Sorry to tell you this...but your (early) cable system MUST have been pretty advanced in your area.
Ours (& actually a couple around us) were evidently NOT like yours at all...& we (I) had cable since 1976.
Originally Posted by Ken H
How many TV's could receive any cable TV without a cable box when it first was introduced?
Until about the early 80's...ALL our TV's did, & there were ONLY 12 channels available, including HBO. So yes, EVERY TV got EVERY channel w/out a box.
Oh yea...we ALSO got cable FM service until the late 80's; about 2 dozen (out of area) FM stations available on ANY FM stereo, w/out any boxes.
Now let me ask you another question; How many TV's could receive premium cable channels without a box when they were introduced?
Sorry, as another posted points out, actually MANY system used (negative) traps on the pole to block HBO from non-subs. And on our system, the "trap" was actually a coil of special coax, that was manufactured in a special way, to knock out channel 5. (where HBO was) Eventually, they converted over to the typical "cylinder" type traps.
AND, when our system switched channel 5 from HBO, to Spotlight, THEN to Showtime, they brought back HBO on channel 14. On it they used a positive trap system (the trap filtered out the "scrambling" signal) at the pole - & because of this, as long as you had a cable-ready set, all those sets got HBO w/out their "box" as well.
Now let me ask you another question; How many TV's could receive cable local HD channels without a cable box when they were introduced?
True, but it's really NO different than when (analog) cable-ready sets came out in the 80's. When Insight first added local HD's, NONE were encrypted...but actually QAM tuner TV's were already pretty available by then.
And on our system, when they expanded out to 36 channels in the late 80's, the ONLY stations that were scrambled, were the added pay channels of TMC, MAX, & DISNEY. EVERYTHING else (30+ channels) was in-the-clear & was viewable on any cable-ready set.
It's really very simple. Very little has changed. For pay provider TV, you need a box.
Sorry, but that is NOT an entirely true (blanket) statement - at least for cable TV. I can tell you that ALL these cable systems below, allow you to get ALL local channels, in BOTH SD & HD, as well as the full "expanded basic" SD lineup in digital QAM:http://www.massilloncabletv.com/qamlineup.phphttp://dta.secv.com/info/DTA_Customer_Letter.pdf
(if you see in this letter they send to ALL subs, it specifically states that subs w/digital TV's, can get ALL Classic cable (expanded basic) channels w/NO box)
This cable system does NOT encrypt ANYTHING whatsoever; everything (for premium channels) is done via traps:http://www.huhomenet.com/services/channels.html
BOTH WOW cable & Insight Cable originally DID encrypt all channels above broadcast basic, but did turn it OFF for all SD expanded basic channels, so any QAM TV will work on them. You can find many posts discussing this over at dslreports.com:http://www.dslreports.com/forum/insighthttp://www.dslreports.com/forum/wow
Here's a cable system, that while it encrypts most of it's lineup, DOES openly publish a clear QAM listing of all it's OTA SD & HD channels:http://www.buckeyecablesystem.com/li...x-channels.pdf
There's other systems out there that are similar to this, but I think I've proved my point...