said by Penny3000:
Allow me to correct you, it's not theft. Unless a cable company has gone all digital in the area, the signal is analog. Usually the first 13-16 channels are part of the basic tier. The basic tier needs to be open because the channel the cable company provides for internet service resides in this tier.
Wrong. My cable company has the HSI channels up in the high 70s. There is no one standard. It's all over the map actually but they usually prefer higher frequencies due to noise.
So yes, you can get OTA channels for free if you connect your cable line.
Cable companies usually put a trap on the line to block out TV if you're a HSI only sub. They may have forgotten to put one in your case, but just as if someone leaves their keys in their car, it doesn't give you the right to jump in and drive off.
And to go one step further, if you really want to take advantage of what you are paying for, you can hook up the cable line to your tv and get HD local channels in QAM.
It's still theft. Cablevision used the argument that people were doing this to get an FCC waiver to encrypt local HD channels in the Bronx.
Why do you think that internet only is about the same price as HSI with Basic?
It isn't. One key difference in fact is that you don't pay the franchise tax if you have HSI only. The franchise fee is charged as a portion of basic video service.