FTA over cable?

mastermesh

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2006
1,987
0
Wonder if this is going to open the doors for fta type boxes that get fta channels via cable instead of/or (more optimistically), in addition via satellite

http://hardware.slashdot.org/hardware/07/01/12/0043249.shtml
"The FCC rendered a decision today against a Comcast appeal that centers on integrated security features in set-top cable boxes. The decision comes at the end of a long standing feud between the FCC and cable companies over the matter. The result is that starting July 1st, cable boxes distributed by cable companies must not be tied directly to a cable provider via internal security features. This rule is viewed as the first step in creating a market for set-top cable boxes. Comcast does have the right to appeal and has said they will do so. From the article: 'Several major consumer electronics manufacturers have argued that if set-top boxes weren't directly linked to the provision of cable service, they could enter the set-top market. Consumers could get a cable card from their service provider that they could insert into a set-top box purchased at a consumer electronics store. The cards would ensure that consumers could only access channels that they paid for.'"
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
12
L.A., Calif.
I'm not sure how the one affects the other.

However, European satellite TV is based on the buy a card to see your shows model, not buy/rent -our- unique box which can't be used on the other provider's system model.
Don't hold your breath for DirecTV and Dish to cooperate in any way. :rolleyes:

There are already TV sets that'll take a card from a cable provider.

Consider the amazing diversity of US cell phones, technology, and incompatibility.
eg: Sprint and Verizon use compatible technology, but on different frequencies.
Cingular and T-mobile use identical technology (different from Sprint/Verizon) and frequencies, but lock-out the use of the other guy's sim card.
 

mastermesh

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2006
1,987
0
You could be right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAM_tuner
mentions something like what you are talking about

I am new to all of this just like I was new to fta satellite about a year ago...

Got any info on QAM receivers, where you get them, what models are out, prices, etc., and more importantly, which ones actually do pick up stuff, and what they pick up.

Also, do they make QAM tuners in a format that you can hook up to a computer, like a dvb card or the usb world box?

Would something like this : http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=Dvico+Fusionhdtv+5+Lite+&hl=en&btnG=Search

be worth getting?
 
Last edited:

be236

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 5, 2007
33
6
Aren't all channels over cable TV encrypted, and hence there's no true FTA concept; whereas over satellite those channels are NOT encrypted and hence really "free."
 

mastermesh

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2006
1,987
0
That's what I thought too... but I read somewhere that cable providers have to leave local channels unencrypted or something? Not sure if that's true or not?
 

phatton

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Sep 5, 2005
31
0
Endicott, NY
In the Binghamton, NY area the local channels are available for no extra charge on cable(Time Warner) in HDTV/Digatal format if you have a QAM tuner. They are available even if you have the lowest level of cable service which is what I have. The QAM tuner I have is built into my HDTV. It also has the option of adding a "cablecard" to get the subscription digatal cable service but I hear what you can get with the cablecard is limited what it can do with the interactive content available on digital such as on demand movies.
 

Stefan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 28, 2005
324
0
Also, do they make QAM tuners in a format that you can hook up to a computer, like a dvb card or the usb world box?

Sure they do. In fact most all of the more recent OTA atsc tuner cards support QAM. Check out the MyHD, autumn wave (formerly Sasem), Dvico fusion, and air2pc tuners. I believe all of those manufacturers support Qam in their latest model products. Of course supporting QAM only means you'll be able to get totally unecrypted signals. Getting encrypted channels would require somekind of CAM, which would probably consist of special software and somekind of card reader. It would further be complicated by the fact that some systems use different encryption technologies. I believe some use powerVu and others use Digicipher II.

That's what I thought too... but I read somewhere that cable providers have to leave local channels unencrypted or something? Not sure if that's true or not?

I may be wrong about this but I believe cable providers are supposed to provide the local channels unencrypted so that anyone who has at least basic cable will have access to them. Premium channels are a whole other story and will most likely be encrypted and will also likely have 5C content protection enabled which will limit or restrict the ability to record or timeshift premium channels.

Anyway, technically none of this would really be considered "free to air" as youd have to at least have a basic cable subscription to be getting anything off cable.
 

Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
This is quickly turning into a cable TV discussion, and as such might be moved to another forum on Sat Guys. Anyhow, my take on the clear QAM situation is that I hope that once cable TV companies go all digital (moving even basic cable to digital from analog), they offer all basic cable channels in the clear as they do presently with analog.
 

jayelem

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 5, 2006
1,305
0
Chicago suburbs.
That's what I thought too... but I read somewhere that cable providers have to leave local channels unencrypted or something? Not sure if that's true or not?

Still unencrypted is not Free since you have to pay for basic Cable.

