Comcast customers in Marin struggling...

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

There are 57 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from Mar 13, 2009, titled Comcast customers in Marin struggling to adapt to switch from a.... In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

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

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Marin Independent Journal.

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The Vinocat

Santa Clara, CA

#41 Mar 14, 2009
Lots of missing and mis-information in this article, if only some better diligence was done. First, if you have a late-model TV (flat panel, or *ack* a digital CRT) with a digital (QAM) tuner, then you don't need the small DTA box from Comcast (check your TV's manual or Google for QAM or ClearQAM references). BUT, the channel information to tell you what you're watching is only obvious for the converted broadcast channels.

The smarter reps (try calling the store in San Rafael) will tell you the above as well, so one might assume that whatever screw-ups are happening right now, COmcast's intention is to leave the expanded basic cable channels (HD and non-HD) unencrypted, otherwise they will be hosing everyone with new TVs; not that that couldn't happen...

Also, the remote that comes with the small DTA box *does* power your TV on and off -- it's the last configuration step in the setup process flyer. The guy with the Mitsubishi TV that goes on and off is probably just misconfigured, or there is a bug in the IR codes for that particular model. I have an older (~1994) Mitsubishi TV in our guest room, and that problem isn't happening.

Sadly, some of us are locked in to Comcast because of the Internet service. If you want serious bandwidth (I get 35 megabits down, 10 meg up, on a grandfathered, unthrottled "pro" link), then CC is still theonly game in town; satellite Internet absolutely sucks, and DSL is inherently slower because of the cheap-wire infrastructure. Sigh.

Finally, the guy who moaned about analog being a better quality signal needs glasses or something. If your digital setup is working properly, there is no comparison. Today, all of these broadcasts start out life as digital at the networks - right at the cameras, and it's downhill to analog from there.
Tam Valley

Santa Rosa, CA

#43 Mar 14, 2009
We've had two of the DTAs fail. First they both lost audio only on channel 4 (KRON), and then channel 7 (KGO), and then the audio on channel 2 went to a radio broadcast...all the while maintaining the video feed. Comcast couldn't explain the problem, other than perhaps that they got a bad batch of hardware. they also indicated the boxes are very new and there may be some glitches. They also said that the electronics are very fragile and that they can overcook them when sending signals. Also, the DTAs run very hot to the touch.

what's most annoying is that the DTAs are another thing we have to plug in and consume electricity.
Cable or Dish

Novato, CA

#44 Mar 14, 2009
I signed up for the triple play about 2+ years ago. The original promo was for 6 months but my bill didn't change until around June, almost a year and a half later. I have been paying the new bill with no complaints. When I went to pick up the boxes for the conversion I decided to bring my bill with me to see if there was a way to save $ without losing all the options....I didn't even finish my sentence and the friendly clerk immediately offered me three different options to save $50.00 or more a month! Yes there are glitches, but there is nothing better for the internet than CC-HSI. Dial up and DSL suck, period, especially if your a gamer. If you don't like the price you pay go into an office and ask about options....If you don't like the quality, it is a free country so switch to dish. We do have choices.
Charles C Whiteaker

San Rafael, CA

#45 Mar 14, 2009
I have been told for months that with Comcast there is no problem; now it seems otherwise. If I do have a problem, I may change to satilite TV and;
Screw Um!
MV resident

United States

#46 Mar 14, 2009
Kill your TV and get a life.

Ross, CA

#47 Mar 14, 2009
I call Comcast weekly because my internet goes down at their end all the time. I got 3 different answers regarding the digital conversion from 3 comcast reps. I have my DTA's but I am going to wait and see if I really lose the channels! Comcast called me last night offering their phone service. LOL!! The poor woman on the other end of the phone got an earful from me sadly.
Rational approach

Corte Madera, CA

#48 Mar 14, 2009
My favorite comments in this thread are the ones where people complain about folks' concerns, and say "it's only TV". This is SUCH a TYPICAL LIBERAL MARIN ATTITUDE--essentially saying "the only things worth worrying about are the things I consider important". It's only about half a millimeter from an attitude which says "since I don't see value in TV, you can't spend any money or time on it." Again, we see people so eager to control others' speech, activity and expenditures that they read comments on subjects they aren't even interested in just so they can demean people and discourage interest in the subject. Pathetic. One of the great freedoms in this country is the freedom to worry about, and complain about, any topic we choose. So why are some folks here objecting so much to free speech?

Ross, CA

#49 Mar 14, 2009
MV resident wrote:
Kill your TV and get a life.
wow.... you are SO cool! way too cool for the rest of us! do you wear sunglasses at night? how about a gold chain with a lightening bolt on it?

