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Boxee and the NCTA debate if ClearQAM is good for us

Ben Drawbaugh

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The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and Boxee don't see eye to eye on whether or not ClearQAM is good or bad for us. Boxee argues that encrypting even those channels free and clear via an antenna, as a few cable companies have requested permission from the FCC to do, will increase your bill and limit competition. The NCTA alternatively claims that eliminating ClearQAM will enable self installs, thus reducing costs and truck rolls, because the coax outside your house will no longer need to be disconnected when you cancel service, and that Boxee should just adopt CableCARD if it wants the Boxee Box to access live cable TV -- of course most anyone who has had a CableCARD setup knows that a simple truck roll to connect a cable outside is child's play. While this struggle has played out in public with FCC filings, social media and blog posts, we all just fondly remember a day when setting up a TV was as simple as connecting a single coax cable and running a channel scan. Of course, it would be nice if the FCC would actually force more QAM to be sent in the clear and require accurate PSIP data while it's at it, but we gave up on that dream years ago.

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