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grayem

join:2000-09-22
Saint Louis, MO
Reviews:
·Charter

[CATV] Charter cable going all digital in St louis

I got a letter in the mail showing that my cable is going all digital Sept 15th. No more analog, QAM or whatever. I have a tiny old TV with an ancient QAM tuner that only goes to 60 something that I watch local channels on in my garage shop. Its 11 inches diagonal and was my main reason for even having basic (local) Now I will either have to rent a box bigger than the TV to use Charter's cable, or get a new TV. Either way, its more $. I think I might just be getting an antenna instead.
The internet stays, but I guess my pitiful old Tv is ending its life soon and most likely my cable.

Anyone else get the letter? What will you do if you have an old analog only tv? rent the digiboxes? Go with a new digital TV?

I have a feeling lots of Tvs are going to flood the thrift stores in September.


Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state
Use an antenna for your older/bathroom/non important equipment and regular TV for your main stuff.


nwgatwcfan

@windstream.net
reply to grayem
If it is anything like what Comcast has done, there will be a box that is pretty small that will take the basic digital channels and convert it back into analog format. You would still have your basic package on your small TV. The expanded basic channels and all other digital channels, would probably require the larger box. I live fairly close to an area that has already been switched to all digital service and what they did was give every customer two of these smaller boxes at no charge and a very small charge for any additional, I think these little boxes were only a $1 or $2 a month. So there is hope that you may get to use the small TV still. I am in the same boat with my little 9 inch Zenith that I adore.

Let the forum know when that day comes in your area as I and many others are curious on how this will play out for Charter Customers. Here in NW GA we are still waiting on SDV to be deployed, much less going all digital.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by nwgatwcfan :

If it is anything like what Comcast has done, there will be a box that is pretty small that will take the basic digital channels and convert it back into analog format. You would still have your basic package on your small TV. The expanded basic channels and all other digital channels, would probably require the larger box.

My dad has Comcast expanded basic. Their cable box is very small. His main TV is on old 32" CRT. he gets in all channels on expanded basic. He has a small 19" HDTV in one of his guest rooms. I hooked the cable straight to the TV and QAM still works for the locals.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
reply to grayem
said by grayem:

I got a letter in the mail showing that my cable is going all digital Sept 15th. No more analog, QAM or whatever. I have a tiny old TV with an ancient QAM tuner that only goes to 60 something that I watch local channels on in my garage shop. Its 11 inches diagonal and was my main reason for even having basic (local) Now I will either have to rent a box bigger than the TV to use Charter's cable, or get a new TV. Either way, its more $. I think I might just be getting an antenna instead.
The internet stays, but I guess my pitiful old Tv is ending its life soon and most likely my cable.

Anyone else get the letter? What will you do if you have an old analog only tv? rent the digiboxes? Go with a new digital TV?

When Comcast did this they gave each household 2 boxes for free. Each extra box is $2 or something. Of course that doesn't mean Charter will do this.

My dad's digital box is similar to this and is slightly larger than a piece of bread. Similar in size to a Ubee modem.


grayem

join:2000-09-22
Saint Louis, MO
We can get two boxes free for 6 months with Charter, then there will be an unspecified fee. I am guessing 5 or 10 bucks.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by grayem:

We can get two boxes free for 6 months with Charter, then there will be an unspecified fee. I am guessing 5 or 10 bucks.

Either one is too much. A HD box is $10 and a SD box is $5. These little boxes don't even do as much as a regular SD box does. I think Comcast only charges $2 extra per box over your 2.

markell2011

join:2010-03-13
Saint Louis, MO
reply to grayem
I dont think saint louis is going all digital but i did read an article that stated that charter was setting up there headends for IP backed video so maybe they have to go all digital for that

grayem

join:2000-09-22
Saint Louis, MO
Reviews:
·Charter
Maybe not the whole city, but the part I live in is going 100% digital, the letter I received states that analog cable ready TV's or old QAM converters will no longer work. I would guess that on demand is the reason. they probably want people to use that instead of netflix or just want the revenue for the boxes that comes from pay per view? I dunno, I have never had cable beyond local/basic. I know people with the remotes and boxes, but there is so much stuff I could watch and too much stuff I need to be doing that is not watching TV.

