Monday, November 3, 2008

Comcast Update

Ok, folks, I've ranted enough at Comcast for the recent software upgrade, and I won't, or promise to try not to, rant anymore, except where appropriate. And after a technician replaced the cable box and talking with a Comcast representative, who was technically savy, here's what I've learned.

First, the problem restated. Using the HD signal off the back of the cable box for HD-capable TV's, switching from HD channels to non-HD channels, the signal would lose the color, displaying the non-HD channels in a weird black and white with purple, lime green, etc. colors. And reseting the box or TV, or simply unplugging the cable would restore the color to the non-HD channel.

It's consistent and once it's off color, it's always off color, even switching back to HD channels and back to non-HD channels. All HD channels are uneffected and all non-HD channels are weird. And the reason?

As best I can discern from conversations so far, it is the new software, and not cable boxes. This is because the new software was written for HDMI connections for the HD TV channels, and it has to adapt the signal to the DVI HD connections on those cable boxes with DVI connectors. Most older to recent HD TV's, like my 3 year old Sony, use DVI inputs where newer ones have HDMI inputs for HD signals.

The Motorola cable boxes with DVI outputs are the ones that don't work with the new HD signal from Comcast. You need to get a HDMI ouptut cable box. This will solve the software problem but may not solve your TV problem. You can adapt your DVI input TV with a HDMI (box) to DVI (TV) cable or adaptor. And then hope it works.

So, why did Comcast write software that has a known bug for HD TV with DVI inputs? That's a good one for Comcast to answer to all their customers who have the DVI output cable boxes. It's a mystery to me since the software worked fine before and they made some software design decisions without fully understanding or testing the results.

Me? I plan to switch the boxes and cables and see if this solves the problem. I'll keep you posted on this.

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