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Old 11-05-2007, 09:35 AM   #541
sidsub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiDefGator
You need to be a bit more specific. It is only HD Tivo owners who are being left out in the cold and that is a very small number compared to all Tivo owners.
At this point, it would be most of their new or upgrading customers, right? I mean the only TiVo's that do HD are the TiVo HD and the Series 3, and they only work with either basic cable or digital cable using CableCards, and those CableCards are getting to where they'll miss a lot of HD channels now in an increasing number of markets thanks to SDV. This would seem to be a *big* problem for TiVo.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:54 AM   #542
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Originally Posted by sidsub
At this point, it would be most of their new or upgrading customers, right? I mean the only TiVo's that do HD are the TiVo HD and the Series 3, and they only work with either basic cable or digital cable using CableCards, and those CableCards are getting to where they'll miss a lot of HD channels now in an increasing number of markets thanks to SDV. This would seem to be a *big* problem for TiVo.
I suspect it is getting to be a bigger problem for them by the day. But keep in mind that most people have no idea that the Tivo HD they are buying today will not get any HD once SDV comes to their city. If they don't get a solution for it relatively soon it will start cutting into their sales. How many people will need to return their new Tivo to Best Buy before they decide to stop stocking them?
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:58 AM   #543
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Originally Posted by ntrainer
OK, I understand (basically) what's going on with our TiVo box, given this discussion: we're in Cox's N.Va. (Fairfax) area, and now that they've gone to switched digital signals, we're losing an enormous amount of functionality. BTW, we haven't just lost the signals that another poster mentioned would be SDV; we've lost all of the HD channels, HBO... every single channel over 102 seems to be grey. In addition, for some reason NBC -- not HD, basic NBC, channel 4 -- is also not being processed by our Series 3.

Needless to say, this is frustrating enough that I'm trying to think of SOME temporary fix. I don't see any really suggested in this forum. Should I give up on HD and just go back to having a cable box? Is the cable box even compatible with the Series 3 TiVo? Is my problem related to the fact that I have one of the earlier Series 3 boxes? If so, would it be fixed by getting a box that's fully compatible with the M CableCards?
There can be no temporary fix. SDV is an application-level protocol and the reason that TiVo can't directly support it is that it require bidirectional communication with the cable system; it's not something that's built into M-Cards. M-Cards aren't inherently bidirectional and S-Cards aren't inherently unidirectional--it's the interface in the device (television or STB) which supports bidirecitonal or unidirectional communication. The "M" in M-Card stands for Multi-Stream, meaning that they can decrypt multiple service streams simultaneously. Because of this, TiVo HD can use a single M-Card for both tuners. They're working on making that work for TiVo S3, but neither will ever be capable of the bidirectional exchanges necessary for SDV. To gain access to a channel carried as SDV, a device has to be able to ask the cable system for information, and TiVos aren't physically equiped with what they need to do that. What's being discussed is attaching an external "dongle" to them via one of the USB connections which would also be connected to the coax through which they could speak the SDV protocols back to the cable system.

You need to identify your local cable franchising agency and complain formally (and vehemently) to them on paper, with copies sent to the cable company management. I'm fairly certain that it's against FCC regulations for your cable company to present their rebroadcast of the over-the-air DTV channels as SDV, so you should at least get that handful of HD services (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, the CW, PBS and any local independents). If you're indignant enough, maybe you can get them to shake free a few of the channels outside of the core basic tier. If they add dozens of new HD service in order to compete with what DirecTV is doing, don't expect to be able to get any of them unless and until this "tuning resolver" dongle is available.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:16 AM   #544
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntrainer
OK, I understand (basically) what's going on with our TiVo box, given this discussion: we're in Cox's N.Va. (Fairfax) area, and now that they've gone to switched digital signals, we're losing an enormous amount of functionality. BTW, we haven't just lost the signals that another poster mentioned would be SDV; we've lost all of the HD channels, HBO... every single channel over 102 seems to be grey. In addition, for some reason NBC -- not HD, basic NBC, channel 4 -- is also not being processed by our Series 3.

