Using PC TV card and Windows media center with Comcast digital tv converter box

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Can I use a computer tv card with the comcast digital converter box? I seem to no longer be able to change channels on the computer, only with the converter remote control.
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Posted 6 years ago

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j3tblk

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Hey could you post your reply again? 3 times just isn't enough.
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purrelli

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Ok, Comcast sucks and we all know it. They also have no concern about providing for the best quality experience for their customers only the most possible revenue.

That being a given there is a solution, of course it requires you spending more money...

http://hd.engadget.com/2010/03/30/cet...
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withcamera

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I have mine hooked up directly to a Comcast cable box and I have it hooked to to a new card that I bought specifically because it said it supported Win 7 Media Center. I have tried ATI cards too and not had any luck. I just bought this card BECAUSE it said it worked with Win 7 media center...but I still get the dreaded copyright message. So is it Comcast...or is it the card? I do get the movie channels on channel 3 with the Hauppauge software and I don't get that annoying message.
I am a little confused...is this hostility aimed at me? I am just here looking for some answers.
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jaydubem

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So, I have the problem of losing the QAM channels after awakening from sleep after I installed W7. I called Hauppage support and they told me to go BACK to an earlier driver - prior to the one on the update which is like 9/2009. And it worked!!! so why issue an update for W7 if it actually causes problems? Job security???
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cjs.cristian

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Comcast just trying to control too much....
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mcaskey

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I want to use Windows Media Center with my Comcast Digital Cable, and I DON'T want to have to use a Comcast box, nor do I want to have to pay for another DVR (That's what Windows Media Center is for).

How can I make this happen? I've lost more channels!
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jbf

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Good luck. If you find a way to break their digital encryption without a special PC QAM digital tuner card with a cable card slot (which isn't on the market yet!) let the rest of us all know how you did it.

jbf.123
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Manuel

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I have read hundreds of peoples replies to the Comcast problem over the last few months. In 2005 when Comcast gave the approval of their new boxes they knew exactly where they were going to go. If you record a TV show they want a piece. The Qam tuners were already planned to be eliminated. They decided to control all phases by encrypting the signal coming in so only their box will give you a signal. They wanted to know your habits so that was built into the box. You can no longer use a VCR because the signal is encryted. To keep the computer people happy they now have Xfinity to make your viewing pleasure easier and profitable for them. After all they bought NBC so they need billions to pay off their debt.

People right now are getting the lower signals (2-22) because those are in analog temporarily during their change over. Eventually those will be gone and your PC cards, Vcrs, digital TV tuners will all be rendered useless without their box. What is worse the free converters dumb down your viewing to 480, So if you want a good picture you will have to pay for the more expensive box. You will not be able to move the boxes from room to room without having to call them to adjust it for you. At which time they will ask which room is it in. This is for viewing habits and to make sure you are paying them for the TV.

People buying converter boxes on ebay are wasting their money. If the box was stolen Comcast will know it. They will force you to call them to adjust the box and they will make sure you pay them for the TV and the box. Lot of the free boxes have clauses in different parts of the US. When the promo is over they will start charging you for boxes at a price yet undetermined.

Apartments that had one cable and wired into all rooms will no longer work without the box. So now each tenant will have to go pay for a box to see TV and you must tell them where the box is located so they can keep track. Comcast has now a direct link into every home and room. Talk about Big Brother Conspiracy. They have done this out of Greed and think of it as good business. Meanwhile they tell the customers that they are enhancing your viewing experience as a excuse to put your hands in your pocket.

I don't want to make you paranoid but do you know how easy it is now to put video and audio in those boxes if someone wanted to spy on you? They are already spying on you learning your viewing habits. They know people will be angry at first but will calm down after they get their first dose of the Nfl season or the new line up of shows. Nothing will probably ever be done about this but someone should. We are entering a new age. Where people have lost their jobs but will still have to pay high fees to get their fix of television. People will be paying $1,000 to $4,000 a year for TV when they should be using it on paying debt and health care. It is a crazy world.
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Manuel

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Those using comcast can to to this link to use their VCR to record a show.

http://customer.comcast.com/Pages/FAQ...

