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Comcast HD Cable Stinks!!!!!!!


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Kage

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Posted November 24 2003 - 02:37 PM

Today, I got Comcast HD Cable installed and it has about 5 channels. The problems I noticed on my tv with Comcast HD Cable are: 1) 4 black bars surroungs the image on 3 channels. 2) Audio dropouts 3) A mosaic type garbage appearing every 20 minutes on the HD channels 4) On HBOHD the picture quality is a little worse than my Denon DVD-1600. 4) ShowTime HD does not look like HDTV quality

I am going to call Comcast tomorrow and cancel my HD service and go back to digital cable.

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted November 24 2003 - 03:35 PM

I have HD Comcast on 2 set and it looks fine i see nothing you report what type of TV are you using.
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#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Diallo B

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Posted November 24 2003 - 04:16 PM

What Dave said.
listen with your own ears...
watch with your own eyes...
make your own decision.
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#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted November 24 2003 - 04:58 PM

I use Comcast standard cable. About 3-4 weeks ago NBC started having some weird crackily audio problem that annoys the HELL out of me. First tech said I have very good ears and he wouldn't have noticed it if I didn't point it out. Second tech said he couldn't hear it at all (wasn't there when he visited).

Neither were able to help me, I guess I'll try my luck with DirecTV. Goodbye to $39.99 cable internet a month. Posted Image

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Tim K

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Posted November 24 2003 - 05:02 PM

Quote:
Today, I got Comcast HD Cable installed and it has about 5 channels. The problems I noticed on my tv with Comcast HD Cable are: 1) 4 black bars surroungs the image on 3 channels. 2) Audio dropouts 3) A mosaic type garbage appearing every 20 minutes on the HD channels 4) On HBOHD the picture quality is a little worse than my Denon DVD-1600. 4) ShowTime HD does not look like HDTV quality


5 channels? What city are you in? I'm in Philadelphia and with Comcast HD I get:
ABC
NBC
PBS
ESPN
HBO
SHO
INHD1
INHD2
Fox ("enhanced widescreen for some events)

So I get 8 (assuming you pay for Sho and HBO), with more to come I am sure. The only pay HD channels not currently offered are HDNET and Discovery HD. When stations like UPN and WB start broadcasting more than one show a week, I am sure Comcast will carry their signals too. CBS is the only holdout as there are negotiations with CBS parent VIACOM.

As for the "black bars". Perhaps you are not familiar with digital broadcasts and your cable box. First, not all digital broadcasts are HD. These stations have analog and digital channels. Most of the time the digital channel carries the exact same broadcast as the analog, but in digital form...this does not mean HD. Only select NETWORK broadcasts on the big 3 are HD. Mostly primetime lineups and some sports. All other broadcasts on the digital channels will be 4:3 standard definition broadcasts. When you receive these on a widescreen TV, your cable box will display them with black bars on the sides. Which brings me to the box itself. I assume you have the Motorola DCT 5100. Are you familiar with its setup? You need to make sure you set it correctly for the broadcast. To get to the setup, turn the unit OFF and then press menu. You will get an onscreen menu. To view HD broadcasts, select 1080i output and make sure the display is set to widescreen or letterbox. If you are watching regular stations you can leave it set like this all the time, but if you want to watch Digital broadcasts of 4:3 SD material you should set the cable box to Pan and Scan to cut off the black bars on the sides and allow your TV to stretch or put in its own gray bars.

Audio dropouts and pixelation: in almost all cases, these issues will be the fault of the network broadcaster NOT Comcast. Comcast is simply passing along a signal. If you are seeing a great deal of pixelation on all your HD channels, there could be a problem with the signal strength coming into your house and you should have a service call for this.

HBO and Showtime: These channels broadcast upconverted movies. That means they take the film and simply convert the resolution to 1080i. It will basically resemble DVD quality. When you see HD that looks 3D like a window, that is material that is filmed using HD cameras...watch Jay Leno and you will see "true HD". Same with most material on PBS. If you were expecting "Spiderman" on HBO to look like you were watching it live, sorry to disappoint.

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Kage

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Posted November 24 2003 - 05:25 PM

Quote:
5 channels? What city are you in? I'm in Philadelphia and with Comcast HD I get
I live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Area. The HD Channels that I get are: NBC, FOX (480P), ESPN, HBO, Sho.

Also, I have a 36 inch HDTV Sony TV. I guess I have to save more money for at least a 48 inch Widescreen TV.

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted November 25 2003 - 12:16 AM

Quote:
Only select NETWORK broadcasts on the big 3 are HD
The WB has several (OK, maybe at least three?) of its shows in HD. Of course, your local affiliate must broadcast them that way (and be carried on cable), and odds are lower with a WB station than one of the big three.

Dunno about UPN -- although they're just barely a network as it is.

//Ken

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Thomas H G

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Posted November 25 2003 - 02:08 AM

Sweet DFW finally has HD! I told those b&*ta#ds to call me when they finally get HD. Posted Image
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#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Tim K

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Posted November 25 2003 - 02:34 AM

Quote:
FWIW, I had horrible pixelation problems after my initial HD install. Problem turned out to be inadequate cable splitters (600MHz) in the house. Replaced with 1GHz splitters, and have had no problem since. Evidently HD uses a higher frequency than SD.


