HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

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HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:14 pm

So, I just recently subscribed to Comcast's basic cable service where I live in the bay area mainly because doing so actually dropped the cost of my cable modem internet. HOWEVER, I was surprised to find that their signal does not filter digital cable channels (I assumed only analog channels would be passed to me) and that when I had my Sony HDTV scan for all channels, it picked up not only the analog channels, but essentially every digital cable "starter" channels that I would receive if I had a digital cable tuner box (of course, none of the channels that are encrypted/require subscription were visible). I came to this conclusion because for many of the channels that were found, there is no actual signal available (but it shows them as "present" but "hidden"), and I assume those "placeholder" channels refer to ones that are locked/required subscription.

What sort of sucks though was that I had to manually figure out the channel assignment since it seems to follow no logical numbering scheme based on what Comcast's numberings would be... for example, these are the numbers assigned to the channels I figured out (see below).

I guess my question is, is there any logic to the number assignments based on frequency or anything else... and is it normal to be able to decode these digital stations that would ordinarily require use of a digital cable box? I'm sort of ignorant on the recent goings on in the digital cable / tuning realm.

Channel Hidden/NotHidden Name
2 Hidden Fox
2.1 Shown Fox HD
2.2 Hidden KTVU-SD
3 Hidden NBC
4 Hidden KRON
4.2 Shown KRON HD
5 Hidden CBS
5.1 Shown CBS HD
6 Hidden KICU
6.1 Shown PBSKVIEHD
6.2 Shown PBSKVIE2
6.3 Hidden KVIEVme
7 Hidden ABC
7.1 Shown ABC HD
7.2 Shown Livwel HD
7.3 Hidden KGOACCU
8 Hidden KTSF
9 Hidden PBS
9.1 Shown PBS HD
9.3 Shown PBS World
9.4 Hidden V-ME
9.5 Shown PBS KIDS
9.6 Shown PBS Life
10 Hidden KTEH PBS
11 Hidden HSN
12 Hidden CW
13 Hidden KOFY
14 Hidden Univis
14.1 Hidden KDTV
15 Hidden CSPAN
16 Hidden ION
17 Hidden PBS KCSM
18 Hidden Telemun
19 Hidden KTNC
20 Hidden TF
21 Hidden KCNS
22 Hidden KRCB
22.1 Shown KRCB PBS
24 Hidden CCCTV
25 Hidden KTLN
26 Hidden Access
26.1 Shown KTSF
27 Hidden WGN
28 Hidden Berk
29 Hidden Discov
32 Hidden KMTP
32.1 Shown KMTP
33 Hidden Berk
34 Hidden QVC
36.1 Shown KICU HD
36.2 Hidden KICU SD
38.1 Shown KCNS
42.1 Shown BET
42.3 Shown Discov
42.4 Shown TLC
42.5 Shown Comedy
42.6 Shown VH1
42.7 Shown CARTOON
42.8 Shown SPIKE
42.9 Shown E
42.10 Shown MTV
42.11 Shown Nick
44.1 Shown CW HD
49.5040 Shown Bravo HD
55.5059 Shown Style HD
60.1 Shown KCSM
63.7450 Shown Hallmark
63.7454 Hidden KBS
63.7455 Hidden |
66.1 Hidden KFSF
68.1 Shown KTLN
77 Hidden WGN
80.1 Shown CSPAN
80.2 Shown CSPAN2
80.3 Shown Animal
80.4 Shown Travel
80.7 Shown CNN
80.8 Shown Golf
80.9 Hidden HSN
80.10 Hidden QVC
80.12 Shown HLN
82.3 Shown Hallmark
82.4 Shown TruTV
82.8 Shown |
82.13 Hidden SyFY
82.14 Shown Weather
86.9 Hidden KTNC
87.1 Hidden NBC
87.2 Hidden KICU
87.3 Hidden Telemun
87.4 Hidden PBS KTEH
87.5 Shown ION
87.6 Shown COM SPRTN
87.7 Shown TNT
87.8 Shown ESPN
87.9 Shown ESPN
87.10 Shown CSN
87.11 Shown TBS
88.9 Shown History
88.10 Hidden Bravo
88.11 Shown HGTV
88.14 Shown TVLAND
88.15 Hidden Bandmax
89.2 Shown Bio
89.3 Shown His Intl
89.4 Shown LMN
89.9 Hidden Style
89.10 Shown Versus
89.12 Shown |
89.15 Shown Bloomberg
91.8 Hidden Trinity
91.13 Shown G4
92.1 Shown PBS Kids
92.13 Shown Calif
93.1 Shown ABC Fam
93.2 Shown Fox News
93.3 Shown CMT
93.4 Shown Food
93.5 Shown MSNBC
93.6 Shown Disney
93.7 Shown USA
93.9 Shown A E
93.10 Shown FX
93.11 Shown Lifetime
93.12 Shown AMC
94.13 Hidden EWTN
94.40 Shown Com SPRTN
96.1 Shown TV50
96.10 Shown 88-5 NPR
96.11 Shown 91-1 Pub
96.12 Shown 91-1 Jaz
96.13 Shown 92-3
96.14 Shown 92-7 Danc
96.15 Hidden 93-3 Span
96.16 Shown 93-7 Jaz
96.17 Shown 94-1 Berk
96.18 Shown 94-5 CNTP
96.19 Shown 94-9 HIPH
96.20 Hidden 95-3 CNTR
96.21 Hidden 95-7 CNTR
96.22 Shown 96-5 CNTP
96.23 Shown 97-3 AC
96.24 Shown 98-1 CNTP
96.25 Shown 98-5 CLRK
96.26 Hidden 98-9 Span
96.27 Shown 99-7 Movn
96.28 Shown 100-1 CTP
96.29 Hidden 100-3 SPN
96.30 Shown 101-3 AC
96.31 Shown 102-1 CLS
96.32 Shown 102-9 URB
96.33 Shown 103-7 BND
96.34 Shown 104-5 ALB
96.35 Shown 104-9 Mix
96.36 Shown 105-3 ALT
96.37 Shown 106-1 HIP
96.38 Shown 106-5 AC
96.39 Shown 107-7 CLR
80.3 Hidden SHOPNBC
98.11 Hidden |
98.12 Hidden |
98.13 Hidden |
100.1 Shown NBC HD
100.3 Shown NBC Sport
100.6 Shown ION
107.3 Shown SyFy
116.4 Shown WGN
116.7 Hidden Jewelry
116.8 Shown CSPAN3
119.1 Hidden CCCTV
119.5 Shown Comcast
119.6 Shown |
119.7 Hidden PERALTA
119.9 Hidden Gospel
119.13 Shown KVIE
119.14 Hidden |
202.1 Hidden KTVU
204.1 Hidden KRON
205.1 Hidden KPIX
207.1 Hidden KGO
209.1 Hidden KQED
220.1 Shown KOFY
244.1 Hidden KBCW
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Re: HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:39 pm

