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drivermike

join:2011-05-12
San Francisco, CA

[HD] HD With Digital Economy

I just got digital economy installed & was told by retentions that I could not add a HD box for the hd channels. Is this true? Unless my buddy is wrong on his level of service he says he is on the same tier, but also has the HD channels that come with the economy tier.

I am in south san francisco, ca 94080

I asked the comcast technician, but he did not seem to know. Kept beating around the bush.


yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA

1 edit

Your market may be different, but here in Philly you can definitely get an HD box and HD service w/Digital Economy if you're willing to pay for it. I imagine you will at least have to pay the "HD Access" fee (typically ~$10/month), plus whatever they charge to rent you that HD STB every month.

At which point, you might as well just think about DVR service on top of Economy: $16.95 or $17.95 additional per month, but that's it: just two line items on your TV bill - one for Digital Economy, and one for DVR, and you'll get the HD box (and, oooh, HD "access") with your DVR service subscription. Again, that's in the Philadelphia market.

If the per-month rental on an HD box would more than $3, it's definitely worth thinking about. Especially since you won't have "On Demand".

[EDIT: Just googled and found a San Francisco Comcast customer service chat about Digital Econ: you'll get local HD on your local broadcasts/limited basics if you have an HD STB. So if you're just after your local broadcast channels in HD, you can get by with Digital Econ and an HD STB, and not - as far as I can tell - incur the $10/mo HD "access" fee.]


drivermike

join:2011-05-12
San Francisco, CA

said by yhp:

Your market may be different, but here in Philly you can definitely get an HD box and HD service w/Digital Economy if you're willing to pay for it. I imagine you will at least have to pay the "HD Access" fee (typically ~$10/month), plus whatever they charge to rent you that HD STB every month.

At which point, you might as well just think about DVR service on top of Economy: $16.95 or $17.95 additional per month, but that's it: just two line items on your TV bill - one for Digital Economy, and one for DVR, and you'll get the HD box (and, oooh, HD "access") with your DVR service subscription. Again, that's in the Philadelphia market.

If the per-month rental on an HD box would more than $3, it's definitely worth thinking about. Especially since you won't have "On Demand".

[EDIT: Just googled and found a San Francisco Comcast customer service chat about Digital Econ: you'll get local HD on your local broadcasts/limited basics if you have an HD STB. So if you're just after your local broadcast channels in HD, you can get by with Digital Econ and an HD STB, and not - as far as I can tell - incur the $10/mo HD "access" fee.]

I never had comcast tv service so unfortunately it sounds like I have to pay them the HD fee then & the box rental fee to at least get the locals in hd & hopefully the others that are in my tier.
I guess that means another call to them. Hopefully I will get the box this time. I waited 2 weeks for the receiver & it never showed up. Had to drive down to the local center twice to get one.


JALevinworth

@embarqhsd.net

Have you considered adding an OTA antenna to get your locals? Most of them broadcast in HD. I would think in a metro area there should be quite a few close enough to only need a set top antenna. For the cost of adding an HD box rental plus the HD access fee (which will probably go up every year), seems logical to look into the antenna if you haven't already.

You can check what you get at your address here:
»www.antennaweb.org

-Jim


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
reply to yhp

Here's how the HD box/fee is supposed to work in most CC areas:

- On the limited basic tier ONLY, you can add HD boxes for $2.50 month each, which gives you any HD feeds of limited basic channels. (usually local channels, but may include others that are part of the limited basic tier; eg: in our area, it also includes WGN America HD)
There is NO additional "HD technology" fee charged on this tier with HD boxes.

- On any tier above limited basic, (which includes Dig Eco) the HD technology fee is required to get any HD feeds - including any channels in limited basic srv. The HD tech fee INCLUDES 1 HD converter as part of the service - so there should NOT be an extra HD box fee as well.
If you want additional HD boxes, you can get them at the standard "additional outlet charge", which also includes an HD box, if requested.

