Are All Your QAM Channels Scrambled? - Page 18 - AVS Forum
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post #511 of 554 Old 08-19-2014, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
That's why we have cable cards per FCC mandate. No need for a cable box.
But cable cards aren't free. :P
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post #512 of 554 Old 08-19-2014, 11:56 AM
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But cable cards aren't free. :P
But after the "free" year or two of a cable box (if you are fortunate enough to get into that category of customers), cable cards are cheaper. And they are definitely cheaper than paying for a cable box with a built-in DVR. (Yes, I am paying rental on a HD DVR, so I do have experience paying. )
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post #513 of 554 Old 08-20-2014, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
That's why we have cable cards per FCC mandate. No need for a cable box.
The FCC mandate for cablecards has been lifted, as far as I understand.
Software-based encryption methods are now permitted and in beta-test, from what I've read.

Get those old-school cablecards while they are still available, people!
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post #514 of 554 Old 08-20-2014, 07:46 AM
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The FCC mandate for cablecards has been lifted, as far as I understand.
Software-based encryption methods are now permitted and in beta-test, from what I've read.

Get those old-school cablecards while they are still available, people!
Can you tell me what is bad about the software based?
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post #515 of 554 Old 08-20-2014, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Can you tell me what is bad about the software based?
As a general rule, and not absolute, software (and firmware) for U.S. products is written from specs (overseas) and given to the consumer with little or no testing. If the device doesn't have an internet interface, an update may be beyond the ability of the average consumer. I don't consider software based encryption bad, especially on small volume products. Sending out thousands of TV sets to decrypt HBO scares me.
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post #516 of 554 Old 08-20-2014, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post
As a general rule, and not absolute, software (and firmware) for U.S. products is written from specs (overseas) and given to the consumer with little or no testing. If the device doesn't have an internet interface, an update may be beyond the ability of the average consumer. I don't consider software based encryption bad, especially on small volume products. Sending out thousands of TV sets to decrypt HBO scares me.
Ahh. Yeah, I had those problems with computer stuff like from Europe that doesn't test ATSC. However, they did give me support and free updates for testing. Too bad we can't do that with cable companies as subscribers. :P
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post #517 of 554 Old 08-20-2014, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tveli View Post
The FCC mandate for cablecards has been lifted, as far as I understand.
Software-based encryption methods are now permitted and in beta-test, from what I've read.

Get those old-school cablecards while they are still available, people!
Lifted only for cable company's own boxes. TiVo and others are still safe ... for now. It should be many more years before cable card support is dropped. There are tens of millions of boxes with cable card out there.

I'll keep saving my $50/month with cable card as long as I can.
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post #518 of 554 Old 08-20-2014, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
There are tens of millions of boxes with cable card out there.
When they get around to replacing those tens of millions of boxes there will be a surplus of tens of millions of used cards.
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post #519 of 554 Old 08-20-2014, 03:32 PM
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When they get around to replacing those tens of millions of boxes there will be a surplus of tens of millions of used cards.
And useless when people can't use them.
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post #520 of 554 Old 08-21-2014, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tveli View Post
The FCC mandate for cablecards has been lifted, as far as I understand.
Software-based encryption methods are now permitted and in beta-test, from what I've read.

Get those old-school cablecards while they are still available, people!
CableCARDs are still alive and will be for a while. What has been lifted is integration ban, whereby company provided boxes are no longer required to rely on CableCARDS.

Support for CableCARDs in third party devices is still in force.
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6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #521 of 554 Old 10-15-2014, 06:27 PM
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****ing Brighthouse encrpyted everything except WDSC (Educational) and the Local Government Channel about 23 minutes ago. My HTPC was recording just fine and then all as soon as Primetime hit it refused to record NBC saying that it was encrypted. I checked and sure enough everything but WDSC and the Altamonte Channel is now showing as encrypted. Unfortunately, the FCC has been bribed by the cable industry to do their bidding instead of serving the public interest.
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post #522 of 554 Old 10-15-2014, 06:38 PM
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But cable cards aren't free. :P
Plus, not all devices support them. They've rendered my TV's built-in tuner useless. 90% of what I record/watch is on local channels. I've have 6 TV Tuners (HTPC) and 2 TVs which never needed a Cable Card. Why should I have to rent 2 x Cable Cards (an extra $6/month on top of an already absurd $150/month) just to watch/record channels I can get over the air?
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post #523 of 554 Old 10-15-2014, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by agredon View Post
Plus, not all devices support them. They've rendered my TV's built-in tuner useless. 90% of what I record/watch is on local channels. I've have 6 TV Tuners (HTPC) and 2 TVs which never needed a Cable Card. Why should I have to rent 2 x Cable Cards (an extra $6/month on top of an already absurd $150/month) just to watch/record channels I can get over the air?
Wow, that sucks.
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post #524 of 554 Old 10-15-2014, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by agredon View Post
Plus, not all devices support them. They've rendered my TV's built-in tuner useless. 90% of what I record/watch is on local channels. I've have 6 TV Tuners (HTPC) and 2 TVs which never needed a Cable Card. Why should I have to rent 2 x Cable Cards (an extra $6/month on top of an already absurd $150/month) just to watch/record channels I can get over the air?
Then get them over the air or stream them. Or get a 6 tuner device and pay $3. Losing clear QAM sucks, I agree, but we all saw it coming, and there's nothing we can do to change it.

