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heymang

join:2008-07-03

[DTA] Are DTA boxes with HD coming out any time soon?

I have Digital Economy, I use to be able to pull all the channels I paid for with my HDTV's QAM tuner until Comcast decided you needed one of their boxes to be able to view anything.

Once I hookup the DTA box which they now require, there goes my HD network channels. I assume Comcast will eventually start encrypting the HD network channels as I can't get the SD versions anymore via clearQAM so even splitting your line between a direct connection and DTA connection may not work forever. Does anyone know if and when they'll offer DTA boxes with HD output?


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
Well, according to an article on the CED Magazine site back in August (»www.cedmagazine.com/news/2012/08···loyments), Comcast was supposed to be in a field trial with the HD-DTAs and planned to have them deployed sometime "later this year."

There was a discussion about them in this previous thread: »Re: [DTA] What DTAs is Comcast acquiring that are brand new


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
reply to heymang
Out of the 3 TVs in my house, only one is HD. The rest are SD.

At least the HD boxes/equipment have outputs for both HD and SD.


halfband
Premium
join:2002-06-01
Huntsville, AL
reply to heymang
Standard DTAs were intended to allow the use of old analog TV sets. HD channels (both component and HDMI) for HDTVs are already supported by HD set top boxes. The HD DTA is primarily targeted at customers who want to get basic or a limited number of HD channels. It is unlikely you will see mass deployment of HD DTAs for anything but the most limited TV tiers as HD boxes already perform that roll.
--
Registered Bandwidth Offender #40812

heymang

join:2008-07-03
I went ahead and ordered the two free DTAs. The rep did mention they will have HD DTAs in the future but he did not have a specific date.

It was strange he told me HDTVs with QAM tuners did not need a DTA to receive the basic channels, I guess he's operating off old information.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
said by heymang:

It was strange he told me HDTVs with QAM tuners did not need a DTA to receive the basic channels, I guess he's operating off old information.

No, he's probably correct. Unless Comcast was granted an FCC waiver previously for a particular area/system, they have only been able to start encrypting their digital basic service tiers as of Monday (Dec. 10th), and that is only after providing the required 30 days advance notice.

See: »Re: Say goodbye to ClearQAM

heymang

join:2008-07-03
He's definitely not correct as I'm using an HDTV with QAM tuner now and I do not get all the basic channels. If you subscribe to their lowest service, limited basic, you will still need a DTA to view all the channels even if you have an HDTV.

In my area they start encrypting the basic channels a couple weeks ago. I receive zero channels on my old analog set now. With the HDTV's QAM tuner, I get some channels (local networks in HD) while others are now encrypted (local networks in SD, Discovery channel, etc.). I imagine those channels I'm getting via clear QAM will eventually be blocked too.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
said by heymang:

He's definitely not correct as I'm using an HDTV with QAM tuner now and I do not get all the basic channels. If you subscribe to their lowest service, limited basic, you will still need a DTA to view all the channels even if you have an HDTV.

The definition of "Limited Basic" for Comcast is the local OTA broadcast stations along with some local government and education channels: »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···c-cable/

Unless Comcast had already received a waiver for your area/system, those local broadcast channels should not have been encrypted yet.

said by heymang:

In my area they start encrypting the basic channels a couple weeks ago. I receive zero channels on my old analog set now.

You're not confusing the digital migration (elimination of all analog channels) with encryption are you? After Comcast's digital migration in an area, all older TVs with only NTSC analog tuners must use some kind of box to get any channels off the cable: »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···igration and »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···m-tuner/

said by heymang:

With the HDTV's QAM tuner, I get some channels (local networks in HD) while others are now encrypted (local networks in SD, Discovery channel, etc.)

The requirement was that cable companies not encrypt the channels carrying the local broadcast stations' signals. Since most of those stations transmit only in HD, any SD versions that Comcast may be providing themselves, and other cable channels (like Disney, Discovery, etc.), were/are allowed to be encrypted.

said by heymang:

I imagine those channels I'm getting via clear QAM will eventually be blocked too.

Yes, it appears that's just a matter of time now: »Re: Say goodbye to ClearQAM

heymang

join:2008-07-03
said by telcodad:

The definition of "Limited Basic" for Comcast is the local OTA broadcast stations along with some local government and education channels: »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···c-cable/

Unless Comcast had already received a waiver for your area/system, those local broadcast channels should not have been encrypted yet.

