No Sopranos For You: Comcast Says Switch To Digital Or Lose HBO

Comcast is quietly moving HBO over to digital cable, irritating people who are stuck in the ’90s with totally un-hip non-digital cable. The move to digital adds as much as $4.95 (per cable box) to customer’s bills, without adding any channels. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“I guess the thing that bothers me is, the service is bad and rates keep increasing,” said Alan Letofsky, one of many customers who recently received a notice from Comcast saying they would need a digital-cable box to keep HBO, which telecasts The Sopranos. “We just don’t want to give any more money to Comcast.”

Letofsky, of Haverford, has a digital box on one of his sets, but analog service on the other two. To keep HBO on all three sets, he said, he would have to pay an extra $9.90 – $4.95 each for two boxes – per month. He already pays $83.05 for Comcast cable.

He said he would switch to another cable company if he could.

Face it, Comcast. You’re pissing off the old people and they’re all going to switch to Verizon FIOS. It’s their way of shaking their fiber-optic cane at you. Comcast’s HBO shift comes right as The Sopranos final season begins. —MEGHANN MARCO

HBO move riles some Comcast customers [Philadelphia Inquirer]

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  1. phypennwl says:

    Actually, Comcast is taking advantage of Philadelphians in this case. While Verizon rolled out FIOS in the ‘burbs, they’re not making FIOS available in Philadelphia itself for a while.

  2. Falconfire says:

    I was wondering when some comments where going to start comming in about this. My dad just had to “rent” three of those damn boxes. My fiancee’s parents just dropped HBO all together.

    Comcast is being sneaking about it for a reason… technically it goes against the laws governing cable that where put in place back when Comcast “required” you to have a technician in your house to wire any cable connection and the right to charge you for every connection in your house.

    Since the FCC said that was illegal and Comcasts rights extended to the house and thats it (all internal wireing including multiple TVs was the right of the consumer) They have been trying to find a way to get back the fee’s they used to charge with multiple connections in the house.

    Since they refuse to allow things to pick up digital signals (and charge you for the cards if you have something that can pick it up) they are going to eventually switch everyone to all digital and make their money that way.

    Sneaky Evil bastards.

  3. gopher78 says:

    When will we learn? To buy a Comcast package with HBO it will cost you in the area of $90 per month or about $1200 per year after mega taxes. Now, really, just how much television can you watch. Divide the number of channels you watch into your monthly cost. Average person watches less than 4 channels other than the main NBC,ABC,CBS. Those are still free with an antenna. So you pay $22 dollars per channel per month. That stinks. Wait for the season of Sopranos to be over, go to Target and get the season final for $30 and you can watch it over and over again. Don’t fall for Comcast charging you mega rates to watch 4 channels

  4. acambras says:

    To hell with Comcast — I’m just about through with them. We’re moving next month and I’m looking forward to telling Crapcast to go f*** themselves.

    Not that AT&T is any more warm and cuddly, but I’ve been checking out their quad pack — DSL, telephone, cell (via Cingular), and Dish Network — all for $134/month. Currently, we’re paying about $140 for the first 3, so I figure Dish Network will be kind of a “gimme.” The only thing is that we’d have to pay an extra $6 to get local channels (including network affiliates).

    Anyone have any info/caveats for me?

  5. BillyShears says:

    For everytime DirecTV does something sneaky with their rates, Comcast somehow manages to trump them, making me feel Not Quite As Bad as I did only a few days ago.

    I’m so happy my apartment building allows satellite TV.

  6. Slosh says:

    or you could just download via bittorrent from… oh i don’t know… the pirate pay, torrentspy, torrentreactor, mininova, bitenova, torrentscan, torrentbox, isohunt, demonoid, etc etc etc.

    the sopranos wants to be free!

  7. r81984 says:

    In Northwest Indiana and Chicago regions, Comcast removed Sci-Fi channel from analogue and only offers Sci-Fi on digital.

    It really sucks as many could not justify paying extra money for a bunch of unwanted channels for just one good channel.

    Its stupid business decisions like this that forces people to download TV shows from P2P networks.

