Switch to digital may affect Comcast customers’ service

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 3:19am

Comcast customers in Williamson and Davidson counties could find themselves without television service, beyond basic channels, unless they hook new digital boxes to their sets.

The change is part of the company’s migration to all digital signals. Comcast claims the switch to digital will increase offerings — as many as 115 HD channels. The move will take place over the rest of this year. 

“We’re transitioning to where we will be delivering the vast majority of our channels in a digital format,” said John Gauder, Comcast’s market vice president for greater Nashville. “We’ll be launching new channels, 115 hi-def channels, and we can increase the amount of programs available On Demand.”

If you’re not sure if you have a digital box, visit Comcast.com/digitalnow and follow the steps to check if you’ll need to order new equipment.

Customers who do not have a digital device can pick them up at their local Comcast office or schedule to have one installed at their home.

There are several options that will allow customers to maintain their current service. Gauder lists a DVR, a digital converter box or a Digital Transport Adapter (DTA) as three options. One of these devices must be connected to each television (Comcast customers average 2.7 per household) to receive programming.

Comcast is offering each account one digital converter box and two DTAs free of charge to help with the switch. Any DTA beyond the first two will cost customers $1.99 a month.

Gauder said Comcast notifies customers 90 days before making the switch to digital. Murfreesboro and LaVergne underwent the same process this spring, he said.

“We communicate with them in 10 different ways, including multiple pieces of mail and multiple phone calls,” Gauder said. “We have been very successful in communicating this change.”

Comcast users that have questions can call 877.634.4434 or visit Comcast.com/digitalnow for more information.

Filed under: City News

9 Comments on this post:

By: jermscentral on 5/21/10 at 5:47

What they WON'T tell you is that the DTA box doesn't have HD capabilities, so if you have a bedroom HDTV, say goodbye to your HD stations that you were able to get over your regular cable line without a box -- unless you run a splitter to the TV or pay for another digital box like you would have on your main TV.

Comcast must assume you have one good TV as your primary viewing box, and the rest are either old or you don't care about the quality of your programs.

Since we are being forced to "upgrade" our secondary TV or lose a large block of channels if we don't, we shouldn't be punished with the upgrade box just to get a few extra channels that only show up in standard def.

I want my HDTV.

By: 742180 on 5/21/10 at 8:06

Man I hate Comcast as a company!! They are so bottom line fixated that the wants and desires of the customer are absoulutely ignored. This forced change is beneficial for Comcast alone. Many customers such as myself enjoy wataching TV is different area's of our home. Comcast hates this and consideres it stealing, so this 'forced' change will eliminate that without paying them for the priviledge.

If you enjoy running the channels, as I do. The time that it takes these cable box converters to go between channels is maddening. It's primitive technology when compared with the other electronic gadgets we use daily.

And as the other posts suggest it is simply a means of generating more revenue by forcing you to
'buy' more TV regulators ie converter boxes. It's maddening, time to check out AT&T. Another
bottom line company with a poor customer service history. It's crazy......

By: nashtnman on 5/21/10 at 10:22

I agree, Comcast is just trying to increase revenues. It is time to start looking a satalite TV services and the optioins available with them. Comcast is one of the worse for rate increses and additional charges. It is their choice to do this not ours and I will not pay additional fees just because I have more than 1 tv in the house. I have several friends that have satalite service and they rarely lose signal and are very happy with their service. You're screwing up comcast.

By: judeb on 5/21/10 at 11:26

You are all absolutely correct and have such valid gripes - but they are also so futile. Is anyone old enough, like me, to remember the Public Service Commission? They were a government entity that regulated companies who supplied services of this type to the general public and had little or no competition. The PSC was a valid need and did listen to the public and did help with problems just like this. Although Comcast has competition from satellite, some people have restrictions where satellite dishes are not allowed in their neighborhood.

My family also has lost the HD use of a television and it is ridiculously unfair. Also the addition of yet ANOTHER remote (actually 3 more as we have 3 TV's) to be learned, cussed at, get lost and collect dust. Comcast has really taken steps backward with this new system, the boxes are cumbersome and take too much room, channel changes are soooo slow - where is the good? Um, without the added cost, please!

By: TakePrideInNash on 5/21/10 at 11:43

I have 4 HD tvs with boxes and one is a DVR. I also have the MLB package and I am very satisfied with comcast. Anytime I have had a problem and that is not often, I have had very courteous and knowledge help.

By: JohnGalt on 5/21/10 at 12:33

There is a solution. DirecTV with MRV...multi room viewing.

By: jimmythespider on 5/21/10 at 1:27

Or a solution. An antenna and free HD TV over the air while it lasts. I also got an HD DVR with over the air tuner from Wal-Mart.com. Saving the $100.99 a month I paid for Comcast or Direct TV when I had it is great. Not as much programing but once you record a few show on the DVR it is great. Plus, I have better things to do than watch and pay for TV.

By: sykoone on 5/21/10 at 1:46

Comcast isn't just doing this because they're going digital. This is also a way to keep people from setting up illegal cable hookups in their home. The apartment building I was living in last year had some cable issues, and after Comcast sent a rep out, they found that only two units out of twenty were paying for cable, but live lines were run to twelve units. Ten apartments getting free cable in one building alone. That is the real reason for this "upgrade."

By: cabletvsubscriber on 5/21/10 at 1:48

I live in the Boro. Initially I was upset with Comcast over the box issue. My conversion was around the end of March. I felt that If I wanted a box on my tv I would have used the dish. however, the signal is more clear and there are more channels in HD so I think its worth it. remember the olympics fiasco of not having the US hockey games in HD because CNBC and MSNBC were in standard Def? No problem anymore. ESPNU is in HD, as is Bravo. The movie channels have 5-6 HD choices now. I love all my new HD choices.

Jermcentral is right, to get the Local Channel HD you are currently getting (or used to get) without a box, you'll need to get a splitter, a switch, and several short coaxial cables. I found some for about $10 a tv.

I am waiting for Comcast to bring the CBS College Sports Channel and Mountain TV and I'll be set for Sports.

BTW I have 6 tvs, 3 are in my man cave/sports bar.