Comcast customers in Marin struggling to adapt to switch from a...

New equipment necessary to prevent a partial blackout of Comcast TV channels has prompted a flurry of customer complaints. Read more
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pete

Menlo Park, CA

#1 Mar 13, 2009
DirectTV Better price and better service. It's a no brainer. I felt liberated when i just dumped comcast and their horrid price structuring.
Joan

San Rafael, CA

#2 Mar 13, 2009
Comcast is a complete rip off. They do waht they want and walk to the bank laughing.
They think we are all idiots..
They are right.
Charles

San Rafael, CA

#3 Mar 13, 2009
I installed the adapter with no issue, but the program I watched is frequently interrupted and the screen will freeze for a few second before resuming. This happens most often during early morning. It's so annoying. Was exploring satellite but satellite requires box for each TV.
Marin Renter

San Rafael, CA

#4 Mar 13, 2009
I have extended basic. It now costs over $60/month. Not worth it. Gonna drop to limited basic and save $500 yr. TV is so bad these days. There is nothing but those cr_appy reality shows on. I won't be missing much.
Rational approach

San Anselmo, CA

#5 Mar 13, 2009
I'm tech savvy, but my installation was difficult.

1. First, they should just give you an adaptor that converts all channels from digital to analog. Instead, they give you boxes and adaptors that only convert one channel at a time, so you need a new remote, etc., etc. It's just a way to make using your own tivo or video recorder that much more difficult.

2. You get one "set top box", which includes the interactive channel guide, etc. You get up to two "adaptors", which just convert channels without the guide (though the old, scrolling ch. 11 is back). Both types require new remotes, which you have to play with to sync up with your TV's volume, power, etc. DON'T THROW AWAY YOUR OLD REMOTE, however--you'll still need it for captions, fine tuning, etc.

3. Supposedly, you have to get all three boxes connected before you "activate" any of them, which probably means nobody can watch TV during the hour to four this will take.

4. After you "activate", you're lucky if one of your boxes hits. None of mine did (they tell you to wait 45 minutes.) So, it was phone time, which of course involved much time teaching English as a second language. Two calls, two hours, and three "activation attempts" later, my boxes were all on-line.

5. I haven't experienced the "digital freeze" the earlier commenter mentioned, but I do notice a significant delay when switching between channels on both the "box" and the "adaptor", even when just jumping back and forth to the "last channel". It's annoying--not fatal, but just one more indication of a "who cares" attitude from Comcast.
Rational approach

San Anselmo, CA

#6 Mar 13, 2009
6.(Forgot one.) There is much inputting of 15+ digit numbers--you have to individually enter the serial numbers for each box/adaptor, even though they clearly kept a record of what they sent you.(This applies whether you use phone or on-line activation.) This aspect is just lazy, cheap, and poor database support. Comcast probably saved about $2,500 by not doing the programming it would have taken to have saved millions of customers the hassle of punching all these numbers.(Comcast probably would have saved tens of thousands of dollars in customer support costs by doing this properly, but hey, the IS and customer service budgets are probably totally separate and some IS bean counter maybe saved his boss $2,500, right?)
Kathy

Sebastopol, CA

#7 Mar 13, 2009
My issue is that the box is free but I can no longer use my VCR to tape shows. Unless I want to watch the show I'm taping?!?! Now I have to rent their DVR box for $9 a month. Now my 'free' upgrade is costing me $108 a year. This is no bargain.
Walter

Oakland, CA

#8 Mar 13, 2009
Dump comcast and go with direct tv,you get more for your money.
doug

Santa Rosa, CA

#9 Mar 13, 2009
Time to switch to the dish network. I've been procrastinating but this decides it.
I'm so sick of the constant Comcast commercials, so eliminating those will be worth it in itself
required

Ross, CA

#10 Mar 13, 2009
Folks should ditch cable. Free over the air digital via rabbit ears is where it's at. Seriously. There is very little reason to pay for cable anymore (no weak signal). Try it, you'll love it. Watching hidef advertisements for free is much better than paying Comcast and others to watch the same advertisements.
james

Oakland, CA

#11 Mar 13, 2009
I dropped comcast years ago and went with direct TV. Turned out to be a very good move, comcast is the worst !
Fred

San Rafael, CA

#12 Mar 13, 2009
DirecTV, problem solved...
Scott in Larkspur

San Rafael, CA

#13 Mar 13, 2009
What's the big deal? This is t.v., not healthcare, nor dependence on foreign oil, nor corporate, state, and federal financial disasters, nor homless children. It's entertainment. I upgraded and had a small problem, but I was friendly to the Comcast service rep and she fixed my problem. I agree that pay t.v. is expensive, but it's not cheap to install and maintain cable systems and to pay for programming to put on the systems. If you don't like it, then cancel your cable and choose from your alternatives including satellite t.v.(some here have suggested DirecTV), terrestrial broadcast (with a digital antenna as suggested by others), DVD rentals for your movies, and DSL for your internet. Or, read a book. Or, stick with what you've got. In any event, stop whining, people. It's just t.v. It isn't something important.
Anonymous

