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telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to SunnyD

Re: [Content] Report notifications of Limited Basic tier encryption here

OK, thanks, you're the first one to report from the Alabama area.

Subscribers are supposed to be notified about this at least 60 days in advance, usually by a notice in their bill.

SunnyD

join:2009-03-20
Madison, AL
I've checked all of my current and previous bills for the past 9 months (online), and in the news section none of them reference this change. Unless by chance it would have been on a separate insert in the paper bill, we were never notified of the hard changeover date.

Not that I will defend Comcast, but from what I recall since getting them in August of last year (that's when our subdivision got wired up), they stated that it was encrypted and a box would be necessary anyway.

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
reply to telcodad
We got ours in a completely separate (1 page) letter sent to all TV subs...


Dan A

join:2008-01-03
Kendall Park, NJ
reply to telcodad
One glitch with the pace HD DTA is that you get a thin slightly darker then the rest of the screen on the right side of your picture (some people may not even notice it) this is both On the HDMI 2 and coaxel inputs I exchanged the DTA and the replament has the same defect. It's not the TV because you don't see it on the HDMI 1 input for the Pace X1 DVR/XBOX One


utsports

join:2009-07-13
Knoxville TN
reply to telcodad
Meant to post this a few weeks ago, but here are the major Comcast markets in Tennessee that I know so far have encrypted the limited basic tier.

Chattanooga, TN became encrypted on 1/7/14
Nashville, TN became encrypted on 2/25/14
Knoxville, TN became encrypted on 3/4/14

Suiseiseki

join:2006-11-02
reply to SunnyD
said by SunnyD:

I noticed last week as I was trying to browse my one crappy TV that was still directly plugged into the coax that the only channel I got was a Comcast "ad" telling me to get a box from them.

I'm making an assumption then that the Huntsville, AL market finally went dark as of early March, since the little ones would watch cartoons on PBS regularly as recently as a few weeks ago.

Yep, a little earlier this month and then a new converter box shows up randomly today that I have to go return at their service center. They sent it without asking and now I am responsible for it. :/

macnbc

join:2009-01-12
Arlington, VA
reply to telcodad
Notice came down in Northern Virginia with this month's bill. Encryption starts July 27.


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

Notice came down in Northern Virginia with this month's bill. Encryption starts July 27.

OK, thanks for that report.

Since the previous post in this thread was almost 2 months ago, I was wondering if the Comcast systems had finally all gone fully encrypted. This has been going on for about a year now.


PaulGo

join:2005-01-29
Gaithersburg, MD
In my area (Montgomery County, MD) Comcast has not yet encrypted the local channels but it should happen soon since they have just made available HD DTAs.


Chzcat1

join:2012-06-11
Lutherville Timonium, MD
reply to telcodad
Comcast threw the switch on all clear QAM channels here last night around 1am. I'm on the Towson, MD headend.


dlj9999

@76.114.250.x
I'm located in Woodbridge, VA.
This notice was on my May bill: On 07/16/2014, Comcast will start encrypting Limited Basic
service on your cable system.


PaulGo

join:2005-01-29
Gaithersburg, MD
reply to PaulGo
Comcast has now encrypted all channels in Montgomery County, MD.

Tahlyn

join:2004-06-15
Port Saint Lucie, FL
reply to telcodad
Hobe Sound, Martin county, Florida (just north of Palm Beach) was encrypted a couple of months ago. Port Saint Lucie and probably all of Saint Lucie county (which was originally Adelphia territory) will be encrypted starting Sep 3rd according to the letter from Comcast. The letter was received today, July 30th.


Comp Cmndo

join:2003-08-12
PB Cnty, FL
reply to telcodad
Northern Palm Beach County received 30-day notice.
"On 9/3/2014, Comcast will start encrypting Limited Basic service on your cable system."

HDTV's can get HD OTA without paying Comcast any more money.

TV's without DTA's are getting antennas. Old UHF ones work fine if you can find the right position for them. With analog, you could at least see a "ghost image", with digital, it's all or nothing. In my house, putting the antenna as close to the ceiling as possible, works best. I'm about 25-30 miles from most of the broadcast antennas.


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

Northern Palm Beach County received 30-day notice.
"On 9/3/2014, Comcast will start encrypting Limited Basic service on your cable system."

Thanks for the report. I wonder when all of Comcast's markets will be totally encrypted.

