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Are All Your QAM Channels Scrambled? - Page 2

post #31 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by gring40 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedlaw View Post

......... The FCC agreed to overall allow QAM scrambling except for broadcast OTA channels....the exception was NYC, where they were allowed to scramble everything.
Really? The only exception is NYC, and the locals remain Clear QAM everywhere else?

I think we're talking about two different rulings. Last December the FCC issued a rule. I believe the new rule allows all cable companies to encrypt anything they want to.

But before that, New York Cablevision had requested a waiver from the earlier rule, which required them to keep all the basic channels unscrambled. The FCC gave them a full waiver for NYC and a partial waiver for suburbs. The partial waiver allowed Cablevision to encrypt everything except local OTA channels in the suburbs.

The new December rule would presumably let Cablevision encrypt the locals even in the suburbs now, but it sounds as if they haven't done so (at least, not yet).

So far, only NYC and parts of Minneapolis have confirmed the loss of clear local channels on cable. I'm still trying to find out about Houston.
post #32 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

So far, only NYC and parts of Minneapolis have confirmed the loss of clear local channels on cable. I'm still trying to find out about Houston.

Thanks. I know it's not always easy to verify the total loss of clear QAM. If I lost QVC or HSN it might take me a year to notice. Luckily on my Sony DVR & TV the channel count is only clear and analog channels. Without a cable card a rescan is part of life.

post #33 of 460
In Peoria Illinois - just got a letter from Comcast that all channels will be scrambled on July 9th.

Limited basic only customers will be eligible for 2 devices for 2 years while higher levels can get 1 device for 1 year free according to the letter.

I'll report back when they actually go dark.
post #34 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod7501 View Post

In Peoria Illinois - just got a letter from Comcast that all channels will be scrambled on July 9th.

Limited basic only customers will be eligible for 2 devices for 2 years while higher levels can get 1 device for 1 year free according to the letter.

I'll report back when they actually go dark.

Many thanks. Please come back when tragedy strikes. Do you use any clear QAM now?

post #35 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

Many thanks. Please come back when tragedy strikes. Do you use any clear QAM now?
Not a lot. I feed the Weather Channel throughout the house (background image with radio audio ) using a DVD Recorder's QAM tuner and a modulator and record some odd shows on a PC with a MyHD tuner card. (usually when OTA reception is poor due to weather or reception issues - or I run out of tuners when TV show schedules conflict)

I had hoped Cable companies would leverage Clear QAM as a benefit, since the ability to tune channels without a box was a major distinction between Cable and satellite. I didn't realize how much they hated "truck runs". I personally think the "theft of service" issue (which is real) is also overstated.
post #36 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod7501 View Post


Not a lot. I feed the Weather Channel throughout the house (background image with radio audio ) using a DVD Recorder's QAM tuner and a modulator and record some odd shows on a PC with a MyHD tuner card. (usually when OTA reception is poor due to weather or reception issues - or I run out of tuners when TV show schedules conflict)

I had hoped Cable companies would leverage Clear QAM as a benefit, since the ability to tune channels without a box was a major distinction between Cable and satellite. I didn't realize how much they hated "truck runs". I personally think the "theft of service" issue (which is real) is also overstated.

I agree on both points. Theft could be an issue for major metro areas, but only a minor issue. Truck roll reduction means people reduction, not to mention training (what there is) for the cable companies. Even my small supplier farms out work.

 

Clear QAM is hard for many users since the channels numbers can be tough at first. My feed has them on their web site. I'm lucky to have a Sony that allows labeling of channel names and a very good "favorites" function. But I don't pretend to know what evil lurks in the minds of the big cable companies.

post #37 of 460
Finally heard from someone in Houston. Comcast still has some clear QAM channels there. The "scramble all channels" movement may be proceeding, but only very slowly.
post #38 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Finally heard from someone in Houston. Comcast still has some clear QAM channels there. The "scramble all channels" movement may be proceeding, but only very slowly.

I guess no news is good news.

 

You asked a while ago if my cable company would offer a clear channel the excludes "locals". I wonder what kind of subscriber base they would get if it only had QVC, HSN, and INSP? If you don't include the soaps you might as well flip the switch and sell dish systems.


Edited by JoeKustra - 6/14/13 at 1:07pm
post #39 of 460
Actually, QVC and HSN are over-the-air channels in DFW rolleyes.gif Probably elsewhere too. I know HSN owns several LPTV stations around the US....
post #40 of 460
Thread Starter 

All digital does not mean all scrambled:

 

http://www.fiercecable.com/story/charter-converts-texas-systems-all-digital-platform/2013-06-18?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal

post #41 of 460
Yes, the incentives for going all-digital are stronger: the MSO can replace each analog channel with many digital ones, and since clear QAM tuners are widely available, there's not much push-back from subscribers.

