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edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Is Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic, and if so: Where?

Is Comcast going to start encrypting Limited/Basic:

    If so, when did they get FCC approval to do so?

    If so, what is there schedule for doing so (times and places)?

    If so, what type of conversion boxes are they providing (how many and are they free)?

 

I have searched the internet and can find no information on the FCC approving the encryption of Local channels on cable systems, and I can find absolutely no information from Comcast at all about it!

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rog286713
Posts: 13,999
Registered: ‎06-17-2008
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edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

That tells me that the FCC has not (as yet) approved encrypting "all cable channels".  So now all we would like to know is what is Comcast doing, as I see some responders reporting that Comcast is/maybe encrypting Local/Basic channels in some areas???

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rog286713
Posts: 13,999
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

people have posted that comcast is encrypting all channels in some markets, which ones I don't know.  Comcast was the last company to not use a box, everyone else encrypts everything and needs a box.  I don't see the FCC stopping comcast from doing anyting, they own nbc and its the FCC's idea to encrypt everything so that plays well for all providers.  Now that does not mean that with a free dta you will lose channels but no one knows but them and they don't seem to want to say anything.

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commanguy
Posts: 5,415
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

I wonder how many of those people actually just lost tiers above Limited Basic. One or two of the postings I read almost sounded like Comcast was still in the first phase of the Digital Migration and encyrpting higer service tiers on those.

Or not. With the lack of a actual service tier stated it is not always easy to know if someone just lost Digital Starter tiers or that the actual Limited Basic service got encrypted. Some people seem to think that "basic cable" should offer every channel that is on the Starter tier, personal observation only.

 

Either way I agree it would be nice to see some offical feedback on this on any of the points listed.

 

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BruceW
Posts: 7,744
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?


edpeters wrote: ... I have searched the internet and can find no information on the FCC approving the encryption of Local channels on cable systems ...

The only waiver grant for a major cable system I have been able to find is this one for Cablevision in New York City: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-34A1.pdf.

 

The more general "Basic Service Tier Encryption" proceeding is still pending. You can keep up with it at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/proceeding/view?z=f7tzw&name=11-169.

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edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

I tend to agree with Commandguy concerning anyplace actually going through Limited/Basic encryption.  In looking at the latest "Recent Public Filings" there appears to be two battles going on.  Small operations objecting to the rule that cable providers provide "free" converter boxes (because it would be more of a burden on them than the large operations, which doesn't make any sense to me?), and the actual ability to encrypt the "must carry" channels.  I find Comcast latest submission (May 24, which I have copied below) to indicate this encryption would benefit the customers (I have yet to hear any customer profess that).  I also find it not in Comcast's interest to not put out information regarding this, on boards like this, to inform supporters of these boards (who are saving Comcast a lot of people resources by handling problems here) to be self-defeating.  "Bold is added by me".  YMMV

--------------------------------  To FCC from Comcast lawyers  ---------------------------------

Re: Basic Service Tier Encryption; Compatibility Between Cable Systems and Consumer
Electronics Equipment, MB Docket No. 11-169, PP Docket No. 00-67.
Dear Ms. Dortch:
On May 22, 2012, David Cohen, Kyle McSlarrow, and Kathy Zachem of Comcast
Corporation, and the undersigned met with Commissioner Ajit Pai and his Chief of staff,
Matthew Berry. For a time during the meeting, we discussed the Commission’s basic tier
encryption rulemaking. Specifically, we noted the substantial consumer and other public interest
benefits associated with basic tier encryption, including, among other things, remote service
connections and disconnections and reduced theft of service, and also discussed the various ways
in which customers with QAM devices can access basic tier channels.1 We also encouraged the
Commission to move forward expeditiously to complete the rulemaking.
Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this meeting.
Sincerely,

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commanguy
Posts: 5,415
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Okay,

Me confused and me admit it.

What would be the substanial benefits that would be obtained by encryption? I can see benefits of removing the analog feeds and giving us the digital signal they already receive from broadcasters. That would be better sound and picture, less bandwidth use which could add channels (granted mostly more HD) and other options.