In my case it's about $8 dollars roughly, and I only have it because of my internet service , Total $58 , don't know if thats good or bad but it's my only option since we got rid of our land line phone service.
 

Todd Humphrey

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 7, 2004
422
0
I do not think there is a law that says local channels must be non-encrypted. It is a matter of marketing. If CATV required a box on every TV for even basic packages, they would lose customers. In a few years, when all OTA is digital, CATV will then be able to say "It is not us requiring you to have a box or go buy a new TV". They will wait it out.

Now that I have said that, I do remember a story were a cable company got into trouble when they moved a local channel upto a " box required" channel. I think it was just public outrage that forced them to move it back.
 

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
16,563
340
Western WV
I wonder if the satellite companies will also be forced to do such a thing as what is going to be imposed to the cable companies. I am sure this would make the satellite companies mad particularly Dish Network. I wonder how they would handle the payments for activations to the retailers if such a hting would happen. What a mess that would be. At least it would drive the hardware costs down.
 

stevenl

SatelliteGuys Master
Jan 2, 2006
10,839
2
Disney World
Ok I understand the selling set top boxes... But umm dont differnt cable companies run differnt softwares? For example. a box from BHN Tampa will not work in BHN Oralndo because we use different firmware/software.. Sure you can get a cable card to work, probley in both systems but cablecard is one-way.. Does this mean the boxes will lose their 2-war ability? And the cable companies pay for this software some on a per-box (license) would they be required to install it on a customers box? What if the customer moves, and the cable companies software "messed up" the box some how..
 

digiblur

SatelliteGuys Master
Jun 8, 2005
14,190
2
Louisiana
That's what I thought too... but I read somewhere that cable providers have to leave local channels unencrypted or something? Not sure if that's true or not?

Yep... in my area you can get quite a few local and out of market locals in SD. But I don't watch SD networks. We also get ABC-HD, NBC-HD, CBS-HD, CW-HD, FOX-HD, and PBS-HD via unencrypted QAM. All you need is a basic cable service...
 

digiblur

SatelliteGuys Master
Jun 8, 2005
14,190
2
Louisiana
This is quickly turning into a cable TV discussion, and as such might be moved to another forum on Sat Guys. Anyhow, my take on the clear QAM situation is that I hope that once cable TV companies go all digital (moving even basic cable to digital from analog), they offer all basic cable channels in the clear as they do presently with analog.

I doubt it... they'll just leave the locals unencrypted and leave EVERYONE's cable hooked up. No more techs to cut off your cable or turn it on. Just a cable card or cable box and your good to go.
 

kb7oeb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 27, 2004
1,261
0
Phoenix,Arizona
This rule just means that the cable companies have to use cable cards in their own cable boxes. The hope is they will have more of a reason to make sure cable cards actually work.
 

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
I do not think there is a law that says local channels must be non-encrypted. It is a matter of marketing. If CATV required a box on every TV for even basic packages, they would lose customers. In a few years, when all OTA is digital, CATV will then be able to say "It is not us requiring you to have a box or go buy a new TV". They will wait it out.

Now that I have said that, I do remember a story were a cable company got into trouble when they moved a local channel upto a " box required" channel. I think it was just public outrage that forced them to move it back.
They are unencrypted simply because they are required to remain on the analog band, and be available to customers without necessity of a decoder box, just plugging the cable straight into the cable-ready TV, VCR, HDD recorder, etc.

Anything transmitted digitally via QAM is totally up to the cable company to decide whether or not to encrypt.

I personally think it will be a long time before we see "lifeline" basic channels (locals, community affairs, public access) removed from analog. We will probably see most, if not all, national "cable" networks move to digital-only within the next year or two, though. I can't wait. More bandwidth for HD. (Every channel removed from analog frees up enough bandwidth for a digital HD channel or approx 5 digital SD channels.)
 

digiblur

SatelliteGuys Master
Jun 8, 2005
14,190
2
Louisiana
They are unencrypted simply because they are required to remain on the analog band, and be available to customers without necessity of a decoder box, just plugging the cable straight into the cable-ready TV, VCR, HDD recorder, etc.

Anything transmitted digitally via QAM is totally up to the cable company to decide whether or not to encrypt.

I personally think it will be a long time before we see "lifeline" basic channels (locals, community affairs, public access) removed from analog. We will probably see most, if not all, national "cable" networks move to digital-only within the next year or two, though. I can't wait. More bandwidth for HD. (Every channel removed from analog frees up enough bandwidth for a digital HD channel or approx 5 digital SD channels.)

Analog band? There's no such thing. If the cable co wants to turn channel 2 into a QAM256 carrier they can.

They unencrypted due to them being local channels. I remember reading a link to a FCC document about this a while back.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Top