  8. Solo says:

    I guess after lifetimes of having crap piped directly into their homes, people come to expct it.
    – you don’t really need TV.
    – if you think you need TV, just quit for a week, realize all the time you reclaim for simply living your life (instead of having it filled with 46% commercial, in 5 minutes increment, with no more than 9 minutes of “content” at once)
    – If you still think you need TV after that consider something that will give you the content you want but on your terms. Be a little patient and get a subscription to Netflix. All modern TV is available on DVD now.
    – Not to mention bittorrent.
    – In any case, if you really really want real time feed, get directv, most stable lineup, cheper than crapcast. But if you do, get the one with a DVR so you can skip the crap and watch on your term.

    Thank you for reading my long-winded rant about TV. Stay tuned for a future installment about pick up trucks and boats for the weekend :)

  9. Greeper says:

    I’ve had great experiences with DirectTv for 10 years. MUCH cheaper, better service. THeir installation people (contracted out) are total nincompoops, but after that it’s great. Switch!

  10. tvh2k says:

    CableVision actually did this a few months ago. This time I think it’s pressure from HBO to go all-digital, not the cable providers trying to screw their customers.

  11. Youthier says:

    @r81984: I’m from thereabouts as well and what’s terrible about the channel lineup is how much they jerk it around. When we first got Comcast, Sci-Fi was just digital. Than it was available in Basic Extended. Now it’s back to digital. They did the same with Bravo as well.

    Of course, it’s only been within the past 8 years we got E!, Comedy Central, and VH1 in the regular lineup so they probably think we have nothing to complain about.

  12. revmatty says:

    While I’m as critical of the pervasiveness of advertising, it hardly comprises 46% of the average TV hour. Closer to 28% in a half hour show, 34% in an hour show, based on my observations.

    Now if you’re including product placements in the shows, then it varies wildly. Though I would have to guess American Idol tops the list, with 100% of every hour including significant product placement and/or ads.

  13. cgmaetc says:

    Today, digital. tomorrow HD.

    Comcrap is doing the same thing with it’s HD channels. Before the TW merger in So Cal was regular and HD side by side. Now, there are about 20 additional channels I don’t receive because they are only broadcast in HD, and there is no regular/digital alternative. So now Comcrap/TW wants to make my buy an HD TV, too?

    Plus, we don’t have an alternative cable provider in our area. It’s Comcrap or nothing.

  14. RulesLawyer says:

    He said he would switch to another cable company if he could.

    Dish Network? Direct TV?

  15. Falconfire says:

    Not everyone can switch. Apartments, Condo’s and Town Houses frequently frown on having 12 inch dishes sticking out of peoples roofs.

  16. FangDoc says:

    Comcast has been pursuing us across the state of Pennsylvania for the past seven years.

    I was so thrilled when we moved out of Philadelphia in ’99 to return my crappy Comcast cable box, and I barely managed to refrain from telling them where they could stick it.

    We moved to Harrisburg and subscribed to Suburban Cable — which was bought by Comcast six months later. Up with rates, down with service, picture quality, etc.

    We then moved to York in ’05 and told Comcast to go screw. The day the SusCom Cable tech arrived to install our cable, the sale of SusCom to Comcast was announced.

    Our bill was $41/mo. in November ’05. As of January ’07, it went up to $93/mo. We have not signed up for any new services; they claim to have “improved” service by adding channels against our will — that’s now the “basic” digital package.

    Our new plan? Netflix and iTunes. Unless Comcast has ideas about buying either of those…

  17. guroth says:

    That would actually cost me $15 per TV, since all of my TV’s are “cable ready” and I don’t even use an analog cable box.

    On top of that, the digital boxes they offer are CRAP. if you flip through the channels too quickly then it hangs and stops flipping channels, just giving you a black screen until you stop hitting the button. On top of that the tv-guide-menu is the worst I’ve ever seen

  18. OnceWasCool says:

    acambras: You will LOVE Dish Network. We dropped Charter Cable like a hot potato and never looked back. We compared the Direct and Dish and Dish won out hands down with their DVR system. Only time I loose signal is when it is raining real hard and that is only for about 5 minutes. Cable has been out for days.

