[opendtv] Re: DTV awareness

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 13:21:09 -0400

Tom Barry wrote:

> This is usually not true, at least most places. In Jax I rented
> the HD STB from Comcast without subscribing to digital cable.
> Here in Gainesville on Cox I also take advantage of the Cox
> network HD shows using limited basic and my QAM cable ready PC
> and/or TV. I'm not even sure the cable companies are allowed to
> require digital TV subscriptions for the HD versions of the OTA
> networks.

As far as I've been able to determine, the ONLY requirement cable
companies have is that they have to provide the OTA channels in their
basic tier, and that they have to make these available to their analog
subscribers through 2012. This can be either via an analog tier, or via
a converter box of their own (i.e. not like the CECB, and you get no
govt assistance for the cable converter).

I have not been able to find where cable companies MUST provide certain
channels as clear QAM, let alone HD as clear QAM. Although our local
cable companies do offer the local stations, HD and multicasts, as clear
QAM. They probably do this to reduce the number of STBs they have to
make available for basic tier customers?

Here's what the FCC has to say:


"... If your cable company decides to move some or all of the channels
it provides onto a digital service tier, it may notify you that you need
to get 'digital cable' equipment to continue receiving that cable
service. This may include renting or purchasing a digital cable set-top
box or purchasing a digital cable ready TV equipped with a 'CableCARD'
slot. This digital cable equipment is different from the
digital-to-analog converter boxes discussed above, and digital cable
equipment is not eligible for the $40 coupons. If you have a digital TV,
you may be able to view broadcast stations through your cable system
without additional equipment. You should ask your cable company about
the equipment options that may be available to you, including any
options to purchase equipment from a retailer if you do not wish to rent
equipment from your cable company."

Sounds to me like all of this clear QAM stuff is purely voluntary.
Notice the "may" in, "If you have a digital TV, you may be able to view
broadcast stations through your cable system without additional

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