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Verizon FIOS Basic TV Channels Unencrypted?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by maee, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. maee

    maee Member

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    I don't want or watch any regular Cable TV channels. Besides, paying for internet and cable these days is paying for the same thing twice...all TV is going TCP/IP soon anyway (Hulu, etc).

    If you call any Comcast or Verizon FIOS TV sales rep, they will always tell you that you have to rent their set top box to get the basic digital HD channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, etc.). However, this has never been the case with Comcast, as I can personally verify.

    However, with Verizon FIOS basic TV ($12.95/month, includes only public access and over-the-air broadcast channels), do they provide the unencrypted digital HD broadcast channels? In tech speak, this means do they provide the "clear" or unencrypted QAM HD feeds? That way, I just plug in my HDTV and get the local channels in HD without renting the box.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  2. pdm

    pdm NES Member

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    Interesting. I hadn't tried it. Give me a minute...
     
  3. pdm

    pdm NES Member

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    Did not work for me, but then again, I have an HD+DVR package, so it might be dependent on what kind of service you get or your TV. You might be able to get a cable card from them and put that into your TV, if your TV supports it.
     
  4. AppleSeeds

    AppleSeeds Member

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    Once you plugged in the cable straight into the TV, did you make the TV rescan for channels?
     
  5. maee

    maee Member

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    From poking around on the Google, I found that the FCC has a regulation stating that the cable companies can't encrypt the local channels. I think the FCC did this because they also have required all new TVs in the past few years to include digital cable (QAM) tuners. So otherwise, if the cable companies encrypted the local channels, it would render worthless the FCC's own expensive decision to require every TV sold in America to include a digital cable tuner.

    But guess what? I found more recent articles stating that the FCC is now granting waivers to that rule for many cable companies, provided they go all digital. So that digital cable tuner you paid probably $25-50 extra for in your HDTV you bought two years ago because the FCC required it?? Well, sorry, you got ripped off, its now officially useless [frown][frown][frown]!!

    FCC hasn't had any balls for a decade now.

    http://www.multichannel.com/article/328866-FCC_Grants_DTA_Waivers_To_Four_Vendors.php
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  6. pdm

    pdm NES Member

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    It found three channels (2, 3 and 14) and all were static. I think because of the package (DVR) I have, everything is encrypted.
     
  7. maee

    maee Member

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    Hum, basically all you do is set your HDTV to cable mode in the setup options. Then you plug in the coax directly to the TV's coax connection. Then you do a channel scan. You're saying you got nothing??? wow.

    Your experience would seem to comport with my post above that says the FCC is granting waivers for operators that have all digital service.

    Thanks for checking by the way.
     
  8. pdm

    pdm NES Member

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    I can try it again. I switched the TV between "air" and "cable" but that didn't get me anything. I need to clean out behind my TV anyway. It's a goddamn dustbowl back there, poor farmers and everything.
     
  9. AppleSeeds

    AppleSeeds Member

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    /\/\ Ah I see. I think most providers are getting away from providing anything unencrypted.

    A good HD antenna + an HDTV = good network TV.
     
  10. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    Not only that, but the federal courts had to reign in the FCC from imposing equipment limitations to the detriment of consumers based upon a request from the industry.

    Remember the "broadcast bit" fiasco? The FCC issued a regulation that prohibited the selling of any television, recorder, or computer tuner that did not prevent access to the digital data stream (in a tamperproof manner) if the broadcaster set the "recording not allowed" bit in the signal? Only federal court action saved consumers from that equipment constraint.
     
  11. pdm

    pdm NES Member

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    Still no luck. My "auto program" let me select three different types of input: STD, HRC and IRC. I had no luck with any of them.
     
  12. upStomp

    upStomp Member

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    The FiOS tech told me all channels require at least the D/A box provided by them. You could try using an over the counter D/A converter. If what's been said about them having to broadcast unencrypted local stations is true, it may work.
     
  13. jrbtzx12r

    jrbtzx12r Member

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    I have FIOS with two STBs which get all the channels and one lone HDTV with a QAM tuner. It gets all of the over the air channels; of course the TV doesn't tell me if QAM is in use to pick them up. When I had Comcast it worked the same way except they started changing the channels around every other week so I had to keep auto programming the TV.
     
  14. SeanT

    SeanT NES Member

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    I would assume that you remembered this, but if you go from a cable box to plugging the coax cable directly into the TV, don't forget to change your input to the basic TV setting.
    All the set top boxes/DVRs I've seen go on an input jack such as Video1, Video2, etc, not the regular TV input.
     
  15. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    RCN encrypts every channel and I as a engineer and former cable regulator for a North Shore town think it is illegal

    Comcast sends a very nice selection of local HD down the co-ax, including a few -2's that are unavailable via any box.

    I don't know about Verizon, but I suspect they are 100% box
     

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