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wsanders

join:2002-09-18
Lafayette, CA

1 edit

Is Comcast dropping local HD channels in "open QAM"?

This morning all our local stations in HD were gone, except for one. We have "basic" and have been getting them in channels 2-1, 5-1, etc since forever. A lot of the "free" higher-numbered 480i channels went away (or moved) as well. We are in central Contra Costa county, SF Bay Area, and have the "basic" cheapest tier only, basically just locals.)

The Panasonic says "Program not available (error #2)" whatever that means. (A different message from when a channel isn't present, or is encrypted.)

From other threads, looks like this is something they are doing all over, and not a technical glitch. Guess it's time to switch to Direct or Dish. But first - a re-scan.....



camper
Premium
join:2010-03-21
Bethel, CT
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Is Comcast dropping local HD channels in "open QAM"

 
Do the rescan, maybe you'll get the channels back. Around here a rescan was needed once every month or two.

But for the longer term, you have to keep in mind that Comcast is a greedy corporate entity, and will do anything and everything to increase the amount of money it transfers from its customers' checking accounts to Comcast Corporate Coffers.

So if I were you, I would expect Comcast to offer all manner of reasons why it is beneficial for you to pay an additional monthly fee in order to continue to be able to watch the local channels you now receive in HD.


The Q

join:2008-06-26
Collegeville, PA

said by camper:

 
But for the longer term, you have to keep in mind that Comcast is a greedy corporate entity, and will do anything and everything to increase the amount of money it transfers from its customers' checking accounts to Comcast Corporate Coffers.

I thought most for-profit companies were in business to provide maximum return for their shareholders? Or is that unique to comcast and car dealers?


fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA
reply to wsanders

Last year in Atlanta when they were doing the digital remapping, I had to rescan frequently. Some channels would completely disappear for a day or so, then reappear. Once it was all settled, they've stabilized and the local HD channels are still present. I only get the "Broadcast Basic" package as well.
--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1


The Q

join:2008-06-26
Collegeville, PA
reply to wsanders

said by wsanders:

From other threads, looks like this is something they are doing all over, and not a technical glitch. Guess it's time to switch to Direct or Dish. But first - a re-scan.....

Do Direct or Dish differ HD channels in open QAM (with no box required)?

neufuse

join:2006-12-06
James Creek, PA
reply to wsanders

Our local in the clear QAM HD's last year went all encrypted... yes our locals are encrypted.. only the SD version are unencrypted



wsanders

join:2002-09-18
Lafayette, CA

1 recommendation

reply to The Q

> I thought most for-profit companies were in business to provide maximum return for their shareholders?

YOU MUST BE NEW HERE

Yeah, after a rescan the HD channels are mostly there, but randomly scattered all over.

TV is not finding any channels greater than 266-1. Is that a feature of my TV and/or is anyone on Contra Costa finding any channels open, like in the "800's" as others have described?

The Panasonic is really annoying, when you scan it appends channels to the previous list rather than clearing the old ones out. I even get multiple entries for the same channel, like 3 entries for 7-1, only one of which works. You have to do a factory reset to clear out the old channels.


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

1 recommendation

reply to The Q

said by The Q:

Do Direct or Dish differ HD channels in open QAM (with no box required)?

OR...do they offer a "limited basic" (locals only) tier???

(actually, DISH does offer a "Welcome Pak" w/locals & about 20+ cable channels f/$20 a month. However, you cannot get this pkg & get promos (re: FREE equipment/install) as a new sub; you have to buy your equipment upfront.
Also, while you DO get any locals available in HD at no extra charge, you CANNOT get any of the HD versions of the included cable channels in that pkg, nor can you opt to pay the extra $10 HD fee to get them, either.

»www.dish.com/entertainment/packages/welcome/

DirecTV doesn't offer anything comparable...


wsanders

join:2002-09-18
Lafayette, CA

1 edit

At least with Direct or Dish you get a box with HDMI output. The only digital converter box Comcast offered us for free only had NTSC and CH3/4 modulated output.

Also, we have Xfinity at work with the "pay extra" HD upgrade; the HD channels are OK but all the SD channels look like they are being transmitted over a 9600 bps modem. I get better pictures on Youtube.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:5

said by The Q:

Do Direct or Dish [o]ffer HD channels in open QAM (with no box required)?

