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Comcast HD box

Old 11-30-07, 11:15 AM
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Comcast HD box

I was told by Comcast that if my TV needs HDMI cables, that I had to rent their HD - DVR box that is considerably more than the basic HD box. I only want the HD, not the DVR. Is this true? I can't just use the HD box and still get good HD reception without the DVR box?
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Old 11-30-07, 11:29 AM
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Sounds like their "HD box" doesn't have an HDMI output. Up to you whether the extra cost is worth it.
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Old 11-30-07, 11:31 AM
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I believe I have my Comcast HD box hooked directly into my HDTV using component cables, and I think the HD channels look excellent.
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Old 11-30-07, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bookcase3
I believe I have my Comcast HD box hooked directly into my HDTV using component cables, and I think the HD channels look excellent.
I have my TiVo HD hooked up via component and I feel the same way.
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Old 11-30-07, 11:38 AM
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I have the comcast hd box. It has a DVI output on the back, so you just need to get a DVI to HDMI cable which they have at monoprice.com for a good price. In fact, if you ever need any cables, get them there. They are great quality for a great price.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:00 PM
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I've got a Cable One HD Box and it's got both HDMI and component and I actually chose component. The HDMI connection had terrible framing and color bleeding issues, the component was very slightly less sharp than HDMI but I thought the trade off was worth it.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:04 PM
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I may be mistaken, but I'm under the impression that it's questionable whether HDMI is even a marginal improvement over component in terms of video quality. That may be because cable HD is significantly compressed and perhaps because the max resolution available on broadcast TV is 1080i.

If you have an AV receiver or TV with HDMI inputs, then hooking up one HDMI cable to the receiver (or TV) is way more convenient than four separate cables, but I don't know that it's any great improvement in terms of AV quality (over component plus optical or coax.)

But I could be wrong.

Last edited by theWitcher; 11-30-07 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:36 PM
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Why would you not want a DVR? I can't imagine watching television without a DVR, any more than I can imagine going back to a black & white set.

Anyway, Comcast has several HD boxes. The brand and models available to you will vary by region. Generally speaking, the picture quality over Component is just as good as HDMI when it comes to Comcast's signal, and on some boxes HDMI is noticeably worse.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Overpar
I have the comcast hd box. It has a DVI output on the back, so you just need to get a DVI to HDMI cable which they have at monoprice.com for a good price. In fact, if you ever need any cables, get them there. They are great quality for a great price.
I have the Comcast box also. DVI out the back but I'm using component. If you do get the DVI to HDMI cables, another vote for monoprice.com!
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Old 11-30-07, 01:55 PM
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Just remember, the DVI only DVR boxes are the older generation Motos..if you want a relatively new one with greater processor speeds, pick up one with HDMI, even if you are not going ot use it.
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Old 11-30-07, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rexinnih
I have the Comcast box also. DVI out the back but I'm using component. If you do get the DVI to HDMI cables, another vote for monoprice.com!
Same here...in fact, they hooked it up via component...they didn't even suggest using the DVI, even though I have a DVI input on my TV (my HD players are hooked up with DVI to HDMI cables).
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Old 11-30-07, 03:56 PM
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Based on my experience in the Philadelphia region (Comcast does seem to be variable by region), the bugs have been worked out of the Motorola DCH3416 STB, and it's really worth looking into if you're a Comcast customer with an HDTV (unless you're lucky enough to live where Comcast is offering the HD TiVo).

Dual-tuner HD PVR (you can record two simulaneous HD streams while watching a third recorded program) with HDMI, optical and coax audio, and a decent remote. All the usual PVR features; not quite a TiVo, but very usable.

Most people seem to be able to get this "thrown in" with their HD upgrades, at least for the first year, but YMMV.

I've been using an SD TiVo for years, and like Josh Z I can't imagine watching TV without a PVR. And this Comcast Moto fills the bill.
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Old 11-30-07, 06:36 PM
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I have the Moto DCT6412 III. any info on this box?
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Old 11-30-07, 08:32 PM
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I only have one HDMI input on my TV so I'm running my 360 and Comcast box via component, my PS3 via HDMI (for BluRay), and my (LOL) Wii with RCA's. I'm about to order a 5in1 HDMI splitter from monoprice so I can run all 3 via HDMI.
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Old 01-21-08, 12:41 AM
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So do you need this hd box if your tv has qam tunner?

Also for those you hooking it up through component is it outputting 720p or 1080p. I thought most tv do not 720p or 1080p over component.

I probably have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm just asking because I have a HDTV on the way and I'm currenltly using basic cable with comcast. I'm debating if I should get one of packages that offer HD channels. I'm just looking at them now and don't really watch those channels that are unique to cable.However, I would like to watch some of the local channels in HD but I'm thinking I can just get a hd antenna.
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Old 01-21-08, 01:18 AM
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I believe all HDTV signals are 1080i. Thats the broadcast standard.

Comcast encrypts some, if not most of the HDTV cable channels, so you need the box to get the programming. There are a few unencrypted HDTV signals - mostly network televisions and its a pain to find the channels because they are spread all over the place.

