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Visitor
Rayvyn
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-14-2013

Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

     I have been with Comcast for years. One of the good things I still liked about them was the ability to hook my TV directly into my cable line and get channels in HD. I woke up this morning and tried to watch TV and found that all my local channels are now scrambled and I have to buy another box to get them. I don't think they're in HD. They apparenly want me to buy a box for every device now. I was going to buy a card that recieved Clear QAM to record local shows. Well that is gone and there are no other cable providers in the area. Being able to have those channels on my TV allowed me to use the box to record something while I could still watch TV in HD. I am now looking into cancelling my Comcast and getting Dish Network or AT&T for TV as there is no real reason to keep Comcast now. All the money we spend we should get better cosideration, we are being treated like we're stealing something. They keep adding cost after cost. I can see why people are dowloading shows now and just watching online and cutting the cable. This is just a bad decision by Comcast that is angering a lot of people!

 

John

 

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

The following has information on the Local/Basic transition that our FCC has allowed Comcast and other to force down our throats:

 

http://www.comcast.com/digitaladapterinfo

 

http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/limited-basic-encryption/

 

http://blog.trebacz.com/2013/09/comcast-xfinity-hd-udta-pace-dc60xu.html (uDTA hook-up)

 

You can still get a device that will accept a Cable Card (Comcast charges $1.50 per month for the card) that you can use with your PC to record shows.  These devises contain from 2 to 6 tuners in them and will run nicely under Windows Media Center.

Regular Contributor
al1701
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎03-11-2012

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Well that is strange because mine all still work without the box, ilive in Pearl, MS area. I have a friend that has had the same problem with the boxes installed in Brandon, MS area. She gets up early and the last 4 weeks has had problems and then magically sometime during the day when she is not home it starts working again. She has had countless techs that have monitored it at the subdivision, observed it going down and no explanation as to what's wrong. Everyone in the subdivision is having problems and they can't figure it out, internet, phone and tv are all having problems. Hers also is scramble or pixelated beyond watching. I  hooked up one tv to her digital  input without the box and she gets no signal when this happens or it's scramble, so its probably service issues. Our account has shown outage in our area for 5 days and we still have internet and tv, so go figure.

Silver Problem Solver
commanguy
Posts: 5,198
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Could be that Comcast is still working on the system to encrypt the locals in your friends area. I know that in my town they have not encyrpted the locals yet.

 

But supposedly that will happen in November. Of course the analog feeds were supposed to be pulled September/October last year and did not happen until March of this year so time frames with Comcast are flexible.

 

Visitor
Rayvyn
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-14-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Thanks for the information. I'm also looking into getting a really good ATSC antenna for the tuner card I have now. I'm also looking into other alternatives from Dish Network and DirectTV. I'll go with whoever provides me with better service for the money. But I'm kind of angry over Comcast doing this type of thing for no good reason other than to squeeze more money out of me. That will play a factor in what I decide to do.

 

John

 

Visitor
Rayvyn
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-14-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

You know it seems a lot of companies overseas that provide services have a different concept. They treat customers like they're always right. They want to give them a lot for their money with hopes they will continue patronizing them. Here in the USA with companies like Comcast, AT&T and other pseudomonopolies, they want to give you as little as they can and charge you as much as they can for it. They treat the consumer like they owe them something for being their customers. They treat them like a captive audience. There is to technical reason and no service enhancement to scrambling local station we previously had as Clear QAM channels. It's only so they can make more money by selling you another box. It's a shame that city councils don't even consider going to some other cable companies now, because it seems they're locked in to one company. Hopefully there will eventually be a new cable bill that will stop monopoly-like behavior.

 

John

 

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

I agree that the local governments are totally lacking in trying to protect their local constituents.  But the real blame her rest primarily with the bought and paid for FCC, for allowing these Greedy Ba$tard$ to operate this way!

Silver Problem Solver
commanguy
Posts: 5,198
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

If only they sold us the box, it is just a monthly rental and if you return it you need to make sure you keep the receipt to prove it was returned.

They also save money by not having to send techs to deactivate or activate lines into a house by connecting or disconnecting the cable at the tap.

With modern technology there has to be a way to do this and still let people use the QAM tuner in their televisions.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 40,136
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Post removed for a deliberate forum language filter circumvention violation.

Silver Problem Solver
commanguy
Posts: 5,198
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Sigh,

Always about the money I know.

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

[ Edited ]

EG wrote:
Post removed for a deliberate forum language filter circumvention violation.

