[mythtv-users] Can a pcHDTV record standard definition?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Wed Dec 13 12:14:38 UTC 2006

On Dec 12, 2006, at 8:34 PM, Brad Fuller wrote:

> Brian Wood wrote:
>> On Dec 12, 2006, at 8:13 PM, Robert Tsai wrote:
>>> The pcHDTV can record QAM, which requires a digital cable
>>> subscription.
> In SF it requires only an analog subscription. I receive QAM256  
> with my
> std. analog subscription. Here, there are quite a few unencrypted  
> channels.
>>> The pcHDTV can also record OTA, which only requires OTA reception.
>>> You get to pick one.
>> It will only receive *unencrypted* QAM which, depending on your cable
>> system, might be anything from all digital signals to none of them.
>> In my case it is just a few digital video channels and a *lot* of the
>> digital music channels (with a video slate screen that changes only
>> when the song does).
>> Receiving unencrypted QAM signals without a subscription to Digital
>> Cable might be technically possible, but is probably illegal.
> Gee, I don't know about "illegal." Maybe without a subscription at  
> all.

Hypothetically, if you could receive one or more channels via  
unencrypted QAM that you could not get as analog channels, and you  
had only an analog subscription, this might be considered "stealing"  
by some.

You could of course argue that the cable operator should encrypt  
anything they do not want you to receive, but cable operators pay  
some program suppliers on a per-subscriber basis and if you are not  
paying for digital cable the programmer would not be receiving  
anything from you.

I don't know whether the simple act of modulating a signal via QAM  
would be considered "protected" within the meaning of the DMCA or  
not, but stranger interpretations have been made.

I'm certainly not an attorney (nor would I wish to be), but receiving  
a channel you are not paying for would seem to me to be at least  
morally wrong if not legally so.

All hypothetical, of course :-)

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