Originally Posted by sregener
Time and again, the FCC has said that digital television is *NOT* covered by the same terms and conditions as analog. You are inferring from this document that digital television is considered legally to be "local broadcast channels." The reasoning behind this is that requiring both would be to require double carriage of broadcast programming - once in analog and once in digital - without any just compensation due to the cable company for the lost bandwidth should local stations invoke "must carry."
Charter Communications does not include HD locals in their basic package, at least in my area. They require a digital subscription in order to receive those channels. If they were in violation of FCC law, something would have been done about this before now. As it is, they've done this for over a year with no response from the FCC.
Nothing is simple....let me know if my understanding of the fol isn't accurate/complete....
In Feb 2001, the FCC did not endorse Dual Must Carry rules released in a Jan 2001 "Report and Order", reportedly because they were "ambiguous" (maybe unconstitutional) and hence MSOs are NOT required to carry both analog and digital versions of local channels that elect the "Must Carry" rule.http://www.gacable.com/images/Digita...Carry-2005.pdf
However, the FCC did endorse the Simplex Digital Must Carry rule for digital only stations.
And "Low Power" stations apparently never had digital Must Carry but want it:http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6346147.html
The FCC put off--again--the meeting to re-address "Must Carry" rules for local digital multicast signals---reportedly to allow time for it to be addressed in Congress (along with Broadcast Flag, et.al.)---but also cuz they didn't have the "right" concensus---so stay tuned:http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6340640.html
BUT, we mustn't get too wrapped up in the brou-haha re mandatory "Must Carry" rules.
I've read that most local stations are using "Retransmission Consent" instead--which means it's whatever agreements the local station, local MSOs and franchise entities negotiate into a contract....which could/should mandate that the digital version be available unencrypted as part of Basic Cable.
Here's the Title 47 LAW that mandates that local broadcast channels must remain unencrypted:http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...0.1.1.4.23.3.4§ 76.1904 Encoding rules for defined business models.
(a) Commercial audiovisual content delivered as unencrypted broadcast television shall not be encoded so as to prevent or limit copying thereof by covered products or, to constrain the resolution of the image when output from a covered product.
The wording was actually written by the MSOs and CEA as part of their voluntary Dec 2002 "Plug-and-Play Agreement" that addressed how these spiffy new digital channels are to integrated into Digital Cable Ready TVs via Navigation PODs (CableCard) and non-DCR TVs via DVI/HDMI and Firewire ports:http://www.1394ta.org/Download/Membe...ile_stamp4.PDF
See pdf page 36 for the applicable section and pg 4 for the MSO signatures, including COMCAST.....
[Thanks to michaelscott for the links in the SA8300HD PASSPORT thread....]
So you have to pester the MSO supervisors to read the fine print and clarify company policy on how to order only Local HD as part of Basic Cable for your Digital Cable Ready HDTV....which of course the CEA/MSOs somehow gerrymandered onto the ATSC Tuner Mandate.
In San Diego (and elsewhere) persistent pestering has resulted in Local (mandatory unencrypted) HD channels being available with only Basic Cable on TWC and COX....but the CSRs are clueless....
In order for Cable Techs to install the "right" Tier Filter, it helps if you have (or had) a service that use a higher frequency (e.g. Cable Modem, cancelled CableCard for a Premium tier buy-through channel(s), STB on a second TV, VoIP?, et. al.)
So YMMV....check your local thread to see if others are getting unencrypted QAM to work...
BTW: On TWC-SD (and other MSOs are following suit), all analog channels are Digital Simulcast on digital QAM carriers--but they are all encrypted--go figure--so much for the "not enough capacity" argument....
Obviously, getting Local HD via cable to work may eliminate the installation/WAF hassles and partial reception problems many of us experience with HDTV Antenna(s)---bringing this post right on-topic...