The reference was to Dylan Ratigan's book: Info can be found on the non-overly-censored site:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dylan-ratigan/

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 40,136
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Understood. Doesn't matter..

New Visitor
ph_user
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-01-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Funny, I suggested that people dump Xfinity and they remove my post! It's really strange to me how this company can exist when they treat their customers so poorly - kind of like United Airlines, everyone who uses them seems to loathe them.
Regular Contributor
al1701
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎03-11-2012

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Comcast evidently doesn't honor free speech. I saw nothing offensive by the post! Also I've seen other post deleted or moved that made no sense.
Contributor
kcogh
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-02-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

So it seems that Comcast has recently rolled out a near nation-wide encryption of "clear-qam" (aka limited basic) channels.

 

I found this link through another thread on the topic:

http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/connecting-digital-adapter-to-hdtv/

 

Has anyone tried this?  It doesn't make sense to me... if the signal from the wall is encrypted, then what good does this setup do?  If it works though, I'd be all over it.

 

KC

New Visitor
califdreas
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-02-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

No, this wouldn't work with encrypted channels.The diagram shows that there's basically a direct line from the wall outlet to the TV for broadcast channels, and a second line from wall outlet > DTA > TV. I don't know what kind of advantage you'd get from the DTA, though.

 

Gruss

Andreas

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!


kcogh wrote:

So it seems that Comcast has recently rolled out a near nation-wide encryption of "clear-qam" (aka limited basic) channels.

 

I found this link through another thread on the topic:

http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/connecting-digital-adapter-to-hdtv/

 

Has anyone tried this?  It doesn't make sense to me... if the signal from the wall is encrypted, then what good does this setup do?  If it works though, I'd be all over it.

 

KC


That's the way you would hook up Comcast to your TV (with QAM tuner) so you could switch between getting your local channels in HD, and your encrypted channels (Digital Starter and up) in SD.  If you used the DTA for your local channels you could only get them in SD.  The new uDTAs (AKA HD DTAs) should outpup HD for your local channels if they send out HD..

Contributor
kcogh
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-02-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!


edpeters wrote:
That's the way you would hook up Comcast to your TV (with QAM tuner) so you could switch between getting your local channels in HD, and your encrypted channels (Digital Starter and up) in SD.  If you used the DTA for your local channels you could only get them in SD.  The new uDTAs (AKA HD DTAs) should outpup HD for your local channels if they send out HD..

Yes, they make it clear that's the purpose of the instructions.  However, since Comcast is now encrypting all QAM channels, including HD, these process instructions make no sense; I don't see how this setup would do anything for anyone now that virtually all channels are encrypted.  What's really surprising is the page was updated last week.

I guess I was/am wondering if somehow just having the DTA on your line would cause their system to send local HD channels unencrypted.

Otherwise it seems very strange to me that they have that page still online.

KC

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

It's still there because Comcast hasn't pushed there ill-conceived encryption on every "yet".  A really clever way to do it would be to put an electronic switch on each tap point (where they break out the cable for individual houses) to control what channels are put on that cable, thus getting rid of encryption requirement altogether.  There I go again; thinking Comcast would do something to help their customer and use a simple technology to do it..

New Visitor
guag39
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-03-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Funny, but the ability to directly tune local channels was actually a "feature" that competitor uverse could not provide. I have been pestered for years to switch to uverse but didn't consider it because of the direct tuning "feature" on Comcast which allowed me to use my digital recording devices  (vcr/dvd/dvr). And, as mentioned, I could get the publically broadcast channels in HD. With that feature gone I have no reason to stay with Comcast - the choice will just be about pricing deals!

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 714
Registered: ‎11-16-2003

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

[ Edited ]

 

There you go ... a stand-alone decrypition box.

This wouldnt even need to be outside, but issued to customers as they subscribe, or on request, & connected directly to the first wall outlet inside the house, making the subscriber responsible for the unit & its return.

 

The box doesnt have to know what you subscribe to, thats controled by codes in the person's account already; the box just unscrambles (unencrypts) & passes the rf signal on.

 

No one can object to that, as all current devices that are used to recv clear QAM would still be able to operate same as they have been. Premium channels also utilize HDCP &/or DRM ? so a Cable box would still be needed for those channels, meaning limited basic customers couldn't cheat and get extra chanels.

