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  #1  
Old 06-06-2009, 01:06 AM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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Comcast vs. FIOS

I currently have analog Comcast, and they are threatening me with taking away channels unless I convert to digital STBs. I am currently able to get many of my extended basic channels via QAM, but they tend to move around, as others have noted. I hear from others on this forum that Comcast will take away the extended QAM stations before long anyway. However, right now, I'm enjoying the added recording flexibility I get from the QAM. I have 4 Sage tuners working currently: Hauppauge 850 and 950Q, each getting antenna ATSC, a Hauppauge 1600, with the digital tuner set to Comcast's QAM and the analog tuner set to Comcast's analog cable. Given the expectation that I'll have to get STBs before long for my extended basic channels, FIOS is becoming tempting. They're offering their triple play for $89.95/month for 2 years (after which point, I shudder to think what they'll charge). I know I'll need at least one extra STB for the 1600, and more if I want to watch anything live elsewhere in the house. The offer requires signup by 6/20 and installation by 8/20, so I need to make a decision soon.

So, should I take a chance that Comcast will leave my QAM alone (and so avoide all those STBs) , or switch to FIOS, knowing that I'll definitely have less clear QAM and will need a STB or two, or three? With what I'm currently paying Comcast for extended basic cable + internet, plus what I'm paying Verizon for POTS, even if I have to get a few extra STBs I'm ahead (at least for the 2 years) with FIOS. So, what I'd like opinions on is whether there are additional issues that I need to know about with either Comcast or Fios. Will the installer make a mess of my house? Will something that currently works fine in Sage (such as the webserver) stop working? Will the IR-blaster on the 1600 be able to change channels on a FIOS or Comcast STB?
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2009, 08:03 AM
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SHS SHS is offline
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Comcast is not threatening you they have no option in the matter after in a few more years August, 2011 all analog will be shut off even on cable.
Fact is you need get with the progarm or do with out.
The things is cable companies don't want to spent$,$$$,$$$ to convert digital back to analog that is just so dumb any way and it bandwith hog any way.

Quote:
take away the extended QAM stations before long anyway
This will always happing when they remove and add channel keep in mind there move ever thing to Full Digital or Digital HD and be foe long you may as will kiss extended basic channels goodbye.
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  #3  
Old 06-06-2009, 04:25 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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My understanding is that cable companies aren't *forced* to drop analog, they just want to drop it. Either way, I'm still looking for pros and cons of Comcast ve. FIOS.
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  #4  
Old 06-07-2009, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by VCRUser View Post
My understanding is that cable companies aren't *forced* to drop analog, they just want to drop it. Either way, I'm still looking for pros and cons of Comcast ve. FIOS.
If I had fiber-optic where I live I switch off both my TWC and Dish in Favoriter of FIOS in heart beat.
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  #5  
Old 06-07-2009, 04:05 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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I'm interested in info from people who currently use or have recently used either Comcast Digital or FIOS as to whether the boxes work well with the Hauppauge IR blaster, and which QAM channels Comcast keeps around after going all-digital. My area is in transition now, and has plenty of QAM, but I don't want to factor that into my decision if the QAM channels won't stay around.
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2009, 05:11 PM
hingepin hingepin is offline
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I don't have FIOS but do have Comcast. I'm thinking of the same thing but opted to wait until after the 12th to see what happens and decide then. I have everything set up just the way I want for the most part so until I know what, for sure, will happen, I'm going to wait. I don't want to spend any more $ for whatever may be needed until then. Its less than a week to go. We'll see what Comcrap has in store for the Baltimore area!
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  #7  
Old 06-07-2009, 06:43 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VCRUser View Post
I'm interested in info from people who currently use or have recently used either Comcast Digital or FIOS as to whether the boxes work well with the Hauppauge IR blaster,
I have two Comcast boxes: a DCT700 standard-definition cable box (which I really want to swap out for a box with s-video), and a DCT6200 HD box. I'm using the Hauppauge blaster with the DCT700, and it has never tuned to the wrong channel. I don't think it's terribly slow either. I'm using firewire tuning and recording on the DCT6200, and it works quite well. I get most of my HD channels, except for movie channels (e.g., HBO, Showtime, etc.) and (oddly) the History channel. Channel changing on the firewire box takes a few seconds, which I think is quite good compared to the HD-PVR channel changing times.

Quote:
and which QAM channels Comcast keeps around after going all-digital. My area is in transition now, and has plenty of QAM, but I don't want to factor that into my decision if the QAM channels won't stay around.
My area hasn't done all-digital, so I'm just speculating. But, I don't see how Comcast can drop the standard-definition QAM channels. The DTAs can't decrypt encrypted QAM channels, so I think any place Comcast has deployed the DTAs is going to have the standard definition expanded basic lineup unencrypted for quite some time.

Plus, I think people have had significantly better luck with firewire recording on Comcast HD boxes than Verizon boxes. Of course, the firewire thing is entirely moot if it doesn't work in your particular area. Just because it works in Montgomery County, Maryland doesn't mean it will work where you live.
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  #8  
Old 06-07-2009, 08:21 PM
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mistergq mistergq is offline
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I have Verizon FIOS with two HD STBs using 2 HD PVRs.

With regards to the IR, I don't use IR. because the set top boxes can be controlled by firewire, I went that way instead. I found it to be much more accurate.

As to the picture quality for the HD PVR with FIOS, it is unbelievable. The quality of the picture is a superior to that of Comcast.

As to QAM, that is my only complaint for FIOS. I tried FIOS QAM with HDHomerun, and also had OTA running at the same time on another HDHomerun. The OTA was a 1000x better than the FIOS QAM. In fact, I just recently showed off the OTA to a good friend and he could not believe the difference. I could be wrong, but I believe Verizon is compressing the network stations while the OTA is uncompressed.

Having said that, I would chose FIOS over Comcast any day of the week. You are just not buying the tv viewing for Sage, but you are also buying internet. The internet is so much faster than Comcast.

Good luck.
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  #9  
Old 06-08-2009, 03:41 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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I don't think my PC has firewire available, or does the Hauppauge 1600 card supply it? If not, what is necessary to add firewire capability?
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2009, 06:49 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VCRUser View Post
I don't think my PC has firewire available, or does the Hauppauge 1600 card supply it? If not, what is necessary to add firewire capability?
If your motherboard doesn't have a firewire jack, you'd need to buy a firewire add-on card. You can get them pretty cheap. I bought mine on Newegg for $12.
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2009, 01:05 PM
jpsmall jpsmall is offline
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VCRuser, which did you choose? I'm facing the same decision right now in the Philadelphia area.
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2009, 09:58 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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For now, I'm sticking with Comcast, since most of the digital channels seem to be available on QAM (though some of them seem to have moved around). I plan to set up the next version currently in Release Candidate stage once it is an official release version (just to avoid installing one update rapidly followed by another), then rescan using the new & improved remapping tools. I'm still having trouble getting channel 6 OTA, but it works ok in analog cable & qam. I still don't have any converter boxes to try to attach to my analog tuner, but will probably try that eventually. I'm also a little squeamish about converting my phone from Verizon POTS to Verizon FIOS. I may yet change over later if the situation warrants.
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