But those are benefits of the transmission on digital frequencies, not encryption. Encryption protects the cable company primarily from cable theft. Who would want to steal 2 to 4 shopping channels escapes my confused mind at this time. Also it benefits the cable company in remote connection control but I think something similar could be obtained from digital only.

Bottom line seems to trend to the cable companies getting the use of boxes. Benefits are rental income. Another benefit is the two way communication which helps determine channels being watched, for how long, what days, etc......sounds like Nielson.

Either way right now in future when they remove are analog feeds I will need DTAs for now. My mom watches on older analog tvs so will need them anyway. If I could convice her to move up to a flat screen with QAM then I would and if they didn't encrypt better functionality. Even those tvs are smarter for channel lineup control than the boxes.

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?


commanguy wrote:

Also it benefits the cable company in remote connection control but I think something similar could be obtained from digital only.



I don't see how they can do any control with digital only. If a channel is not encrypted, anyone with a QAM tuner can view the channel. Encryption is necessary so that they can remove the decryption key from the cable box or CableCard, and that way prevent the device from accessing the channel.

 

However, if Limited Basic is a prerequisite of all other packages, they're never going to want to disable any of these channels. That means there's little need to encrypt them for management purposes. The only value is to prevent cable theft.

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commanguy
Posts: 5,415
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

I was just thinking they could do some sort of electronic disabling of the feed to the customers house without requiring encryption. Would probably be complex and not feasible.

But I agree that since Limited Basic is the foundation of the other tiers it doesn't make sense to disable them.

As far as encryption only time will tell.

 

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edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

The advantage is all Comcast.  Now if somebody discontinues service they have to roll a truck to pull the cable in the Box.  And if a customer has internet only, they have to install a filter to block the clear QAM freqs..  They may (or may not, if they are free) get rental money for the boxes, and they have fewer employees!  As usual the customer gets it in the end;  Another piece of electronics to degrade the signals and of course the electricity that is always on to run that equipment..

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commanguy
Posts: 5,415
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Yeah, didn't want to think about the extra electricity costs. Also scary is about cutting employees would possibly mean in smaller, rural outlying areas like mine that it could also mean closing offices.

Comcast would have no qualms about having me drive 2 hours, or wait 3 days or more for a mailed box, if I needed to replace a non-functional box.

The main thing Comcast NEEDS to remember about the channels on Limited Basic is that the local channels provide we the customers with important weather alerts during tornado season. If someone messes up the coding in a account auditing, or changes a frequency (have seen metro service channels on my system already via the box) or some such silliness and this is on a weekend then we the customers are tough out of luck.

Now a simple digital transmission, unencrypted, takes away some of this uncertaintity on the issue. So even if I had a box on my tv and somehow the coding got messed up then with Limited Basic clear transmission I could unplug the box and keep the service. And to me I want the local channels, PBS, and even C-Span. I would upgrade my tvs to clearQAM tuners as long as I knew they could be used as is. If the idea is to need a "monitor" then I can spend the money on that, drop the tv service and use the Internet for storm warnings or radio stations. This encyrption is, IMHO, not making the SERVICE as functional as it really could be. How many channels does one really need anyway?

Venting over. Have a nice weekend

 

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SeabeeRon
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-10-2012

VCR Recording

Has Comcast recently encoded basic cable service?  I have cable without a cable box and I am no longer able to record to my VCR.  Any help appreciated!

 

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SeabeeRon
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-10-2012

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

New to this Forum.  This thread sounds like it may be what my issue is.  A few weeks ago I thought my VCR was on the fritz as I am unable to record any programs.  I have basic cable without a cable box.  My VCR checks out OK, so I suspect Comcast has encryted the signal coming into my home that is preventing me from recording anything!  Does this sound right?!?

 

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 11,810
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

[ Edited ]

VCR's would tune analog NTSC channels, which are being removed on a fast rate on many systems on the limited basic tier. 

 

The thread is about digital clearQAM limited basic channels that are or are going to be encrypted on many systems.

 

So your are correct, you most likely lost your remaining analog channels that your VCR would be able to tune in.  You will need a DTA digital adapter that outputs to analog channel 3 or 4 to continue  to use your VCR.  You will lose the ability to use the timer function on the VCR to change channels for different recordings, as the VCR will not be able to change the channel on a DTA.  The VCR needs to stay on channel 3 or  4 to record.  You can still set up the timer, you will just need to manually change the channel on the DTA before the recording starts.