  19. Falconfire says:

    If anything it made me and my fiancee think about it some, and come to the conclusion that

    1) we dont need HBO
    2) we dont need to have every TV in the house have cable, just the main one is fine.

    I find it sad that 20 something years later we are regressing back to my childhood of one TV having cable because its too expensive. Whats next? Getting the remote tethered by a huge fucking cable to the TV box like my 80’s childhood had too?

  20. AdamJacobMuller says:

    This is a bit of a misrepresentation. As much as I hate Comcast, the rates your quoting aren’t completely correct. When comcast mailed out the initial letters about this (~2m ago) they offered a special rate, for the next year, I have 2 cable boxes, plus all HBO channels, plus showtime for less than I was paying 2 months ago (some IR distribution and channel modulators later and HBO is again visible everywhere in the house). The point being, that they realized this was going to be a pain in the ass for people, and at least tried to make it right with these discounts. Now, if FIOS rolls around in the next 12 months before this contract expires. I’m outta comcast world. But, i was doing that anyway.

  21. The Bigger Unit says:

    Yup, I moved to another house, and just said “to hell with it”, and don’t have digital cable, or ANY cable anymore. I plugged in some rabbit ears, and couldn’t give a damn. Any shows I want to watch (which are FEW…sad state of TV nowadays IMO), I’ll just rent the whole season for $7 at Blockbuster.

    I only miss the Discovery Channel, but it isn’t worth an extra $40 a month.

  22. hop says:

    have had directv for about 8urs now and have had no problems…..when we moved in aug 06 the company set up the dish at our new location with no cost or trouble….the houde had been cabled for comcast, so all directv had to do was clip the comcast cables and attach theirs……
    comcast sucketh (so does best buy)

  23. Brian Gee says:

    I have to wonder how HBO would react to a sudden, drastic reduction in Comcast subscriptions. My guess is that most of the subscribers who have HBO already “upgraded” (ha! what a crock!) to the digital boxes.

    And if its just for Sopranos, skip the $5/month and buy the season on DVD 6 months from now. HBO will get their money, the Sopranos will get their money, and Comcast will get a lesson in customer satisfaction.

    As for Bittorrent, I’d avoid downloading Sopranos. If people decide to drop HBO instead of taking the $5 increase, it will be the ISP (Comcast), not the content provider (HBO, Sopranos) who “loses” money. Instead of HBO having to identify the IP addresses of “infringers” and make requests to the ISP to try to find the identity, it will be Comcast comparing a list of IP addresses they dole out to their cablemodems to their list of analog-only subscribers. Its a subtle difference, but its important. Comcast may not have any legal grounds to pursue directly, but they’ll probably be much more eager to help HBO sue, since Comcast will have something to gain, too.

  24. davere says:

    My cable company tried to pull that same crap on me. I canceled and got satellite just because of that.

  25. crayonshinobi says:

    @r81984: Did you also notice that Comcast made the Scifi channel change only a week prior to the new season of Stargate?

    I’m not a big Stargate fan, but a friend of mine went absolutely ballistic over this, and Stargate was one of the few shows that makes halfway decent ratings for Scifi. The timing for this HBO change is no accident either. The sad thing is that even if people tried to switch now to digital just to get HBO back, they likely wouldn’t get an install appointment in time for the first episode.

    We took the bait and switched to digital for awhile, then they started putting ads on the guide menus. Our house is now cable free. Bye bye Concast! *finger*

  26. Trai_Dep says:

    Then of course they charge extra for HD programming, which in this day and age, isn’t an “extra” for many.

    Anyone know if the HD is also per TV? And is their DVR also per TV? (and are their DVRs HD or HD-lite or regular?)

    I’ve already realized cable/satellite isn’t worth it (to me) so I’m curious…

  27. leshrak says:

    Hate to break it to you, but if they want to switch to FIOS, they’ll still have to rent a box for each TV they want to have service on.

