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Important Information Regarding MCTV's Transition to MPEG4

MCTV is in the process of changing all HD channels to a type of transmission called MPEG4. MPEG4 allows better picture quality and is a much more efficient method of transmission. This more efficient transmission means we can make more room for other things, like higher Internet speeds or more HD TV channels.

Contact us for more information.



MPEG4 Conversion Schedule

Beginning on March 3, 2015, MCTV will follow this schedule to convert high definition channels to MPEG4. Customers will continue to receive standard definition channels. Schedule is subject to change.

March 3 RFD
Ch. 690
Ch. 691
Red Zone
Ch. 693
Ch. 695
NBC Universal
Ch. 696
MGM Movies
Ch. 699
March 10 Escapes
Ch. 689
Ch. 694
HDNet Movies
Ch. 697
Ch. 698
NFL Network
Ch. 692 & 704
March 24 Tennis
Ch. 703
Ch. 706
Ch. 742
Destination America
Ch. 746
Hallmark Movie
Ch. 760
The Blaze
Ch. 763
March 31 Outdoor
Ch. 701
Disney XD
Ch. 726
Ch. 734
Ch. 735
Lifetime Movie
Ch. 755
Fox Business
Ch. 761
April 7 Big Ten
Ch. 633
Ch. 637
Nat Geo
Ch. 644
Ch. 655
Ch. 674
April 14 TLC
Ch. 641
Ch. 653
Ch. 667
Ch. 671
NBC Sports
Ch. 707
April 28 BET
Ch. 638
ABC Family
Ch. 650
Ch. 656
Ch. 671
Ch. 630
May 5 USA
Ch. 626
Fox Sports Ohio
Ch. 631
Cartoon Network
Ch. 648
Ch. 669
Ch. 670
May 12 ESPN2
Ch. 628
Ch. 636
Ch. 639
Animal Planet
Ch. 645
Ch. 652
May 26 TBS
Ch. 623
Fox Sports 1
Ch. 634
Ch. 647
Ch. 660
Ch. 666
June 2 Discovery
Ch. 643
Food Network
Ch. 657
Ch. 664
Ch. 675
Ch. 705
June 9 FX
Ch. 635
Ch. 627
Ch. 647
Ch. 654
Ch. 662
June 23 TNT
Ch. 624
Ch. 640
The Weather Channel
Ch. 668
Ch. 663
Ch. 612
June 30 Lifetime
Ch. 625
SportsTime Ohio
Ch. 632
Fox News
Ch. 667

FAQs for Customers with Older Model DVRs

Why will I lose HD channels if I don’t exchange my current DVR?
Your older DVR can only view HD channels transmitted in MPEG2. When we convert a channel to MPEG4, your current DVR simply won’t be able to tune to it. Newer DVRs can tune to both MPEG4 and MPEG2 signals so exchanging your DVR as soon as possible guarantees uninterrupted access to all HDTV channels.

Why haven’t I heard about this before?
We have been working over the last year to replace older DVRs with newer ones. We have been removing these old DVRs anytime we touch one. We also have been encouraging people to exchange them whenever we talk to them. About 20% of the HD channels have already been converted to MPEG4. Now, we need to replace these old DVRs so we can make the change to MPEG4.

What is happening? Why must I exchange my DVR?
There are several reasons:

  • Your older DVR is past its serviceable life. That means your DVR is pretty much worn out and liable to fail. We want to exchange it at a convenient time rather than as a weekend or evening emergency.
  • Your older DVR doesn’t have much recording capacity. We know customers struggle with what and how much they record because the capacity is limited. We want to upgrade your capacity with a new DVR. The new DVRs have more than double the recording capacity of your current DVR.
  • Exchanging your old DVR is part of an overall technology upgrade for High Definition TV networks. The new technology is MPEG4. It allows for improved HD picture quality and more efficient transmission. An MPEG4 channel takes only about one-half the space of the current channels. When you combine the larger recording capacity of the new DVR with the more efficient MPEG4 signal, the recording capability soars to more than four times the current capacity. We have already changed some HD channels to MPEG4 and are working on the remainder.
  • Your older DVR will not accept the MPEG4 signals. That’s why we want to give you new ones; so you can continue to enjoy all the HD channels and increase your recording capability.

I have several DVRs. Which ones must I exchange?
You can easily identify old DVRs because they have a silver front. These DVRs are model numbers DCH3416, DCT3416 I, DCT6412 III, DCT6416 III. These numbers appear on the front of the DVR.

Old DVR with Silver Front Model DCH3416
Old DVR with Silver Front Model DCT3416 I

Old DVR with Silver Front


What do I need to bring with me when I exchange my old DVR for a new one?
The DVR and the power cord. You do not need to bring the remote control or any other wires. The new DVR can be reconnected in the same manner as the old.

What is an HDMI cable?
HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. All of the video and audio signals are carried by a single HDMI cable. It can replace the bulky five wire component cables from your DVR to your TV set. However, please check to be sure your TV set has an HDMI connection.

