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Are All Your QAM Channels Scrambled? - Page 4

post #91 of 460
Comcast in Nashua, NH (part of the Boston region) began encrypting ALL digital channels on August 7, rendering two secondary TVs with QAM tuners and two PCs with QAM tuners unusable. I sent a complaint letter to my local CongressCritter and received a reply with the following helpful tidbit: "FCC pilot programs indicated that only a fraction of the market was impacted by the switch to encrypted carriage"
post #92 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by jadziedzic View Post

Comcast in Nashua, NH (part of the Boston region) began encrypting ALL digital channels on August 7, rendering two secondary TVs with QAM tuners and two PCs with QAM tuners unusable. I sent a complaint letter to my local CongressCritter and received a reply with the following helpful tidbit: "FCC pilot programs indicated that only a fraction of the market was impacted by the switch to encrypted carriage"
The FCC definition of "impacted" claims that if you already had ONE DTA or Cable Box, then you are NOT significantly impacted regardless of how many other devices were disabled. They puffed the same smoke screen when "Expanded Basic" went digital here.
post #93 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jadziedzic View Post

Comcast in Nashua, NH (part of the Boston region) began encrypting ALL digital channels on August 7, rendering two secondary TVs with QAM tuners and two PCs with QAM tuners unusable. I sent a complaint letter to my local CongressCritter and received a reply with the following helpful tidbit: "FCC pilot programs indicated that only a fraction of the market was impacted by the switch to encrypted carriage"

Thanks for the information. Sorry for your loss.

post #94 of 460
Waiting for that shoe to drop in my area, and I thought Comcast had to give notice of the change (30 days?); has that been happening in practice?
post #95 of 460
Londonderry headend basic channels are still unscrambled but it seems like they could disappear Real Soon.
If you look at the notes on your monthly bill, good chance there is a notice about the change in advance.

I'm actually looking forward to excuse to dump comcast's 7Mpbs $49.95 service, after evaluating the likely-slower Fairpoint DSL service at half the price.

Me and my gamer-kid can probably deal with 3Mbps DSL as long as latency is low and if he avoids hosting minecraft servers for more than ~3 people.
Maybe we'll get lucky and have faster-than-3Mbps DSL at our place.
A downside is netflix streaming doesn't work over 3Mbps, last time I checked.

To be ready for the time when I'll be evaluating DSL against comcast's 'performance starter' $49.95 service,
I've got my patch-panel/etc ready for attaching to my vintage ~2001 OTA DTV UHF YAGI, and detaching the comcast wire from all the TV outlets.
Also got channelmaster 7000 DVR ready to go... (Looking at the real-soon-now channelmaster K77 too).
post #96 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gring40 View Post

Waiting for that shoe to drop in my area, and I thought Comcast had to give notice of the change (30 days?); has that been happening in practice?

So far there is no verified decision either way. Most cable feeds don't even acknowledge QAM exists.

post #97 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tveli View Post

Londonderry headend basic channels are still unscrambled but it seems like they could disappear Real Soon.
If you look at the notes on your monthly bill, good chance there is a notice about the change in advance.

I'm actually looking forward to excuse to dump comcast's 7Mpbs $49.95 service, after evaluating the likely-slower Fairpoint DSL service at half the price.

Me and my gamer-kid can probably deal with 3Mbps DSL as long as latency is low and if he avoids hosting minecraft servers for more than ~3 people.
Maybe we'll get lucky and have faster-than-3Mbps DSL at our place.
A downside is netflix streaming doesn't work over 3Mbps, last time I checked.

To be ready for the time when I'll be evaluating DSL against comcast's 'performance starter' $49.95 service,
I've got my patch-panel/etc ready for attaching to my vintage ~2001 OTA DTV UHF YAGI, and detaching the comcast wire from all the TV outlets.
Also got channelmaster 7000 DVR ready to go... (Looking at the real-soon-now channelmaster K77 too).

