Laura asked in Consumer ElectronicsTVs · 8 years ago

Is it legal to use your old cable line to get antenna tv channels? Even if u don't receive/pay for cable tv?

We cancelled cable TV awhile back to save money. Since then we left the old cable cord plugged into the TV anyway because we discovered we can get the free antenna channels with the cable connected, but can get absolutely NOTHING without it -- because we don't have a digital converter box (no money for one right now). I know antenna channels are free, but is it free to use your old comcast cable line as an antenna when you're not paying them for cable tv service? Need to know asap & really need to hear from someone who truly knows the answer and isn't guessing or assuming... because since we still get internet ONLY from comcast they have now called & said they're sending a serviceman to check out a 'problem' in our line, something about a weak internet signal... and they're coming today! :P Thanks so much anyone who knows and can help... I Googled it but just can't find an answer anywhere!

Update:

We get absolutely NO cable channels, only a few free local network antenna/air channels. So we could only assume that the cable line is acting strictly as an antenna now. Thank you kindly for your fast answers!

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  • Jerry
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favourite answer

    I AM NOT A LAWYER SO THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. but the way I understand the FCC rulings on the issue.

    By Federal law the cable system was given the option to remove the cable TV line up to the demarcation point when you disconnected service. Since they did not do anything the wire is now yours. to use. Few /NO cable system exercises that right they simply abandon the wire. It is not worth the trouble to remove it. You can use it as you want. NOTE: It is illegal to climb their pole and hook the line back up but not to leave it plugged into your TV set. Since they abandoned the wire coming into your place you can legally keep it connected. and use the inside wire as you want.

    Since you told them to disconnect service any channels you receive over that wire are FREE. Cable channels or otherwise. It is up to the cable system to insure that the wire contains NO channels IF they choose to do so.

    The 2003 amendment to the 1997 inside wiring rule change it slightly for apartment buildings called MDU's (Multiple Dwelling Units)

    Essentially, the new rules move the demarcation point, or the point at which an incumbent cable provider will cut its cable if the owner does not renew an agreement, to 12 inches outside the lock box or the junction box, instead of 12 inches outside each apartment unit, for most properties. Since the latter is often behind sheet rock, under the prior rules, owners hoping to change or add providers risked service outages and property damage. The rules also force the incumbent operator to cooperate with the incoming provider to minimize service disruptions.

    http://www.nmhc.org/FinalLegislation.cfm?ItemNumbe...

    Here is the Complete Federal Law - on the subject If you want to read it. I call it the Lawyers Employment Act. See source for others comments on how they see the law.

    http://www.nmhc.org/files/ContentFiles/FinalLegReg...

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  • 8 years ago

    The fact that you get only off-air channels, and no cable channels verifies that the coax cable is acting as an antenna. If you own the coax cable , which I assume you do, it's your antenna. I'd buy a cheap set of rabbit ears from Radio Shack and see if the signal is even better.

    By the way, since you're paying for internet, consider buying an inexpensive Roku box and subscribing to Netflix for $8/mo. That will provide a lot more entertainment than just those few broadcast channels.

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  • 4 years ago

    Cable Line

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  • 8 years ago

    You are not getting those channels from the cable company so its fine. Those channels appear because the wire you are connecting acts as a makeshift antenna and you are actually receiving those channels over the airwaves. If you go out and buy a real TV antenna, you would get the same, or slightly better, reception.

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  • 8 years ago

    If the channels are coming in because the cable is being used as an antenna, yes it's legal. But, if the channels are actually cable channels then no, you shouldn't be using them.

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  • Nguyen
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    You are getting cable channels. What you're getting is called lifeline cable, just local broadcast channels. It might be included with your Internet service but you'd have to ask your cable company.

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  • 4 years ago

    Satellite~ Q2: Digital Service

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  • 3 years ago

    Television is merely educational if you are enjoying a documentary or something similar

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  • 3 years ago

    1

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    better watch a movie,than read a written publication.Of course,it is easier to get a better picture by watching the action(images),then looking at each one of these expressed words.

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