Comcast HDTV???

Anyone have the Comcast HDTV Service? I am getting the box this week, and the folks on the phone at Comcast (Eastern PA) can't seem to help me out on what connections I need. I would assume that it needs to have component video out, but I believe it also has a digital out for DD 5.1. Toslink or RCA?

I need to make sure I have proper cables to tie into my processor before moving THE BEAST (My cabinet is about 400 lbs unloaded) from it's niche.

I am under the impression(from knowing how the cable companies "load stations" onto their bandwidth) that the HD is very "compressed" on cable! I know cable companies have been notorious for jamming lots of info into limited bandwidth. So I am currious as to the overall picture quality. Perhaps, once you get the cable going in HD, if maybe you can report back as to the quality of picture you're getting! If so, please be subjective and let us know if you're getting lot's of "artifacting" and such! I would be interested to know what cable has to offer in HD!
Overall, my cable quality has "Stunketh!" Thanks
I have Comcast here in the Washington, DC area, and I have an HDTV as well. I would be very curious to hear about your impressions, should you go the Comcast HDTV route in the end.

I have Comcast here in the Washington, DC area, and I have an HDTV as well. I would be very curious to hear about your impressions, should you go the Comcast HDTV route in the end.

When I talked to Comcast here in Flint Michigan the told me they had three HD channels: ABC,HBO and Showtime. They would be adding more down the road. They have a one time $29.95 hook-up fee and five dollars extra a month starting in March if I hook up now. I forgot to ask anything else as that was not enough channels for me.
The Box your getting is the probably the Motorola 5100. Its has component, S and composite video as well as Toslink, Coaxial and analog rca audio. Component cables are needed for high def TV and I would recommend going toslink , as I have , for the audio. I have read other forums where some people had problems going coaxial for audio. As far as the high def picture, last night I watched the superbowl and the Hi def picture was awsome.
Thanks for the input, When I'm up and running, I'll add a comment on percieved picture quality. On local comcast, there is no upcharge for HDTV, just a $18.95 ''Installation'', for dropping off the box. We get ABC, NBC, and PBS, CBS is still being negotiated. Programming, of course, will vary. HBO and Showtime are available in HDTV. The main reason I'm upgrading is that the standard digi cable box by General Instruments is such a piece of junk. Composite video only and RCA audio that isn't very good. We'll see what comes of the new one. One question: Why Toslink? Ground loop issues? I've always had better luck with a nice RCA 75 ohm digi cable.

Thanks again.
you can pull in digital and hd signals with a $80 vhf antenna from radio shack and tell comcast to cram their scam.
when i investigated this some time ago i discovered you have to first get digital cable (more $), then rent another "box" (more $$$, remember those dumb things they insisted you needed even when you told them you had a cable ready tv?) and then you get to watch hd when it is available on one major network and pay more $$$ (AGAIN) to have access to hd content on hbo and showwtime. sounds fun, like extortion and water torture.
they simply don't have enough non-premuim content yet to warrant the expense, butthis is just my 0.02
maybe things have changed or are about to (my eyes are rolling double time). i'll believe it when i see it here in philadelphia...
(btw, not a single person i talked to from comcast could plainly answer any questions about hd signals, broadcasts, etc that my father or I posed...either they are complete idiots or they have no interest in the public really understanding the facts about digital and hd television (that's it...i knew i'd get it sooner or later)
Some people have said they have had audio drop outs with coax, although you may not. Since you have to move a large piece of furniture , I just thought I would give you a heads up. I have it connected with a Wireworld glass toslink and the sound is incredible. Even many non HDTV programs are presented in Dolby Digital. I use a Cardas Digital lightning coax for music.

As far as buying a cheap Radio Shack antenna, you would have to buy an HDTV {not cheap} tuner 1st.

As far as Comcast not being able to answer questions, thats because the people you speak to on the phone are just {no disrespect} clock punchers. Most do not know the difference between HDTV and HGTV. Their is a wealth of information on

Yes comcast is evil incarnate, unless compared to some of the other cable companies I've dealt with. The employees are pretty clueless. I tried an antenna with a roof mount, but I couldn't even get regular network TV. I'm out a in valley by Chester Springs (Far north Chester County), and we get nothing through the ether without effort. I need the roof antenna just for FM. I had digicable already as a package with the cable modem and the HDTV does not cost extra. Yeah, and I'm sure it will take three phone calls to get the bill straight. Oh well, sure is pretty out here.
Thanks for all the info. The installers dropped by EXACTLY on time. Kinda spooky. It is the Motorola unit. I hooked it up using their "Component Cable" which was actually a 75 ohm composite cable with a red and white set of audio cables. Ran cable from box to my Anthem AVM 20. Box was set to ABC's HDTV and "The View" was on. Scared us badly. Color balance was wretched. A theory was advanced that the AVM couldn't switch HD signals. Replaced the cable with an Audioquest YIQ-X composite cable. Color balance was good, but the "View" was still spooky. I'm not biologically programmed for daytime TV. I explained the difference between the cables to the installers, and they said they would discuss it with their supervisors. Checked out HBO, got a stupid David Arquette movie with a dog. Picture sure was good. Looked close to DVD quality, definitely better than the standard HBO channel. Need his wife, Courtney Cox in a movie instead, maybe one of the Scream Series (I always say, any show where Courtney Cox is the older, less attractive, woman HAS to be a good movie). Dolby Digital locked in fine, hooked up both Toslink and a 75 ohm RCA, will decide which I like better.

I'm getting a much better picture on the standard channels then I had before, and on the HDTV network channels, it defaults to 480p when the programming with a true HDTV signal is not available. PBS is always in the 1080i mode oddly enough. My 2 1/2 year old loves her HD Clifford cartoon!

All and all, I'm happy with the switch. Next comes the inevitable billing problem, but I've always won so far.

Thanks for the input, and the site is great. They make the A'gonners look normal, except for the analog guys (just kidding).
Glad your up and running !! HBO and Showtime are hit and miss. Alot of their stuff just seems to be upconverted, but keep flipping. Without warning a movie will come on and Wow ! you will be blown away. . The PBS demo channel with alot of features on cities around the world is amazing, better than DVD IMO. The Superbowl was also amazing, because like the PBS demo loop, they are shot with true HDTV camera's. As time goes on, more material will be originally created using HDTV camera's . Hi def is now a reality folks, as the primetime lineup of HDTV is growing, most major sporting events are now lined up for HDTV, and ESPN will be in full HD by April. Enjoy !