FCC Allows Cable Companies to Block Channels

FCC Allows Cable To Block Channels

Consumers No Longer Will Get Unencrypted Free Local HD Networks

In a recent ruling by the FCC, Cable TV companies now have the right to block or encrypt all their network television channels. In the past they were mandated by the FCC to leave the same channels that were broadcast over the air unencrypted. This will force many consumers to subscribe to their higher priced digital tier service which includes a cable descrambler box along with a higher associated rental fee.

Bolster Falling Revenue

This was a well orchestrated move by the Cable Television Industry who complained to the FCC that many people were currently using splitters and sharing their unencrypted cable service with neighbors. The FCC heard their plea and allowed them to encrypt all cable channels with one unwelcome condition. They must now allow 3rd party manufacturers to provide their own devices with digital cable descramblers built it to descramble their signal. This eliminates the need for a separate cable box rental from a cable provider.

This now poses somewhat of a dilemma for Cable TV operators who up to this point always enjoyed being the sole provider of their digital boxes. This rental business was actually quite a cash cow for the cable industry and now they need to share this revenue with other vendors. 

In all likelihood this may have been a knee jerk reaction by the Cable industry to bolster their falling subscriber base. It remains to be seen if they actually follow through and start scrambling all their basic channels. They may actually be somewhat hesitant to compete with other manufacturers by allowing them to sell their prized technology in their own digital boxes.

This could all end up going the way of the Cable card. A lot of excitement was generated when Cable Cards first made their appearance. Cable cards offered consumer a way to plug a digital descrambler card into the back of their HD TV and eliminating the need for a cable box.  These cards never really took off the way the tech magazines had predicted. In the end, they just fizzled and died. 

In a recent industry trade article it was predicated that in the next eight years the average consumer will pay $200 a month for for the TV portion of their cable bill.

Consumer Options

So what options are consumer left with that do not want to continue paying ever increasing Cable TV prices?  

With faster internet connections many consumers have turned to the internet for their video content and have cut their Cable TV connections all together.
Break out the rabbit ears. Now that all broadcast television is in HD which is actually a good thing for those that still want free TV. This means the days of snowy television reception are gone. With HD you either receive a picture or you get nothing.

Our commitment to cut the cable remains firm. In fact this latest move has just strengthened our resolve. As new technology comes forth, rest assured we will present it here. For most people close to urban areas a simple HD antenna in the attic will do the trick and pull in most of the major networks for Free. Supplement this with a Roku or media streamer of choice, a subscription to Netflix, Amazon Instant or Hulu and being free and off the cable is still a viable money saving solution to the Cable industry channel block.