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Ken_H

join:2004-03-15
Canton, MI
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 edits

1 recommendation

[Comcast Equip] Comcast HD DTA review - plain jane version with no guide. Yet.

Here's the bottom line first - For $1.99 a month, what do you expect?

Pros
Box is very small
Comes with RF remote that also operates TV (box can be hidden out of sight and still be controlled by remote)
HD image quality is indistinguishable from other Comcast HD boxes
It's cheap

Cons
No guide, program info, clock, or most other standard menu options
No On Demand (this was expected, no big deal)
No premium channels, Sports & Entertainment Package, most non-premium movie channels (Sundance, Encore, MGM, etc.)
Also, missing some Digital Preferred tier channels

This evaluation was done in Comcast service areas in Canton, Northville, and Plymouth, MI.

Once the box is activated you're instructed to hit the Xfinity button on the remote, which brings up the 'Setup' menu of 5 items:

- Audio Language lets you select the available languages from the channel you're viewing
- Locks Setup lets you select a PIN, and select individual channels to lock or unlock
- Closed Captioning lets you select the standard CC options; analog, digital, and font size
- HDMI Setup lets you select Aspect Ratio and Output Resolution
- Remote Control lets you pair the remote with the box, set the remote to ignore pairing requests, turn off IR, and gives battery level as a percentage.

Interestingly enough, while in Setup mode there is a PIP of the current channel in the upper left corner and sound is on all the time, which allows not missing a moment of the program you were watching while making changes.

When changing channels, a small light blue box appears on the right side of the screen with the channel number (1, 2, 3, or 4 digits) in white, and below the number the channel name in black. There are 7 digits available for the channel name, the rest get chopped off. For example in the Detroit TV market the CBS station call letters are WWJ so the channel name reads "WWJ CBS", all the other local stations have 4 call letters so for example the ABC station reads "WXYZ AB", the NBC station "WDIV NB", etc. Takes a little getting used to.

When using the remote keypad you must select a channel number that you receive or the box remains on the channel you were previously watching. It does not figure out the general channel number range you want and tune to the next closest channel.

Remote Info, model XR2 version 1 - »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···-remote/

The remote is the same as is being used on the X1 platform.

Setup menu pics, although slightly different because the pics are from a standard DTV, not the HD DTA - »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···en-guide
(PLEASE NOTE - The Remote Help, SmartBar, TV Listings Guide Grid View, and Program Information are not available on the HD DTA version being used in my area. As noted in other topics here at DSL Reports, Comcast is testing these features in limited service areas at this time.)

Channel changing time is about the same a standard HD box.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:3

[Comcast Equip] Re: Comcast HD DTA review - plain jane version with no guide. Yet.

Thanks for your HD-DTA review, I just picked one up myself last week: »[Content] HD DTA

Biggest con for me is the lack of a channel guide (for now).

dishrich See Profile had previously provided a nice technical review of one when his area was one of the first to get them back in May: »[Comcast Equip] HD-DTA's are here in Springfield, IL - a review



mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV

Note: Our HD DTA devices currently do not have an On-Screen Guide, so the remote buttons that access guide features will not function. An On-Screen guide is coming to our DTA devices in the near future

from the Comcast page above.



Good Ol Dan

join:2000-05-15
Naples, FL
Reviews:
·Earthlink Cable ..
reply to Ken_H

Re: [Comcast Equip] Comcast HD DTA review - plain jane version with no guide. Yet.

Good for you guys who can get these. Comcast is stonewalling about HD-DTA availability in South Florida... not available, no ETA. Of course... they're more than happy to rent you as many "standard" HD STBs as you want a $9/mo each.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:3

said by Good Ol Dan:

Good for you guys who can get these. Comcast is stonewalling about HD-DTA availability in South Florida... not available, no ETA.

It took the longest time for us to get them in this area of NJ also, but when I recently received my official encryption notification »Re: [Content] Report notifications of Limited Basic tier encryption here , I checked my local Comcast office again and they finally had them in stock.

