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Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit

[Cumberland] Analog Expanded Basic Channels Out

Pretty much everything above 23 is out, with the exception of very few channels. People here are complaining via Facebook about it. Because I pretty much avoid the analog channels, I didn't notice any problems myself.

The phone message is misleading in that it claims digital channels are out. These are not digital channels, but it is long overdue to make them such. I'm just glad that the rep didn't try and tell me that ABB was all-digital.

The moral of the story is that equipment failed that should not be used any longer. There was no significant storms here to cause issues like what happened in late June with power outages. Of course, during that storm, those who maintained power and had DirecTV had no service interruptions.

Another embarrassment for Atlantic Broadband's TV service.


Mountaintech

join:2003-05-30
Cumberland, MD

2 edits
said by Os:

Pretty much everything above 23 is out, with the exception of very few channels. People here are complaining via Facebook about it. Because I pretty much avoid the analog channels, I didn't notice any problems myself.

You would not have seen a problem if you were watching the analog channels above 23

said by Os:

The phone message is misleading in that it claims digital channels are out. These are not digital channels, but it is long overdue to make them such. I'm just glad that the rep didn't try and tell me that ABB was all-digital.

Technically the phone message was correct because it was the digital channels above 23 and a couple channels below 23 that were out. So if the rep did tell you we are all digital they would be correct it would just depend on what equipment you had.

said by Os:

The moral of the story is that equipment failed that should not be used any longer. There was no significant storms here to cause issues like what happened in late June with power outages. Of course, during that storm, those who maintained power and had DirecTV had no service interruptions.

Actually the equipment that failed was only about 3 months old and from a reliability stand point I'll take the older equipment over any new stuff any day of the year.

As for the power outages you must of gotten lucky because we had major brown outs up my way.

said by Os:

Another embarrassment for Atlantic Broadband's TV service.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US
reply to Os
I was without power for 2+ days. My cousin who lives right across the border lost no power, and DirecTV was working fine. Those who maintained power and had ABB had nothing.

You're not all digital. We still have 76 analog channels.


Mountaintech

join:2003-05-30
Cumberland, MD
That storm I was out for 4 days we have a lot of power issues up my way, but in regards to that storm that cut through the county a lot of area's still had power and they still had full ABB service.

I got family all over this area from Hyndman to Fort Ashby and a bunch of part in between and only one that was out was me. So you can't make a lump statement like that.

Yes we still have 76 channels that are analog so the plant is not all digital but those same 76 channels are being sent out in SD format because we are simulcasting. So depending on the equipment you could be watching all digital channels and not really know it.

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Everyone I know who had power was waiting for their cable and internet. And that goes for both in MD and WV.

So then when are those 76 analog channels going to finally be killed off? The conversion happened almost 2 years ago in Uniontown.

JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
I just noticed his simulcasting comment above?

Do you see digital QAM versions of your analog channels in your area? That would be great if so... of course I don't see anything like that in Altoona.

I'd love to be able to put my analog tuner cards to rest. I can never match the quality of a TV tuner or STB with them.

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Unless that's a very recent change, I've never seen that to exist here.

JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
reply to Mountaintech
Mountaintech,

What do you mean by simulcasting? A digital and an analog version of the same channel?

I know in my area the DVR that I have with ABB that is one of the newer Cisco branded ones, still receives analog on the first 76 channels.

Jim

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast
By simulcasting, he means that there is an analog and a digital version of the channel. People with digital equipment see the digital channel. This is very common with Time Warner Cable, but takes up a lot more bandwidth without Switched Digital Video (SDV).

And ABB is issuing Cisco boxes in Altoona? The old old old cable boxes of the early 90's were Scientific Atlanta here under TCI, but everything in the digital cable era has been General Instrument/Motorola.

JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
I'm familiar with what the simulcasting is. I just never saw it with ABB in any area other than Uniontown. I was hoping maybe that it was the start of something in another area, like yours, that would end with analog going away in more places. With MountainTech mentioning the simulcasting, we may have uncovered something going on. I wasn't sure if he was referring to that or something else.

They're still using those old Scientific Atlanta boxes here with the same guide and menu setup from the 90's that Charter introduced.

The HD boxes are hybrids of those old boxes with the same guide and menu that run at better resolutions. The latest is the Cisco Explorer 8652HDC, I believe.

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast
Well heh, I learn something new everyday. There's no Cisco/SA anything down here anymore. I wonder if this has affected some of the transitions. I know Comcast had a much longer wait to go all digital in its Cisco areas (which were largely inherited from Adelphia), but have now accelerated those areas beyond the Motorola areas.

