dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
11400
share rss forum feed


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

1 edit

[DTA] What DTAs is Comcast acquiring that are brand new

I am wondering what brand the newest DTAs that Comcast is currently acquiring for a Motorola Set-Top market. I know the ones that they have carried in the past come from Thompson, Pace, and Motorola. I know Cisco sells a DTA but those are probably used in Cisco set-top turf (as Cisco and Motorola systems are not compatible with each other's hardware). I think Pace and Thompson may have discontinued their DTAs but I see the Motorola and Cisco ones are still in production.

I went into a service center today and almost walked out with a refurbished Pace DC50X but they could not complete it because an order was outstanding (CDV number port), wasting my gas on a 30 minute drive each way so direct support is going to waive the shipping fees once the order is complete. I moved an unused TV (that had been collecting dust) into the basement to use during Tornado Warnings (The Weather Channel and WWLP 22 News). I did the backbreaking work of moving a 20" Tube style TV into the basement (down two flights of stairs) and switched out the three way splitter with a four way splitter. I hooked the cable into the back of the tv but got absolutely nothing in terms of reception (except for a black screen on channel 4, the rest were snow as this TV was bought in 2001 and analog only) so I figured I needed a DTA on this TV (I ain't paying $9.99 a month for a full feature set-top for a disaster/shelter in place TV).

When it comes to Service Centers, the one in Westfield uses a gallon of gas each way but you are in and out in ten minutes or less. The one closest to me (Springfield) always has a long wait and is just like going to the DMV in terms of wait time but has better service than the DMV despite the wait time.

Another question I have is if I cut power to the DTA for an extended period of time (when set is not in use as TV will only be occasionally used, such as during severe weather warnings which have been increasingly common around here including a tornado last year that tore through the southern half of the city last year), will the DTA lose its provisioning and have to be reactivated. I am thinking of plugging it into a power strip along with the TV and powering it on when the TV is going to be used (want to cut phantom loads as our electric rates in this part of the country is through the roof).
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6

Originally, the DTAs that Comcast first used were designed for use only on Motorola-based systems, but later on, "universal" type DTAs ("uDTAs") were developed to Comcast's specs that allowed their use also in SA/Cisco-based systems: »www.lightreading.com/document.as···lr_cable

So any new DTAs that Comcast are procuring today are uDTAs.

I don't know what model(s) Comcast are providing now, but the first uDTAs I received in this (SA/Cisco-based) area in June 2010 were the Pace DC50Xu model. Later on, in October of that year, when I requested another uDTA on-line, I was sent a Thomson (now Technicolor) DCI105COM1 model.

Once the Motorola model HD-DTA100u HD-DTAs (»[DTA] Motorola's High Definition Digital Transport Adapter) are released, they are supposed to be the only units that will then be provided to customers.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6

1 edit
reply to IowaCowboy

said by IowaCowboy:

Another question I have is if I cut power to the DTA for an extended period of time (when set is not in use as TV will only be occasionally used, such as during severe weather warnings which have been increasingly common around here including a tornado last year that tore through the southern half of the city last year), will the DTA lose its provisioning and have to be reactivated. I am thinking of plugging it into a power strip along with the TV and powering it on when the TV is going to be used (want to cut phantom loads as our electric rates in this part of the country is through the roof).

One of the DTAs that I have is connected to a portable TV and will frequently have its coax RF input and power disconnected for some period of time. I find if it has been only a week or two, then it will usually start working again by itself as soon as it is reconnected. It only seems to need reactivation if it's left disconnected for an extended period of time, maybe a month or more. Then I just call the number that is displayed on the TV to reactivate it.

This post I found from May 2011, says that the DTAs have a 720 hour (30-day) countdown timer, reset by a daily authorization "keep-alive" signal, that determines when it gets deactivated: »Re: When & how often does comcast update the dta?


telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6

1 edit
reply to telcodad

said by telcodad:

Once the Motorola model HD-DTA100u HD-DTAs (»[DTA] Motorola's High Definition Digital Transport Adapter) are released, they are supposed to be the only units that will then be provided to customers.

