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post #15361 of 15384 Old 03-24-2015, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndThenScottSays View Post
TWC is requiring set-top boxes in the Triangle starting May 5th.
I wonder if Google will. Where are they? I'm ready to have an installer truck working my street!
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post #15362 of 15384 Old 03-25-2015, 01:15 AM
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TWC are moving all channels to digital in order to compete with Google. Freeing all that bandwidth is the only way they can bump up the internet speeds to Maxx levels. Some of that should arrive this summer but Google is still years away.

I'm curious if they'll scramble all the clear QAM and ATSC. Usually this is a good excuse to force all the internet-only subs into a TV package by blocking every channel being sent down the pipes.


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post #15363 of 15384 Old 03-25-2015, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
I wonder if Google will. Where are they? I'm ready to have an installer truck working my street!
Any internet-based streaming TV service will require some type of set-top box, so I am sure Google will also. AT&T uVerse does also. Now it is just a race, I guess, to see which gigabit service makes it to my Cary neighborhood first. But I agree, they cannot get to my neighborhood soon enough!
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post #15364 of 15384 Old 03-25-2015, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by NCCaniac View Post
Any internet-based streaming TV service will require some type of set-top box, so I am sure Google will also. AT&T uVerse does also. Now it is just a race, I guess, to see which gigabit service makes it to my Cary neighborhood first. But I agree, they cannot get to my neighborhood soon enough!
i am ready for google fiber too. hopefully it will be months and not years!

I don't have access to AT&T yet (i have seen trucks in the area). However, I checked their website and it looked to me to be crazy expensive compared to google fiber. also, i read some disclaimers about data caps. i personally don't want anything to do with data caps.

Google TV does require box(es). A network interface box is required for internet. in addition if you get TV, you get a storage box that has the tuners and hard drive for storing content. and then each TV gets its own TV box to pull content from the storage box.
https://fiber.google.com/devices/

The tv box can even serve as wifi access points to get better wifi coverage in your house.
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post #15365 of 15384 Old 03-25-2015, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post
TWC are moving all channels to digital ...
I'm curious if they'll scramble all the clear QAM and ATSC. Usually this is a good excuse to force all the internet-only subs into a TV package by blocking every channel being sent down the pipes.

I'm not sure that I understand what you mean. I thought that a TV set's ATSC tuner was used only to tune OTA signals received via antenna, and that the ATSC tuner had no role whatsoever in tuning any station delivered via cable. I could be wrong about that, but I certainly hope that TWC has not become so powerful that it is able to scramble the broadcast signals that are transmitted through the atmosphere!

I do understand that digital cable signals that are not encrypted can be tuned by the set's internal QAM tuner, but it is my understanding that the FCC has given cable systems permission to encrypt those signals (including local broadcast stations that are carried by the system) once the system is converted entirely to digital.

Last edited by veedon; 03-25-2015 at 05:38 PM.
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post #15366 of 15384 Old 03-25-2015, 06:22 PM
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Requiring the STB's ( the mini DTAs if you will) will allow TWC to require a box to receive ANY TV programming - and I'd bet on it happening. I've been expecting this for the better part of 15 years now, if nothing else - it will stop watching cable without a subscription.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #15367 of 15384 Old 03-25-2015, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
Requiring the STB's ( the mini DTAs if you will) will allow TWC to require a box to receive ANY TV programming - and I'd bet on it happening. I've been expecting this for the better part of 15 years now, if nothing else - it will stop watching cable without a subscription.
Weren't there already ways for the cable company to make sure that only subscribers could receive the programming? It's hard to believe that cable companies were unable to control access to their services.
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post #15368 of 15384 Old 03-25-2015, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by veedon View Post
I'm not sure that I understand what you mean. I thought that a TV set's ATSC tuner was used only to tune OTA signals received via antenna, and that the ATSC tuner had no role whatsoever in tuning any station delivered via cable. I could be wrong about that, but I certainly hope that TWC has not become so powerful that it is able to scramble the broadcast signals that are transmitted through the atmosphere!
No you are correct, I meant that as the differentiator between all the basic cable channels and local networks TWC distribute together. I was just using lazy shorthand.


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post #15369 of 15384 Old 03-25-2015, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post
No you are correct, I meant that as the differentiator between all the basic cable channels and local networks TWC distribute together. I was just using lazy shorthand.
In the "analog cable" package that TWC is now discontinuing, there actually were some unencrypted ("clear QAM") digital channels, but many of them were simply duplicates of the corresponding analog channels.

Some people may actually have been watching an analog channel, not even realizing that a digital channel had the same show in high definition.

But, as you say, the digital channels tended to just be the local stations and some government information channels (the latter being just in standard definition). TWC certainly was not offering ESPN or other popular "cable channels" in unencrypted digital format. If you wanted ESPN in digital, you had to pony up for the digital cable package with the set-top box.

If you had "analog cable", then you only got ESPN in analog standard definition, which usually looks even fuzzier than digital standard definition.


