[mythtv-users] FYI: Comcast basic cable in clear QAM

Patrick Mansfield patman at aracnet.com
Fri Jul 10 16:46:05 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 11:27:25AM -0400, Nathan Ford wrote:
> A friend of mine has Comcast cable and told me today that Comcast has
> started providing basic cable channels as clear QAM. There is no PSIP data,
> so you may need to manually build a channel map, but it is there. This is in
> the greater Boston area, so dunno how nation wide the change is. I did a
> quick search of the list to see if this information had been posted before,
> but didn't find any results, so hopefully this isn't old news.

Note that for *limited basic* cable (the cheapest you can get), they are
moving the channels to clear QAM on frequencies that aren't filtered, but
once that's done they are moving to frequencies that are blocked by a line
filter. I don't know why they phased the change like that. On avsforums,
they say "relocation of channels to the 60s and 70s", I don't know what
that means, must be somehow related to specific QAM frequencies.

In Portland, OR zip 97210, I had the clear QAM channels for about 3
months, and then about June 26 they stopped showing up - AFAICT, they are
not encrypted, just no signals for them anymore.

Check out this post:

So, if you have limited basic cable (not the digital starter package),
you'll get the channels for a few months, but not forever.

I also read (and don't know if its true) that the filter blocks
frequencies used by comcast's internet traffic, so if you have comcast
for your ISP, they might have to remove the filter.

It's not worth it to me to pay an extra $60 for those channels, when there
was about one show (South Park) that I wanted to watch - though my spouse
is not happy that we no longer get Ace of Cakes :-/

And even then there are no extra HD channels ... you have to pay +$40 or
so to get those. $100 month for cable??? I'd rather pay a bit more for
multiple netflix rentals (I really need a bluray solution).

-- Patrick Mansfield

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