The main incentive for going all-scrambled seems to be that the MSO can turn off your service without having to send someone out to physically disconnect it. Additional incentives are the extra revenue from leasing equipment and/or CableCARDs and from gathering & selling info about TV watching habits, and of course preventing theft of service. But there's more push-back from subscribers who want to use their own equipment, so it's a closer call for the MSO.

Comcast and Cablevision may be moving that way, but I've heard some cable companies (the specific name I've heard is Cox) are even using clear QAM as a selling point vs. satellite, so they're unlikely to go all-scrambled anytime soon. We'll have to see which way Charter goes.
post #42 of 460
Time Warner Cable in San Diego still has all locals (at least 5 channels including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS) in clear QAM HD, but all else is scrambled digital. Also, channels 2-69 (or somewhere near there) are still available in analog NTSC.
post #43 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pf2008 View Post

Time Warner Cable in San Diego still has all locals (at least 5 channels including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS) in clear QAM HD, but all else is scrambled digital. Also, channels 2-69 (or somewhere near there) are still available in analog NTSC.

Thanks for the feedback. Your situation is becoming the normal for many cable feeds. For $20 a month my mother gets 22 analog channels and the networks (QVC?) are still duplicated in clear QAM HD. The company doesn't have to do this, but smaller companies tend to change slower since their subscriber base is smaller. Perhaps stealing cable is harder in rural areas so they choose to save the money. I don't know.

post #44 of 460
Comcast in the Peoria, Illinois area has now encrypted all channels, as promised. No analog signals at all (they went away long ago) but 2 digital signals - a "Barker" channel, telling you that you need an adapter and an emergency warning info screen.

Trying to scan the QAM channels may lock up your tuner and force you to power off (or pull the plug on some), disconnect the coax, power on and delete the offending channel, then proceed. (to even see the EAS screen or the "need an adapter" program)
post #45 of 460
I just got a letter from Cable One (Kirksville, Mo though Cable One operates elsewhere) that over next few months, everything will be encrypted. Recently we have seen new stations (hidef) unencrypted. So that is going away.
Everything will be encrypted even OTA channels.

So I call the cable company and say that I need a box.

Or a tv with a cable card slot. The FCC mandates that cable companies will have to sell you a cable card.

But so far I have no tvs with a cable card slot.

Apparently I can buy a different cable box with a cable card slot.

I have several dvr/dvd writers (the only ones left are Philips/Magnavox--I see them at Wal-mart. I guess they will be bricks.

Of course the reason as they see it as piracy. If you want to save anything permanently like on a dvd and you don't want to use a computer, you are screwed (I guess). The cable boxes typically don't come with outputs. They may however with usb ports and so maybe some stuff could be put on a flash drive. But I am not sure how to do this. I am able to put hidef mp4 files on a flash drive and play them on a blu-ray player with a usb port.

Basic question: are there any tvs with a cable card slot?
post #46 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod7501 View Post

Comcast in the Peoria, Illinois area has now encrypted all channels, as promised. No analog signals at all (they went away long ago) but 2 digital signals - a "Barker" channel, telling you that you need an adapter and an emergency warning info screen.

Trying to scan the QAM channels may lock up your tuner and force you to power off (or pull the plug on some), disconnect the coax, power on and delete the offending channel, then proceed. (to even see the EAS screen or the "need an adapter" program)

I appreciate your contribution. I thought July would bring news since corporate quarterly reports and events are normal. You have my sympathy. I assume you are getting this from more than your television?

post #47 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brycej@truman.ed View Post

I just got a letter from Cable One (Kirksville, Mo though Cable One operates elsewhere) that over next few months, everything will be encrypted. Recently we have seen new stations (hidef) unencrypted. So that is going away.
Everything will be encrypted even OTA channels.

So I call the cable company and say that I need a box.

Or a tv with a cable card slot. The FCC mandates that cable companies will have to sell you a cable card.

But so far I have no tvs with a cable card slot.

Apparently I can buy a different cable box with a cable card slot.

I have several dvr/dvd writers (the only ones left are Philips/Magnavox--I see them at Wal-mart. I guess they will be bricks.

Of course the reason as they see it as piracy. If you want to save anything permanently like on a dvd and you don't want to use a computer, you are screwed (I guess). The cable boxes typically don't come with outputs. They may however with usb ports and so maybe some stuff could be put on a flash drive. But I am not sure how to do this. I am able to put hidef mp4 files on a flash drive and play them on a blu-ray player with a usb port.