I know some people who still think that the whole transition to digital channels is some kind of conspiracy to make life more complicated than it needs to be,

As for me, I'm happy with just the beautiful digital transmissions (carrying both high def and standard def programming) that are now available OTA.

Who needs cable?
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post #15370 of 15384 Old 03-26-2015, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by drill View Post
i am ready for google fiber too. hopefully it will be months and not years!

I don't have access to AT&T yet (i have seen trucks in the area). However, I checked their website and it looked to me to be crazy expensive compared to google fiber. also, i read some disclaimers about data caps. i personally don't want anything to do with data caps.
That may be changing....there has been discussion that AT&T is modifying its prices and offerings in order to try and stay competitive with the coming Google fiber. Which is also why TWC is suddenly going all digital and offering people more bandwidth at the same price point. After years of little to no competition.....Google is disrupting the internet/cable monopolies. About time, I say!
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post #15371 of 15384 Old 03-26-2015, 09:50 AM
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if i am not mistaken, back in the day before digital even existed, cable companies were required to offer a basic access package that had to include the local channels. they could not be encrypted so that anyone could buy a cable ready tv, subscribe to the service, hook it up to the wall, and not have to pay an additional cost for a set top box. I believe it was ok for the cable company to encrypt the local OTAs as long as they provided a box to decode them for free. rather than providing free boxes, the cable companies used to not encrypt, but instead put analog traps on the poles for the households that did not subscribe. note that it was legal for them to encrypt pay channels ... just not local OTA broadcasts.

when digital came around, the requirement was still in place. they could not encrypt local OTA broadcasts. they had to broadcast them in clear QAM so anyone could go to the store, buy a TV with a QAM tuner, subscribe to the basic package and get local channels over cable. i think a passive trap on the pole was not sufficient for blocking the QAM channels because it interfered with the internet access that was being paid for. that is why people who just subscribe to internet can/could still get locals (and some other junk that the cable company didn't feel inclined to encrypt) without technically subscribing to a TV package.

i am not sure, but i think the requirement for ANALOG access without having to pay for a set top box is going away (may still be a few years from now). but at this time, i think it is still in place. so i think they have to provide free access via a set top box if they no longer provide a clear analog signal. i don't know if/when the "in the clear" requirement sunsets for locals provided over digital QAM.
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post #15372 of 15384 Old 03-26-2015, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drill View Post
i am not sure, but i think the requirement for ANALOG access without having to pay for a set top box is going away (may still be a few years from now). but at this time, i think it is still in place. so i think they have to provide free access via a set top box if they no longer provide a clear analog signal. i don't know if/when the "in the clear" requirement sunsets for locals provided over digital QAM.
Well, most cable systems are looking to get rid of analog in the very near future.
In fact, many cable systems have already gone entirely digital.

And the FCC has already adjusted its regulations, granting systems the permission to encrypt absolutely everything once the system has completely eliminated analog service,

http://www.fcc.gov/document/commissi...on-prohibition
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post #15373 of 15384 Old 03-28-2015, 02:22 PM
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Does anyone know when (or if) TWC cable is going to encrypt the clear QAM?

I have been running a myth system for years with HD Homerun tuners. I live in the flight path and have been told multipath will prevent me from getting OTA reliably.
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post #15374 of 15384 Old 03-28-2015, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by CanofBud View Post
Does anyone know when (or if) TWC cable is going to encrypt the clear QAM?

I have been running a myth system for years with HD Homerun tuners. I live in the flight path and have been told multipath will prevent me from getting OTA reliably.
May 5th is when they turn off analog. That would also be an opportune time for TWC to encrypt everything. Whether they will or not remains to be seen. You'll have to keep your fingers crossed.


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post #15375 of 15384 Old 03-29-2015, 05:50 AM
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Here is a TWC chat session:

Marshal Hall: at 8:36:44
I see that you have a cable box query?
Mike Mitchell: at 8:37:12
I do not have a set-top-box at all, my TV plugs directly into the TWC cable.
Marshal Hall: at 8:37:54
Yes you need to get a cable box or digital adapter for better quality and sound.
Mike Mitchell: at 8:38:31
I have a digital tuner in the TV. I also pass the digital audio from the TV to a receiver.
Marshal Hall: at 8:38:54
I see.
Marshal Hall: at 8:39:22
But its mandatory to have a cable box.
Mike Mitchell: at 8:40:32
I am currently receiving the local channels in HD over your cable, as part of the "standard" service. Are you saying that you will be encrypting all Digital channels come May 5th?
Marshal Hall: at 8:41:43
Yes as all the channel's will be digitalized you will need to have an box.
Marshal Hall: at 8:42:41
And to get all the channel's you need to have a digital adapter.
Mike Mitchell: at 8:42:52
Digitized signals can be sent unencrypted. That is how I'm receiving the local channels in HD digital.
Mike Mitchell: at 8:44:04
I should only need a digital adapter if the TV can only handle analog signals. My TV has a digital tuner.
Marshal Hall: at 8:44:25
Yes you are correct.
Mike Mitchell: at 8:45:31
The specific question is if you will still be sending the local digitial stations in-the-clear (clear QAM), or will you be encrypting them.
Marshal Hall: at 8:46:08
We will encrypt them.
Mike Mitchell: at 8:46:31
Thank you. That is all I needed to know.
Marshal Hall: at 8:46:44
You are welcome.
Marshal Hall: at 8:46:47
Please click on 'End Chat' and share your feedback. We appreciate you contacting us today.
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post #15376 of 15384 Old 03-29-2015, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by NCCaniac View Post
That may be changing....there has been discussion that AT&T is modifying its prices and offerings in order to try and stay competitive with the coming Google fiber. Which is also why TWC is suddenly going all digital and offering people more bandwidth at the same price point. After years of little to no competition.....Google is disrupting the internet/cable monopolies. About time, I say!
But how can a bunch of different companies lay cable or fiber in the same ground? How does it work physically? And how much disruption and inconvenience are caused when ground gets dug up?
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post #15377 of 15384 Old 03-29-2015, 05:59 PM
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Surely you've heard of the Miss Utilty / one-call for locating underground utilites ? This is precisely what they do - locate the cables / etc. from the different utilities so contractors don't disrupt each other .

