Analog Cable TV: When do cable companies quit supporting it?



I remember seeing last year that cable companies were ordered to support analog cable television until 2012. 2012 is coming really soon and since I still refuse to rent a cable box for an extra $15 a month, is cable actually going to force everyone to get a set top box?


Staff member
While that is the direction that things are headed cable companies under existing rules are required (unless they have a waiver) to leave the local basic channels as unencrypted clear QAM channels. Digital televisions include clear QAM tuners as well as some retailed converter boxes. There are some cable companies that want to change the rules and encrypt all the channels. That would require a cable box from the cable company. It would make cable theft a lot harder, and also make it so that cable companies could establish service or disconnect service without sending out a service truck. The "fringe benefit" would be that even the most basic of customer would have to pay for a cable box or DTA.


Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
Yes, cable companies are really pushing to drop analogs. They want the extra $ that renting a box will get them, yes, but it also allows them to free up bandwidth for digital.

If you have nothing but an old analog TV, you're pretty much stuck. If you have a newer digital TV with a QAM tuner, however, you can still watch a limited number of digital channels without a set top box on most cable systems. My advice is to contact your cable provider and see what their plan for the future is.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
It's too bad that there isn't some way to get around all of the crap out there right now. Totally unrelated, but it's where my mind went ... did you hear that San Francisco McDonald's are getting around the new ban on happy meals with toys by offering the toys for just 10 cents extra AND then donating all of that money to the charity? Love it!