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New HDTV, where did all these comcast channels come from? And other questions...

Kul
03-09-2009, 04:13 PM
:hi ,

I have a Comcast Extended Baisc subscription ( channels 2 - 63 ) and Comcast High Speed Internet. Last week I purchased a Sony Bravia 42v4100, my first HDTV, and all of the sudden I found that I have new channels scattered throughout my line up. For example, I'm supposed to have WFSB on channel 2, nothing on channel 3 and NBC on Channel 4 but now I have CBS (SAP NTSC) on channel 2, CBS (1080i) on channel 3.1 and then WFSB 24h Weather (480i) on channel 3.3, which I never had. In another example, I used to have Fox on channel 6 but now I have Fox ( SAP NTSC) on channel 6 and again FOX ( 1080i) on channel 61.1. I used to have TBS on channel 16 but now along with channel 16 I have TBS HD (1080i) on channel 82.2 and TBS (480i) on 104.7. Instead of my channel lineup ending on channel 63, I now have channels 82.2,84.1,84.11,84.16...... all the way to 104.something, most of which are a 480i repeat of channels I had earlier.

Here are my questions:

1) Is it normal to have channels with decimal places? I never saw that before but then again I never owned an HDTV before.

2) Where can I find my new lineup and why does comcast transmit the same channel on so many different lineups?

3) Does comcast transmit High Definition Channels to Basic Cable subscribers, who do not have a cable box? Honestly, I do not notice a huge difference between the channels that my tv identifies as SAP NTSC and 1080i? Perhaps the 1080i versions are basic versions that my TV identifies incorrectly. I'll probably need to borrow a blue ray player from somebody to understand what true HD is and then compare these to what I have because I never sat down to watch a High Definition show before. Of cause After I have a taste of HD I probably wont be able to stand SD anymore.

Comcast is currently giving a great offer to upgrade to a Digital Starter Package, which I am considering but I have a few questions about that as well.

4) Digital Channels are not automatically HD so unless I subscribe to additional HD channels I will not noticed the difference between my current package and a Digital starter package, right?

5) Will I need a cable box for the Digital subscription? I currently have 3 non-HD tvs in my house. Will these work, without the cable box, after I sign up for the Digital package? I do not really want to pay to rent 3 extra cable boxes.

6) If I will need a cable box, will I be able to control it through my other equipment? I have build a Media Center PC that I use as a DVR to record shows I do not have time to watch but there would be no point for it if it would not be able to change channels. Furthermore I like the TV guide and favorites features on my TV and would be disappointed if I would have to leave the TV on an HDMI channel and switch channels just through the cable box.

Other questions:

7) Can I use 2 composite cables to transmit component signal between a DVD and the TV? I had a bunch of composite cables from old DVD, VCR players, Video Goggles etc.. and dont want to spend $20+ on a single component cable at Best Buy. To me it looks like a component and composite cables are identical but that composite cable uses 1 wire for video transmission while component uses 3. Then again, I am a mechanical engineer, not an electrical engr so I may be wrong.

8) Is component transmission better than composite when connecting a DVD to an HDTV? I have connected my DVD with component cables ( 2 composite cables really) to Input Channel 1 and with composite cables to Input Channel 2 and when I compare the two channels I do not really observe a huge difference. Component setup may be a little bit better but the difference could easily be attributed to an experimenter bias. I probably would not be able to guess which connection method was used unless I connected the cables myself. There was a slight improvement when I switched my DVD to use Progressive Scan.


Wow this ended up being really long. Thanks for your help. I'll appreciate if one of you takes your time to read through what I wrote.

deadhead68
03-10-2009, 08:26 AM
1) Is it normal to have channels with decimal places? I never saw that before but then again I never owned an HDTV before.

Yes it is normal.


2) Where can I find my new lineup and why does comcast transmit the same channel on so many different lineups?

I don't know.

3) Does comcast transmit High Definition Channels to Basic Cable subscribers, who do not have a cable box? Honestly, I do not notice a huge difference between the channels that my tv identifies as SAP NTSC and 1080i? Perhaps the 1080i versions are basic versions that my TV identifies incorrectly. I'll probably need to borrow a blue ray player from somebody to understand what true HD is and then compare these to what I have because I never sat down to watch a High Definition show before. Of cause After I have a taste of HD I probably wont be able to stand SD anymore.

