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What comcast digital adapter can I buy?

Last response: in Home Theatre
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January 5, 2010 6:14:38 PM

As many of you know late last year Comcast went all digital. I kept the 15-30 Comcast Basic Cable channels, (local broadcast TV stations, plus local government, education and public access channels) but I lost all Expanded Basic channels, like Disney, CNN, Lifetime and 30 to 50 others.

My question is, is there a cable box I can buy, say on ebay, that will get me these channels again?

Thanks.
January 22, 2010 4:19:29 PM

Comcast just sent out a letter. It appears that if you have at least one digital cable box (with on demand support), you can get 2 free Digital Adapters.

One one of my TVs without any Comcast equipment with its built-in ATSC tuner, I'm able to get many of their stations including local HD stations. I think after the new 'network enhancement', I will lose those stations. However, good to know that Comcast is offer free Digital Adapters. It's actually a surprise.
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January 31, 2010 6:48:46 PM

There's another surprise too. Once you install these free adapters (aka DTAs), you won't be able to receive any channels in HD unless you rent a digital box. So the adapter will give you the expanded basic channels back, but it will degrade your experience of local channels that broadcast in HD. Essentially, the DTA converts your HD TV to a conventional picture TV unless you pay Comcast for a box.

Not to mention that the DTA has its own remote control, so you also lose any of the features you get from the manufacturer-provided remote.

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March 12, 2010 10:30:45 PM

Hi,

do you know where can I get both (adopter and the box) outside comcast??

Thanks,

Nick
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March 26, 2010 1:29:23 PM

you don't need a digital box to continue to receive local stations (analog, digital SD and digital HD) that you are now receiving, Comcast has to leave those signals available as part the "Basic" package (which is in every package). If you hook up a converter to the RF on your TV then you will have to add an A/B switch to be able to either see channel 3/4 from the box, or the cable from the wall.
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April 17, 2010 7:32:25 PM

zutomace said:
Hi,

do you know where can I get both (adopter and the box) outside comcast??

Thanks,

Nick

if you find the answer to this please post. i am also looking for both.
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Anonymous
July 11, 2010 4:54:01 PM

Did you ever get an answer about buying your own digital adapter or digital box to get the rest of the extended basic channels?

I'm in the same boat. Will a digital converter box (that the government was giving out coupons for) allow me to get the extended basic channels?

Bruce
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Anonymous
July 20, 2010 12:14:40 AM

Quote:
Did you ever get an answer about buying your own digital adapter or digital box to get the rest of the extended basic channels?

I'm in the same boat. Will a digital converter box (that the government was giving out coupons for) allow me to get the extended basic channels?

Bruce



Even if you did -it is unlikely to work-as the box has to be registered before after you setup-I did one of these for a friend and I had to call Comcast and give the tech the serial number, after verifying the account information etc.
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August 2, 2010 2:14:31 AM

Comcast has total control over the boxes. You have to call to activate it with the serial number. If you buy one, they assume it is stolen and won't activate it. You even have to use their remote. If you want to record, you have to rent their unit for $15.95 per month.

This reminds me of all the anti-trust issues way back when with Ma Bell and the fact that you had to rent phones from them and had no choice of telephone service providers. They would not let you buy a phone, you had to rent them from Ma Bell. That all changed when the government sued them for violation of anti-trust laws. Hopefully, that will happen with Comcast one of these days.
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August 2, 2010 12:17:59 PM

Forget the anti trust, Comcast has competition.
Ask the competition if you can purchase equipment that works for their signals. Direct TV does. not sure about WOW or AT&T.
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November 24, 2010 2:51:11 PM

Actually Comcast has NO competition, the government did not force Comcast to have to share their infrastructure with other companys like they did with the phone companies. Satallite is a different technology and not direct competition.

Comcast tells you they are giving you "AN Enhancement" when actually all they are doing is getting extra money for boxes that are not needed on the newer digital TV's that have ATSC and QAM tuners. They scramble the signal so only their boxes can decode the programming. To sum it up:

Digital Enhancement

Customer gets: Nothing, has to remove wall tv's to install boxes, looses the full functionality of the TV's remote. Looses ease of hookup, cable distribution systems are now useless.

Comcast gets: 1. Free extra bandwith by removing analog programming, 2. Increased revenue for the rental of all those cable boxes. 3. Since these boxes are IP addressable they now know what you watch, how long you watch and can sell this info back to the networks. 4. The only game in town, you MUST get your equipment from Comcast and you will pay for every hookup.

Bottom line: Comcast wins on all counts and the customer gets screwed.
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January 6, 2011 6:13:07 PM

Starnet said:
Actually Comcast has NO competition, the government did not force Comcast to have to share their infrastructure with other companys like they did with the phone companies. Satallite is a different technology and not direct competition.

