F U Comcast!

So my cable provider is Comcast. I have their overpriced Triple Play service, which gives me TV, Internet, and phone. I pay a few bucks extra for an HD set-top box. For this, I pay around $140/mo. If I wanted to get their DVR service, it would be an additional $15/mo!

No biggie, since I have a Panasonic ReplayTV Showstopper HS-2000. It’s a DVR that’s similar to a Tivo. I bought it back in 2000, and it came with a lifetime subscription! So it doesn’t cost me a penny. 🙂

Fast forward to a few months ago, when I get a letter in the mail informing me about Comcast’s digital conversion, and how I would need to get a digital adapter for each TV that doesn’t already have a set-top box. Without the DTA, I would lose out on a bunch of stations that I currently get. So I ordered the boxes, and I kept putting off the installation, as I know it would be a royal PITA getting it working with my DVR.

Then it happened. I went to put on TLC, and I get a message saying that this station is blocked, and to get a DTA from Comcast. Within a few days, I had lost about a dozen stations that I regularly record. As I was getting ready to go on vacation, I had no choice but to bite the bullet and setup the DTA.

Now, for the regular TV user, the DTA isn’t a huge deal. At worst, it’s an extra remote control to contend with. But if you have a DVR (especially an older one), it can become a freaking nightmare!

DVRs often come with IR Blasters, which will send a signal to a set-top box to change the channel. Unfortunately, my DVR is so old that it doesn’t have the correct IR codes to work with the DTA. After a lot of Googling, I finally found a thread on AVS Forum that explained how to get around this issue.

How do you do it? You need to take apart your DVR, hook up the hard drive to your computer, run a script that modifies one of the existing IR codes with the one you need, and then put the DVR back together. After that, you can go into the Setup screen, tell it what device you’re trying to communicate with, and hope for the best.

This whole process took just shy of 4 HOURS, and I’m a pretty technical guy. A “regular person” with a Showstopper like mine would be screwed!

C’mon Comcast, there was no need for this.. First you start imposing bandwidth usage caps, and now this! Screw that, the second FIOS is available in my area, I’m gone!


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2 Responses to “F U Comcast!”

  1. ComcastMark says:

    Sorry for the trouble. We are doing this to provide more digital channels to our customers. There has been a high demand for HD channels and in order for us to provide more digital and HD channels, we needed to transfer the analog channels to digital. For every analog channel, we can fit up to 12 to 15 digital channels or 2 to 3 HD channels. If you are interested, I can have one of my contacts call you to see if we can offer you a better package that will save you more money.

    Thanks!

    ComcastMark
    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations
    We_can_help@cable.comcast.com

    • Zander says:

      Thanks for the explanation Mark.

      It’s funny though, I have BrightHouse down at my beach house in Florida, and we get over 100 HD channels! And they haven’t even done their “digital conversion” yet. So what gives?

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