Originally Posted by JHBrandt
I seriously doubt that encrypting the locals would make any difference in your cable bill. A cable MSO can easily deal with cable thieves by encrypting the cable-only channels. I doubt even one person in a thousand would steal cable only
to get local stations.
I agree they shouldn't mark every encrypted channel as copy-protected though. (Slightly OT, but my understanding is that Comcast encrypts everything but only copy-protects the premium channels, while TWC leaves the local channels in the clear, but copy-protects everything else!)
I think the reason Joe started this discussion is that encrypting everything (even the locals) makes all QAM devices useless unless they support CableCARDs. That's a lot of equipment to brick. And even if all your devices do accept CableCARDs, you're likely paying your cable company every month for those cards. Probably not much, but it adds up over time. Ideally, I'd think a cable company should leave the local channels in the clear so QAM tuners could get them, encrypt the other channels to deter cable thieves, and only copy-protect HBO, Showtime, etc.
What would reduce those rebroadcast fees, though, is a cable version of DirecTV's AM21 OTA tuner that would let you hook an antenna up to your cable box, thus avoiding the fee, but still integrate the OTA channels with the cable channels so you didn't have to switch inputs, remotes, or guides. Such a tuner would also eliminate the temporary loss of some local channels whenever there's a spat between the cable co. and some TV station ownership group (which seem to be happening more and more often). I've heard rumors some cable companies are looking at this idea, and I hope the rumors are correct.
I do think that cable thiefs are causing cable bills to go up every year. It seems that cable companies are constantly battling the local network franchises about the fees. So, if they have to pay those fees, why should someone who is clearly stealing the feed not pay for it?
I would love to decouple local TV from my cable service on the bill side. I have physically done that in our house, but we are still paying for it.
Ideally, I would love to get just the channels we watch, and not pay for the rest of the junk, but it is not offered.
Instead of paying $65/month for the triple play, I would love to get rid of the local rebroadcast, and channels that we don't watch and pay $40 for the triple play. We'd still get the internet and phone, but only the channels that we watch. I have already removed them from the guide listing. So, instead of 1000+ channels, we only have 25-30 in the guide that we watch regularly.
Once the providers start encrypting everything, there is really no need for TV manufacturers to install ClearQAM tuners, which will lower the cost of the TV by $5 -$10. How many TVs sold today have NTSC tuner in them?
They will just come with ATSC.
As to bricking a lot of TV's.... back in the late 90's early 2000's many TV's came with CableCard tuners, and slots to install cable cards. It was great! You did not need an STB, you'd just get a CableCard from the provider, and were done.
Then Cable Labs changed the standard, and all those tuners became obsolete since there was no way to update/upgrade them in the field.
The only similar solution to this, today is to use the DLNA enabled TV with a Silicon Dust HomeRun Prime running Beta firmware over the network. Where the TV can tune SDHRP over the network without the need for an STB.