As far as indoor TV antennas go, Winegard's FlatWave line appears to be getting good reviews these days: »www.winegard.com/get-free-tv/

Popular Mechanics' recent review of 6 indoor antennas: »www.popularmechanics.com/technol···#slide-1


Comp Cmndo

join:2003-08-12
PB Cnty, FL

said by telcodad See Profile
Thanks for the report. I wonder when all of Comcast's markets will be totally encrypted.

As far as indoor TV antennas go, Winegard's FlatWave line appears to be getting good reviews these days: »www.winegard.com/get-free-tv/

Popular Mechanics' recent review of 6 indoor antennas: »www.popularmechanics.com/technol···#slide-1

We might be one of the last, been expecting this for over a year.

I have that same Wineguard. It's no better or worse than a simple "rabbit ears" or FM flexible dipole antenna of 40 years ago. It is a dipole imbedded into a sheet of plastic. Height above ground seems to be the determining factor, orientation is critical, too. Signal wants to be perpendicular to the rabbit ears or Wineguard flat, which are set at 90deg "V" at 12" length.

Now have 1 flexible dipole attached to a roof truss in the attic; house is single story frame. A 2-port splitter feeds 2 TV's which were connected to a 7-port splitter for the Xfinity service. One TV shows 4-5 bars on the weakest NBC local, the other says "Good". I have a separate 15dB amplifier which made no difference in signal strength.

Might eventually need a small outdoor antenna if & when I get a new roof (epoxy coated steel instead of fiberglass shingle) or just attach a wire to the roof for a really big antenna.

fredthomsen
Premium
join:2011-03-01
reply to PaulGo
Looks like I am still picking up 3 ClearQAM channels. A UMBC channel, the comcast guide channel, and a test with the color bars and constant beep. I was expecting to see a channel which told users they needed to upgrade their equipment.

nysports4evr
Premium
join:2010-01-23
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit
reply to Tahlyn
said by Tahlyn:

Hobe Sound, Martin county, Florida (just north of Palm Beach) was encrypted a couple of months ago. Port Saint Lucie and probably all of Saint Lucie county (which was originally Adelphia territory) will be encrypted starting Sep 3rd according to the letter from Comcast. The letter was received today, July 30th.

I am in Martin County (Jensen Beach) and they are still unencrypted.

EDIT: They are now encrypted.


Comp Cmndo

join:2003-08-12
PB Cnty, FL
reply to telcodad
Eliminated A/B switchbox with bi-directional splitter (most all are this type).
Cable box is simple DTA.
TV is HDTV with 1 coaxial input.
Use TV remote to view OTA TV channels.
Use Xfinity remote for Comcast cable channels; set TV to CH 4
DTA had some interference on cable channels when set on Ch 3, none on Ch 4.
Interference is due to amplifier on antenna. Took amp out to verify.
Am about 25 miles from transmitting antennas (no hills here), so amp helps.

25 years ago, cable companies determined that encryption was not cost effective & it was eliminated. Learn from history or you are doomed to repeat it. Comcast...continue with your encryption...you are doomed.


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

Eliminated A/B switchbox with bi-directional splitter (most all are this type).
Cable box is simple DTA.
TV is HDTV with 1 coaxial input.
Use TV remote to view OTA TV channels.
Use Xfinity remote for Comcast cable channels; set TV to CH 4
DTA had some interference on cable channels when set on Ch 3, none on Ch 4.
Interference is due to amplifier on antenna. Took amp out to verify.
Am about 25 miles from transmitting antennas (no hills here), so amp helps.

Yes, your arrangement eliminates the A/B switch as shown in Comcast's diagram: »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···to-hdtv/

While it avoids having to get up and move the switch between positions, it does, however (as you've found), risk causing an interference issue with any OTA signals on channels 3 and 4.

Later on, Comcast made available HD-DTAs, so that all channels could be viewed in HD (though many, including myself, find the OTA received signals have much better quality than their more compressed versions on cable).


Comp Cmndo

join:2003-08-12
PB Cnty, FL
said by telcodad:

...

While it avoids having to get up and move the switch between positions, it does, however (as you've found), risk causing an interference issue with any OTA signals on channels 3 and 4.

Later on, Comcast made available HD-DTAs, so that all channels could be viewed in HD (though many, including myself, find the OTA received signals have much better quality than their more compressed versions on cable).

I've seen the Comcast diagram before. It used to say that Comcast would provide the A/B switch. When asked, they knew nothing about it.

