Comcast DTA unboxing

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

  1. SalemCat

    SalemCat Active Member

    250
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    Apr 13, 2006

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    FREE ? Sorry, no - and maybe.

    I've been told they are on LOAN - if you lose them they will charge you $$$.

    The Comcast Rep told me this. Of course Comcast Rep's have been never been wrong before (snicker).
     
  2. MrSinatra

    MrSinatra New Member

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    Oct 20, 2009
    comcast is evil, period.

    first of all, cable is a monopoly, they abuse that monopoly power. they should not be allowed to.

    secondly, the tech exists, via cable cards or tru2way cards, to allow the cable company to secure their signal while at the same time not require the customer to use their damn boxes, which they FORCE you to rent and don't offer to sell! amazing they get away with that.

    thirdly, lots of older people simply can't keep up with or understand all these changes. it simply isn't fair to them.

    people expect the cable company to protect their signal, thats fine. its the HOW that sucks. that cable companies want to force their hardware on people isn't surprising, b/c as a monopoly, they can. (and don't say they aren't a monopoly, clearly they are. sat can't NOT have a box, and verizn is small potatoes and also forces a box, but thats because in both cases the tech dictates it. not so in trad cable)

    and don't get me started on NFL network...
     
  3. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    7,486
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    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.


    And you felt the need to reply to a post from December of last year because...?

    Oh, and by the way, you're wrong.

    Cable boxes normally include a monthly charge, and since these don't they are "free". When you don't have to pay for something, that's what it's called.

    "Free".

    Look it up!

    As for needing to pay for them if you lose them, OOOOOOH! There's a surprise. As if you wouldn't need to also pay for a rented box you lost.

    How DO you lose a cable box anyway? Hmmmm?

    Oh please.... :rolleyes:
     
  4. bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,671
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    Nov 9, 2003
    Florida
    $115 ea. I recently received a bill from Comcast for four of them... I'm going into the office today to try to straighten it out. (I have the DTAs, but was never given an opportunity to return them...)

    Also, note that what Comcast is saying to me is that with my level of service, Digital Economy, I cannot have them. So you're right... not free. You pay for them as part of your Digital Starter or higher level of service. I'm clearly not paying for them with my Digital Economy service.
     
  5. bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,671
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    Nov 9, 2003
    Florida

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    Totally incorrect. The US Court of Appeals recently spanked the FCC for making the same mistake you have, i.e., refusing to recognize satellite service providers are effective competition for cable service providers. So you're in good company in your error.

    What are you talking about? They do secure their service using CableCARD, and folks are indeed allowed to use their own CableCARD-compatible boxes instead of one rented from the cable company. I know: I have a TiVo S3 and it works great!

    Beyond that, what makes you think cable companies are allowed to sell these boxes? They don't make them. They purchase them under contract from companies like Motorola, Cisco, Thompson, Pace, Samsung, etc. It is up to those companies whether or not to allow their boxes to be sold to the general public. These consumer electronics manufacturers have made it very clear from their own actions that they have absolutely no interest in doing business with folks like us.

    Finally, it was the FCC who granted this waiver. This isn't a loophole. It's not a mistake or an oversight or an exploit. It was a deliberate decision by an agency that is traditionally very anti-cable. They even impose regulations on cable that they waive for satellite providers -- that's just how much they work against cable. They granted this waiver because it is good for subscribers. It provides a lower cost solution than requiring a CableCARD-compatible box for all cable channels, once they're all encrypted.

    There is no merit in your accuastion in that regard.
     
  6. Kenji

    Kenji New Member

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    Jun 28, 2003
    Oakland,...
    Hey. I'm having the same problem that mickpegg had. I know that my DTA box is working because if I plug its output directly into my TV, the DTA box works fine. However, when I plug the DTA box's output into the TiVo's RF input and run Guided Setup, all goes well until the TiVo box asks me if I can see video - all I see is a black screen.

    How have people who had this problem solved it? Thanks much.
     
