FCC News Release: Advisory for Analog Cable Television Subscribers
Washington, DC – If you subscribe to a hybrid cable system (your service consists of both digital and analog channels) and you watch programming without a cable set-top box or other equipment (that is, you plug the cable feed directly into your TV set), then your cable television service may be affected by a recent FCC rule change. Subscribers to “all analog” or “all digital” cable systems are not affected by this rule change.
Effective December 12, 2012, a hybrid cable system operator may choose to carry some or all local broadcast stations only in digital format (instead of carrying these stations in both a digital and an analog format). This is a business decision made by your cable company and is not required by the federal government. If your cable operator decides to carry certain local broadcast stations only in digital format, FCC rules require that it offer you the necessary equipment (for example, a set-top box, digital transport adaptor (DTA), or a CableCARD) either for free or at an affordable cost. Cable operators must also provide at least 30 days’ notice to subscribers and local broadcast stations before carrying a broadcast station only in digital format.
What Does This Mean for Cable Subscribers?
If you are a subscriber to a hybrid cable system, you should be aware:
If your cable operator chooses to continue carrying all broadcast stations in both digital and analog format, your television service will not be affected by this recent FCC rule change.
If your cable operator chooses to stop carrying some or all broadcast stations in analog format, you may need a set-top box, DTA or CableCARD to continue viewing these stations on analog TV sets.
Your cable operator must provide you with advance notice about any change in analog cable service and must offer you a set-top box, DTA or CableCARD at low or no cost.
Many consumers with newer TV sets (digital TV sets with a QAM tuner) can watch digital cable channels without a set-top box. Try scanning for channels. If scanning does not work, you will need a set-top box.
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