What guide is it running? Everything down here runs TV Guide On Screen iGuide. The first DVR's here ran the Passport Echo guide (Motorola boxes), but that disappeared somewhere along the way.

The DVR's now run the same guide as the other boxes.

JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
»www.atlanticbb.com/pdf/Residenti···2012.pdf

Check out pages 9-10 and 13 in the PDF on this link. You can see where they're showing two different "systems." We have the one on the left on page 13.

I'll have to check at home what it's actually called. I don't remember.


Mountaintech

join:2003-05-30
Cumberland, MD
reply to Os
JimmyK, Osraven is correct on his description of simulcasting and it does take up extra bandwidth but not as much as you would think.

This allows a slower and a lot less intrusive roll out to customers of eventually turning the plant into a all digital system.

As for box types Uniontown, Kingwood, Altoona, Johnstown, Miami, are all S/A (Scientific Atlanta) systems that use S/A boxes.

All the others are Motorola like Cumberland, MD/DE, Aiken, all the northern PA systems and the rest of the WV use the GI/Motorola boxes.

Hope that helps.

JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
Thanks,

I never realized there were two different types of systems, but that makes sense if different areas were purchased from different companies over time.

Do you know if Altoona/Johnstown will be simulcasting anytime soon? I am a fan of Windows media center and use it for my DVR. I hate the quality I get from the analog tuners, but the digital ones are always beautiful. I wish I could find one that had the same quality as a tuner in a TV or the set top box... but even the best rated ones seem to be lacking.

Jim

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit
reply to Mountaintech
If everything is being simulcast, 76 analog channels, depending on how many SD's you put on a QAM, at the minimum takes 6 (If you're doing 14 per QAM, Comcast has put this many on 1 QAM) to as many as 13 QAM's.(if you're doing 6 per QAM).

That's anywhere from 12-39 HD channels, depending on the number of QAM's used, and whether you do 2:1 or 3:1. That, to me, is a significant amount of bandwidth. I could easily fill a request list at the top end of that.

Were some things moved around in the HD's? I've noticed my previous problems with FX HD have all but disappeared. It was at 843MHz before.

And how slow are we talking a transition? Cable companies going all digital has been happening for 4 years now. To say we're a little behind is an understatement.

JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
I have a Silicon Dust tuner with a CableCard. I've only ever noticed once back in December, quite a few channels got moved around as far as frequency and the true digital channel numbers. It took me a while to remap them back to the guide.

Ever since then, I see some of the HD channels freeze and stutter from time to time even though my signal strength seems perfect and I don't see any CRC errors... almost like they squeezed too many into a QAM.

I was thinking about 10 SD channels per QAM and about 5-6 QAMs thinking they might not bother with the channels below 23, at least at first.

While it would be a waste of bandwidth, I'm thinking when the analog channels went away is when we would see more HD channels.

Have you gone searching for the digital versions of the lower channels?

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast
I don't have any way of doing that except in the diagnostic menu, but I will go one at a time to try and do a QAM map for Cumberland.

Now knowing this about digital simulcasting, that's why I've held off doing the HTPC thing, maybe now it's time to get in on that. I hate not being able to record anything, but I'm not paying for an ABB DVR, especially after the horrible experiences I had with them. I went through at least 10.

JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
I went through two of the older HD-DVR's, and one of the newer ones over the course of about 8 months. They all went out a little differently. The lady behind the counter scolded me on the last one, insisting that if it happens again, she will have to send a tech out rather than have me return it because the cable line must be causing them to go bad. She was kind of mean about it, as if she personally owned the boxes.

So I ended up getting a CableCard. They were able to activate it in seconds over the phone, which shocked me after the stories you read online about the horrors.

HTPC's are not always a picnic. Sometimes I miss the simplicity of the cable box... but the interface makes it worth it. I stocked up on 2TB drives before the floods raised the prices.. so I have an 8TB array that shows like 4,200 hours of HD or 52,000 hours of SD.

Of course I use that for other things as well. How much TV could you possibly record!

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast
That's just nothing but an attempt at more $.

I'm going through, and nothing appears to be digital on my box. TV Guide (ch 2) comes in at 57MHz, TBS (ch 24) comes in at 225MHz, USA (ch 25) comes in at 231MHz.

I'll have to screw the cable out of the wall, and see what happens.

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Os
Screwed the cable into the TV directly, and it is simulcasting, but only the limited basic channels. Here's what I got.