The interference was not on the OTA signal, but on the DTA signal.

My HOA gets bulk rate plan; Comcast provides 2 DTA's & 1 RNG100 per household. HD-DTA (if available) is extra monthly charge as is any other HD box.


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

said by telcodad:

...
While it avoids having to get up and move the switch between positions, it does, however (as you've found), risk causing an interference issue with any OTA signals on channels 3 and 4.
...

The interference was not on the OTA signal, but on the DTA signal.

Then maybe this Channel 3 Signal Combiner would work better for you than using that splitter (combiner):

Pico Tru-Spec SC-3 Signal Combiner
»www.summitsource.com/pico-macom-···484.html

logger

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

25 years ago, cable companies determined that encryption was not cost effective & it was eliminated. Learn from history or you are doomed to repeat it. Comcast...continue with your encryption...you are doomed.

25 years ago cable companies were scrambling analog TV signals. The term encryption is used with digital TV signals, which were not used 25 years ago.

I suspect that a cable company had to have a separate piece of specialized equipment for each analog signal it scrambled. I suspect that a cable company can encrypt many digital TV signals with a single general purpose computer. Scrambling was not cost effective, encrypting likely is.


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

I suspect that a cable company can encrypt many digital TV signals with a single general purpose computer.

 
While they could do that, in all likelihood, purpose-designed hardware, rather than a general purpose computer, is used for the encryption.


Comp Cmndo

join:2003-08-12
PB Cnty, FL
reply to telcodad

said by telcodad See Profile...

Then maybe this Channel 3 Signal Combiner would work better for you than using that splitter (combiner):

Pico Tru-Spec SC-3 Signal Combiner
»www.summitsource.com/pico-macom-···484.html

The DTA has a channel selector, CH3 or CH4; CH4 has no interference.
RNG100 has no channel selector, haven't tried it, don't how it would work.
It might need a combiner, which I never heard of before. Thanks!
They also have something called "joiners".

Basic science of Merging Feedlines. Been a long time since I studied transmission lines.
»www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/merging.html

This pretty much sums up the link above:
In summary, when a 2-way splitter is used as a combiner,

1. one quarter of the input power is reflected back towards the input,
2. one quarter of the input power is diverted to the other input, and
3. one half of the input power is forwarded to the intended load.

These numbers assume the splitter is 100% efficient.

It might seem worthwhile to search for a combiner circuit that will not cause reflections. But no such circuit exists. An ideal splitter works as well as any combiner ever devised.


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

said by telcodad See Profile...

Then maybe this Channel 3 Signal Combiner would work better for you than using that splitter (combiner)

The DTA has a channel selector, CH3 or CH4; CH4 has no interference.
RNG100 has no channel selector, haven't tried it, don't how it would work.
It might need a combiner, which I never heard of before. Thanks!
They also have something called "joiners".

Basic science of Merging Feedlines. Been a long time since I studied transmission lines.
»www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/merging.html
:
It might seem worthwhile to search for a combiner circuit that will not cause reflections. But no such circuit exists. An ideal splitter works as well as any combiner ever devised.

The way I believe the way the Pico SC-3 works is that there is a Channel 3 notch filter in the "ANT IN" port's path, and then feeds the one side of a 2-way combiner with the signal from the "CH 3 IN" port's path.

Don't know if a splitter loss of 3.5dB (or more) qualifies as "Low Insertion Loss" though.

trollscience

join:2013-12-14
Carrington, ND
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
reply to Comp Cmndo
said by Comp Cmndo:

Eliminated A/B switchbox with bi-directional splitter (most all are this type).
Cable box is simple DTA.
TV is HDTV with 1 coaxial input.
Use TV remote to view OTA TV channels.
Use Xfinity remote for Comcast cable channels; set TV to CH 4
DTA had some interference on cable channels when set on Ch 3, none on Ch 4.
Interference is due to amplifier on antenna. Took amp out to verify.
Am about 25 miles from transmitting antennas (no hills here), so amp helps.

25 years ago, cable companies determined that encryption was not cost effective & it was eliminated. Learn from history or you are doomed to repeat it. Comcast...continue with your encryption...you are doomed.

Cable box channel 3/4 setting may be getting harmonics in 100 - 200 MHz and 600 - 933 MHz range. These boxes could co-interfere with channels 2 and 5 as well. Be careful by using amps. Because it could jam things like radios and wireless telephones due to pests, overheating, and etc..


