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OT: Comcast HD setop boxes SD service?

 
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vickyg2003
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Joined: 20 Mar 2004
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:19 pm    Post subject: OT: Comcast HD setop boxes SD service? Reply with quote

Hi all, my community center has an HD tv, with standard definition service.
They also still use a VCR. We used to connect the VCR with RCA jacks, and the DTA through the RF jack. With the new TV, the wall mount blocks access to the AV jacks so now the STB runs through the VCR, before it gets to the TV. The picture is slightly degraded. It was suggested that we could swap our current SD DTA box, with a HD DTA box and get a better picture.

I tried to find out if we could use ah HD DTA with our SD service. I was told that by one rep that we would need to add HD service. Another rep said we could only get local channels if we did that. That didn't make any sense to me at the time, then I thought maybe she meant we could actually get the locals in HD like we could before they required the box.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
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The Robman
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
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Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the picture quality is being reduced because you're routing the box through the VCR, so even if you upgraded to an HD box, if you still route it through the VCR, I imagine the picture would not improve much (if at all).

Tell me more about how the mounting blocks access to the AV jacks? Would it be possible to temporarily un-mount the TV and maybe attach an AV extension cord to the set (ie, male plugs on one end, female on the other) in order to get around the mounting?

Do you have anything on channel 3 or 4? If not, you could use a splitter in reverse, thereby connecting both the VCR and the STB to the coax input, without having the STB run through the VCR.
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3FG
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Joined: 19 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you make something like these right angle cables fit?
http://www.amazon.com/Philmore-Component-Video-Cable-Connectors/dp/B004GIGV00
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mdavej
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Joined: 08 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vicky, as for getting HD on an HD DTA with your SD service, check out DSLReports so you can get the real story from users of your service in your area. IMO, the HD box will probably work fine with your service whether you're authorized for the HD channels or not. Just check the connections carefully because newer boxes may not have analog connections.
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vickyg2003
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Joined: 20 Mar 2004
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Robman wrote:
Tell me more about how the mounting blocks access to the AV jacks? Would it be possible to temporarily un-mount the TV and maybe attach an AV extension cord to the set (ie, male plugs on one end, female on the other) in order to get around the mounting?


They epoxied the bolts in an effort to keep the TV from being stolen again. So I was hoping to use any of the 4 HDMI ports. And then let the VCR go in via RF. They don't record on the VCR, so they don't need to pass the TV through the VCR, they just need to be able to play back the large collection of tapes.

3FG wrote:
Can you make something like these right angle cables fit?
http://www.amazon.com/Philmore-Component-Video-Cable-Connectors/dp/B004GIGV00

Perhaps! I never saw these before. With regular RCA jacks the mounting plate is so close that you can't even position them with forceps. These look like they don't need that much clearance to get them in.

mdavej wrote:

check out DSLReports so you can get the real story from users of your service in your area. IMO, the HD box will probably work fine with your service whether you're authorized for the HD channels or not. Just check the connections carefully because newer boxes may not have analog connections.


Thanks I will checkout DSLReports. This is so much harder to find an answer than I thought. The answer varies depending on who you talk to at Comcast. We have an association negotiated contract, and that makes dealing with comcast so much harder.

Thanks all!
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind my idea of using a splitter in reverse. You can connect the VCR to one of the outputs and the DTA box to the other output, then connect the input to the TV. The VCR should "broadcast" on channel 3 or 4, so hopefully you don't have an actual station on the same channel. There might be some bleed over if you have channels really close to the VCR channel.


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vickyg2003
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the DTA box broadcasts on 3 or 4 and the VCR broadcasts on 3 or 4, its best to run the DTA through the VCR, because the VCR will cut the DTA off when playing tapes. Both are set to channel 3, and this makes it very easy for the users to play a tape. Put it in press play, it goes. Turn the VCR off/or press TV/VCR button in AUX mode and you are right back to cable viewing. This has to follow the KISS principle to the extreme. There are 1400 people that go in and use this facility. It has to be bullet proof.

But I'll keep this in mind for what I'm doing at my own place. Someone, probably zaphoid told me about an option to change the channel with a flexible RF modulator. I've been trying to plan for if my other cable company decides to force me into boxes. Right now we have boxless cable, and it makes things so easy.
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I rewired my setup a little while back to include a Bluray player, which replaced one of my VCRs in using one of the TVs AV inputs, I used this method to re-connect the VCR, it works because one VCR uses channel 3 and the other uses channel 14.

I was forgetting that DTAs also use channel 3, I was thinking that they spread the channels out.
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