[mythtv-users] W.O.W. commits to unencrypted QAM digital basic

Ronald Frazier ron at ronfrazier.net
Thu Apr 7 04:04:15 UTC 2011

I haven't seen this mentioned in the forum, so I thought I would post
it, since it would potentially be of interest to a lot of users here
(at least ones in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio). As many of us know, a
while back Comcast started the switch to all digital systems and DTAs.
They then petitioned the FCC to allow them to do encryption on the DTA
devices, and shortly thereafter, QAM capture for unencrypted digital
basic gradually began to disappear for those customers .

A few months back, WOW (WideOpenWest) announced that they were going
to be doing the same thing....killing analog, providing DTAs, and
requiring customers without a cable box or cablecard to use the DTAs
to convert the encrypted feed to analog. Well, since then, lots of
people started to complain to WOW. As a result, last week WOW decided
to do what Comcast wouldn't...they have reversed their decision and
said "no encryption".  This means that anybody with a digital QAM
tuner will be able to capture the entire basic cable lineup...the
channels from 2 to 99 that you used to be able to get in analog basic.
This is only for the SD content (480i). This does not apply to their
HD version of any of the channels (other than the local broadcast
channels), nor does it extend to the extra channels that are part of
the "digital basic" package (channels over 100). Still, this is great
news, and means HDHomerun devices will now be more useful for some of

Ron Frazier

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