[mythtv-users] OT: FCC investigates cable companies' analog-to-digital migrations

Johnny Russ jruss at mit.edu
Wed Nov 5 23:20:32 UTC 2008


On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 6:03 PM, Mark Knecht <markknecht at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 2:44 PM, John Drescher <drescherjm at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>
> >
> > Comcast forced us to move to a different tier and to get a cable card.
> > That they claimed would be $2.50 / month but this ended up costing $15
> > / month for the cable card. I did not demand that they fix this yet.
> > Wow Comcastic!
> >
> > John
>
> Is this region specific or is this because you wanted to use (or need
> to use) digital input to the TV. I was curious so I called Comcast
> just now. They tell me they will continue to convert digital signals
> to analog and send them down the cable just like they are today. They
> will do this for 1 to 2 years. No additional cost as long as you are
> subscribed to at least basic cable.
>
> I'm in the San Jose area.
>
> - Mark
>

You are confusing two separate things. This is exactly what the cable
companies are exploiting and is the cause of the complaint with the FTC. The
February 2009 DTV transition for OTA broadcasters essentially has nothing to
do with the cable operators. However, the cable operators are using the fact
that people know there is some "digital tv transition" and the fact that
most don't really know the details about it. The cable companies are
deactivating various channels from from their analog line up to free up more
bandwidth. They say they are moving the channel to digital so that most
people will assume it has something to do with the DTV transition and they
won't complain about it. In reality they are reducing the number of channels
in the package that people have paid for without adjusting the price
accordingly. Even worse, they frequently require people to pay more by
switching packages or renting new hardware to get the channels back. Again,
this has nothing to do with the DTV transition in February, it is just a way
to free up bandwidth at a minimum or to force people in to more expensive
contracts. I suppose it is up to the cable operators if they want to move
channels around like this, but it is manipulative and deceptive to do so
under the guise of the DTV transition, as if it is cause and is beyond their
control.
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