I had this problem too. It turns out that everytime Cox makes an SDV programming change, your cable cards loose encryption. I found out that a TiVo reset will resynch the cards and give you back your non-SDV channels.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:21 AM   #545
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Originally Posted by 3morgans
I had this problem too. It turns out that everytime Cox makes an SDV programming change, your cable cards loose encryption. I found out that a TiVo reset will resynch the cards and give you back your non-SDV channels.
Ah, if that's the problem, they'll also fix themselves eventually if you leave it alone, but it can take almost a day!
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:08 AM   #546
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Originally Posted by bicker
Note that the measure you refer to explicitly stated that cable could either convert the digital transmissions into analog at the head-end, and pass them along to customers as analog signals in the coax OR pass them along to customers as digital signals in the coax, and convert them to analog via a STB. The regulation didn't even explicitly require that the STB be specifically affordable. That FCC decision was generally recognized as a rare win for cable.

Though they've done exactly that, in Chicago.
I'm sorry--I didn't notice this post earlier, or I'd have argued with it .

I believe that your understanding of this is incorrect. Cable is allowed to carry digital only, but only if all their subscribers have equipment that can handle it (not if they make such equipment available for to lease to their subscribers but if they can prove that all of their subs actually have such equipment), which isn't likely to be true in any market or to become true by 02/09. The way that you interpret this, the ruling has no effect whatsoever, since I believe that all of the cable providers are currently leasing digital boxes capable of outputting downconverted HD digital signals over SD analog outputs; the boxes I was using 3 years ago could do it. Martin's original stated goal for this regulation was that no one be immediately forced to lease a digital box after the analog shutdown, so he considers it a win; cable considers it a win because Martin did not want the regulation to contain a sunset date--he wanted them to continue analog carriage indefinitely and he didn't get that.

I find it very difficult to believe that any system in Chicagoland is small enough to qualify to request an exemption from this ruling (I lived there for a couple of years, working for 3Com). Cable wanted automatic exemptions for systems of 552 MHz capacity or less and the commission refused, though they will review case-by-case exemption requests. Is there some online citation that you can make that some Chicago area system has gone all digital?

I really wish that I could actually quote the text of the order here (FCC 07-170, adopted 9/11/07). For some reason the R&O is not available online yet, though another order that they adopted the same day (to force cable to continue to sell the channels that they own to their satellite and telco competitors for the next 5 years) is available.
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:25 AM   #547
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Originally Posted by mikeyts
I believe that your understanding of this is incorrect. Cable is allowed to carry digital only, but only if all their subscribers have equipment that can handle it (not if they make such equipment available for to lease to their subscribers but if they can prove that all of their subs actually have such equipment)
There was no indication that the regulation includes any such provision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyts
The way that you interpret this, the ruling has no effect whatsoever
Which is why industry analysts generally labeled the decision as a rare FCC win for cable companies.

I guess we'll have to wait first for the R&O to be released, and then for its interpretation to make it to the courts, to know for sure.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:05 PM   #548
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That's just one city out of all the places cable serves. It's basically a drop in the hat if you count all the cable subscribers in the U.S. It could be an experiment or maybe Comcast determined that there were a low number of analog cable users there.

I'm assuming in other areas analog cable is more prevalent. The only reason my parent's got a cable box is because their TV broke and they bought an HD TV and got the box so they could get the HD basic channels (they don't subscribe to digital cable). In my area you could still get HBO without a converted box until about a year ago when they moved it to digital only.

it's more than just one city-

In many BIG cities cable is already all box in some areas so they can encrypt everything to stop pirating. If they are 100percent box anyway then ditching analog is pretty easy.

Time Warner's NYC plant apparently did the same thing some months ago (and I think they own Staten Island so it might not have already been 100% box- I'd assume parts of Brooklyn and the south bronx to be all box though) . And I believe Cablevision is working on it to in their parts of NYC.

