Comcast now charging for free DTAs

Discussion in 'Audio/Video & Home Theater' started by MadScientist, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. MadScientist

    MadScientist Platinum Member

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    Even though I have 2 new TVs and only basic cable from Comcast I need a DTA (Digital Transport Adapter) for each TV to receive all their channels because some of them are encrypted. WTF.

    I also have to tune to channel 3 and use their super crappy remote. It's like a throw back to VCRs. I can't use my Harmony remote with the TVs.
    https://digitalnow.comcast.com/Contents/DTA_online_ver_2.pdf

    So when I signed up with them last May the 2 DTAs were free and no monthly charge.
    https://digitalnow.comcast.com/About_Digital_Update.aspx

    This month I see a $1.99 charge for each DTA on my bill. Bend over and spread 'em. I'm not the only one that's pissed. http://forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-and-Equipment/Free-digital-adapter-not-free-anymore/td-p/1456039

    If it was up to me I would drop cable TV but my wife likes to watch those crappy network shows. OTA TV is not a good option. I would need a large boosted antenna and even then I could only get 2 channels out of Knoxville.

    I called them, on hold for 30 minutes, and got a live person. I told them I was thinking about going to a dish. They dropped the DTA charges for this month, but are they going to reappear next month.

    Thanks for reading my rant.
     
    #1 MadScientist, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  2. postmortemIA

    postmortemIA Diamond Member

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    strage, I have mediacom, and DTA has only digital unscrambled channels, nothing more. I can get same exact thing using my TV with ATSC / ClearQAM support. We use DTAs only for legacy TVs (CRTs)
     
  3. MadScientist

    MadScientist Platinum Member

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    Strange indeed. I asked Comcast why the frack do I need a digital to analog converter when I have 2 brand new TVs???

    Their answer:
    Because in my area they have totally migrated to digital signals, and the digital signals are being encrypted and everyone will need a DTA that decrypts the signals.

    But a DTA will only tune in SD signals, and if you want to watch any HD clear QAM channels, you would need a splitter and an A/B switch. If you want to watch all the HD channels in your TV package, you need a full HD set top box, connected to a HDTV with HDMI or component cables.

    This is what I will have to do to watch HD channels: http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/connecting-digital-adapter-to-hdtv/

    If I disconnect the DTA I loose a crap load of channels. The DTA is a keyed descrambler/tuner that outputs all of the incoming channels to channel 3 or 4.
    You have to register it before it will work, so its keyed to your address.

    DTA disconnected = some HD + some channels

    DTA connected = all channels I pay for, but in SD only, no HD

    This totally sucks.
     
    #3 MadScientist, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  4. MustISO

    MustISO Lifer

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    Pretty sure there was some legislation discussed this year that would make it so even local channels can be encrypted by the cable companies so everyone would have to get a box. Then they can just keep raising the prices of the boxes. How nice for them.
     
  5. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    let them keep shooting themselves in the foot. cant wait for netflix to start supporting live channels. whole new networks being created that cater to internet distribution.
     
  6. pISSANt

    pISSANt Member

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    They are pulling the exact same crap over here. I've made some homemade antennas (that actually give me a better HD picture) and am just using them. I only ever had the super basic basic cable though. My next step is to drop them altogether and just have fios internet. It's all a big racket, I wish there would be some actual competition...
     
  7. kornphlake

    kornphlake Golden Member

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    That's funny I just got a letter saying I'd need to contact comcast before march 12 and request a digital adapter. The notice says the first 3 are no cost, additional adapters cost $0.50 per month. I've never actually watched any programming on comcast cable though, it was cheaper to have basic cable and internet than just internet alone. The cost of internet service went up another $5 though. Now that century link has service in my neighborhood that is faster than 1.5mbps I'm going to call comcast and cancel everything.
     
  8. gevorg

    gevorg Diamond Member

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    will Netflix + Hulu work?
     
  9. MadScientist

    MadScientist Platinum Member

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    Yeah, if you signed up with them before July 1st, 2012, I signed up May 2012, the first 3 adapters were supposed to be free, but since November, 2012 they are starting to charge for them. I bitched to them about it on my last bill and they took the charge off, hopefully for good.

    From their website:
    What will it cost?
    Limited Basic only customers are eligible to receive digital adapter service (and digital adapters) for three (3) outlets without additional charge. A digital adapter service charge of $0.50 will apply to each additional outlet for those customers. All other customers are eligible to receive a digital set-top box and service included at no additional charge with their primary outlet, and the digital adapter service charge of $1.99 will apply to each additional digital adapter service outlet (such charges are not applicable for digital adapter service outlets existing on accounts prior to July 1, 2012).
     