Pittsburg, CA

#14 Mar 13, 2009
I have a question and yes I will reveal some scary facts about my TV behavior:

We have four TVs. Two are HD and have HD boxes, one is not and has a regular box and one is just plugged directly into the cable with no box at all. That last TV, the one without the box, gets only the analog channels. Can I get a free box for that fourth TV or will having the other three boxes mean we can't get the free one?
FRUSTRATED

Fresno, CA

#15 Mar 13, 2009
What if our TV's already receive digital signals, HD channels AND are HD ready? Do we need a new set top box OR an additional box?? I called comcast and the person was reading from a script could not clearly answer me, she assumes I need 3 boxes for 3 tv's!! My TV's all hang on a wall, I cannot add boxes without redecorating my house. Comcast sucks.
FRUSTRATED

Fresno, CA

#16 Mar 13, 2009
Well aren't you special.
Scott in Larkspur wrote:
What's the big deal? This is t.v., not healthcare, nor dependence on foreign oil, nor corporate, state, and federal financial disasters, nor homless children. It's entertainment. I upgraded and had a small problem, but I was friendly to the Comcast service rep and she fixed my problem. I agree that pay t.v. is expensive, but it's not cheap to install and maintain cable systems and to pay for programming to put on the systems. If you don't like it, then cancel your cable and choose from your alternatives including satellite t.v.(some here have suggested DirecTV), terrestrial broadcast (with a digital antenna as suggested by others), DVD rentals for your movies, and DSL for your internet. Or, read a book. Or, stick with what you've got. In any event, stop whining, people. It's just t.v. It isn't something important.
Dragged into the present

San Francisco, CA

#17 Mar 13, 2009
Wow - so much complaining...

This is all about the natural progression of technology - ditching analog for digital is years overdue, and all the folks complaining ought to be thankful that Comcast waited as long as they did.

Look, if you had Direct TV, you would need this type of a box, if you were using rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna, you would need this type of a box (now that over-the-air has gone digital), and in both these cases, if you were using a standalone VCR (gads!), or Tivo, you would also need an additional box or your couldn't watch and record two different shows.- Go ahead and run away from Comcast (which is the better provider in the area) and you will find the same result.

So, Comcast is the bad guy for being the last service provider in the Bay Area to convert to all digital?

This reminds me of the people who complained when the cell phone companies went all digital and the big old clunky analog cell phones weren't going to work anymore. Fast forward a few years and these same folks are using iPhones and advanced Blackberries, enjoying Wireless Broadband - all made possible by going digital.... yeah, we should have fought harder to stop that digital conversion!

Shame on the reporter for putting a negative slant on this article.- More poor journalism
Dragged into the present

San Francisco, CA

#18 Mar 13, 2009
Anonymous wrote:
I have a question and yes I will reveal some scary facts about my TV behavior:
We have four TVs. Two are HD and have HD boxes, one is not and has a regular box and one is just plugged directly into the cable with no box at all. That last TV, the one without the box, gets only the analog channels. Can I get a free box for that fourth TV or will having the other three boxes mean we can't get the free one?
According to the letter Comcast sent out (maybe a month ago), each household was entitled to a couple of these converter boxes at no charge. If you needed three or more, then they wanted something like $6.00 / month for each additional box beyond the two freebies. Because you seem to already have two digital receivers (which you need in order to get channels above the 80's, HD channels & On Demand), you should qualify for a free converter for that last set.
Snark Attack

Hyattsville, MD

#19 Mar 13, 2009
Dragged into the present wrote:
if you were using rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna, you would need this type of a box (now that over-the-air has gone digital)
Unless you have a TV with a digital tuner. Almost all new TVs have built in digital tuners as standard equipment.
Nobama

San Rafael, CA

#20 Mar 13, 2009
pete wrote:
DirectTV Better price and better service. It's a no brainer. I felt liberated when i just dumped comcast and their horrid price structuring.
You and me both. I got so fed up with their high bills and barrage of Comcast commercials that I went Satellite (Direct TV)
and "dial up modem" for the computer. Like you, I
felt 100 percent liberated. I don't spend that much time on the computer, so the "dial up modem" isn't a problem. And the savings? WOW! I was talking to a co worker who admits he got suckered into the comcast "package" with HSI, Cable and Phone. When the "Special" ended, the price went nuts. BYE, COMCAST!

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