Foxfury Rook
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Time-Warner Amnesty

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Same Area Code As Death Valley
    Posts
    1,038

    Default Time-Warner Amnesty

    I have cable legally but Time-Warner is plastering the transmission with a short commercial showing T-W trucks going through the streets with high tech equipment and warning viewers that they will be in "your neighborhood" soon so call them and sign up today before "you are caught" which will cost you an "arrest record" and "thousands of dollars in fines".

    Do they really have ways of detecting illegal cable use?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    They did that same thing years ago. What they do is take a look at the lines and see if the trap filters have been removed that block cable or the seals have been tampered with.
    Equipment may be able to determine the load on a set of homes but if there are a lot of them it may not be able to discern one extra house.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    on an island surrounded by reality
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    I worked for a major cable provider, not on the cable end, but on the computer programming end, that company has since been bought and sold and bought and acquired and spun off and my friends that are still there spend more time in "corporate branding" meetings than they do actually sitting at their desks. But at least they get new t-shirts and coffee mugs about every 6 months [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    I used to like to chat with the folks that were just getting the cable modem systems up and running and figuring them out at the time and asked similar questions. This was enough years ago now that technology could have changed though. They can send s signal down the lines that bounces back from endpoints and so they can sometimes tell how many boxes are connected. but this can be fudged up by amplifiers, traps, even splices and especially bad cables or cables with breaks in the insulation or kinks. (thats actually what the technology was designed to find was where in a length of cable the fault was) So it's not very accurate.

    However, it's very easy for them to drive around and just see if there is evidence of tampering in their boxes or that the box connections match up with what the billing system says should be connected. Which is probably how they go about doing it. Just pick a neighborhood and with paperwork in one hand check all the wire connections with the other. And they really don't have to do more than a few token audits around town to get a lot of people worried enough to call in and start paying for it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    As the technology continues to advance and there are more 2-way things connected that will report their presence back to the CO it will be easier for them to tell and harder for you to steal it...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    TDR's. Time Domain Reflectometers... They send a really fast pulse down a transmission line, then measure the time between the sent pulse and the return reflection or reflections.

    Count the number of "hard" reflections, that's the number of drops there are on that line.

    Knowing the elapsed time between the sent pulse and the return reflection gives you the distance the pulse traveled, ie. the distance from the TDR to each drop in the system being measured.

    Very, very, accurate measurements. It aint tough.


    Ordin

  5. #5

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    I got caught. I was only able to get free cable for about 3 weeks.

    Time Warner has auditors. The auditors go climb the poles and check everyting out.

    He just told me you can either subscribe or get diconnected.

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Near Silicon Valley (too near)
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    The TDR requires that the cable is opened at some junction and connected to the TDR. It's fooled by distribution amplifiers as well. The same technology is used in diagnosing ethernet wiring.

    Last I heard there was nothing that just let them drive up and down the street to detect illegal cable taps. There was rumor of a system that would decode the RF generated by your TV to let them see what channel you were watching.

    My favorite cable company trick (once used by the cable company in Concord, CA) was sending the signals that would deactivate pirate cable boxes. These were boxes that were able to decode the premium cable, but a different model than teh cable company used. For instance, they used motorola, so they would send out the "turn off" code used by the GE1000 or the Oak 512 cable converter. This code would be sent out every once in a while.

    Daniel

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Zackerty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    One way that Home Box Office used, was to turn off registered users, and then post an ad on the screen, that only un-registered users would see...the ad was a competition, requiring a postal address...1000's of folks were busted!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    If the cable company's field inventory reords are anything like the phone company's, they're apt to cut off or threaten as many legitimate customers as freeloaders just by inspecting field connections.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Near Silicon Valley (too near)
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    Yeah, the inventory is the pits. That's one of many reasons that they generally offer to disconnect you or make you legal. If they try to bust you, they have to show that they did not somehow make a mistake and hook you up themselves.

    Our local cable (Comcast) has a trick where they shut off your service if they suspect anything, even if you are a paying customer. That makes you call them and
    invite them into your house where they can eyeball the setup. They can even charge a repair call in some instances.

    I don't love the cable company, but it's better than having only the two channels that make it into the valley I live in.

    Daniel

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville TN
    Posts
    1,234

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    If it wasnít for the high speed internet I would go satellite. Iíve had both and the quality is better with satellite. As Iím typing this I am on hold with Cox technical support to try to figure out why all my channels above 100 donít work. Iíve been on hold now for 15 minutes and still havenít talked to anyone. Never had to put up with this with satellite.

    Edited

    OK 25 minutes just to find out they will not help me unless I know the last four digits of the landlords SS. What a bunch crap.

    With customer service like that I donít think too many people are going to go out of their way to turn in violators.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    North East Arkansas
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    Paying what I owe seems to work best for me; be that cable/internet, phone whatever, I do pay my bills. I do not worry when they come looking.
    Topper [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Near Silicon Valley (too near)
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    I hope I did not give the idea that I condone piracy. I don't.

    I've had my boxes disabled three times when they (comcast) did not see the reply from a signal they sent. I found out (eventually) that their control signals were at a lower frequency than my splitter would pass. The 'repairmen' they sent out did not know this, and could find no problem.

    The solution was a different splitter. A shame, since the splitter was built into my $1500 wide screen TV.

    Interestingly, I found the reason they were concerned was that I could have been using Pay Per View and they would not have known. I don't use pay per view, so it was not an issue in MY mind.

    Daniel

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    on an island surrounded by reality
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    [ QUOTE ]
    Our local cable (Comcast) has a trick where they shut off your service if they suspect anything, even if you are a paying customer. That makes you call them and
    invite them into your house where they can eyeball the setup. They can even charge a repair call in some instances.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    They definitely do this, but they don't have to even come out. People are so stupid that they just call in to report an outage even if they are stealing cable! So they will put up an announcement that says, technical difficulties, please call whatever to restore service... or something like that, and people actually call up that aren't actually supposed to be able to see it. give their name and address to the person on the phone and hang up!

    It's amazing, but people do that.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Ontario, CA
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Time-Warner Amnesty

    [ QUOTE ]

    If they try to bust you, they have to show that they did not somehow make a mistake and hook you up themselves.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Back when internet on cable was fairly new, a situation like this made it into the RISKS digest - somebody who didn't get cable TV ordered cable internet, and the installers had run out of video traps, so they did a direct hookup. The auditors found a connection where there shouldn't have been one (since the guy wasn't on the list of cable TV subscribers) and disconnected it. After a call to tech support (due to internet connection going down), the internet technicians re-connected the line. The auditors found that the "illegal" connection had been re-connected, and filed criminal charges. Even though the connection was legitimate (he was paying for internet, and the connection was made by the cable company's internet division), the "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" auditors wouldn't admit their mistake, and it took a lot of work for the guy to avoid being sent to jail.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •