reply to BF69
Re: Goodbye Clear Qam Channels - FCC ruling
said by BF69:QAM and ATSC tuners are the same hardware, it makes no difference in cost of manufacture. Besides, the tuner front end as a whole is a tiny percent of the cost. The other thing is that QAM TV's should have cablecard slots. You no longer have to have a Tech come out and install one.
to be fair satellite, u-verse and FiOS were never subject to this ruling. Having for all or none. On the positive side, since QAM tuners are now useless TV manufacturers don't need to include them and maybe TV prices will go down.
TV Monitors were quite common in the early days of HD and were not really any cheaper.
Another point is that by the beginning of 2011, at least with Comcast, all but local channels were encrypted already. Fortunately the majority of TV I watch is from the local affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, CW and Fox. Some PBS as well. I started using a good outdoor antenna. Local channels received over the air with a signal of at least 65% will give you the best picture you're going to ever see with 720p and 1080i and TV channels using mpeg2 transport streams.
Watching movies at 1080P from Vudu over the internet which uses an h.264 mpeg4 transport looks slightly better due to h.264 being 40% more bit efficient and can actually best mpeg2 with less bandwidth. It takes more power to decode though.
I just use satellite and local OTA these days.