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another Comcast head-end goes digital

Bill Bogstad wrote:
> I basically followed that procedure to set up my system in Cambridge.
> I currently get something like 80+ clear QAM channels.
> All of the Expanded Basic channels.

Ah, good news.

> (I posted about in September of last year.) 
> Things have been in steady state for me since then. 

I remember that and wondered if it was still true today. And I wondered 
if this matched the experiences of anyone using the Newton/Needham head-end.

Relying on clear QAM makes me a bit nervous, as it could go away with 
the flip of a switch, but the longer they make clear QAM available, the 
more customers will start using it, and the harder it'll be for them to 
turn it off.

On the other hand, I read in the letter that if you don't pick up a box 
from them, they'll assume you're only receiving basic service and 
automatically downgrade your billing. That implies that they can't 
conceive of anyone receiving extended channels without one of their boxes.

Either that foretells their intention to eventually encrypt things, or 
they've left a hole in their security model. (Or they've decided that 
plugging the hole - either by encrypting extended channels or having 
techs install pole filters -  isn't worth the inconvenience (to 
customers) or cost (labor), for the few people to who might take 
advantage of it.)

> I would suggest you see if you can borrow a digital-capable tuner...

I have an HDHR, but last time I tested it there wasn't much available. 
Because of that, and the need to transcode the recordings to make the 
audio compatible with mvpmc (the MythTV front-end I use), I haven't been 
motivated to deploy it.

If the HDHR works out, I'll still probably setup a couple of cable boxes 
feeding in to my PVR-500 as a backup. That way if they encrypt, I can 
just change tuner priority or delete the relevant stations from the HDHR 
lineup. (As it is now, I've been steadily deleting channels from my 
lineup as they migrate them from analog to digital-only.)


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