    FIOS is 100% digital… they should be thanking their lucky stars that Comcast hasn’t gone 100% digital yet and they can still get away with having most channels available on analog. :)

  28. acambras says:

    @oncewascool:

    Thanks. I’ve grown to hate Comcast and find AT&T to be the lesser of two evils. I am looking forward to returning my box and telling Comcast where to stick it. Of course I’ll bring a friend with a video camera to document the transaction, so that Comcast can’t come back later and say I never returned the box.

  29. greenvortex says:

    What always goes unsaid is that digital cable yields a significantly inferior picture quality. It comes in at SVCD resolution (half of DVD quality), at a bitrate that cannot handle fast motion scenes. Any explosions, or fast pans will reduce the image to a blocky mess. Basically, digital cable squeezes a ton of channels through a pipe big enough for ONE analog channel. WHY DO CUSTOMERS HAVE TO PAY MORE TO GET A CRAPPIER PICTURE, ESPECIALLY SINCE DIGITAL SAVES COMCAST MONEY TO USE?

  30. FLConsumer says:

    Does Cumcast charge for the remote control as well? BrightHouse (formerly Time Wanker) charges $1/mo for the privilege of having a remote control for their crappy-ass boxes with the terrible GUI.

    If there weren’t so many trees here and I could have DirecTV at this location, I’d switch in a heartbeat and throw a 18″ dish outside. Even with the Florida monsoons, the 18″ dish pulls the signals in like a champ. Had DirecTV at my old place and loved the quality. REAL DIGITAL on EVERY CHANNEL, not just those “above 100″ on cable. I also miss the Sony DirecTV GUI. Quick, decent-looking, easy to navigate. Oh well, next hurricane will take care of my tree problem.

  31. TheBigLewinski says:

    Those “Cable Bastards” will stick it to you whenever possible. I just got Verizon FIOS Monday. I called Cabelvision to cancel and NOW they want to give me a better deal, I told em N F W. They can stuff the cable where the sun don’t shine…

  32. Falconfire says:

    Anyone know if the HD is also per TV? And is their DVR also per TV? (and are their DVRs HD or HD-lite or regular?)

    Yes and Yes, you have to pay more to get HD (which all of them seem to do) BUT you also have to pay more per month for a HD box for every TV its hooked to, same with DVR.

  33. grrrarrrg says:

    i was amazed that Comcast was kicked out of the “worst company in america” competition so early… but i digress.

    get this… i live right on the comcast “border” of a service area. the lucky folks in this bay area city are able to view certain channels, and have features like “on demand” available without any problems whatsoever.

    because of this “border”, i DO NOT get “on demand”, nor am i able to view these channels. if i could run a 1000′ length of coax across the schoolyard, to plug into my neighbor’s splitter… believe me, i would.

  34. Buran says:

    If you want HBO, get DirecTV.

    Me, I’m looking forward to moving into a Comcast service area. Why? Because shitty old Charter dropped CBS HD in St. Louis and it was one of the two channels I frequently watched in HD (for one of their geeky shows). I look forward to ejecting my CableCards from my Tivo Series3 the day I leave, dropping them on the receptionist’s desk, and telling them where to shove their service reductions.

    Oh, yeah, and did they reduce my bill? Hell no, they actually jacked my rate.

    Comcast doesn’t suck (yet?) for my boyfriend plus the channels I want are in their lineup where he is, while channels I want are NOT in the lineup here.

    Suck it, Charter.

  35. Kingpcgeek says:

    Cox here in Phoenix did this a couple of years ago.

  36. Mojosan says:

    I lin=ve in the philly area and Comcast is one of those companies I just despise.

    Thier service is 90% outsourced by guys getting $40.00/call if they are at your house for 5 minutes or 5 hours…which do you think they shoot for?

    Verizon is offering unlimited phone, DSL, and DirectTV choice package for $99.99/mo. right now.

  37. quagmire0 says:

    All this does is push more and more people to downloading the content on their own. Instead of paying Comcast $150 a month for cable and internet and phone, just pay $100 and download the shows over their internet connection.

    Currently I’m with Dish for TV and AT&T for DSL/Phone. I’ve been looking for a cheaper solution to meet my needs, but that’s as low as I can go. The only other way to go is to just get fed up and go back to over the air HD and maybe connect my PC as a DVR. :P

  38. pendor says:

    For what it’s worth, Time Warner in upstate New York is doing the same thing. Both in the Albany area and in their recently acquired Adelphia region in Queensbury.

