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An anonymous article in this months Communications Technology magazine suggests that MSOs may want to broadcast 8-VSB over cable to take advantage of the CECB as a low cost cable converter box. While not as efficient as 256-QAM, 8-VSB would allow them a savings when compared to analog and would piggyback on the large volumes of CECB boxes in the market. (Replace the + signs with dots to get to the URL. Crazy AVS BBS won't let me easily include the URL).


www+cable360+net/ct/sections/columns/bullpen/30551.html


John
 

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That makes no sense - why would they want that? How much money could they make from someone ordering the basic local sub at $15/mo? The reason many folks will have CECBs is that they don't want to pay for cable - they're OTA only.


The model going forward has already been established - they offer folks a cheap STB free (for the first year) to keep folks getting stuff they used to get directly from the coax (cause they're shutting off analog) and then they start charging for the STB. Plus the efficiency thing will trump things - they want to shove as many chs down the pipe as possible - QAM is the way forward.
 

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Just the other day I was actually wondering if these boxes could work as a cable box. Has anyone tried hooking one up in a home that has cable? I know these boxes are primarily supposed to be for those who dont have cable but there are a few that use both.


I know people whose cable company is trying to lure their customers into switching to digital by giving them this tiny cheap looking digital cable box (about the size of and looks like the old external PC modems) and turning the digital signal on. The first box was free but I think to get more content and get it on other TVs in the home you have to subscribe to a package. The funny thing is they got a plasma TV for Christmas with a digital tuner built in, and b/c the digital signal is turned on, they're getting all this free digital and HD programming...including ppv movies on occasion.


I doubt that would happen with the CECBs, but still it would be interesting to see what they are capable of with a digital cable signal coming in.
 

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Plugging a cable line into a CECB will yield you 0 channels. I placed by request for the coupons hoping there would be one hackable model that could tune QAM channels. Unfortunately, none exist.


If the cable companies are going to drop analog cable, it would be nice if they somehow utilized existing CECB's simply because the boxes are relatively cheap & there are plenty of models in the stores. My guess is this is unlikely to happen as it is more profitable for them if subscribers rent their cable box.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hokie21 /forum/post/14289579


MSOs may want to broadcast 8-VSB over cable to take advantage of the CECB as a low cost cable converter box. While not as efficient as 256-QAM, 8-VSB would allow them a savings

I'm sure Comcast would prefer to rent me THEIR box for $5 a month, pile the money into a giant bin, and jump into it during their lunch breaks.


Greedy monopolistic bastards.
 

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It will never happen because it makes too much sense. Even without the government subsidy the cable companies could pick up such boxes for under 50 backs each in quantity. They just have to provide an unencrypted digital tier and there's no law that says they can't, they just don't want to.
 

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After thinking about it overnight, I can envison a "consumer friendly" cable company deciding to provide 8VSB on the first 60 channels. That way all viewers need to do is run the wire direct into the set (thus eliminating an ugly box).


Of course that won't happen until after 2012, because the FCC still requires cable companies to provide analog service.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrrrroger /forum/post/14304870



Of course that won't happen until after 2012, because the FCC still requires cable companies to provide analog service.

Apparently FIOS didn't get that memo since they no longer provide any analog service.



Again, there's no way this will happen - clear QAM of the locals is the most you'll get. Think of all the equipment the cable cos would have to get to just switch from what they already have - not going to happen.
 

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IIRC, the ruling doesn't say cable/sat are required to provide analog, just to provide analog signal OR an STB. And it doesn't say who pays for the provided box. Comcast last Fall cut 5 analog channels off the standard cable lineup, charging the same price for digital with one STB, encouraging people to go digital. They don't offer analog standard service to new customers (still have the lifeline local/govt option), and once the number of analog viewers is reasonably low, they have their excuse to stop analog broadcasts.


Someone on this forum said their QAM was analog only, the HD was scrambled, with the cable compnay saying clear channels applied only to the analog state.
 

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Quote:
They don't offer analog standard service to new customers

That's a load of farmers' fertilizer. What if I want to buy analog for my analog sets? Comcast will refuse??? _____s.


I think it's time for the Feds to break-up the Comcast, Time-Warner, Cox Cable monopolies the same way they broke-up the AT&T monopoly.


With modern technology, there's absolutely no reason why each urban home can't have 3 or 4 companies serving it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrrrroger /forum/post/14305400



With modern technology, there's absolutely no reason why each urban home can't have 3 or 4 companies serving it.

And how are those 3-4 companies going to get their signal to each home? If you are lucky enough to live in an area with FIOS you might have coax and fiber to the house but no cable co will ever string a second coax or fiber. It took a lot of guts/risk for Verizon to roll out FIOS and I don't see any third co mixing it up in an area that already has coax and fiber. The leasing of the coax/fiber to the house by a third co is a non starter.


In areas with FIOS you do have 4 cos - cable, FIOS, E* and D*. You're not going to get more than that.
 

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Well you could string 3 or 4 coaxial cables in parallel. There's enough room in the underground conduits. And then you let the homeowner decide which company he likes best (perhaps the one which offers A La Carte), and that's the one that is extended into the house. Competition will drive down prices and allow new features to be added, in order to entice customers to choose one company instead of another.


If we can offer customers choice in their electricity suppliers, natural gas suppliers, or local calling suppliers, we should be able to do the same with cable.


I'm sick of Comcast using their monopoly to charge people $800 a year.
 

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Biggest disadvantage I see to using the CECBs as their "digital cable" tuners is that the CECBs are restricted to OTA channels - that means 2-69 - in ATSC ONLY ! (No QAM)


If you can think of a bigger disincentive to cable companies to use a CECB - I'd like to hear it.
 

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The monopoly attitude doesn't go away with competition. I have my choice of 4 pay tv services. They all charge about the same, and bundle their deals, which requires a 1-2 year contract. They still lock you in, even with competition.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat /forum/post/14305879


I have my choice of 4 pay tv services. They all charge about the same, and bundle their deals, which requires a 1-2 year contract.

Which 4 pay tv services do you have?


Cellphone companies do the same thing, but fortunately competiton has allowed "pay as you go" services to arise. I have Virgin Mobile which costs only $5 a month, and I can quit them any time I feel like it. Imagine a cable company that operated like that.
 

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Me and the wife are both Virgin Mobile users too - much cheaper for us considering our usuage pattern.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper /forum/post/14305811


Biggest disadvantage I see to using the CECBs as their "digital cable" tuners is that the CECBs are restricted to OTA channels - that means 2-69 - in ATSC ONLY ! (No QAM)

It goes beyond that. CECB are designed to tune only terrestrial channel assignments. The current boxes could tune only 12 of the cable frequencies and probably can't cope with the alternative channel spacing options.
 
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