RF(coax) input connections on Plasma TV

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by kahlilJ, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. kahlilJ

    kahlilJ Agent

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    i am curious to know how any of you connected your OTA antenna AND cable input to your tv which has only one RF (coax) input?

    i do not have cable ( yes i know i'm in a huge minority regarding that). i plan to purchase a plasma tv with the intent of getting cable eventually. but i may still cant to use my antenna for OTA reception. but seems most plasmas have only 1 RF connector/input.

    has anyone run into this dilemma or am i missing something?


    also i intend to purchase a tv with a cablecard slot. am not sure how this works, but will it replace the need for a coax connector on my tv when i do get cable service?

    and how about satellite/dish network? wouldn't they also use this RF input on the tv?

    thanks all,
    kj
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    The HD televisions usually have several Component jacks that most people use. This is what your DVD player and HD box's put out.

    The sat box's also offer several different outputs including RF, Composite (single RCA cable) and SVideo. The cool thing is that sat box's also have a RF (coax) input that will pass-through your OTA signals.

    While it might appear to work, you DONT want to get a RF splitter and run it backwards (2 inputs to 1 output for the television). This will inject your OTA signals INTO the CATV cable. Your neighbors will complain and you will get an angry CATV tech showing up on your door.

    Your best bet is to buy a $10 A/B RF Switch box. This is safer than a splitter because the A/B inputs can never "see" the signals from the other input.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. kahlilJ

    kahlilJ Agent

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    thanks bob that helps... i did not know about sat boxes being able to pass thru OTS signals via an external antenna. do cable set top boxes not offer the same possibility?

    anyway, the switch box is exactly the route i did not want to go, but feel it may be the main option.

    also what about cable cards? how does cable signal feed into them? OTA? wired connector? if a wired connector, then what format is it (dvi? coax,...)??
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Why do you NOT want a switch box? Your television only has 1 input - how would you pick which source to watch without a switch?

    I am not really up on "Cable Cards" except that I believe your local cable company has to support it. Call them before you buy - it might be a useless feature if your local system is behind the times.


    Not that I know of - but call your local CATV office and ask. Different cable companies have different generations of equipment.
     
  5. kahlilJ

    kahlilJ Agent

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    thanks bob. the reason i do not want a switch is cause i do not want to do any manual changing. i'm thinking if the tv had 2 RF connectors i would be able to connect the cable feed to one input & my OTA antenna to the other & thereby be able to control/select the feed/source remotely.

    does that make sense or how do most people handle this?
     
  6. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    With cablecard you just hook up your incoming cable signal to your TV and throw out the ol' cable box. But it wouldn't give you an extra input.
     
  7. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    Radio Shack makes an A/B switch that is IR controlled. It is $35 and comes with a remote (or you can just program your universal remote). There are manual switches for less money. Here it is http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...68&site=search

    I have a non-Radio Shack version of it I traded a friend for and have 2 UHF antennas I switch between for HDTV and it works quite well.
     
  8. kahlilJ

    kahlilJ Agent

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    kool thanks for the link phil.

    question for all, how about this set up?:

    use OTA antenna to vcr then connect vcr to tv via s-video (or composite cables). the RF input on tv can then be used for cable signal.

    has anyone tried that or the reverse?

    kahlil
     
  9. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    I don't think that would work because your VCR doesn't have a ATSC tuner in it only NTSC
     
  10. kahlilJ

    kahlilJ Agent

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    true ryan. i forgot about that, but like i said at the end: how about the reverse of that?

    i.e., run the cable feed/signal to the vcr; connect the vcr to the tv via s-vid or component cables; then run the OTA antenna to the Rf input on the tv.
     
  11. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    I always thought that the rf was just a passthrough on the VCR and that the only way to output the rf in was through the rf out...could be mistaken though.

    Aren't there cable boxes that output other than rf? You would have to ditch the cablecard though.

    Even if they only output rf...usually you can hook your OTA antenna to that
     
  12. kahlilJ

    kahlilJ Agent

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    ryan,
    i'm prettty sure the vcr signal is passed to the tv or monitor via rca, s-vid or comp cables & not the RF connector. so i'm pretty confident this may work.
     

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