 

Speaking of encryption, i got this signing on to post about encryption,  LOL

(i didnt get to click the approve / reject, by the time i screen captured, it closed by its self and continued on to the reply page ..   -- shakes head -- )

 

scp2.jpg

Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-02-2006

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

well i have had enough i am cutting the cord just plaine fed up with their tv service was getting basic service got clear qam channels i am not going to pay for hd channels that come over the air no more box fees i am done with them frustrated in denver co

Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 10,011
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

This is a placeholder for a post that was moved to a secure location because it violates the forum guidelines (language filter circumvention). http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Forum-Guidelines/Posting-Guidelines/td-p/866289

New Visitor
Kissmee
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-17-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

I had to reset my cable box thinking that is why the other TV's Displayed "scrambled" the one with the cable box displayed no signal. By resetting box the main TV now has cable but the others still show "scrambled" I will not pay any more to comcast than I do at present. I will now focus my efforts into learning about an industry of which I recently had little to no interest in. But "believe you me" I will come up to speed very quickly on understanding how to mitigate this. Just like our government they continually provide less, demand more, and make everything more complex than it needs to be. Just try working thru an issue with comcast over the phone or thru chat. When it is over and you find that these people truly are incompetent you will feel as I do right now.

New Visitor
MoleTwin
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-26-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Although we have 3 DVR Cable boxes, we have always had a TV in our kitchen and another in the guest-room hat wer mounted to the wall.  Not only didn't we want the expense of additional boxes but also there is no room for attaching a device like a DTA without it looking tacky.   Well a few days ago she told me there was  a problem with our kitchen TV.  And I actually spent quite a bit of time trying to trouble-shoot what was wrong.  Of course, unbenownst to us, Comcast had started scrambling basic cable channels. Well when we called Comcast and found out they wanted a monthly fee on top of the $220 we currently pay for cable and internet, I hit the roof.  We are serioulsy considering getting rid of cable.   And the funny thing is, after being a customer for 12 years, when my wife called, assuming they'd at least waive the $1.99 a month for  even 1  of the T's, we found out that Comast is penny wise and pound-foolish.  They would not waive a single penny.  And the DTA doesn't even let you get local channels in HD!    For me it's not about the $2 a month.  I just went out and bought a $40 dollar antenna.   It's about how Comcast has chosen to treat their customers.  Sometimes when you shake the money tree it falls over.  Good luck with that Comcast!

New Visitor
MoleTwin
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-26-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

For those, who, for now want to get local channels on their TV's.  I purchased an indoor antenna called "The Leaf" on Amazon that pulls in channels I previously cound not get even with a powered antenna.    While we are contemplating "pulling the plug" on Cable, at least we have all of our local channels in HD without the DTA or paying for another cable box.

Silver Problem Solver
andyross
Posts: 3,323
Registered: ‎10-17-2003

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Comcast does have HD DTA's in most areas now. They cost the same as the SD versions, as long as you already have HD service with a regular box.

New Visitor
MoleTwin
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-26-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Thanks for that information, but I don't want to have a DTA dangling beneath my wall mounted TV. And I also feel that paying a fee on top of the $220 we already pay a month is ridiculous.  

New Visitor
some_angry_guy
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-26-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

oh great I give them enough money for internet and they do this to local basic channels, time to put a anttena on the roof, you can recive all your local channels free, why should I pay to watch comercials? they should pay me .....

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Good move, and don't forget to write to the FCC and tell them what you think of the job they are not doing also...

Contributor
jmariel777
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎11-21-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

this is outrageous! is there anything we can do? has anyone started or found a petition?

Contributor
jmariel777
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎11-21-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

I just called to try to get these adapters that everyone is speaking of. Previously I had no tv service only internet, just used coax into tv, and I got my local news channels which is all I want.

 

The lady said I would now need to buy a comcast tv package. BUT I DON'T WANT ONE. I just want to watch the 5 channels that were free yesterday. What a rip off.

 

Then she said something about going to Best Buy to buy a "government issued digital adapter" Anyone know anything about this?

 

Thanks Comcast, you may be "saving money" but you are gouging all of us in the process.

Unbelievable. Can't wait til ATT service comes to Philadelphia. Scam artists.

Silver Problem Solver
commanguy
Posts: 5,198
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

jmariel

Those boxes at Best Buy are for use with antenna's that get used on old analog tvs to convert the digital over the air signal to analog. They won't work with Comcast.

 

Also those "free" channels to you was actually considered cable theft. Comcast is more than likely getting charged a carriage fee by those stations, even local stations do this now, to be carried on the cable system.

