Comcast HD cable connections???

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Craig John, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. Craig John

    Craig John Auditioning

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    I just spoke to the Comcast Service Scheduler trying to find out what connections they use to hook up Comcast Digital HD cable. The woman wasn't quite sure what I was talking about, especially when I asked her about DVI or Component Video and Coax Digital Audio. She asked "an installer" about it, and came back and said "They use S-video."

    I figured I would get a more accurate and complete answer here. Does anyone have a Comcast HD box? If so, what are the highest resolution/fidelity connections available on the box and what connections did Comcast use when they hooked it up to your system?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

    Craig
     
  2. TedE

    TedE Stunt Coordinator

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    Craig,

    To receive true HD channels you will need to use the component video connections. If you get a Motorola 5100 box it will also have a DVI output; however, these are not active yet. I've heard anywhere from the end of the year to who knows when for when Comcast will activate these.

    I STRONGLY suggest setting up everything before the cable tech gets there. I had all my cables laid out and ready for hook-up, but they insisted on making the connections themselves. The tech took one look at my component cables and said "What are these, aren't you going to use the coaxial connection?" [​IMG] . He had no idea what the digital coax audio cable was: "If you are using the audio outputs to your TV, you don't need these" [​IMG] . They admitted (I had two techs come out) that they have had zero training on these boxes.
     
  3. Craig John

    Craig John Auditioning

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    Ted,

    Thanks for the reply and the info. A few more questions:

    Does the coaxial digital audio work? Is it a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal? Also, are the "stereo" outputs Dolby Pro-Logic or just plain stereo?

    Thanks for the help!

    Craig
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Comcast in Mass. installed my mom's hdtv box with componenet cables they supplied. Pretty good quality also. You definately need component and the DVI is not activated as stated above.
     
  5. TedE

    TedE Stunt Coordinator

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    Craig,

    The digital coax will transmit a 5.1 signal if that is what is being broadcast. Otherwise it's just a stereo signal; you can decide what you want your receiver to do with it. Thsi functions just like it would for a DVD that is not suround. I believe the stereo outputs are just normal L/R stereo outs. I don't know for sure; I actually only use the 5100 for HD material (use regular coax to the TV for all standard cable), so I don't even have the stereo cables running to my TV.

    Jeff,

    It's good your mom got quality component cables! I have heard far too many stories of techs coming to hook up 5100s with regular ol' composite cables (of the quality of the ones you get free with VCRs) to the component outputs. What cable company is this?
     
  6. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    My mom has Comcast out of the Boston area. They were good quality gold connector components. You can tell they are not composite cause the 3 cables are attached together and have the red-green-blue markings. I also know a guy that had the Comcast HDTV box installed on a HT system and Comcast supplied an optical cable for the audio.
     
  7. Perry Jonkheer

    Perry Jonkheer Second Unit

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    I'm thinking about getting the Comcast HD setup. Does anyone have any comments on the quality of the picture? For example, on the ESPN HD channel or some of the national channels...

    Thank You,

    PJ
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    ESPN HD, when broadcast in true HD, is amazing. It takes a little while to synch up at the beginning, with pixelization etc., but after they get the signal straight, watch out! I swear I could see the mustard on the hotdog in the fourth row on Sunday's 8 o'clock baseball game. HBO is good to very good for true HD transfers, barely better than regular cable for upconversions. NBC is great, especially the Law and Order stuff. ABC sports are amazing (The Stanley Cup was sweet) but the HD shows are only good. The PBSHD stuff is the best, sheer "eye candy". You could watch it for hours, even if it shows model trains and scenes from Venice.

    One problem, the audio is all over the place. ESPN HD is very loud compared to regular cable, while most of the rest are too low in volume. ABC is practically inaudible. Once again PBSHD is right on with the audio.
     
  9. Perry Jonkheer

    Perry Jonkheer Second Unit

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    Thanks Jeff. That helps a lot.

    Any comments on how the non-HD programming looks on a projection screen?

    PJ
     

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