In my area, Limited Basic includes more channels than just those you mentioned. For example Discovery, Ion, and TV Guide channel, are advertised as limited basic channels. Ion is not yet encrypted over QAM though yet.

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL
reply to heymang
said by heymang:

I went ahead and ordered the two free DTAs. The rep did mention they will have HD DTAs in the future but he did not have a specific date.

Unless you have BASIC service, the DTA's will not be free. Most new users now have to pay $1.99 each, and Comcast is eliminating grandfathered free DTA pricing.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to heymang
said by heymang:

said by telcodad:

The definition of "Limited Basic" for Comcast is the local OTA broadcast stations along with some local government and education channels: »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···c-cable/

Unless Comcast had already received a waiver for your area/system, those local broadcast channels should not have been encrypted yet.

In my area, Limited Basic includes more channels than just those you mentioned. For example Discovery, Ion, and TV Guide channel, are advertised as limited basic channels. Ion is not yet encrypted over QAM though yet.

Yes, Discovery and TV Guide channel are not local OTA broadcast stations, while Ion most likely is and that's why it's still provided in Clear QAM.

heymang

join:2008-07-03

1 edit
reply to andyross
said by andyross:

Unless you have BASIC service, the DTA's will not be free. Most new users now have to pay $1.99 each, and Comcast is eliminating grandfathered free DTA pricing.

I have Digital Economy, I was told and my bill reflects no charge for the two DTAs.

logger

join:2012-06-14
Carmel, NY
reply to telcodad
said by telcodad:

Unless Comcast had already received a waiver for your area/system, those local broadcast channels should not have been encrypted yet.

Even if the channels are not encrypted yet, a cable system can foul-up the digital signal configuration in a way that prevents a TV with a QAM tuner from being able to reliably tune to at least some of the channels. The local Comcast system did it. I reported the problem. After many months they partially fixed the problem, later undid the fix, and lost me as a customer.

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL
reply to heymang
said by heymang:

said by andyross See Profile
Unless you have BASIC service, the DTA's will not be free. Most new users now have to pay $1.99 each, and Comcast is eliminating grandfathered free DTA pricing.
[/BQUOTE :

I have Digital Economy, I was told and my bill reflects no charge for the two DTAs.

I think you are correct. My latest bill has a new (higher) price list, and it does state 'Digital Starter or higher' for the $1.99 price.

heymang

join:2008-07-03
said by andyross:

I think you are correct. My latest bill has a new (higher) price list, and it does state 'Digital Starter or higher' for the $1.99 price.

I didn't know Digital Starter and higher weren't eligible for the two free DTAs anymore. So much for thinking having a higher level of service would entitle you to the same perks us lower tier guys get.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
Yeah, this is the notice that Comcast was providing in many areas: »Re: [Bill] Comcast DTA

And this is the notice that was printed in my own bill:
Effective Jan 1, 2013, the monthly price for Digital Adapter Outlet service on the first 2 additional outlets for customers with a minimum video subscription of Digital Starter, will change from No Charge to $1.49 per outlet. In addition, subscribers will be charged a separate equipment charge of $.50 per month for each Digital Adapter that is utilized on these outlets. Prices exclude applicable taxes and fees.

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

1 edit
said by andyross:

I think you are correct. My latest bill has a new (higher) price list, and it does state 'Digital Starter or higher' for the $1.99 price.

said by heymang:

I didn't know Digital Starter and higher weren't eligible for the two free DTAs anymore. So much for thinking having a higher level of service would entitle you to the same perks us lower tier guys get.

Yep, we just got the same notice down here, except ours simply indicates NONE of the pricing on DTA's for limited basic, family & digital economy subs is changing. (ie: first 2 DTA's are still FREE; additional DTA's are still only .50 each) Look under the rate section called VIDEO EQUIPMENT & you'll probably see the same thing we got.

Amazing that the subs spending (WAY) MORE $$$ on the (base) service, now ALSO get to spend more $$$ on the equipment for that service - even thought it's the EXACT, SAME equipment for any of those service levels.

Oh yea, & NOT only do Digital Starter+ subs get to now pay for their (2 FREE) DTA's - they also jacked up the price $1 on full digital boxes ("digital outlets") to $10, AS WELL AS jacking the HD fee up to the same amount! I think the people at CC that are making these rates up are on crack!