Comcast tells you they are giving you "AN Enhancement" when actually all they are doing is getting extra money for boxes that are not needed on the newer digital TV's that have ATSC and QAM tuners. They scramble the signal so only their boxes can decode the programming. To sum it up:

Digital Enhancement

Customer gets: Nothing, has to remove wall tv's to install boxes, looses the full functionality of the TV's remote. Looses ease of hookup, cable distribution systems are now useless.

Comcast gets: 1. Free extra bandwith by removing analog programming, 2. Increased revenue for the rental of all those cable boxes. 3. Since these boxes are IP addressable they now know what you watch, how long you watch and can sell this info back to the networks. 4. The only game in town, you MUST get your equipment from Comcast and you will pay for every hookup.

Bottom line: Comcast wins on all counts and the customer gets screwed.



When the money grubbing Comcast came out with the DATs I gotthe two free ones. I needed another and refused to pay the $1.95 per month. I wrote to the FCC. FCC sid that it was not their problem and that I should be glad that Comcast was effectively serving me. Ther eis no cable competition in my County. Comcast has it locked up.
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January 6, 2011 6:23:52 PM

Comcast is really loosing a lot of customers because of the so called Digital Enhancement. When I switched over to Dish Network I had to wait almost 2 weeks for installation. When I asked why so long I was told the installers had more work than time. Apparently, many people in my area also told Comcast where they could stick the boxes and switched.

Since moving to Dish I can honestly say I doubt I would ever switch back to Comcast. I get great HD pictures (for no extra cost) and absolutely no pixelation (which I got after the Digital Enhancement with Comcast)

Dundevil, what is so sad is that even the FCC has the same screwed up attitude and much like other government agencies are useless in doing what is correct for the masses.... Years ago and a much different government this would have never happened.
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February 5, 2011 10:07:43 PM

I have Comcast Basic and internet for which I pay $30 a month. I actually just signed up for high speed internet access but the installer told me that they could not hook up the internet without the cable TV also so, there it was. When Comcast went to the "digital enhancement" I did lose channels but It really doesn't bother me that much. I mainly watch streaming TV, over my blu-ray player or, in my daughters case, her wii console in her room. I use Netflix, which costs $9.95 a month but, as they have no limit on the number of devices which one may have active under one account, several members of my family use the same account and take turns paying the bill. There are actually a couple of free streaming services out there also but you have to watch commercials and they do not have a huge selection to choose from. The only thing I actually use comcast cable for is local programing if I want the evening news. basically, I have "al-a-cart" cable for less than $40 a month with high speed internet included. Sweet.
I got the initial Comcast internet deal by talking to one of their sales reps directly at a Best Buy store and stressing that I was after HS internet access and NOT TV. I purchased a "display model" blu-ray player at Best Buy and it has worked great for over 6 months now. I just had to make sure it could stream Netflix. They come with things pre-loaded, think of them as "apps" but you cannot add new ones after you buy it. Make sure the one you get has everything you want. Wii's can stream Netflix with a free download. You can give it a shot and, like I said, there are a few streaming services which are even free. I do not see the sense in paying a $100, or greater, cable bill every month, mainly for shows I don't even want to watch. I hope this saves someone some ca$h.
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February 6, 2011 12:45:18 AM

netflix is cute for movies.. but there are dozens of shows that we have no access to without having a broadcast provider (satellite or cable)
i'd ditch paying a broadaster too because the selection is pathetic.
but we are all going to have to face distribution costs unless we watch ONLY the local broadcast from the nearest biggest city.

i hope those local stations continue to broadcast free so that they remain connected with the community.
some could say its like a town-hall meeting when watching the news.

i think there are a lot of programs out there that are conceived specifically to make money rather than entertain people.
i would rather listen to a 2nd person say the same thing compared to listening to something totally stupid about hardly anything just to save the entertainment principle.

there is an ideal in place that we will say all that can be said.. and that people wont be satisfied because all of the good stuff is used up already.
and to that i say.. showcase youtube videos and video games and all the small things goin on in the world into an entire television program.
that should help delay all of the precious comedy.

i agree that just because music has many many high potential differences.. using words isnt as easy.
we have to use a lot of words to form a sentence.. music can put two simple things together and repeat them over and over again to create a rhythm.

perhaps we are stupid enough to have 3 channels providing entertainment and 30 channels providing *fill* so that we dont run out of entertainment.
NOW
there are 15 channels providing entertainment and 150 channels providing *fill*

i think there are such a thing called 'genre' that can help keep us entertained as well as motivate us to purchase service from a broadcast provider.

see.. many people will want ESPN for sports.
and this is only one example.

me, personally..
i like dirt bike racing
quad racing
(any motor racing really)

and that means i am willing to watch programs that deal with upgrade parts for these vehicles.
looking back at old classic vehicles and race monsters.
not only parts.. but fashion-fitting these vehicles.
history of events and showcase highlights.

