[mythtv-users] HDHomeRun for SDTV?

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Thu Mar 22 15:07:42 UTC 2007

ryan patterson wrote:
> On 3/21/07, 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
>>    stations...
>>   (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.
>> Geoff
>> IAAL and therefore had no problem reading the CFR's....
> As I understand it local broadcast channels can force a cable company to
> carry their analog signal on the most basic tier.  This is not true for
> digital signals.  But if the cable company does carry a broadcast digital
> channel they must do so unencrypted for all tiers.

There are provisions concerning in effect exemptions from broadcasting 
as 'must carry' channels, those that are basically simulcast with 
already carried channels. So the local commercial station could elect 
that the cableco mist carry the SD and analog channel and not the 
digital version.. But that 'out' will soon disappear when the digital 
switchover takes place....That's only about a year away now, isn't it?

Given that background, there could even be some room for the cableco to 
elect to carry the digital version, and declare that the analog channel 
is the duplicate...That is not particularly 'visible' in the wording of 
the Regs and I was not reading for that understanding.


              R. Geoffrey Newbury			
            Barrister and Solicitor
       Suite 106, 150 Lakeshore Road West
          Mississauga, Ontario, L5H 3R2

         o905-271-9600 f905-271-1638
           newbury at mandamus.org

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