[mythtv-users] Re: New MythTV Hardware Review

Joseph A. Caputo jcaputo1 at comcast.net
Fri Dec 10 15:29:35 UTC 2004

On Friday 10 December 2004 08:41, sschaefer1 at woh.rr.com wrote:
> Sorry, I have to ask a stupid question...
> > > Anyway, the pcHDTV card we are all talking about is rumoured to
> > > have QAM support in development, so it could tune your cable and
> > > you would not need an antenna.  As to when, who knows?
> > >
> > > The QAM signal for your local stations should be unencrypted. 
> > > The
> Wouldn't you still need to subscribe to the cable service to receive
> a signal that you could tune into? If so, and you don't have a
> subscription, you'd still need an antenna... or am I confused?

This is how I understand it (from one layman to another):

If you have digital cable, the digital channels (typically channels < 
125 are still analog NTSC, even if you have a digital subscription) use 
QAM.  I'm not clear on whether it's the QAM signal itself or the MPEG-2 
content that's encrypted (if at all), but in any event the FCC 
stipulates that at least the local broadcast stations carried by your 
cable provider should be unencrypted (though your provider may not be 
in compliance).  I don't think there is currently any way for you to 
decrypt an encrypted QAM transmission outside of your cable company's 
STB.  Maybe if you have PhD's in cryptology and signal processing...

If you don't have digital cable, you may use an antenna to receive OTA 
digital broadcasts.  These do not use QAM, but 8VSB.


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