humans as a species has a wide selection of things to do.
and the more we do it, the more we can record it and put it on television for somebody else to watch.
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February 6, 2011 12:54:06 AM

I suppose, if you have to have what passes for modern television shows, you have a point. As for me, I prefer older TV and Netflix does, in fact, have plenty of those. I do just fine.
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February 6, 2011 10:27:42 AM

CoreyR said:
I suppose, if you have to have what passes for modern television shows, you have a point. As for me, I prefer older TV and Netflix does, in fact, have plenty of those. I do just fine.


haha..
i've tried to enjoy older shows, but the video quality from the 1990's is too bad.
i havent even been able to finish the outer limit series.

i really dont see any 'genre' based television shows of the past.
there are categories like comedy and action.. but anything small and inbetween seems to have been lost.

my experience..
the majority of television is nonsense and drama.
trying to watch television for free gives fewer choices and those that do exist are quite poor.

i think it would be nice to have a day so occupied that there is no time for television, except the occasional movie.
then.. if i could squeeze in enough high definition movies to make sense of the monthly fee, i'd be set.

i was a heavy hulu user for a solid year and i was hardly impressed.
but what to expect for free?
i am happy to see that there are people who make entertainment for the sake of viewable content.
its like a band who will play music because they enjoy playing music and wont bother people with other things like money as long as the scheduled date is guaranteed (weather aside).
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February 8, 2011 12:27:22 AM

Dundevil said:
When the money grubbing Comcast came out with the DATs I gotthe two free ones. I needed another and refused to pay the $1.95 per month. I wrote to the FCC. FCC sid that it was not their problem and that I should be glad that Comcast was effectively serving me. Ther eis no cable competition in my County. Comcast has it locked up.


Quote:
Bottom line: Comcast wins on all counts and the customer gets screwed.


That's the crime - there's no competition in so many areas! However, I want to make everyone aware of a class-action lawsuit that is in progress against Comcast and its forcing customers to rent their proprietary equipment to receive cable signals. I have signed on and hope that many, many people will as well.

Here is the law firm that is handling it:

Reference : Plaintiff et al. v. Comcast et. al

John F. Edgar, Partner
Edgar Law Firm
1032 Pennsylvania Ave
Kansas City, MO 64105
(816) 531-0033
jfe@edgarlawfirm.com



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February 8, 2011 8:26:52 PM

being forced to rent hardware to receive high definition channels or use a DVR is not respectable.
i think you can use your own DVR if you have a tuner that can read the signal format.
i dont know if high definition will work on any other box.
they said i HAVE to rent a box that supports high definition.
but just because they didnt say i could purchase my own, that doesnt mean its not impossible.

i would be upset to buy a digital cable box that supports high definition only to find out the box isnt compatible.

i am happy to hear people dont realize comcast pays for those cables strung from pole to pole.
IF they dont pay for 'em.. the county has to pay for them (or the state)
that information is crucial as to whether comcast has any land-line competition using the same cables.

besides, those cables have to plug into hardware and that forces hardware to be seperated with modulation techniques.. and that could make one piece of hardware more expensive to build than the other, which isnt fair at all.

there are options..
cable
telephone cord
satellite

the county or state paying for the hardware to bring each house cable is probably far too much of a burden and would lead to one town having inferior internet than another.
letting comcast do it has allowed all towns to be equal as long as the service is available.

comcast has dedicated resources that can repair or upgrade when necessary.
the county or state would probably have to take out a loan or wait until the money is available.

its a real case of being bad at math and business.

there was talk about using encrypted channels.. another case of bad thinking.
all you need is an ID address to be put on the allowed list.
as long as you have no way of inputting that ID into the allowed list, you have no way of getting illegal broadcasts.

i would go as far as saying.. two people paying half the bill and sharing the cable service is beneficial considering that the two people would not have cable at all if it wasnt for the other person paying the other half of the bill.
simplicity is reason, and comcast would have one less monthly payment being received.

how does it get complicated?
one person getting the cable service absolutely free without paying for it at all.
thats considered using the person who pays for it and doesnt sit well with humane treatment.

as a business.. if comcast wanted to play around and have something 'custom' or 'proprietary' ... it should be within their business thinking that other people shouldnt have to pay extra for that playtime.
money has been made precious.
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February 19, 2011 7:20:23 PM

cyee said:
Comcast just sent out a letter. It appears that if you have at least one digital cable box (with on demand support), you can get 2 free Digital Adapters.

One one of my TVs without any Comcast equipment with its built-in ATSC tuner, I'm able to get many of their stations including local HD stations. I think after the new 'network enhancement', I will lose those stations. However, good to know that Comcast is offer free Digital Adapters. It's actually a surprise.


