My tale of digital-cable woe

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Casey C., Jul 11, 2004.

  1. Casey C.

    Casey C. Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2004
    Likes Received:
    I had problems with my old cable converter box recently and had to replace it with a new one. Comcast said they don't use the old boxes anymore, so they gave me a new "digital" converter box. It's made by Motorola and it's bigger, about the size of a DVD player. Not sure what's "digital" about it, but it can receive digital-tier channels up above 100 that the old one couldn't. And they gave me a free trial of their "basic digital" tier, with BBC America, ESPN News, IFC, Noggin, etc.

    Here's the problem: My picture with the new box is just not as good. Whites and other bright colors are oversaturated and washed-out. I tried adjusting the contrast and brightness on my TV (a Samsung circa 1996, not high-end but it has a pretty good picture), but no dice.

    When I disconnect the box and plug the cable directly to the TV, I get a good picture again. But then I can't get the digital channels. I had a cable guy out to look at it, but he couldn't adjust the signal and said he couldn't tell the difference in the picture anyway.

    Could be just a bad box, I suppose. But my inclination now is to just get rid of the box (saving $5 a month in the process), cancel the free trial and go back to standard cable, with no box. I don't get HBO or any other channels that would need to be unscrambled by a box.

    Anyone else had a similar experience? Advice?
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Jun 5, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    I call them, my former service provider, Crumcast. Give'em the box back....
  3. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

    Sep 8, 2001
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    I talked with a cable engineer when he brought his camcorder in for repair a while back. Analog cable runs with a compression of 4 or 5 to one while digital runs at 12 to one. I'm amazed that you don't see them dribbling square basketballs with that much compression. Rumor has it that compression is even higher now.

    With high compression you're not going to get a quality picture. Digital cable is for their benefit not yours.

    You could use a splitter and a A-B switch and only use the box when you want to watch something only available on digital.

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