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scena
2003-Nov-22, 01:52 PM
A co-worker of mine has recently purchased a "rabbit-ear" type TV antenna rather than cable. He says that he can pick up certain cable channels such as CNN, History, & others. I was wondering if it is possible that he could be receiving the downlinks from the satellites with this antenna? This is not a dish system and there is no additional receiver other than the TV itself. As a side note, he lives about 1 mile from the local cable station. Could this proximity have any effect?

seeker372011
2003-Nov-27, 11:37 PM
I know of people being able to pick up cable reception without subscribing if the cable passes overhead or very close to their home, but this would only be possible where the signal did not require a set top decoder.

This was the case say in New Delhi, (India) some time ago. But most places now you need a box from the cable company and I dont know how a rabbit ear would not only pick up a signal but also decode....

Guest_scena
2003-Nov-28, 01:37 AM
Thanks for the reply. I don't know if all cable channels are scrambled. Does a cable-ready TV have a built-in descrambler? If not, which I don't think it does, then some channels must not be scrambled. My co -worker stated that he gets some cable channels but not nearly all. Perhaps he is just able to view the unscrambled ones.

Planetwatcher
2003-Nov-28, 02:53 AM
Rabbit ears have been long known to do strange things with TV receiption.
Most noteworthy is when you have a distant station you either barely pick up with a regular antenna, or not at all, but rabbit ears brings them in to be almost viewable.

The reasons for the strange receiption is often the fact that rabbit ears stick up vertically rather then horizonal like an out door antenna.
TV stations transmit in the UHF and VHF bands and usually vertical signals at that.
So rabbit ears pick up better, sometimes.

Another factor which can work in favor of rabbit ears is they don't pick up interfearence since they are inside, enableing them to better process the signals.

I suspect in the case of the cable TV brodcasts which travel through cables sometimes can transmit out of the cable for various reasons.

There may be a break in the cable. If the cable company is using high power to send the signals through the cable, it may be using more power then the cable is rated for and some signals leak out.

Sometimes cable signals can be received after rain, because water conducts signals as well as electricity.
It may be the cable company is using digital, and the receiving TV is digital, or both may be analog.

It is even possible that there is a splash effect of the signals, if relayed to the cable company via satellite, or line of sight signals.
This can happen if the sending transmitter is even a hair off perfect allignment, and the receiving station may not know the difference. But a regular antenna close enough can enjoy the pick ups. Sun spots can also affect such transmittions.

One doesn't need a dish to receive such transmissions.
In fact most people don't understand that a dish is designed to enhance, and direct signals, or to receive in a narrow direction. There is still an antenna at the heart of the dish.

Tell your co-worker to enjoy it while it lasts. If he has an analog TV and the cable company is also analog, it is only a matter of time before the cable company upgrades it's equipment, then bye bye free signals.

Same is true if the cable company is using standard cables. Eventually they will upgrade to fiber optics and end the viewing enjoyment.
Or if sun spots is the cause, as sun spot activity decreases so will the signals.