It's important to plan ahead. I expect the best but plan for the worst. I have one small TiVo.

post #98 of 460
Your TiVo uses a CableCARD so it'll still work if they encrypt, right? (But you'd lose your clear QAM equipment)
post #99 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Your TiVo uses a CableCARD so it'll still work if they encrypt, right? (But you'd lose your clear QAM equipment)

100% correct.

post #100 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

All digital is nice. But did you mean all scrambled? You can't watch TV without a STB or other device? Clear QAM doesn't need a box but the channel numbers may make some unhappy.
No more clear QAM channels.
post #101 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickinct View Post

No more clear QAM channels.
Seems to be a trend for Comcast in the NE. Their HQ is in Philly.
post #102 of 460
The trouble with your sample chart, Wajo, is that it doesn't allow for what different providers may do in the same DMA, or even the same provider in different franchises within a DMA.
post #103 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

I guess I should have said "Simple Chart" then, eh? smile.gif

I appreciate your effort. It shows how the FCC has such a small idea what is happening in the cable world. Well, maybe not just the FCC. It's scary out there.
post #104 of 460
Besides, a chart with room for every entry for every franchise would be awfully long.

We're still getting some unscrambled QAM channels from Comcast in Chicago Area 2; I ran a rescan this morning.
post #105 of 460
The clear-QAM ABC & NBC affiliates HDTV & subchannels disappeared from the Londonderry NH cable system this week, just in time for the first NFL game of the season.
Also it looks like most /all of the 4:3/480i/non-HDTV versions of *all* the HD channels are gone too. The weather channel HD is still there!

Now that Comcast internet doesn't provide clear-QAM DTV on their wire, it's time to evaluate the DSL offerings locally.
If DSL can provide low latency for telecommuting & kids' gaming, and throughput enough downstream for netflix streaming,
and throughput enough upstream a 4-client minecraft server, that would be win/win/win/win. biggrin.gif

From what I'm reading, even after the 3-year-promotional-prices offered locally, it looks like the DSL standard pricing is lower than comcast's for the same type of service.
post #106 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tveli View Post

The clear-QAM ABC & NBC affiliates HDTV & subchannels disappeared from the Londonderry NH cable system this week, just in time for the first NFL game of the season.
Also it looks like most /all of the 4:3/480i/non-HDTV versions of *all* the HD channels are gone too. The weather channel HD is still there!

Now that Comcast internet doesn't provide clear-QAM DTV on their wire, it's time to evaluate the DSL offerings locally.
If DSL can provide low latency for telecommuting & kids' gaming, and throughput enough downstream for netflix streaming,
and throughput enough upstream a 4-client minecraft server, that would be win/win/win/win. biggrin.gif

From what I'm reading, even after the 3-year-promotional-prices offered locally, it looks like the DSL standard pricing is lower than comcast's for the same type of service.

 

Thanks for the feedback. Seems Comcast is working on New England first. Let me know when you lose it all since keeping weather may have been a mistake. Sorry for your loss.

 

Check on DSL. I tried to move my line to a new location this week but there were no ports. DSL is really local.

post #107 of 460
found the missing abc & nbc HD channels had moved and are now channel 116 subchannels. evidently the psip data is such that they don't show up on their 'home' channel numbers any more.
post #108 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tveli View Post

found the missing abc & nbc HD channels had moved and are now channel 116 subchannels. evidently the psip data is such that they don't show up on their 'home' channel numbers any more.

 

I know how you feel. My "local" broadcast channels are all combined like yours, meaning the PSIP data has been removed. We're not losing any quality since the ABC & Fox channels are 720p. A small difference, but better than two 1080i channels being combined (unless it's QVC and HSN).

 

But they aren't scrambled.

post #109 of 460
I lost my clear qam on Saturday before the NFL week 1. i was beyond irritated. i ill b looking at cutting cable.

dan
Roseville, CA
post #110 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielMon View Post

I lost my clear qam on Saturday before the NFL week 1. i was beyond irritated. i ill b looking at cutting cable.

dan
Roseville, CA

 

Thanks Dan. Who is your cable company?

post #111 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by tveli View Post


A downside is netflix streaming doesn't work over 3Mbps, last time I checked. .