  7. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,653
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    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Get the DTA working on the TV itself (as some have done here), and have the TiVo setup for normal direct tuning (redo guided setup if you have a non-working TiVo setup right now).

    Then, before running guided setup, connect the DTA to the RF input of the TiVo. Tune the TiVo to channel 3 (or 4, depending on how you have things set up - make sure the DTA and TiVo agree on either 3 or 4!). You should now be getting a signal from the DTA, and be able to change channels and see it on the TV by using the DTA remote itself (you have to keep the TiVo channel fixed on 3 or 4).

    Only once you've tested you're getting all the channels you need through the DTA, then run guided setup on the TiVo. The purpose of the guided setup is to tell the TiVo how to control the DTA box, and that channel changes on the TiVo remote should not change the channel that the TiVo gets things on, but should just be passed on to the DTA box by the IR emitter (and to get the new DTA channel list)
     
  8. Kenji

    Kenji New Member

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    Jun 28, 2003
    Oakland,...
    I appreciate the reply, but I've already done everything you said and when I get to the part of Guided Setup where it says "your channels are all set up. Are you seeing video now?", all I see is a black screen. Anyone else?
     
  9. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,653
    2
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    So you're saying that right before you're running "Guided Setup", the DTA signal is going through the TiVo, and you can see all DTA channels on your TV (though you have to use the DTA remote to do it)? And the back of the TiVo 3/4 switch is set to the proper one that the DTA is outputting?

    If you're now getting a black screen, try changing the DTA channel with the DTA remote again, just to confirm everything is still working (you should be able to get all channels again, unless the 3/4 switch is wrong). The only two scenarios that should result in a black screen now are
    1. the TiVo tuning the DTA to some non-existent channel (like 0), in which case the issue is getting the IR blaster to communicate properly.
    2. The 3/4 switch is not set or functioning correctly and the TiVo is trying to read the signal on the wrong channel. Using the TiVo remote to change to the other one might work, I don't know. If you have the option, change both the TiVo and the DTA to use the other channel.
     
  10. Kenji

    Kenji New Member

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    Jun 28, 2003
    Oakland,...
    I solved the problem.

    During Guided Setup, the TiVo box asks you if you receive any premium channels. Until now, I answered "yes", since I receive HBO and Encore as part of my cable package used by my HDTV in another room. Apparently, doing that sends the TiVo tuner into Deep Space, and it won't tune any analog channels at all (I tested this by plugging my cable directly into the TiVo box's RF input after Guided Setup completed, and I couldn't tune a single channel). It also causes Guided Setup to not ask you what type of cable box you have, or to even try to change the channels on the box.

    Answering "no" to the "do you receive any premium channels" question fixes everything. Hopefully this knowledge will help someone else down the road.
     
  11. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Bellingham WA
    Such a deal! :eek:

    Actually it appears that, at least in NW WA, Comcast is no longer offering Digital Economy service to new customers. Instead it's offering a promo for Digital Starter @ $29.99/mo. for 6 mos. Terms and Conditions for the promo state 'limited to service on a single outlet'. After 6 mos. the standard charge of $57.45/mo. applies and service is no longer limited to a single outlet.

    Interestingly, although Comcast implies that a DTA can only be used in conjunction with the account it's linked to when activated, that doesn't appear to be true. I took one of mine over to a neighbor so she could try it out and it continued to work fine.

    EBay listing #170411073088 offers a Comcast Pace DC50X DTA NIB for $149.99 and has ignored 5 lower offers.
     
  12. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Nov 9, 2003
    Florida
    The way I understand it, there is no way to tell where within a neighborhood a specific piece of equipment is located.
     
