High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource

Go Back   High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource > High Definition Programming Providers > Cable Providers
Rules HDTV Forum Gallery LINK TO US! RSS - High Def Forum AddThis Feed Button AddThis Social Bookmark Button Groups

Cable Providers Discuss and learn about High Definition Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, Adelphia and other cable HDTV providers. RSS - Cable Providers

Comcast Scrambling Digital Signals!

Reply
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-10-2009, 12:15 PM   #1
What is HD?
 

Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2
Default Comcast Scrambling Digital Signals!

I woke up this morning to find out Comcast has scrambled all of their channels above I believe 21. (Suburban Seattle) This is not in any way connected to the government digital conversion.

I bought a new Panasonic all digital LCD TV for the kitchen counter and thought that once you had all digital television their was no need for their basic digital cable box. One of their techs confided that if a TV is all digital - there is no need for Comcast to scramble their signal. This is all so wrong! So, since I already have two older TV's that need the basic digital box I am forced to pay Comcast $1.99 a month to lease a third box that clutters up my counter and use their equipment. Ironically, all the shopping channels above 21 are still intact.

They raised the rate on the lease of their HD/DVR here to $16.95 a month and charge me $5.00 bucks a month to rent a five year old modem. This is pure greed. I can't imagine what might occur once they purchase NBC. Sure, I can pay Comcast, but they desperartely need competition. Right now without any movie channels or sports packages, and having basic internet access, one HD/DVR, and one HD box, my monthly bill is $158.00

I'm sorry if this was covered before but I just have to vent. Satellite TV here I come.
lgkinney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2009, 12:26 PM   #2
High Definition is the definition of life.
 
davecramer74's Avatar
 

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bay Area California
Age: 40
Posts: 1,090
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lgkinney View Post
I woke up this morning to find out Comcast has scrambled all of their channels above I believe 21. (Suburban Seattle) This is not in any way connected to the government digital conversion.

I bought a new Panasonic all digital LCD TV for the kitchen counter and thought that once you had all digital television their was no need for their basic digital cable box. One of their techs confided that if a TV is all digital - there is no need for Comcast to scramble their signal. This is all so wrong! So, since I already have two older TV's that need the basic digital box I am forced to pay Comcast $1.99 a month to lease a third box that clutters up my counter and use their equipment. Ironically, all the shopping channels above 21 are still intact.

They raised the rate on the lease of their HD/DVR here to $16.95 a month and charge me $5.00 bucks a month to rent a five year old modem. This is pure greed. I can't imagine what might occur once they purchase NBC. Sure, I can pay Comcast, but they desperartely need competition. Right now without any movie channels or sports packages, and having basic internet access, one HD/DVR, and one HD box, my monthly bill is $158.00

I'm sorry if this was covered before but I just have to vent. Satellite TV here I come.
Satellite you need a box for each tv as well. And if you have more than one HD tv in the house, you'll have to pay for that 2nd hd reciever (99 bucks) up front. Thats with directv. Not sure about dish.
__________________

Vizio 42" LCD
Phillips 50" plasma
davecramer74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2009, 01:54 PM   #3
High Definition is the definition of life.
 
rslamon's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 156
Default

This is why I'm going with U-Verse once it's available in my area.
__________________
My equipment:
--------------------------------------
Panasonic TC-P50X1
Onkyo TX-DS494 (Time to upgrade)
Panny DMP-BD35 Blu Ray player
Motorolla DCT 2000
Infinity speakers
rslamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 12:39 PM   #4
JPL
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Downingtown, PA
Posts: 2,194
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lgkinney View Post
I woke up this morning to find out Comcast has scrambled all of their channels above I believe 21. (Suburban Seattle) This is not in any way connected to the government digital conversion.