If I could pay for 10 specific channels and none of the rest I might be tempted to buy into cable. Science, SCify, HGtv for the wife, some history/biography etc. As it is the people I know with bigger contracts have hundreds of channels which seem to be a sea of televangelists, shopping networks, and alligator/fishing/truck-driving/logging/swamp-boats/gun-shooting. The new one was noodling for catfish?! (WTF, really, a show about catching fish...Oh, wait there is probably a channel just for that...sigh) I have no idea if people actually sit and watch that stuff, but I cant see paying for the privilege.

But, I digress... I really liked using my old rotary knob push/pull on off /rotary volume switch TV. I think my cable tuner has vacuum tubes in it and buttons on it. No Remote!Iit will go to the scrap heap too.
I am thinking Antenna at this point. No sense paying for basic anyway, especially when the price will get pretty high after my year or whatever of 1/2 price is up. I think they will try to make us pay $25.00 a month for what could be over the air TV.

Sorry just thinking out loud.

whoaru99

join:2003-12-17
said by grayem:

I am thinking Antenna at this point. No sense paying for basic anyway, especially when the price will get pretty high after my year or whatever of 1/2 price is up. I think they will try to make us pay $25.00 a month for what could be over the air TV.

Sorry just thinking out loud.

Well, if you go the antenna route, you'll probably need to buy a digital/ATSC tuner anyway.

You could always subscribe to the "lifeline" service or whatever it's called, if such a thing exists in your area.


lineofsight

join:2003-01-03
East Saint Louis, IL
reply to grayem
I am confused. Are all channels that are basic now going scrambled digital or are they going clear QAM?

markell2011

join:2010-03-13
Saint Louis, MO
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to grayem
I know the channels that I receive without a cable box are clear-qam my apt is on the north saint louis city headend
And as far as getting a antenna and just putting it on an analog set without a converter you lost that chance June 22, 2009
And without the coupon program those converters get a little pricey
And there are no Low-Power affiliates in saint louis
not even WRBU(Mynetwork) or KNLC(religious independent)
So you're damned if you leave charter & damned if you don't

grayem

join:2000-09-22
Saint Louis, MO
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to lineofsight
You will have to have a TV that searches for channels. If your TV needs to search for channels instead of just having a cable tuner, it will work, but everything will be digital.

If you TV or old Qam Tuner only goes up to 99 or whatever, it will be useless.

I already have a digital converter that can use an antenna. I bought it when the coupons were available just in case. That was a good plan apparently, because up till now I didn't really need it.


lineofsight

join:2003-01-03
East Saint Louis, IL
I am using a HDHomerun dual tuner for Media Center. I decodes Clear QAM

grayem

join:2000-09-22
Saint Louis, MO
Reviews:
·Charter
said by lineofsight:

I am using a HDHomerun dual tuner for Media Center. I decodes Clear QAM

East St Louis, IL. may not be affected and the digital conversion will not happen until September. I dont know what portion of St Louis is being converted, it could just be a small portion of the city. Once our 100% digital conversion happens, regular clear QAM will be static. The digital stuff will still work, what channels come in as HD, whoknows.

I am wondering if the digital will mean that they will send HD or will they downgrade the channels that people get so that it looks like SD TV but digital.

whoaru99

join:2003-12-17

said by grayem See Profile
I am wondering if the digital will mean that they will send HD or will they downgrade the channels that people get so that it looks like SD TV but digital.

Either way it's not going to matter with the TV you currently have. You will have SD tv.

If you get a new high def TV, it's possible that you might get some local channels and a few others in HD at no extra cost with your basic subscription.

CharterDylan
Premium
join:2009-01-29
Chesterfield, MO
kudos:18
Good Afternoon All,

We wanted to take a moment to notify everyone of the upcoming All Digital Trial. This trial will only affect 500 customers in the Forest Park area of St. Louis. Those that will be affected have been sent mail pieces outlining the trial. Below we have included some info to help expand on what's going on.

Charter is conducting an All-Digital trial effective September 14. Approximately 500 customers in this area have been selected to be part of a trial (6 months in duration). Effective with the trial, every channel (Basic and Expanded Basic) will be delivered digitally. Customers that have TVs that are not equipped with a Digital Receiver or QAM Tuner will lose Charter TV service entirely on September 14. Customers can receive two standard digital receivers at no additional cost for six months.

