Forum Discussion

ravanx's avatar
New Contributor

All Digital? You have been all digital since 2009...

Why is Cox Claiming that it is just now going all digital and that you need a new mini-box to get digital TV when the FCC switched All TV Broadcasting to all Digital a few years ago. Cox is already broadcasting in all digital.

"Digital Television is an advanced broadcasting technology that has transformed the television viewing experience. DTV enables broadcasters to offer television with better picture and sound quality, and multiple channels of programming. Since June 13, 2009, full-power television stations nationwide have been required to broadcast exclusively in a digital format."  Source

So, is this a scam to force people to pay an extra $3.00 a month to rent a box they are forced to pay to maintain the service they have been using for many years by using a totally invalid excuse by Cox? Or is this a way to force you to pay to have Cox spy on you in your living room through the forced use of a set-top box for those of us who resist getting the new Smart TV that is admittedly spying on those who have it in their home?

Proof: - Katherine Albrecht: Your House Is Spying On You - Is your TV spying on you? RT America - Digital TV Boxes will be spying on You - Verizon wants microphones in them. RT America - Forbes

So Cox. What is it, just a way to force a rate increase for your service, or a way to force your customers to pay to put a spy device in their own living room without their knowledge?

4 Replies

Replies have been turned off for this discussion
  • wees41's avatar
    Contributor II

    that was over the air not cable there is no mandate for cable to go all digital

  • gojira's avatar
    New Contributor

    Maybe there is a third option.  

    Pull up a chair and let me see if I can answer you.

    First think about your radio FM stations.  How high can you go up and how low can you go down on the stations.  Usually it is around 87-108.  How long has it been this way?  Seems forever.  Why?  Because those are the frequencies that the FCC has given to FM stations to be able to transmit on.  FM will never go lower then 87 and will never be in the 200 frequencies.  There are only so many frequencies out there and everyone is using them.  Radio, TV, phones, airplanes, the military ( which i have heard has about 60% of them), even your remote control drone.  All using frequencies and there isn't enough to go around and nobody is sharing.

    Now, knowing this, realize that the number of frequencies given to cable companies to broadcast is also limited.  So what do you do when they are all used up and customers demand faster internet and more channels.  You make them digital.  Now you can compress 8 channels into one frequency and the box decodes the signal and separates them.

    Channels 2-70 were all analog.  That means each one of those channels took up an entire frequency.  That is why you did not need a converter to watch them.  But the demand was still there, more channels faster internet.  Internet used to be on one frequency.  That is when there was D2 modems, they could lock in to four frequencies.  Then D3 came out which could look into eight.  Now there is 16 channel modems.  Where do the extra frequencies come from for the extra internet channels?  So a decision had to be made to take the analog channels and make them digital.  Now you can compress once was 8 analog channels taking up 8 frequencies into one frequency, freeing up 7 freq for those extra channels.  Now imagine doing that with every analog channel.  You are freeing up more freq for internet and video channels.  Now that the analog channels are now digital, you need a box to unscramble the channels.  

    I hope this helps.  I am not an expert and am not "in the know".  This is basic knowledge if you know how frequencies work and how the cable industry provides the signal to your residence.

    Now, if you are asking why do they have to charge for the equipment.  I can imagine that with a few million of these mini boxes out there, they could get damaged easily.  Especially how small they are.  Should customers have the option to buy them.  I think they should but I don't know why they don't.  

    This is not to say how they run there business is right or wrong.  I just wanted to give a better explanation rather then it is a conspiracy or spying. 

  • AllenP's avatar
    Valued Contributor

    Wow, where's my tin foil hat   Your first statement, ravanx, is incorrect.  As wees posted, only OTA broadcasts were required to be digital in '09.  There is still no requirement forcing cable to be digital.

    The corporate line is, as gojira said, to save bandwidth and reallocate it to additional programming and higher speed internet.  But, there is an additional reason nobody covered ... the FCC, as in "incentive" for cable companies to go digital, allowed them to encrypt their signals, even the previously ClearQAM channels.  That's the real reason for the minibox requirement.  The encryption is the big carrot for the cablecos, saving them a lot of $$$ previously lost to cable theft and truck rolls to install/remove service.  If it wasn't for the encryption, any TV containing a digital tuner would work fine in an all digital world.