I bought a new Panasonic all digital LCD TV for the kitchen counter and thought that once you had all digital television their was no need for their basic digital cable box. One of their techs confided that if a TV is all digital - there is no need for Comcast to scramble their signal. This is all so wrong! So, since I already have two older TV's that need the basic digital box I am forced to pay Comcast $1.99 a month to lease a third box that clutters up my counter and use their equipment. Ironically, all the shopping channels above 21 are still intact.

They raised the rate on the lease of their HD/DVR here to $16.95 a month and charge me $5.00 bucks a month to rent a five year old modem. This is pure greed. I can't imagine what might occur once they purchase NBC. Sure, I can pay Comcast, but they desperartely need competition. Right now without any movie channels or sports packages, and having basic internet access, one HD/DVR, and one HD box, my monthly bill is $158.00

I'm sorry if this was covered before but I just have to vent. Satellite TV here I come.
While it sucks that you now have to pay for a cable box, it sounds like you have a misunderstanding of WHY the cable company is doing this. Yes, if you have a TV with a QAM tuner there's no need for a cable box as long as the cable company doesn't scramble the signal. So, why would they scramble it? It's not because the HAVE to. They're doing it to correct a problem that's plagued cable since the dawn of the industry - piracy. Digital allows them to very easily prevent cable piracy from happening. Which is why they're doing this.
JPL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
Former Super Moderator
 
Loves2Watch's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: In Flux
Posts: 20,284
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPL View Post
While it sucks that you now have to pay for a cable box, it sounds like you have a misunderstanding of WHY the cable company is doing this. Yes, if you have a TV with a QAM tuner there's no need for a cable box as long as the cable company doesn't scramble the signal. So, why would they scramble it? It's not because the HAVE to. They're doing it to correct a problem that's plagued cable since the dawn of the industry - piracy. Digital allows them to very easily prevent cable piracy from happening. Which is why they're doing this.
That may be what they want you to believe but more than likely it is so they can generate more income (they are greedy bastards, after all) by renting the boxes.
__________________
It's always time for pie
Live everyday as if it was your last and plan on living forever...
Loves2Watch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2009, 10:33 AM   #6
JPL
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Downingtown, PA
Posts: 2,194
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loves2Watch View Post
That may be what they want you to believe but more than likely it is so they can generate more income (they are greedy bastards, after all) by renting the boxes.
Or... it could be to stop piracy. Especially since you have options if you don't want their cable boxes. You can get a tivo, e.g., and just rent the cable card from the cable company. And eventually, with Tru2Way, that goes away anyway.
JPL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
Former Super Moderator
 
Loves2Watch's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: In Flux
Posts: 20,284
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPL View Post
Or... it could be to stop piracy. Especially since you have options if you don't want their cable boxes. You can get a tivo, e.g., and just rent the cable card from the cable company. And eventually, with Tru2Way, that goes away anyway.
If you want to be naive enough to believe the piracy thing, then please, by all means, do...
__________________
It's always time for pie
Live everyday as if it was your last and plan on living forever...
Loves2Watch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2009, 01:49 PM   #8
Direct TV Fresh Meat
 

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,342
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loves2Watch View Post
If you want to be naive enough to believe the piracy thing, then please, by all means, do...
Please explain...

I know many people that pirate cable (look at any college campus). I figure it was just a matter of time until cable companies found a way to stop it.

If you know some other reason, and I think there may be some legitimate reasons, let me know.
DoctorCAD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2009, 07:45 PM   #9
Got HD?
 

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Institutionalized
Posts: 707
Default