Dave is right...make sure all of your splitters are 1GHZ or you could have signal problems within your house.

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted November 25 2003 - 02:46 AM

Quote:
FWIW, I had horrible pixelation problems after my initial HD install. Problem turned out to be inadequate cable splitters (600MHz) in the house. Replaced with 1GHz splitters, and have had no problem since. Evidently HD uses a higher frequency than SD.

In addition to Dave's comments, any type of signal amplifier/distribution box could cause similar issues. The Comcast techician should have checked the signal with a meter to make sure the proper frequencies were being passes to your HD cable box when it was installed. In my case, we had to bypass my CATV distribution amp for the HD cable to work properly.

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   David Judah

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Posted November 25 2003 - 02:51 AM

That's too bad you've had some problems. I've had Comcast HD ever since it became available in Albuquerque and I have been very pleased with it.

It is my understanding that they offer whatever HD locals are available in the area. Do you find that to be the case in your city--that is, that ABC and CBS are not broadcasting digitally? If not, maybe they couldn't come to an agreement with the local affiliates, which would be unfortunate.

1)I don't know which box you use, but check and see if there are different viewing options for digital but non HD broadcasts as Tim suggested. Of course, HD material will be letterboxed on your 4 x 3 TV.

2 & 3)They should be related(IOW, there will probably be audio dropouts when the picture pixelizes). Check your splitters and your RF coax cable. I had the exact same problem and even had them swap out a box, but the problem persisted until I replaced the cable(which they made)from the wall to the HD box(the connector wasn't crimped properly). If the problem persists, have them swap out boxes. Also related, I was having a problem with Monday Night Football dropping out a few times. It turned out to be ABC's problem, not Comcasts.

4)I'm suprised about HBO & Showtime. I have HBO and most movies are outstanding. Quality varies with older movies, but since film has more resolution than HD, the ones that are converted should still look better than DVD. That has been my experience, at least.

You should check to see if they offer INHD 1 & 2. Comcast owns them or partially owns them, so I'd think they'd be available in every area. They are great channels that offer a variety of programming from movies, sports, nature shows, concerts, etc... I watched Nightbreed last night(cheesy horror flick, I know, but I love it Posted Image) and they've offered Full Metal Jacket and Year of the Dragon. They also have a show dedicated to upcoming movies called In Theaters. The trailer for Return of the King was amazing in HD.

I hope you can get your problems resolved, so you might try some of things we have suggested because some channels in HD are better than just having digital cable, IMO.

Good Luck,

DJ
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Graham: You had disadvantages.
Lecktor: What disadvantages?
Graham: You're insane.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted November 25 2003 - 04:19 AM

I did get to watch some Denver area Comcast HD over this past weekend. His just rocked, was hard to come home and watch my ancient big screen. Ahhhh, the cure has been ordered for myself. Maybe you or maybe with the help of a knowledgable friend can sort of figure it out on your own, before you throw in the towel on it. It seems chronic even here in the Denver area, that the old timer NTSC cable guys, just really have no clue at all where HDTV is concerned, well actually they did not really even have a clue about "regular cable" but there were not near so many criticalities with it.

After all, I would assume you bought an HDTV to actually view HDTV on it at some point, that point may as well be now, I'd try to figure it out.

Ask around, maybe somebody else close to you has it too and see what problems / solutions they may have come up with.

The guy at the house I went over to, had to dink with his TV with various sources for best view. He said it took him a ton of experiementing before he became really happy, and said he would bet most people never get full effect from their Comcast HD, unless they have enough in depth knowledge about all the features on their TV (and sometimes the actual cable box), and are willing to try everything to get to the best for each individual source. So maybe HDTV requires more work than many are willing to put into it.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted November 25 2003 - 04:50 AM

Kage,

Is your Sony a 4:3 or 16:9 TV? If it is a 4:3, that would explain why you have bars on all sides of some pictures. Native 4:3 programming is often displayed with black bars on the side when broadcast in HD. This coupled with the bars on the top and bottom of your 4:3 TV will give you bars all around. Watch some native 16:9 programming (INHD or PBS-HD are always 16:9 and HD) to see if the side bars go away.

Audio dropouts and pixelization are almost always bandwidth problems. Have them check your connections from the pole to the TV to see if you need better splitters/connectors. If this is not it, maybe they are pushing too much content for the bandwidth to handle. Some cable systems need a big upgrade before handling HD content.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted November 25 2003 - 07:23 AM

Very true Jeff, they came and ran RG62 in our neighborhood before they even started to offer any of these digital services.

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Oscar Saenz

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Posted November 25 2003 - 09:10 AM

Kage, I also had Comcast install the HD box at my house and was feeling the same way you were until I saw The Tonight Show in HD. I have now seen more episodes of Jay Leno in the last week than I have in the last 5 years.

HBOHD does come across at about the same video quality as a DVD but, it's better than the 4:3 alternative.

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Tim K

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Posted November 25 2003 - 10:11 AM

If you are experiencing black bars on the top, bottom, left and right...you may need to go into the cable box menu and select 4:3 as your TV type. I think it defaults to letterbox or 16:9 TV.

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Jose T

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Posted November 25 2003 - 11:01 AM

I've had Comcast HDTV for last month and no problems with reception in Philly area. Keep my finger crossed.


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