Why doesn't AT&T "Digital" Cable have DIGITAL AUDIO?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sean L, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. Sean L

    Sean L Stunt Coordinator

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    I just purchased a $3K HT and why the hell can't I get a digital audio signal from my AT&T "Digital" Cable box here in the Bay Area????
    I traded in my cable box tonight for the newest motorola box that the AT&T phone tech told me to get (DCT 2000) and I get the thing home and it doesn't have any digital audio outs or S-video. The phone tech TOLD me that he is personally using this box WITH a digital optical connector.
    The freakin' Motorola directions even show how to connect both types of digital audio connectors, but the ports on the back of the box are blocked off....
    Simple question: Can I get a Motorola digital cable box from AT&T Broadband here in the Nor Cal Bay Area with digital audio connectors?
    Thanks,
    Sean in San Ramon
    My new HT setup: http://www.avsforum.com/photopost/sh...1&ppuser=51722
     
  2. Kevin Nolan

    Kevin Nolan Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been through this all with ATT which will now be Comcast...they simply don't have the bandwith in place to do DD. I recently just got a offer from them that was enticing for the price over Dish but I had to wait 15min with a salesperson to get the most fundamental questions answered. Like:
    Are you offering DD now? No
    Will you be offering HD reception in any way next year? No
    Etc Etc....
    I live in Vancouver Washington and I'll be Keeping my Dish for now because I can get at least decent sound and get limited HDTV when I can afford the upgrades.
    Kevin
    Cable Sucks and costs more Bucks
     
  3. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Moved to HDTV Programming
     
  4. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    This is the Million Dollar Question.

    I also think it's funny that there is a Dolby Digital Logo on the front of the box... Yeah I know there can be DD2.0 but common!
     
  5. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Have you tried the digital channels? I get digital audio (not Dolby Digital though, I guess, because the DD symbol doesn't come on), but only on the digital channels. On the channels that are available for non-digital subscribers, only analog audio is output.
     
  6. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    On my RCN digital cable service, I understand that only the channels above 100 are digital. They don't necessarily look or sound better than their analog counterparts, but I haven't noticed any of the weird problems that sometimes plague the analog channels... audio biased all the way to the left or right, way-uneven volume levels from station to station, etc.

    Then again, the analog stations aren't fraught with pixelation and "blocking".

    Ah hell, I'm not really complaining. It's way better than the old-styled cable service.
     
  7. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

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    Sean, I've gone through the same thing with AT&T Broadband here in the East Bay. The upshot is that my DirecTV satellite dish is being installed as I type this. 'Nuff said.

    Rob
     
  8. Andy Anderson

    Andy Anderson Second Unit

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    Yep-

    After researching a bit on DirecTV, Dish, and AT&T Broadband--it almost seems like "digital cable" is all a big hoax. I get amazing DTV/HDTV and DD5.1 sound (at least for ABC shows) over the air for FREE with a set-top-box & antenna. "Digital" cable has quite a ways to go before they earn a subscription fee from me.
     
  9. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Only channels over 100 is common.

    They're going to need to turn off the analog in the next 5 years though. They can fit 4 SD channels and 1 HD channel in the same bandwidth. So that gives plenty of room for HD HBO, Showtime, NBC,ABC,CBS, Fox, WB,UPN etc etc
     
  10. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    You mean 4 SD channel OR 1 HD channel, or 4 SD channels AND 1 HD channel in the same bandwidth as 1 analog channel??

    Sean, you need to specifically request an "s-video box", otherwise they'll just give you the barebones RF out/analog audio box. My box from cox has s-video and digital coax outs.
     
  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    4 SD OR 1 HD take up the same bandwidth under ATSC
     
  12. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    I just ordered Digital Cable this past week (AT&T)

    They told me (when I asked about High Def programming) that they currently offer only 1 HBO channel and 1 Showtime channel in High Definition.

    I live in Puyallup, WA

    They are supposed to be here Saturday morning...

    Now, I'm going to need some kind of box (from AT&T) that offers COMPONENT VIDEO OUT - correct?

    They are supposed to also bring all the required equipment on Saturday...so I guess I'll find out then if I have to.

    Anyone else in the Washington State area (Seattle/Tacoma) have AT & T Digital cable w/ High Def?

    They better not have been pulling my leg!
     
  13. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    I TRIED not to "upgrade" to AT&T Broadband Digital -- my analog 1-99 and 9 premium movie chls were swell -- but AT&T just forced me to get the Motorola DCT-2000 digital converter box, saying they're switching the premiums to the digital end in January; no choice if I want to stay with this cable company!

