[mythtv-users] HDHomeRun for SDTV?

Dwight Morgan dwightbulk at charter.net
Wed Mar 21 14:19:20 UTC 2007

>>> On 3/20/2007 at 10:09 PM, in message <4600BE20.8000008 at mandamus.org>, R. G. Newbury<newbury at mandamus.org> wrote:

Don't top post please...See below.

jason maxwell wrote:
>>From what i understand, right now, the FCC mandate only covers analog
> broadcasts. They dont _have_ to send the digital channels
> unencrypted... yet. Most companies do send all local channels
> unencrypted though.

Because they are required by law to do so...Digital too. See below.
> On 3/20/07, R. G. Newbury <newbury at mandamus.org> wrote:
>> Mark J. Scheller wrote:
>>> I'm in the Philadelphia area with FIOS TV currently recording on a PVR350
>>> attached to a cable box.  This is working OK, but I now have enough
>>> conflicts that I'm looking for an additional tuner.  Looking forward to the
>>> future, as I will "soon" have an HDTV capable set, I'm wondering whether I
>>> could get the HDHomeRun and use its 2 tuners now just to record SDTV
>>> content
>>> to my Myth (and eliminate the PVR350/cable box).
>>> Any input would be appreciated -- thanks in advance!
>>> [MjS]
>> It will depend entirely upon what unencrypted content your provider
>> pours down the 'wire'.
>> Content can be delivered by digital or analog streams.
>> Content can be SD or HD.
>> Some digital content is encrypted and you need a set top box.
>> Some digital content is not encrypted (although QAM256 encoded on cable').
>> The FCC mandates that cablecos provide the local off-air channels
>> through an unencrypted feed (ie: not 'premium content').
>> So you will get your local off-air available channels as HD content,
>> unencrypted, to the extent that the local network affiliates broadcast HD.
>> Other digital channels may bne HD or SD as the cableco decides.
>> You will probably still need the 'cable box' as it probably does the
>> optical to wire conversion required to split out the tv signals.
>> Geoff

Well a quick browse through US 47 CFR lead me to chapter 76.56 which 
says, in part...

  47 CFR 76.56
   (b) Carriage of local commercial tele-
   vision stations. Effective June 2, 1993, a
   cable television system shall carry
   local commercial broadcast television
  (c) With respect to digital signals of
a television station carried in fulfill-
ment of the must-carry obligations, a
cable operator shall carry the informa-
tion necessary to identify and tune to
the broadcast television signal.
  (f) Pursuant to  76.64(f)(3), a local
commercial broadcast television station
that fails to make an election is
deemed a must-carry station. A cable
operator shall carry such a television
station on the cable system channel
number on which the local commercial
television station is broadcast over the
air, or ....or......[then] the cable operator shall place
the signal of such a television station
on a channel of the cable system's
choice, so long as that channel is included
on the basic service tier.

That seems to me to dispose of the question: the basic service tier is 
not an encrypted service tier and a digital signal must carry the 
identification and tuning information.

I did NOT find the sections which provide penalties for failure to 
comply. However, I noted that the FCC pages have a section on the 
electronic filing of complaints. I would think that a complaint that a 
cableco had failed to comply with the regulations under which it is 
licenced would be dealt with by the FCC.

IAAL and therefore had no problem reading the CFR's....
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Unfortunately, according to one of cable companies, a lot of the digital transmitters are still running lower output wattage than their analog counterparts, and therefore the signal footprint often doesn't meet the requirements of the "must carry" law.  I live in Walla Walla, with Charter as the provider with all of my digital OTA coming from Pasco/Kennewick (40 miles away).  When the TV stations up the power on their digital stations, Charter says they will have to unencrypt them.  Currently, they tell me they are paying for those HD signals and picking them up of sat.

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