Scrambling digital channels Has little effect on piracy. Most MSOs have been offering unscrambled digital channels for some time. These are usually the same channels in a more expensive Digital/HD tier. If you want to view those channels you will now need a STB. If you look at the channel listing provider by the cable co. you will notice on thier basic/standard plans there are NO digital channels listed. Enjoy it now before all cable providers hop on the wagon.
Sykotic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2009, 11:45 AM   #10
JPL
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Downingtown, PA
Posts: 2,194
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sykotic View Post
Scrambling digital channels Has little effect on piracy. Most MSOs have been offering unscrambled digital channels for some time. These are usually the same channels in a more expensive Digital/HD tier. If you want to view those channels you will now need a STB. If you look at the channel listing provider by the cable co. you will notice on thier basic/standard plans there are NO digital channels listed. Enjoy it now before all cable providers hop on the wagon.
Scrambling digital channels has NO effect on piracy?! What?! Of course it does. If I scramble my channels you have to have some way to decrypt those channels. That method is linked to your account. In the past I would just tap into your cable, and voila! I had cable! That was because analog channels are very hard to encrypt feasibly. Now, if all the cable channels are scrambled, and I tap into your cable, what do I receive? Answer: Nothing! Which means... go with me here... scrambling effectively stops me from illegally tapping into your cable setup.

As for some providers not scrambling basic channels - that proves what, exactly? Just because some providers give those channels without scrambling doesn't mean that preventing piracy isn't the main driver behind all this.

Think of it this way. Traditionally one of the big advantages of cable over satellite was what? I didn't need a separate box on every stinking TV. Now, one of the things that the industry used to use as a selling point is going away because of the scrambling of channels. So, why exactly would the cable companies get rid of that benefit like that? There has to be an incentive for it. As for charging for the boxes... yeah, they charge you for them. But do you know how long it takes for these companies to recoup the cost of each box? It probably takes 2 years for the cable company to recoup the cost of your boxes. How many boxes have you had for more than that?

Plus look at it another way - these cable companies are so into soaking you for the cost of these boxes... that they're working on deploying Tru2Way... which will make them unnecessary. Yep, the greedy bastards. How dare they try to protect their product from piracy!
JPL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2009, 05:14 PM   #11
What is HD?
 

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2
Default

It is also a major hassle for HTPC's. My fancy dual QAM tuner cards are now nearly worthless. Comcast will give you a free DTA box, but trying to get more than one DTA to work on a computer is beyond me.
Pain999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2009, 07:49 PM   #12
Got HD?
 

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Institutionalized
Posts: 707
Default

Piracy is associated with copy right infringement. What you speak of is called "Theft of Service" Yes scrambling channels will prevent users from stealing the cable signal. Piracy is someone copying that signal. I am all for any kind of way a provider to prevent people stealing the service. Cable is a local utility, ands pays franchise fees to the local government. When these fees arent collected because people are stealing it, it not only deprives the entire community of funds but also causes damage to the integrity of the system.

What I was trying to point out is that I have yet to see a provider advertise or offer support for the channel listing of digital channels, by this I mean the digital channels between the whole number assignment like 4.1. They offer 4 (CBS here). You can watch channel 4 on 4, but no where in the channel listing is 4.1,4.2 etc. You may have been getting the digital channels, but they are in no means required to provide them. And rarely offer support for them. All the digital music channels on my QAM tune in the 79.1 to 83.5 range. No where on any channel listing for non digital subscribers does it show these channels. If they scramble right now, They have full right to. And I would then have to subscribe to a digital tier and require a set top box, but then the music channels would be sent to channels 800 and above.

I guess that I can always get a cable card. Not sure of the exact number of over the counter devices that support them, except tivo. Havent seen any recent offers of TVs with built in card slots. What does this mean to me? A few years ago several tvs offered it, now? hardly any. A trend. tivo isnt cheap. How many devices support cable cards? bunches of cable boxes, all new cable boxes has to support cable cards, that you cant buy and will always require a set top box rental fee.

Last edited by Sykotic; 12-15-2009 at 07:56 PM.
Sykotic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 10:53 AM   #13
JPL
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Downingtown, PA
Posts: 2,194
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sykotic View Post
Piracy is associated with copy right infringement. What you speak of is called "Theft of Service" Yes scrambling channels will prevent users from stealing the cable signal. Piracy is someone copying that signal. I am all for any kind of way a provider to prevent people stealing the service. Cable is a local utility, ands pays franchise fees to the local government. When these fees arent collected because people are stealing it, it not only deprives the entire community of funds but also causes damage to the integrity of the system.