On most systems, SD & HD boxes are the same price now; many systems also are giving out HD boxes even for subs w/out ANY HD service on their account, &/or if they have recently acquired newer boxes. The HD service is disabled on those boxes until the sub adds the HD tech fee to their account.


yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA

The HD tech fee INCLUDES 1 HD converter as part of the service

Ah, I see. From further googling, I see that the "lb"s (Limited Basics/Local Broadcasts) can (supposedly) be had in HD for just the price of an HD box rental on top of DE (Digital Economy). With DE, the "access fee" is still necessary for HD versions of that small handful of basic-cabley channels (Comedy Central, etc.) they include in SD in DE.

If nothing else, going DE+DVR certainly simplifies the billing.



JALevinworth

@embarqhsd.net

said by yhp:

The HD tech fee INCLUDES 1 HD converter as part of the service

Ah, I see. From further googling, I see that the "lb"s (Limited Basics/Local Broadcasts) can (supposedly) be had in HD for just the price of an HD box rental on top of DE (Digital Economy). With DE, the "access fee" is still necessary for HD versions of that small handful of basic-cabley channels (Comedy Central, etc.) they include in SD in DE.

If nothing else, going DE+DVR certainly simplifies the billing.

Yeah, I'm not sure OP can get around the HD fee unless he has Limited Basic (or subscribes to an HD Double/Triple Play package.) Ex: I have a Digital package ("Digital preferred plus" w/ no other services bundled) and the $9.95 "HD access fee" is added on. The SetTopBox is "included" in that package. (I also get charged $16.95 for "DVR Service (per outlet@1)") :/

According to the rate chart for my area (as seen this post), you can only get the HD digital converter (not STB) if you have Limited Basic Only. (OP has Digital economy.)

I realize there are different rates for different areas, but I don't think the HD fee part is non-standard, unless you get an HD Bundle (or limited basic).

-Jim

[One of these days soon I'm mounting an OTA on the roof and be done with this. My hilly "fringe rural" area is 40 miles between 2 markets so only Español and 1 PBS available without a roof mount.. tried it already]

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

said by JALevinworth :

you can only get the HD digital converter (not STB) if you have Limited Basic Only. (OP has Digital economy.)

OK, so what's the diff between a STB & digital converter then???

Until CC starts offering HD-DTA's, the HD digital converter is EXACTLY the same box for limited basic AND above subs...


JALevinworth

@embarqhsd.net

said by dishrich:

said by JALevinworth :

you can only get the HD digital converter (not STB) if you have Limited Basic Only. (OP has Digital economy.)

OK, so what's the diff between a STB & digital converter then???

I was referring to included in the price structure, but to answer you, probably nothing if you have Limited Basic until the release of the HD DTAs which the new pricing on my card reflects that (see link in last post). Other than that, Limited Basic only ever received the DTA - at least in my area. The full set top box (SD or HD) with on demand, etc. etc. would be an extra rental charge (plus HD tech fee if wanting HD). But all this doesn't apply to OP since he's on DE.

BTW, I'm just adding thoughts but you know I am in agreement with you, right? I don't get that feeling.

drivermike

join:2011-05-12
San Francisco, CA

I tried the ota, but cbs & abc freeze constantly.
I called in & was told it would be $10 for the HD box & $15 for the DVR HD. I went with the dvr one. Now that I see there are supposed to be other fees, I wonder what I will receive. I am hoping that in addition to the locals I get all the hd channels that I have in DE.
I wasn't told of any other fees except the $15.00


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
reply to JALevinworth

said by JALevinworth :

Limited Basic only ever received the DTA - at least in my area

Sorry, but I don't get this one...are you telling me that your area ONLY has DTA's for limited basic subs?
In every other CC area I've heard of, the expanded basic & above subs were the ONLY subs to receive DTA's when they first came out.
CC just now recently started rolling out the DTA's to limited/Family/DE subs in some areas, including mine.

BTW, I'm just adding thoughts but you know I am in agreement with you, right?



