A few years ago they got a waiver to have non cablecard fixed key security for the DTA, and standard/extended basic was encrypted. Now they have a waiver to encrypt broadcast tv.
In that case if you want to get your local TV you need to rent a box, and for HD, pay extra for an HD box.
If you only like broadcast TV and you have a decent signal, you can buy an antenna and use it to get OTA. There is lots of OTA signal around here. But I kind of like all the HD cable channels, so I'm willing to pay for the HD box and package.
It's been a few days now, the effected channels include ABC, PBS, KTSF. These are for the digital channels 7-1, 9-1, and 26-1, respectively. I'm sure there are other channels, but I'm aware exactly which ones.
The channels are missing when watching from my TV that has a digital tuner. Channels from the cable box works fine though.
I came home on Tuesday and found that channels 2 (KTVU) and 5 (KPIX) were completely black. When I rescanned, those channels completely disappeared. I have rescanned a couple more times since Tuesday with the same result. I have Limited Basic with a Vizio TV using Clear QAM.
I checked those channels on my HTPC. Channel 5 is still there, but channel 2 is now the same as channel 5.
Is anyone else having a similar issue? I suspect this have something to do with the recent spped upgrade.
The more I researched into this, the more I think comcast is making and will be making big changes. More will come later.
The first hint came when I had some major signal issues a few weeks ago. The guy on the phone tried to sell me some upgrades, and I mentioned that one major reason I won't get any upgrades is that I hate the cable boxes. He told me that people need them, and when I said I never needed them, he said soon I will. He said "believe me, they will soon be needed. You'll see".
When I was shopping for a new DVR with HDD, I also found that DVRs that allows you to watch a live TV show while recorders typically support more than one type of tuners. For example, one said "NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners". So maybe just ATSC is not enough now. TVs probably have multiple ones as well, which is why the difference I see between my TVs and my current DVRs. Comcast maybe experimenting with different formats. I suspect the major reason maybe due to the following comments I saw from a reviewer for the DVR with mulltiple tuners. He said the multiple tuners are nice, but may soon be useless. The reason is due to the new law pass last year, which will allow the cable providers to scramble all channels, including the basic ones. So that maybe the reason things are changing now, like the missing channels. They may not be scrambled yet, but formats are changing.