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Government Television The Media Entertainment

FCC To Allow Cable Companies To Encrypt Over-the-Air Channels 376

alen writes "The FCC is now allowing cable companies to encrypt free OTA channels that they also rebroadcast over their networks. 'The days of plugging a TV into the wall and getting cable are coming to an end. After a lengthy review process, the FCC has granted cable operators permission to encrypt their most basic cable programming.' Soon the only way to receive free OTA channels via your cable company will involve renting yet another box or buying something like Boxee."
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FCC To Allow Cable Companies To Encrypt Over-the-Air Channels

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  • Do Not Want (Score:5, Insightful)

    by halfEvilTech ( 1171369 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @04:50PM (#41662979)

    well there goes my HTPC build. For those that like to build their own media centers, dvr's, etc this is utter crap. Of course I can spend $200 to get a tuner card that will accept a M-type cable card but then that is yet another piece of equipment that I have to rent from said cable company.

    who wants to bet said FCC people have coushy jobs lined up at some major cable company.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2012 @04:51PM (#41662999)

    Or you could just use an antenna to receive the free OTA channels directly without involving the cable company at all. You can get some pretty diminutive aerials these days for inside use if you can't mount one outside.

  • An Antenna... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by John Bresnahan ( 638668 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @04:52PM (#41663015)
    will also work for many people. I recently cut my cable TV service when I realized that almost everything I was actually watching was programming being broadcast over-the-air. A $50 antenna and I'm all set
  • by a-zarkon! ( 1030790 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @04:53PM (#41663021)
    Seriously, +1 Internets to the first person who can put a positive spin on this one. Wow. Just wow.
  • Re:My guess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @04:57PM (#41663093)

    You can digitize without encrypting. That is what clear QAM is for.

    What this is really about is that they won't have to roll a truck for a cable install. Heck, they can fire all the techs too, or at least most of them. They will leave all the cables live all the time and make you come get a box to do the decryption. When you leave you give the box back, or if you don't pay they deauthorize it on their end.

  • by claytongulick ( 725397 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @04:59PM (#41663117) Homepage

    You'd think that in today's era of streaming video, netflix, hulu, amazon and iTunes, the cable companies would be doing everything in their power to increase viewership numbers (for advertising revenue).

    Adding obstacles to folks trying to watch their programming seems insane - like they are actively trying to go out of business, driving more folks (like me) away from traditional add supported media. My wife and I do all our watching on Netflix (or Amazon, if there's a show we're willing to buy). I can't imagine going back to the bad old days of television ads.

    Not that I mind, given the advances in cell technology, I think we're less than 10 years away from cable companies being nothing more than legacy internet providers anyway, like dial-up.

    Comcast = Earthlink in ten years.

  • Re:Do Not Want (Score:5, Insightful)

    by halfEvilTech ( 1171369 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:00PM (#41663139)

    My recorder is fine. I cut the cord long ago. But since the line is still active to me having a cable modem this solves the issue of getting a decent antenea in order to get the OTA's. Currently I can just plug my system / TV into the wall and still pickup those said channels as they are broadcast in clearQuam as required under current regulations.

    This is just a move that gives me the finger and forces me to put an ugly ass antenea on my roof in order to get semi decent reception as my town of 20k people is at least 50 miles from the nearest broadcast towers which causes all kinds of issues with reception.

    Now if they can also encrypt those channels over the same line even though they are free (as i don't need a subscription to get them). Guess i go netflix only and just do the over the interwebs route.

  • THERE GOES CABLE! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:07PM (#41663237) Homepage Journal

    Look! TV just killed itself!

    I have two tween kids. They don't know what Cable, satellite or OTA are...

    There's YouTube, NetFlix, Amazon and PutLocker.

    They also know some suckers who pay for HuluPlus, to watch the unwatchable.

  • OTA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitalaudiorock ( 1130835 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:09PM (#41663261)

    I know it's not an option for some, but I live where I can get New York OTA channels, and even Philly stations if I want, with my roof antenna and rotor. I record everything we watch on a MythTV system with a TB of disk space. I haven't had pay TV in 25 years.

    I have cable for internet only. Every time the cable company calls me trying to sell me a TV package, I tell them exactly what I'm currently using, and exactly why I want no part of their any-consumer bull shit. I wish more people would do the same thing.

    What sucks of course is that, because all the available internet providers are TV providers, you pay a premium for internet when it's not part of some fucking package. The whole situation just blows to put it mildly...and the fucking FCC, whose supposed to be working for us, can go straight to fucking hell too.

  • by ZeroSumHappiness ( 1710320 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:10PM (#41663277)


    Bring down prices! Hilarious!

    No, seriously, hahahahahaha.

  • Re:Do Not Want (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rollingcalf ( 605357 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:15PM (#41663335)

    Except that when people build or buy an HTPC, it's usually not just for recording TV shows, it's also for playing games, music, ripped DVDs or Blu-Rays, Netflix, and other uses. The cable company's box won't do that.

  • by tapspace ( 2368622 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:27PM (#41663459)

    Making money off the elderly and out of touch, the way God intended.

  • by digitalaudiorock ( 1130835 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:28PM (#41663481)

    These so-called "HDTV" antennas were sold for years with the incorrect assumption that digital TV would stay on UHF and it most assuredly did not!

    In the New York area for example, several of the UHF digital networks moved their digital signal to their original VHF frequency when the switch over occurred.

    Don't buy one of those unless you're sure that all the digital networks in your area are on UHF. If any are, you'll need a combination UHF/VHF antenna.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:35PM (#41663545)

    My folks still do this, and it's what we had the entire time I was growing up (personally, I rely on Netflix, Hulu, etc. these days exclusively). They work great most of the time and can save a load of money on a medium where no one with sense should be investing big bucks at this point. I was surprised how clear the reception was with the relatively small, indoor antenna my parents had directly above the TV last time I visited them.

    Strangely, it seems that many people are unaware that it's even an option. My folks told me about a husband and wife in their early-to-mid 40s that came over for dinner awhile back. The wife made some comment about how she only watches the major U.S. networks yet cable TV is so expensive. When my parents pointed out that they get those channels for free with an antenna, the wife was dumbstruck. Apparently she started insisting that it was illegal to watch TV without a cable subscription. After several minutes of reassurances from both my parents and her husband that it was perfectly legal and had been around since television was introduced, she was left feeling a bit sheepish. Even more so after her husband pointed out that most of the homes she grew up in didn't even have access to cable TV since it wasn't in widespread use at the time.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:40PM (#41663597) Journal
    WE should get the IP streaming without being forced to agree they can DMCA lock signals that are being broadcast over the air for free. WE own the right of way these companies operate under, we should be demanding more from infrastructure, not less.
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:49PM (#41663655) Homepage Journal

    There's YouTube, NetFlix, Amazon and PutLocker.

    Do these services have live sports or political talk shows? In my survey sample, one head of household, would rather go back to dial-up than drop ESPN and NBCSN (formerly Versus), and the other would be lost without MSNBC.

  • give all the money to the rich people and they'll hire us to wash their car

    you can get angry, laugh, or, like me, weep at the fact so many morons actually swallowed this crap, as they lose their job

  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @08:40AM (#41667683) Journal

    Lost without MSNBC? Seriously they are about as reputable as Fox News.

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