"Digital" cable box

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kirk Gunn, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Just got hooked up to ComCast digital cable, primarily because I need cable modem for emergency work use. As a I was reading through the features on the web page, they offer "Digital picture AND sound". The tech comes out, does the install and mentions the music channels..."all digital CD quality".

    What the f- ? - Rant mode on....

    I'm stuck with this clunky Motorola box with NO digital outputs, just RCA. The display is insanely bright with no way to dim. They do not offer any other model, nor can you purchase your own with better features (like optical or coax output)

    The analog channels (original base package) still come in as crappy as ever.

    "CD Quality music" sounds like a 30k MP3. I actually had to make sure my sub was still on since there was no activity...

    CableModem appears fast enough, but haven't checked Net performance during high neighborhood traffic times.

    Anyone else have "digital" cable with no digital sound ? I tried to explain that L/R Audio-out via RCA cables is an analog signal. He said "your receiver would need to decode it into DD". Yo, bubba, take a look at these LOGOS on the reciever 3 inches from your face. Next I asked "how can you decode a digital bitstream from an analog connection ?". He just blankly stared and said "This is not the best box, but the only one ComCast offers".....

    I'm just thankful my company picks up the charges for the cablemodem. I may have to submit the charges for the digital cable as well since I would not have it as a standalone product for my own "enjoyment". Gee, tons of pay-per-view in ProLogic P&S, that's worth $30 extra/month.

    I feel so violated. Darrin's Dance Grooves is a bargain compared to this steaming excrement.

    Rant Off -

    So - what are your experiences ?
     
  2. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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    I also had comcast "digital" cable and was very unhappy with it. It cost me 80 dollars a month. There always seemed to be a problem with it. [​IMG]
    [rant]The only reason I got Comcast is because I was informed by other cable companies that they could not supply me with cable due to the fact that Comcast had purchased franchise rights to my area and they were not able to supply cable to customers in my area. Isn't that a ummmm monopoly? I have Comcast high speed internet and was shocked to find out yesterday that they have been recording EVERY web page and site thier customers visit! My friend emailed me a link about this. Supposedly they are to stop recording information immediatly. My friend who lives not to far from me has roadrunner high speed cable and when I called them to see if I could ditch this Comcast garbage is when they told me they couldn't supply cable to our area. Needless to say I'm still very upset about the whole situation. I won't go back to dial up so for now I'm stuck with Comcast. [end rant]
    I'm wondering if there is anyone in my state whom I could call to complain about this to? I would so love to get rid of Comcast period.
     
  3. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    I'm disappointed with my digital cable too, but it's the only way to get HBO, so I'm stuck.
     
  4. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    I have Charter Digital Cable and Broadband access. The Motorola cable box appears to be modular in that it has a punched hole for S-Video but no connection!!!
    The reason your analog channels still come in crappy is because the "Digital" cable box actually has two tuners, one analog for 2-99 channels and Digital for the rest. It's really a rather piss-poor setup in my opinion.
    My biggest pet peeve is the "channel guide" software that Charter uses. There is NO WAY of turning it off with the version of software my cable provider uses. So I automatically get two channel banners, one from the cable box and one from my Tivo.
    If it weren't for Broadband, I would be a satellite man all the way. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Fortunately, in my area, Comcast doesn't require that you have Digital Cable inorder to have a cable modem. When i recently moved, I gave them back their digital cable. The regular stuff is fine for me. See if you can talk them out of the digital cable requirement.

    I agree though, the box is a piece of trash. I think mine was made by GE....

    Never could find the codes for the remote for it either.
     
  6. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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  7. Jerry Gracia

    Jerry Gracia Supporting Actor

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    I'm in the same boat with you guys.
    When we first got our "digital" cable box, I quickly looked for the digital and s-video outputs...none. I thought, "What the fuck!?"
    I called COMCAST and the guy told me that those connections (RCA/composite) were the only outputs their digital cable boxes had.
    What a crock of shit.
    Digital cable...yeah right. [​IMG]
     
  8. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    I have Time Warner digital in Houston, and when I got my digital box (I think it is the General Dynamics branded Motorola box), it did not have a digital audio out jack. I went to one of the cable service locations and asked the tech to check for a box that did have a digital out. After looking at 30 or so boxes, he found one. Maybe you can try that?

    As for S-video outputs, I found the comb filter in my TV to be much better than the one in the cable box, so I just run a decent quality composite video cable from the digital cable box to the TV. Same with my TiVo unit.
     
  9. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    Same deal with "Insight" cable in Lexington KY. I'm not in their domain anymore, but I was there for a while without the ability to use a dish.

    Yuck. Same ol' cruddy analog, plus dozens of mega-compressed washed-out pixelated digital channels. No S-video, no digital audio, and a supremely crappy on-screen program guide with more screen space devoted to ads than channel listings. But I needed HBO and my Speedvision F1 fix, so I bent over and took it like a man.

    I wound up running the signal out of the cable box to my JVC S-VHS VCR and watching the S-video feed from that. At least that saved me from having to hook up a composite feed when everything else in the system was S.

    DirecTV isn't perfect (rain fade, some over-compression, no locals in my area), but it sure stomps digital cable.

    I'm glad I can get DSL...

    Ryan
     
  10. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    Same story with Adelphia "digital cable" here is SoCal. Even though the Motorola box I owned had S-Vid and digital outs, Adelphia told me they were not usable.

    Ah well...I now have DirecTV and DSL.
     
