Interestingly enough only the video content is encoded, you can still hear the audio without issue. There's also a few channels in there that last time I played with it aren't in the Saturn channel map, including a couple of uncoded ones. Sadly don't have cable anymore. When I moved the new place isn't in a "cable coverage area". :(
That said, they physically disconnect the cable from the pole now when you disconnect. So the only way to have it hooked up is to have cable tv/internet through them in which case you probably have the decoder anyway. Especially since you can't get cable internet only these days.