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ClearToLand

join:2002-12-20
South Plainfield, NJ
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Verizon FiOS
reply to bicker

Re: Digital Transport Adapter Unboxing Photos

said by bicker:

...It only gets complicated if you choose to add other devices to your set-up, and in that case it is your decision to do so, and your responsibility to either have or obtain the knowledge necessary. Tech support can help introduce a VCR or DVR into the mix, but only to the extent that you are willing and capable of understanding what they're telling you. If it sounds too complicated, then you either need to learn more, or call on a friend to help you -- or borrow some friends-in-abstentia by presenting your need on an Internet forum, and let the folks there help you understand how to do what you need to. That's why many of us are here in this forum.

It would be great if they did have people standing by at all times to rush out to our homes and hand-hold us through everything. However, we simply don't pay any mass-market supplier enough for any of them to offer that, in any industry. And I don't want to pay one penny extra to support that level of service, since I don't need it. And evidently most customers are like me: They prefer lower prices over lots of extra hand-holding.

One thing that it is very important you understand about DTAs: They take in the multi-channel cable signal, and put out one channel's audio and video. Basically, you lose any features that are provide by your VCR, DVR or television by way of it's tuner. That's not a conspiracy or a crime. There is a federal regulation that specified precisely how to have cable service and still enjoy such features provided by your VCR's, DVR's or television's tuner -- that federal regulation is satisfied by CableCARD. If your VCR, DVR or television doesn't support CableCARD, then you have made a decision to not pay the extra amount necessary to comply with your obligations relevant to the federal regulation, so you won't reap the benefits of the features your VCR's, DVR's or television's tuner offers you, such as watch one channel while recording another. If you have a problem with the law, talk to your Members of Congress. Until the law is changed, however, cable companies have to comply with it, and you have to do your part as well, in order to gain the benefits of the law.
Good explanation bicker.

I'd like to add the following to hopefullly make the last paragraph even clearer for the 'non-techies'.



Technology continues to evolve. Take music. When I was a child, the adults in my family had collections of 78RPM Mono records. As a teen, 45RPM 'Singles' and 33RPM Stereo 'Albums' took over. Then, 8-Tracks, Cassettes, CDs and finally today 'electronic-only' MP3s. You may have a perfectly operating 8-Track in your car, but, it's tough to buy current songs for it.

Onto television. In the USA, television has been using NTSC tuners. When I was a child, our console television tuned only VHF 2-13 and was black & white. When UHF 14-83 came along, you needed to buy an 'adapter' for your VHF-only set - same deal as today - tune the new UHF channel on the adapter and then route it to the old television on VHF Ch 3.

Then came cable. To ease it into our households, the industry came out with 'Cable-Ready' tuners BUILT INTO televisions and VCRs. Maybe the numbers looked the same, but Ch 33 OTA (UHF) was certainly a different frequency than Ch 33 Cable. These 'Cable-Ready' tuners, Ch 2-125, served us a LONG time but now there's DIGITAL and the technology has changed once again.

Only this time, instead of a 'few' VHF-only sets needing to be either 'adapted' or replaced, there are THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of NTSC OTA and 'Cable-Ready' tuners in televisions, VCRs, DVDRs, etc... that (suddenly) have become OBSOLETE! Everything that you knew PRIOR to ATSC/QAM is now 'out-dated'. And your choices are the same as they were when UHF first appeared - buy an adapter or replace the device. But, due to the advances in technology, what the adapter can accomplish is limited to what the original device anticipated.

My knowledge is limited to ReplayTV and TiVo Series 1, so, that's what I'll explain. Both of those devices came with 'IR Blasters' - simply, the OUTPUT portion of the handheld remote control we've all gotten used to. The BUTTONs are handled by electronics inside the ReplayTV and TiVo. Thus, if I upgrade to Digital Cable and get a Motorola DCT-700 STB, I can tell my ReplayTV 'control the DCT-700 for me'. If your existing NTSC-tuner-equipped device didn't anticipate controlling another SPECIFIC device, YOU have to do it manually (tune your old device to NTSC Ch 3; select the ATSC/QAM channel with the DTA/STB remote control). For example, my ReplayTV DOES NOT know how to control the DC-50X (at this time). Very sad indeed.

