Combined with the transition from analog to digital, going all-encrypted means every single TV device is going to be obsolete or neutered (no longer capable of independently tuning stations without an external box — provided by cable, of course).

We already have seen analog service cut and have been forced to say goodbye to our analog TV, VCR, DVDR, DVR, PC tuner and Slingbox. We can no longer view two stations via picture-in-picture or keep an eye on a second TV in the same room, because one remote changes all digital cable adapters in range.

The only thing that still works after the digital transition without using an adapter or box are local stations, such as WABI, WCSH and WMTW. They are digitally available through what’s known as CLEAR QAM between channels 70 and 99 on a modern HDTV’s digital tuner

Under the proposed rule — written by the cable industry and seemingly unopposed by the FCC — those local CLEAR QAM stations will go away.

Even if you want only your local stations, you will be required to rent an adapter or box.

I think it is outrageous that the cable industry touts itself as pro-consumer and claims this does not have a negative impact on consumer, while effectively rendering every device obsolete and placing a perpetual fee one every viewing device.

The proposed rule and commenting option can be found at the FCC website: proceeding/view?name=11-169

Frank Dobbelaere


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