• TVs with Digital QAM tuners or a cable card will continue to be able to view Basic channels (only) without a digital receiver.
• Customers need to visit a local Charter office (Either 6524 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, MO 63139 or 1330 Aubert St., Suite 106, St. Louis, MO 63113) to pick up their two standard digital cable boxes. Once installed, customers can keep all of the channels that they now get, plus enjoy the exciting benefits of Charter TV in Digital at no additional cost for 6 months.
• Customers that already have Charter Digital TV on all of their TVs, do not need to take any action regarding the all-digital trial upgrade. However, if customers have TVs connected directly to Charter service without a digital receiver, they will lose access to the Expanded Basic channels, beginning September 14.
• An All-Digital channel line-up provides high-quality digital pictures on all channels to Charter customers, and provides the ability to add more programming choices in the future for our customers.

FAQ:

- What if I don't want the two standard digital receivers or boxes?

TVs without a digital turner will require use of a free digital receiver from Charter. Digital TVs that have a QAM tuner, cable card or other personal QAM tuner device in order to view Charter programming will receive limited digital services (approximately 18 channels)

- If I live in the trial area and have two digital receivers in my home today, will I receive a credit?

Yes. A digital customer with two standard digital receivers in their home today will receive the same service for a discounted price.

- What's the difference in monthly price for customers who choose to accept the two digital receivers and upgrade to digital programming from Expanded Basic (analog)

Charter will provide two standard digital receivers at no additional cost for up to 6 months, so the price will remain the same. After 6 months if the trial is successful, customers will continue to receive the two standard digital receivers at the same price. If the trial is unsuccessful, which we do not anticipate, and the customer wants to keep both digital receivers, they will be responsible for paying for the two digital receivers and their bill will change.

- How long is the trial program?

6 months - September, 2011

- What's the timeline to make other areas of St. Louis all-digital?

We are unable to provide specifics on project schedules or plans at this time. However, we will closely monitor this all-digital trial to determine if it's a good fit for other areas.

Thanks,

Dylan
»www.charter.com/Umatter2Charter

grayem

join:2000-09-22
Saint Louis, MO
Reviews:
·Charter
Thanks or the clarifications.

I fail to see how this is an "upgrade" for basic customers.
I have to buy a new TV, or pay for a TV modem (SD box), or just cancel the service.

It reminds me of upgrades to Charter's internet system that forced me to buy a new modem. Yes, the speeds went up, but they were followed by caps that threaten to cancel you for 6 months.

It makes you happy to have fast speeds if that ever made any difference to you (not for me) and bitter that you have to go spend a bunch of money on a modem.

I don't see that having my basic cable in an SD format and paying more for it is a bonus.

Time for a big antenna!


Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state
Well it should mean 100+ HD channels, better quality, so it is an upgrade...


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
reply to grayem
said by grayem:

Time for a big antenna!

If all you want is locals and you live in St Louis why would you pay for basic anyways? Get go OTA. And no it won't require a big antenna.

grayem

join:2000-09-22
Saint Louis, MO
Reviews:
·Charter
said by 88615298:

said by grayem:

Time for a big antenna!

If all you want is locals and you live in St Louis why would you pay for basic anyways? Get go OTA. And no it won't require a big antenna.

It was only $7 when I started, and that was part of a deal to get the internet cheaper. I have been to lazy to go for an antenna, and no antenna or the tiny one I tried didnt work.


fnord76
Elder God
Premium
join:2002-05-14
Troy, IL
kudos:2
Did you have a digital receiver to get the Over the Air signals? All broadcasters went all digital so you will have to have something that converts from Analog to Digital.
»www.dtv.gov/


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
reply to grayem
said by grayem:

said by 88615298:

said by grayem:

Time for a big antenna!

If all you want is locals and you live in St Louis why would you pay for basic anyways? Get go OTA. And no it won't require a big antenna.

It was only $7 when I started, and that was part of a deal to get the internet cheaper. I have been to lazy to go for an antenna, and no antenna or the tiny one I tried didnt work.