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to telcodad
Looks like Comcast is finally starting to deploy the HD-DTAs now:

Comcast deploys HD DTAs, ponders TR-069
By Mike Robuck, CED Magazine - December 19, 2012
»www.cedmagazine.com/blogs/2012/1···s-tr-069
Comcast has started a phased deployment of HD digital transport adapters (HD DTAs) in subscribers’ homes ahead of ultimately having the devices across its entire footprint.

Back in August, Comcast’s Steve Reynolds, senior vice president of CPE and home networking, said the cable operator was in the process of wrapping up a large-scale trial of HD DTAs prior to deploying them in customers’ homes this year.

Reynolds said then that the HD DTAs represented the last piece of its analog-to-digital conversion, which is known internally as “Project Cavalry.” Comcast expects to have the all-digital project wrapped up by the end of next year, which includes the rollout of HD DTAs from vendors such as Pace, Technicolor, Motorola and Evolution Digital.
:
Comcast spokeswoman Jenni Moyer confirmed that the HD DTA deployments were underway but didn’t provide any additional details.

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL
My only issue is that my bedroom TV only has one HDMI port and I also have a BD player (mostly used for Netflix). I guess I either have to find a cheap switch, just swap cables all the time, or get a new TV.

SpHeRe31459
Premium
join:2002-10-09
Sacramento, CA
kudos:2
said by andyross:

My only issue is that my bedroom TV only has one HDMI port and I also have a BD player (mostly used for Netflix). I guess I either have to find a cheap switch, just swap cables all the time, or get a new TV.

Wow only one HDMI port? Sounds like an old cheap LCD I had circa 2005.

Monoprice is your friend for good but inexpensive HDMI products...
This little 2-port HDMI switcher is only $13
»www.monoprice.com/products/produ···format=2


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to andyross
Yeah, my 24" LCD HDTV only has one HDMI input also, so I picked up this 2-to-1 switcher last year at RadioShack for $30: »www.radioshack.com/product/index···=3928058
It works fine for me, but according to the user reviews on it, a lot of people have problems with it.

Amazon seems to have a number of nice but inexpensive HDMI switches, like this one: »www.amazon.com/Ultra-High-Perfor···015YWKYY

SpHeRe31459
Premium
join:2002-10-09
Sacramento, CA
kudos:2
reply to telcodad
said by telcodad:

Looks like Comcast is finally starting to deploy the HD-DTAs now:

Comcast deploys HD DTAs, ponders TR-069
By Mike Robuck, CED Magazine - December 19, 2012
»www.cedmagazine.com/blogs/2012/1···s-tr-069

Comcast has started a phased deployment of HD digital transport adapters (HD DTAs) in subscribers’ homes ahead of ultimately having the devices across its entire footprint.

Back in August, Comcast’s Steve Reynolds, senior vice president of CPE and home networking, said the cable operator was in the process of wrapping up a large-scale trial of HD DTAs prior to deploying them in customers’ homes this year.

Reynolds said then that the HD DTAs represented the last piece of its analog-to-digital conversion, which is known internally as “Project Cavalry.” Comcast expects to have the all-digital project wrapped up by the end of next year, which includes the rollout of HD DTAs from vendors such as Pace, Technicolor, Motorola and Evolution Digital.
:
Comcast spokeswoman Jenni Moyer confirmed that the HD DTA deployments were underway but didn’t provide any additional details.

Too bad all they'll say is that they've deployed them some where, but no regions and no timetables for other areas....

Almost more interesting is the little bit about TR-069, that kind of management over IP protocol could go a long way to quicker and easier remote troubleshooting for cable companies. Imagine quickly provisioning a self-install kit and having real two-way feedback about the status of the equipment and authorization status. The current method for cable boxes seem pretty slow because it uses the OOB channel I presume.

heymang

join:2008-07-03
reply to telcodad
Any idea if you will need to be subscribed to HD with Comcast to be eligible for these HD DTA boxes? I'm thinking of the situation where someone only has Limited Basic and just wants to watch the local networks with their HDTV and Comcast.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
I believe that, after the HD-DTAs become widely available, they will be the only units that will then be provided to customers, and the older SD-only units will be phased-out.

As the HD-DTAs are equipped with both HDMI and Channel 3/4 RF outputs (see: »www.motorola.com/staticfiles/Vid···2011.pdf), I would think that if you don't pay the per-account "HD Technology Fee," Comcast will not add the HD channels to the HD-DTA's channel map and will disable its HDMI output. In that case, only the SD Channel 3/4 RF output will work and it would then act like an SD-DTA.