  13. MrSinatra

    MrSinatra New Member

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    Oct 20, 2009
    which will be appealed to the us supreme court. come on, everyone knows cable companies are monopolies. what is it with you, work for one?

    cablecards are NOT available in most locations, including where i live. cablecards don't give you ondemand access. but the point is i should be able to buy a full cablebox from ANYBODY and have it work with any cable system, just like a cable modem, (ie. have a DOCSIS type standard for cableboxes) and not rent it either as a line item or as part of my overall service.

    thats crazy. these companies sell cable modems. secondly, the cable companies DO own them, they don't rent them from motorola or anyone else. while i'm sure thy have contracts for support of these boxes, it's not like they could return them all and get their money back. where do you get these "facts???"

    if you think this isn't collusion, then why is it not one company does sell these boxes to the public? its b/c not one cable system would support it! the companies don't sell to the public b/c thats EXACTLY what the cable systems want, duh! the cable box makers know who their real customers are, and it isn't us.

    which waiver? you need to clarify what you mean b4 i can respond.

    what nonsense, who do you think you are, god? i deal with old people all the time and what i said is true. older people are by and large confused and angry by all the crap comcast and others are pulling these days.
     
  14. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Nov 9, 2003
    Florida
    Everyone knows that cable companies are not monopolies. Folks like to deceive themselves about this issue to make themselves feel better about themselves and their baseless pot-shots. You want the Supreme Court to overturn this. They haven't. Your assumption that they will is very telling vis a vis your bias and how blindly you hold to it.

    And no, I have never worked for a cable company. My perspective is a balanced perspective, factoring in both your consumer bias and the perspective of business.

    That is unfortunate for you. The reality is that all major cable companies are required to provide them. Your marginal experience, experienced by so little of the country, is not what determines the reality overall.

    You want your dentist to be required to sell you a STB? That insane. What you probably meant to say is that you should be able to buy a STB from any STB manufacturer. On what tenet of law are you basing your assertion that the government has any right to force a manufacturer to sell anything? That's socialism. This is not a socialist country.

    No, it's reality. A reality you don't like -- I respect that -- but a reality all the same.

    If you think it is collusion, prove it in the justice system. Otherwise, you're just blowing smoke, whining about what you want, as a consumer, but cannot have, because there is not a sufficient profit motive to justify providing it.

    You really should read up on a subject before you post about it. The DTA privacy mode waiver has been discussed in this thread already, and is a major factor in the issues you're attempting to participate in a discussion about.

    No: Rather, just someone who actually knows what he's talking about, and someone willing to acknowledge that reality is not necessarily only what is best for me personally as a consumer.
     
  15. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Bellingham WA
    In line with your info that Comcast essentially prices its Pace DTAs @ $115.00 and that they may not work everywhere, I submitted a Best Offer of $125.00 to the eBay seller if he allows the DTA to be returned for a full refund within 7 days. The offer is currently pending.

    I can use a 3rd DTA but also am curious about whether they can be used anywhere on Comcast's system.

    The difference between Digital Economy and Digital Starter is hi-def availability. The 6 mos. Starter promo is Comcast's lure to entice viewers to spring for hi-def.

    In this area, Comcast is scrambling all Extended Basic Channels but OTA hi-def simulcasts are in the clear. All other hi-def channels are scrambled.

    DTAs of course can't receive any hi-def channels but provide a good-looking 480i 4x3 picture to any standard-def recorder such as S2. Funai's QAM tuner DVD recorder can receive unscrambled hi-def channels and can record them in 480i 16x9 format which looks pretty good.
     
  16. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

    869
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    Dec 28, 2007
    Bellingham WA
    WAAAGH!

    Life isn't fair.
    http://www.atg.wa.gov/pressrelease.aspx?&id=24860
     
  17. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Bellingham WA
    The seller declined my offer and won't accept returns for any reason. Caveat Emptor!
     
  18. comedygirl24

    comedygirl24 New Member

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    Dec 14, 2009
    Uhuh... that's disturbing...
     
  19. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

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    Jan 17, 2002
    Northern...
    Yeah. It's typical auto-tune failure and it cost me some hair. I got "No signal on Cable 1 in."

    Do a restart on the TiVo to make it scan to tune the channel and you'll see the signal.
     
  20. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    14,222
    2
    Jan 17, 2002
    Northern...
    The DTA itself has a label that says "Property of Comcast - must be returned...."
     

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