If all you need are locals, why do you have the $150 package in the first place?

Otherwise free locals also require a box rental fee on Dish, DirecTV, U-Verse, Fios, Charter, Comcast, TWC, etc., etc. Welcome to the club.
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post #525 of 554 Old 10-16-2014, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Then get them over the air or stream them. Or get a 6 tuner device and pay $3. Losing clear QAM sucks, I agree, but we all saw it coming, and there's nothing we can do to change it.

If all you need are locals, why do you have the $150 package in the first place?

Otherwise free locals also require a box rental fee on Dish, DirecTV, U-Verse, Fios, Charter, Comcast, TWC, etc., etc. Welcome to the club.
My cable company is moving stuff around almost weekly. I've done so many rescans on 4 televisions, then killed the junk I never watch, that my remotes are wearing out. But I'm now up to 166 clear QAM channels, with 12 in HD.
I've read that we may soon be able to kiss the cable card goodbye since decryption via software is getting more support. That's the good news. The bad news is that now that more content is moving online, my cable company is lowering the caps for downloads and enforcing them 24/7. You pay one way or another.
OTA is not an option for me.
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post #526 of 554 Old 10-16-2014, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by agredon View Post
****ing Brighthouse encrpyted everything except WDSC (Educational) and the Local Government Channel about 23 minutes ago. My HTPC was recording just fine and then all as soon as Primetime hit it refused to record NBC saying that it was encrypted. I checked and sure enough everything but WDSC and the Altamonte Channel is now showing as encrypted. Unfortunately, the FCC has been bribed by the cable industry to do their bidding instead of serving the public interest.
Where are you located? Daytona Beach?
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post #527 of 554 Old 10-16-2014, 06:58 AM
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\If all you need are locals, why do you have the $150 package in the first place?
Because of the bundling. BHN doesn't offer a bundle with the faster Lightning Internet and Basic Cable (In fact, I don't think they offer ANY bundles that include Basic Cable), so I would have to a la carte everything (TV, Phone, and Internet), which would bring the cost with Basic Cable only to within $10-20/month of the price with Full Digital cable. I could watch the handful of cable shows I like online, except there's no point in doing so for such a paltry savings.

For now, I took my HDHomeRun Dual out of storage and hooked up an Antenna, but that reduces me from 6 Tuners (2 x 3) to 2 (1 x 2) and I can't get WESH-DT1 or DT2 (NBC, Me TV). For some odd reason, I have never been able to get WESH-DT1 or DT2 to tune in anywhere in this city (I've tried in 3 different locations). I can get WKCF (CW) which shares a studio with WESH (NBC) down in Maitland/Eatonville and can tune WESH-LD (Low Power Transmitter) no problem, but not WESH-DT.

BTW, I'll have to check, but I believe the 3-6 Tuner models only tune ClearQAM or Cablecard - No ATSC. My HDHomeRun Primes don't list ATSC (ClearQAM or Cablecard only) as an option in the setup.
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post #528 of 554 Old 10-16-2014, 06:58 AM
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Where are you located? Daytona Beach?
Altamonte Springs
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post #529 of 554 Old 10-16-2014, 07:13 AM
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My HDHomeRun Primes don't list ATSC (ClearQAM or Cablecard only) as an option in the setup.
Right, none of the CableCARD tuners from SiliconDust or Ceton can receive ATSC. I would probably just get the CableCARDs since you already have the Primes in place. If you complain about the QAM channels disappearing they might give you a break on the bill or give you a free channel package upgrade.
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post #530 of 554 Old 10-17-2014, 10:10 AM
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I would still unbundle. Internet + basic + Ooma ($3) has to be < $150. In my market I'm paying a total of about $100 for internet, expanded basic, HBO/SHO/MAX and Ooma. I see no good reason to get phone from the cable company. I use a 6 tuner Ceton with my $2.50 card. I have no need for OTA. If I did, I'd just use a PC tuner for recording and my other TV's built-in tuners for live TV.

If you stick with OTA, a $30 iView is a decent tuner and DVR.

