[mythtv-users] Current Verizon FIOS experiences

Johnny jarpublic at gmail.com
Wed Dec 16 16:17:12 UTC 2009

> I'd read a few things recently that made me suspicious that situation was changing? I have some vague recollection about some recent court case where the whole unencrypted firewire and clear QAM situation had been overruled! Hopefully I've remembered it wrong but that was part of my reason for asking for recent direct experience.

I think you are referring to the fact that Comcast got a waiver to
allow them encrypt their extended basic channels without the use of a
cable card. The FCC mandated all cable providers only use cable cards
for decryption in set top boxes. Recently when switching to all
digital, Comcast had to give their analog subscribers digital set top
boxes for free. Since they had to give them out for free they went
super cheap and used boxes that can't do the standard encryption so
Comcast was having to send everything in the clear. They got a waver
to allow them to use another simpler type of encryption that these
free boxes can handle. So they are now in the process encrypting all
of the the extended basic channels again. This is a separate issue
from the OTA broadcast channels. Those are still supposed to be in the

>> They usually recompress
>> it to a lower bitrate. I believe FIOS does less of this so it may not
>> be an issue.
> Surely they would just re-multiplex the transport streams, encoders are expensive!

Well if you have watched Comcast in the US it is often blatantly
obvious that the are decompressing some stuff. Here is a thread at AVS
forums with the actual numbers and screeen shots
(http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1008271). Fortunately
they show that FIOS doesn't seem to be doing this.

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