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[Discuss] encrypted basic cable

Daniel Barrett wrote:
> I found a similar no-set-top-box plan on FIOS for even less money,
> $10/month, switched, and never had a problem again.

You're referring to a plan that only covers the retransmission of local
broadcast stations (and probably public access stations), right?

Are you using it with digital or analog tuners?

At one time, and perhaps still currently, FIOS optical network terminals
(ONTs) actually provided the basic channels as analog video. Something
Comcast got rid of years ago. Given the architecture of Comcast's
network, they had more incentive to do so, as it ate up shared bandwidth
on their system.

Now that the FCC has ruled that cable companies have no obligation to
provide the basic tier as unencrypted digital, I wonder how long you'll
be able to continue using this service without a converter box. (A
converter box the FCC says you can be charged for, after 2 years.)

The cable companies cited faster service and lower technician costs as
the main reason why they wanted all signals encrypted so they could
electronically alter your subscription level. A laughable claim, once
you see what the ONTs are capable of.

Comcast could install a box at the termination point at your house,
which like an ONT spits out unencrypted analog and digital video for
no-set-top-box service. But then they couldn't get away with charging
you a per-TV rental fee for an ONT or upsell you on pay-per-view and
other services that require a set-top-box.

Showing once again that the FCC are either chumps, or are willingly
doing what's most profitable for the industry they supposedly regulate,
rather than in the best interest of the public.


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
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