No surprise with Comcast. They tried to completely turn off analog in
Chicago last year claiming the "government required them to do it". We
used to have Adelphia and Comcast bought the part that includes our
area. The first thing they did was to drop existing analog channels and
carry them as digital only. In some areas they are now dropping 1/2 of
the analog to force people into getting converter boxes.
The more I understand Comcast, the more I am coming to understand that they
are primarily a marketing company. The rest of their business, TV, cable
internet, and phone, are nothing more than features to support the
What they mean is that cable subscribers don't need to do anything
specific to the transition to DTV broadcasting of the local STATIONS.
Which I believe is true. Cablevision has conveyed the same
message. Cablevision like most other cable companies has been
gradually shifting to digital transmission of more channels. And
as they do that, channels that were transmitted as analog now need
either a digital cable box or cable card to receive. That has been
going on here for several years. And that is the message you are
seeing regarding AMC, History Channel, etc. Those are cable channels
and have nothing to do with the DTV broadcast transition. If you
didn't have a digital cable box or cable card, you got that message on
Cablevision a couple years ago.
There's some stuff I record off of the history channel, comedy central, travel
channel, TNT, etc. that I can't get off the air. That's about all I'm keeping
cable for. If cox moves them to encrypted digital, then I'm dumping them.
They are only required to provide OTA channels unecrypted. They aren't
required to do anything with analog regarding keeping it up or not.
They have to decide if turning off analog channels is a good business
plan or not since it would require users to do something. In the case of
cable the user would need to get a converter box or a new TV. So the
user just might decide to move to a satellite provider since they are
forced into doing something.
A nearby regional cable provider is doing extensive advertising right
now to attract such users: "get local channels on our cable for
$10/month, no converter box and everything will be the same"
"The 1992 Cable Act is very clear," said FCC spokeswoman Mary Diamond in a
statement. "Cable operators must ensure that all local broadcast stations
carried pursuant to this Act are 'viewable' by all cable subscribers.
But that requirement can be met by handing out cable boxes for free,
transmitting in clear QAM, or transmitting analog clear.
The Cable Bill says that the local channels have to be available to
all _subscribers_, not to anybody who manages to tap into the cable
If one needs a cable box to view the service, then any _subscriber_
will have one.
But this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what was
required to happen on the 17th and which Obama has put back to June.
That affects over the air broadcasters whose signal you recieve with
an antenna, it has no effect at all on cable.
Time will tell. People talk like they will die without their TV's for a
while. You may find you really don't need the idiot box after all.
That's what congress fears, hence the delay. (Advertising lobby)
I doubt it. THE demographics of those w/o digital access at this
time tend toward older, rural, poor. Not exactly a great demographic for
the advertisers. Most of the people raising cain on Capital Hill are
those who "advocate" for the poor or the AARP-types for the older
I loved your reply Kurt, as I happen to be one of those FEW, older, rural, poor,
AARP types. I wonder when you will need to toss all that new digital equipment
for the newer non-compatible, turn on the wall vision, or 3D or the following
golly-gee-whiz, non-compatible hologram or the latest and greatest
thing-ah-ma-bob? Sorry I don't mean to offend but to me this is all a bunch of
millions $$$$ for the new class of billionaires. But. I'm old! What do I know of
Existing technologies will die. An ip (internet) connection
can do much better, directly from program creator to viewer.
You don't think the phone companies are pulling fiber to
the home so you can get your email faster do you? It's the
syndicate takes on the monopoly.
-- larry / dallas
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