Question about Comcast (Portland) "Digital Economy" and HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Papageno, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Dec 2, 2010 #1 of 10
    Papageno

    Papageno Member

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    Jan 30, 2005

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    So I get the FCC-required super-small-print mailing that Comcast sent out recently concerning rate increases and such, and I see that there's a tier available called Digital Economy that provides about 95% of what I watch on TV, and not only is it substantially cheaper than Digital Starter, but it's actually going DOWN in price as of January 1st!

    My question is, does getting HD versions of cable-only channels like AMC and Comedy Central depend on the service tier one has, or solely on equipment (either rented from Comcast--an HD settop box--or a CableCard in an HD device like a TiVo Premiere)?

    There's a double-asterisk note on the mailer that states: "HD converter and remote required to receive HD features and benefits. Subscription to corresponding standard definition channel level of service is required." I read this to mean that obviously I have to have a package with Comedy Central to get Comedy Central HD, plus the equipment of course, but not that I have to have some high tier of service to get HD. Am I wrong?
     
  2. Dec 2, 2010 #2 of 10
    Papageno

    Papageno Member

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    OK, get this- I just called them and downgraded my service to the Digital Economy tier and they told me that if I have their settop box ($8 per month) I DO have access to the HD channel versions of the channels that come with that tier.

    BUT (and I think this is utter BS and not the law)--the guy I spoke to told me that "CableCard is not provided and won't work with TiVo Premiere" at the Digital Economy level. That HAS to be ********. Doesn't the FCC _require_ them to provide a CableCard on request, as long as one subscribes?
     
  3. Dec 2, 2010 #3 of 10
    rbranson

    rbranson New Member

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    First of all, yes, it's complete bullhocky that you can't get a CableCARD, this is required by the FCC. Second, I tried out the Digital Economy package recently, and it sucked. The people at the local office were practically clueless about it, and neither they nor Comcast at the national level knew what channels I get, so I decided just to give it a try. No Turner (TNT, TBS), Viacom (Comedy Central, MTV, etc) channels, FX, or Food Network. Since these are what I originally got cable for, I decided it wasn't worth the money without it and just bumped myself back up a tier. Much happier paying extra for something that I actually use and that satisfies me than something that doesn't give me what I want at all. Since I very rarely watch sports and from what I understand sports programming is some of the most expensive to license, I wish I could opt out of those to save some cash. One day.
     
  4. Dec 2, 2010 #4 of 10
    Papageno

    Papageno Member

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    Um, according to the flier I got from Comcast, at least in the Portland area, Digital Economy (as opposed to Limited Basic) gets me everything included in Limited Basic (local stations, public access, CSPAN, etc.) + Hallmark, Disney, Cartoon Network, Animal Planet, CNN, Weather Channel, Fox News, CNN, History, TruTV, A&E,BET,Spike TV, USA Network, Comedy Central, TV Land, Food Network, Lifetime, E! and AMC. True, I don't get FX, TNT, TBS or MTV (which for me stopped being interesting when they stopped, you know, showing music videos).

    Now if I can get them to pull their heads out of you-know-where on the CableCARD thing, and get myself a TiVo Premiere, I'll be all set.
     
  5. Dec 2, 2010 #5 of 10
    rbranson

    rbranson New Member

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    Sucks for us then (Memphis area). Out of the ones you listed that you don't get, FX is the only one I'm really interested in. Good luck with it.
     
  6. Dec 2, 2010 #6 of 10
    smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

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    Look on down the rate card for something called 'HD Technology Fee'. Down here in Eugene it says $8/mo if you get any HD in the household, although I don't seem to be charged for it currently.

    I'm personally thinking of downgrading from Preferred to Digital Starter.

    Rate increase is nuts, it costs too much already.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2010 #7 of 10
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

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    Up until early this year I had the cheap $10/mo Limited Basic and didn't have a problem getting CableCARDs from Comcast.

    But the OP illustrates the bigger problem, which is that Comcast's rate structure is utterly incomprehensible, even to their own employees. There are all these stupid "fees" and "outlets" listed.

    Nevertheless, here is a page that isn't easily found, and that might be of assistance in understanding the rates. Good luck. I now have FiOS, and while I can't do MRV between TiVos, the signal quality is outstanding. And I can understand the bill. And the bill doesn't have "technology fees" on it.
     
  8. erider99

    erider99 New Member

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    Dec 18, 2006
    I have two Premier boxes and just downgraded my Comcast from Digital Preferred to Digital Economy, since it includes 90% of what I watch. Now I find that the Associated HD channels for the Economy package aren't there (such as AMC). I do receive the HD channels for all the Limited Basic group, but none of the additional Digital Economy stations. It really isn't worth much like this. I'm either going up to Digital Starter or down to Limited Basic.

    Unless something is wrong at the Cablecard level?
     
  9. Papageno

    Papageno Member

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    Jan 30, 2005
    Yeah, much to my dismay the only HD channels I'm getting now that the CableCARD is properly installed in my new Premiere (a process which went much more smoothly than I thought it would, thank God) are the HD versions of the local ones, 2-13 (ABC CBS NBC FOX PBS etc)--no Comedy Central, AMC or anything else. So I'm going back to Digital Starter (the plus is at least I'll have TBS and FX back). Honestly I'm not sure that's in line with regulations but since when is anyone actually regulating anyone anymore, right? It's all about big business buying off Congress.
     
  10. Dancar

    Dancar Member

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    Oct 8, 2001
    Seattle,...
    Digital Economy means just that - the minimum you need to just watch the shows on those channels. I believe they are legally obligated to pass on the local broadcast outlets unaltered - which means HD. But they supply other channels in SD only to get people to upgrade to a pricier package. But for people who have low incomes and haven't bought HD sets yet, Digital Economy is just fine.
     

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