You will find you need the deluxe box hooked up and your vcr set to 3 or 4. The Comcast box has to now tune the station in for you and you will have to set the VCR to turn on at that time. Someone said if you were home watching another channel you will no longer be able to do this without the Comcast DVR upgrade setup. It is pretty well setup for you to dig into your pockets for each service you want.

It is really sad because out of all the cable companies I have used Comcast seems to be the most responsive. It is upsetting to see their greed as they bring on their new system. They give good service but they want to make sure they get paid first. This attitude is making watching TV more complicated.
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cmonster67

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Now if there was only a similar solution for those of us using Windows Media Center to record programs and have to now rely on a DTA as a tuner.
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wnwilde

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I have two Haupauge TV cards in my Media Center pc. I have two DTAs and wanted to see if I can set up the two DTAs, one for each card.
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gerrysheetoo

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I purchased a Hauppauge 1600 card to replace the card originally installed on my HP (m1270n)2005 MCE. Since I don't have a STB and my OTA digital transmissions are unreliable, I did this to receive "clear QAM " and "time shift" my favorite unencrypted TV shows. The Hauppauge 1600 is supposed to do this !!!!!

The instructions that came with this card were confusing. Adding to the confusion, this card has TWO coax inputs. One is for " analog cable TV ", the other is "ATSC /clear QAM Digital cable TV".

After three full days of installing and re-installing the drivers that came with the installation CD AND getting all the "driver updates", I STILL couldn't receive QAM signals. That's because I plugged my cable into the "analog TV" and my OTA antenna into the ATSC connector

Exasperated ,desperate,and fatigued, I finally plugged my cable into the ATSC input . It successfully scanned and captured 24 "QAM" channels (including "analog" channels). One CAN"T receive BOTH "digital QAM" and OTA ATSC; it's one or the other.

Several caveats using this card for "time shifting" HD signals on "clear QAM" !!!!!!!

1. The Windows MCE "scheduler" will NOT work with the " digital QAM" channels; only the "analog channels" that's included as part of the QAM lineup.

2. For "time shift recordings" of any digital QAM signals,one MUST use Hauppauges's own "SCHEDULER" software.You MANUALLY enter the channel, the start time, the end time, tell computer what to do once recording is completed (hibernate, stand by, etc).

3. To play back what you recorded, one has to open "file", then select from what's been stored on your hard drive.

NOTE: the "file" displays ONLY the channel and date recorded. It does NOT display the name of the show recorded!

4. There is considerable synchronizing issues during playback of HD shows. I THINK using the "accelerator" helps (only recorded one show so far (without using the accelerator).

5. Using the Hauppauge 1600 tuner to record "analog channels" allows you to get a pretty decent pic on some channels. And the process is easy because it's displayed on the "Media Center Guide".

BUT, the recording is a 4 x3 display for most shows. My new 26" LG led / LCD TV/monitor is a 16 X9 widesreen....excellent in almost every regard. .A waste to view a "pan and scan" on this HD set !

I may replace my 6 year old computer with a Windows 7 PC.There is a Happaugge 2250 that's SUPPOSED to work nicely with the "integrated" MCE with Windows 7.When I saw this item , I was SO disappointed that XP would'nt support it , AND this model card was a PCI EXPRESS ( my PC takes only the standard "old" PCI card).

Btw... Anybody here know how I can cure the synchronization problems if the "accelerator" approach doesn't ???

All this so I can record my favorite TV shows in "high def". Sheesh!

Gerry
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mrnaturl

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I may replace my 6 year old computer with a Windows 7 PC.There is a Happaugge 2250 that's SUPPOSED to work nicely with the "integrated" MCE with Windows 7.
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DON'T count on this. I have this exact hardware and it will NOT change the channels on the DTA box. Comcast says the DTA's won't work with Media Center. I have to assume it's the DTA's they're sending out now, albeit they could nto tell me what model it was. I've been fighting this for over a week since they cut our area over to digital.