I'd assume if NYC and Chicago are doing it than places like philly and boston and LA, etc aren't far behind.

The majority aren't going to go all digital tomorrow or anything but they could quickly get to 10 or 20% of cable households if they flip the big cities.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:11 PM   #549
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I don't know about most, but I do know there are many which cannot. San Antonio is one of them. The analog selections in San Antonio only go to channel 72. They could recover perhaps 30 analog selections, allowing about 60HD channels. The thing is, SDV allows thousands of "channels". Every VOD or Video Redo selection is a separate "channel",and deploying VOD and Video Redo on a broad scale requires SDV.
honestly I'm not sure how things turn out. But recovering 30 channels is more than enough for now. that's what- 90 HD channels- that's still a decent amount more than all the HD ANNOUNCED channels in existance. Even counting VOOM I think that's plenty for the next year or so. Going all digital on a 750mhz system gives what- 200 HD and 300 SD channels? (too lazy to do the math but it's in that range- no?)
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:13 PM   #550
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Most people don't care one way or the other, since the issue does not impact them. Indeed, most are unaware there is even an issue. It is quite unfortunate for us TiVo owners, but nonetheless true that most CATV subscribers don't care whether TiVo users are left in the cold, or not, and the revenue impact from disgruntled TiVo users is relatively small. Our only silver lining lies in three facts:

1. Although comparatively small, the revenue tied to our activities may not be considered trivial. The CATV companies aren't going to bend over backwards for us, but if meeting our demands doesn't cost them too much time, trouble, and money, they may be willing to acquiesce. The margin may be thinner, but as long as it isn't zero - or worse negative - they may well be willing to consider our requests.

2. Although small in number and in total represented revenue, TiVo users tend to represent the top end of the monetary pyramid, and no company wants to alienate rich clients, no matter how little revenue they may generate. They are, after all, the ones who do the investing, and they control much more capital individually than the less affluent individuals. Everyone knows biting the hand which feeds you is a really bad idea, but biting the hand which houses you is also not a really good one.

3. As a group, I think TiVo users tend to be vocal, and we all know which wheel gets the grease. Although of relatively low impact to the CATV company's revenue stream, from a PR perspective alienating TiVo users may not be considered the smartest move they could make, and keeping us happy and quiet has some very real value in it. We just should not overestimate that value.

#4 dont want to piss off the FCC

#5 dont want to piss of congress.

I think number 3 with those last 2 are what matters. They dont want to be seen circumventing the intent of the 1996 telecom act to allow 3rd party devices to exist.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:16 PM   #551
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Thanks for the suggestion, 3morgans. Indeed, the reboot has gotten me all my 'regular' channels back -- that is, the ones I watch: HD networks, the regular NBC 4, and HBO. I hope I don't have to reboot constantly to solve this problem as it re-occurs. But I appreciate the pragmatic suggestion!
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:01 PM   #552
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found this press release thing about cable needing to support analog tv's:

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...C-276576A1.pdf

Quote:
The FCC’s ruling today allows cable operators to
comply with the viewability requirement by choosing to either: (1) carry the digital signal in
analog format, or (2) carry the signal only in digital format, provided that all subscribers have the
necessary equipment to view the broadcast content.
Sounds like Bicker is correct (there I go again agreeing with him- LOL).

At worst cable will have to 'provide' that equipment to people . So they'll give out free boxes and just jack the rates for basic to include it. At this point many include a "free" box with digital cable. So who's to say they dont just 'include converter boxes for free' in the future?

Maybe I'm missing something - but it sure does sound like a non-story. Is there ANY such consumer device today that doesn't have a set of ananlog rca outputs? Maybe blueray players dont but doesn't pretty much everything else?
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:25 PM   #553
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Yeah, I think that both bicker and I read all of the press releases and commissioner comments. The way that I read it is that they're going to have to actually place equipment in all of their subs' homes in order to do digital only broadcasting. If they force their subs to lease equipment they will undoubtably lose subs by the millions. If they provide it for free, they're gonna take a big hit. If they raise the basic rate (which the regulated providers cannot do without FCC buy-in) they will lose subs.