    Of course… The video quality of analog channels on the Queensbury system is so bad as to be almost unwatchable anyways, so it’s not really a big loss per se.

  39. benn09 says:

    When I received the original letter from Comcast in early January, the shut off date for non-digital HBO subscribers was sometime in late January — they did not provide an exact date. Lo and behold, February rolled around and I could still watch crappy movies in the morning as I got ready for work without having digital. They were obviously giving people more time to switch to Digital Cable because the premiere dates for “The Sopranos” and “Entourage” weren’t for another few months.

    Just like when Howard Stern moved from radio to Sirius, those serious HBO subscribers will make the switch so they don’t have to wait several months for the DVDs to come out and risk being spoiled — this is the final season of “The Sopranos” so I imagine many more people than one imagines will be making the switch.

  40. yetiwisdom says:

    Just more customers like me and everyone else I know waiting for the FIOS alternative to come to their block. Comcast is such an unbelievable ripoff I am on the Basic Extended plan + TiVo which harvests more than enough good programming without digital or HBO. And don’t even get me started about the Sopranos and HBO…

    Did I mention I’m from Philly too?

  41. Ampersam says:

    As much disdain as I hold for Comcast, I’m not sure they’re entirely to blame.

    The FCC’s digital broadcast deadline came into effect on 7 March, forcing all new televisions to include tuners to receive digital broadcasts. They hope to convert all television broadcasts to a digital format by 2009.

    It’s not a very consumer-friendly move for them to start so early, but it’s just one of the first before a whole flood.

  42. hoot550 says:

    My 70 year old grandmother who has Comcast just had another rate increase on her bill. She’s on a fixed income and a $5 jump was too much after the previous jump, so she called them to drop down to the basic basic. (You know, the one they never tell you about with no channels other than the local broadcast stations and a couple others) The rep agreed to give her the same rate for six months, so she could “save up” for the rate increase. Unbelievable.

    After six months, I’m going to help her get Directv, which is the same as her old rate, maybe even a little chaper.

    On a related note, I have downgraded from the basic package from the expanded basic package twice in my life – once when I was a customer of Comcast and once from Cox, and they never bothered to come out and disconnect the expanded basic, but billed the basic rate of about $15. I even called them to tell them (being the honest person I try to be) and they kept saying they’d send someone out. I guess that’s a good time for the technician not to show up.

  43. swalve says:

    I know everybody hates Comcast, but after having had their predecessors AT&T, TCI and [I forgot], I have to say that Comcast sucks way less.

    For those who don’t want to rent a digital cable box, you are free to go out an buy one. Of course, they cost $300, so many people don’t want to do that.

    Why does everyone think Verizon isn’t going to be just as bad once they crush their competitors? Cell phone companys suck too, and there’s tons of competition in that arena.

  44. bloodr says:

    And the television industry wonders why TV piracy is exploding. Fortunately they are wising up and moving towards offering shows off the net. Hopefully this will prompt the cable companies to offer better products at more reasonable prices.

  45. cnfzedbtters says:

    This is nothing new. It’s been like this in Colorado for some time now…about 6 months after the introduction of digital cable. It’s the same for all extra, pay channels. I don’t understand why this seems to be such a big deal. It sucks, but you better get used to it. I understand how everybody is upset at rising costs and plummeting customer service, but I’m holding out for IPTV, then maybe some competition will yield some lower prices. (But I’m not going to hold my breath.) It’s not like you can switch to a satalite service, because when it’s all said and done, you’re paying just as much, and perhaps more after the “introduction” rate.

  46. Stepehn Colbert says:

    i see james gandolfini over at church from time to time. That suave motherfucker riding around in his Rolls, goin to church with his sister. Well, remember what happened to howard stern when he switched to satellite. They’ll never get the same ratings again, not that it matters, since the show is practically over.

