Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cable To Shut Off Analog Channels

Still watching local TV channels through a budget cable connection on an old fashioned TV? You won't be for long.

Cable To Shut Off Analog Channels

0 comments

Still watching local TV channels through a budget cable connection on an old fashioned analog TV? You won't be for long.

Last night, the FCC voted unanimously to cut off the "viewability" rule which required cable companies to send unscrambled and  down-converted analog versions of local TV channels to customers, reports www.tvnewscheck.com. That requirement  allowed viewers to take a bargain local-only "lifeline" cable service  without paying rent on a  set-top box and while continuing to use a  pre-digital TV. But  cable companies were forced to inefficiently allocate a significant amount  of signal capacity to serve this ever shrinking market.

Eliminating the viewability rule on December 12th will lead to "deployment of faster broadband and the expansion of new and exciting digital services," declared Michael Powell, the former FCC chairman and current president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. 

FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn issued a statement that "cable providers have committed . . . they will make the transition as painless as possible and that if needed, set-top boxes will be widely available at an extremely low (if any) cost, easy to get and easy to install."  The boxes will "downconvert" digital signals, work with old school analog TVs.

Ms. Clyburn also noted that language has been inserted in the ruling which provides "a remedy to resume analog carriage of channels should consumer outcry and confusion rise to a noticeable level."  

Inquirer Columnist
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Jonathan Takiff covers all manner of high tech gadgets – and the entertaining stuff you play on them.. Reach Jonathan at takiffj@phillynews.com.

Jonathan Takiff Inquirer Columnist