Wow, speak of the devil! It looks like Comcast will finally be deploying those HD-DTAs soon:

Comcast closes in on HD DTA deployments
By Mike Robuck, CED Magazine - August 17, 2012
»www.cedmagazine.com/news/2012/08···loyments

According to the article, it also looks like the Motorola HD-DTA is not the only model they will be providing to customers:

"Similar to its SD DTA effort, Comcast is working with Pace, Motorola and Technicolor on the HD DTAs. Reynolds said Comcast was also working with Evolution Digital on its wall plate HD DTA, which mounts over existing cable junction boxes."

EDIT: Here is the webpage on Evolution Digital's wall plate HD-DTA: »www.evolutionbb.com/cable/HD-uDT···521.html
and a recent CED Magazine article about the Rovi DTA program guide: »www.cedmagazine.com/news/2012/08···-to-dtas

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL

Unless those DTA's also have an RF output in addition to HDMI, they couldn't use them for everybody.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6

Yes, the new HD-DTAs provide both HDMI and Channel 3/4 RF outputs:

Motorola HD-DTA100u:
»www.motorola.com/staticfiles/Vid···2011.pdf

Evolution Digital DMS2004UHDS:
»www.evolutionbb.com/cable/Univer···495.html
Rear Panel: »www.evolutionbb.com/cable/assets···1000.jpg



MarvinMagic

@comcast.net

On the topic of DTAs, are there any plans to provide guide data on these devices? It would really be great if you could get the name of the program and a brief description.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6

I agree, besides having just an RF output, the lack of a program guide is the biggest issue I have using my 3 DTAs right now.

AFAIK, right now there's just talk that Comcast's HD-DTAs may incorporate the Rovi DTA program guide (»www.cedmagazine.com/news/2012/08···-to-dtas). Don't know if there's anybody on this forum that's involved in the field trial that would know for sure about this.


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

said by telcodad:

I agree, besides having just an RF output, the lack of a program guide is the biggest issue I have using my 3 DTAs right now.

Then you need to upgrade to (full) digital boxes then...

If you recall, the (original) entire purpose of DTA's, was simply to "retain" the same level of service for all those (analog) TV's when CC got rid of the analog channels. Since CC did NOT supply an EPG back then, nobody was loosing anything when they got those DTA's.

Honestly, while not having an EPG may be an issue to YOU, a large majority of the sub base could care less; ALL they care about is being able to use a remote to change channels, & (now) get prog in HD.

BUT, here's some other food for thought...

Once CC actually DOES get these things, does anyone know for a fact, WHICH (service) level of HD channels, you WILL be able to pick up on them? Right now, while SD DTA's get everything SD up to the Starter level, how do we know the HD DTA's will get the HD versions of any/all Starter HD channels? Obviously in order for this to happen, CC will have to "relax" the encryption on those HD channels to the same level (privacy mode") as the SD channels are now - which programmers may or may NOT allow CC to do.

For all I know, the ONLY HD channels these HD DTA's will get, will ONLY be what's on the limited basic tier. (ie: "broadcast basics")

Then my other question is...since many of us are getting 2 SD DTA's with NO monthly charges, will CC allow us to swap those to HD DTA's, w/out then starting to charge monthly for them?

SpHeRe31459

join:2002-10-09
Sacramento, CA
kudos:2
reply to telcodad

That wall plate DTA looks very interesting, it could make for quite a nice clean looking solution for say a bedroom where you don't want all kinds of set-top boxes in view while you sleep.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6
reply to dishrich

said by dishrich:

said by telcodad:

I agree, besides having just an RF output, the lack of a program guide is the biggest issue I have using my 3 DTAs right now.

Then you need to upgrade to (full) digital boxes then...

I do have 4 STBs (two Cisco RNG150s and two RNG100s) for the larger TVs in my home, just have 2 of those DTAs on some smaller sets with the third feeding a DVD Recorder. I should probably spring for a DVR some day I guess!

said by dishrich:

BUT, here's some other food for thought...

