Question: How does TWC stop Standard TV from coming to Basic TV subscribers?
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How does TWC stop Standard TV from coming to Basic TV subscribers?


This is a discussion on How does TWC stop Standard TV from coming to Basic TV subscribers? within the Time Warner Cable forums, part of the All Other Cable and Satellite Providers category.

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  1. #1
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    How does TWC stop Standard TV from coming to Basic TV subscribers?

    I'm a former TWC user only now trying to understand how things work. I've read that their "Standard TV" service comes right in on analog alongside the "Basic TV" service. According to their lineup page, a set top box is only required for a few HD Standard channels. So if you subscribe only to Basic, how do they stop you from looking at the 40 or so analog Standard channels?? It can't be scrambled, right? I don't think they can scramble to individual customers on a node without scrambling to the whole node. (If I'm wrong in any of these assumptions, please correct me.) So then it must be filtered. Do they REALLY come and slap a filter on the line every time someone cuts from Standard to Basic?? Really seems very inefficient.

    TIA,

    Rick

  2. #2
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    I'm all registered now. If it makes any difference, I'm in the Milwaukee TWC area. I think most of the Standard TV channels do not require a box almost everywhere for TWC.

    I'm sure SOMEbody knows the answer to this question!

  3. #3
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    Wow, 10 days, 295 views and no response! Is this like a super-tough question?

  4. #4
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    I am not a TW cable subscriber, so I don't have an answer for you - but I will bump the thread and see if we can find someone with an answer for you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I'm a former TWC user only now trying to understand how things work. I've read that their "Standard TV" service comes right in on analog alongside the "Basic TV" service. According to their lineup page, a set top box is only required for a few HD Standard channels. So if you subscribe only to Basic, how do they stop you from looking at the 40 or so analog Standard channels?? It can't be scrambled, right? I don't think they can scramble to individual customers on a node without scrambling to the whole node. (If I'm wrong in any of these assumptions, please correct me.) So then it must be filtered. Do they REALLY come and slap a filter on the line every time someone cuts from Standard to Basic?? Really seems very inefficient.

    TIA,
    Rick
    Yes, they (are supposed to) put a trap on your line. They do that for cable internet subscribers (who don't subscribe to TV) all the time.

    They don't always do it, and technically they can prosecute you for theft of service (they rarely do).

    Some places scramble, such as NYC. When I had Time Warner Cable in Manhattan it was scrambled. Everything except locals and public access.

    It is inefficient which is why some companies are going all digital and are applying for waivers from the FCC to encrypt local channels. Cablevision applied for and got a waiver to encrypt local channels and they do so in parts of NYC (Bronx, Brooklyn).
    Jason Fritz likes this.
    Ryan, N2RJ

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    They don't always do it, and technically they can prosecute you for theft of service (they rarely do).
    They would have to prove that you were "stealing" cable. With analog cable (unless you have a cable box) there is no way to tell what channels a tuner is tuned to, and the only reason the person had access was that the cable company was too lazy to install the filter. It's a whole different story if the person breaks into the cable box and removes or otherwise disables the filter. If anything the content providers should sue the cable company for theft of service since the cable company owes them retrans fees for every subscriber they allow access to the programming.

  7. #7
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    The cable companies contend that even if the cable was left by them "hot" and you use it that you're still stealing service. They call this "passive theft." it's like casual copying of CDs and DVDs - still copyright infringement but not as bad as the guy selling bootlegged DVDs on the sidewalk.

    As for how they know? They may audit the building (if it's a MDU) or someone may simply rat you out. This however is going to be a moot point when they go all digital.
    Ryan, N2RJ

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  8. #8
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    Many thanks for the replies. I've been reading up a lot since original post, and I'm sure you're right. They have to physically come out to slap on a filter when someone downgrades from Standard to Basic.

    They've been talking about all digital for a few years now, but instead they've kept analog versions of EVERY Basic/Standard channel in the lineup. Two versions of FNC, two versions of AP, yadayadayada ... I think a lot of their customers have old 2cnd and 3rd TVs working from the outlet without any extra box and extra $10 fees. Keeping analog alive might give them an edge over U-verse or whatever.

    You'd think somebody could come up with some kind of remotely addressable filter. But then really, the TWC installers probly don't have much to do lately.
    Jason Fritz likes this.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickideemus View Post
    They've been talking about all digital for a few years now, but instead they've kept analog versions of EVERY Basic/Standard channel in the lineup. Two versions of FNC, two versions of AP, yadayadayada ... I think a lot of their customers have old 2cnd and 3rd TVs working from the outlet without any extra box and extra $10 fees. Keeping analog alive might give them an edge over U-verse or whatever.
    It gives them an advantage with older folks who don't want to mess with a cable box and may use VCRs. The reason they may have a digital version of the channel is because it doesn't really cost them much in bandwidth and some devices can't receive analog signals.

    In New York City they went digital only years ago. It was very easy because they were scrambling everything (except must carry) anyway.

    You'd think somebody could come up with some kind of remotely addressable filter. But then really, the TWC installers probly don't have much to do lately.
    There are remotely addressable taps but it adds cost. In the end passive theft is a business loss they just write off, and they'll keep the good stuff digital only.

    There are patents for addressable taps but I haven't actually seen one in the wild.
    Ryan, N2RJ

    Extra class certified antenna NUT

  10. #10
    hoopdee54
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    Will outdoor hdtv antennas still work ?

    I was told that with the new FCC ruling, HDTV OUTDOOR ANTENNAS will no longer work picking up free HDTV stations, because the signals are now blocked....thereby, making it necessary to subscribe to some kind of paid T.V. service in order to view basic channels. Is this fact, or fiction? Thanks ....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoopdee54 View Post
    I was told that with the new FCC ruling, HDTV OUTDOOR ANTENNAS will no longer work picking up free HDTV stations, because the signals are now blocked....thereby, making it necessary to subscribe to some kind of paid T.V. service in order to view basic channels. Is this fact, or fiction? Thanks ....
    Good lord, NOT TRUE! Cable companies can now encrypt anything on their cables ONLY - but it would be technically impossible for the cable companies to "block" broadcast TV channels.

 

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