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Something odd happening to me w/ Comcast & Digital channels...


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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   MielR

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Posted February 08 2009 - 04:55 PM

When I moved into my house 10 yrs ago, almost every room had cable outlets. The previous owner didn't subscribe to cable service, she just used an antenna in the den (the owner prior to her must have had the cable outlets installed). When I called Comcast to get cable, we discovered that none of the cable outlets worked. The guy said that he'd have to get a contractor to come out to see what the problem was. I figured, screw it, and I had the guy just run a new exterior cable to my den, which was the only room where I planned on having a TV. He ran the new cable line underground, and then around the top of the den's sliding glass door, then down the wall, then thru the wall into the room. The cable service I have with Comcast is expanded basic, so no box. Up until a month ago, I had a 20" Sony Wega in the den which I've moved into my bedroom due to the fact that I got a 32" HDTV for Christmas. I'm now using the Wega in the bedroom with rabbit ears and a digital converter box. I pick up all the digital versions of the major stations - CBS (46.1) ABC (2.1) NBC (11.1) etc., plus some other channels like RTN (2.2). Now, the weird thing is, I also receive those same channels on my new 32" set in the den, with all the major networks in Hi-Def (including FOX in HD on channel 0.0). When I checked the Comcast site, it makes no mention of the "decimal" channels, in fact it said that in order to receive RTN, you need a box to receive it (and it's listed as channel 248), same goes for ABC-HD which they list as channel 803, NBC-HD on 806, etc., etc, all requiring "additional HDTV equipment" from Comcast to receive. I'm wondering if the configuration of my cable line outside my den is acting as an antenna of sorts, and pulling in channels that Comcast isn't providing?
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#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 08 2009 - 05:44 PM

I suspect your new TV has a QAM tuner and you are getting the clear QAM channels (the ones that don't require a cable box).

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   MielR

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Posted February 09 2009 - 03:31 PM

Thanks! It does have QAM tuner. If these channels are coming from cable, it's weird that Comcast makes no mention of this on their website or in their channel lineup updates that they mail me.

Maybe their literature is not up-to-date with the capabilities of newer HDTV tuners (?) It wouldn't shock me. Posted Image
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#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted February 09 2009 - 03:49 PM

They just want you to think you have to pay for additional set top boxes.

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 09 2009 - 05:07 PM

True. My friend has Cablevision, and they actually tell you that you can't get HD channels without a STB (which is a lie). He also has a TV with a QAM tuner. He thought he was getting away with something.

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Mikah Cerucco

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Posted February 09 2009 - 09:29 PM

I love Clear QAM. It allows me to actually use my TV's remote to change channels. I get at least the following channels in Clear QAM: CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, PBS, CW, and 2 more. Basically, every channel I could get by using Rabbit Ears, but without having to use Rabbit Ears.
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#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 10 2009 - 01:36 AM

A few months ago, after signing up for digital cable, I stopped using MyHD OTA tuner cards and switched to the HDHomerun dual QAM tuner device. The results have been absolultely spectacular -- I now have reliable, glitch free recordings (aside from occasional broadcast glitches from my WNYW FOX affilate -- what up with that, WNYW?). When I looked to get the unit for $129 (with coupons and whatnot), I discussed with my wife whether the cost was justified. She said, "if it stops you from yelling and screaming about bad reception and let's me watch Survivor without skipping, then it will totally be worth letting go of that frustration". Truer words were never spoken.

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   MielR

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Posted February 10 2009 - 06:34 AM

Thanks- I didn't know it was the QAM tuner that was was responsible for my receiving all those channels.
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#9 of 12 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted February 15 2009 - 12:47 PM

that info is probably in the book that comes with the tv. whomever sold you the tv should have been smart enough to use that as a selling point. were did you buy the tv?
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#10 of 12 OFFLINE   LarryDavenport

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Posted February 18 2009 - 03:30 PM

How do I know if a set has a QAM tuner: I am thinking of buying a Sony Bravia (Amazon.com: Sony Bravia XBR-Series KDL-32XBR6 32-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV: Electronics) but there is no mention of QAM. I'll probably get the box so I can have the DVR, but it would be nice to know.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Mikah Cerucco

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Posted February 19 2009 - 03:01 AM


Sony Bravia KDL-32XBR6 specs and Flat-panel TV specifications - CNET Reviews

Or better yet, look on Sony's web site for that model.
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#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 19 2009 - 03:07 AM

According to the specs:

Digital TV Tuner
  • Digital TV Tuner QAM , ATSC , 8-VSB
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