AFAIK, "Clear QAM" is not provided by direct broadcast satellite services, such as Dish Network and DirecTV, due to the nature of the signals [from the satellite dish(es)/LNB(s)] that are used by them.

said by wsanders:

At least with Direct or Dish you get a box with HDMI output. The only digital converter box Comcast offered us for free only had NTSC and CH3/4 modulated output.

HD versions of those digital adapter boxes (DTAs), with HDMI outputs, are starting to be rolled-out by Comcast now:
»HD DTA's coming "soon"
»[DTA] What DTAs is Comcast acquiring that are brand new

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

2 edits
reply to wsanders

said by wsanders:

At least with Direct or Dish you get a box with HDMI output.

NOT always; depends on which equipment you buy, &/or depending on equipment requirements for you particular local market.

EG: On DirecTV, in our market, you DO get all HD receivers as standard equip, since those are required to get our local channels. But in other markets, unless you pay for HD, you ONLY get SD receivers/equip for FREE, that do NOT have HDMI outs.

On DISH, in our market, HD receivers are NOT required, & hence are NOT always a standard install. DISH is still VERY much installing SD (only) receivers to this day. However, in other (Eastern Arc) markets, you DO get HD receivers standard.

Bottom line - don't make blanket statements, that are NOT fact...

The only digital converter box Comcast offered us for free only had NTSC and CH3/4 modulated output.

You DO realize that neither DISH, DirecTV, U-verse, or FiOS have ANY such "FREE" (monthly) boxes.
AND in case you didn't realize - since you ARE a CC limited basic sub, you CAN get a full HD box for only $2.50 each, & you DON'T even have to pay the additional "HD tech" fee, either.

Each extra receiver from any of the above competitors start at, at least $6/month+ - so $2.50 for a full HD box sounds like a bargain to me...


joe94553

@pacbell.net
reply to wsanders

I had the exact same problem. I had schedule shows on 5.1 to be recorded through my TiVo – and when I checked – the TiVo said it here wasn’t a signal on the 5.1 channel. I decided to check a connection direct to my digital TV – the TV could no longer receive local channel 5.1

I did a rescan on my TiVo HD and it added some new channels and duplicated a few like 7.1, 7.2. 7.3 Then I deleted the OLD TiVo Channel 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and selected the new – I was able to see all the 7.x channels again. However I found I still could not get 5.1 or 2.1 – but could get 202.1 (fox) 205.1 (cbs)

I also did a rescan on my HDTV; I was able to see all the 7.x channels again. – It still could not get 5.1 but got 205.1 for CBS, and 202.1 (fox) – I guess you just have to hunt through the QAM channels till you find what you want.

I think COMCAST is pretty bad making this sort of change to paid subscribers without publishing the new QAM Lineup channels. There is a law that requires cable companies to include Local HD TV Channels as unencrypted channels – or also known as QAM Channels – I guess switching these channels without notice is COMCAST way of playing with their Basic Cable subscribers – if they keep that up, maybe the can make the number 1 most hated company – I believe they are already in the top 5


SpHeRe31459

join:2002-10-09
Sacramento, CA
kudos:2

Unfortunately, Comcast's FCC waiver lets them encrypt everything including the rebroadcasts of locals.

»blogs.seattletimes.com/brierdudl···-locals/

And Comcast has never officially supported clear QAM, they've never provided proper (or consistent) channel tables, etc. It's always been a "you can try clear QAM with no guarantees" sort of thing.



joe94553

@pacbell.net

Well if that's true, I cant stop them encrypting all QAM - but the minute they do that - then, they cant stop me from dropping cable altogether - and that is exactly what I would do - drop my cable subscription - these games COMCAST plays are petty for a company its size - blocking local QAM channels, or switching the QAM Local channel numbers, are all part of those petty games.. And why would they stoop so low - they do it because they can .. sooner or later that game plan will fall apart ...

There are plenty alternatives these days for basic TV service -- HuluPlus - though owned by Networks and Comcast - they have to follow rules - and if they figure out a way around the rules, there is always FREE Over the Air TV - HDTV antennas are getting better every year, and somehow they get around that, there is always Netflix making more and more of their own content, and now Amazon has started making its own TV pilots.