I believe the supply of HD-DTAs is limited, so they are only making them available in areas that are becoming fully encrypted.


puckhater

@lightpath.net

I just got one in Mercer County this past Saturday. Box works great but took 2 different calls to Comcast to get it activated. I was on with the first person for almost an hour and she was useless. Finally she tried to transfer me to someone else but I was disconnected. When I called back, I got a different person who got it activated in 5 minutes.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:3

said by puckhater :

Box works great but took 2 different calls to Comcast to get it activated. I was on with the first person for almost an hour and she was useless. Finally she tried to transfer me to someone else but I was disconnected. When I called back, I got a different person who got it activated in 5 minutes.

Yeah, it took me two different CSRs to get mine to work also.

When the second one's attempts first failed, she then said "let me check your account." She said she found that while the HD-DTA was added to my account, it was not authorized to receive any channels. Once she set the correct "rate code" for it, it finally activated.


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

I just got my HD-DTA yesterday, got it connected and did the online activation. It seems to be working, however, all the channels are still SD. I have it connected via HDMI to my TV, I configured it for 16:9 and "Auto". My TV shows that it is in 1080i mode, but all the channels are still shown in SD. Note, I only subscribe to Limited Basic, getting just the local broadcast channels. But shouldn't they be in HD?
--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:3

said by fuziwuzi:

I just got my HD-DTA yesterday, got it connected and did the online activation. It seems to be working, however, all the channels are still SD. I have it connected via HDMI to my TV, I configured it for 16:9 and "Auto". My TV shows that it is in 1080i mode, but all the channels are still shown in SD. Note, I only subscribe to Limited Basic, getting just the local broadcast channels. But shouldn't they be in HD?

Yes, as a Limited Basic subscriber, you should be able to receive the local broadcast channels in HD. Sounds like your account has the wrong "code" on it.

See this section of dishrich See Profile's HD-DTA review thread: »[Comcast Equip] HD-DTA's are here in Springfield, IL - a review

mrschultz02

join:2007-09-10
Media, PA
reply to fuziwuzi

said by fuziwuzi:

I have it connected via HDMI to my TV, I configured it for 16:9 and "Auto". My TV shows that it is in 1080i mode, but all the channels are still shown in SD. Note, I only subscribe to Limited Basic, getting just the local broadcast channels. But shouldn't they be in HD?

2 things:

Don't use auto, you will get 4:3 with black bars on all channels. It's stupid but auto is a "legacy" mode, for true HD you have to set it to one of the HD resolutions.

Are you tuning to an HD channel? Here if the SD channel is 3 the HD channel is 803. If your box is skipping the HD channels call or chat with them and get the box configured correctly for limited basic. I had to do that last weekend...


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

Have been on the phone with a very clueless Comcast "tech" who really doesn't know what the H I'm talking about. First she says I must have an HD-DVR before I can get HD channels. When I explain that I have a new HD-DTA, she has no idea what that is. Then I try to describe what I want (the HD channel for the local broadcast channels), somehow she thinks I'm wanting HBO. She keeps saying, "you must subscribe to HBO before you can get that channel." I asked to speak to a supervisor, but there wasn't one available. I hung up and called back. Got a guy this time, but he was equally clueless. After keeping me on hold for nearly 20 minutes in total, and sending three "update codes" to the DTA with it still not tuning in the HD channels, he tells me "you must subscribe to premium channels before you can get HD." I give up. I'm just going to Best Buy and getting an antenna.
--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
reply to telcodad

Re: [Comcast Equip] Re: Comcast HD DTA review - plain jane version with no guide. Yet.

said by telcodad:

Thanks for your HD-DTA review, I just picked one up myself last week:

How were you able to just pick one up. I was Comcrapted on twice regarding the Digital Transport Adapters. First of all I have Digital Premier Service so I should be treated as a POSH subscriber but I am not. When I tried to obtain DTA's in early 2012 I was told that they were not yet available. I finally received the "two free DTA's" in July 2012. I was initially told when I ordered them that there would be no charge for them as long as I maintained service. In January of 2013 Comcast began billing me $1.99 per month for each DTA. When I protested the charge the representative told me that I received the use of the DTA's free for one year. I stated that I received the DTA's in July 2012 so I should not be charged for the DTA's until July of 2013. I even had the rep look up the date the DTA's were received and confirmed that I received them in July of 2012. She told me she could not adjust my bill which is the same thing as telling me to F.O.

I just found that HD DTA's are available in this area, so I called Comcast main number on February 19 and asked if they could replace my standard definition DTA's if I returned the standard definition DTA's to the Leesburg, Florida service center. I was told by the Representative that the HD-DTA's were in stock at Leesburg and all I had to do is to return the old ones to them and that they would be replaced at no charge. I drove the 13 miles to the Leesburg Service center. I presented the old DTA's to the clerk at the counter and asked for the new ones. I was told that Comcast did not have HD-DTA's and I would have to rent two HD STB's for $9.95 per month. When I asked the representative about the availability of HD-DTA's she demonstrated unlimited incompetence. She did not even know that there were HD DTA's available. I returned home and called Comcast's main number. I spoke to a representative and was told that the only way to obtain HD-DTA's was to have Comcast ship them to me for a fee of $9.95 and then pay to ship the old one's back.

I really do not want to go the mail order route because if I return the old equipment by common carrier, someone in the receiving department will inevitably screw up crediting my account for the returned DTA's and I will have to be tormented by Comcast as many other subscribers are as described in threads in this forum, to receive credit. Can anyone reading this post suggest a way to avoid being misled by Comcast's incompetent employees?


telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:3

said by Mr Matt:

said by telcodad:

Thanks for your HD-DTA review, I just picked one up myself last week:

How were you able to just pick one up?

I had been stopping by my local Comcast office for the past year asking about them, but was always told that they were not available.

Then like I said, since our area was notified recently about having our Limited Basic tier encrypted, I decided to check at the office again and now they had them.

But that's in this market, and YMMV [which unfortunately in your case it did. ].

said by Mr Matt:

... I spoke to a representative and was told that the only way to obtain HD-DTA's was to have Comcast ship them to me for a fee of $9.95 and then pay to ship the old one's back.

I really do not want to go the mail order route because if I return the old equipment by common carrier, someone in the receiving department will inevitably screw up crediting my account for the returned DTA's and I will have to be tormented by Comcast as many other subscribers are as described in threads in this forum, to receive credit.

I don't blame you. I try to return equipment at the local office so I get a receipt.

mrschultz02

join:2007-09-10
Media, PA
reply to fuziwuzi

Re: [Comcast Equip] Comcast HD DTA review - plain jane version with no guide. Yet.

said by fuziwuzi:

I give up. I'm just going to Best Buy and getting an antenna.

Have you tried going into chat on the Comcast support page? Worked for me, took a few minutes of questions before he asked for the serial number on the HD DTA, then a few more minutes for the signal to go out and the box reset.

Tell them the HD DTA is skipping the HD channels, (I gave the range it was skipping), and as a limited basic subscriber you are supposed to get them.


PaulGo

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

Try sending an email to: We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com
They can usually help and get your HD-DTA coded with the correct codes to get HD.


Ken_H

join:2004-03-15
Canton, MI
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Mr Matt

Re: [Comcast Equip] Re: Comcast HD DTA review - plain jane version with no guide. Yet.

said by Mr Matt See Profile
How were you able to just pick one up.

I had a choice, either an office that's close or sent via USPS. I picked USPS and they showed up in a few days.

But if you want to return equipment it doesn't matter how you got it; just drop it off and get a receipt. Assuming you have a close by C* office.

Ken_H

join:2004-03-15
Canton, MI
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Ken_H

Re: [Comcast Equip] Comcast HD DTA review - plain jane version with no guide. Yet.

Here's an update.

The box seems to have a very slight delay when changing channels. Otherwise, it works as I described above.

The other interesting thing is that a few of the HD channels in my tier, Digital Preferred, are in the channel lineup but say I'm not authorized; e.g DIY HD, Sprout HD, HUB HD, Disney FX, National Geographic HD. On the other hand, there are a number of the more recently added Digital Preferred channels that are available; e.g. Oxygen HD, UP HD, ID HD, BBC America. Which HD channels you get must have something to do with how CMC distributes HD channels. I think.


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

3 edits

said by Ken_H:

The other interesting thing is that a few of the HD channels in my tier, Digital Preferred, are in the channel lineup but say I'm not authorized; e.g DIY HD, Sprout HD, HUB HD, Disney FX, National Geographic HD.

The reason why you are seeing them on DTA's is because those few channels, are not only in Preferred, but ALSO part of the Family tier. (but are NOT in Starter)
You probably will also see this happen with a few of the Latino channels that are in Preferred; it's because they are ALSO part of the Latino tier. (again, but NOT in Starter)
The same thing also applies for any/all Sports & Entertainment channels; if they ALSO appear on other (lower) tiers of service, they you'll get them on the DTA's - otherwise they won't.

But the problem in our case w/these HD channels, is that the HD versions of these channels are NOT even in the DTA channel maps. And since you CAN have HD service on these other (lower) tiers, I don't understand why the HD versions should not ALSO work on the DTA's!
Are you saying you CAN actually punch in these HD channels, & the channel actually comes up on the DTA?

It's the same thing in our area & which I posted in my review; however, it was only after I got a new channel lineup last weekend, that I figured out exactly WHY it's happening. So unless any of the other Preferred channels get added &/or moved to lower tiers, I doubt we'll be seeing any other Preferred channels on DTA's.

said by Ken_H:

there are a number of the more recently added Digital Preferred channels that are available; e.g. Oxygen HD, UP HD, ID HD, BBC America.

You need to get an updated channel list for your area; however, these same channels were recently moved up into the Starter tier in many markets (they were in ours & other Central areas) - hence why you ARE getting them now. Has NOTHING to do w/how CMC distributes them...


puckhater

@lightpath.net
reply to Mr Matt

Re: [Comcast Equip] Re: Comcast HD DTA review - plain jane version with no guide. Yet.

As TelcoDad says, I was trying my local office about once a month or so until they finally had them. I was actually in the office to exchange a remote and decided to ask. I had no luck trying to order one through support.


Dan A

join:2008-01-03
Kendall Park, NJ

1 edit

I picked up HD DTA for my TV's PIP In in my basement (Because encryption is coming in a few weeks). Though i easily able to activate it I still am waiting for anything HD or beyond limited basic services to be authorized after being on the phone with Comcast. Currently the SD DTA i a upstairs in a bedroom gets a lot more channels then the HD one.



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

Re: [Comcast Equip] Comcast HD DTA review - plain jane version with no guide. Yet.

On the 5th call, and 9th person I spoke with, after a total of over 2.5 hours pleading and explaining and listening to the hold music, I finally spoke with Ricardo, a tech who was actually in Atlanta. He knew exactly what the issue was, put the correct flag on my account (he said it was right on the front page, he didn't know why nobody else I spoke with didn't see it), the HD-DTA reset itself and immediately could tune the HD channels it was supposed to tune.

It shouldn't be this difficult. I shouldn't have to go to extraordinary measures just to get the service I'm supposed to get automatically.
--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:3

said by fuziwuzi:

On the 5th call, and 9th person I spoke with, after a total of over 2.5 hours pleading and explaining and listening to the hold music, I finally spoke with Ricardo, a tech who was actually in Atlanta. He knew exactly what the issue was, put the correct flag on my account (he said it was right on the front page, he didn't know why nobody else I spoke with didn't see it), the HD-DTA reset itself and immediately could tune the HD channels it was supposed to tune.

Wow, congrats on finally getting your HD-DTA to fully work.

In my case, I struggled to get mine to just get activated until one CSR noticed that my unit wasn't "authorized to receive any channels" and put on the correct "rate code."

said by fuziwuzi:

It shouldn't be this difficult. I shouldn't have to go to extraordinary measures just to get the service I'm supposed to get automatically.

Totally agree. Hopefully this is happening only because these HD-DTAs are relatively new, and the process will go smoother as time goes on.

