Help with Comcast Digital Cable

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason MB, Sep 4, 2002.

  1. Jason MB

    Jason MB Auditioning

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    I've had the General Instruments DTC 2000 digital cable box for a while now through Comcast in Anne Arundel Co., MD. The box I have does not have s-video output and when I called to see if they had a newer one, the girl had no idea what s-video even was. Not really surprised, I tried to explain it to her. She put me on hold and came back with the response that s-video was something they were looking at for "the future". Even on Comcasts website they list the s-video output as one of the options, but when I brought this up she just said that I have the most recent model. So basically, does anyone know if this is really the most current box? or is it totally dependent on the area? or am I going to have to watch crappy composite video on my new Toshiba 50H82?
     
  2. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    Jason,
    I believe it's strictly an area thing. I live in the Philly area, where Comcast uses motorola digital boxes. It's funny how the box says "dolby digital" on the front, but doesn't have any digital outputs in the back. Oh wait, did i say funny?? I meant annoying. These are the only digital cable boxes we can use too. And I feel your pain with the composite being the best picture quality they offer... That's the problem with a cable monopoly.

    You might want to look into Dish Network.
     
  3. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I'm stuck with the same Comcast story in DC. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Jason MB

    Jason MB Auditioning

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    I would love to do the Dish Network thing but I'm stuck in an apartment til sometime next year. Oh well, the picture is still suprisingly good on the Toshiba for most channels. I'm afraid some of them might be piss poor even with s-video.
     
  5. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Having an S-video output on a Crumcast cablebox wouldn't be helpful. Ultimately, their pic quality is only so good anyway. Their hardware is so, bottom-feeding. I gave them back my "Dolby Digalog" box after 6 weeks. What a piece of junk. I do feel your pain because I've been living in an apartment and stuck with them too. I'm moving soon and will become a satelite customer, yeah!!! BTW, the sound from their box was worse than the straight analog cable's using no box, for me. That could vary from one market to another depending on how much they've squeezed their bandwidth. They've squeezed it to the max here. They own all those shoppng channels that occupy precious bandwidth.

    Satelite will be offering the local channels here soon. Their reaction isn't to lower prices to meet the competition, but to step up their advertising campaign about folks who hate their satelite service. That's air-time that could of been sold to help hold down rates! No problem, Crumcast will just gouge their remaining customers for even more jack... Just make the best of the time you have to be a Crumcast customer.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Here in Delaware, my Comcast digital cable box is Motorola. It's probably the same one Greg has. The box has no digital outputs and no S-video output. The only video connections are coaxial (F-type) and composite. Oh well. It works.

    I've been meaning to connect the box to my stereo system for playback of the digital music channels. That would be interesting. Am I in for a pleasant surprise or a disappointment?
     
  7. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Keith are you stalking me 2-night?[​IMG] The D/A converter in Crumcast boxes is about like a 1983 CD player. It's pretty so-so... It's OK for casual listening but it's not even present-day CD quality. Crumcast has lobbied hard to keep U-own it digial cable boxes off the market, suprise, suprise! Now, back to the music forum to see you again! [​IMG]
     
  8. Kevin_W

    Kevin_W Second Unit

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    I too have the same Comcast issue here in metro Detroit... fancy General Instruments box with Dolby Digital on the front and nothing on the back but composite. One question I have that kind of goes along with what Rachael B said about Comcast's picture is only so good anyway; even if you had a cable box that offered s-video out, would you really see a better picture considering its only as good as what comes from the cable provider? I would classify Comcast as fair to an average picture so in turn should I expect a fair to average picture from my s-video?

    If nothing else, its nice to have more s-video components for video switching purposes on the receiver, but I've often wondered if the picture would get any better.

    Kevin
     
  9. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    I am told that most of the channels on digital cable are actually (#1) analog feeds or (#2) digitized analog feeds. As most cable boxes have very cheap comb filters to make them into S-video, you are probably better off using the composite output.
    You might ask the cable provider but don't be surprised if they don't know which if any of the channels are actually (#3) digital video in component Y/Pb/Pr format and that were never composite in an earlier lifetime.
    Only for (#3), true digital channels, is component video outputs best and S-video second best.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  10. Paul_A_R

    Paul_A_R Auditioning

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    I hope to answer most of your guys questions since i work for comcast (and hate it). first off the dolby digital issue is that the feed off the fiber nodes that feed the digital boxes is infact dolby digital on the movie channels like hbo, showtime, max and so on. the boxes do supply dolby digital but you have to have the box with the spdif jacks in the back (not all come with them) but you can get dolby surround thru your rca out jacks in the back of the box. also your audio must be setup for matrix stereo which you can get thru your audio setup in the box menu. i have it setup like that here in my apartment and it is quite nice. not like dolby digital 5.1 but close to it. next thing is sound quality and this 99% depends on the quality of your wiring in your home/apt. in a apartment building you gonna have possible problems since they are all pre wired. signal strength and signal to noise ratio usually is a problem in apartment buildings in that case all you can do is call your cable company over and over and convince them to change your wires that go from your apt to the lockbox (usually in the basement of the building). the better and cleaner the signal the more quality you will have with your digital cable. in my area (north jersey) i have to special request a box with s-video if i want one. my crappy tv dont have s-video so thats why i still have the plain dct2000. the picture quality on digital channels is comparable to a dvd on a non-progressive capable tv but your signal must be good. one thing all of you can do to improve your signal to your digital boxes is to use quality splitters and rg6 type coaxial cable that is quad shielded (not that crap you find in kmart. the splitters must be rated to 1000 mhz and dont believe in gold plated splitters as they do nothing to the signal unless they are gold plated and also rated to 1000mhz then you will be ok. one fact to digital signaling is that it is possible to fit up to 12 digital channels into a standard hrc 6mhz wide frequency. for example channel 2 is 54 mhz and it uses 6 mhz for carrying video and audio. now a in a digital box that same 6mhz will carry both audio and video for up to 12 channels. if you want to read about technical crap about the dct2000 then go here: http://gicout50.gic.gi.com/databases...9?OpenDocument
     

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