Well if you TV is old( made before 2007 ) SD tube TV then you need a converter box.


anhisr

join:2001-12-01
Ballwin, MO
which if you bothered when OTA changed frequency to UHF, you could have gotten a converter for free from the government. Glad I bothered. Now if I am recording two things on my DVR, I can still switch over and watch the news at 9pm. Seems this is a popular time for me to record shows.

grayem

join:2000-09-22
Saint Louis, MO
I already said I have a free converter box Image quality is terrible, the free ones drop HD down to SD but it will be fine on my ancient TV I am sure.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by grayem:

I already said I have a free converter box Image quality is terrible, the free ones drop HD down to SD but it will be fine on my ancient TV I am sure.

Yeah that's why it's called a digital to ANALOG converter. If you TV isn't a HDTV then it dosn't matter if the signal is HD or not.

Anyways what model is your converter box?

As far as your reception issues go click the link enter your info. Use your actual address for accuracy( it's hidden in the results ) then post a link to the results

»www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29

whoaru99

join:2003-12-17
reply to grayem
said by grayem:

I already said I have a free converter box Image quality is terrible, the free ones drop HD down to SD but it will be fine on my ancient TV I am sure.

If you're worried about HDTV quality you'll need to buy a HDTV. You're not going to get HDTV quality on the set you have; no way, no how, not with any converter box of any type.

grayem

join:2000-09-22
Saint Louis, MO
Reviews:
·Charter

You're not going to get HDTV quality on the set you have; no way, no how, not with any converter box of any type.

I never expected to. I have a big HDTV, we use it for DVDs , netflix, etc. The issue for me and anyone else that has an old cable ready TV or QAM tuner is that we would have to rent a digibox from Charter instead of just pluggin in a cheap TV in the garage, basement, outhouse, whatever. The nice thing about a simple old QAM tuner or cable ready TV's is that you can find them for nothing, on the street in my case, and plug it in and have some kind of basic cable if you run a coax cable.

Not anymore. Want to watch a cable channel in another room now? You gotta rent another box. That is the part that bothers me, not the fact that the box I would have to rent only provides Digital SD to anything its plugged into.

With the upgrade, you dont get any extra channels, no extra HD, but you pay extra for the privilege of watching Digital SD TV that before the upgrade, does not require it.

If you are a paying for expanded basic, you will have to rent the box. Your $1000 Tv will not get more than 18 channels without it. Got a house with 4 tvs? Gotta get 4 boxes. not my problem, not in that boat, just sayin.

The price for the "free for 6 months" SD boxes is not mentioned in my letter, nor in the comment from the charter direct guy that clarified much of this. You could be forking out $5 per TV to watch what you can for no extra charge now if you have expanded basic. Its not going to give you HD cause its an SD tuner box as I understand it.

I dont know how this benefits Charter, maybe they will save bandwidth, make some cash on the tuner rentals?

I dont know how you will get HD channels unless there is a much higher priced tier that gives you a HD cable tuner and obviously an HDTV.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to grayem
This is terrible news. I knew it would come one day, but not so soon. I have 7 T.V.'s.
2 with HD converters. 1 with a regular converter. 4 sets that get "basic cable" (no converter).
We have an undercabinet TV in the laundry room. Where the hell am I supposed to stick a converter on that?

I stand to pay, at minimum, $20 per month more.

I have yet to see a "buy your own" CATV QAM tuner for basic cable customers.

Looks like it might be time to "upgrade" to business class and build a MythTV system.
--
I just might be the most "licensed" S.O.B. you know.

grayem

join:2000-09-22
Saint Louis, MO
Reviews:
·Charter
said by nunya:

I have yet to see a "buy your own" CATV QAM tuner for basic cable customers.

I doubt you will have to worry for some time. O'Fallon isn't exactly downtown or forest park area.

I have my own QAM tuner, it must be from the 70's, made by panasonic. I am sure it was part of a cable company deal from the time when remote controls where still clickers. You can still find them out there, but it will not work with the all digital conversions. QAM tuners will not work. Only digitally programmed converters with activated account numbers I assume. Unless Charter is making these just dumb digital CATV converters, but I doubt that or they would allow our digital ready HDTV's the ability to access the programming.