I am using Netflix over a 3 MB connection (through my almost brand new 55" Vizio TV Netflix app). The picture is very good - not HD good, but certainly DVD good. Give it a try - it should work fine.
post #112 of 460
Apologies if this is off-topic as I just joined AVS to be able to post this, but we have Time Warner Cable in NYC, which we view on a standard set top box connected to an old (tube!) TV, as well as on an HTPC with a Ceton InfiniTV 4 card.

TW recently announced that it's going all-digital in our area by mid-October or so, which is no problem since these 2 devices are digital so we're covered (we also ordered several DTAs to use with TVs that are directly connected to the cable w/o STBs, but that's a separate issue).

I'm not sure if TW will also start encrypting all Clear-QAM channels (but, again, that shouldn't be a problem since we have or will soon have the equipment to handle encrypted digital channels).

However, I just found out today that TW has also begun to copy-protect some basic channels. Specifically, CSPAN, which to my recollection it has never copy-protected before, both its SD and HD channels. I sometimes record and save CSPAN shows, after editing them, using something basic like Windows MovieMaker since it's cuts-only, and the copy protection makes that impossible.

Does anyone know anything about whether this is the trend, that in addition to converting all channels to digital (making analog TVs obsolete w/o a DTA or STB), and then encrypting all channels (making Clear-QAM tuners useless), cable companies are now also starting to copy-protect all channels, and not just premium ones?

If so, this doesn't just prevent people from editing and saving favorite shows, but also from viewing them on other PCs or devices, except through a media extender or some other approved device or protocol.

Again, apologies if this is off-topic or on the wrong forum.
post #113 of 460
Full disclosure: I have satellite, not cable, so I have no first-hand experience with these matters. But I do try to keep up with what the cable companies are doing.

Time-Warner hasn't been too bad about encrypting all channels. They seem to leave the locals, at least, in the clear. But they're notorious for setting the copy-once flag on just about everything they do encrypt, even when it makes no sense (C-SPAN, as you mentioned).

I don't think it's a trend, though; at least not yet. Comcast has been the biggest company pushing to get everything encrypted, but I don't think they've been nearly as zealous as TWC with the copy-once flag. Verizon Fios also only copy-protects premium channels, according to what I've heard. You might explore Fios as an alternative if it's available to you, and you find TWC's copy protection intolerable.

I'm not sure about U-Verse. (I tried to get U-Verse once but AT&T couldn't get it working at my home.) I think their technology is a little different than Fios: it looked almost like everything was SDV, so you had to use AT&T's DTA's; making it more like satellite than cable. Maybe a U-Verse customer could fill us in.

I can't predict the future any better than anyone else, but I suspect companies will push things like encryption and copy protection as far as they can, unless/until the push-back from their customers gets to be too much. So you might be doing us all a favor if you complain to TWC about silly things like copy-protecting C-SPAN (and if you switch, let them know why).
post #114 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Full disclosure: I have satellite, not cable, so I have no first-hand experience with these matters. But I do try to keep up with what the cable companies are doing.

Time-Warner hasn't been too bad about encrypting all channels. They seem to leave the locals, at least, in the clear. But they're notorious for setting the copy-once flag on just about everything they do encrypt, even when it makes no sense (C-SPAN, as you mentioned).

I don't think it's a trend, though; at least not yet. Comcast has been the biggest company pushing to get everything encrypted, but I don't think they've been nearly as zealous as TWC with the copy-once flag. Verizon Fios also only copy-protects premium channels, according to what I've heard. You might explore Fios as an alternative if it's available to you, and you find TWC's copy protection intolerable.

I'm not sure about U-Verse. (I tried to get U-Verse once but AT&T couldn't get it working at my home.) I think their technology is a little different than Fios: it looked almost like everything was SDV, so you had to use AT&T's DTA's; making it more like satellite than cable. Maybe a U-Verse customer could fill us in.

