Comcast HDTV Cable Box Installation

 

As many of you know, I had a cable card installed in my Sony HDTV. That card has given me very good service for the past 4 years, but, in the past year or so, I have periodically lost signal to many stations we watch. To get those stations back, I have to call Comcast and ask them to “reboot” my cable card. Luckily, nine time out of ten, I get someone at Comcast who helps fix the problem immediately. Great service from Comcast.

The last time this happened (Dec 1, 2008), I asked one particularly knowledgeable person (Eric in the Livermore, CA call center) what I could do to avoid these “reboots”. He told me I could get a cable box for free. Hmmmm, I know the cable box cost extra four years ago, and, a few months ago, I went to the Comcast office in Tracy, CA and again they told me I would have to pay (starving blogger remember), so I kept the card.

I went to the Comcast office again (with Eric’s name in hand) and asked again. To my great surprise, I ended up bringing home a FREE cable box (Motorola) to hook up (and the promise I would bring in the cable card the next day when I knew everything worked ok).

Hooking up the cable box, I ran into some problems. The most glaring problem was lack of HDTV service, with an additional audio issue on the non HD channels. Interesting. After struggling a bit (mostly to make sure I was not doing something stupid), I called Comcast and was told that they rebooted the box and to wait 15 minutes for it to take effect. I waited…and waited…no change. So I called again and the next person looked at my cable box and said “You do not have an HD Box”. Ah….that explains some of it. I put my cable card back in and he reset it so I could watch TV until I get a new box.

Back to Comcast in Tracy, CA to get an HD capable box.

The High Def box is about 4 times as large as the standard box.   Really quickly…it is working fine…here is what I did:
1. Took out the cable card from the TV
2. Connected the Cable into the cable box
3. Connected the RF Out to the Cable in (a coax) to my TV
4. Turned it on and saw channels but did not hear audio
5. Pondered what to do then connected the fiber audio cable from the cable box to my Bose.  This worked great…I now had audio….BUT….
6. The picture was not taking up the entire screen…arrrghhh.
7. Pondered what to do then connected the HDMI from the cable box to my TV’s one and only HDMI port on input #7.  Worked great!
8. Worked and pondered a bit more and finally came up with a new scheme for watching recorded video (House and Fringe), DVD’s (our VUDU trial time ran out and I’m a starving blogger with no $$), and watch HDTV.
Summary

First of all I have to give kudos to Comcast support.  I almost always get a friendly (even when I’m not) helpful person who has the ability to reboot or advise me what to do.  Also, for the bit of trouble I had getting HD Comcast gave me StarZ for a year, for free.  I need to call them however because I also have every other premium movie channel as well…and I do not want to be charged (starving blogger).
The picture quality is every bit as good as the cable card and I seem to have picked up a few channels that the card did not.  Good stuff.
I am a happy Comcast customer…we will see over time if the need to periodically “reboot” is a thing of the past.
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6 comments

  1. I have been wanting to purchase my own boxes for my comcast service. Comcast just told me I cant purchase my own box and that I have to continue to rent their’s?? I currently rent 2 boxes DCT 6412III’s. I see plenty for sale on ebay.. Anyone have the skinny here? Thx….

  2. To: Austin PAris

    Comcast doesnt sale their digital equipment. The boxes that appear on Ebay are either stolen or from a closed account. The people who purchase them are jipped because they are useless if not given by Comcast (programmed that way).

    btw, glad ur a happy customer1

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