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?
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?
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.