I can't predict the future any better than anyone else, but I suspect companies will push things like encryption and copy protection as far as they can, unless/until the push-back from their customers gets to be too much. So you might be doing us all a favor if you complain to TWC about silly things like copy-protecting C-SPAN (and if you switch, let them know why).

Thanks for the reply. Unlike many I'm not that concerned about encryption as that ship has long since sailed and is not coming back, and we're all going to need some sort of device to view all the channels we're paying for eventually (although it does seem kind of silly with digital broadcast channels along with basic ones like CSPAN and shopping channels).

You need a STB to get a channel guide and use on-demand and PPV anyway, and CableCard TV tuners like the Ceton aren't that expensive anymore. And in any case the move towards internet-based TV, smart TVs and viewing TV on non-TV devices will eventually make all that (and these devices) moot.

However, this copy protection thing for basic channels seems rather silly to me, and I'm not sure why TWC is doing it since it doesn't appear to be coming from the actual content providers given that many carriers aren't enforcing copy protection. When I lived in Seattle Comcast, for all its problems, set copy protection only for premium channels, meaning the ones that didn't come with most plans and that you had to pay extra for a la carte, like HBO.

But CSPAN? Is there an underground network of cable thieves trading old CSPAN broadcasts of House Agriculture Committee hearings regarding crop subsidies and bovine vaccinations, or perhaps every speech ever given by Janet Reno and Michael "Brownie" Brown? Huh?!?

I hope it's just a fluke and they'll soon fix it. I will call and ask them about it, and ask them to remove it. I wish they'd remove it from all non-premium channels to allow me to watch recorded shows on other computers and devices at home (or away from home, once I set that up again).

Or, maybe I'll just switch to FiOS at last.
post #115 of 460
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeRider64 View Post


But CSPAN? Is there an underground network of cable thieves trading old CSPAN broadcasts of House Agriculture Committee hearings regarding crop subsidies and bovine vaccinations, or perhaps every speech ever given by Janet Reno and Michael "Brownie" Brown? Huh?!?

I hope it's just a fluke and they'll soon fix it. I will call and ask them about it, and ask them to remove it. I wish they'd remove it from all non-premium channels to allow me to watch recorded shows on other computers and devices at home (or away from home, once I set that up again).

Or, maybe I'll just switch to FiOS at last.

Like JH said, it might be a mistake. I would call your local office to check. If it has really been scrambled, email your local Rep, Senator, etc. and ask them why. My bet is on a mistake.

post #116 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

Like JH said, it might be a mistake. I would call your local office to check. If it has really been scrambled, email your local Rep, Senator, etc. and ask them why. My bet is on a mistake.

The scrambling isn't the issue as I have a CableCard tuner that can handle that. The problem is the copy protection. I was on the phone with TWC just now and no one seems to know anything about this, including the department dedicated to CableCard support. Perhaps CSPAN was always supposed to be copy protected on TWC and someone just realized that for some reason it wasn't, and fixed it. Or maybe it wasn't copy protected before but they decided to make it so now, for whatever reasons.

So, basically, unless this changes back or I switch to FiOS, I can record and watch CSPAN on my PC, but not on another PC or TV (unless it has a media extender or its own tuner), nor can I edit and save it on ANY PC.

To be honest, this is a sort of mixed blessing for me, as I've tended to spend too much time editing and saving shows, so this will free up some time for me. wink.gif
post #117 of 460
The copy protection comes from the broadcaster not the cable provider.
post #118 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by RollTide2011 View Post

The copy protection comes from the broadcaster not the cable provider.
Incorrect.
post #119 of 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by RollTide2011 View Post

The copy protection comes from the broadcaster not the cable provider.
I believe that copy protection can be introduced almost anywhere in the transmission chain. Once embedded in the video, it remains there through to the end receiver.
post #120 of 460
True that. There are (were) reports up in the 'DVD recorder' forum of recordings unexpectedly aborting from a 'Copy Once' flag slipped into a commercial.
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