Author Topic: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...  (Read 7095 times)

Pnuts

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So I got one of those spam mailings from Comcast today letting me know they are converting channels 35+ to digital (2-34 unaffected). So I quckly jump to their FAQ online and well...

Quote from: Comcast FAQ
31. Will I need equipment if I have a digital TV with a QAM tuner?
At the completion of the project, customers will need equipment on all TVs to receive any channels above the Limited Basic level of service—of course, this is now the case with most video providers, including our satellite and phone competitors. We’re encouraging all customers to install and use the equipment provided by Comcast or that they might purchase from their electronics retailer, like a TIVO or cable card enabled devices, to avoid any service interruptions.


If this plays out as they say it will, my HDHomerun is going to be practically worthless (lets hope not)

So, does anyone know of another option in the California SF bay area or should I start saving for some usb-irt's and box's?

Also FYI for anyone else with Comcast for possible things to come.

merkur2k

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 08:12:46 am »
I have heard of this happening in a couple different regions now, so yeah it looks like it :(

tkmedia

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2009, 09:10:23 am »
Got my letter stating the same just the other day.    So OTA and "basic cable" qam for the hdhomerun,  for us lucky comcrap users.

SOL for me since comcrap has no competitor in my area.




Tim
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skeptic

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009, 04:39:31 pm »
I finally got completely away from set top boxes and thought Comcast was going to work out well.  IIRC, a few months back someone who claimed to be "in the know" said all channels were going digital.  I was also told by Comcast that channels 2-99 will always be unencrypted.  Now they are doing this?  What a bunch of BS.  Like tkmedia, Comcast and Sat are my only options, no other cable providers.  I'm really not sure what I'm going to do now, but I'm fairly certain it's not going to be recording off STBs again. 

Can you guys post the link, I didn't get that e-mail and I can't find it on their site.  Searching for qam = "Sorry, we could not find any pages containing "qam"."  Hmmm, wonder why they do that?

Pnuts

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2009, 05:13:44 pm »
Here is the general Comcast page for the conversion: http://comcast.com/digitalnow/
Here is the FAQ I quoted from: http://comcast.com/digitalnow/FAQs.aspx?map=all_faq_map

I have an old gaming buddy that works for Comcast, waiting on a response from him about this to see if i can get any other info.

Through rearching I found some good info though.

Reading through this topic: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21518134-Digital-Transport-Adapter-Unboxing-Photos~start=100,
It looks like the DTA box's Comcast is sending out have non-removable security decryption which is against the law per FCC unless they can get an exception granted. So until then, legally, they must broadcast QAM unencrypted.

I guess (from reading that topic) any form of security decryption must be removable to comply with the FCC. These little DTA's they are sending are cheapo units and would cost way to much to include removable security, so its non-removable hardware built in. So as long as the FC doesnt grant them an exception, we should all be fine.

Also good info here about the channel lineup being broadcast over a QAM channel now and HDHomerun support for it: http://www.silicondust.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6403&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=45

-Pnuts

tkmedia

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2009, 05:20:10 pm »
I received a snail mail letter it states "expanded basic will be encrypted".
It does not state but.
Regular basic channels should remain unencrypted this will give comcast compliance with FCC afik.


I am in CT btw


Tim
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Pnuts

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 05:47:40 pm »
Yeah, that gives compliance with the FCC rule that all channels broadcast over the air have to be unencrypted.

There is a separate compliance for settop box's

The FCC has a different regulation that any form of security for decryption must be removable. All current cable box's are like this.

The DTA's do not have a removable form of security decryption, thus if that decryption is used, it is not in FCC compliance. As long as the channels are unencrypted the security decryption is not used and they are complaint with the FCC rule.

They can however request an exception to the rule from the FCC and whether or not the FCC will grant it is unknown.

-Pnuts

nascarfan1956

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2009, 01:54:55 am »
The conversion of the analog channels to a digital format is an elimination of redundant content.  Channels 2-99 have been simulcast in both digital and analog format for some time now.  The elimination of the analog half of the simulcasted content will open bandwidth to allow for more HD channels and VOD content in both HD and SD.  The migrated channels are NOT  encrypted and the DTA devices have no decryption mechanism (removable or not) built into them.  Anyone posessing a TV with a built in digital tuner can tune these channels without the DTA device by simply rescanning the channels with their digital tuner TV.  (I've done it already on my Panasonic in my kid's room)  I have no first-hand experience with the HD HomeRun, however, if it has a digital QAM tuner built into it, it should have the ability to scan and pick up the migrated content.

skeptic

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2009, 06:41:09 am »
I hope your right.....  All digital 2-99 would be a blessing.  Encrypting all channels above 34 might push me to canceling completely.

nascarfan1956

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2009, 12:00:02 am »
The Pace DTA unit has no ability to decrypt.  It is strictly a D/A converter much like the converter that are now necessary to receive OTA in the US.  It has no ability to receive any premium channels such as HBO/Showtime/Starz etc.  To their credit, Comcast has actually increased the number of channels available with the DTA or digital QAM tuner equipped TV's over the former 2-99 analog lineup.

Pnuts

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2009, 01:08:36 am »
The Pace DTA unit has no ability to decrypt.  It is strictly a D/A converter much like the converter that are now necessary to receive OTA in the US.  It has no ability to receive any premium channels such as HBO/Showtime/Starz etc.  To their credit, Comcast has actually increased the number of channels available with the DTA or digital QAM tuner equipped TV's over the former 2-99 analog lineup.

I hope this is true, but reading through a lot of different threads on this (some of them I linked) they all mention that Pace DTA is able to decrypt but it is currently disabled. They also have instructions to get the the settings pages where a security setting is currently turned off.

I also recently received my 2 free Pace DTA's. Before they can be used, the have to be remotely activated by comcast, you provide comcast the units MAC address. I have not done this yet and both of them currently receive no channels. I plan on accessing the setings page to compare before and after activation when I get around to it

I really hope you are right though as this would be a huge pain.

-Pnuts

nascarfan1956

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2009, 08:21:43 pm »
Certain policies in place that I am bound to prevent me from disclosing how I know this information, but I can assure you that it is absolutely correct. 

Pnuts

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Re: So Comcast is planning to pull the un-encrypted QAM plug...
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2009, 05:52:55 am »
Certain policies in place that I am bound to prevent me from disclosing how I know this information, but I can assure you that it is absolutely correct. 

I have a buddy I play games with on the mid west that said the same, but with a little more detail. No eta on when it will happen though as it varies by market/area and rollout.