If that's not satisfactory, well... time to buy a new television, DVDR, etc...
--
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. --George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) LM

ClearToLand

join:2002-12-20
South Plainfield, NJ
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Verizon FiOS
reply to canalking

Divide and Conquer!

said by canalking:

Having problems with the installation of our dta's. One can only get a few channels, the other one gets none. We have called comcast numerous times to report problem. We even returned orignal dta's to their office and got two new ones. Still cannot receive cable picture...
Divide and Conquer!
  • Go to the point where the cable initially enters your home from the pole. DISCONNECT IT from everything else in your home.
  • CONNECT your DTA to your cable at this entry point. You may have to ask Comcast to re-send the 'activate' signal and you may have to wait for the info to download.
  • Does either DTA work now?
  • If yes, add ONE piece of your existing cabling back, move the DTA to the end of the new piece and TEST again.
  • REPEAT until the DTA stops working. You may have a bad cable, a bad splitter, too many splitters, etc...
  • If no, wait until the service tech arrives.
Good Luck! Let us know what you discover.
--
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. --George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) LM

canalking

join:2009-05-15
Scotch Plains, NJ
Thank you for your advice. I will let you know what happens after the technician shows up on Sunday. If the technician cannot resolve the problem, then we will look into Fios. Mybe a new service provider will help us out.

patspub

join:2005-02-10
Philadelphia, PA
reply to ViRGEdx

Re: Digital Transport Adapter Unboxing Photos

Anyone in Northeast Philly get one of these "DTA's" yet???


owlyn
Premium,MVM
join:2004-06-05
Newtown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by patspub:

Anyone in Northeast Philly get one of these "DTA's" yet???
I have one (in Bucks).

PhillyJim

join:2008-05-13
Philadelphia, PA
reply to patspub
said by patspub:

Anyone in Northeast Philly get one of these "DTA's" yet???
I don't think Philly is getting them any time soon.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to ViRGEdx
Hmm, well at least I know what exactly Comcast's letter on the payment center door about these boxes not being available until the fall is referring too. Though I have to wonder what these boxes will allow me to do? Will it allow a customer with digital service the abilty to watch those high channels, 100 - 999 without a digital set top box? Like I said they arent out in my area and this is the first I've heard of this, and I'm an installer....so make of it what you will

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA
Generally, "those high channels" are encrypted, and DTAs aren't allowed to be used for those channels at this time (due to government [over-]regulation).

For now, think of DTAs as QAM tuners, that can be enabled or disabled en masse, nothing more.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
Then whats the point of it again?

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA

1 edit
To allow folks to tune in unencrypted digital cable channels (figure, channel 30 to 60 or so, on average), so they can watch them on their analog televisions.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
Ah ok, thanks.


Agent 86

@comcast.net
reply to bicker
"Generally, "those high channels" are encrypted, and DTAs aren't allowed to be used for those channels at this time (due to government [over-]regulation)."

The DTAs aren't designed to receive premium channels. They can do "privacy mode" (weak, used for VOD) decryption, but that would only be used for non-premium channels, if it is ever used.


cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·ProLog
reply to ViRGEdx
I hear the SiliconDust team is able to pull the digital channel mapping data from the SCTE messages that are broadcast on DTA enabled headends.

»www.silicondust.com/forum/viewto···ight=dta

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA

1 edit
reply to Agent 86
said by Agent 86 :

"Generally, "those high channels" are encrypted, and DTAs aren't allowed to be used for those channels at this time (due to government [over-]regulation)."

The DTAs aren't designed to receive premium channels. They can do "privacy mode" (weak, used for VOD) decryption, but that would only be used for non-premium channels, if it is ever used.
Yup, so in the range the OP mentioned (100-999), probably 100-299, and 500-799 (at least on my system).


eangel88

@comcast.net
reply to ViRGEdx
I have a question about these DTA's. I currently have expanded basic cable coming into 3 TV's in my house. The rest of my house has DirecTV service. I have a RF modulator connected to one of the satellite receivers, and set to cable Ch. 122. This enables the 3 cable TV's to tune to Ch. 122 and receive the satellite channel that is tuned on that receiver.

