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Old 09-15-2013, 12:50 AM   #1
Dan203
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So close! (Yay!)

Those of you that read my posts know that I b*tch a lot about the fact that my cable company still has a bunch of channels that they offer in analog only. Well every now and then I go through the channels on my Elite (now Roamio) checking those channels just to see if they're finally being simulcast. Well today I actually found some. It turns out that about 75% of the channels are now being simulcast. Unfortunately a couple of the ones that aren't are still important so I can't get rid of my Premiere units just yet. However this gives me hope. Maybe in the not to distant future I'll be able to finally get rid of the Premiere units and consolidate everything onto the Roamio. (fingers crossed)
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:40 AM   #2
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Congrats on making progress!!
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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Your cable company would like to welcome you to 2005
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:20 PM   #4
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Man I really, really, hope they transition those last few channels I need to digital soon. I'd like to give my Elite to my Wife so she can have 4 tuners and have the Mini in her office hosted directly by her own TiVo.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:56 AM   #5
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Yay! Looks like they converted the rest of the channels this weekend. I started watching The Daily Show and noticed the quality difference immediately. Tried tuning Comedy Central on my Roamio and sure enough it worked. Flipped through the remaining channels and all of them are being simulcast now.

Now I can convert my wife over to the Elite, get rid of the two Premieres and get a Mini for my office. And if TiVo ever adds user profiles we might even be able to consolidate everything onto the one Roamio Pro.

Also I talked to a Charter tech at my Sister's house the other day and he said this was only the beginning. Apparently they're planning on adding 140 HD channels by the end of the year. That would be awesome! We've only got 29 right now, and that includes the premiums.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:34 AM   #6
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29 is sad unless they're the exact right 29 for your viewing habits.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:24 AM   #7
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Nice. It sounds like they're doing an analog crush in many of their regions. Congrats.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:28 AM   #8
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When I got my first HDTV in 2004 we had about 7 HD channels and had to suffer with a horrible Scientific Atlanta DVR.

So you had the welcome to 2005, now welcome to 2009. Can't wait till you get to 2013.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:36 AM   #9
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In two weeks, we are going all digital. They will be adding almost 100 HD channels. After that we will have over 200 HD channels. Charter has been a good value although it is too bad their support sucks. But we can live with it with the channel lineup they are going to be offering.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:45 AM   #10
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Congrats. Same thing sort of happened here. BUT... My cable company (Cableone in Boise, Id), just sent me email saying all the Turner networks are offline because of a contract dispute. Of all the networks that are being blocked, the only thing that affects me is repeats of Smallville and Castle on TNT. No big loss.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:04 AM   #11
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I wouldn't celebrate addition of many HD channels too much. When Cox did it a few years ago overall quality really got affected. Of course Cox here still has all the analog channels in addition to digital versions. So despite being a 1GHz headend with SDV they are still short on bandwidth and squeeze in 3 HD channels per QAM 256 in some cases which really affects quality. I've been told by Cox that part of the problem is in the national backbone they partly use Comcast feeds which already come over-compressed, and so it's not entirely the local headend that is screwing up the quality of many HD channels.

I still much prefer quality over quantity but it seems most consumers just care about quantity. There are maybe a maximum of 15-20 channels that our family actually records from.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:40 AM   #12
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The local cableco here (Service Electric Cable TV in eastern PA) coasted along with about 30 HD channels until 2009. When Verizon announced they were bringing FiOS to the city, they woke up and suddenly brought their tally close to 100. Competition is good.

Even today they still have around 70 analog channels, with a simulcast of everything. So their HD and digital SD channels are compressed to all hell. Internet uploads are stuck at 1MB (at the time it was 768kbps). It was irritating to see an explosion on Mythbusters (or whatever) be nothing but yellow and orange macroblocks. I was as giddy as a schoolgirl watching the FiOS build-out get closer to my street.

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Old 10-02-2013, 10:08 AM   #13
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I wouldn't celebrate addition of many HD channels too much. When Cox did it a few years ago overall quality really got affected.
It could happen but in my area we have never had compression issues. We will be all digital and we have SDV. There should not be a need to compress the channels measurably.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:05 PM   #14
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We'll see, but I think over compressed HD still looks better SD.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:29 PM   #15
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Why the eagerness to drop the Premieres for the Minis? Is it the speed or the dropping of the MRC for the cablecards?

I have some Premieres and an Elite (and no Minis) so am curious what I'm missing out on.
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:00 PM   #16
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Why the eagerness to drop the Premieres for the Minis? Is it the speed or the dropping of the MRC for the cablecards?

I have some Premieres and an Elite (and no Minis) so am curious what I'm missing out on.
I think that says it all for me. The Mini is much faster and also doesn't require a cable card. My only complaint is i can't access my Amazon content from my Minis.
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:09 PM   #17
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Why the eagerness to drop the Premieres for the Minis?
Probably a reduced cost due to fewer cable card fees and/or additional outlet fees.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:04 PM   #18
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Why the eagerness to drop the Premieres for the Minis? Is it the speed or the dropping of the MRC for the cablecards?

I have some Premieres and an Elite (and no Minis) so am curious what I'm missing out on.
Mostly wiring. Right now I have the cable in that room split 5 ways between a modem, a MoCa adapter, the Premier, the tuning adapter and the power source for the amplifier. Without the Premiere I could eliminate two of them and maybe even eliminate the amp. In fact I might be able to just put the MoCa adapter right next to the modem and use it's pass through port eliminating the splitters altogether.