Yes, in most areas Comcast transmits the locals in HD in the clear. If your TV is identifying a channel as NTSC, you are not watching a digital/HD channel, it is SD.

4) Digital Channels are not automatically HD so unless I subscribe to additional HD channels I will not noticed the difference between my current package and a Digital starter package, right?

You should be able to get your locals in HD right now. If you want to get channels like ESPN, TNT, etc in HD you will need an HD Set Top Box from Comcast.

5) Will I need a cable box for the Digital subscription? I currently have 3 non-HD tvs in my house. Will these work, without the cable box, after I sign up for the Digital package? I do not really want to pay to rent 3 extra cable boxes.

Yes, you will need a cable box for these TVs if you go up to a Digital plan.

6) If I will need a cable box, will I be able to control it through my other equipment? I have build a Media Center PC that I use as a DVR to record shows I do not have time to watch but there would be no point for it if it would not be able to change channels. Furthermore I like the TV guide and favorites features on my TV and would be disappointed if I would have to leave the TV on an HDMI channel and switch channels just through the cable box.

Check out this section for some of these answers.

http://www.highdefforum.com/computers-htpcs-44/

7) Can I use 2 composite cables to transmit component signal between a DVD and the TV? I had a bunch of composite cables from old DVD, VCR players, Video Goggles etc.. and dont want to spend $20+ on a single component cable at Best Buy. To me it looks like a component and composite cables are identical but that composite cable uses 1 wire for video transmission while component uses 3. Then again, I am a mechanical engineer, not an electrical engr so I may be wrong.

I would check out these places and pick up some component cables. Theoretically composite might work, but I'm not sure.

www.monoprice.com
www.cablesforless.com



8) Is component transmission better than composite when connecting a DVD to an HDTV? I have connected my DVD with component cables ( 2 composite cables really) to Input Channel 1 and with composite cables to Input Channel 2 and when I compare the two channels I do not really observe a huge difference. Component setup may be a little bit better but the difference could easily be attributed to an experimenter bias. I probably would not be able to guess which connection method was used unless I connected the cables myself. There was a slight improvement when I switched my DVD to use Progressive Scan.

Component is preferred over composite.

Hope this helps.

DeadHead68

DoctorCAD
03-10-2009, 09:29 AM
You CAN use 2 sets of composite cables to duplicate one set of composite cables, 5 wires = 5 wires. You just need to keep the colors of the jacks on input and output the same. I bought a pack of electrical tape that had red, blue, green, yellow and white in it. I color-coded the composite cables the same as component.

P.S. I am a mechanical engineer working for an electrical engineering company. Its interesting, to say the least!

ajwees41
03-10-2009, 11:06 AM
the decimal numbers are sub channels that will map to whole channel numbers if a cable box, or cable card is used.

Kul
03-12-2009, 10:48 AM
You CAN use 2 sets of composite cables to duplicate one set of composite cables, 5 wires = 5 wires. You just need to keep the colors of the jacks on input and output the same. I bought a pack of electrical tape that had red, blue, green, yellow and white in it. I color-coded the composite cables the same as component.

P.S. I am a mechanical engineer working for an electrical engineering company. Its interesting, to say the least!


I've done that but I was not sure if I would loose some video quality as a result. Using this approach I really cannot tell the difference between composite and component video signal from a DVD player.

Kul
03-12-2009, 10:49 AM
deleted

Kul
03-12-2009, 10:50 AM
some how i ended up with a tripple post

Kul
03-12-2009, 10:54 AM
I contacted Compast today and found out that if I switch to Comcast digital starter I will get a cable box that would let me watch local channels in HD ( which I can do already) and compile my channels into a line up that would match their listing, as apposed to channels being randomly scattered everywhere. However, I would have to pay a $30 setup fee and an extra $5 per month for the boxt. I decided to pass on that offer for now.

DLA75
01-17-2010, 05:44 PM
You may be able to avoid the $30 setup fee by picking up the at your local Comcast office and hooking it up your self.