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questions about cable dtv

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    questions about cable dtv

    I recently picked up a new TV, and it sports a built in ATSC tuner. I thought this just meant I could get some HDTV channels if I bought a special antenna, but it turns out that I don't even have to do that.

    When I got it home and hooked it up to my cable (I've just got your basic enhanced cable package... no set top box, no premium channels, just your average stuff), I ran through the auto channel search thing.

    First it scanned the antenna input for analog channels, nothing. Then it scanned the input for digital channels, again nothing. Next it scanned the cable input for analog channels and found what I expected. But then it scanned my cable input for digital channels, and it found a ton!

    So now I have a better understanding of what DTV is how it works. A few of the CADTV channels it found were high definition, but not all (though even the SD ones looked nicer than the analog equivalents). Some of the channels it found show up as scrambled, while others are audio only (I've got a bunch of music channels). While others still register as channels, but appear to be blank (perhaps there's a channel there that just wasn't broadcasting at the time?)

    What I'm looking for.. what I'd really love.. is some kind of a program guide, or at least channel listing, telling me what is what. I can't find anything from my cable company on CADTV--just digital cable, which is different. I've found a couple of websites that show OTA DTV listings, but the channels don't match up, and I've obviously got a lot more than what's being broadcast over the air.

    My TV supposedly has a built in program guide which can grab programming information from the DTV signal, but it doesn't pick anything up. I've been in the process of just going channel by channel and trying to figure out what is what so I could write it down for reference, but some things aren't terribly obvious.

    My big questions are:
    1.) Does anybody know where I can find CADTV channel listings?
    2.) Is it common for some CADTV channels to not broadcast at times (in other words, should I remove the "blank" channels that have a signal, but don't show up as scrambled)
    3.) Is this common? I realize that I'm probably best off to call my cable provider with these questions, but I'm almost paranoid that this is all just some fluke, and that if I let them know I'm getting a bunch of extra channels they'll take them away from me.


    I did some more searching and I think I figured out what's going on. My new TV has a QAM tuner on it, which can pick up on unencrypted digital cable signals. In addition to the HD local channels (which supposedly are required to be unencrypted by the FCC), I've got a few other cable stations as well. Unfortunately, there's no good place to find information on what all these channels are, and what specifically is available in my area.

    My girlfriend and I have gone through the channels the TV picked up during its scan and I think we've identified everything. I found a wiki for this sort of thing, but they didn't have listings for my region, so I added our findings.

    The interesting bit is the "on demand" channels, which apparently show movies people around me are ordering. It's very odd, and kind of scary, but I'm not about to call up the cable company and complain (although it would be nice if the movies were HD or at the very least 16:9)