Friday, July 25, 2008

Comcast Cuts Off Washington Viewers

Hey, this happened to us: The Flier has a story about how Comcast users who rely on analog service (meaning, we don't use boxes or subscribe to the digital tier of service) can no longer receive the local Washington channels. We just see fuzz now. Comcast said they did this to offer more content digitally. Others think it is a way to force people to pay more. Bottom line for us: We won't be able to see all the Redskin games next season unless we go back to the old rabbit ears -- or upgrade.

Until two weeks ago, Columbia resident Stephen Hall enjoyed watching news programs and Washington Redskins football games from local Washington D.C. stations on the four televisions in his home.

But when his cable provider, Comcast Corp., began to require its Howard County customers to change from an analog to a digital plan in order to view the Washington stations, Hall believed that Comcast was forcing him to pay extra for a service he already had.

"This is a cautionary tale for everybody," said Hall, who receives analog service on two of his four televisions. "This is a backdoor rate increase and everybody is in jeopardy."


John G. Boyle said...

Thankfully, the upgrade is free. Bad news is that the upgrade doesn't play well with Tivo :(

jb1677 said...

Verizon is doing the same thing with FIOS, ending the transmission of the analog channels to make more room for digital channels. In Verizon's case the turndown of analog chanels will bring new HD chanels.

While I dont necessarily like Comcast I understand why they are shutting down the analog feeds. With a finite amount of bandwidth you must optimize as best as possible and the analog stations take up a lot of space.

Also forget the rabbiit ears, starting next year over the air analog will be gone, a digital adapter is required for that too. Not sure who to blame that "rate increase" on.....

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the biggest haters there is when it comes to Comcast, but we actually saved money by switching to their digital package earlier this year. The price is the same and we were given a promo rate for one year. We have a Tivo also and haven't had any problems with the cable card.

Granted it was a hassle to switch but IMO it was worth it.