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Being A Beacon of Knowledge in the darkness of FUD
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post #15378 of 15384 Old 04-02-2015, 10:40 AM
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About a week ago, I disparaged AT&T Gigapower as being too expensive. I noticed that in the last few days, they have reduced their monthly costs by $50. 3yr rate lock, 1 yr contract. If it were available to me, i would seriously consider it now. I think their current rates are quite reasonable. I am sure GFiber coming to town had something to do with the repricing, but i am sure they wouldn't admit it. I just wish i had access to them or GFiber.

It is great to finally get some competition in the area. thank you Google.
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post #15379 of 15384 Old 04-02-2015, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by NCCaniac View Post
Any internet-based streaming TV service will require some type of set-top box ...
Not necessarily, at least not for every receiving TV. IIRC, FiOS's IP TV service generated QAM on their main box and could distribute QAM (possibly including clear QAM for local channels?) to TVs equipped with CableCard slots (and clear QAM tuners?). Still, I'd be surprised if the vast majority of FiOS customers did NOT have STBs on every TV.
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post #15380 of 15384 Old 04-02-2015, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drill View Post
About a week ago, I disparaged AT&T Gigapower as being too expensive. I noticed that in the last few days, they have reduced their monthly costs by $50. 3yr rate lock, 1 yr contract. If it were available to me, i would seriously consider it now. I think their current rates are quite reasonable. I am sure GFiber coming to town had something to do with the repricing, but i am sure they wouldn't admit it. I just wish i had access to them or GFiber.

It is great to finally get some competition in the area. thank you Google.
Yup. Google has not even offered service to one neighborhood in Wake County yet and already TWC and AT&T Gigapower have dropped their prices to compete in a hope to not lose customers. Nothing like a little competition.
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post #15381 of 15384 Old Yesterday, 07:22 AM
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I'm in Raleigh and have been using my Windows HTPC coupled with HDHomerun tuners to create a DVR for my house. With this change I'll be unable to utilize the analog stations that my analog tuner is picking up. My question is in regards to what TWC requires for a triple play. They have a deal where I can get all three services, high speed internet, digital tv(with cablecard), and phone for a decent price. The problem is that I use my own modem and I know they would try to get me to use their combination VOIP/HSP Modem. Is it possible to buy a triple play but not actually use their modem?
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post #15382 of 15384 Old Yesterday, 03:15 PM
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Is it possible to buy a triple play but not actually use their modem?
I was wondering the same thing about the phone service. If I get a triple-play package do I have to hook up their phone service?

I was quoted $89 for "Preferred" TV + 15mbps net, or $89 for the same TV package + 30mbps net + phone, but I like the way Vonage has worked for us over the past few years (the iphone/ipad app alone is reason to keep it).
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post #15383 of 15384 Unread Today, 06:57 AM
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I was wondering the same thing about the phone service. If I get a triple-play package do I have to hook up their phone service?

I was quoted $89 for "Preferred" TV + 15mbps net, or $89 for the same TV package + 30mbps net + phone, but I like the way Vonage has worked for us over the past few years (the iphone/ipad app alone is reason to keep it).
The only thing I fear is that they are required to have the phone service work due to a 911 regulation that I'm purely speculating.
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post #15384 of 15384 Unread Today, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dvsmith View Post
I was wondering the same thing about the phone service. If I get a triple-play package do I have to hook up their phone service?

I was quoted $89 for "Preferred" TV + 15mbps net, or $89 for the same TV package + 30mbps net + phone, but I like the way Vonage has worked for us over the past few years (the iphone/ipad app alone is reason to keep it).
You can use your own modem for Internet and they'll give you a second, VoIP compatible, modem free of charge for the phone service.
If you don't want their phone service, look into other packages ... I found that the TV+Internet packages still cost less than triple play. I use Google Voice for phone service via an Obihai device. I tacked on CallCentric for 911 support and my total phone bill is $1.50 a month.

Raleigh, NC 

Sony KDL-60NX720

TWC 8742HDC

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