesn't appear to have been updated in will over a year..

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‎09-23-2012 11:06 PM

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Message 46 of 60 (54,638 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

[ Edited ]

Blueangel76, I can almost assure you that you won't get anywhere with Comcast. They don't know what they are talking about, so it's impossible to get a reasonable answer from them. You "should" be able to get local channels in HD wothout any converter box if the station is broadcasting in HD. If you live in an area with good TV reception, you can just use a digital antenna (indoor or outdoor) and receive local channels in HD.

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‎09-23-2012 10:58 PM

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Message 47 of 60 (54,642 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

[ Edited ]

Sorry edpeters, but I haven't been checking the forums lately. I finally got in touch with a local TV station technician that knew what he was talking about and he also shared some info with me. Comcast had moved the HD QAM channels and even after a scan I couldn't find them. Once the tech told me what the main channels were, I found them. A friend of mine has a Vizio TV and he couldn't get QAM HD and he's in my local area. It turned out his tuner was bad and he bought a KWorld SA295-Q DE HDMI tuner and now he gets the QAM channels in HD. These tuners are hard to find and they cost about $100 or more. Also, you would need an available HDMI input. Vizio TVs have a history of bad tuners.

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Message 48 of 60 (54,658 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

I have been fighting with comcast people for months. you can reciev HD free-to-air basic channels by directly hoooking your HD-TV(with QAM tuner) to cable, you dont need DTA box. But recently comcast started playing another trick(at least that is what my understanding is), they weaken the HD channel(CBS 2-1, NBC 5-1, 5-2, WTTW 11-1, Fox32-1) signals and now if you want to watch these channels, you have to rent an HD box ($8.99). I had DTA box but DTA box down-grades the signal from crip HD to low quality digital SD. In essence we are paying comcast to down-grade high quality HD picture (which is free)  and make us watch pathetic SD quality picture. Recently i am facing another problem. every time i scan the channels, i get all free-to-air HD channles (though signal is still weak) but if I switch off the TV for a while( more than 1-2 hrs) i loose some HD channel(CBS 2-1, NBC 5-1, 5-2, WTTW 11-1, Fox32-1) and i can get them back by re-scanning. I dont know if this a tv issue or comcast is playing another trick. Does anybody know any regulatory agency where we can report this issue and if there are a lot of such complains, authorities might contact them and aske them to behave...

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Message 49 of 60 (57,402 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

Re-Scan or miraculously HD showed up?

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Message 50 of 60 (57,405 Views)

Re: Getting a straight answer on HDTV's with QAM tuners

I am now receiving all limited basic TV in HD without a converter box.