We'll see what the net effect becomes in the end.
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:31 PM   #554
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If they provide it for free, they're gonna take a big hit. If they raise the basic rate (which the regulated providers cannot do without FCC buy-in) they will lose subs.
I think there's a happy medium in there... one that's probably being tested in the handful of markets where they're doing just that... putting in a free digital receiver even for basic tier subscribers. Equipment costs really aren't high per receiver, and they gain the opportunity to capture more income from interactive services, PPV/OnDemand, and eventually a la carte channel offerings.
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:35 PM   #555
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Originally Posted by MichaelK
Sounds like Bicker is correct (there I go again agreeing with him- LOL).
See? That didn't hurt too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK
At worst cable will have to 'provide' that equipment to people . So they'll give out free boxes and just jack the rates for basic to include it.
Though not that the R&O didn't include the word "free" -- not even the word "affordable".
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:39 PM   #556
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Equipment costs really aren't high per receiver, and they gain the opportunity to capture more income from interactive services, PPV/OnDemand, and eventually a la carte channel offerings.
I do think that this is one reason why they're pushing for the low-end cable-box integration band exemption. With CableCard capability, these STBs will be, of course, significantly more expensive.
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:41 PM   #557
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yep-

I noticed the lack of "free" in the press release. That's why I'm saying "worst case" is they are free.
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:50 PM   #558
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And to be fair, they probably WILL be free, for either at least one or perhaps as much three boxes, for the market-share-related reasons mentioned.
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:51 PM   #559
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... If they raise the basic rate (which the regulated providers cannot do without FCC buy-in) they will lose subs.

We'll see what the net effect becomes in the end.
true they might lose bottom subs but i dont see the regulators stopping anything. They haven't done a thing to cable in years that mattered. More and more plants are declaring competition from DBS all the time. And Verizon is going to let a big chunk of the northeast off the regulatory hook in the next couple years.

As to loosing bottem end subs- I dont think they care. Directv noticed a couple years ago that the bottom of the subs account for little profit (the numbers directv showed were remarkable. It was akin to the top quarter of their subs accounted for the lions share of their profits.

Comcast seems to have noticed that too- their last conference call they had a NET loss of a good pile of basic subs but their high end subs numbers went up with people adding digital cable or interent or voice and so their revenue was up a bunch.

Based on those 2 examples I'm not so sure they wouldn't actually LIKE to jack the rates 10 bucks and give digital boxes for free and then let the 'cheapskates' leave and call DISH (if they even want to be bothered with them anymore). There's parts of the country where digital cable costs almost the same as analog at this point- clearly they want to get people into those upper tier services with a box in the house. As Doug says - you drop the box off and they can order PPV/ VOD, online dating, jobs, cars, hook them into advertising, etc etc.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:02 PM   #560
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I looked it up in my town just to get a frame of reference.

Analog basic is 56.80.

Digital basic is just $8.95 more and you get a "free" digital box (which are 4.95 alone) with that. Addtional tv's are 6.95 which includes a "free" box.

end game- analog basic is 56.8. It's 4 dollars to add digital basic. and then 2 bucks more pre tv after the first for digital service (likely the "additonal outlet" fee).

A bunch of numbers in there- but point is they could use the 2008 and 2009 rate increase to raise analog basic at a rate faster than digital basic so in the next couple years they would wind up being basically the same and few would even notice. If someone is willing to walk for 5 dollars a month at that point then probably cable doesn't want them since they wont be ordering PPV or anything else extra.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:12 PM   #561
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Originally Posted by MichaelK
I looked it up in my town just to get a frame of reference.

Analog basic is 56.80.

