[mythtv-users] Comcast clear QAM

Yeechang Lee ylee at pobox.com
Fri Dec 5 05:20:16 UTC 2008

Jeff Thurston <jthurston at skyline-ats.com> says:
> That's odd though, I can get both CBS (KPIX) and FOX (KTVU) in HD
> either QAM or OTA with my TV through Comcast, no cable-card, just
> the built-in tuner.  Just can't get it over firewire with the STB
> into Myth.  If it were CBS & FAX encrypting it, I shouldn't be able
> to get it at all.

Two similar--but separate--issues here, as I understand it.

* There's 5C, which is encryption of pay cable channels and other
  (including, in most cases, all non-OTA channels). Encryption is done
  at the cable company's end and decryption is done by the cable box.
* Then there's RC, which is a simple flag that indicates whether a
  broadcast can be copied or not. Yes, this is (a version of) the
  infamous "broadcast flag" of a few years back. No encryption.

I'm on Astound in San Francisco and also see the second issue. KPIX is
almost certainly incorrectly setting the RC flag on its side
(something that's occurred within the last six months), and Comcast is
passing it through to the cable box, which sees it and duly prevents
FireWire. Yes, this is a violaton of the FCC mandate, but beyond the
normal bureaucracy involved it's easy for Comcast to point the finger
at KPIX because it really is the latter's fault.

I don't know whether a cable company can manually flip the RC flag on
its side to prevent this issue from happening. When I had to deal with
the same issue with KBWB a couple of years ago Astound was able to get
the station to fix it on its side, but subsequent attempts to do the
same with KPIX through Astound have been unsuccessful, for me. I
haven't tried talking directly to KPIX, though.

I can't explain KTVU; I can get it through FireWire. Instead, I cannot
get KQED (the PBS station, for non-Bay area residents), of all things,
through FireWire. Fortunately, OTA covers both KPIX and KQED for me.

Frontend:		P4 3.0GHz, 1.5TB software RAID 5 array
Backend:		Quad-core Xeon 1.6GHz, 6.6TB sw RAID 6
Video inputs:		Four high-definition over FireWire/OTA
Accessories:		47" 1080p LCD, 5.1 digital, and MX-600

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list