Friday, September 18, 2020
Home Cable HD Comcast Xfinity TV Comcast basic channels scrambled, soon you'll need a set-top box

Comcast basic channels scrambled, soon you’ll need a set-top box


If you’re a Comcast subscriber, say “so long” to the days when you could just plug your coaxial cable into extra TVs around the house to get basic channels. Maybe you were paying for those extra locations, or may you weren’t. Nevertheless the MSO has announced they will now encrypt channels in the B1 tier, a change that was inevitable as cable providers crack down on service “theft.” Soon you’ll need an STB (Set-Top Box) or DTA (Digital Television Adapter) to descramble those basic channels, as Comcast rolls out their new policy in the upcoming months. Comcast notes that this change will not affect the majority of customers who already have digital equipment connected to their sets.

The position side of the announcement is Comcast will provide Limited Basic customers with up to two set-top boxes or Digital Television Adapters at no charge for up to 2 years (five years if you receive Medicaid). The catch is you’ll have to request those STBs or DTAs around the time of the signals being encrypted in your area. (To be exact, 30 days before or 120 days after signal encryption.)

Confused about whether to request a set-top box or DTA? A set-top box from Comcast will essentially give you the XFINITY channel guides and access to XFINITY On-Demand and Pay-Per-View programming. A DTA will only descramble the signals so you get the channels you subscribe to.

Get more details about Comcast’s encryption of limited basic services on their Q&A webpage. You can find a list of Comcast-approved set-top boxes here.

Source: Comcast

Jeff Chabot
Jeff has a background in photography, video and television production. He writes about technology, broadcasting, home theater, and digital entertainment.


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