The 2250 will record from the DTA. HOWEVER, you must set the DTA to the channel you want recorded each time. The remote that comes with the 2250 can't change the DTA channels.

I'm furious with Comcast and the only reason I can't drop them ..... I'm on a bulk contract and pay for it every month in my home owners fee.
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cmonster67

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The trick (and I do mean trick because you have to be Houdini to get it to work) is to use a tuner card that has a IR (ifra red) blaster cable which will "supposedly" recognize channel changes from both the remote and Windows Media Center and pass the info to the DTA. I'll say this, Comcast is hoping that more people will give up and just rent their DVRs.
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rowdy6680

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what I am wondering is that in my area comcast is switching from 2 cables A & B to one Cable A. Currently I have a PC and my bedroom TV connected to the B cable. I called comcast and they are telling me I need to 'rent' a DTA card for my pc to enable watching tv on my pc. I have no problem doing this though I do have an all in wonder radeon that currently works. Any options on not renting a card from comcast or advice? I'm not worried about remote control. Any advice is appreciated especially if I missed it in the messages above. I guess it had to happen sooner or later...doing totally away with analog.

Dennis
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Evan Tobin

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I have an HP Vista media center PC with 2 hauppage 1600 tuners hooked up. Now that Comcast has actually cut off most analog service and forced me to hook a DTA on one of my 1600 analog tuners, I still have 2 ATSC tuners which give me my only HDTV reception and now have one analog input direct from comcast with very limited channels and one ir remote controlled DTA which gives me limited 480i versions of some of my subscribed digital channels through media center. Even if I get a better cable box from comcast, I still won't get any HD signals to my media center pc. So bogus ! if an ATSC tuner can get HD signals over coax, how come the DTA can't send an HD signal over channel 3 ?

Maybe even more importantly, since comcast will probably never give us the right to use our own tuners again, can we get an XFINITY app like our Netfix app so we can watch XFINITY tv shows through media center using our remote?
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rowdy6680

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It all just sounds so much like greed and stupidity on Comcast's part. I hardly ever watch regular tv and just want a solution to get from channels 2-100 on my PC even though my current AIW tuner misses a few I don't care about. Just confused and want it to work at least on my PC though I have two other tv's I can watch as well, I spend more time on my PC especially when working at home than anywhere else.
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mcaskey

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I canceled my Comcast Cable subscription because of this.

Need I say more?

Please join me in canceling, and adding 'canceled' as a tag to your reply.
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rowdy6680

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Just out of curiosity, what do you do for hi speed internet service if you canceled Comcast? I have limited choices.
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gerrysheetoo

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much of Comcast subscribers have bundled services. You can keep nternet sevrices and watch "free" X-Finity streaming program while canceling their phone and cable services. I rarely use my cell for any calls and my Comcast land line "incoming calls" are from telemarketers. Could cancel my phone and cable services and not miss much (if anything) !
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mcaskey

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rowdy6680: I still use comcast for my Internet connection, but forget about the cable bill. With HULU, Netflix Streaming, iTunes, and all the awesome network sites, like ABC, NBC, etc., which gives you on-demand, practically commercial-free shows and movies, why bother with Cable TV? It's a thing of the past, just like gas-powered cars.
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rowdy6680

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I pay frickin Comcast $115= A MONTHfor hi sped internet ant their Basic Digital package....what more do they want.... Sure ai could use hulu and other components but do they let watch live TV. I'm being ripped off like many others and ai'm tired of being ripped by the "monopoly" Even WOW is available near me and so is Uverse. I can't get uverse but I can't get WOW either since comcast won't allow their cable lines to be used for more than comcast. Then again I may be stuck with just comcast :more expenseive" internet in lieu of their tv service. This really sucks because I've been a comcast customer for about 5 years or so. ISN'T SOMEONE LISTENING TO US?