I figured that (with the exception of my question above) - but since pricing CAN vary depending on a particular area (hence why I italicized supposed & most ) I wasn't 100% sure...

And the proof of that is right in your price table - compared to our pricing we just received last month: (which BTW took up FOUR pages in our last bills )

- our HD tech fee is $8.95, which does include 1 HD box in that fee

- while the HD DVR service fee (per outlet) is $8.00, that would ONLY apply if you only have 1 digital HD box on your account; CC requires you to pay for the HD tech fee if you have ANY DVR's on your account, whether you need it or not.

- if you want more DVR's above the primary box, the "real" total cost for an HD-DVR per outlet is actually $16.95, as you have to add the cost of our "Digital Additional outlet" fee of $8.95.

I don't get that feeling.

Sorry if I offended you w/my choice of words - if CC would fricken standardize & simplify their equipment & ancillary services (DVR, HD fee, etc.) pricing nationwide, the amount of boards & discussions devoted to these issues wouldn't be necessary in the first place!

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
reply to JALevinworth

Ex: I have a Digital package ("Digital preferred plus" w/ no other services bundled) and the $9.95 "HD access fee" is added on. The SetTopBox is "included" in that package. (I also get charged $16.95 for "DVR Service (per outlet@1)") :/

Jeez, it's been so long I'd forgotten their long-running "No, your DVR CANNOT be your first outlet." scam. Life's just nicer with 1 outlet and 1 outlet only.


JALevinworth

@embarqhsd.net
reply to dishrich

said by dishrich:

said by JALevinworth :

Limited Basic only ever received the DTA - at least in my area

Sorry, but I don't get this one...are you telling me that your area ONLY has DTA's for limited basic subs?
In every other CC area I've heard of, the expanded basic & above subs were the ONLY subs to receive DTA's when they first came out.
CC just now recently started rolling out the DTA's to limited/Family/DE subs in some areas, including mine.

That's correct. If you only want limited basic only, you'd only get a DTA. You'd have to get higher than that to get the STB included without paying extra. In one way it makes sense since, in my market, even without a DTA (with a QAM TV) you can get limited (only) unscrambled/unencrypted but you'd need an STB to get additional channels (expanded basic and above).
said by dishrich:

said by JALevinworth :

BTW, I'm just adding thoughts but you know I am in agreement with you, right?

I figured that (with the exception of my question above) - but since pricing CAN vary depending on a particular area (hence why I italicized supposed & most ) I wasn't 100% sure...

Same here and I got you were saying /"supposed and most"/ fully qualified. Every market is different, but also there are some items that /seem/ pretty standard too (some things talked about here might be the same and also how many ways can they screw us, lol).
said by dishrich:

And the proof of that is right in your price table - compared to our pricing we just received last month: (which BTW took up FOUR pages in our last bills )

That's why I included it. BTW, That's the 2012 pricing so it will take effect when said package on any individuals account expires or changes.
said by dishrich:

- our HD tech fee is $8.95, which does include 1 HD box in that fee

I've had this out with CC so many times. They claim the box its included with the "package" if I got an SD one but the HD STB ads the HD fee is in addition. If I got an HD package (not "digital" package as I do), the HD box and fee would be included (see rate card for HD packages that are bundled with other services, but I don't have a "bundle")
said by dishrich:

- while the HD DVR service fee (per outlet) is $8.00, that would ONLY apply if you only have 1 digital HD box on your account; CC requires you to pay for the HD tech fee if you have ANY DVR's on your account, whether you need it or not.

HD tech fee $9.95, and HD DVR "service fee" $16.95 are all separate on my bill. My primary account and only STB in the house. (I actually didn't ask for the HD-DVR but the tech swapped it when my SD STB went bad and now i have to return it to the office.. but they're charging me til then of course).
said by dishrich:

said by JALevinworth :

I don't get that feeling.

Sorry if I offended you w/my choice of words - if CC would fricken standardize & simplify their equipment & ancillary services (DVR, HD fee, etc.) pricing nationwide, the amount of boards & discussions devoted to these issues wouldn't be necessary in the first place!

