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Will comcast encrypt their digital signals?

Last response: in Home Theatre
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March 1, 2010 8:25:18 PM

Hello,

I'm thinking of buying a digital tv tuner/encoding solution like a silicon dust HD HomeRun. I can get comcast or satelite TV service in my neighborhood. Comcast is on the verge of phasing out the analog channels here in the Kansas city area. I'm worried that once they go all digital that they will encrypt their signal and only their proprietary rental boxes will work with the cable system. What can I do?

I don't feel like Shelling out big bucks for rental boxes and I want more control and features than what are available on the Comcast DVR solution.
March 4, 2010 9:33:51 PM

amcurtis1 said:
Hello,

I'm thinking of buying a digital tv tuner/encoding solution like a silicon dust HD HomeRun. I can get comcast or satelite TV service in my neighborhood. Comcast is on the verge of phasing out the analog channels here in the Kansas city area. I'm worried that once they go all digital that they will encrypt their signal and only their proprietary rental boxes will work with the cable system. What can I do?

I don't feel like Shelling out big bucks for rental boxes and I want more control and features than what are available on the Comcast DVR solution.


As Wolf mentioned, a cablecard-enabled DVR would be your best bet if they do encrypt. However I'm not sure they will. I have 3 HDTVs and dropped Comcast's DTV service last year since they kept billing me for 2 STBs when I only had one, and I have been able to watch all the SD & HD unencrypted channels - something like 45 of them here in the Washington DC area. Only problem is that Comcast periodically moves the channels around so that I have to rescan every few months - something of a PITA with 3 TV's :) .
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March 15, 2010 6:10:03 PM

I was just told that within the next couple months, they will begin encrypting all digital channels. When that happens, you will HAVE TO HAVE one of their adapters to receive anything. Bummer...
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March 15, 2010 8:48:10 PM

Garner49 said:
I was just told that within the next couple months, they will begin encrypting all digital channels. When that happens, you will HAVE TO HAVE one of their adapters to receive anything. Bummer...


In that case I'll look into a rooftop antenna & amplifier for broadcast DTV. Comcrash charges me over $60 a month for analog cable, which is mainly a load of shopping channels & other assorted garbage. Will have to buy DTV tuners for my analog TVs however..
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April 30, 2010 5:09:43 PM

I have TiVo premire HD box. Comcast offers a decoder card for it. I get all that comcast has to offer in DT and HD. I cannot do pay for view or on demand, but I do not have to use thier rental box. The TiVo Premire also has Blockbuster set up to rent downloadable videos in HD at $3.99 per. Also Netflix works on a montly subscription. And you can get content from Amazon.com. I have been a TiVo customer for years and the new Premire is great. I am working on getting away from comcast and soon I will be getting my shows from the internet. The Premire box allows for a additional T.V. antenna hook-up also.
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April 30, 2010 5:52:02 PM

^ Sounds good. I noticed that Verizon is *finally!!!!!!!!* laying their FIOS cable in my immediate neighborhood - have only been waiting something like over a decade now :p . And my stinking Comcast bill just went up to $111 for basic TV plus the lowest 6Mbps Internet service.

I will gladly wave both middle fingers at Comcast as I bid them an unfond adieu and either jump to FIOS or OTA digital broadcasts, just as soon as I can. IMO, Comcast has gone out of their way to alienate me as a customer, with absolutely terrible customer service: When I was a bit younger and considerably more foolish - i.e., several years ago :p  - I actually signed up for Comcast's basic digital service since I had just bought an HDTV. So my monthly bill jumped up by $15, but there was an additional $20 for "digital TV". I called the local office and complained, only to be told that "digital service" did not actually include any digital cable channels which were extra. When I asked to speak to a manager the idiot customer "service" rep hung up on me. I finally got that straightened out (had to go online and use the "chat" feature to get somebody who knew anything), but then I noticed Comcast billing me for 2 STBs when I only had the one freebie that came with the digital service. Finally got that straightened out too, only to find the same charge appearing on the next month's bill. Got that one straightened out when - you guessed it - the next monthly bill had the same bogus $4 charge on it. So that's when I canceled my "digital service", returned the actual plus bogus STB to the local office, and went back to basic analog.

I seriously think Comcast does this stuff on purpose in an attempt to bamboozle, swindle & cheat their customers who don't look closely at their monthly bills. This is probably why they were just voted as the "worst company in the United States", with AT&T a close second.

/rant off :D 
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