 

You can pick up the DTA at your local Comcast office.

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Jim721
Posts: 2,945
Registered: ‎12-05-2010

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Comcast will indeed be all encrypted and this is there goal to all markets. I just got a letter from them last week saying if you dont have a dta or stb you will no longer beable to recieve tv service so its somthing your going to have to deal with and there is nothing you can do to stop it the fcc gave the green light on this awhile ago.

Regular Contributor
Hecbori787
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎06-15-2011

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

People I understand your frustration; nevertheless, all of you need to get over it! Comcast like most cable systems are going to encryp all the channels. Dish Network, DirecTV, FIOS, and AT&T already do now the cable systems are going to do the same.

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SeabeeRon
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-10-2012

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Is  DTA like the cable box?  How large is it and is there a fee to have one from Comcast?  Are they only available from Comcast?  Thanks!

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Jim721
Posts: 2,945
Registered: ‎12-05-2010

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

[ Edited ]

The DTA i have is small not much bigger then 2 packs of smokes CC does allow up to 2 DTA per account at no charge keep in mind you will have no on demand or a cable guide with a DTA. And yes only CC has them you cant buy your own. Also there is NO hd with a DTA and at least mine gets most of the channels that would come with the digital starter tv tier.

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edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

[ Edited ]

Hecbori787 wrote:

People I understand your frustration; nevertheless, all of you need to get over it! Comcast like most cable systems are going to encryp all the channels. Dish Network, DirecTV, FIOS, and AT&T already do now the cable systems are going to do the same.


I've only heard of one cable outlet (in NYC I think) that was allowed an exemption to the "must carry clear" rule for cable providers.  And the only thing I will be over is having Cable, if the FCC allows them to encrypt Local channels!  Anybody else notice that no friendly (rumors abound) Comcast "rednames" has opted an opinion on this???

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Jim721
Posts: 2,945
Registered: ‎12-05-2010

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

I can assure you the fcc has allowed this and I have the letter from CC to prove it. The encrypting is coming bottom line deal with it or move on to another provider this is your choice. Good Luck...

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BruceW
Posts: 7,744
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?


Jim721 wrote: I can assure you the fcc has allowed this and I have the letter from CC to prove it. ...

It isn't clear what you are referring to here. What has the FCC allowed, and what "proof" do you have?

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edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

[ Edited ]

Jim721 wrote:

I can assure you the fcc has allowed this and I have the letter from CC to prove it. The encrypting is coming bottom line deal with it or move on to another provider this is your choice. Good Luck...


Is it possible that what you are refering to is the FCC Killing the "Viewability Rule"?  Which Comcast is advising people they have to have a "Box", forgetting about those that have QAM tuners in their TVs or other Video equipment (which is what this thread is about "Must Carry Clear").

 

http://www.tvnewscheck.com/article/60066/fcc-to-kill-viewability-rule-on-dec-12?utm_source=Listrak&u...

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Jim721
Posts: 2,945
Registered: ‎12-05-2010

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Yes thats what i was trying to say. The fcc has green lighted CC they no longer have to supply non scambled channels and in my market they are doing this right now and soon it will be that way in all market areas.

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edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?


Jim721 wrote:

Yes thats what i was trying to say. The fcc has green lighted CC they no longer have to supply non scambled channels and in my market they are doing this right now and soon it will be that way in all market areas.


They are two different things.  One has to do with no longer providing analog RF channels, which Comcast has probably completed nation-wide by now.  The discussion on this thread is about Comcast encrypting "Must Carry" channels, which to the best of our knowledge they are not as yet doing: And that's a good thing because the FCC has not approved anybody to do it, except with a special waiver.  If you have evidence of Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic/Local channels please make the information available to us.  See FCC 11-169 : http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment_search/execute.action?proceeding=11-169

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Jim721
Posts: 2,945
Registered: ‎12-05-2010

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

I know this. I got a letter from CC saying this is coming and if i have any tv HD or SD i will need a DTA or a STB to recieve any channels. I had a tech here about 2 weeks ago that confirmed this ALL channels will be encryted soon in my area. I can only assume this will be all of CC in a matter of time and i dont mean years more like months. 