Dennis
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gerrysheetoo

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I live in Boston.There is also RCN , Verizon , Dish network,, etc. They ALL cost LOTS of bucks.

My Comcast bill is also $110/month for the "bundled package". I have to admit I'm a TV junkie. Even so , I get only "basic" (about $13), which is what's broadcast OTA., not even "extended basic ".

I DO get OTA signals but it's quality is sporadic. I use my digital converter box to transform it to analog (standard def 480i), which then gets recorded onto my VCR for latter viewing. I actually have 4 converter boxes and just as many vcr's if I wanted to "time shift " 4 shows broadcast at the same time, but this is technically cumbersome and not true HD.

So I pay the $13 /month just so I can get digital cable in high def. My new TV has a digital tuner cabable of receiving both atsc and digital ota signals but the digital cable is not prone to dropouts, which is why I use a TV capture card to record.

My XP 2005 Media Center PC is old. Even with the new digital tuner card, most of my HD recordings are jerky(don't have this issue with SD programming even if it's on my "digital cable lineup". If I want "jerk free" recordings, I have to get a new computer with Windows 7, a more powerful processor, and a new digital TV cable card with qam capabilities (preferably "dual tuner" so i can record two shows at once while watching a third program "live". Bottom line...watching"TV" can get VERY expensive AND complicated if one wants true HD and time shifting capabilities.

I also own & watch a lot of dvd's but now rent them from the library. I'm NOT replacing my current collection with Blue Ray; perfectly happy with the pic quality of standard dvd playback on a high quality 27" analog crt . Having a "high def" set can make dvd viewing better or worse depending on the quality of the set and the quality of the dvd. I have videocassettes that are almost indistinguishable from their dvd counterparts when viewed on a 32 " analog TV. Viewed on a 26"or larger widescreen HD set, the differences are more notable. It's so time consuming and expensive watching TV and DVD's, I may just abandon my "passion" and read paperback novels for a change.

Again, I believe nothing is "free" if one want's quality AND convenience. "Free streaming video" from Comcast's Infinity TV is remarkably good in terms of video quality compared to years back. If you can tolerate the commercials , it's as cheap as it gets as far as "free TV viewing" is concerned.
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mcaskey

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CANCELLED BECAUSE OF THIS.

TAG "CANCELLED"
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cmonster67

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Does any representatives of Comcast even monitor this site anymore?
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Catalin N Filip

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No, I don't think so ... what you can expect from a tech support of Comcast when they don't know even what is windows media center.They are so full of incompetents
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mvangild

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To fix this problem I am going to assume you are using windows media center. Along with a little USB device ’USB Infrared Wireless Transmitter’ available here from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000... for about $20 used. And if you don’t already have one a USB receiver for your PC will make things easier. At the allocated time the computer will send the correct channel signal to the set top box via the aforementioned USB IR emitter, and record the program as programmed. When you set up the TV from the ‘windows media center’ wizard, you will be asked to point the remote at the computer and press the buttons when prompted zero through nine. I’m not sure how you would do this without an IR receiver, if at all. There might be a way to enter a code for the remote being used, but that is just hearsay. I bought my IR receiver about 1 year ago and it cost about $35 new. Hope this got you up and flying again.
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cmonster67

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So you got this to work with Media Center 2005 running on XP?
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Staf

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I bought a PCTV Remote Kit so that I could do the IR Blasting and change the channel on the Comcast box. While Windows Media Center changed all the channels just fine, the Comcast box will only change with it when it is channel 1-9, 11, 21, 31, 41, 51, 61, etc. Those are the only channels I can record off of. If I do another channel, ie 25, I can see the comcast box typing in 25, but it won't change it to 25 and it will keep it on what it was even though Windows Media Center thinks it's been changed. This results in anything other than 1-9 and the ending in 1 channels recording whatever was on 11 or 9 or 8 or the channels it does change to at the time.