Plus with a Mini I can easily move it over into the guest room when my niece visits and she can use it to watch Disney channel. (previously Disney was analog and there is no cable run to that room, so she was limited to the Netflix app on the TV)

Plus there is the cost savings of less power usage and no CableCARD.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:09 PM   #19
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We'll see, but I think over compressed HD still looks better than SD.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:51 PM   #20
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I moved my wife over to the Elite last night. CableCARD transfer took about 5 minutes. Was even faster then when I did my Roamio because apparently the woman I was talking to had privileges to unpair the card and did not need to have a supervisor do it for her.

So based on my recent experience moving a CableCARD to a new TiVo is cake, but setting up a new one is still a huge PITA.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:16 PM   #21
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Just got a robo call from Charter today warning me that they are switching to all digital soon and that if I have any TVs which do not have a box I need to get one. The best part of the call was they said the update would include 150 new HD channels. We currently only have about 20 so that's a huge step up for us. Can't wait for the switchover.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:34 PM   #22
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Just got a robo call from Charter today warning me that they are switching to all digital soon and that if I have any TVs which do not have a box I need to get one. The best part of the call was they said the update would include 150 new HD channels. We currently only have about 20 so that's a huge step up for us. Can't wait for the switchover.
That is cool. We switched over 2 days ago to all digital. I was told the lines outside of Charter were wild. And it is taking forever to activate any device. If you plan on activating anything, you might want to do it soon or wait until well after the switch over. The issue in our area is the switch over is taking a month and a half. So some people switched this week and some will not switch until December. It is causing a lot of confusion.

But I am enjoying all the HD channels we got. I can't think of a single channel that we don't have in HD now that I ever watch.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:07 PM   #23
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We don't have any devices that need to be activated. We have TiVos and Minis in every room, so the digital switchover isn't affecting us. (my Sister is being affected, her two kids' rooms were using straight analog)

I'm really looking forward to the new HD channels. I recently rewatched The Walking Dead on Netflix, ahead of the new season, and it was HD. Watching the last few episodes in SD has been pretty painful. Also since they started simulcasting the quality of Comedy Central has been terrible. Tosh.0, The Daily Show and Colbert all look worse then they did when I was recording them from analog.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:30 PM   #24
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Tomorrow is the the day!

The TiVo lineup has already been updated to include the new channels, but none of them are functional yet. I'll try again after midnight and see if they come alive.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:52 PM   #25
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Tomorrow is the the day!

The TiVo lineup has already been updated to include the new channels, but none of them are functional yet. I'll try again after midnight and see if they come alive.
I still have about 10 channels that are missing guide data after more than a month of being all-digital. However, all of them are obscure channels or VOD channels so it hasn't affected me. But the first day of guide data had many duplicate channels and channels listed with the wrong number. But they fixed all of them really quick.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:55 PM   #26
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I just rearan GS on a TiVo I don't really use much except for OTA. It seems to have all the important channels I want. Just need them to go live so I can actually watch them.

Although they seemed to have done a pretty good job of keeping the current lineup as-is and squeeze in the new channels around them. (good planning? Or dumb luck?) So it shouldn't cause any problems with current SPs or recordings.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:32 PM   #27
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I wouldn't celebrate addition of many HD channels too much. When Cox did it a few years ago overall quality really got affected. Of course Cox here still has all the analog channels in addition to digital versions. So despite being a 1GHz headend with SDV they are still short on bandwidth and squeeze in 3 HD channels per QAM 256 in some cases which really affects quality. I've been told by Cox that part of the problem is in the national backbone they partly use Comcast feeds which already come over-compressed, and so it's not entirely the local headend that is screwing up the quality of many HD channels.

I still much prefer quality over quantity but it seems most consumers just care about quantity. There are maybe a maximum of 15-20 channels that our family actually records from.
3 HD per 38 Mbps QAM is 12.67 Mbps per channel. Is that really that hateful? I suppose it depends on how well they're compressing, and maybe size (of your TV screen) does matter.

HD channels on my TWC system are 12 Mbps. I would have to have a larger TV and/or better eyes for that to be problem.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:34 PM   #28
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3 HD per 38 Mbps QAM is 12.67 Mbps per channel. Is that really that hateful? I suppose it depends on how well they're compressing, and maybe size (of your TV screen) does matter.

HD channels on my TWC system are 12 Mbps. I would have to have a larger TV and/or better eyes for that to be problem.
Considering that some stations such as CBS use almost 18 Mbps for their OTA 1080i HD yes, I would say 12 Mbps in comparison is pretty bad. CBS bit rate via Cox is actually still pretty good here and doesn't suffer much rate shaping and thus on par with the OTA version. It is quite striking to me even on a small 40" screen how much better CBS looks compared to say USA, Discovery or some of the other national HD channels we get from Cox.
Remember we're talking mpeg2 compression here, not H.264. Good quality DVDs (remember those) with only 720x480 resolution can be almost 10 Mbps as a comparison point.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:54 PM   #29
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Considering that some stations such as CBS use almost 18 Mbps for their OTA 1080i HD yes, I would say 12 Mbps in comparison is pretty bad. CBS bit rate via Cox is actually still pretty good here and doesn't suffer much rate shaping and thus on par with the OTA version. It is quite striking to me even on a small 40" screen how much better CBS looks compared to say USA, Discovery or some of the other national HD channels we get from Cox.
Remember we're talking mpeg2 compression here, not H.264. Good quality DVDs (remember those) with only 720x480 resolution can be almost 10 Mbps as a comparison point.
Hopefully cable companies that are now all-digital will start switching to h.264 on more channels. If the compression is done right it will let them provide a better quality at a smaller bitrate. Of course being a cable company means they will find a reason to use that extra bandwidth and over compress the channels. But one can dream.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:29 PM   #30
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Of course being a cable company means they will find a reason to use that extra bandwidth and over compress the channels.
Of course, because then they can add 15 more reality TV channels, several more non-English channels, four more shopping channels, and the watching paint dry channel. Then raise the bill another 20%.
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