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edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?


Jim721 wrote:

I know this. I got a letter from CC saying this is coming and if i have any tv HD or SD i will need a DTA or a STB to recieve any channels. I had a tech here about 2 weeks ago that confirmed this ALL channels will be encryted soon in my area. I can only assume this will be all of CC in a matter of time and i dont mean years more like months. 


What is your zip code.  I really want to get confirmation from Comcast that they are not abiding by the FCC must carry clear rule.  tks. Ed

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edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

It appears that Comcast will not make any statement on this issue, which is all too typical.  Might as well close the thread!!  Thanks to all those who tried to supply information...

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?


edpeters wrote:

It appears that Comcast will not make any statement on this issue, which is all too typical.  Might as well close the thread!!  Thanks to all those who tried to supply information...



Comcast almost never makes official statements like this here. If they were to announce it, they'd use their blog. But they generally only use that to publish good news, since it's primarily a marketing medium.

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edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Looks like the major company fighting basic tier encryption "Boxee" is capitulating (i.e. Comcast is paying them off somehow).

http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/1/3129845/comcast-boxee-encrypted-cable-television

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HisSvt2
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-17-2012

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Chicago area i dont see local channels 26.1, 26.2, 26.3 WCIU is local OTA channel and now says encrypted

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JayInAlg
Posts: 11,810
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

[ Edited ]

HisSvt2 wrote:

Chicago area i dont see local channels 26.1, 26.2, 26.3 WCIU is local OTA channel and now says encrypted



Where exactly, please post your zip.  Have you done a re-scan of the TV or pc tuner?

New Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-25-2004

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Yes, they have encrypted me today, I just was told by Comcast today that basic is encrypted.  Both TV and HDHomeRun Prime couldn't scan for channels.  Unfortunately for me I just bought a QAM tuner. 

 

98029 is my zip code

 

Also, they charge a $10/month fee for HD delivery over the cable card to my tuner. Time to buy an HD antennae.  $26/month for limited cable is excessive.

New Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-06-2006

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Yup - Me too !  Got home tonight after a long day at work and sat down to watch one show on local channel 7 before heading to bed and my TV says Every dam channel is  encrypted !!!

 

I am in South Seattle.

 

I am on a limited budget and they want another freakin $10 dollars just so I can watch local TV - No way !  I 'll go out this weekend and buy a roof antenna for $40.00 and cancel Comcast !!!! 

New Visitor
tukson
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-08-2013

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Yup. Silicon's HDHomeRun is now useless with Comcast/Xfinity here in 85743 zip. Time to cancel and switch to an antenna.

 

 

Contributor
cameo40
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎11-05-2012

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Not just Limited/Basic, but Digital Economy as well started being encrypted yesterday in Bellevue, WA.

At least they could have announced it so we can be prepared. I used to be able to get all the local stations with my ClearQAM HD TV set really nicely without the cable box, but that option is now gone. The SD quality that comes out of the cable box is not really enjoyable. Unfortunately there is a hill between my house and the Seattle TV towers, so OTA is not an option for me. But I also resent Comcast forcing me to pay for their expensive HD packages to watch channels I used to watch without such an extra cost. Just because FCC allows them to scramble all channels now (due to lobbying by the cable companies, no doubt,)  it does not mean that they have to. Especially since the local channels don't charge anything for their programming to their viewers.  With this step Comcast also reduced the value of every TV set without compensation for the lost value to its customers. I would not be surprised if they were hit with a multi-bilion dollar class action suit for this.

New Visitor
smithdb
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-16-2014

Re: Comcast encrypting Limited/Basic?

Comcast CHOOSES to encrypt.  It's a way to charge more money for those trying to save money.  I only have the "air" channels (NBC, CBS, ..stations I can get with an antenae) as part of a package I bought.  To watch TV in my Bedroom, I have to have a BOX.  (didn't with WoW).  Another $7 for nothing.

 

(http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cable-system-encryption)