[mythtv-users] My falling out with comcast: they're "banning" direct connections

Gary Buhrmaster gary.buhrmaster at gmail.com
Thu Sep 13 19:56:23 UTC 2012

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 6:40 PM, Wes Hardaker <wjhns176 at hardakers.net> wrote:
> So, I turned on both TVs with the same result: one could,
> one couldn't.
>   "Ok sir, please unplug the cable from your box".
> To which I replied:
>   "I don't have a box.  There are only basic local channels, so the
>   cable goes directly into the TVs"
> Pause...
>   "Oh, that has been banned and you are no longer authorized to do that.
>   You need converters or set-top boxes.  We can send you D2A converters
>   if you like, or you can rent set-top boxes".

I suspect this CSR is confused.  Comcast *IS* eliminating all the
analogue channels in a (slow) process across the country.  Your
location may be the winner this week (I have already gotten the
notice that it will happen soon in my area).

For anyone still using analogue (only) TV's, you will need one of
their DTAs or STBs.  "Banned" is certainly not the words that
should have been used.  I believe they are calling it reclamation
(since they want to use those ~30 channels for digital content).

As of *now* (that may change with the FCC rules process which
will allow encryption of basic(*)(**)) clear QAM of the basic channels
should work in almost all markets, although you may need to
re-scan (as they are moving the digital channels around after
they reclaim the analogue ones).

I suspect this lack of CSR training has lost Comcast a customer
which they did not have to loose.  Some re-training may be in order.
On the other hand, not being tied to the cable can have advantages.


(*) There are a couple of markets that have waivers to allow
the scrambling of even basic basic.

(**) The agreements to move forward with encryption of basic/basic
require the MSO to provide "free" (or almost "free") DTA's or CableCARDs
for a few years (after which they can charge some nominal ~$1-2/month

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