I have Comcast Moto 6412. Its a dual tuner HDMI box (although I just component). Pretty nice box, I haven't had any problems with it.
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Old 01-21-08, 01:37 AM
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I just migrated to the Digital Starter package (same price as standard cable), and decided to go with the HDTV/PVR combo (I think $13.99 starting in February, which means one less weekend/month to see movies at the theater, but that's okay). I ended up getting a Motorola DCH-3416 box, and so far just using the component video output from it, though I see that it has HDMI output on its back panel, but I haven't hooked it up via HDMI yet, not sure if that output is even active. Currently, I'm getting the local HDTV channels (in the 800s), but I don't get anything from channels 32-79, or the channel guide info, and will have to wait until February before the rest of their HDTV channels kick in, which was why I upgraded to their HDTV/PVR package in the first place. So I'm waiting for them to send a Comcast technician to the house on Monday because they can't "see" my Motorola DCH3416 box on their network, though I'm getting the channels below channel 30 (and the local HDTV channels in the 800s), so that's a weird situation.
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Old 01-21-08, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by chanster
I believe all HDTV signals are 1080i. Thats the broadcast standard.
Not true. ABC and Fox broadcast at 720p.
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Old 01-21-08, 10:31 AM
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I tested the HDMI connection out from my moto box and found it worse for some reason than the component.

As someone mentioned, the Comcast HDMI boxes are newer and are much more responsive and less buggy than the older DVI models.
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Old 01-21-08, 06:14 PM
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As a followup to my issues, the cable TV guy showed up at my house today:

1. Found out I couldn't use a generic signal booster (5-900MHz) for the digital communications to work between the DCH3416 digital cable box and the Comcast control center. So the cable guy did some work on the splitter situation in my attic for me (to feed 2 rooms), and at the outlet near my plasma TV.

2. Found out the digital cable box they gave me was marked incorrectly, it happened to be a "Vinings" box, and not a "Stone Mountain" box as marked (in my area, Comcast divided up the areas, and each side gets different cable box setup, which is why my box wouldn't show any channels after 30, and only a few of the HDTV channels in the 800s. After the cable guy got the Comcast control folks to put my cable box's information on the "Stone Mountain" side, all my channels showed up as they should have showed up if I got the right box in the first place.

3. Found out the DCH3416 does offer HDMI connectivity, and is a dual-tuner PVR, so that's a nice bonus that was unexpected. I guess I upgraded at the right time for the equipment to catch up to my PVR wants.

The WGA strike will have less of an impact on me now that I have all these new HD channels to check out. Sweet.
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Old 01-21-08, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Not true. ABC and Fox broadcast at 720p.

Tracer do you happen to know if all shows on those two channels are 720p or is it on a show by show basis? Also are other channels putting out 1080i?
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Old 01-22-08, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by chanster
I believe all HDTV signals are 1080i. Thats the broadcast standard.
I don't know about networks, but in my market, the tv station I work for is the only station that broadcasts in 1080i. The other stations do 720 (I assume 720p). The reason being that they can offer more channels through their digital signal if they lower the resolution to 720 (one has a 24/7 weather channel and another has the CW). At first, we were doing the same thing and were offering our second channel as a SD version of our signal (which I thought was stupid, and eventually they dropped), and we were showing our doppler on a 3rd channel (though the quality was so bad, it was hard to read any text on it, but you could at least see stuff on it enough to make it out). But when the FCC said that we had to have so many hours of educational programming on every channel we offer, then we decided to drop everything and just go full 1080. So, in other words, that 24/7 weather channel that one station is offering is supposedly not even legal. I think they're getting away with it, because it may be up for debate in the courts somewhere. I know that the system they are using for the 24/7 weather is from some other company (I believe we were even looking into it), so it's probably a problem nationwide.
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Old 01-22-08, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by m0vi3fan
Tracer do you happen to know if all shows on those two channels are 720p or is it on a show by show basis? Also are other channels putting out 1080i?
To my knowdledge ESPN, Fox, ABC are the only 720p channels, its hard to tell with the Motorola cable boxes though, because you have to choose 1080 or 720, and the box converts each channel to that format. If you have an antenna your TV can tell you. Or when I had Direct-TV, the Hughes-HD receivers would output the native format, so my TV could tell me what it was. All shows (that are HD) are broadcast at the same resolution on each channel - so ABC-HD always broadcasts 720, and NBC always 1080...
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Old 01-22-08, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by redbill
To my knowdledge ESPN, Fox, ABC are the only 720p channels, its hard to tell with the Motorola cable boxes though, because you have to choose 1080 or 720, and the box converts each channel to that format. If you have an antenna your TV can tell you. Or when I had Direct-TV, the Hughes-HD receivers would output the native format, so my TV could tell me what it was. All shows (that are HD) are broadcast at the same resolution on each channel - so ABC-HD always broadcasts 720, and NBC always 1080...
ABC's 720 looks light years better than NBC's 1080. CBS is easily the best out of all of them, though.
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Old 01-22-08, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by m0vi3fan
Tracer do you happen to know if all shows on those two channels are 720p or is it on a show by show basis? Also are other channels putting out 1080i?
Everything HD on ABC and Fox are broadcast at 720p, regardless of what the source material is. I would imagine they're not going to the trouble to encode at a higher resolution, but who knows.
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