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#50 Mar 14, 2009
disenchanted wrote:
I call Comcast weekly because my internet goes down at their end all the time. I got 3 different answers regarding the digital conversion from 3 comcast reps. I have my DTA's but I am going to wait and see if I really lose the channels! Comcast called me last night offering their phone service. LOL!! The poor woman on the other end of the phone got an earful from me sadly.
I had the problem of the internet going out in the afternoons when I first got it a few years ago. I had the technicians up four times, telling me all kinds of very funny reasons that their service fails. I am an electrical engineer and I wouldn't fall for Comcast's BS. So they finally agreed to send up a senior master technician with a TDR, a time delay reflectometer that costs $4000.00. As soon as he put the TDR on my line, he found where their problem was, it was furthur downline at an amplifier up on a pole down the street. It was a heat related component failure that occurs in the afternoons. I had the same problems with traffic signal controllers. So they replaced the amplifier with bigger heat sync's and everything has been fine for the last 4 years, except when the power goes out !
No Powah, no amp, no internet and no TV. And if you get fooled into cable phone, no phone either.
I have lived at this address for 30 years and never had my landline phone go out, but the power has gone out for days many times, so that is the main reason I would never give up my landline or radio phone for a cable phone, think about that !
And get an FTA receiver for TV.
Rational approach

Corte Madera, CA

#51 Mar 17, 2009
As much as it pains me to say this, Pulipaca is correct here (except that they are spelled "heat sinks".) I often disagree with Pulipaca, but I've had the same heat related problem with Comcast. The comments about power outages killing the phone are particularly apt.

United States

#52 Apr 15, 2009
This is a situation that is also happen in Baltimore, MD area as well. We are also lossing channels. In order to know what channels are available to you visit this website:
In all this is out right wrong.
Roberta Cicero

Johnstown, PA

#53 Apr 16, 2009
Any updates on this complaint? Comcast is doing the same thing in Pa. What a way for them to generate, yet, more revenue. No regard for the lttle guys.

San Francisco, CA

#54 May 5, 2009
I moved a year ago and had my cable moved with me. The guy that installed at my new address told me the new digital conversion would have NO effect on my service since I had cable. Likewise, when I called Comcast to double check, they assured me again that nothing would change to my service.
Well, lo and behold, today I turn on my T.V. and see that most of the channels I watch- CNN, Comedy Central, Animal Planet, etc.- are blue screens. They are all gone. I called them and they said it was because they switched to digital. They said "you've basically been getting those channels for free". If I pay $50 MORE a month, I can get them back. The "getting them for free" argument is b.s. I mentioned it to my sister and she said she got the same line when it happened to her, and I see all over the Internet the same story. I have gotten those channels for 10 years, at my old apartment and at my new apartment. There are even old ads from a few years back stating that basic cable includes channels like CNN. Suddenly now we were "getting those channels for free" and need to pay, even though they promised up and down that nothing would change to our service with the advent of digital.
Their customer service is a joke. This is a bit weird, and I am not sure how I can even complain to them about it without a very embarrassing conversation, because it is just so disgusting, but the customer service rep I last spoke to, I am almost certain was masturbating when I first called (I know, shocking and gross). He was making all kinds of *those* noises, breathing hard, and not responding to my questions, telling me "uh-huh, hang on" and covering the phone which barely muffled the noise. Then , a minute later, he suddenly was present and answering my questions. I mean, PLEASE. I know they probably hire people who work from home in the after-hours calls, but I have never in my life expected that on a customer service call!
I am just so over Comcast. They lie. They are totally unprofessional, and full of the bait-and-switch tactics that really irk me.

Corte Madera, CA

#55 May 5, 2009
This will probably push me over the edge and I'll drop Comcast for AT&T or Direct TV.

Since: May 09


#56 May 13, 2009
Kathy wrote:
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?!?!
My not-so-elegant solution is to have a TV and a VCR in three different rooms. I have to set the cable channel and the VCR to record the correct time. It's a technological de-evolution, but it works.

United States

#57 Jun 20, 2009
We have a panasonic flat screen, less than a year old. It must already have some digital coverter on it because after the switch we still get all our channels, plus the new ones like Universal sports. I think Comcast is full of it, because I repeatedly asked them if we "really" needed the box even though we had a digital TV. They repeatedly said yes, probably because they want to track your viewing habits or get more money out of you from renting the box or On-demand movies. But our TV still get all our channels. Its June 20,2009 and still working.

Novato, CA

#59 Apr 29, 2010
Anyone have good reviews of AT&T or Direct TV? Advise on dropping Comcast?

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