Will the RF modulator still work on Ch. 122 (or any channel for that matter) once the DTA's are connected and activated? I'm guessing that it won't, but I don't know for sure, and I don't know the reasons behind it. Thanks.


tvnut

@shrineservices.com
Ok, so long story short. If you have Expanded Comcast Basic(basically you get 60-70 channels). Then if you have a QAM Tuner TV, then you will not need this stupid box, as all 50+ Channels that move from analog to digital the tv will tune in with its QAM Tuner..

So for me, the box is no effect as I have 4 QAM Tuner DTVs in my home...

ClearToLand

join:2002-12-20
South Plainfield, NJ
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Verizon FiOS
reply to eangel88
said by eangel88 :

...Will the RF modulator still work on Ch. 122 (or any channel for that matter) once the DTA's are connected and activated? I'm guessing that it won't, but I don't know for sure, and I don't know the reasons behind it...
I agree with your answer - NO it won't.

The reason, per my reading of various DTA and QAM threads, is that the DTA does 'mapping'. (NOTE: My examples have FAKE numbers.)

While 'Discovery Digital' (not HD) may be received on 80.1 via Clear QAM, the DTA is instructed via 'mapping' to receive it on 200 (there are no SUB-Channels on my DTA). Thus, since Comcast is unaware of YOUR CH. 122, the DTA will (probably) be unaware of it also.
--
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. --George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) LM

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA
reply to tvnut
said by tvnut :

Ok, so long story short. If you have Expanded Comcast Basic(basically you get 60-70 channels). Then if you have a QAM Tuner TV, then you will not need this stupid box, as all 50+ Channels that move from analog to digital the tv will tune in with its QAM Tuner..
That is not necessarily the case. In many (perhaps most) areas that will go down this path, expanded basic channels (say the top half of those 60-70 channels) will be encrypted. These channels are already encrypted on QAM here.


eangel88

@comcast.net
said by bicker:

said by tvnut :

Ok, so long story short. If you have Expanded Comcast Basic(basically you get 60-70 channels). Then if you have a QAM Tuner TV, then you will not need this stupid box, as all 50+ Channels that move from analog to digital the tv will tune in with its QAM Tuner..
That is not necessarily the case. In many (perhaps most) areas that will go down this path, expanded basic channels (say the top half of those 60-70 channels) will be encrypted. These channels are already encrypted on QAM here.
The Comcast rep told me to tune to Channel 1 on my TV. If I can see something on Channel 1, then I don't need the DTA, but if I can't, I do need it. I can't see anything on Channel 1 on any of my TV's, so I guess none of them have the QAM tuner?

ClearToLand

join:2002-12-20
South Plainfield, NJ
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Verizon FiOS
reply to canalking

Complain Vehemently / Get Help / Ignore...

said by canalking:

Thank you for your advice. I will let you know what happens after the technician shows up on Sunday. If the technician cannot resolve the problem, then we will look into Fios. Mybe a new service provider will help us out.
I wonder what happened in Scotch Plains, NJ on Sunday, 05/17/09...

[OPINION]
  • Some folks get SO UPSET when things don't go 'right' (per their own personal perspective of 'right' that is)!

  • Some register, some don't - but SO MANY *IMMEDIATELY* develop the need to post 'somewhere' how UNHAPPY they are with 'Fill-in-the-Blank'.

  • VOLUNTEERS ('Kind Souls') jump in with 'words-of-wisdom' / hints and/or ideas on how to remedy the (perceived) 'problem'.

  • MANY of the 'Original UPSET Folks' never return to update their status. (Probably too embarrassed...)

  • SEARCH & READ work well for me, but I guess most UPSET FOLKS just don't have the time...

[/OPINION]
--
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. --George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) LM

ClearToLand

join:2002-12-20
South Plainfield, NJ
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Verizon FiOS
reply to eangel88

Re: Digital Transport Adapter Unboxing Photos

said by eangel88 :

The Comcast rep told me to tune to Channel 1 on my TV. If I can see something on Channel 1, then I don't need the DTA, but if I can't, I do need it. I can't see anything on Channel 1 on any of my TV's, so I guess none of them have the QAM tuner?
It's so unfair when the folks you ASS-U-ME you can trust don't know WTH they're talking about.

