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Question about digi conversion


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 OFFLINE   seedybrick

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Posted December 16 2008 - 08:21 AM

So when this happens in 2/09 does that mean we will no longer need cable boxes for basic digi cable if we have a digi TV?? will i be able to use my TV's tuner?

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted December 16 2008 - 09:01 AM

It means only that you can no longer receive analog channels. If you have an older tv with an antenna, you will need a converter box. If you have a tv with a digital tuner, you will not. The setup you have from the cable company will not change. If you have a cable ready tv of any age, you do not need a cable box for basic service (basic being the lowest tier).

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#3 of 15 OFFLINE   seedybrick

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Posted December 17 2008 - 03:35 AM

ok weird this discussion came up on another forum and i was told i'll need a cable box just the same for basic service?? they said that i'll only be able to get OTA signals without a cable box but to me if EVERY channel will be digi in feb then why would i need a cable box for basic service on a tv that has a digi tuner? to me the conversion will throw us back to the times of analog where you would only need a box if you had premium channels etc.??

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted December 17 2008 - 03:42 AM

There's lots of confusion and mis-information. Best thing to do is call your cable company, or check their website. I bet they have a FAQ up just for this.

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#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Jmoney1

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Posted December 17 2008 - 04:05 AM


I was reading something very informative about the conversion "First, it is important for you to know that this conversion to digital signal by most stations does exclude some broadcasts. Those stations who broadcast through low-power (Class A) translators do not fall under this federal mandate, and may continue to operate analog signals until they choose to cross over. These low-power translators operate in areas where the full-power TV stations are unable to broadcast, sometimes due to the geography and topography of the land." I found this in a rss feed at Analog Signal to Digital Broadcasting. I have been really interested in this to see if it applies to me. I am in colorado and just want to know if there is something that is going to effect me. I was also reading that some states are dealing with a temp changeover today as well

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   seedybrick

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Posted December 18 2008 - 03:38 AM

it just seems come feb that digital cable is the new analog so why should we need a cable box? why would comcast etc. want to require this equipment if EVERYone will have digital anyway? why wouldn't the BASIC service channels come unscrambled like analog is now? and so if what some peeps are telling me is correct then EVERY person in the country with cable tv service will have a cable box? and so a TV tuner would almost become obsolete except for the fact that some people will want OTA broadcasting?

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted December 18 2008 - 03:57 AM

I really think you are confused about the 2/09 deadline. The digital conversion has nothing to do with cable, it effects OTA channels only. You are talking apples and oranges here.

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Allan Jayne

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Posted December 18 2008 - 08:15 AM

Some cable subscribers will have to trade in their cable box for a newer model, not necessarily synchronized with Feb. 2009. As various channels in the cable system are changed from analog to digital, older "cable ready" TV sets used with no cable box will pick up fewer and fewer channels, namely only the unscrambled analog ones. An ATSC digital tuner will not pick up digital cable TV channels including those in "basic cable". The encoding format is different. You must have the proper cable box (or a digital cable ready TV probably with a smartcard). The video signal is sent to the TV either skipping the TV's tuner completely or coming in as analog channel 3 or 4 standard def.
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#9 of 15 OFFLINE   seedybrick

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Posted December 18 2008 - 09:02 AM

wow...i really HAVE been totally confused. i thought that after 2/09 an analog signal would not be available in any shape or form....now that i know that's not the case it all makes sense! ok...one more question that's not totally related....but perhaps equally dumb or dumber planning to get HD service soon so i'll need a new box from comcast. thing is that i have a tivo series 2 with lifetime service so i would like to continue to use it on my regular non-HD channels. will it be possible for me to use HDMI to my tv for the HD channels and still have coax outputting as well to my old tivo? is there a disadvantage to that if that hookup is possible? what i mean is....am i going to get a better signal via HDMI on my regular non-HD channels? thanks much all i feel so enlightened now lol

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted December 18 2008 - 10:32 AM

If you TV has a cable card slot you don't NEED a new box. And your new box may not output both standard def and high def at the same time. The number of cable boxes and the different software versions makes it impossible to answer. Finally, if you are using coax connection to your TiVo from your cable box, STOP! That's the worst possible connection. You should use composite or s-video for standard def signals between equipment. -Robert

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   seedybrick

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Posted December 19 2008 - 05:09 AM

ok thanks! yeah i currently have s-video going between the box>tivo and then coax going to my tv. if i feel like watching tv with my speakers i also have an option for s-video from tivo>tv (i run this one through my receiver). weird though the s-video almost makes things more pixelated looking but whatever.....either way SD cable pretty much looks terrible on this new tv lol!

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Allan Jayne

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Posted December 20 2008 - 04:41 AM

Analog and digitized analog cable channels are usually best sent to the TV using composite video, although a viewing test is still good to see if something else looks better (1). (Truly) digital SD channels should be sent to the TV using Y/Pb/Pr or HDMI. Use S-video as the second to last choice and composite/coax only if no other cables fit(2). (1) These channels are fundamentally composite video and are always split into S-video and next into Y/Pb/Pr. On average, todays's cable boxes are inferior to today's TV sets in doing the split to S-video. (2) These channels are fundamentally in Y/Cb/Cr format. Putting them into S-video or composite video or NTSC RF as typically put down an antenna coax line involves extra processing that must be undone in the TV set. Pixellation of analog broadcasts can result from: a. Inferior composite to S-video conversion (dot crawl) done at the studio or cable headquarters to make it appear as a digital channel. b. Inferior composite to S-video conversion (dot crawl) by your equipment, notably a cable box. c. Inferior converting to 480p which is the first step in upscaling to match the pixel count of your TV screen. d. Inferior converting of the video to digital format for the purpose of becoming part of an HDMI signal.
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#13 of 15 OFFLINE   seedybrick

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Posted December 29 2008 - 03:47 AM

woah!!!! interesting stuff there allan!! though i guess that's something that changes with any given channel you are watching then? and so maybe i'm best off with an overall way of looking at SD cable?

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   bpickell

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Posted December 29 2008 - 04:27 AM

Does your TV accept the Qam cable card? If So then you could just use that instead of the cable box, but if your TV will not accept the card then you will still need the cable box.

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 29 2008 - 06:17 AM

Here's a very simple flowchart that explains the whole thing. Posted Image

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