Broadcast Networks Push for Basic Cable TV Encryption


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•The Big Four U.S. TV broadcasters (Networks) joined the cable industry in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to change a rule that allows MSOs to encrypt basic tiers in all-digital cable systems. CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS), News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) (Fox), Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) (ABC) and NBCUniversal LLC (now part of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)) claimed a rule change would ensure the "secure delivery of high-value broadcast content," pointing out that satellite and telco TV distributors already lock up their basic tiers. Boxee 's among those rallying against any changes, claiming that many of its users rely on "clear QAM" to obtain basic cable programming. (See Boxee, Cable Spar Over Video Encryption .)
More Here: Light Reading Cable - IP & Convergence - Broadcasters Push for Basic Cable TV Encryption - Telecom News Analysis


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I see the broadcasters point, to some extent, but these channels are free broadcast channels. What I oppose is the blatant money grab by the cable companies to extort another $5 a month PER RECEIVER from already paying customers for rental of a set top box to watch basic cable content. The set top boxes render Boxee and other devices useless on cable systems, locking customers into the walled garden of the cable provider, giving them no choice but to pay whatever the cable company charges for that service / device. And of course, you won't be able to "buy" your device, only lease. That's as stupid financially for consumers as leasing a car. (to frugal and not stupid people like me, anyway). Do the simple math - even if the box cost as much as $240, after 2 years, it's paid for and it's all profit from that point on. And we all know that it costs nowhere near that for a basic cable box!

If they ever came up with a card access system for decryption, even as a "pay once" option so people had choices and didn't have to lease those god-awful boxes boxes for all eternity, I could even support it.

But they won't, so I can't.