Digital Cable needs phone hook up?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael J K, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. Michael J K

    Michael J K Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2001
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was wondering if any of you have run into this. Here in Chicago, my cable provider is AT & T Broadband. After enduring the usual excrutiating wait for a tech to show up to my apartment to hook up my digital cable, he finally showed up and proceded to hook up the cable. Halfway through, he asks me if there is a phone jack nearby. There is, but it is about 25 feet away. He says that is too far away and that the digital cable will not work without a phone hook up within 6 feet of the box. I had never heard of this before. Anyone else, or am I right in thinking this guy was full of it?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Welcome to HTF, Michael. And you've made your debut with a real puzzler. I've never heard of anything like this. Anybody else?
     
  3. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2001
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you have pay-per-view options? I'm not too familiar with digital cable but satellite receivers have phone hook-ups for instant PPV movies. Some satellite companies will tell you that you HAVE to hook it up but it is not usually neccessary(it is not with my satellite). Have you tried to use the box with-out the phone hook-up?
    And since I often think everyone is full of it, yes you are probably right to think that this guy is full of it.[​IMG]
    Regards
    KrisM
     
  4. Michael St. Clair

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Messages:
    6,001
    Likes Received:
    0
    The guy is full of shit. Even if the PPV system needs a phone jack (VERY unusual for a modern cable system), the jack can be very far away.
     
  5. Adam Krogul

    Adam Krogul Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    -im also in the chicagoland area and i know personally that the length of the phone wire from the plate to the cable box makes no difference. He probably didnt have a 25 foot phone cord with him... (if there was a rating for length of phone wire; people in the 3rd floor apartments couldn't recieve boxes){the wire is the same in the wall or out of the wall}

    -i believe that the phone line is used to order ppv through your remote just like DSS. They might use it to check where the boxes location is peridiocally.. (don't quote me on this one)

    -Side note-

    Direct TV only requires a house hold to have one reciever connected to a phone line if you have multiple recievers. (you would still need the phone line if you wanted to order ppv)This is a new policy.

    hope this helps,

    l8rz,

    adam
     
  6. NickT

    NickT Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Nick
    I am not familiar with Chicago, but there are places (such as Santa Fe, NM) that use a phone line to download the channel guide, and perform the other return path functions that the digital service requires. Usually it's found in cable systems that haven't fully upgraded their plant because it's a cheaper alternative than upgrading the plant to be able to comunicate in two directions.
    As far as the length of the phone cord, it sounds like nonsense to me. The only legitimate reasoning that I can think of is if the phone cord had to run across an area of traffic, then it might not be allowed because it could be a trip hazzard.
    Adam, you said not to quote you, so I'll just mention your one point about security [​IMG] Where I live, that is one of the reasons for the two way comunication. For me, it is all done through the cable line, so I don't have to worry about a seperate phone line. Every night all of the converters in the system are polled to see if they respond for three reasons.
    • To see if the converter responds, verifying it is in the system
    • To see if any PPV has been ordered and if so, the converter uploads what was purchesed
    • To see which channel guide the converter needs to download for it's guide info, we have several different channel lineups in our system
    My digital box talks back to the headend at 8.5 MHz and receives the guide info at 75.25 MHz. As a comparison, the lowest cable channel, channel 2, starts at 54 MHz and ends at 60 MHz. The other two services that use the return path are cable modems and telephone. I have a cable modem and it talks to the headend at around 15 MHz. I don't have phone with the cable company, but it uses the bandwidth between 25 and 40 MHz when broadcasting what you say to the other party.
    Anyways, that's the short story on the return path. It takes more upkeep to have a cable plant that can comunicate two ways, so that's why some digital boxes use phone lines.
     
  7. Robert Cranwell

    Robert Cranwell Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nick, you pretty much nailed it. Alot of cable companys have their forward plant built out to 750mhz, but don't have the return plant activated or they purchased the original GI DCT converters which are phone line return only dirt cheap and decided to start their digital plant from there.

    Length of phone is irrelevent only if it is a hazard in the installation process of the installation. Any way the phone is basically there just to dump the PPV iformation back to the office. The cache is usally about 10 movies and if the phone line is not hooked-up the converter will not allow you to order any more PPV.{like DBS satellite}

    Rob
     
  8. Michael J K

    Michael J K Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2001
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone. You guys have pretty much told me just what I thought, that the tech was full of crap! Oh well, I would rather wait until I can afford DSS anyways!
     
  9. David X

    David X Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had this same thing when we lived in Northern California. The phone connection had to be there or the box would not receive any of the premium channels, even if you never ordered any pay per views. The only thing the phone connection was used for was to periodically ping the server and upload any pay per view information. The guide data, etc, all came down the cable. You could see it if your box got reset and it would take around 20 - 30 minutes for the guide data to fill itself in, without a phone call.

    If you need a phone jack, the cable installers are supposed to add one for you .. which you might find useful when/if you make the switch over to DSS.

    -David
     

Share This Page