Moving from Brighthouse to Comcast

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Moving from Brighthouse to Comcast

Post#1 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:34 am

I've been using Windows 7 Media Center for several years, and I like it. I have been a customer of the same cable company, Brighthouse Networks, since I started using Windows Media Center.

Next month, I will move from Florida to New Hampshire. My new cable company will be Comcast.

I don't know what to expect. Please help me with my transition. What will I need to do in Media Center? What should I say to the Comcast people?
john321
 
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Post#2 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:59 am

When you place your order for service, request a CableCard. If they give you any baloney about "we don't have/support it" remind them they are required to provide one to you by the FCC.

Then, on installation day, once the card is activated, simply re-run the TV setup wizard in WMC.
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Post#3 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:44 am

I live in southern NH and started getting Comcast TV almost 2 years ago. I can tell you my experience and we can both hope that things have changed since my install, but if not, at least you have some idea what to expect.

I was already an internet customer, so my line was installed and active, but my internet trial package had expired and I called to find out what sort of deal I might be able to get (knowing they would upsell me on a "double play" TV + Internet). I recommend calling and speaking to someone in sales. The phone sales people seem to have access to better deals than either ordering on the web or using chat, or even direct contact with your local Comcast office. Definitely call them for info.

Sure enough pricing for a double play was cheaper than internet alone, if I agreed to 2 years of service. I told the salesperson that I wanted a single CableCard for my service. I would provide my own equipment and do a self install. At first she said they could not send/install a cable card. Then she said she would over-ride the standard package and have a CableCard sent.

A couple of days later I received an email that my "self install kit including a set top box" was on its way! I called to determine if a set-top box was actually sent, or just some sort of default email. No one could give me a clear answer, but after another day or 2 a set-top box arrived, ready for my install. No big deal though. I took the set top box to my local Comcast office and GOT A RECEIPT for returning it AND requested a CableCard, which they issued me on the spot. I called the Comcast CableCard activation number that came with the card, used WMC Cable Advisor and everything has been up and running with few problems since.

So, be prepared to do a switch-a-roo, but everything will probably work out fine.
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Post#4 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:43 pm

I've been with Comcast a long time, cable & internet. About a month ago I cut the cable. By the time I got home from dropping off the cablecard, my internet was down. Which was probably by design, because when I called, it was "Please, please, please keep tv."

I didn't really want to, but they bumped my internet speeds 500%. With a much smaller channel package, I cut my bill in half.

But the real point of this post. I didn't have to call to activate the new card. I went to a website to activate it.

https://activatecablecard.xfinity.com/c ... dactivate/

There's big disclaimer that the site is pre-release & may not work. But it worked great for me. It had instructions for WMC & Tivo. It worked slick, not long and I was done. No human interaction required.
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Post#5 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:40 am

hvinc wrote:I didn't have to call to activate the new card. I went to a website to activate it.

https://activatecablecard.xfinity.com/c ... dactivate/

There's big disclaimer that the site is pre-release & may not work. But it worked great for me. It had instructions for WMC & Tivo. It worked slick, not long and I was done. No human interaction required.


I'm mildly amazed by this. :clap:
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Post#6 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:26 pm

hvinc wrote:By the time I got home from dropping off the cablecard, my internet was down.

I'm mildly amazed by this! (Okay, not really, it is par for the course by slimey CableCo's)
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Post#7 » Thu May 12, 2016 12:30 am

Thanks everyone for your responses! I'm sorry that I have been absent for so long. I started planning and packing for my move on the day when I posted my question above. I moved to NH on April 5th, and have been without TV or Internet since then because I have been so busy.

I finally got my TV and audio system setup Monday night, and went to the Comcast walk-in store today during my lunch break. Picking up the cable cards was painless. After a brief chat several days ago on Comcast's website regarding their services, I decided to buy my own modem rather than pay $10/month for their crappy modem/router combination. I already have an excellent router, and a brand new Motorola modem was $69.99 on Amazon with free prime shipping... so it will pay for itself in 7 months. In Florida, I lived in "Lightning Alley"... where life expectancy for a modem was less than a year... and BHN only charged $4/month to rent one... so it made sense to rent. Now that I'm living in the Northeastern US... I will gladly pay $70 for a modem vs. paying $10/month for one from Comcast.

