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

Larry Jones larry at foxgulch.com
Tue May 29 14:11:16 UTC 2007

Michael T. Dean wrote:
> On 05/29/2007 08:56 AM, 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.
> I can't get any of my local stations using analog (and I have a 16 foot
> antenna in my attic), but I can get them all in digital--with very high
> signal strengths.  The digital cliff is a wonderful thing.  It makes
> class "B" reception a thing of the past.
> For analog, the stations could write me off as having class B
> reception--which is really unusable (basically static with the hint of a
> picture in the background).  For digital, that same signal quality
> results in too many errors to decode the stream--meaning no
> reception--so they have to do better with digital transmission.
> If you haven't tried digital OTA, it may be worthwhile to do so.
> Mike
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My experience with OTA  digital vs analogue is similar to Mike Dean's.   
I am shadowed by at least one intervening mountain from our local vhf 
and uhf stations located about 25 miles away in Missoula, MT.   VHF and 
UHF analogue reception was possible with many ghosts using a modest 
Radio Shack combo uhf/vhf antenna in the garage attic.

 Digital was hit and miss until I purchased a four bay bow tie uhf 
antenna and mounted it outside on the garage roof. Now I receive all the 
digital uhf rock solid.  My experiments showed that outside mounting is 
clearly superior to an attic mount.  The bow tie is a  sturdy antenna so 
it should last a long time even mounted outside here in Montana.

I still use the radio shack combo uhf/vhf located in the garage for our 
only local vhf digital (Yes they do allow digital on the high band vhf 
channels.... ours is KPAX-DT on channel 8 ( and 7 analogue).) I use a 
combiner to mix the output of the bow tie preamp and the RS combo preamp 
so I only have one RG6 cable run to the garage attic. 

  So if you, or any of your neighbors, can get a "watchable" analogue 
(no sync tears or drop outs),   I'd say it's worth while to try a very 
high gain uhf antenna and low noise preamp then mount it as high as you 
can possibly place it.   You just might be able to get digital OTA.   
Out here, I'm not served ( or  even dis-served) by cable, and no 
prospects of ever having cable service so OTA was the only option.


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