Naw, bro you didn't offend me. You're heightened awareness made me think it was a good time to make clear that I'm with you. Agree, these pricing schedules are BS, and the latest one is no different... different terms, but the same shell game.

-Jim

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
reply to drivermike

said by drivermike:

I called in & was told it would be $10 for the HD box & $15 for the DVR HD. I went with the dvr one. Now that I see there are supposed to be other fees, I wonder what I will receive.
[snip]
I wasn't told of any other fees except the $15.00

Here in Philly, I'm a TV-only customer (no phone, no HSI) and the core of my bill is $29.95 for DE and $16.95 for DVR: no itemized "access" fee. The 1 outlet is a Motorola DCX-3400 series.

We get HD of any local broadcast channel offering it, and HD versions of almost all of the SD "cable" channels in the Economy lineup: TNT, Comedy Central, A&E, Bravo, MSNBC, CNN, FNC, E!, BBCAmerica, TCM, TOON, and more. (BloombergTV is SD only.)

Your market may vary, but as long as you're a 1-outlet DE household, looking at at least that $10/month extra for HD, the last bit of change to get to DVR is actually worth it, IMHO: series recording capability and pause/rewind on live TV become just a $5-7/month add-on, and if posted experiences are anything to go by, you generally get better/newer boxes when you order DVR service (although Comcast is always poor-mouthing about their hardware situation--good luck).

Comcast DVR isn't worth $17/month, but it is worth $7 (again, IMHO).


JALevinworth

@embarqhsd.net
reply to yhp

said by yhp:

Ex: I have a Digital package ("Digital preferred plus" w/ no other services bundled) and the $9.95 "HD access fee" is added on. The SetTopBox is "included" in that package. (I also get charged $16.95 for "DVR Service (per outlet@1)") :/

Jeez, it's been so long I'd forgotten their long-running "No, your DVR CANNOT be your first outlet." scam. Life's just nicer with 1 outlet and 1 outlet only.

The sad part is, I only have one STB and got my old SD STB swapped out when it went bad for an HD one with the tech saying in my living room, "same price now for SD or HD boxes", but it was (unknown to me til later) a DVR also. Sure $26 more is the same I have to drive an hour to the office one day I am off to get that squared away. In the mean time, "retention" gave me a discount promo on my digital package and some (soon to expire) freebies for their error.

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
reply to JALevinworth

HD tech fee $9.95, and HD DVR "service fee" $16.95 are all separate on my bill. My primary account and only STB in the house.

Okay, that sucks. Under both Digital Starter and then Digital Econ, with 1 outlet, I never had the HD access fee added to the $16.95/mo cost of DVR.


JALevinworth

@embarqhsd.net
reply to yhp

said by yhp:

Here in Philly, .... [snip]

Damn, my market really sucks! But Hey, glad everyones doesn't (as bad). Maybe there is hope for drivermike See Profile


JALevinworth

@embarqhsd.net
reply to yhp

said by yhp:

HD tech fee $9.95, and HD DVR "service fee" $16.95 are all separate on my bill. My primary account and only STB in the house.

Okay, that sucks. Under both Digital Starter and then Digital Econ, with 1 outlet, I never had the HD access fee added to the $16.95/mo cost of DVR.

Jinx and see above.


JALevinworth

@embarqhsd.net
reply to drivermike

said by drivermike:

I tried the ota, but cbs & abc freeze constantly.
I called in & was told it would be $10 for the HD box & $15 for the DVR HD. I went with the dvr one. Now that I see there are supposed to be other fees, I wonder what I will receive. I am hoping that in addition to the locals I get all the hd channels that I have in DE.
I wasn't told of any other fees except the $15.00

I'm wishing you good luck (sincerely). After your box comes and is activated, check your bill online. The account changes are usually posted pretty timely .

-Jim


MrBayArea

@pacbell.net
reply to drivermike

Might be a good idea to try Over The Air TV....you are right by Sutro Tower....best of all its FREE!!!!!