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

brad at bradandkim.net brad at bradandkim.net
Wed Dec 13 15:56:06 UTC 2006

>>> On Dec 12, 2006, at 8:34 PM, Brad Fuller wrote:
>>>>> 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   :)
> I certainly didn't mean to imply that you were "stealing", only to
> point out the potential for problems.
> Of course it gets even more complicated - is the extra money for
> digital for the channels involved, or is it only for the required
> STB ? What about somebody willing to pay for the extra channels but
> unwilling to pay for a STB they won't ever use that the cable
> operator insists on charging for anyway?
> The channels that I could receive via unencrypted QAM are ones that I
> get via satellite anyway, so what would it matter where I actually
> got them from ?
> One difference would be the commercials that are inserted are
> different, but thanks to Myth I never see those commercials anyway.
> I guess these are the sort of questions that keep lawyers driving
> Mercedes Benz automobiles :-)
So if my cable company sends unencrypted QAM HD channels, then it is
possible that I am already receiving those channels with my digital
subscription and would not need to either upgrade my subscription or my
STB as the pcHDTV would handle that for me?



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