In the past Comcast used to put filters on lines going into residences to block tv channels for Internet only customers. With the encyrption now they don't have to, people need to have a tv service tier on their account. Like what you ran into.

 

Yeah, it is annoying to have to pay box rentals.

 

Visitor
Rayvyn
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-14-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Thanks to you all for your agreement and info on this subject. I've been very busy and haven't been reading much e-mail. I have to post this via another Internet provider because ironically my Comcast Internet service has been out for about a month, nobody can tell me why it's not working so I have to take time off work to wait for a tech to come out and check my home. The TV service works fine though.

 

I had no idea this post would get as much of a response as it did. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. As for doing something about it. Write to your local, state and federal representation. They will do something if they get enough of a response. I don't know if this is an appropriate place to go into it but there are other forums and blogs about this very subject. We had a cable bill back in the 90s and Clinton vetoed it but Congress overrode his veto.

 

 

New Visitor
katurahwj
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-19-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

COMCAST SUCKS FOR THIS!!  I used to get like 6 local stations on my TV with no box. They "SCRAMBLE" the signal now they want me to pay $20 a month to watch 10 stations!! That is such Bull Dung Comcast!! The prices for EVERYTHING keep going up and up and up and yet what WE the consumer get goes down and down and down. You state that you want to keep with what other providers are doing but WHY!! Great companies distinguish themselves. They give their clinetele what others can not or will not!! Making Me/your customers pay for something that has ALWAYS been free and is paid for by commercials does not make me want to continue to be a Comcast customer, it makes me want to leave and never look back!!

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!


katurahwj wrote:

COMCAST SUCKS FOR THIS!!  I used to get like 6 local stations on my TV with no box. They "SCRAMBLE" the signal now they want me to pay $20 a month to watch 10 stations!! That is such Bull Dung Comcast!! The prices for EVERYTHING keep going up and up and up and yet what WE the consumer get goes down and down and down. You state that you want to keep with what other providers are doing but WHY!! Great companies distinguish themselves. They give their clinetele what others can not or will not!! Making Me/your customers pay for something that has ALWAYS been free and is paid for by commercials does not make me want to continue to be a Comcast customer, it makes me want to leave and never look back!!


I fail to see why you would have to pay an additional $20.00 per month to get the local channels?  You can get 1 uDTA (AKA HD DTA) free for one year (you get two if you only have local/basic tier of service. The local tier from Comcast has never been free, if you were getting it without paying for it "technically" you were stealing the service (because Comcast has so little control of what they are doing)..

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 714
Registered: ‎11-16-2003

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

 

imagine,  picketing outside a company's store front complaining about having to pay for the items one used to shoplift,    ...... what a grand & intoxicating innocence <w>

 

and, limited basic is way more than 10 channels when ya pay for it and use a cable box, lol

 

.

Contributor
SLCinWA
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎04-21-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

[ Edited ]
Have brand new HDTVs and chatted with comcast about why I can't get basic cable in HD - the way they are being broadcast to Comcast. Chat representative said I could for the same price each month; just need to switch out the box. Printed out chat transcript - which was very, very clear - and went to my local comcast store. After waiting in line for an hour, they told me it was a "mistake" and they were sorry. To get basic cable tv in HD, I would need to pay $10/mo more. So I asked how much to eliminate cable tv and keep just internet. Doing that would be $30/mo more than I'm paying now. Comcast is a perfect example of why US corporations are corrupt to the core.

What I want to know now is can I just turn off my cable tv box, use my new antenna system to pull in the HD stations in HD and keep my internet plan?

BTW - I detest comcast.
Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 471
Registered: ‎05-21-2009

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Comcast is doing nothing illegal by scrambling all their channels. All cable companies are allowed to do this once they go all digital.The FCC authorized this over a year ago.

 

What is annoying is that the basic cable tier has some HD channels but the standard DTA at $1.99/mo does not support HD channels. Comcast has alternate HD DTAs that will support HD channels for the same price but they are still not available in all areas.

 

If you have an antenna why haven't you tried it out to see what channels you can get? Most local stations broadcast in HD. If that works out you may find out that that is good enough. You can then drop your TV service and keep the internet plan but you will find out that the price for it is higher than it was bundled with the TV service. You will have to call Comcast to see what the difference is.

Contributor
SLCinWA
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎04-21-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

[ Edited ]

Just because something isn't illegal, doesn't make it ethical.

 

The fact that 'all cable companies ...... do this' isn't an excuse either.