Basic question: are there any tvs with a cable card slot?

To the best of my knowledge, televisions with cable card slots are no longer manufactured. If they brick those Magnavox DVDR machines Funai will be very unhappy. So will I since I have two. And they are not HD.

 

Actually most cable boxes do have analog RWY outputs but they can be disabled. Cable companies don't have to sell you a cable card but they should rent you one for a price that varies from free to $5 a month. Only device selling now with a cable card slot is the TiVo (to my knowledge). When you go dark come back and let me know. Thanks for the information.

post #48 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

Only device selling now with a cable card slot is the TiVo (to my knowledge).
Ceton and SiliconDust sell CableCARD tuners for computers.
post #49 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post


Ceton and SiliconDust sell CableCARD tuners for computers.

 

I didn't want to bring up HTPC solutions since I have little experience in that area. After looking at the Cable One web site, I could find no mention of QAM either. It was perhaps the most un-technical site I have ever seen.

post #50 of 460
I called Panasonic and Samsung. Even their pig-screen 72 inchers have no cable card slot.. They used to Cable One will rent you a $3 cable card and I guess you might be able to use it with other cable boxes. Everything will go encrypted in Sept. or before. I have 3 dvr/dvd recorders and I guess they will become bricks. We actually record documentaries from dvr to dvd. Looks like that is dead unless I go the computer route. Will Tivo work? I think they have a cable card slot and do they export shows to things other than the flatscreen.

Cable One is thinking of going the Tivo route rather than using their own dvr.
post #51 of 460
You can export shows from either a TiVo or a PC, provided they aren't flagged copy-once.
post #52 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brycej@truman.ed View Post

I called Panasonic and Samsung. Even their pig-screen 72 inchers have no cable card slot.. They used to Cable One will rent you a $3 cable card and I guess you might be able to use it with other cable boxes. Everything will go encrypted in Sept. or before. I have 3 dvr/dvd recorders and I guess they will become bricks. We actually record documentaries from dvr to dvd. Looks like that is dead unless I go the computer route. Will Tivo work? I think they have a cable card slot and do they export shows to things other than the flatscreen.

Cable One is thinking of going the Tivo route rather than using their own dvr.

Many cable companies are using TiVo now. For data and more information:

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1232191/the-official-avs-tivo-series4-premiere-topic/0_50

 

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=67

 

http://support.tivo.com/

 

My cable company uses Pace now but is moving to Arris.

 

Yes, the TiVo has one cable card slot and has several tools to move programs to a PC or other TiVo. Sounds like you will have plenty to read at the beach this year. smile.gif

post #53 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

I appreciate your contribution. I thought July would bring news since corporate quarterly reports and events are normal. You have my sympathy. I assume you are getting this from more than your television?
2 Tuner cards in PC, DVD/VCR recorder, TVs. Since I never watch anything live, my cable boxes feed PC capture cards and a DVR along with many OTA boxes with an antenna that picks up 3 markets. I was only using the clear QAM tuners for background video in my home AV distribution system. Most of my cable package has been encrypted for a year and there are rarely any TV shows OTA that I watch, so I adjusted last July to using cable boxes.
post #54 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedlaw View Post

The FCC agreed to overall allow QAM scrambling except for broadcast OTA channels....the exception was NYC, where they were allowed to scramble everything.
Up north, Canada, the CRTC have absolutely nothing concerning QAM scrambling. There are no cable cards either.

Montreal's cable provider, Videotron, scrambles everything except the FM radio stations, barker channels and the majority of free video-on-demand QAMs that your neighbours ordered, comes with the pause, rewind and fast-forward results. On the other hand, paying customers have à la carte choices, with a few exceptions, like Fox's Speed Channel so if you want it, you need to pick a package that contains it... and you guessed it, pay for a bunch of channels you don't watch and want.

Some other canadian cable providers like Rogers leave some specialty channels unscrambled in their QAM, but they don't advertise it, enjoy this little secret while it lasts.
Edited by CDJBleah - 7/11/13 at 1:32pm
post #55 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod7501 View Post

Comcast in the Peoria, Illinois area has now encrypted all channels, as promised. No analog signals at all (they went away long ago) but 2 digital signals - a "Barker" channel, telling you that you need an adapter and an emergency warning info screen.