Once CC actually DOES get these things, does anyone know for a fact, WHICH (service) level of HD channels, you WILL be able to pick up on them? Right now, while SD DTA's get everything SD up to the Starter level, how do we know the HD DTA's will get the HD versions of any/all Starter HD channels? Obviously in order for this to happen, CC will have to "relax" the encryption on those HD channels to the same level (privacy mode") as the SD channels are now - which programmers may or may NOT allow CC to do.

For all I know, the ONLY HD channels these HD DTA's will get, will ONLY be what's on the limited basic tier. (ie: "broadcast basics")

Good question! On my channel lineup, the HD versions of all the SD Digital Starter channels are also on that tier, so I had assumed that they use the same encryption scheme. I had figured that Comcast can disable reception of HD channels unless you pay the "HD Technology Fee," by removing them from your channel map(s).

said by dishrich:

Then my other question is...since many of us are getting 2 SD DTA's with NO monthly charges, will CC allow us to swap those to HD DTA's, w/out then starting to charge monthly for them?

Yes, it's not clear what their policy will be. I figure you'd have to pay the "HD Technology Fee" to use them in HD mode, though.

As you said, the DTAs were originally intended to "adapt" older "cable-ready" analog TVs so they could still be used after the digital migration. While these new HD-DTAs would still provide that (operating in only a SD RF-output-only mode), they are also capable of providing an enhanced level of service (HD output and maybe a simple program guide).


telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6
reply to telcodad

said by telcodad:

AFAIK, right now there's just talk that Comcast's HD-DTAs may incorporate the Rovi DTA program guide (»www.cedmagazine.com/news/2012/08···-to-dtas). Don't know if there's anybody on this forum that's involved in the field trial that would know for sure about this.

Evolution Digital and Rovi Corporation issued a joint press release yesterday to officially announce that they will be working together to put Rovi's program guide on Evolutions DTAs: »www.rovicorp.com/company/news-ce···7038.htm

Evolution Digital has said that it's testing this new guide with several MSOs right now.

The details on Rovi's DTA guide can be found here: »www.rovicorp.com/products/discov···uide.htm

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL

I wouldn't even mind something very simple such as just the current program. Even analog TV had that years ago if your TV supported it (I'm not talking about TV Guide or similar.)



PaulGo

join:2005-01-29
Gaithersburg, MD
reply to IowaCowboy

The HD DTA's should allow viewing of all HD channels except premiums channels such as HBO, Starz, Encore and Showtime.

From the Comcast HD DTA guide:
"A uDTA (like the one in this
kit) will allow you to receive the
channels you currently have
in an all-digital format. It will
not display On Demand
programming."



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6

Unless something has changed with the embedded security waiver that Comcast received for the current SD-DTAs (and renewed for the HD-DTAs: »www.lightreading.com/document.as···d=215351 ), I didn't think the HD-DTAs would be able to use the stronger "conditional access" encryption scheme used in full STBs, only the weaker "privacy mode" one that is used for the Digital Starter tier SD and HD channels.

The fact that that in that statement it says "in an all-digital format" sounds to me like the channels they are talking about are lower-tier ones currently being provided in analog.



PaulGo

join:2005-01-29
Gaithersburg, MD

It's possible that either Comcast got a waiver or they are changing the encryption on all but the premium channels, but according to my sources at Comcast you will have the ability to get all but the pay channels.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6

Wow, that would be great then, as there are a few Digital Preferred channels I like to get on my DTAs right now. And if they include the Rovi DTA program guide, that would even better. Then I'd swap out some one of my current (SD) ones, that I pay $1.99/mo for, for one of those.

It would be nice if there is someone on this forum that's involved in the field trial that could let us know about all this for sure.



gate1975mlm
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Philadelphia, PA
kudos:8

When is this new HD DTA going to be available in the Philadelphia Area?

And will I be able to trade in my 2 old free DTA's for the HD ones? And will they still be free?


rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA

I doubt it. Free goes away with about anything now. I just upgraded my package and away went the free dtas.b They are 1.99 now. The hd ones will probably end up costing more anyway.


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

said by rody_44:

I doubt it. Free goes away with about anything now. I just upgraded my package and away went the free dtas.b They are 1.99 now.

