How am I getting Cable channels over my ATSC tuner?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Vince Maskeeper, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I got a new TV with an integrated OTA HD tuner (ATSC). When I added my channels via autosearch, I noticed something odd: I got a channel 99 with multiple subcarriers (99-1, 99-2, etc). These channels were flagged with names of popular cable channels: ESPN, ESPN2, Food, HGTV, etc.

    At first these didn't work, any attempt to view them resulted in a "weak signal" message from the tuner. However- today I was able to get signal lock, although it only provided audio. The audio was absolutely from the channels in question (I heard Marc Summers on Unwrapped whgen tuned to the Food channel).

    I'm wondering how this could happen. These channels aren't HD, as far as I'm aware, and I dont know why they would be broadcasted over the air even if they were. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    That's so cool! I haven't done that in years!

    Your cable company is trying them out and setting them up. Soon, they will announce the new service! Stay tuned!

    Glenn
     
  3. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Some TV's have an additional QAM digital tuner. This tuner will work with unscrambled digital cable.

    -Robert
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    The problme is, i don't have cable. I don't have cable service coming into the house. I don't have a cable connected to the set. This is strictly a set of Rabbit Ears and the ATSC tuner.

    I think I figured out what it is:

    99-1: Tagged as "USD-TV" RF channel 49. 480i feed.
    Video is a grid of "pip" style channel broadcasts featuring popular cable networks like cnn, espn, disney, tlc, lifetime and others. The total screens is 13 with a 3x4 grid along one side and one large promo running on the left. a web address for www.usdtv.com appears below this promo loop.

    So it seems this is the carrier area for this USDTV service, which offers cable channels and HD feeds for $20 per month. All the channels I receive have audio but no video (aside from the USD promo channel), and are all 99-* on RF channel 49.

    So there you go.
     
  5. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Pretty Cool Vince, I guess LA will be added to Vegas SLC and Albuquerque.
    Strange mixture of cities that's for sure!
     
  6. Mark Leiter

    Mark Leiter Second Unit

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    To bad this isn't avaialbe in my area. I'd be all over it!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Aaaaaah yes, Over the Air pay television, one of the biggest ripoffs concievable coming back to haunt us. The first time around, people built descramblers right and left and the ruling came down that the companies could not sue for "theft of service" so they shut down operations. With the digital techniques now, and the far more repressive ["business-friendly"] regulatory climate, they think they can do it again -- particularly since so much of the American public has become so accustomed to paying for TV that they can't even comprehend the concept of not doing so. If it had no commercials, I might buy it -- if there was anything on I wanted -- but as it is, for me at least, all pay TV is not worth the money; and to use the public airwaves for such a service is so far from the concept of Public Service that it makes me retch.
     

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