Comcast DTA unboxing

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by rv65, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. ictwywtv

    ictwywtv New Member

    Nov 29, 2006


    so i just read this whole thread.

    IIUC when comcast screws me completes the digital migration in my area, my 'box' input of my Series 2 Dual Tuner (S2DT) which is currently connected to a STB (Set Top Box) will be fine. But my 'cable' input, which gets the cable wire directly from the wall to the tivo (well, thru a splitter) ,and which currently records ch 2-99 using the tuner inside the tivo (no ir blaster nor serial cable) will only record ch 2-28 (or so).

    The tivo site calls this "retain dual tuner capabilities" but they dont say "recording 1/3 as many channels as before". That seems misleading to me. I OFTEN am recording one channel 29-500 and viewing another 29-99, or recording two channels, one 29-500 and one 29-99.

    So for the most part, my Dual Tuner is becoming a Single Tuner. Many people/posters have said that, and those ppl seem honest to me.


    here's an idea. I figured if this exists, the ppl here are likely to know abt it.

    Couldnt there be a box that takes the cable from the wall as input, with digital only extended basic ch 28-99 and converts ALL those channels to analog and outputs them on another coax in analog form. Why do all the boxes 'tune' a single digital channel and output only that channel Why can't it tune ALL of them and output them all.

    Cuz then i could just plug that right into my 'cable' input of my S2DT and i'd be happy.

    does such a thing exist?

    could it?
  2. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

    Aug 29, 2002
    Because you would need a device with 71 digital tuners and digital->analog converters?
  3. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    Sure, if you want to spend $50,000 building a cable plant in your basement.

    Yes, such a thing exists, I support an apartment complex that takes both SD and HD from Dish Network, reoutputs the SD as analog cable and the HD as QAM.
  4. blocktek

    blocktek New Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Have you gotten to the bottom of this? I've recently taken posession of the Comcast DTA. Though I'm not using TiVO, I am using a DVR (an EyeTV) with an IRBlaster (ZephIR). I'm having the same issue. It seems to occur every couple of days. Use of the Comcast remote to change channels brings back functionality. I am not recording paid programs. I can't figure out the cause of this for the life of me. I have emails out to both Pace and Comcast, but don't have high hopes. VERY frustrating.
  5. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Bellingham WA


    I later changed to three digits, as quoted below. Scroll down from the post linked to below for further comments.

  6. oldradio99

    oldradio99 Member

    Nov 22, 2005

    I just spent the better part of an hour on the phone with Comcast.

    I own a Humax Series 2 single tuner and I connect without a cable box.

    There is no IR receptor on the side of the DTA as shown in the support pages of Tivo and using the front IR receptor is not reliable.

    What I was told by Comcast was that I could get a cable box but since I already had cable cards, I would have to pay $5.99 per month.

    This is highway robbery. So at the end of September I will get less service for the same money.

  7. sfxc13

    sfxc13 New Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Call back. I had a rep give me a free cable box even though I have cable cards. Had been told previously I would have to pay.

    If they argue with you I would say that cable card is not equivalent because does not give access to on demand services which is part of your subscription costs. So they should either reduce your bill or give you a free cable box. (guess which option they will pick ...)
  8. 2004raptor

    2004raptor time to emancipate

    Dec 30, 2005
    I am having more and more trouble with this DTA and my Series 2 tivo. It worked fine last night and now today when you change a channel, the # changes and the info but the same show remains. I have unplugged it twice with no fix. UNplugged it again and going to wait an hour just to see if that helps.

    I think the least comcast should do would be to give me the cheap cable box as a replacement. Just not sure if it will be much better.
  9. oldradio99

    oldradio99 Member

    Nov 22, 2005

    The hilarity of all this is I received a call from a local technician. He actually wondered outloud if you used a double ended mini plug from IR to IR if that would work. He was going to try and call me today.

    In the meantime I received an email from Comcast ecare (supposedly their top notch customer service reps). In that email they said the DTA would not work with TIVO and there was NO Way that the Tivo could change the channel on the DTA.

    I have responded with the link to their own web site citing the reference and telling ecare that they are wrong. Will see if I get a response.

    Fighting with Comcast is a game for me. And I feel like the Energizer Bunny, I just keep going and going.

    So today is a waiting game - will I get a call and will I get an email?

    By the way - beware of that free box. I had a free box for a year but then they audited the acocunts and they made me turn it in. Make sure you get it in writing that the box is free.
  10. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003

    Essentially, the FCC has approved the use of embedded (low-grade) security in low-cost QAM tuners issued by cable companies to serve the needs of expanded basic cable consumers. The FCC evidently feels that many subscribers will benefit from greater low-cost access to advanced services through the availability of a less expensive converter box. (No one really benefits from forcing cable companies and cable subscribers to use higher-cost STBs for expanded basic cable networks.)

    This waiver helps level the regulatory playing field, a small amount at least, between cable and satellite, which has been biased in satellite's favor for many years.