Maybe COMCAST should stop being so greedy, and stop treating their customers like crap because they feel they can get away with it - as they say - "what goes around comes around" .. I believe in the not so distant future, they wont always have the monopoly they have now.



rico

@comcast.net
reply to joe94553

said by joe94553 :

I had the exact same problem. I had schedule shows on 5.1 to be recorded through my TiVo – and when I checked – the TiVo said it here wasn’t a signal on the 5.1 channel. I decided to check a connection direct to my digital TV – the TV could no longer receive local channel 5.1

I did a rescan on my TiVo HD and it added some new channels and duplicated a few like 7.1, 7.2. 7.3 Then I deleted the OLD TiVo Channel 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and selected the new – I was able to see all the 7.x channels again. However I found I still could not get 5.1 or 2.1 – but could get 202.1 (fox) 205.1 (cbs)

I also did a rescan on my HDTV; I was able to see all the 7.x channels again. – It still could not get 5.1 but got 205.1 for CBS, and 202.1 (fox) – I guess you just have to hunt through the QAM channels till you find what you want.

I think COMCAST is pretty bad making this sort of change to paid subscribers without publishing the new QAM Lineup channels. There is a law that requires cable companies to include Local HD TV Channels as unencrypted channels – or also known as QAM Channels – I guess switching these channels without notice is COMCAST way of playing with their Basic Cable subscribers – if they keep that up, maybe the can make the number 1 most hated company – I believe they are already in the top 5

There is not law like that. COmcast does not have to give you HD Local channels in clear QAM,

mariod

join:2009-06-16
reply to joe94553

said by joe94553 :

there is always FREE Over the Air TV - HDTV antennas are getting better every year, and somehow they get around that

Actually Fox and other networks are now threatening to kill OTA transmissions.


joe94553

@pacbell.net
reply to rico

Actually there was a law until the cable companies complained to the FCC and got a ruling late last year in 2012 to get around it -- and "give" is the wrong word - when the law was in affect, you still had to be at least a paid basic subscriber to get unencrypted Local channels on the QAM lineup


SpHeRe31459

join:2002-10-09
Sacramento, CA
kudos:2

said by joe94553 :

Actually there was a law until the cable companies complained to the FCC and got a ruling late last year in 2012 to get around it -- and "give" is the wrong word - when the law was in affect, you still had to be at least a paid basic subscriber to get unencrypted Local channels on the QAM lineup

Technically the FCC can't make law, just regulations.


joe94553

@pacbell.net
reply to mariod

I am quite aware of that possibility - but from a survey from last year - there were 54 million people who view TV through over the air antennas - so doing that would force them to pay for a service they were getting for free ---

And as I said above in another comment - there are other alternatives other than selling your soul to the greedy cable providers - there is Netflix and Amazon producing their own content - you don't need a cable company for that..

Also, TV is not like it used to be years ago when it was the main form of entertainment in the home - today there are video games, Blu-ray players, Facebook, Twitter, IPhones, IPads, IPods, tablets, laptops, the internet, etc... With all those alternatives - the cable companies may continue to ignore them and keep irritating customers - but those customers will have places other than TV to go for entertainment - it's happening now and with technology changing everyday - the list of alternative entertainment to Cable TV is growing


jcm4242

join:2012-12-12
Nokesville, VA
reply to wsanders

All of my local (Prince William County, VA) HD locals went away this morning. Rescanning only picked up the PEG channels and the local ABC and CBS affiliates, apparently in SD (picture was letterboxed on my HDTV). I'm a little surprised that the NBC affiliate was gone. Perhaps that is the way the transport side of NBCUniversalXfinityComcast makes sure the content provider side makes money, or vice-versa...



wsanders

join:2002-09-18
Lafayette, CA

Scan again if you haven't already. All our local channels are there now, but the formerly orderly mapping of "analog" channels to QAM channels (2 to 2-1, 7 to 7-1, 36 to 36-1, etc) is gone and replaced by random number: 2 is on 6-2, 5 is on 6-1, 36 is on 117-1, etc.