Originally Posted by sdrucker
I live in a condo building where we have RCN's analog tier of channels broadcast through the building on our bulk rate contract, but also have digital and HD capability if you have either a RCN-supplied digital box/DVR or cable cards, and are willing to pay the extra fees through RCN directly. Of course, using cable cards assumes that you have cable card support on your set. When we upgraded our TV last year, we got a Pioneer 930HD that supported cards, and got RCN (after a few calls) to install the cards, which we use in our Series 3 TIVO. So we don't need a converter box per se. At the moment, we personally get the analog cable channels through our building, and we pay separate for the digital channels, premium movie channels, and HD channels.
Anyway, I'm on the cable committee for our building, and our contract's up for renewal. What I'd like to know is:
a) Given the digital conversion taking place, if RCN's encypting their channels, can they compel someone using cable cards to use a digital box, with reduced functionality for us TIVO users, instead?
b) What legal provisions are there that the customer has the right to choose a cable card over a box? Their website, and for that matter, the previous contract, use the term "require" to cover boxes on the FAQ for digital/HD, and also "RCN shall provide...a digital box".
Clearly, those folks without a cable card capability can't get digital channels, once they're encrypted, without a box, which is a whole separate issue. And if you have just a set that support analog, you'd need a D/A converter box to get anything once the switch is made. But what about people that have sets than support cable cards?
I know this isn't a legal forum, but I thought that maybe someone that reads this could direct us to a reference. What I want to avoid is a situation where we renew RCN for the building, and they try to hold us in breach of contract because some unit owners (namely us, and a few others) already have digital cable through our cable cards, and demand that every unit owner have a digital box or digital to analog converter box.