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TCM & Comcast


isimonis
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{font:Calibri}This comment is primarily for TCM Administration. Comcast has changed their programming and moved TCM to the premium channels that will cost viewers additional $18.00 a month plus $9.00 a month for each additional TV in their home. Comcast continues make mega profits, but what does this do to TCM and the many viewers that will no longer be able to afford to have TMC as a part of their programming. I personally could care less about the other movie channels they brag that as a viewer I will get for this additional cost. Long gone are the days where we can choose between cable services or even the decision to have cable or not! {font}

 

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Hello 'isimonis' -

 

The recent actions of Comcast has come up for discussion in these Forums repeatedly over the past few months. This change affecting TCM seems to be happening nationwide.

 

Two other threads with some relevant discussions on the TCM & Comcast situation can be found here -

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=163604&tstart=30

and here -

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=163188&tstart=0

 

You can also contact TCM directly through the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of every page in the Forums.

 

A few years ago, TCM was being shifted out of "basic cable" and onto "digital tiers" by many cable operators. This also angered many viewers who blamed TCM for the change. At that time, a representative of TCM did write in here that TCM has no control or influence on where cable systems place the channel. It is likely the case in this recent instance also,

 

TCM would prefer to be available in as many homes as possible. But the final decision isn't their's to make. If Comcast tries to tell you it is "TCM's Fault", they aren't telling you the truth.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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This is most likely a result of moving as many channels to digital as possible in order to free up space to offer more high definition channels. I have Comcast in South Jersey. They added TCM to the digital package a few years ago but also left the old analog one alone for some reason. So now I can get TCM in standard definition on two different channels, in addition to the HD version. If Comcast does the same thing in your area, you might still be able to get TCM without getting a converter box, though I'm sure that there will be other channels that are affected by this move.

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> {quote:title=darkblue wrote:}{quote}

> > {font:Calibri}or even the decision to have cable or not! {font}

>

>

> Has over-the-air broadcasting (VHF and UHF) been terminated?

>

 

Not yet, but soon, it is currently up for discussion. Megacorps would like to sell that bandwidth, and rake in the $. But, the current digital ATSC OTA broadcasts don't carry TCM, so that is hardly pertinent to the OP's plaint.

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I don't know about nationwide, it seems to be only happening it certain markets (at least for now).

 

I am in the Philadelphia market, I have comcast and thankfully still have TCM. Although to tell you the truth I am not sure I might not be on the most basic plan (I have On Demand but none of the movie channels).

 

I am really sorry for anyone who lost TCM. I already told Comcast that I would leave their service if they moved the channel to a higher tier.

 

 

edit: To the Op, you can certainly choose to have cable or not these days. I seriously would have given it up a long time ago if not for TCM (the only channel that is making me keep it). There is many ways to watch TV and film through the Internet where cable is no longer needed.

 

Edited by: Kinokima on Mar 4, 2012 10:53 PM

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I think we have different interpretations of this sentence:

 

>Long gone are the days where we can choose between cable services or even the decision to have cable or not!

 

I take the "decision to have cable or not" to be based on affordability, not availability of (or lack of) OTA channels. One can quibble about options, because many can get satellite, UVerse, FIOS, or something. But, they all cost $, and most, if not all, go up regularly.

 

Will we lose OTA transmissions, and if so, how soon? No one knows. It's all big money, and politics. But, the percentage of people who use OTA keeps declining. So, sooner, or later. I hope for later, even though I don't use OTA.

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> {quote:title=darkblue wrote:}{quote}Has over-the-air broadcasting (VHF and UHF) been terminated?

Basically, yes....a few years ago when the FCC mandated that all television HAD to go digital, that effectively means there are no more analog VHS or UHF transmissions. All signals are now digital. As far as I know, you won't get ANY television...even with an antenna...unless you have a digital-ready set or a digital adapter for your older tv. VHS and UHF were analog signals...not digital. What would be the point of having a digitally-transmitted VHS or UHF signal when simply the digital signal would be superior to either one of the old analog forms of transmission?

 

I get the impression from several replies in this thread that people seem to think that OTA means VHS or UHF. That's simply not true any longer...or maybe some think that OTA refers to what used to be more commonly called "local stations". Maybe so...but even "local stations" were required to go digital. Or are people meaning that OTA refers to freely-transmitted stations? If that is so, then I'd say eventually Yes...even local stations or channels will eventually (maybe) need to be carried by some cable or satellite or digital service. For now, to my knowledge, there are still many stations broadcasting free from the need to be carried by any other service. It's just that they're all digital signals now.

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'krieger69' -

 

As I understand it, the broadcast signal of a local television station is still transmittted using the same place in the broadcast spectrum that it used before the transition to digital signals. The signal is still going out over a station's antenna and can be received in a home using an antenna, if necessary.

 

The change over to "digital" signals allowed a channel's signal to be smaller (or more compact) so that it was able to use a smaller portion of its assigned spectrum to transmit the channel's signal. This also allowed the stations to create multiple "channels" in their segment of the broadcast spectrum. Now, instead of receiving only "Channel 5", one can tune in Channel 5.1, Channel 5.2, Channel 5.3 etc., up to Channel 5.5 (I believe). In LA, services like "This-TV" and "Antenna-TV" appear on a station's sub-channels along with news and public affairs programming.

 

So don't confuse the "airwaves" that local television channels use to transmit their signals with the "format" that signal is in. What was once an analog signal is now digital. But it is still being transmitted over the air at a particular frequency (either VHF and UHF) assigned to that station for broadcast purposes.

 

In fact, if local channels are using their sub-channels, one may be receiving more "broadcast channels" now than before the change to digital signals.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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You're almost exactly right, Kyle. The only minor thing is that I don't think stations necessarily have exactly the same spot on the spectrum they did before, since they use less of it, things may be rearranged a bit. But, they still use the VHF and UHV frequencies to broadcast the new ATSC digital standard of OTA (over the air) broadcasting.

 

The problem is, with the proliferation of non-TV services, lots of people want that spectrum, and are willing to pay for it. So, OTA broadcast TV may really become a thing of the past.

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Kino said: "I seriously would have given it up a long time ago if not for TCM (the only channel that is making me keep it)."

 

I felt exactly the same way until the recent unaffordable price hike.

February was my first month without cable, it went well.

 

For $50 I bought a crazy looking antenna to pick up all local stations, luckily I had received a big new digital TV for my 50th and could bring in the digital channels!

TV has never looked better. I found myself watching a LOT more PBS and really enjoying the stories & documentaries. I now get my "movie fix" borrowing from the li-berry and the occasional TCM premeire recorded from a neighboring house, plus my huge stash of DVDs.

 

TV is now on MY time and when I DO have the chance to see TCM, it's usually fairly disappointing. Cable muscled itself right out of my home & I'm ok with it.

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