    Like Sean's box the SPDIF coax audio and optical are blanked off. The manual says I also need to attach RCA red/white audio cable out of the AT&T box if I want STEREO in the digital chls. Geez...

    Every AT&T system infrastructure is different, and mine in the third owner of a 30-year system back to Post-Newsweek Cable and CableCom. So I dont ever expect to see HD and get 5.1 DD over this system as is, unlike the rollout in parts of Washington State.

    Now I am struggling like a newbie all over trying to figure how to coordinate the 75-ohm connections, PLUS the RCAs, PLUS keep my S-VHS VCR in the chain, cause its a better tuner than my tv's!

    No luck on initiaqlly plugging in the AT&T box -- no video. I wonder if I have to "initialize" it? The office clerk said she set me up on their computer. Meanwhile, I've just gone back to the old cable to the VCR connection, and will start all over later. I have a month to accept the new AT&T.

    Satellite? I hear ya.
     
  14. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    I've had digital cable and a HD feed from AT&T to my set for about a week now. I'm hooking up the audio with a optic cable and it gives a compressed 5.1 DD to my system. Not the equal to a DVD but does sound pretty good.
     
  15. Sean L

    Sean L Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    The biggest advantage between Dish or DIRECTV is that DIRECTV can offer the NFL Season Ticket package (and a few other sports subscriptions) that Dish Network cannot offer.
    If you are into sports - go with DIRECTV.
    The only other thing that DIRECTV may have an advantage on is - TiVo. They offer combo receivers with TiVo technolgy built in - so you wouldn't need to purchase a 2nd box if you ever wanted a PVR. The TiVo fee, $250 lifetime - or $5.00 a month isn't included though - so that would be extra.
    The programming packages seem a little cheaper on the Dish Network side - but it's better to compare them yourself and see what channels you would be interested in.
    I believe both offer the same amount of Dolby Digital broadcasts - but I'm not 100%.
    I'm going with AT&T Digital Cable (install is tomorrow) in my new house because:
    1) I can't get DIRECTV signal (too many trees) at my new home
    2) Got yelled at by the President of my Homeowners Association when the Dish Network guy was installing the dish on the side of my house...he said "I'm not allowed to do this", which I have since found out is INACCURATE and completely unlawful (according to the FCC).
    3) Wanted to try out the new High Definition service/channles offered in my area from AT&T before putting up the Dish Network dish, again [​IMG]
    Hope I helped...at least a little bit.
    I had DIRECTV until my recent move...I liked the programming (NFL Season Ticket) but I always had problems with DIRECTV's customer service for this that and the other it seemed.
     
  17. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I feel sorry for those of you subscribing (through no choice of your own, of course) to the "other" cable companies.

    TWC here in Central FL is fantastic. The picture quality trumps both Dish and DirecTV, and I get eight HD channels, including DD 5.1 when available. Cost is lower than DBS, and service is more reliable.

    Apparently, they are the exception to the rule.

    Todd
     
  18. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Todd is on the money.

    AT&T Broadband has inheirited many cabletv systems, and not all have modern infrastructure bandwidth to handle HDTV and multichl DD audio streams.

    Some in Washington State (noted above) will be getting HDTV/DD but a lot us are stuck in older franchises. AT&T wud love to operate a fiberoptic system for the added modem revenues, but it takes millions $$$ to upgrade, I suspect.
     
  19. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

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    These examples of what cable companies around the country offer, while instructive, don't help Sean make his choice.
    There's no telling how long AT&T Cable here in the East Bay will take to upgrade their boxes and the services they offer. I've had the dish a day now and I know it was the right choice (I took a perverse pleasure in dropping off the "digital" cable box at the company's office yesterday). [​IMG]
    I went with DirecTV for the exact reason Michael mentioned, the Sunday Ticket NFL package. Since there are only three weeks left in the regular season, they threw in the package for the rest of the season for free.[​IMG] Can't wait 'til Sunday. [​IMG]
    I chose the DirecTivo with two tuners (Sony SAT-T60 for $199 installed) so I can record two shows at once or record one and channel surf.
    Good luck Sean.
    Rob
     
  20. Sean L

    Sean L Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got back from BB and Good Guys, seems like all I have to do is decide if I want to go to HDTV now or not.

    I can get a free basic system from GG with free installation, then upgrade to the Hughes Digital Dolby receiver (w/ optical audio out) for $90.

    Looks like going to HDTV is going to cost me approx $600. Question is how much of the programming is actually broadcast in HD?

    Thanks everyone.

    Sean

    PS....Hey Rob, how is the satellite reception in this crap weather?
     

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