Last edited by mdavej; 10-17-2014 at 12:28 PM.
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post #531 of 554 Old 10-19-2014, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by agredon View Post
Plus, not all devices support them. They've rendered my TV's built-in tuner useless. 90% of what I record/watch is on local channels. I've have 6 TV Tuners (HTPC) and 2 TVs which never needed a Cable Card. Why should I have to rent 2 x Cable Cards (an extra $6/month on top of an already absurd $150/month) just to watch/record channels I can get over the air?
You only need a single CableCARD to decrypt 6 streams.

OTA is always free. Get an antenna.
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6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #532 of 554 Old 10-20-2014, 02:09 PM
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90% of what I record/watch is on local channels. Why should I have to rent 2 x Cable Cards (an extra $6/month on top of an already absurd $150/month) just to watch/record channels I can get over the air?
You have answered your own question. If 90% of what you record and watch is on local channels, why are you paying for cable???? You do NOT have to rent cable cards to watch/record channels you can get over the air!!!
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post #533 of 554 Old 11-18-2014, 10:39 AM
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Add Bonita Springs, FL to the list. (between Ft Myers and Naples)

It appears we lost the clear QAMs sometime over the summer. Got a uDTA w/HDMI out from Comcast, and am now paying an additional $9.95/mo. "HD technology fee". Nobody at Comcast seems capable of activating just the local clear QAMs for free -- they all insist the HD technology fee is the only option. Since the HD uDTA squishes many of the SD channels to a little box in the center of the screen surrounded by black bars, I said the hell with it, might as well pay the $10 and get all the HD Digital Starter channels in full 16:9 HD clarity...
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post #534 of 554 Old 11-18-2014, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Add Bonita Springs, FL to the list. (between Ft Myers and Naples)

It appears we lost the clear QAMs sometime over the summer. Got a uDTA w/HDMI out from Comcast, and am now paying an additional $9.95/mo. "HD technology fee". Nobody at Comcast seems capable of activating just the local clear QAMs for free -- they all insist the HD technology fee is the only option. Since the HD uDTA squishes many of the SD channels to a little box in the center of the screen surrounded by black bars, I said the hell with it, might as well pay the $10 and get all the HD Digital Starter channels in full 16:9 HD clarity...
Sorry for your loss. My HD "service" is free. My HD/3D "Technology Fee" is $13/mo. All done, of course, to make the "service" look cheaper. My provider also splits out the retransmission fees.
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post #535 of 554 Old 11-18-2014, 12:48 PM
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I said the hell with it, might as well pay the $10 and get all the HD Digital Starter channels in full 16:9 HD clarity...
They're counting on that!
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post #536 of 554 Old 11-18-2014, 12:55 PM
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They're counting on that!
I wonder how much $$$ cable companies make from this. Thanks FCC.
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post #537 of 554 Old 11-18-2014, 02:28 PM
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As much as they can. They provide a utility. They will charge accordingly for profit (by law) for their services/provisions.

And... the FCC profits too.
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post #538 of 554 Old 11-19-2014, 09:48 AM
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You can avoid the HD technology fee if you rent zero HD tuners/DVRs from the cable company and instead rent a cablecard for $0 or $1 per month.
Then put the cablecard into an HD-capable device like moxi or tivo.
Currently I have two HD outlets via comcast, with no HD technology fee, via a Moxi and Moxi-Mate.
The total of 6 TV outlets costs $20 incrementally beyond the $49.95 cost of the internet-only service I had previously:
HDTV via hd moxi (with $1/month cablecard)
HDTV hd moxi mate
SDTV via non-HD comcast cable box - included with "internet plus hbo" service
3 TVs via non-HD DTAs. (HBO not viewable via DTA.)
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post #539 of 554 Old 11-19-2014, 11:38 AM
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You can avoid the HD technology fee if you rent zero HD tuners/DVRs from the cable company and instead rent a cablecard for $0 or $1 per month.
Then put the cablecard into an HD-capable device like moxi or tivo.
Currently I have two HD outlets via comcast, with no HD technology fee, via a Moxi and Moxi-Mate.
The total of 6 TV outlets costs $20 incrementally beyond the $49.95 cost of the internet-only service I had previously:
HDTV via hd moxi (with $1/month cablecard)
HDTV hd moxi mate
SDTV via non-HD comcast cable box - included with "internet plus hbo" service
3 TVs via non-HD DTAs. (HBO not viewable via DTA.)
Which service providers have it for free and a buck? TWC isn't that cheap. Also, it doesn't do video on demands, has no copy, etc.
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post #540 of 554 Old 11-19-2014, 12:37 PM
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In my previous post, it's all about *comcast*.
It is true that cablecard does not suport video-on-demand.
The free SD box included with the service does support video-on-demand, however.
Btw, the other interesting & included TV channels are all the local OTA channels, plus weather channel HD, c-span 1 & 2, and new-england-cable-news HD.
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