It has been that way in Decatur, Illinois since 6/25. I saved the letter from Comcast. The only dvd recorder affected was in my spare bedroom as the main Magnavox dvr/dvd was already over the air tuning. I ran a new ota rg6 from the basement to the Philips dvd and all is well. I have a dta tuner in that room also so the granddaughter can watch Sponge Bob and get out of our hair. So in that room I can record cable from the video out on my TV, just as I record cable from the AV system in the living room.
post #56 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDJBleah View Post


Up north, Canada, the CRTC have absolutely nothing converning QAM scrambling. There are no cable cards either.

Montreal's cable provider, Videotron, scrambles everything except the FM radio stations, barker channels and the majority of free video-on-demand QAMs that your neighbours ordered, comes with the pause, rewind and fast-forward results. On the other hand, paying customers have à la carte choices, with a few exceptions, like Fox's Speed Channel so if you want it, you need to pick a package that contains it... and you guessed it, pay for a bunch of channels you don't watch and want.

 
Originally Posted by mirayge View Post


It has been that way in Decatur, Illinois since 6/25. I saved the letter from Comcast.
 

Thank you both. I would love to see a proposal for putting all the sports channels in their own tier. I'm not sure Disney would allow that though.

post #57 of 460
Minneapolis Minnesota area (and surrounding areas)

Comcast....no analog, Lifeline is in the clear QAM, above that scrambled
Charter.......some analog channels left in lifeline....all lifeline is in the clear QAM, above that scrambled
Mediacom....still in analog (lifeline and family cable....think cable before digital)....also in QAM. Lifeline locals in HD, everything else in SD and in the clear
post #58 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclehonkey View Post

Minneapolis Minnesota area (and surrounding areas)

Comcast....no analog, Lifeline is in the clear QAM, above that scrambled
Charter.......some analog channels left in lifeline....all lifeline is in the clear QAM, above that scrambled
Mediacom....still in analog (lifeline and family cable....think cable before digital)....also in QAM. Lifeline locals in HD, everything else in SD and in the clear

Thanks for the feedback. I've discovered that so many don't know that they have no clear QAM since they don't miss what they never knew they had. Maybe I miscalculated when I started this thread. But I'll keep it going, perhaps just out of spite.

 

I do expect loss of analog to happen at a faster rate since bandwidth is a terrible thing to waste.

post #59 of 460
Charter in St. Cloud, MN still offers basic-service channels in unscrambled analog, along with clear-QAM digital versions of local Minneapolis stations--only premium/unsubscribed channels are scrambled.

But their digital side seems to do something wonky with channel assignments--the channel-2.x PBS digital service one day became 77.x. And the 5.x ABC channel confuses the tuners on both my Funai recorders (but not on our Samsung TV) so that timer recordings can't find the main channel (5.1) and stepping through sequentially goes 4.x, 5.4, (quick display of 9.1), 5.1. I take it that this is some kind of frequency-reassignment process that confuses the Funai QAM tuners.

Don't know what will happen once their current contract with the city is renewed, though. The city ran a customer-satisfaction survey in the run-up to negotiations and got lots and lots of complaints, mostly about price. The new contract will run for another ten years, which strikes me as a license to steal, with the city getting a slice of it in fees--close to $1M/yr all up. So I'm not hopeful that our representatives will really be advocating for us.

But that's more than you asked for, Joe--apologies for the venting.
post #60 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rletson View Post

Charter in St. Cloud, MN still offers basic-service channels in unscrambled analog, along with clear-QAM digital versions of local Minneapolis stations--only premium/unsubscribed channels are scrambled.

But their digital side seems to do something wonky with channel assignments--the channel-2.x PBS digital service one day became 77.x. And the 5.x ABC channel confuses the tuners on both my Funai recorders (but not on our Samsung TV) so that timer recordings can't find the main channel (5.1) and stepping through sequentially goes 4.x, 5.4, (quick display of 9.1), 5.1. I take it that this is some kind of frequency-reassignment process that confuses the Funai QAM tuners.

Don't know what will happen once their current contract with the city is renewed, though. The city ran a customer-satisfaction survey in the run-up to negotiations and got lots and lots of complaints, mostly about price. The new contract will run for another ten years, which strikes me as a license to steal, with the city getting a slice of it in fees--close to $1M/yr all up. So I'm not hopeful that our representatives will really be advocating for us.

But that's more than you asked for, Joe--apologies for the venting.

Vent all you wish. Funai tuners are not real high on my Christmas list. I have a 2160A and a 515A BUT I have no PSIP on my cable signals. If your cable feed or the originating channels are having problems, you're the one who gets screwed. You could send an email to the station or cable local office and ask if they are having PSIP problems. At least that is free and may fix the channel problems. Good luck.

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