So, I just picked up my cable cards today at lunch. When I got home... after dinner... I plugged in the modem. It connected with no problems. According to Speedtest.net, I get 86Mbps down, and 6Mbps up. That's better than the 75/5 that they advertise, so I'm happy. All of my signals are well within spec... downstream ranges from -7.7 to -8.6, and upstream is at 46.0. I may be able to improve those further. Currently, I have a -12dB tap. The other side of the tap is less than -1dB... which feeds a -3.5db 2-way splitter for the tuners. I could replace those with a balanced -5.5dB 3-way splitter. I need to do some testing on my tuner signals before I make that call. Ideally, I'd like to see the downstream power closer to 0, and the upstream power closer to 40dB on the modem. That will give me plenty of room for fluctuations due to weather conditions.

I'm in the process of detecting channels and downloading new guide info right now. I will post back with more info regarding signals for my tuners later.

So far, the experience has been painless. The only surprise (for me) was when the Comcast rep at the walk-in store told me that she didn't even know what a Tuning Adapter/Resolver was, nor did she know what SDV/Switched Digital Video is!!!

At first, I thought that she must be a complete idiot. Then, while I waited for her to put info into her computer, I Googled "Comcast tuning adapter"...

From what I saw in my search results... Comcast doesn't use SDV. I guess that explains what I've read about Comcast's picture quality. They must compress their signals a LOT in order to avoid using SDV.

So... that brings me to the point of my original question:

What I really wanted to know was what kind of Picture Quality (PQ) I should expect from Comcast?

On BHN, the PQ of the local broadcast channels was identical on OTA and cable tuners.

What's your opinion on Comcast PQ?

I saw the thread about Comcast using H.264 and DRM... and it doesn't work on XBox360??? Is there any fix for that???

OK... so I'm off to get my TV channels setup in Win7 Media Center. I'll post back with my results. I appreciate responses to the two questions above about Comcast PQ and H.264+DRM on XBox360.

Thanks.
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Post#8 » Thu May 12, 2016 1:10 pm

I can offer some subjective and a little objective info on Comcast vs. OTA PQ via WMC. I have 2 WMC HTPC systems, one OTA, one Comcast. I do watch almost everything I can in HD, but I do not consider myself an HD or PQ expert by any means. I am not a picky viewer. My screens are 42" plasmas that max out at 1080i. So, with that in mind... I consider HD sports to be the best challenge for my systems. I watch NE Patriots every weekend in the fall. I have yet to notice any artifacts, blurring, or pixelization on recorded Pats games that I record on my Comcast WMC machine. I have recorded games on both WBZ (1080i) and WFXT (720p). That's my subjective opinion.

Now, some objective data. At the moment I have a couple of identical programs that were recorded on both machines. The file sizes are nearly identical and all are MPEG-2. So that leads me to believe that Comcast is not currently compressing or transcoding any of the content. I am in southern NH on a plant that was once Adelphia/Harron cable. Other parts of NH with different legacy cable companies may have very different results.
Code: Select all
                                     resolution   FPS      OTA size  Comcast size
Family Guy       5/8/16     MPEG-2    1280x736    59.94     3.0GB       3.0GB
Sat Night Live   4/16/16    MPEG-2    1920x1088   29.97    11.2GB      11.7GB
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Post#9 » Thu May 12, 2016 10:10 pm

Thanks, DrSMith.
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Post#10 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:49 pm

I been with Comcast in South Central PA for years. using WMC way before basic cable was even encrypted. when they forced that I got the HD homerun prime. getting set up with a cable card was simple for me. A trip to the local office and asked for an M card. got a little bit of a not sure how to dispense it thing from the first rep then a 2nd helped out. took the card home called the cable card # and they knew WMC and the homerun prime got it running fine in no time. worked fine for years in fact I get some channels not included in my package. I did have some issues with them a year ago when I wanted to move up to a double play bundle with faster internet, they wouldn't allow some bundles with out taking their X1 system. I ended up with a deal called "internet Plus" that had limited basic tv, 25mbps internet and HBO for $77.95. I did not have HBO before and the sales people totally messed up my tv service and nothing worked. every time I called in they kept referencing to my cable box, which it isn't after 2 calls to fix it the regular customer service reps said I needed an onsite service call to look at the cable box. I called the cable card service center again and in less than 10 minutes the lady had the mess the others made of my services all fixed up. it has worked well for me but I have learned that knowledge and training of employees on anything to do with cable cards varies widely with in their organization. My cousins half sister is a big executive at Comcast in Philly in charge of training and customer satisfaction and I have informed her of this and she assured me its to be part of training but is aware it well covered in some sessions and not seen often day to day in working with customers. you are always best to call the cable card number for some service issues as they are the pros.
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