What you're looking at are Clear QAM encoded channels. Sony's TVs do an excellent job with Clear QAM (even my ancient KD-34XBR960).

I have recently installed an AVerTVHD Duet in my living room PC to handle Clear QAM channels on my Comcast service. Note that after you've done the initial setup in Windows Media Center, you'll need to go to Tasks-Settings-TV-Guide-Edit channels and Edit listing to add in the ones that aren't part of your local broadcast group.
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:21 pm

sounds like you've just got most all the digital towers within broadcast range, everything would be working normally from the look of the post. its the ATSC/ClearQAM tuner built into the television.
most would believe the tv themselves cant do something like that without a cable/satellite based subscription enabling the use of digital television, while boxes are great mostly for the premium channels/services that a tv cannot offer. :D
probably drinking some tea.
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Re: HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:00 am

Yup, looks ClearQAM to me too. Looks like the "." channels are affiliates and the alternate formats (HD vs SD).

And to go on a slightly off-topic mini-rant: up here in Canada stupid Robbers encrypt even those "starter channels", so my ClearQAM-capable TV only picks up black images except some of the higher "audio only" channels. Gouging to the max as always, thank you very much. :evil:
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Re: HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:05 am

I had a huge list of HD channels initially as well with Comcast's basic service, but now the only HD channels I can pickup are the major networks.
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Re: HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:30 am

Usually, nothing outside of the OTA channels are broadcast unencrypted via cable. So, normally, you will only pick up ABC, CBS, etc with clearQAM. Looks like you are currently received many many more channels though. I would enjoy it while you can but don't expect it to stay that way forever.
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Re: HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:15 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:(even my ancient KD-34XBR960).
Alas for high quality CRT televisions, alas. :(
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Re: HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:33 pm

Don't expect to get those digital channels in the clear forever. Since Comcast was able to get an exception from the FCC to use decrypt capable DTA's (i.e. cable boxes without a CableCard) they'll eventually be encrypting everything. It's already happened in several markets.

Be glad that you get what you get now. Where I'm at Cox Cable, aside from the standard expanded basic analog channels, only provides the local networks, a bunch of garbage shopping channels, and WGN in the clear. Everything else is encrypted. They don't even provide the basic tier unencrypted. That's pretty standard though. I can only hope that once they start transitioning to full digital after Feb 2012 that they offer more in the clear that what they do now. But I won't be holding my breath.
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Re: HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:45 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:I have recently installed an AVerTVHD Duet in my living room PC to handle Clear QAM channels on my Comcast service. Note that after you've done the initial setup in Windows Media Center, you'll need to go to Tasks-Settings-TV-Guide-Edit channels and Edit listing to add in the ones that aren't part of your local broadcast group.
How do you like that card? Are the drivers (and any other software) decent?
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Re: HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:06 pm

When it works, the digital tuner card is very good. However, I've experienced problems getting the IGP to resume from standby, and when resuming from sleep, the tuner card frequently fails to wake up. I've ended up disabling most of the power saving options so that the HTPC will record stuff when it's supposed to. :(
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Re: HDTV Tuner Decoding of Digital Cable Channels

Postposted on Mon May 10, 2010 1:09 am

Hi,

Do you still get those channels?
I live in Berkeley and was getting them, but I just tried to watch something on AMC - and it won't work!

I really was hoping they would not notice that we still had the channels and/or I am hoping that tonight is a one-off - that tomorrow they will be back?

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