  10. MadScientist

    MadScientist Platinum Member

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    I watch Netflix through my LG BD570 DVD player. A gift from my son since he now has a Playstation he uses for Netflix . The DVD player still has his subscription to Netflix on it.
    Occasionally I watch Hulu through my HTPC, and download HD TV shows from the usual sources, but it would be nice to watch HD shows, especially sports, in real time.

    Instead of going this route: http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/connecting-digital-adapter-to-hdtv/ and having a crap load of cables I thought about getting an inexpensive TV tuner for my HTPC, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/AVerTV-HD-Bravo-ClearQAM-Digital/dp/B00266P2G8 I would then only need a 2 way splitter.
     
  11. sze5003

    sze5003 Lifer

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    Comcast cable is pretty much crap. They nickel and dime you for everything. My bill goes up every couple of months. But I call and ask to disconnect or lower my package and then they somehow pull a promotion out of nowhere so I can keep what ever else I'm having.

    I dont even watch tv, my gf watches only one channel all day and for that you have to get the preferred package.

    If it was up to me, I would just keep business class internet and netflix.
     
  12. Aikouka

    Aikouka Lifer

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    I'm just glad that they didn't try to charge me for my CableCard. Although, I haven't checked my bill yet! :hmm:
     
  13. ICXRa

    ICXRa Diamond Member

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    If they didn't.....it's only a matter of time.

    Comcast, words can't describe how bad I hate this company. I too called last week, waited thirty damn minutes for the same bullshit story.
     
  14. sze5003

    sze5003 Lifer

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    They already charge I think 10-11 bucks for a digital hd box. Too bad in my area its what they have. I would get fios but none of the apartments I've been to offer it.

    Half the time there is nothing on tv to watch.
     
  15. A5

    A5 Diamond Member

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    You'll get a "digital outlet fee" once you activate it. But if you had an HD box or DVR from them, you'd pay the "digital outlet fee" + another fee for the box, so you come out ahead as long as you dump one of those.

    OP, if you're really that mad, you can probably switch to satellite and pay less over the next 2 years. If you feel like doing the work, you can bounce from cable to satellite every 2 years to stay on the "new customer" rates as often as possible.
     
    #15 A5, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  16. marcplante

    marcplante Senior member

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    I cut the cable a couple months ago and haven't looked back. Get a reasonable selection of OTA channels and stream the rest from Netflix or other networks that stream everything from their websites. Check MPAA.com to see what is streamed. They have a pretty comprehensive list. Also check canIstreamit.com (?) you'd be amazed what's available for free at high def (provided your comcast pipe is fast enough).
     
  17. techie81

    techie81 Senior member

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    Yeah that definitely sucks. I called recently to remove the sports channel since we are no longer watching it and they wanted to charge me a $1.99 fee to remove the package. I put up a fight and they waived it. I too really wish I could cut the cord from cable but my wife has to have it.
     
  18. Shadowknight

    Shadowknight Diamond Member

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    Then try to convince your wife to switch to satellite. Charging fees to drop channels? Not something anyone should put up with.
     
  19. Sephire

    Sephire Golden Member

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    Get Directv or Dish.
     
  20. Tegeril

    Tegeril Platinum Member

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    The day FIOS became available in my area, I kicked Comcast to the curb. More than 75% of my condo association did the same.

    All it takes is a little competition...
     
  21. Thump553

    Thump553 Diamond Member

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    No competition in my area and my wife and an elderly relative living in our house would go into revolt if I dropped cable TV. Haven't seen my most recent bill yet but I'm sure I will get shafted on this as well.

    Because of no competition we pay north of $160 per month for basic internet and basic TV cable with two DTAs and one digital box.
     
  22. Thump553

    Thump553 Diamond Member

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    Question-is it possible to buy a DTA somewhere to avoid this ridiculous rental fee?
     
  23. sze5003

    sze5003 Lifer

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    I'm guessing you can. A while a go they were selling analog to digital converters for older tv models. Not sure if you can also find a dta like that somewhere.

    This is why I bought my own modem. I have a 1 year contract with their business internet and its been great including the support as opposed to their residential cs.
     
  24. MadScientist

    MadScientist Platinum Member

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    Just got my latest bill. Looks like calling them, bitching, and using the word CANCEL several times worked. They, permanently I hope, took off the DTA charges.
     
  25. A5

    A5 Diamond Member

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    Not that I know of. The boxes sze5003 is talking about were for OTA broadcasts (basically an ATSC + MPEG-2 decoder), not cable.
     
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