Comp Cmndo

join:2003-08-12
PB Cnty, FL
said by telcodad:

...
Don't know if a splitter loss of 3.5dB (or more) qualifies as "Low Insertion Loss" though.

I can tolerate a loss of 3.5dB since the antenna amplifier is 15dB feeding a 4-way splitter with -7.0dB loss.

said by trollscience:

Cable box channel 3/4 setting may be getting harmonics in 100 - 200 MHz and 600 - 933 MHz range. These boxes could co-interfere with channels 2 and 5 as well. Be careful by using amps. Because it could jam things like radios and wireless telephones due to pests, overheating, and etc..

There are no signals on channels 2 & 5. The cable amplifier provided by Comcast is +10.0dB feeding an 8-port splitter with 11.0dB loss. Of course, the cable modem bypasses the amplifier via a no loss tap. The -6dB port on the tap feeds the 10dB amplifier. The home run entry line is fed by an amplified pedestal on the street which has been balanced to provide the proper signals at the 8-port splitter & modem line.

DTA Diagnostics can be viewed by holding down Info button on remote for 5 sec.
Power Level is +2.0dB.

HDTV's have signal status measured in bars. It shows 3-5 bars on all channels depending on time of day, weather, etc. Antennas are 2 dipoles in attic with 20 ft separation, 300ohm to 75ohm converters on each feeding a single Tee F-connector to the antenna amp. Didn't see much difference with using 1 or 2 antennas, probably because one is oriented 90deg to the other, since it's flexible & attached to the roof truss. The other is a simple dipole from an old analog TV.


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

said by telcodad:

...
Don't know if a splitter loss of 3.5dB (or more) qualifies as "Low Insertion Loss" though.

I can tolerate a loss of 3.5dB since the antenna amplifier is 15dB feeding a 4-way splitter with -7.0dB loss.
:
... The cable amplifier provided by Comcast is +10.0dB feeding an 8-port splitter with 11.0dB loss. Of course, the cable modem bypasses the amplifier via a no loss tap. The -6dB port on the tap feeds the 10dB amplifier. The home run entry line is fed by an amplified pedestal on the street which has been balanced to provide the proper signals at the 8-port splitter & modem line. ...

Interesting, so then you're using an indoor tap like one of these Blonder Tongue ones: »www.blondertongue.com/shop-by-de···or-taps/

However, I wouldn't call a 6 dB tap "no loss," though while the through port experiences less loss than with a splitter (3.5 dB), a low value (6 dB) tap like that will cost the through port about 2 dB of loss, according to this Blonder Tongue DGT series spec sheet: »www.nsccom.com/productpdfs/btl/DGTseries.pdf


Comp Cmndo

join:2003-08-12
PB Cnty, FL

4 edits
said by telcodad:

Interesting, so then you're using an indoor tap like one of these Blonder Tongue ones: »www.blondertongue.com/shop-by-de···or-taps/

However, I wouldn't call a 6 dB tap "no loss," though while the through port experiences less loss than with a splitter (3.5 dB), a low value (6 dB) tap like that will cost the through port about 2 dB of loss, according to this Blonder Tongue DGT series spec sheet: »www.nsccom.com/productpdfs/btl/DGTseries.pdf

The indoor cable amp, tap, etc, and the outdoor ped amp was all installed by Comcast about 10 years ago before they were scanning for buried line loss. We had a lot of it in this neighborhood (developed 30 years ago) where all was direct burial (i.e., no conduit). Previous provider was Adelphia & a couple more before that. Senior cable TV Tech is now Senior Mgr of all installers & techs in the area. He knows me, I helped him diagnose area issues 10 years ago. I'm not a cable engineer but an electrical controls engineer. His next door neighbor was my co-worker, also an EE.

Every time they would come here to find out what was going on, they replaced the splitters & taps & gave them to me, so I have some spares. They were also in a learning curve about cable modems & computers. I've been working with computers for over 30 years. Am retired now & help people for free.

It would be a directional tap with 1 output. BTW, the 1st link you provided requires registration to view, 2nd link am able to see the pdf specs. The one in use is similar to the DGT. All are in the attic, attached to a vertical roof truss at the access stairway in the garage. My doing, not Adelphia or Comcast, where they would have left all in a pile on the floor. Pile would be too big & convoluted, now. I also added a power receptacle (where there was none) on the vertical truss to power the amps.