[mythtv-users] What can be done about a USA cable provider encrypting local channels?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Tue May 29 13:06:30 UTC 2007

William Munson wrote:
> Recently Comcast took over our cable system and now they have decided to 
> encrypt all the local channels which really sucks since I am too far 
> away from the transmitters to get them as OTA. What can I do about it? I 
> know from past experience they are going to play dumb and deny, deny, 
> deny... (It took 20+ calls to get them to fix the intermittent cable 
> issue down the road that was causing dropouts)
>  I would love to find a class action law suite to bring on them however 
> I doubt thats going to be an option. Thoughts or suggestions? I am about 
> ready to put my HDHR up for sale and say FUG IT!

My understanding is that cable companies are supposed to make any
"off-air" channel they are carrying available without encryption.

Getting them to even acknowledge that, let alone do anything about it,
is another story.

It's doubtful that anyone at your local cable office is even aware of
the issue, so their "denials" really just represent ignorance.

If they are truly "local" channels then you should be able to get them
off-air, but since you say they are not receivable by you I'm not sure
precisely what the situation is.

If it were me I'd start by trying to contact the station(s) involved,
perhaps by a letter to the General Manager(s), perhaps with a copy to
the FCC, that often gets attention. Stations do not like it when a
potential viewer is unable to watch them, for any reason, and they
certainly do not like letters going to the FCC. It could be as simple as
the GM of a station contacting Comcast, and their having to simply throw
a switch.

A station is supposed to "serve the community needs and interests", hard
to do if somebody can't watch them.

Good luck, I suspect you will need it.


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