[mythtv-users] Another step towards what I'd predicted

David Brieck Jr. dbrieck at gmail.com
Wed Jan 9 15:34:00 UTC 2008

On Jan 5, 2008 4:10 PM, Greg <greg12866 at nycap.rr.com> wrote:
> This week i E-mailed the FCC and complained about the fact that allot of
> people are buying new TV's with the digital and Qam tuners and the cable
> operators are blocking us from using our tuners.. My Argument  is we
> change over to digital tv's and still have to rent a stb and remote..I
> have 3 tv's  so it costs $24.00  a month to do what my tv's already
> do..They E-mailed me 2 days later and asked for my home phone number so
> they could speak to me about it...Maybe if  more people would e-mail
> them and tell them their cable co.won't allow them to use their TV's
> with out an stb... Can't hurt.... Sorry to jump on your post,but i
> wanted to maybe prompt a few to do as i did....  The email address is
> MBINFO at fcc.gov

I never seem to get the same response as anyone else does from the
FCC. Their answer was inline with what they had previously told me,
see the thread below (it's top posted, sorry about that):

Essentially, any programming beyond the basic service tier.  Also, the
"digital tier" offered by cable TV operators cannot be accessed without
the use of a box.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2008 10:08 AM
Subject: Re: Why can't I use the QAM tuner in my new TV?

What are the "certain types of programming or services" that they can
require the use of a cable box for? I am unable to receive ANY digital
service from my provider without the use of a cable box.

On Jan 9, 2008 9:26 AM, MBINFO <MBINFO at fcc.gov> wrote:
> Thanks for contacting the FCC.  I appreciate the opportunity to
> Just as an analog TV with a tuner may still need a box to receive
> particular cable services, a digital TV with a tuner may still need a
> cable box to receive some services.  There is no federal law or rule
> that prevents a cable company from requiring the use of a box to
> certain types of programming or services.  Thus, unless your digital
> has a slot that will accept a CableCard, you will need to use a
> converter box to receive some cable services.
> I hope that this information is helpful.
> -----Original Message-----
> Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2008 5:07 PM
> Subject: Why can't I use the QAM tuner in my new TV?
> So my family recently got a new TV that comes with a QAM tuner in it.
> The problem is, my cable company tells me that in order to get any
> digital service I MUST rent their cable box. As I understand it, I
> should be able to use the QAM tuner to get most of the same digital
> channels that a cable box could get, but my cable company has decided
> to scramble every channel on the digital lineup it seems in order to
> force me to rent a cable box from them. I have no interest in renting
> movies or using their program guide, I just want to be able to use
> their digital service without the additional fee of a cable box.
> I can only imagine what the cable company will force on me when they
> decide to stop sending analog signals.
> David Brieck

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