Andrew Keyes on 9 May 2009 20:21:52 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] -- Mostly-OT -- Mythbuntu & Comcast channels?

Gah, for the last time, the big analog to digital switch that is 
happening on June 12 only affects over-the-air transmissions and has no 
relationship to how Comcast/Verizon/other cable/satellite company 
chooses to send their signals.  Comcast can continue to send programs to 
you via an analog feed for as long as they like.  (But Comcast, along 
with the others, are slowing pushing all their feeds to digital as 
already mentioned, but this changeover has no relationship to the June 
12 date.)

zuzu wrote:
> Analog/digital signal has more to do with the source than Comcast,
> afaik.  Stations aren't required to keep analog until June; they're
> just not allowed to broadcast analog after the June deadline.
> Stations can switch to digital-only ahead of that deadline, and I
> presume that's all that's happened here.
> Just get an HD HomeRun dual digital tuner for $150 and get over it.
> (It's plug and play with MythTV.)  Analog's a deprecated medium for
> commercial television, you'll have to switch in about a month anyway.
> On 5/9/09, Isaac Bennetch <> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Sat, May 9, 2009 at 3:39 AM, JP Vossen <> wrote:
>>> I just noticed that between 2009-04-08 and 15, 2-3 of my PBS stations
>>> went away.  According to the Comcast channel lineup I just looked at,
>>> "14 WLVT", "20 WYBE" and "23 WNJT" are now digital.  I had been assuming
>>> that we would not be affected by the cut-over since we are using Comcast
>>> and not an OTA antenna.
>> Yeah, apparently Comcast is cutting back on their analog service,
>> either to push people towards digital or to save bandwidth. This
>> really has nothing to do with the June 12th cutoff (actually, the
>> opposite; cable operators are required to keep local broadcasts
>> available as analog systems until at least 2012, but this is
>> irrelevant because the stations you've mentioned aren't really local
>> to you). You should continue to get WHYY-TV (12, or wherever else
>> Comcast places it on the dial) since that's the local PBS station.
>>> Background: We're in Collegeville (so Comcast "Pottstown" service), and
>>> have the $20/mo limited basic plan, since all we ever use are a few of
>>> the networks, and some of the PBSs.  I have a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE
>>> dual *analog* tuner PCI card, but it has an internal splitter so only 1
>>> incoming Coax (thus I can't add an or other source).
>> In this case, things should continue to work quite well for you for a
>> few more years (barring a change of heart in the FCC), provided you
>> can deal with losing the "non-local" stations you're used to watching.
>> Comcast, no doubt, is eager to ditch all analog signals as it makes
>> their system easier (for a whole host of reasons including dealing
>> with signal leaks, high-band line loss/signal attenuation, having to
>> maintain a whole separate infrastructure, and being able to charge
>> more for digital service).
>>> All the PBSs except "12 WHYY" went away, and according to their site,
>>> "WHYY will continue to broadcast both an analog and a digital television
>>> signal until June 12 [2009]."
>>> (
>> I think I answered this before; the over-the-air cuttoff has nothing
>> to do with the way most cable service works. Nice of them to make all
>> these changes at the same time, though, confusing pretty much
>> *everyone*
>>> I don't have any HD hardware at all, and could not possibly care less
>>> about it.  I am assuming that any kind of converter box won't play nice
>>> with my tuner card and MythTV.  Correct?
>> That depends on some technical details I can't help you out with plus
>> how much effort you want to put in to it. All the Comcast digital
>> set-top-boxes that I've seen will put out an analog signal that your
>> Hauppauge would be able to record; you would just leave the Hauppauge
>> tuned to channel 3 or 4 forever and have to change channels on the
>> set-top-box. I believe that Myth has some support for this with some
>> sort of external infrared remote-control-like unit, but don't have one
>> and don't know the details. You would also be locked in to only
>> watching/recording one channel at a time; the second tuner becomes
>> useless. I think, anyway; but it's possible that it would continue to
>> pass the analog signals that you're already getting...but better to
>> count on only one tuner of your Hauppauge working.
>>> I just want the networks and at least a PBS or two to work after June
>>> 12.
>> As long as that's "a PBS" and not "or two" you should be fine.
>>> I can buy new digital tuner H/W if needed (the server is a
>>> 1u box with 2 PCI slots, 1 open), but I'd prefer not to pay Comcast any
>>> more/mo, and I really don't want to switch my TVs yet either.
>> Probably buying a new hardware tuner is only helpful if you also
>> convert your service to digital, which may require set-top boxes for
>> all the TVs in your house. If you are willing to pay for the digital
>> service, you could check with them whether they'll continue to deliver
>> the analog signals you're getting now or if digital service is only
>> digital. You could get lucky and, with the purchase of a digital
>> hardware card, get a four-input SuperTivo (two analog and two
>> digital)! A digital hardware tuner shouldn't require a set-top-box.
>> By the way, I have no idea how your setup would be affected by the
>> digital copyright flags that are sometimes set in digital
>> transmissions. There are flags that are supposed to prevent recording,
>> etc, but whether they are set, transmitted to you, understood by your
>> tuner, or adhered to by your software are beyond my working knowledge;
>> but worth a bit of homework if you think about going all-digital. For
>> that matter, Comcast may encrypt some of the digital channels (IIRC,
>> which is a stretch, they are required to pass the local broadcast
>> channels in the clear, but are able to encrypt the rest. Determining
>> whether that's still true and whether they actually do that on your
>> specific system is left as an exercise for the reader).
>> ~isaac
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