80-4 WHAG NBC SD (12)
80-5 WJZ CBS SD (13)
80-6 WMPT PBS SD (11)
80-11 HSN (22)
81-1 C-SPAN (19)
81-3 WNPB PBS SD (6)
81-6 Jewelry TV (99)
81-7 WJAC NBC SD (17)
81-8 WWPX ION SD (4)
81-9 INSP (21)
81-12 C-SPAN 2 (18)
82-1 WJLA ABC SD (7)
82-3 WDCA My SD (3)
82-4 TV Guide (2)
82-5 ACC TV (97)
82-6 CBS SD (9/16)
82-7 CBS SD (9/16)
82-8 WDCW CW SD (10)
82-9 WWCP FOX SD (98)
82-10 WTTG FOX SD (5)
82-12 Message Channel (20)
83-1 Local Weather (8)
83-5 QVC (14) - This looks almost HD
83-9 WJAL Ind SD (15)
83-10 EWTN (23)
88-18 Music Choice Gospel
90-42 PPV Previews

110-13 CBS HD (709/713/716)
111-3 WJLA ABC HD (707)
112-302 WMPT PBS HD (711)
112-304 WTTG FOX HD (705)
114-48 NBC HD (712/717)
122-7 WWCP FOX HD (708)
122-9 NBC HD (712/717)
122-10 WNPB PBS HD (706)
123-11 WWCP FOX HD (708)
123-12 CBS HD (709/713/716)
123-15 CBS HD (709/713/716)
126-13 WDCA My HD (703)
127-22 WDCW CW HD (710)
128-16 Antenna TV (151)
128-17 This TV (152)

I didn't take time to see which one was WUSA, WJZ or WTAJ, but they were all there.

But I can see that 4 QAM's are being used just for the limited channels, and that the HD's are now clumped 3:1 in some cases now. Considering it doesn't look like we're getting any more channels right now (unless some people have some news), so I hope this doesn't compromise picture quality too much.

JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
I was hoping that the digital channels would get assigned to the matching channel numbers... like:

12 = 12-1
13 = 13-1

Reason being that you could still use a TV tuner built into the TV and easily navigate channels once the analog ones are gone. Do you know if the QAMs require the encompassed channels to be on specific channel numbers related to the QAM frequency or could they just change the channel numbers at will? I'm not sure if it is like ATSC where they have a real channel number, and then the virtual number. I would think they could use whatever channel they want so the channels could be placed in QAM's more efficiently. I know it wouldn't matter with the STB's because they can map those however they want.

It could be that they'll reassign them if they stay in the clear, or else start requiring DTA's or set tops for every single TV... which would be unfortunate.

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast
No, it wouldn't.

ABB deserves to take money from the idiots with HDTV's who want to watch Stretch-o-Vision.

What they can do is have the QAM number be designated, and the secondary number be a virtual number associated with the channel number. I've seen some companies do that. For example, channel 5 would be 97-5.

JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
This is kind of what I am referring too..

»www.fpb.cc/LinkClick.aspx?link=292&tabid=290

This is something out of Kentucky.

My Mother likes stretch-o-vision better than HD. She is so used to it that she thinks the people are too skinny on the HD channels. LOL

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit
Stretch-o-vision makes me physically ill. Seriously, if you want stretch-o-vision, why'd you get rid of your 4:3 analog TV?

SD channels look worse on any HDTV than any old analog.

I would expect anything beyond limited to be encrypted anyway, that's standard protocol, requiring the DTA.

I don't know what equipment picks up the digital simulcast of the expanded basic channels, but my Motorola HD box doesn't. Since the limited basic stuff is in digital, the death of analog should soon be near for us here in Cumberland. There's just no reason to continue it. And then slam us with the HD channels. Each new digital area got more unique channels, and seemed to raise the bar, I hope we'll do the same.

Clearing out 76 QAM's would leave us plenty of room to have everything available in HD. At 2 a QAM, that's 120 HD channels, leaving 16 for increased internet speeds.

No news in the latest bill here of anything, sadly.

JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
I agree with you. I'm amazed how good analog can look on the older TV's.

I would hope that they leave the value channels unencrypted since they already are, but you're probably right. Needing a DTA on a TV with a digital tuner seems like such a waste.

Maybe they have various equipment with different channel mappings, where your equipments map is still pointing to the analog channels. I guess it would be hard to tell without a sampling of equipment.

I did a rescan here to see if I would find anything. We don't have any channels being duped with a digital version yet. I didn't find anything other than the local HD channels, plus MeTV and THIS a total of 9 channels. We only have one HD local for each network unlike you with two or three.


Mountaintech

join:2003-05-30
Cumberland, MD
reply to JimmyK814
That is possible but the reason why we don't is that all channels are not equal in the amount of data they push.

Action movies and sporting events push a lot more data then regular programs and shows. So we want to spread then out with the other shows so we can use the least amount of compression.