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Comcast Makes It Official: They Are Encrypting Limited Basic Channels

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Comcast put up an official notification on their web site (on March 27th) - that they are encrypting the Limited Basic tier (see link below).

    It's my understanding that before your specific area is converted - Comcast is required to send you 30-day notification.

    Once the Limited Basic channels are encrypted you will need a DTA device to continue to receive your Comcast limited basic service. The clear QAM tuners built into HD TVs will no longer be functional with Comcast (once the channels are encrypted).

    Some markets have already seen this process in their area - while other markets have not undergone the transformation yet. But it's coming:


    Encryption of Limited Basic Services
    <---(click for Comcast web page about encryption of Limited Basic channels)
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I thought this was interesting and fair:

    I would encrypt service if I was providing it, who knows how much theft occurs but based on the general opinions I see expressed online, I would guess it is substantial. Electricity for the set top box won't cost much, less than $1/month, so it won't be much of a financial burden as long as the digital box is free to use. I would recommend paying a modest fee for a DVR if that is available, the electricity cost is probably $3/month for that plus whatever fee is charged by Comcast.
     
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to mention that these basic digital adapters are only capable of receiving a standard definition signal. However apparently you can request an HD digital adapter from Comcast. (Although I read an article recently that said not all Comcast markets have the HD digital adapter available).
    This from the Comcast web page:

    ** "HD FAQs

    I would like an HD device instead of an SD device, is this possible?
    An HD digital adapter is available upon request with this offer regardless of your service level.


    I currently have an HD service and I want to take advantage of the promotional offer.

    Customers who subscribe to HD service at the time of encryption and receive Limited Basic service on a secondary TV without Comcast supplied equipment are eligible for one device (HD digital adapter, upon request), at no charge for one year if ordered during the promotional offer period; beginning 30 days before the date of encryption and ending 120 days after encryption." **

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: I recently received a new price pamphlet from Comcast dated March 1. It does say no charge for the regular standard definition digital adapter (for Limited Basic primary outllet & Limited Basic 1st and 2nd additional outlet). Then they have listed an "HD Digital Converter" (for Limited Basic only) at a cost of $2.50/month.

    I'm not 100% certain that the "HD Digital Converter" for Limited Basic service is the same device as a "HD Digital Adapter" - but for now I'm assuming that is.

    Also keep in mind that a "digital adapter" is not the same thing as a full cable box - with the digital adapter there is no online guide, pay-per-view, and no on-demand services available.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  5. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Oh no, if you can't get the HD digital box free, then this change is a real bummer. I missed that was a possibility. I am glad I can get local channels with an antenna and don't need even a basic cable package. Comcast digital cable service was very good when I did use it but the price is more than I am willing to pay, especially now that I am happy with the OTA and internet TV duo.
     
  6. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Internet TV duo?
     
  7. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Ha, OTA and internet TV, the dynamic duo for cord cutters.
     
  8. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Comcast to start encrypting basic cable 'over the coming months' | The Verge (click for full article)

    by Chris Welch - April 15, 2013

    "Late last year the FCC gave cable providers permission to encrypt basic cable, and Comcast is wasting little time in moving ahead with the plan.

    The company has begun notifying customers in select markets that programming will soon be encrypted, a move that will require anyone not using a Comcast set-top box or CableCARD-enabled device to install an adapter to keep watching their soon-to-be-scrambled shows.

    As mandated by the FCC, Comcast will be offering these adapter boxes at no charge for two years - so long as you request them during the offer period. After two years (five for Medicaid recipients), each box will demand a $.50 rental fee each month. An adapter will also be made available for Boxee TV owners thanks to another provision of the FCC decision.

    "We understand this will be a change for a small number of customers and will be making it as convenient as possible for them to get the digital equipment they may need to continue watching limited basic channels," a company spokesperson told The Verge.

    Comcast would of course prefer that you upgrade to one of its proper Xfinity packages, warning that the DTA boxes won't provide an on-screen guide or support pay-per-view purchases, among other inconveniences.

    As for why the encryption process is necessary, Comcast's FAQ page says the controversial decision will "reduce the need for scheduled in-home appointments, providing greater convenience for our customers." The company tells us encryption will be rolled out "on a market-by-market basis" in the coming months."
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
  9. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    And just to reiterate what I mentioned previously - the basic free DTA boxes don't offer HD programming. Comcast will "sock-it-to-you" for an additional fee if you want limited basic channels in HD. -:(
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013

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