Set to record something on channels 4, 11, 26.
Windows Media Center and Comcast change to 4, record.
Windows Media Center and Comcast change to 11, record.
Windows Media Center changes to 26, Comcast tries, but goes back to 11 and records.

If I use the comcast remote, I can make it go to any channel just fine, but I just can't record. What can I do to fix this?
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gerrysheetoo

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This doesn't solve the problem because I don't have a cable box. But I think the "mandatory" cable box won't be necessary for "time shifting" in the very near future for "premium programing .

As I said on my original post several months back, I changed my pc analog tv tuner card to a Hauppauge 1600 model 1183 so I could watch and or record clear QAM HD. In doing so, I was forced to upgrade my video card because the one originally supplied didn't have enough processsing power to view/ record HD material without "judder" and other technical problems. So I replaced this with a PYN Nvidia Ge Force 8400 GS card. What's cool about my "solution" is I can use my set up to record HD clear QAM using the Hauppauge card AND simultainiously record "analog cable" using the original MediaCenter built into my pc. I still can change channels using the ORIGINAL Media Center remote and IR blaster that canmme with my pc. What surprised me was that the remote could ALSO fast forward and rewind any HD material Ihad recorded on my hard drive. Unfortunately, programing the digital tuner card required "manual entry" and using the mouse.

As for "premiuum programing", Comcast offers "apps" that stream reasonably high quality images such as Netflix without the need of a cable box( I THINK... haven't really tried it).

My Nividia graphics card only has a dvi and vga output. The VGA works fine on my HD monitor but even better if I use a dvi to hdmi cable from computer card to monitor.

I've found that the "hulu" type shows are very good in quality despite the fact they are "streamed". I HAVE NOT tried their premium or "on demand" Xfinity shows ( I may need a cable box for that).

And yes, I have Media Center XP that came with my computer. The hardest part was removing certain Media Center "updates" so that MediaCenter would work at all.
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gerrysheetoo

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This doesn't solve the problem because I don't have a cable box. But I think the "mandatory" cable box won't be necessary for "time shifting" in the very near future for "premium" programing .

As I said on my original post several months back, I changed my pc analog tv tuner card to a Hauppauge 1600 model 1183 so I could watch and or record clear QAM HD. In doing so, I was forced to upgrade my video card because the one originally supplied didn't have enough processsing power to view/ record HD material without "judder" and other technical problems. So I replaced it with a PYN Nvidia Ge Force 8400 GS card. What's cool about my "solution" is I can use my setup to record HD clear QAM using the Hauppauge card AND simultainiously record "analog cable" using the original MediaCenter built into my pc.

I still can change channels using the ORIGINAL Media Center remote and IR blaster that came with my pc. What surprised me was that the remote could ALSO fast forward and rewind any HD material I had recorded on my hard drive. Unfortunately, programing the digital tuner card required "manual entry" and using the mouse.

As for "premiuum programing", Comcast offers "apps" that stream reasonably high quality images such as Netflix without the need of a cable box( I THINK... haven't really tried it).

My Nividia graphics card only has a dvi and vga output. The VGA works fine on my HD monitor but even better if I use a dvi to hdmi cable from computer card to monitor.

I've found that the "hulu" type shows are very good in quality despite the fact they are "streamed". I HAVE NOT tried their premium or "on demand" Xfinity shows ( I may need a cable box for that).

And yes, I have Media Center XP that came with my computer. The hardest part was removing certain Media Center "updates" so that MediaCenter would work at all.
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cmonster67

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Personally, I don't see any real improvement with all of the changes that Comcast has made. Even though picture quality seems clearer, I'm not impressed with the programming on the few new channels that were added, their high speed internet increase has yet to happen even though my bundle supposedly includes increased performance and as for VOIP, I'm sticking with Vonage.
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Mark Quickel