  47. Karl says:

    @Falconfire: They may frown on dishes being installed, but they cannot prohibit it. Of course, you still might be out of luck if you can’t get a clear view of the southern sky…

  48. ubrayj02 says:

    I know this will sound funny on a site named “Consumerist”, but isn’t the idea of owning 3 televisions kind of ridiculous?

    If you’ve got that kind of money, and you’re complaining about getting cable on all three of them … you’ve already lost the war, pal.

    Comcast sucks, but I would take a look in the mirror to see who is screwing who on this one.

  49. leshrak says:

    It never ceases to amaze me when I read about all of the “Facts” spouted off by ignorant consumers. Coaxial cable is able to transmit multiple gigabits’ worth of data all at the same time; the way that cable TV channels work is that it’s all transmitted on different frequencies (just like the radio, but condensed through a line instead of over the airwaves).

    Satellite TV transmits with.. guess what.. EXACTLY the same principle, except their frequencies are different; though it goes through the airwaves and is more prone to interference than the standard coaxial line (which is shielded to protect from interference).

    What makes FIOS different (and trust me, Verizon isn’t the great company that everyone builds it up to be just because they hate their local cable co) is that it’s transmitted entirely over a fiber cable, thus allowing them to potentially transmit up to 10x the bandwidth simultaneously as a coax line. Sounds great, in theory, right? 10x the channels, 10x the speed… No. They won’t provide this because it would decimate the cable companies, create a monopoly and they may lose their business to government deregulation.

    Also, they can’t screw the consumers by offering almost exactly the same channels as the cable company and a slightly higher speed for the same price.


    One thing you need to keep in mind when considering ANY of these companies is that -you don’t matter-. Management doesn’t care about you, or if you get good service, all they care is that you cut them a check every month. Verizon, too.

  50. Carrnage says:

    With Comcast you don’t pay extra for HD. HD comes free (snicker) w/ any digital cable box you get.

    DVR is per TV though I think. We just have 1 digital cable box w/ DVR in our house. Our cable bill is about $80/month and I was fine w/ having extended basic cable in the rest of the house.

  51. Cap'n Jack says:

    I live in Delaware and have been seeing the same message on HBO lately, which basically threatens that I need to ‘upgrade or else’. I think it’s a rather pathetic business tactic to get more customers to switch to digital cable so that they can continue to raise the rates for their sub-par service. I, for one, will not be switching to digital cable since Comcast can’t even get the On Demand system to work without freezing and crashing, and their prices are the worst in town. I’d rather download stuff off of the internet and be a day behind on my shows than pay more money to Comcast.

  52. forrman says:

    Its interesting – what I hear more and more from all the commentators is that they are annoyed by crappy service, and have mostly switched to another provider. You really do have an option to turn off your TV. Kill your cable, its not that hard. Other people have said this, but most people pay upwards of $100 a month, when, lets face it, you are probably at work 8 – 10 hours a day. Sure you can TIVO things, but where does that get you? Further behind in your watching? Comcast in my town (the only choice I might add) wants to charge me over $10 to bring TV into my house; that’s TV that is free OTA (over the air). The cable is already laid in the ground, advertisers are paying to be on that TV, yet Comcast wants $10 for me to see it. Ridiculous. Keep going – ‘Standard Cable’ is $50 a month. Its crazy. You don’t need it. Do I miss baseball, sure but its on the radio for free, and I can be where-ever I want to be and still listen to it (catch the highlights later). Believe me, if there was a big enough push, and towns of people cancelled their cable, 1) You’d be suprised at how quickly you could get used to things without cable TV, and 2) It will hurt Comcast in a way that all the bitching and moaning wont, it will effect their profits and their stock price. Neither 1 nor 2 would be a bad thing.

  53. aka_zoe says:

    This too happened in Denver, CO last summer. I don’t watch any of the programs “live” on tv anymore and gladly pay for the priveledge of watching “on demand” or from my $9.95 DVR. Channel line up doesn’t effect me at all.

    Knowing that I can watch when ever I want pleases me and I gladly pay for the DVR service.

    Also keep in mind that this is more than likely a pre-emptive strike as everyone will have to “go digital” by January 1, 2008. This has been on the books since 2005, this is not Comcast trying to take advantage I don’t believe. By having a digital conversion box you will not have to upgrade your television set (so really Comcast is saving you money right? Ok that is pushing the envelope a bit), the Comcast Cable box provides that service for you until you are willing and able to buy a new television.