You say these DVRs are at the end of life. How old are they? How long will they keep working? How do you know they are likely to fail?
Most of these DVRs are pushing 10 years old. That might not seem so old, but these are basically computers. Imagine using a computer that has been running continuously for 10 years. We don’t know how long they will continue to work. But, we do know that they fail much more frequently than newer models.

What about all the shows I have on my DVR now? Can I keep them?
Unfortunately, no. There is no way to transfer a recorded program from one DVR to another. DVRs are not designed to be a long-term storage device. That’s a job for a DVD. The fact that you have an older DVR puts your currently recorded programs at risk if the hard drive fails due to age.

Can I record HD channels even if I can’t see them?
No. Your older DVR cannot view or record MPEG4 signals.

What other improvements are you planning to HD channels?
More HD. We want to finish this MPEG4 conversion project before making any others. However, when this is done, we will review all available HD opportunities and add more HD signals.

FAQs for Customers with a CableCARD

What is happening?
MCTV is introducing a new technology. The new technology is MPEG4. It allows for improved HD picture quality and more efficient transmission.

Why haven’t I heard about this before?
We have been working over the last year to prepare for MPEG4; installing new equipment, adding new set-top boxes and DVRs. About 20% of HD networks have been to MPEG4 already. Now, we have reached the point where we will change to the HD signals to MPEG4.

What’s wrong with the CableCARDs?
Nothing. All CableCARDs can tune and display both MPEG2 and MPEG4 TV signals. However, some TV sets and TiVo units can only tune to MPEG2. So, when we change HD signals to MPEG4, they will no longer be able to receive them.

Why will I lose HD channels if I don’t replace the CableCard with an HD set-top box?
If your TV set cannot tune MPEG4 signals, you will lose HD channels unless you have an HD set-top box. Some TV sets cannot process MPEG4 signals. You can test your TV set by tuning the Channel 733 (Investigation Discovery). If you can see it, your TV set can tune to MPEG4 and should be OK after this change. If you cannot view Channel 733, your TV set cannot tune to MPEG4 channels and all HD signals will eventually be unavailable.

I have a TiVo unit. Will it work with MPEG4?
See the table below for TiVo compatibility. The information came from TiVo, so MCTV cannot guarantee its accuracy with all TiVo devices in all instances.

  • TiVo Stream: These devices are not yet compatible with MPEG4. TiVo Stream will not work with MPEG4 channels until early 2015, when a Stream software update that provides compatibility with MPEG4 will be released.
  • Roamio Plus/Pro: The DVR in this device is compatible with MPEG4, but the built-in transcoder for streaming will be incompatible. Streaming functionality will return in early 2015, when a Stream software update that provides compatibility with MPEG4 will be released.
  • Roamio 4-tuner/Premiere Series: Compatible with MPEG4-no change required.
  • Series3/HD: Will only be able to receive SD channels. HD channels will be incompatible. These TiVo customers must upgrade to a Premiere Series or Roamio Series DVR to continue to receive HD channels via TiVo.
  • Series1 and Series2: These devices use an ‘IR Blaster” to receive signals from a set-top box. All non-DVR HD set-top boxes are MPEG4 compatible so customers using an HD set-top box with a Series1 or Series2 TiVo will continue to receive HD content.

TiVo owners can contact TiVo directly at 877-367-8486 (M-F 10A-10P, Sat/Sun 11A – 9P)

I have a device not specifically mentioned (HomeRun or other PC-based media servers). Will it work with MPEG4?
That depends on the device. You should check to see if it receives Channel 733 (ID). If it does, it works with MPEG4. If not, it is capable of MPEG2 only. Consult the manufacturer for other information.

Can I continue to use the CableCard (no set-top box) even if my set cannot tune MPEG4?
Yes. The CableCARD will continue to work. It will enable you to watch all standard definition channels; just no HD channels. The same is true for TiVo devices. They will continue to work with all standard definition TV signals.

I can tune to Channel 733 but I only have sound; no picture. Is my tuner MPEG2 or MPEG4?
MPEG2. The audio is being processed, but not the video.

My TV is on the wall and I don’t have a place for a set-top box. What can I do?
Call us. We will be happy to send a qualified installer to inspect the installation to see what is possible. New HD set-top boxes are quite small and frequently can be installed behind the set. A single-wire HDMI cable can connect the set-top box to the TV set. Then a thin wire connects a remote “eye” to the box so the universal remote works both TV and box.

HD set-top boxes also have become less expensive. The smallest, least expensive HD boxes are only $5.00 per month, compared to $2.00 for a CableCARD. HD set-top boxes include a full function, interactive program guide and access to hundreds of free On Demand programs. Plus, HDMI cables often eliminate the need for bulky audio/video wires.

The ability to locate a set-top box behind a TV set depends on many factors. MCTV cannot guarantee that every instance can be accommodated. Some wall-mounted installations are so complex that MCTV may choose to deactivate the CableCARD and abandon it in place. MCTV may require the homeowner to provide assistance with wall-mounted TV sets. MCTV accepts no responsibility or liability for damage resulting from efforts to remove or replace a wall-mounted TV set.

What other improvements are you planning to HD channels?
More HD. We want to finish this MPEG4 conversion project before making any others. However, when this is done, we will review all available HD opportunities and add more HD signals.