Well a couple months ago, when I upgraded from limited basic to X3 play, my (2) FREE DTA's remained FREE even after the upgrade. Maybe you should check on that & try to get them back down to FREE...


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3
reply to telcodad

Comcast told me that the HD Technology Fee was mandatory if a customer rented a DVR since they said there aren't any non HD DVR's anymore, that if a customer wants to get rid of that fee they have to give up the DVR itself.



Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3
reply to IowaCowboy

I have to wonder how these devices will display the EAS alerts. Will they show a banner across the top of the screen along with sometimes force tuning to the designated EAS channel (QVC) like the set top boxes do, or will they just force tune to the designated EAS channel (QVC) like the current DTA's do?


andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL
reply to Mike Wolf

said by Mike Wolf:

Comcast told me that the HD Technology Fee was mandatory if a customer rented a DVR since they said there aren't any non HD DVR's anymore, that if a customer wants to get rid of that fee they have to give up the DVR itself.

This shouldn't be necessary, if it's even true. They can enable/disable the HD channels on the map sent to the box. It's most likely a CR trying to force a higher profit margin on people.


telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6
reply to gate1975mlm

said by gate1975mlm:

When is this new HD DTA going to be available in the Philadelphia Area?

Well, according to that recent CED Magazine article (»www.cedmagazine.com/news/2012/08···loyments ):
"... with plans to have them more broadly deployed in customers homes later this year." but We havent actually announced the date when paying subscribers will start getting HD DTAs."

From a post back in April by Comcast insider "J Jefferson3" (»Re: [DTA] Motorola's High Definition Digital Transport Adapter) it sounded like Comcast is waiting for the FCC to lift the prohibition on encrypting the Limited Basic tier of digital channels (which appears to be imminent: »www.broadcastingcable.com/articl···_Ban.php) before releasing the HD-DTAs. In that post he also said "This decision only affects [the] Freedom Region because they were to be the first markets for the HD-DTAs" so it seems our area may be the first to see them.

said by gate1975mlm:

And will I be able to trade in my 2 old free DTA's for the HD ones? And will they still be free?

What Comcast's policy will be on this is not clear yet, but I think if you try to trade in older SD-DTAs for the new HD ones, they will probably lose their grandfathered "first 2 DTAs are free" status.

As for the cost, I think the HD-DTAs may still be priced at $1.99/mo., as I think they are supposed to be the only DTAs that will then be provided and also as a concession to the FCC for lifting the basic tier encryption ban.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3
reply to andyross

"Even if it's true" ? What are you implying? Just saying what I was told. However I can't imagine anyone in their right mind wanting to get rid of HD channels.


Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
reply to andyross

said by andyross:

said by Mike Wolf:

Comcast told me that the HD Technology Fee was mandatory if a customer rented a DVR since they said there aren't any non HD DVR's anymore, that if a customer wants to get rid of that fee they have to give up the DVR itself.

This shouldn't be necessary, if it's even true. They can enable/disable the HD channels on the map sent to the box. It's most likely a CR trying to force a higher profit margin on people.

This is not the first time they pulled crap like that.

At least they don't make you rent full box to get only analog stuff and sports overflows of channels on the DTA.

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
reply to Mike Wolf

said by Mike Wolf:

However I can't imagine anyone in their right mind wanting to get rid of HD channels.

If you specifically have to pay EXTRA (monthly) for them - hell YES I CAN imagine this! Sorry to tell you this, but there ARE still many subs that cannot tell (&/or don't care, for the extra $$$) the difference between SD & HD. I know that is hard for people like us to believe, but this IS the reality...

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL

But, there are also some HD-only channels Comcast carries. Velocity, MGM, Palladia, Universal, and probably more I forget.



Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3
reply to dishrich

Thought they faded out with the dial up modem Only a matter of time I guess.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:6
reply to telcodad

An excellent article on DTAs on the CED Magazine site today:

CPE: Digital transport adapters expand their horizons
DTAs’ role in the cable operator environment becomes more prominent

By Mike Robuck, CED Magazine - September 28, 2012
»www.cedmagazine.com/articles/201···horizons