What I was trying to point out is that I have yet to see a provider advertise or offer support for the channel listing of digital channels, by this I mean the digital channels between the whole number assignment like 4.1. They offer 4 (CBS here). You can watch channel 4 on 4, but no where in the channel listing is 4.1,4.2 etc. You may have been getting the digital channels, but they are in no means required to provide them. And rarely offer support for them. All the digital music channels on my QAM tune in the 79.1 to 83.5 range. No where on any channel listing for non digital subscribers does it show these channels. If they scramble right now, They have full right to. And I would then have to subscribe to a digital tier and require a set top box, but then the music channels would be sent to channels 800 and above.

I guess that I can always get a cable card. Not sure of the exact number of over the counter devices that support them, except tivo. Havent seen any recent offers of TVs with built in card slots. What does this mean to me? A few years ago several tvs offered it, now? hardly any. A trend. tivo isnt cheap. How many devices support cable cards? bunches of cable boxes, all new cable boxes has to support cable cards, that you cant buy and will always require a set top box rental fee.
Sorry, but your definition of piracy is incomplete. Yes, copyright infringement is a TYPE of piracy. But piracy involves absconding with goods or services that don't belong to you. It IS a form of theft. Think of piracy in its original inception. Were the Barbary Pirates engaging in copyright protection violations? No... they were engaged in theft. Copyright protection violations is a FORM of theft... which makes it a form of piracy, but it is far from the only form of piracy.

Go to wikipedia and search on 'cable piracy', and you'll see what I'm talking about.

As for the QAM mappings... I agree with you. I think the cable companies should make that information clear - that you can get those channels in the clear, and give information on their website on what those mappings are. They're required to offer up those locals in the clear, which is why they do it. But you're right - they're far from up front about that.

Still, the reason they encrypt their national channels is:

a) They can - they're not prevented from doing this.

b) It prevents piracy.

In terms of making money off the STBs, again I point to how much these STBs cost, and how long it would take for the cable companies to make up the cost by charging you.

One thing I hear all the time, btw, which to me is an erroneous argument (you haven't made this, but it is related) is just how much cheaper DBS is on this front. Why, DirecTV only charges $5/month for each box! How can they get away with it?

That shows a lack of understanding of pricing structures. When you get a service like DirecTV, you're locked in for 2 years. Why? Is it to give you a discount on your service? Nope. It's to give you a discount on your hardware. And if you're an existing DirecTV customer, and then you get a new box, what happens to your contract? You've just renewed it. BTW, I'm using DirecTV because I'm a former customer and I know how they work with this stuff.

So, in the end, you're really paying for the box - you're contract is tied to the cost. Cable companies use a different pricing model. They don't tie your contract to the hardware, but instead tie it to things like triple play discounts. Also, many believe that DirecTV doesn't charge for the first receiver. Wrong. They do - it's just not itemized out separately, that's all - the cost is wrapped up in your service fee.
JPL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2009, 05:12 PM   #14
What is HD?
 

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3
Default Same problem here...

The one time I really needed my HD to work, it has failed and just before the Panthers and Vikings game! We have had their guy out here three time to check the settings, power, signal.
dontgetcomcast is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Go Back   High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource > High Definition Programming Providers > Cable Providers
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads to Comcast Scrambling Digital Signals!
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Really PO'd at Comcast! ranbob Cable Providers 92 07-23-2009 10:32 AM
Debating Upgrading My Comcast Service - Help! Golf Nut Cable Providers 6 02-03-2009 09:21 PM
Comcast in Houston: Scrambling the local stations or not? techchallenged Local HDTV Info and Reception 7 01-17-2009 01:17 PM
A Few n00b Questions Tnnrx7 Cable Providers 11 12-04-2008 11:30 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:01 PM.



Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2004 - 2008, High Def Forum