Yes they are giving a limited amount free. If you need more, they whack you a monthly fee. I have 7 connections now. They will give me 3 connections "free" , I have to rent the rest, that means they are raising my cable bill without it looking like a price increase. They just had a big increase. Now they want more.
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February 20, 2011 1:27:36 AM

I have NO "digital cable boxes" so I just lose channels if i choose not to pay them extra rent every month.
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March 9, 2011 10:18:01 PM

pgmrfixit said:
Yes they are giving a limited amount free. If you need more, they whack you a monthly fee. I have 7 connections now. They will give me 3 connections "free" , I have to rent the rest, that means they are raising my cable bill without it looking like a price increase. They just had a big increase. Now they want more.


Well that does not work if you have a large family and more than 3 TV's and is this offer for new customers only or for your upgrade? How much will it be after ther "promotional period"; they used to run promo's for a year now there all 90 days or six months!
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March 9, 2011 10:19:56 PM

A cc rep told me u could use motorola, PACE, or Thomson DTA's that are compatible ;but couldn't wouldn't tell me where to buy same? Does anybody know where ?
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March 9, 2011 10:22:31 PM

CoreyR said:
I have NO "digital cable boxes" so I just lose channels if i choose not to pay them extra rent every month.


So are you paying for a cc subscription? or using converter box hooked to antenna?
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January 28, 2012 5:21:57 PM

samgold said:
There's another surprise too. Once you install these free adapters (aka DTAs), you won't be able to receive any channels in HD unless you rent a digital box. So the adapter will give you the expanded basic channels back, but it will degrade your experience of local channels that broadcast in HD. Essentially, the DTA converts your HD TV to a conventional picture TV unless you pay Comcast for a box.

Not to mention that the DTA has its own remote control, so you also lose any of the features you get from the manufacturer-provided remote.


*********************************

can i buy? and will comcast activate a cable box? a digital cable box with on demand, not those free dta's ? I can buy a cable modem...but can i buy a cable box in the same manner? thank u
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June 18, 2012 11:00:47 AM

I only pay for internet, not cable or phone. After the switch I was pissed when my "free channels" vanished. But after rescanning available channels, my TV picked up a ton of new channels I didn't have before. I actually got a wider selection via comcast, with just the built in digital tuner in my TV.

Basically from 62.2 to 106.1, with a few coming before 62, I am getting about 25 unique channels(several repeat with no quality difference)

I am now getting free channels I didn't get before the switch, and some channels I couldn't pick up locally due to bad signals. So for me the comcast change was not all bad. It just took me playing around for the last few hours to realize they were there.
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September 10, 2012 2:24:19 PM

Starnet said:
Actually Comcast has NO competition, the government did not force Comcast to have to share their infrastructure with other companys like they did with the phone companies. Satallite is a different technology and not direct competition.

Comcast tells you they are giving you "AN Enhancement" when actually all they are doing is getting extra money for boxes that are not needed on the newer digital TV's that have ATSC and QAM tuners. They scramble the signal so only their boxes can decode the programming. To sum it up:

Digital Enhancement

Customer gets: Nothing, has to remove wall tv's to install boxes, looses the full functionality of the TV's remote. Looses ease of hookup, cable distribution systems are now useless.

Comcast gets: 1. Free extra bandwith by removing analog programming, 2. Increased revenue for the rental of all those cable boxes. 3. Since these boxes are IP addressable they now know what you watch, how long you watch and can sell this info back to the networks. 4. The only game in town, you MUST get your equipment from Comcast and you will pay for every hookup.

Bottom line: Comcast wins on all counts and the customer gets screwed.

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September 10, 2012 2:30:51 PM

Starnet said:
Actually Comcast has NO competition, the government did not force Comcast to have to share their infrastructure with other companys like they did with the phone companies. Satallite is a different technology and not direct competition.

Comcast tells you they are giving you "AN Enhancement" when actually all they are doing is getting extra money for boxes that are not needed on the newer digital TV's that have ATSC and QAM tuners. They scramble the signal so only their boxes can decode the programming. To sum it up:

Digital Enhancement

Customer gets: Nothing, has to remove wall tv's to install boxes, looses the full functionality of the TV's remote. Looses ease of hookup, cable distribution systems are now useless.

Comcast gets: 1. Free extra bandwith by removing analog programming, 2. Increased revenue for the rental of all those cable boxes. 3. Since these boxes are IP addressable they now know what you watch, how long you watch and can sell this info back to the networks. 4. The only game in town, you MUST get your equipment from Comcast and you will pay for every hookup.

Bottom line: Comcast wins on all counts and the customer gets screwed.

I was tired of getting screwed, so I ditched Comcast and ATT went to Best Buy and bought me a $100 outdoor HD antenna. Hooked up my Sony HD tv and we get 26 FREE stations plus netflix. Miss ESPN but what the heck. My CLEAR wireless internet works real well. I can live with this.
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