[mythtv-users] SF Bay Comcast Analog Armageddon Has Begun

Kirk Bocek t004 at kbocek.com
Tue Nov 24 06:05:26 UTC 2009

Gary Buhrmaster wrote:
> (full disclaimer, I am a Comcast Sunnyvale customer)
> I believe the status is still the same.  The PACE DTA is not a full
> function box, and while it is capable of "encryption", it is not
> the full function QAM encyption (it is a fixed 56-bit DES key).
> Comcast got its waiver, so they can *choose* to start encryption
> at any time.  
>   http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=180850&site=cdn
> Since I recorded a show in the "expanded basic" tier yesterday
> via clear QAM, they have not (yet) chosen to do so, but could
> at any time.
> My *personal* opinion is that Comcast does not care a lot
> the (potential) minor loss of revenue for the few that
> might purchased only "basic" cable, and get the "expanded
> basic" for free using clear QAM(*).  It is a minor loss of
> money.  The real money is to get people to upgrade to
> full digital (and full HD) offerings, and the conversion
> to digital for the expanded basic channels is the way
> to get that capacity to make it a compelling product for a
> set of customers to spend real money.  And while, with their
> waiver, Comcast will likely encrypt at some point after the
> rollouts are complete (which will make me sad, because my
> clear QAM tuners will no longer work), their business plan
> did not depend on getting the waiver.  They were willing
> to just let the money go.
> [Note that the SD HD Homeruns output the full transport
> stream, so brute forcing the 56 bit (fixed) DES key
> may occur as a bypass for some.]

Here's a thread on this subject:


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