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

brad at bradandkim.net brad at bradandkim.net
Wed Dec 13 14:34:12 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 :-)

Well, I do have a digital subscription so luckily I will not have to
wrestle with any ethics   :)



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