Digital basic is just $8.95 more and you get a "free" digital box (which are 4.95 alone) with that. Addtional tv's are 6.95 which includes a "free" box.

end game- analog basic is 56.8. It's 4 dollars to add digital basic. and then 2 bucks more pre tv after the first for digital service (likely the "additonal outlet" fee).

A bunch of numbers in there- but point is they could use the 2008 and 2009 rate increase to raise analog basic at a rate faster than digital basic so in the next couple years they would wind up being basically the same and few would even notice. If someone is willing to walk for 5 dollars a month at that point then probably cable doesn't want them since they wont be ordering PPV or anything else extra.
I gotta believe that you're talking about extended basic, typically 70 or so channels including things like Discovery, A&E and SciFi. The basic service tier is the 20 or so channels which must include any over-the-air rebroadcasts and which is typically dominated by things like CNN and the community access channels. That's what we're talking about here--the FCC isn't at all talking about making them continue to carry 50 or 60 extended basic channels in analog, none of which they have any requirement to carry in analog (or any other form) as it is. In my system, "limited basic" is $12.95/month.

We're not talking huge amounts of bandwidth here; this FCC ruling doesn't affect anything except carriage of over-the-air channels, which in most areas is some 5-8 channels.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:30 PM   #562
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sorry- I'm aware there's lifeline analog (basically the regulated channels) which some people call basic and then extended basic cable which is the analog most people have. I wasn't clear.

But once you flip the 50 or so channels that are not regulated into the digital tier there's going to be just a tiny amount of people actually with lifeline service. The only place I've ever seen it in real life was in school like 30 years ago. I understand that some elderly also tend to get it. And also some folks with DBS who cant get locals. But still your talking about a tiny amount and they are people that cable probably HATES. They certainly make zilch on those people. So they'de love to jack that price the 5 bucks and get those people to leave.

Cable doesn't even care if they lose the extended analog people so why would they care about the lifeline people?

(I think my company gives around 14 channels for 14 bucks or something like that to those people.)
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:35 PM   #563
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I do agree it's a small slice so they might just keep it for the foreseeable future. But at some point those 5-8 channels do mean something when a typical cable system has only room for 125.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:42 PM   #564
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Most cable co's actually lose money on the basic only subscribers, especially if they even have just one service call a year.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:41 PM   #565
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Hijacked SDV thread?

Is there any "official" estimate when the tuning resolver will be available?

P.S. I'd really like to keep up with SDV developments and wish people would take discussion of issues unrelated to SDV to other threads. It's hard enough to wade through a lengthy thread like this one.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:07 PM   #566
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No, there is no "official" estimate about availability.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:50 AM   #567
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No, there is no "official" estimate about availability.
Nor any "non-official" ones, AFAIK
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:58 AM   #568
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Well, non-official estimates abound, ranging all the way up to "never".
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:26 AM   #569
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Most cable co's actually lose money on the basic only subscribers, especially if they even have just one service call a year.
Let's see. A bunch of channels they get for free, some public access channels, and some shopping channels that they actually get paid to show. My local basic just went up to $21 (yes, I know its as low as $12 in other places). That's $252/year for a mostly marginal quality TV picture using two decade old equipment. And they disasembled our local head end so they have plenty of spare equipment. No crocodile tears here.

Now this may change if they end up paying for HD locals in Feb 09 (when must carry rules shift to digital carriage), but even then they'll blame to broadcasters while secretly counting the increased margin they can charge.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:42 PM   #570
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntrainer
we're in Cox's N.Va. (Fairfax) area, and now that they've gone to switched digital signals, we've lost all of the HD channels, HBO... every single channel over 102 seems to be grey. In addition, for some reason NBC -- not HD, basic NBC, channel 4 -- is also not being processed by our Series 3.
I live in fairfax county and am not experiencing that. I can see all the non-sdv HD channels. I dont subscribe to the digiital tiers so I cant comment on them.

As 3morgans mentions, you're cable cards are probably having cable card issues. Although I don't have any issues like what he is reporting either.
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