    And to answer the question about remote rental for a buck? Comcast in Denver doesn’t charge, in fact they will replace it for free when you wear it out (ie: the fast forward button stops working because you skip all the commercials).

  54. HotTubber says:

    Ugh! pendor’s right!

    I just received a flyer in the mail from Time Warner: HBO is being held hostage in the Albany area unless we roll over and rent their digital box by April 16th.

    More opportunities for Time Warner to continue overcharging us.

    The only alternative is Satellite but that costs just as much.

  55. Now_Be_Nice says:

    If you have basic cable service you should be able to get a pkg. called enhanced basic/ or digital lite service. It’s basic service on a digital box ($1 more). This should give you hbo @ the same rate you’re paying now. You get 12 stations of hbo instead of 2 and you have access to video on demand(available 24hrs after service is installed.) They also offer a pkg. between limited and basic service called the “family tier”(normally no ads for this) which offers some of the more popular channels. You can keep your movie channels with this and the cost is about $30 + the cost of movie channel. Look online to see which channels this pkg. offers in your area. additional boxes with the same service are charged at the analog box rate. -Now call sales and be nice.

  56. dragonpup says:

    @leshrak,

    That thing about FIOS is only partly true. A digital cable system has fiber running up to the taps at the pole by the house, than it switches to normal wiring.

    FIOS is fiber up to the side of the house, which then switches over to normal wiring. FIOS basically has a relativily small (Under 200 feet) amount of fiber of a digital cable system.

  57. Seanner says:

    Actually these people can blame the federal goverment for this. All broadcasting must be digital by 2009. By July of this year, all equipment must be digital, i.e. no analog boxes. Comcast is merely moving on with the times and these people need to do the same.

  58. Jozef says:

    I’m a Comcast customer, and so far I haven’t had a problem with them. The reason I’m sticking with the basic extended cable is that (a) along with the Internet bundle it makes sense financially, and (b) that was the only choice for getting CNBC, which is pretty much the only channel I watch on TV.

    Now, about a month ago Comcast moved two channels – CMT and Hallmark – to digital. I guess it makes sense in my market (Atlanta), and I guess lots of people switched to digital. Obviously, I didn’t, and I’m not planing on doing it anytime soon. I have other choices for watching TV. For example, software like the The Democracy Player lets you watch streaming TV on-line, legally. It’s where I get most of my news from, as well as the little entertainment that I watch. I expect this kind of software to grow (already, there are off-shots of the player that let you watch cable channels – illegally), and soon to see American TV stations to embrace the concept to go around cable companies. Once that happens, I’d be more than happy to pay $1-3 per channel for those I want to watch instead of the Comcast lineup, as I’d save lots of money.

    And one more thing, about torrents of HBO episodes. HBO is known for heavily disrupting torrent sharing via fake torrent trackers. It works so great that I’m surprised other media companies don’t use the same tactics.

  59. consumed says:

    Actually the reason HBO is moving all digital is so they can prevent theft of the premium channels. Most places that have a cable tap in the back yard can easily get free HBO/Cinemax/Showtime just by unscrewing a filter and connecting directly to the feed. I’m still surprised anyone has analog HBO these days. In my neck of the woods (central Indiana) they did away with analog premium channels years ago.

  60. budbrown says:

    ok, this is the deal. comcast can not switch a signal from analog to digital. legally they can only broadcast what hbo sends them. hbo made the signal digital so comcast could not broadast it in analog anymore. hbo did it because the feds are requiring that by 2009 all broadcasting stations broadcast in a didital signal only ( they want the analog airways for govermental use and airplane use only). comcast has no choice, believe me , they do not want to buy all those boxes and deal With all the customers mad at them. BY 2009 EVERYTHING (DIRCT TV, DISH, AND ALL CABLE COMPANIES) ARE ONLY ALOUD TO BROADCAST IN DIGITAL PEr THE FCC. If you go to another cable company the samething is going to happen there