Only STBs (i.e. DCT-700) know about things like CH. 1 ('OnDemand'). DTAs (i.e. DC-50X) and Clear QAM tuners (i.e. TVs, DVDRs, etc...) won't be 'mapped' for these 'Special Features'.
--
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. --George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) LM

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA
reply to eangel88
Again, in many areas expanded basic channels will be encrypted when broadcast as digital. Chances are, that is the reality that you will encounter: Expect that to be the case. A QAM tuner cannot tune in an encrypted channel unless it supports and carries a CableCARD.


eangel88

@comcast.net
reply to ClearToLand
So if the Channel 1 test isn't valid, how do I know if my TV's have the QAM tuner or not? Do most TV's not have this yet? Thanks.


eangel88

@comcast.net
reply to bicker
said by bicker:

Again, in many areas expanded basic channels will be encrypted when broadcast as digital. Chances are, that is the reality that you will encounter: Expect that to be the case. A QAM tuner cannot tune in an encrypted channel unless it supports and carries a CableCARD.
Okay, so the QAM tuner won't make a difference when Comcast starts encrypting these channels. The only thing that will work is either a STB or DTA? Thanks.

canalking

join:2009-05-15
Scotch Plains, NJ
reply to ClearToLand

Re: Complain Vehemently / Get Help / Ignore...

So sorry for the delay. Good thing I am not one of those original upset folks....and in fact, posted our problem for suggestions from others more "knowledgeable".

A couple of things happened after the post. First I left a message for someone on another message board, and a Comcast rep must have scanned the message board for complaints, and then emailed me offering assistance. (well appreciated). We even got a phone call from the "executive office". By then, the Comcast technician arrived on the Sunday, and within an hour , had us all hooked up and two tv's working properly. Seems he had to install a digital booster box in our basement. The old booster box was analog and so it no longer worked. Something to that effect. Whatever he did, he took care of the problem perfectly, quickly, and resolved our problem. The boxes work fine now.

My frustration was with the customer service reps in India (the dedicated phone number was provided with the DTA box), that only can tell you how to hook up the box, and then send you a signal to activate it. After doing that four times, and wasting hours of our time, they did not suggest we call for Comcast service. That was their mistake, and they should be retrained to help customers like us who spent 3 days trying to get our system to work. It does no one any good to spend hours trying to activate a box that will not receive a signal due to another problem. All that kind of run around does, is to create unhappy customers. We are inundated with marketing flyers to change cable companies. Dealing with people over the phone that cannot help you and do not know enough to forward your concern to other departments that can help you, makes the entire company look bad. This is simply a training issue and could be addressed for the future. But of course it is cheaper to send everyone to a phone bank in India, where the person, cheerful that they are, basically reads from a script, and after a half hour, just tells the customer to wait until the box gets the signal or it downloads the channels. Neither suggestion worked, nor did the "supervisor" 's suggestions. The delay only mad us angrier and willing to consider changing providers. So if you have any influence with Comcast, tell them to tell their customer reps in India, to pass the caller on to the US Comcast office for service. Dialing the phone number listed with the DTA box will likely lead one to nothing but frustration and delay.

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA
reply to eangel88

Re: Digital Transport Adapter Unboxing Photos

said by eangel88 :

Okay, so the QAM tuner won't make a difference when Comcast starts encrypting these channels. The only thing that will work is either a STB or DTA? Thanks.
A DTA won't even work for encrypted channels.


tvnut

@shrineservices.com
reply to bicker
well thats fine, cause I dont want the ones that are already encrypyed. What I am saying is that a QAM Tuner TV will be able to pick up anything that the new box will!! If the channels are encrypted, the box will not pick them up anyways!! Plus if you use a QAM tuner, you will pick up the HD Local channels which the Box will not!


Tvnut

@shrineservices.com

1 recommendation

so again. long story short, if you have expanded basic right now and you have a QAM tuner TV, then you dont need the stupid box!!! ONLY WHEN THE DTA BOX DOES SOME TYPE OF DECODING WILL YOU QUIT WORKING.

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA
Or when they require expanded basic subscribers to upgrade from DTAs to STBs.


tvnut

@shrineservices.com
Don't think that will happen anytime soon, otherwise, they would have rolled out STB to everyone instead of wasting time making millions of DTAs.