    There is a down-side for some subscribers though: Cable companies have been considering a few options in the absence of the waiver. The temporary intention seems to generally be to rely on traps to secure the first level of advanced services (often called "expanded", including networks such as Disney, A&E, USA, FX, TNT, etc.) Traps are expensive to maintain, and therefore represent a significant cost of service, but the up-side of traps for consumers is that once you purchase access to a channel, you can receive that channel on every television in your home, with a tuner capable of tuning it in. With this waiver, the need for traps is relieved; instead that first level of advanced services can be secured with the DTA's privacy mode, which can be enabled and monitored remotely, representing much less cost. However, it means that QAM tuners without CableCARDs are unable to tune in these channels.

    Despite this waiver, CableCARD still remains the means by which the industry complies with the federally-mandated requirement to allow consumers to use their own host devices. When considering the value of a QAM tuner a customer may own or purchase, whether it is stand-alone, embedded in a television, DVR, or PC card, a customer must always consider that the promise that that QAM tuner will work is limited to one signal service from each local broadcaster (and not necessarily the main-channel HD service), unless the QAM tuner is CableCARD capable and a CableCARD is installed and paired.
  11. sgip2000

    sgip2000 New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Bunch of BS. What good was the "Separable Security" requirement if they're going to keep rescinding it?
  12. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    The haven't rescinded it. They waived it for specific services, for specific devices.

    It's a tough balance that the FCC has to achieve. In the end, many people will benefit from getting expanded basic service on one of their two included ("free") DTAs, instead of having to pay extra for a STB. This is one of those cases where more advanced users have to defer to the needs of the overwhelmingly large group of less advanced users.
  13. chakk

    chakk New Member

    Mar 27, 2008
    If you are changing a channel with the Tivo remote, but the DTA is not switching to the new channel, then either your IR blasters have slipped and are no longer correctly providing signal to the DTA, or the channel you are attempting to switch to on the DTA is no longer on the air (in which case the DTA stays where it was rather than go to a blank channel), or the DTA itself has failed and should be returned to sender for a replacement.

    If this happens for every channel number you choose with your Tivo remote, then the problem is with the first or third option listed above. If this happens for only some (or one?) channel, I would suggest unplugging the DTA for 30 seconds, then plug it back in so it can re-sync the channel lineup with your service provider.
  14. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    In earlier cable boxes (analog) it was possible to have both unscrambled channels carried along with ones the box had to be programmed to unscramble for THAT household.

    Don't tell me the same can't be done with current boxes.

    If Comcast and others wanted to, they could continue to provide ("expanded") basic channels unscrambled, along with other channels that need to be unscrambled on a per household basis.

    This desire to use the DTAs as full-fledged cable boxes in no way messes with anything. The standard cable channels could still be provided in an unscrambled form, tunable by the DTAs or QAM tuners.
  15. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    Good point. There is no question that some channels can remain in the clear, and we know that that indeed will be the case since at least one signal from each local broadcast station must be carried that way.

    I think the point is that the need to encrypt expanded basic exists. There is way too much value being provided to not employ a means of securing that value. So the only question left is whether that will mean that everyone will have to pay to rent a STB on every television, or pay only one third as much to have a DTA on every television.
  16. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.

    We've had cable-ready tuners in TVs and recorders for years.

    We should continue to have the same now.
  17. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003

    We used to be able to check two bags when flying somewhere. Not anymore on many airlines. We also sometimes pay for food and beverages which used to be free, and we also sometimes pay for blankets and pillows.

    We used to be able to get into see Illuminations at Epcot in Orlando without paying admission. Not anymore.

    We used to be able to get copies of certain medical records for free. Not anymore.

    We used to be able to throw out as much garbage as we wanted each week. Not anymore. We have to pay $2 per bag beyond a cap.

    We used to be able to throw out newspaper and corrugated cardboard and plastic and glass. Now we have to sort the containers into separate bins, and break down the cardboard, and tie the broken-down cardboard and newspapers up neatly.
    Things change.

    We used to get free rice at Chinese restaurants. Not anymore at many restaurants.

    We used to get paper bills for every service that we use. Now some service providers charge extra to get a paper bill.

    We used to get free conversions of documents onto your Kindle. Now the charge for the conversion is assessed.​

    If you expect that nothing will ever change, you'll lead a life of continual disappointment and bitterness.

    The fact remains that all four of Comcast's competitors here in Burlington all already require a box on every television for cable networks. Comcast is playing catch-up. They offered what you want longer than the rest. That's something to be grateful for.
  18. rv65

    rv65 Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Comcast is turning on the Privacy mode encryption in it's Portland system next month. It's a 2 phase rollout. November 10 is phase 1 while November 17 is phase 2. This is according to an email sent out to all employees.
  19. Judremy

    Judremy Member

    Jun 28, 2004
    They currently are for me. It's just the channels are hard to figure out:

    55 = 75.3

    101 = 83.2

    You can still use your TV if it has a QAM tuner, just need to make a chart of the channels.
  20. SalemCat

    SalemCat Active Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    I've also been investigating this the last few days. Getting Comcast Technical Support to give me a straight answer is like pulling teeth.

    I hooked up the Coax from Comcast to (2) different Tuners that are DIGITAL-ONLY, and NO Channels were received.

    Then I hooked up an ANALOG Tuner to their DTA, and received Channel 3. I then used the DTA Remote to scroll thru the Channels.

    I have concluded Comcast is sending a signal down the cables that no Digital Tuner can use. And that you must use their DTA and an Analog TV.

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