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Comcast wants you to pay for their DVR service. They will make it as difficult as legally possible for you to use any third party DVR system that they aren't getting a cut of. They DEFINATELY don't want you recording on demand programs. They don't like anything that potentially lowers their profits. For instance Comcast recently threatened to block Netflix's servers if they didn't pay comcast a fee for "netflix using an large portion of comcasts bandwidth". Netflix is filed a lawsuit but is paying till it's resolved since a blackout of comcast 's subscribers would be devastating to netflix. They do this even though Comcast "uses" a higher % of netflix's bandwidth. Netflix ONLY sreams movies from their servers. Comcast had a 15.3 % (in 2008, little higher now) market share so comcast "uses" 15.3% of netflix's bandwidth. The reverse isn't possibly true. I theorize that the reason many people here are having trouble with the IR system is that Comcast has programmed it's boxes to try to detect PC IR somehow and disregard them.

I think I have a work around that will bypass the box. Keep in mind that I don't have cable, (I'm boycotting all cable/satellite until they offer all channels individually) so this is theoretical. But I can't imagine any reason why it won't until comcast starts scrambling all their channels and make the box required for any cable. Which I'm sure they will do eventually.

Use a coaxsplitter and install it BEFORE the coax enters the box This will make Your PC act like a TV without a box. I have many friends who have a 2nd TV without a box and they get all channels up to 77 on comcast(if the TV has a digital tuner).. Plus any BROADCAST digital secondary channels. The channel numbering for virtual channels is different. They use the broadcast numbering for them For instance PBS on cable here is channel 2, but the secondary channel is 33.1.

This has some limitations and a few bonuses. You won't be able to record ONDEMAND stuff or any channels outside of the 2-77. The channel range will probably vary slightly You won't be able use the cable channel guide. Most broadcast channels have limited program guides as well as current time encoded in the PSIP. The PSIP always encodes other things like virtual channels locations and TV ratings. Cable sends broadcast channels through cable exactly how they are broadcast. The box doesn't display PSIP data, and reroutes most virtual channels into the HD channel packaged channels. This is why HD broadcast channels on cable show up at strange completely unrelated channels. This means you will have access to a few extra channels if you don't get an HD package. Also you will be able to record multiple channels at once if your PC has the power to do so.
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mrnaturl

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Use a coaxsplitter and install it BEFORE the coax enters the box This will make Your PC act like a TV without a box. I have many friends who have a 2nd TV without a box and they get all channels up to 77 on comcast(if the TV has a digital tuner).. ============================
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Maybe I'm missing something but I do nto see how this would work when it comes to a Media Center PC. I have one of the newer Hauppage 2250 cards and as soon as Comcast switched over to digital on Feb 10th, I lost most of my channels with the coax connected directly from the wall. I get them back with their DTA but then I lose a tuner and have to change the channels manually when I want to record. I get bad flashbacks of the early VCR days.
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Chris Harlow

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I wonder does this issue occur with direct tv or any other non-comcast provider. I'm so tired of trying to use workarounds, no good fixes, etc. If comcast was really curtomer oriented, they would work with microsoft, tv card vendors ( happague), etc to make this all work. As a customer i'm feeling shut out by a too large for their britches company. I'm an unhappy comcast customer, at the moment. I do admit i have had no issues with internet and phone, but tv is more than 33% of my comcast usage
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mrnaturl

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I don't believe satellite service like DirecTV can compare to cable or Comcast. It's my understanding that DirecTV is all their equipment and virtually none of yours. Granted they do have DirecTV to PC option but it's not the same as simply plugging a coax into your computers TV tuner card. Mind you, I've never had DirecTV, so I'm not an authority.

I've had Comcast for years (HOA bulk contract) and can't go more than a few weeks without something going wrong with the TV service. Our contract states we get HBO and Showtime. We haven't had Showtime since at least October. I've spent hours upon hours trying to get them out to fix it (issue is in the clubhouse) to no avail. I've read similar complaints about other cable companies but not nearly as many as I've seen about Comcast. They are the most Godawful company to ever have to deal with.
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cmonster67

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But it says at the top of the page that "Comcast employees are here to help."

Perhaps contacting "We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com" may help...

HEY, IT COULD HAPPEN!!!

maybe....