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Using QAM HDTV with Comcast Cable Descrambler Box?

F1Racer 474 June 3, 2010 at 06:18 PM
Well, I am starting to lose all the expanded basic cable channels now via commiecast.
They require using their free cable box to descramble their basic digital signal or upgrading to a digital DVR (ugh!).

With my QAM HDTV prior to this change I didn't need a box.
But now that they have scramble the signal, I need a box.

My question is - can I still get the local HD's if I install the basic descrambler box?
Will my TV's QAM tuner be able to take the box's signal & tune it as HD for the locals stations (which ARE in HD)?
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#2
With the free DTA,no they will be SD
Cough up the cash for a rental,its worth it
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L8: Grand Teacher
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#3
Quote from MrTvguy View Post :
With the free DTA,no they will be SD
Cough up the cash for a rental,its worth it
Ok will look into but I just thought another solution would be to hook up an antenna rabbit ear style just to grab the HD for the locals only & grab the free DT box for the expanded cable.

Thanks for comments!
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#4
I ditched Comcast TV last month. Using outdoor antenna to get the local stations in HD. Still have Comcast Internet so yesterday I plugged the cable into the TV and found most of the local stations available in clear QAM even though I'm not paying for TV. However, I really think they look better with my antenna than through Comcast's cable. Perhaps it looks better because it's free.

If the DT box outputs a video signal such as component, you might be able to hook an antenna to the antenna input of your TV, and plug the DT box into the video input.

I was really tempted when Comcast offered me basic TV at a low price, but when they said I'd have to pay extra for HD that was too much to stomach since I can get that for free.
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#5
Quote from novende View Post :
I ditched Comcast TV last month. Using outdoor antenna to get the local stations in HD. Still have Comcast Internet so yesterday I plugged the cable into the TV and found most of the local stations available in clear QAM even though I'm not paying for TV. However, I really think they look better with my antenna than through Comcast's cable. Perhaps it looks better because it's free.

If the DT box outputs a video signal such as component, you might be able to hook an antenna to the antenna input of your TV, and plug the DT box into the video input.

I was really tempted when Comcast offered me basic TV at a low price, but when they said I'd have to pay extra for HD that was too much to stomach since I can get that for free.
Yeah, they most likely will not go through the trouble of scrambling the locals...but the other stuff on the former 'analog expanded' list will need to be descrabled via a DTB.

But u are right from all I've read, OTA locals supposedly look fantastic via an antenna.
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#6
Quote from F1Racer View Post :
Will my TV's QAM tuner be able to take the box's signal & tune it as HD for the locals stations (which ARE in HD)?
Yes.

Well. Mine does.

And I don't even have cable. I just have internet drool
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#7
OTA locals look better because the cable co hasn't sucked them in, compressed them and sent it to you.

It doesn't get any better than getting it right from the source (local transmitter). Use the maps at AntennaWeb [antennaweb.org] for precise antenna sizing, placement, etc, based on your location.

From what I understand, cable co has to pay the local affiliate for the "rights" to re-transmit to you, hence the fees for locals, whether SD or HD. If cable co doesn't pay the "ransom", the channel is dropped from the line-up.
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#8
OP -- what you can do is split the cable signal from the wall. Hook one end up the box and connect the box to your TVs component (or HDMI, or composite) input. Hook the other end up to your TV's coax in plug. When you want to watch major networks in HD, use your TV's coax input. When you want to watch expanded basic, use the component setting.
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#9
Bonkman's idea will work,if u have an OTA antenna though you will get a better pic.Comcast looks ok,OTA looks better as long as you have the signal strength.The Dta's that comcast provides only has RF out though,some do have standard A/V ,not component or HDMI.Depending on Rf inputs on your set, you may have to go with an A/B switch if there are no A/V out on the DTA
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#10
Quote from MrTvguy View Post :
Bonkman's idea will work,if u have an OTA antenna though you will get a better pic.Comcast looks ok,OTA looks better as long as you have the signal strength.The Dta's that comcast provides only has RF out though,some do have standard A/V ,not component or HDMI.Depending on Rf inputs on your set, you may have to go with an A/B switch if there are no A/V out on the DTA
If he has comcast, he gets one free "real" box and two free DTAs.
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#11
Bonkman - can you clarify the "one free "real" box and two free DTAs" comment please.

I thought CC only provides a set top box for each outlet that they set you up on?
What is the DTA - digital adapters? Are those cable cards?

Thanks Bonkman & MrTvguy. Great inputs.
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#12
Quote from F1Racer View Post :
Bonkman - can you clarify the "one free "real" box and two free DTAs" comment please.

I thought CC only provides a set top box for each outlet that they set you up on?
What is the DTA - digital adapters? Are those cable cards?

Thanks Bonkman & MrTvguy. Great inputs.
No, comcast gives you 1 free cable box, these are the normal cable boxes that do all the channels/ on demand/ etc etc. They also give you 2 free dta's which just convert the basic cable from digital to analog and unencripts the channels, they cannot do higher end channels or on demand. after those 3 boxes you have to pay for each one. Cable cards are for tv/ tivos that have something that looks like a laptop pcimci slot that sole job is to decrypt the incomming stream. Currently there is not much or no computer hardware that uses a cable card though there are a few coming out this year.

Edit: What it sounds like you need is a rf transmiter that will send signals to a cable box or dta and change the channel for you. These devices act like vcrs where you set your tv to a channel/input then use the box to change the channel. A rf transmiter will send the signal to "change the channel" from your pc and change it to the correct channel to record. The other option is that some computers tuners and cable box use firewire and I have heared people using this to record tv but I dont know much about it.
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#13
Quote from mrbobhcrhs View Post :
No, comcast gives you 1 free cable box, these are the normal cable boxes that do all the channels/ on demand/ etc etc. They also give you 2 free dta's which just convert the basic cable from digital to analog and unencripts the channels, they cannot do higher end channels or on demand. after those 3 boxes you have to pay for each one.
.
Hmmm, does it matter that I am on expanded basic - basically there Digital Starter these days w/ ESPN, CNN, MTV, etc.?

Cause I had been operating without the need for a cable card due to my HDTV's QAM tuner.
But because of encryption now for everything but locals, I didn't realize I could get 1 high end box & 2 lower end boxes.
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#14
F1,call them up and ask what they are going to give u. They changed all their packages and I am sure they can fix u up.I found them cheaper than sat in the long run,well unless FTA still existed LOL
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#15
Quote from mrbobhcrhs View Post :
No, comcast gives you 1 free cable box, these are the normal cable boxes that do all the channels/ on demand/ etc etc. They also give you 2 free dta's which just convert the basic cable from digital to analog and unencripts the channels, they cannot do higher end channels or on demand. after those 3 boxes you have to pay for each one. Cable cards are for tv/ tivos that have something that looks like a laptop pcimci slot that sole job is to decrypt the incomming stream. Currently there is not much or no computer hardware that uses a cable card though there are a few coming out this year.

Edit: What it sounds like you need is a rf transmiter that will send signals to a cable box or dta and change the channel for you. These devices act like vcrs where you set your tv to a channel/input then use the box to change the channel. A rf transmiter will send the signal to "change the channel" from your pc and change it to the correct channel to record. The other option is that some computers tuners and cable box use firewire and I have heared people using this to record tv but I dont know much about it.
he doesn't have a PC DVR -- he's using his TV's built in QAM tuner, from what I understand.
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