Dan A

join:2008-01-03
Kendall Park, NJ
reply to fuziwuzi

I called back after waiting over an hour (as the first guy i talked to told me) and nothing happening. Woman i was talking to discovered that the rate code for my account had to be added by billing to the new DTA. She transferred me to billing and repeated what she had told me and the guy was able to fully activate the DTA.



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:3
reply to dishrich

said by dishrich:

said by Ken_H:

The other interesting thing is that a few of the HD channels in my tier, Digital Preferred, are in the channel lineup but say I'm not authorized; e.g DIY HD, Sprout HD, HUB HD, Disney FX, National Geographic HD.

The reason why you are seeing them on DTA's is because those few channels, are not only in Preferred, but ALSO part of the Family tier. (but are NOT in Starter)
You probably will also see this happen with a few of the Latino channels that are in Preferred; it's because they are ALSO part of the Latino tier. (again, but NOT in Starter)
The same thing also applies for any/all Sports & Entertainment channels; if they ALSO appear on other (lower) tiers of service, they you'll get them on the DTA's - otherwise they won't.

Sounds like what Ken_H See Profile is seeing is described on this "Digital Adapter Enhancement FAQs" page: »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···ancement
quote:
What channels will my digital adapter service include once the enhancement is complete?
It depends on the level of service to which you subscribe to on your primary outlet. Our customers receiving Digital Economy, Family Tier, MultiLatino or MyTV Choice (select markets) will see most of the same channels that they receive on their primary outlet (excluding premium channels, XFINITY On Demand and levels above Digital Starter).
:
Will I see any other changes after the enhancement has occurred?
You may see a “Not Authorized” message when you tune to a channel that is not part of your service package.

Who will this enhancement affect?
Our customers with Digital Economy, Family Tier, MultiLatino or MyTV Choice (select markets) and Digital Adapter Additional Outlet service.

Ken_H

join:2004-03-15
Canton, MI
Reviews:
·Comcast

quote:
You may see a “Not Authorized” message when you tune to a channel that is not part of your service package.
The ones I got the 'Not Authorized' message for are all part of the package I'm paying for.

Dan A

join:2008-01-03
Kendall Park, NJ

You have to get in touch with a Comcast billing rep on the phone so they can add you accounts "rate code" to the HD-DTA.


mrschultz02

join:2007-09-10
Media, PA
reply to Ken_H

Friend of mine that also has limited basic got 2 HD DTAs Saturday morning, after more than a day and over 4 hours in chat and on the phone he finally has the HD channels. Guess I got lucky with only needing 10 or 15 minutes in chat to get them turned on.

Do they set the code properly for anyone with limited basic? I don't think I've heard of anyone that didn't have to contact them just to get the HD channels that are listed right on Comcast's own channel guide as being part of the limited basic package...


BobJustBob

join:2014-03-04

quote:
Do they set the code properly for anyone with limited basic?
I'm in the same boat as the others who have had to call multiple times in order to get HD with limited basic. I just completed my third phone call. The first two times, the CSR's were polite and claimed they would activate HD on my local channels, but nothing ever happened. I note that these CSR's were obviously from a foreign call center. Tonight I got connected to what seemed to be a local call center. This time, the CSR seemed much more knowledgeable. I mentioned getting the correct "rate code", and she seemed to know what I meant. However, she insisted that I will have to pay $9.99 per month to get HD, even on just the local channels. Since this is not what others have experienced with their HD-DTA's, I told her "No thanks" and hung up. I wonder if I am ever going to be able to get my local channels in HD with these HD-DTA's.

mrschultz02

join:2007-09-10
Media, PA

said by BobJustBob:

However, she insisted that I will have to pay $9.99 per month to get HD, even on just the local channels. Since this is not what others have experienced with their HD-DTA's, I told her "No thanks" and hung up. I wonder if I am ever going to be able to get my local channels in HD with these HD-DTA's.

You should have told her to check again, the HD fee does not apply to limited basic.

Unless some local franchises are different, but I have not heard of that being the case anywhere.
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