Comcast in some markets is planning on encrypting 100% of their channels - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:22 AM
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Default Comcast in some markets is planning on encrypting 100% of their channels

Comcast in some markets is planning on encrypting 100% of their channels

In some markets cable companies are dropping analog NTSC and are switching to 100% digital QAM like Verizon FIOS did several years ago nationwide. In the past all cable companies would leave the local basic cable channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and FOX in the clear (unencrypted) so that a consumer that owned a modern SDTV or HDTV with a built in MPEG-2 QAM tuner could receive those channels without needing to rent a digital cable box from the cable company. However now the FCC last year permitted cable companies to start encrypting 100% of their channels including local basic cable channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and FOX.

One of the reasons cable companies want to encrypt 100% of all cable channels is to completely stop cable theft. Digital cable encryption historically has been 100% secure means for cable companies to protect their channels. Many cable companies have complained to the FCC that some people are getting free local channels over their cable system since these people are connected to cable TV without any subscription to cable TV. Most cable companies have a utility box near the street that contains a physical RG6 cable that needs to be either disconnected or connected manually by the cable technician (many times that RG6 cable is still connected even if one does not subscribe to cable TV service since a cable technician forgot to disconnect the cable or someone has made a unauthorized connection). When Comcast and other cable companies start using digital encryption on all of their channels, then their network becomes 100% secure from piracy.

Since Verizon FIOS nationwide 100% digital fiber optic network does not have cable theft problems, Verizon might decide to leave the local QAM channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and FOX in the clear (unencrypted). With the Verizon FIOS network the fiber optic cable runs all the way from the central office to the network interface box on the side of the customers home. The FIOS network interface box is 100% addressable and Verizon never needs to send a technician out to turn off service. For example a customer that does not pay their FIOS bill for several months will first have their TV service completely turned off remotely including the in the clear QAM channels, then a month later the FIOS Internet will be turned off remotely, then if the bill is still not paid the next month the FIOS landline will be turned off remotely. When a customer does not pay their bill after several months, everything is turned off except for the ability to call 911 from the landline phone.

Some consumers that have both Comcast and Verizon FIOS in the same city might decide to switch to Verizon so that they can still use their in the clear QAM tuner with the cable subscription that they pay for. Some Comcast cable customers that do not use the Internet have now canceled Comcast and have switched to an outdoor or indoor TV antenna to get their local ATSC channels free. High Speed Internet is the main feature that most consumers want and need from their cable system. Landline phone service from the cable companies and TV service from cable companies will be less in demand in the future years. For Comcast customers that only want the limited basic local channels they might quality for 2 free QAM digital adapters for a period of 2 years without a rental charge. Both Comcast and Verizon FIOS charges a monthly rental fee for each High Definition Digital set top box and cablecard.

The following are some select word for word quotes from weblinks below

Cable companies have long lobbied for the right to encrypt basic cable channels, arguing that this will prevent cable theft and simplify remote management of their equipment. They succeeded last year when the FCC ruled that they could start to encrypt basic cable, as long as they provide consumers with some help during the transition.”

Comcast customers, get ready for yet another TV transition: The cable provider has started to alert its customers in some markets that it is about to encrypt their basic cable signals, forcing them to order a digital adapter if they want to continue to receive basic programming through the service.”

“Consumers who already use a Comcast-provided set-top box on all of their TV sets don’t have to worry, their service will continue to work as before. But if you have a TV in your den that’s hooked up to your cable outlet without a set-top box, then you’re going to have to get an adapter to keep it working.”

““We are beginning to proactively notify customers in select markets that we will begin to encrypt limited basic channels as now permitted by last year’s FCC B1 Encryption Order. While the vast majority of our customers won’t be impacted because they already have digital equipment connected to their TVs, we understand this will be a change for a small number of customers and will be making it as convenient as possible for them to get the digital equipment they may need to continue watching limited basic channels.”

Last edited by HDTV1080P; 04-17-2013 at 02:36 AM.
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