 

It is astounding to me how complacent and apathetic the majority are when it comes to allowing corrupt corporations to run rough shod over us. 

 

And you didn't answer my question. 

 

If I simply turn off the cable TV box (without 'cancelling' the 'bundle'), why couldn't I just run a high quality antenna for TV service and pay the 'bundled' rate for my internet? 

Contributor
kcogh
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-02-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

SLCinWA: you could do that, but the price for just internet is usually a few (only a few) dollars less than the bundle (TV+net) price.  So if you really don't want to pay for TV -- i.e. you will use an antenna -- then just drop your subscription down to internet only and save a few dollars a month.  In my market, "Blast" internet alone is about $60-$65, whereas I can get Blast + extended basic TV for about $73/mo (and they are currently throwing in HBO with that for the first year).  To me, even though I'd like to "put it to the man" and protest Comcast's price gouging, it's worth the extra $10 or so per month to not have to worry about an antenna.  The main price gouge for me is the cost of internet, with or without TV. They really penalize you for not bundling.  I need high-speed internet, and Comcast is the only game in town in my area. The next best for me is DSL at 5mbps up/1mbps down, which just doesn't cut it for my purposes.  If I have to pay about $65-ish for internet anyway, I might as well get reliable TV for another $7-$10 or so.  It sucks, but I have no other choice right now.  

 

Also, Comcast's encryption of the limited basic channels did not increase anyone's (legal) costs for TV.  It just made it more cumbersome to have/watch simple tv (no "cable" channels) on a simple television.  You can no longer just plug the cable into your tv and use the tv's tuner, even if the tv is digital and has a digital tuner.  You now MUST use a decryption box.  This is more cumbersome, less convienient, but doesn't really increase the cost (much -- some people will have to pay for a decryption box). 

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

"Also, Comcast's encryption of the limited basic channels did not increase anyone's (legal) costs for TV."  

 

Yes it did/does!  Although the first HD DTA box is free (for one year), the price for others (and the first after one year) is $1.99.  So if I want to have local channels on three TVs I will be paying an extra $72.00 this year and $108.00 Next year:  To me that is real money.  Add to that if I want to see those channels in HD and I have Digital Starter service, I will have to pay an additional $120.00 per year for that!  Again real money!!

Contributor
kcogh
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-02-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Hi edpeters,

True, those are not insignificant amounts.  I use a single Cablecard which I have yet to be charged for, in a HDHomerun-Prime network tuner.  This distributes my TV service on my LAN so I can watch TV on any networked device (up to three simultaneously), including my HTPC, any laptop, tablets, and actually my TV itself (via DLNA).

It's not an easy solution to implement, but it does save me from having several Comcast boxes all over the house, and saves on the monthly fees a bit.

 

IMO, the first decrypter box should be free for ever.  It makes sense to have a small fee for additional boxes.  But if it's something that's REQUIRED just to watch TV, then at least one should be included in the cost of the cable service in the first place.  It's not an option, so just roll the cost into the monthly bill.  If people have several TV's they should have to pay a small bit more than a person with one TV.  This has almost always been the case, even back to unencrypted analog days.  Most of us circumvented it by doing our own splitting and cable runs to different rooms of the house, but technically most cable companies charged you "per TV" if you had them set it up.

Contributor
SLCinWA
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎04-21-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Actually, my current plan is $59/mo and I was told yesterday that internet only would be $20/mo more! That is $240/year more and pure price gouging. <br><br>What upset me most was being specifically told by the customer service rep that I could exchange my current box for an HD-DTA box AT NO ADDITIONAL MONTHLY COST, and after waiting in line for over an hour at the Comcast store, I'm told something entirely different. <br><br>Comcast is a monopoly that must be addressed by the FCC.
Contributor
kcogh
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-02-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

If your current plan is $59/mo and includes TV and internet, then I'd ride that as long as you can.  That's a pretty good deal.  

 

I agree that they are a regional monopoly; every cable company is, and it sucks.  I don't understand how and/or why the FTC allows it (btw, it's the FTC that polices monopolies, not the FCC).  I don't know of a single market in the country where consumers have a choice of cable providers.  At least back in the days when DSL was the best internet service, there were choices in many markets.  Small ISP companies could re-sell ma-bell/ATT copper wire service (they still can, actually).  Sonic.net is one success story from this era.  You might check to see if they have service up in WA.

Contributor
kcogh
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-02-2013

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

I envy you that DSL is enough speed for you.  I can not get by with DSL speeds (I need 10mbps down/4mbps up minimum), or I would drop cable too, even without an antenna for local channels.  I am too far from the broadcast towers to get reliable TV from an antenna (of any size.)

