Originally Posted by Scooper
Biggest disadvantage I see to using the CECBs as their "digital cable" tuners is that the CECBs are restricted to OTA channels - that means 2-69 - in ATSC ONLY ! (No QAM)
If you can think of a bigger disincentive to cable companies to use a CECB - I'd like to hear it.
Scooper: Presumably, the proposal to offer ATSC via cable would only apply to the "limited basic" or "lifeline" level cable service (local OTA broadcasters plus public access, education and government channels). In most systems, the "limited basic" service tier constitutes 20 to 30 channels. In any event, cable ops are fully capable of migrating channels to whatever ATSC frequency they would like to use within the CECB's channel range. Here are examples of how they could handle the 'government' and 'educational' cable channels in ATSC:
25.1 Municipal Government
25.2 County Government
25.3 State Government
Or how about this for educational channels:
26.1 Local school district
26.2 Community college district
26.3 University of Hard Knocks
I seriously doubt you'd see popular cable network channels cablecast in ATSC - those would be bumped into QAM.
Migrating the remaining (limited basic level) analog cable channels to ATSC digital would actually make good business sense, since it does allow the cable op to free up a lot of bandwidth while not totally "shoving an expensive digital upgrade" down the throats of their limited-basic-cable clients. These "limited basic cable" users would be able to use the government-subsidized CECBs. At the same time, cable cos could still conveniently sell their digital programming packages and digital boxes to anyone wanting more than standard-definition "bare bones" programming.
One drawback: some existing cable-company digital boxes might need firmware updates to correctly receive the ATSC "limited basic" channels.