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Novice surprise...re NSZ-GT1 not working with Comcast...???

Discussion in 'Sony Blu-Ray Set Top Box' started by jhnptbrg, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. jhnptbrg

    jhnptbrg New Member

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    I got a NSZ-GT1 two weeks ago, it worked fine when connected from Comcast STB and Shart tv, but when I added the my home theater receiver, as shown in the "Quick Start" guide, the live tv stopped working. Four hours of tech support later, and after several technician attempts at "System Restore", I gave up, returned the GT1 (assuming it was bad) and got another one.

    This time I hooked it up with Comcast STB and home theater at the start - same failure - live tv didn't work - continuing cycling from good picture to green screen to black to white "noise" to black again, then back to good picture, every 10 seconds.

    Several tech support calls later, I reach Tier 2 agent in San Diego who says it my STB blocking a double-hop HDMI connection (security feature) - call my cable company and have them "fix" it.

    So I call Comcast, and learn that they have a tech note that the agent read to me (from Oct. 15 2010, but reportedly the "latest" note they have re the GT1) saying that there are no Comcast STBs that supports the double-hop HDMI configuration recommended by Sony...!!!???

    Spoke with Sony San Diego tech agent again, he says he personally knows of GT1s working with Comcast customers...so who's right???

    Can this be true? Can Sony have failed to make this work with Comcast? If so, why don't they publish that, and why isn't there chatter here about that? If it's not true, how can I get Comcast to give me a STB that works with double-hop HDMI set up?

    Thanks for any advice you can share!
     
  2. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    The problem you experienced is not because of the Sony NSZ-GT1. It is because Comcast imposes an HDCP depth restriction on their customers. This is a known issue not only for Google TV devices but for many HDMI vendors. As long as you rent a DVR or cable box from them, they have the ability to push over the air updates and enforce HDCP rules which limit your options in interconnecting with your equipment.

    Comcast's reasoning behind the restriction is to reduce the chances of copying their protected content. After all, that's why HDCP was implemented for digital interconnects like HDMI. In my opinion, HDCP sullies the usefulness of HDMI because it is only there to limit the capabilities of the customers to give the content providers and distributors copy protective reassurances.

    There are a few workarounds that you can implement to bypass this issue:
    • Use a digital optical cable to interconnect the AV Receiver. Since this output isn't govern by HDCP, it doesn't count it as separate hop.
    • Use a HDMI Splitter to diverge the HDMI output to the separate renders; video (television) and audio (receiver). However, this option is tricky as some HDMI splitters are represented as hop.
    • Use a Component to HDMI converter between the Comcast box and the next HDMI link. Since the Component outputs of the set-top box aren't supervised by HDCP, you won't have to worry about it interfering with connectivity.
    • Exchange the Comcast DVR/Cable box with Cable Cards and buy your own DVR or QAM Tuner like the Tivo Premiere. This will not only give you full control of how you configure your entertainment center but it may even save you on the monthly rental fees.
     
  3. jhnptbrg

    jhnptbrg New Member

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    ...for taking time to respond!

    I understand your message, but given that the NSZ-GT1 comes with instructions to install STB->GT1->HTS->TV, and given the "known" problem with the Comcast STBs, I remain astonished that neither the installation instructions nor the Sony tech support agents (nor this forum) mentioned that as a problem - if this is a universal restriction applied by Comcast, I would have expected hundreds of unhappy customers to be complaining....

    ...so that caused me to post, in case there was a solution (e.g. different Comcast STB to request) vs the work-arounds such as what you suggest...

    so if anyone else reads this thread and has experience with the NSZ-GT1 and Comcast STB, please advise, thanks!

    best, John
     
  4. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Whoa, whoa. This forum? This forum! I can understand the incompetence of uneducated phone jockeys that plague the call centers. And I can even understand Sony wanting to keep their instruction manuals as generic as possible. However, if you can't find posts or threads related to these Comcast issues in this forum then that's because your Google-Fu fails not because the topic hasn't already been beaten like a dead horse. There are plethora of posts regarding this issue, Let me google that for you.
     
  5. jhnptbrg

    jhnptbrg New Member

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    Okay, novice on many levels! I had tried searching Comcast NSZ-GT1 with many many variations, and found almost nothing, so obviously, I don't know how to search.

    I see that in some sections of this site there are "sticky" notes - I wonder if something like that is worthwhile, giving collected best advice for novices like me using Comcast and trying to figure out how to overcome the bad user instructions that come with the NSZ-GT1. For example, is it best to connect the STB directly to the TV and use digital audio back to the reciever, or connect both the STB and GT1 to the receiver, or connect the STB->GT1->TV and use digital audio from GT1 to receiver, or,...or...???

    ...or are these questions not relevant for this forum, and if that's the case, sorry, any other forum suggestions for where I should look for these answers?

    And again, sorry for being so dumb about all this, I'm just used to having the STB->TV config, and this whole google tv and surround sound is entirely new to me...
     
  6. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    No, don't apologize for being ignorant about the platform or how to use it. That is understandable. We have all at one point had to learn and understand about features and detractors about using it with other devices. And I'm more than willing to explain the information to you and give you the best advice possible. However, the thing I found most offensive about your last statement is that you passed judgment on the entire forum; its members, its moderators and its usefulness without due diligence.

    Yes, this forum is a relevant place to ask your questions. After all, that Comcast device is affecting how you use the NSZ-GT1 and requires you to work around the limitations imposed by Comcast. For most of our Comcast users, this is what they have done.

    • HDMI cables: Comcast STB > Google TV device > Television
    • Optical Cable: Google TV device > AV Receiver
    That is exactly the configuration that I suggested in my first response to you, and it will bypass the limitation imposed by Comcast.
     

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