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 471
Registered: ‎05-21-2009

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

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SLCinWA wrote:
Just because something isn't illegal, doesn't make it ethical.
The fact that 'all cable companies ...... do this' isn't an excuse either.

It is astounding to me how complacent and apathetic the majority are when it comes to allowing corrupt corporations to run rough shod over us.

And you didn't answer my question.

If I simply turn off the cable TV box (without 'cancelling' the 'bundle'), why couldn't I just run a high quality antenna for TV service and pay the 'bundled' rate for my internet?
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Nobody said it was ethical. The FCC was petitioned by the cable companies in 2012 to allow them to encrypt all channels once they went all digital.  If you want to blame anyone blame the FCC for relaxing its rules in December 2012 to allow this.

If you want to keep the package just put the cable box aside and use an antenna if your wish. Nobody says you can't do this. In fact you can use the cable box and antenna at the same time if your wish.

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kcogh wrote:
IMO, the first decrypter box should be free for ever.  It makes sense to have a small fee for additional boxes.  But if it's something that's REQUIRED just to watch TV, then at least one should be included in the cost of the cable service in the first place.  It's not an option, so just roll the cost into the monthly bill.  If people have several TV's they should have to pay a small bit more than a person with one TV.  This has almost always been the case, even back to unencrypted analog days.  Most of us circumvented it by doing our own splitting and cable runs to different rooms of the house, but technically most cable companies charged you "per TV" if you had them set it up.
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Again blame the FCC for aproving all this in the first place. When you pay for cable service the first box is free. It is only the additional outlets that you have to pay extra for. The FCC was aware that DTAs would be required after encryption started. The guidlines set up by the FCC allowed the DTAs to be free only for a limited time.

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kcogh wrote:
I agree that they are a regional monopoly; every cable company is, and it sucks.  I don't understand how and/or why the FTC allows it (btw, it's the FTC that polices monopolies, not the FCC).  I don't know of a single market in the country where consumers have a choice of cable providers.  At least back in the days when DSL was the best internet service, there were choices in many markets.
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Cable companies operate in an area when they are given a franchise agreement. It is not required that cable companies are a monopoly. For example the city I live in worried about this and allowed a second cable company to come in 25 years ago. Our city has franchise agreements with both Comcast and WOW (aks Knology, aka Cable Alabama). I had Knology 13 years ago but switched to Comcast when they were the first to offer high speed internet.

The reason why there is so little competition is that it costs a lot of money to set up the infrastructure for cable in a city. The franchise agreement is for the benefit of both the city and cable provider. No cable company want to invest millions in a city and be undercut by cutthroat competition. When Cable Alabama came in to compete with Comcast a price war started. In fact at the time in our city Comcast had the lowest cable rates in the whole United States at $4.95/mo. It took a lawsuit against our city to sort this out. Our city lost in court.

 

References:
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Re: Comcast encrypting OTA channels is entrapment.
http://forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-and-Equipment/Comcast-encrypting-OTA-channels-is-entrapment/t...

Cable System Encryption
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cable-system-encryption

Commission Relaxes The Cable Encryption Prohibition
http://www.fcc.gov/document/commission-relaxes-cable-encryption-prohibition
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New Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-01-2009

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

Is the scrambling why we are not able to watch an hour long show without the cable going out and coming back in fuzzy until we finally give up and have to watch Netflix? This scrambling happens continually and is getting insanely ridiculous when we can't watch any specific channel for any length of time. This is not what is advertised and not what we are paying for.

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!


Envizioning wrote:

Is the scrambling why we are not able to watch an hour long show without the cable going out and coming back in fuzzy until we finally give up and have to watch Netflix? This scrambling happens continually and is getting insanely ridiculous when we can't watch any specific channel for any length of time. This is not what is advertised and not what we are paying for.


Encryption/scrambling has nothing to do with cable going out.  That just a bad signal (either from Comcast of something within your setup).  I would check all cables/splitters/boxes for snug connections and swap/replace anything that you can.  If it still does it, you may need to call Comcast for a tech visit (which will cost you app. $50 if it is determined to be your problem and not Comcast's//

New Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-01-2009

Re: Comcast Now Scrambling LOCAL Channels!

We have already been through  all of that twice; checked our equipment and tech visits. Apparently it is just incompetent service. I guess the best thing we can do is seek another service provider.