  11. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I got surprised today by my Cable Co. I've had the Digital package for about two months and like most of you guys, The Box was a Motorola DCT 2000. As another said, the Manual shows an S-Vid and SPDIF output. Mine didn't have them. Well I was pissed so I E-Mailed them and complained about ordering these Cable Boxes without all the options. After all, down the road aren't you going to have to upgrade them when you eventually offer DD etc.? Well, they said "call the office and they'll exchange it for one with S-Vid. So... the guy comes and I start bitching about them not having DD sound etc. He smiles and pulls out a Toslink cable. "You got it now" he says. I couldn't believe it. They don't even advertise the capability to send DD. He said the Boxes are really expensive and they don't have that many. Aren't even allowed to carry them in the truck. Anyway, he hooked it up. Got HBO on, I turned on the Receiver and bang! The DD light comes on. Sounds great. So, I was really happy I decided to bother just to get the S-Vid. I would have never know. Don't know why they keep it a secret unless they don't want to spend for all new Boxes.
     
  12. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I'm suprised how many people can't spell Crumcast correctly! When they brought "digital { giggle, giggle } cable" here last year I had it for 6 weeks. It was amazing, the picture quality was 1% better! They have the same shitty boxes here with the DD conversion to RCA-outs here too. The sound sucked! But, listen to this, they had the audacity to discard the surround channel on their sorta' 2.0 DD. All you got was sound in the front 3 speakers. They apparently did this to save bandwidth and offer more,can't live without them {giggle, giggle}, shopping channels, or whatever!
    The folks here in Knoxville can thank me for forcing them to re-instate the surround channel. My cable TV pressure group, Cable Watchdog (me the president and 5 other lesser officals actually) went through their contract with Knoxville & Knox county and discovered that they are required to maintain "broadcast standards". They quietly put back the surround channels after our complaint was filed. We tried to force them to refund money too, and rightfully so! The City Law Department has refused to help, gee (!), I wonder why...? Well no, actually I don't. If you got the money honey I got the time....yeah!
    Crumcast is the Evil Empire! When I had digital cable for 6 weeks, the sound was better on the straight feed than out of their box for the channels under 100. At my condo I'm getting I'll be a Dish or Direct customer!
     
  13. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    I saw a demo of "digital cable" a couple of years ago at my cable office, and thought it was a joke then, before I was at all HT-savvy. (Wow, just get a big old box, and all that old wiring that WAS analog cable into my house is now, presto-change-o, DIGITAL - without any upgrade of the system otherwise!)

    Well - now they're trying to FORCE me to get this, ahem "upgrade". I just got a letter today (which encouraged me to find this re-labeled section of the forum) from my oh-so-friendly cable provider. Get this - since we currently have HBO and Showtime as part of our cable package, starting this June we HAVE to get a "digital cable receiver" in order to keep getting HBO and Showtime.

    Can you already guess the punchline? We have to "upgrade"/subscribe to their new digital services, AND pay a rental fee for the cable receiver - net effect, it looks like my cable bill would jump ~$20/month if I were stupid enough to subscribe. And I bet it's the same clunky box you guys are moaning about - with no real surround sound improvement, or even picture improvement. Hello, satellite services, goodbye cable.
     
  14. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, that sounds like a lousy way of getting business. It seems the Motorola DCT 2000 is used by the majority of Cable Companies. I've read that the improved DCT 5000 has many more features but hardly any of the Cable Companies have the hardware in place to use them. As I said above, I was very surprised to find out they actually sent DD 5.1 signals. The problem is, I've been trying to find a way to get a list of HBO programs that are or will be 5.1 I went to their site and didn't see anything about it. Guess you just have to be there at the beginning of each Movie and see if the message comes up. Guess it's no big deal right now since there isn't many even transmitted in DD.
     
  15. Richard_s

    Richard_s Second Unit

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    For Dolby Digital 5.1 programs go to this link
    Dolby Digital 5.1 programs
    Not sure if this was what you were lookinfg for.
    I also have the issue with att broadband and the Motorola DCT2000 with no SPDIF or S-viseo connection. I wrote to the executive conumer affairs office since I could not find a tele. number or e-mail. I am sure my letter will get action [​IMG] it still takes effort to file it in the circular file[​IMG]
     
  16. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    Richard: Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. As far as the DCT 2000 and the outputs, they may have a BOX with them. You have to ask as I noted above....... If you already did then yes, you should complain. They say get DIGITAL.. that should mean video and sound......
     
  17. iweiss

    iweiss Extra

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    When I got my digital cable box, I too noticed that there was no digital output but the box had a Dolby Digital logo. So, I complained to both my local cable company (Insight in Columbus, OH) and to Dolby Labs. I got responses to both: Insight said they would get me a set-top box with Dolby Digital outputs when they become available and Dolby said too things: 1) cable companies are a little loose with their designations, and 2) Insight's response to the issue was enlightened compared to others they have heard from.
     
  18. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    Just an update for those who may be interested regarding my Remote issue. I found a code that will work the Yam. 2095. It's 155 But, it apparently isn't in the library of the cable remote. The remote that works the Receiver will also work the Cable box but only change channels. I lose all the other functions. I don't want that so it looks like I'm stuck unless I buy one of those 2 or 3 hundred dollar jobs. I doubt the wife could deal with those either........
     
  19. Randy B A

    Randy B A Supporting Actor

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    i have digital cable (twc) in San Diego. I have a pioneer box with s-video and optical for audio.

    I am not able to get sound through the optical out. Do I need to enable it throudg the menu? and do i still need to keep the analog hook ups in place?
     
  20. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    COX cable here in Vegas does not require you to buy digital cable in order to get cable modem. Actually, for quite a long time, I was getting free cable TV.

    You see, the cable guy hooked up my cable modem but they never put the little filter on the cable outside to block my T.V. stations. Well, that was until two weeks ago when one of the "auditing" trucks came into my neighborhood and screwed me out of my free T.V.

    Now I pay $14.00/month for channels 2-17.
     

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