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High Def without a cable box?? (1 Viewer)

accairo

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Hi all,
I was wondering if it is possible to get High Def on a TV without using a cable box.
I have a 50" Samsung DLP in my livingroom that is hooked up to an HD/DVR box through IO TV (Cablevision), which is my local cable/internet provider. I also have a 27" Samsung LCD in my bedroom that does not have a cable box.

I would love to be able to recieve HD channels on the LCD without having to rent another box from Cablevision. I have heard it is possible to get some (if not all) HD channels on HDTV's without using a cable box... Possibly through the use of a Qam tuner or an HD antenna.

I am not familiar with either, so I was hoping someone would be kind enough to explain how they work or if there is another solution to my problem.

Thanks!
 

Joseph DeMartino

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There is no such thing as an "HD antenna", although plenty of people will try to sell you one at a premium price. Yes, you can receive whatever local channels broadcast in your area in HD via any ordinary TV antenna, and you should be able to get the local channels and maybe one or two other HD channels just by plugging the wall cable into the ATSC tuner input in the back of your TV. (I have my cable split between the ATCS tuner and my own cable company HD-DVR so that I can watch a third program on the networks while recording two others. I think I also get one or two "extra" HD channels this way, like an extra PBS channel from a neighboring market, but frankly I don't use this option very often.) But you won't get anything in your company's special "HD-tier", so you can forget about cable-only networks like ESPN, TNT-HD, TBS-HD, and the assorted Discovery Channel networks.

Regards,

Joe
 

Scott Merryfield

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Actually, you need a TV with a QAM tuner, not an ATSC tuner, to receive unscrambled HD channels via your cable TV provider. Some HDTV's only have a built-in ATSC tuner, while others have built-in ATSC and QAM tuners. ATSC tuners are for over the air digital signals only.

I am not sure about Cablevision, but Comcast transmits our local HD channels unscrambled, so I can receive our local Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS affiliates on the 37" Vizio LCD in our bedroom which has a QAM tuner but no cable box. However, none of the other HD channels are available without an external HD cable box, since Comcast scrambles these channels, and they are in a higher channel range outside the range of a QAM/ATSC tuner.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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My mistake. Thanks for the correction. Never did pay too much attention to what I was connecting to back there. Like I said, I don't avail myself of the option very often.
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Regards,

Joe
 

Jeff Whitford

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Locally you can get the locals thru cable with no box but thats about it. They also throw them way up where people dont look. Like ch 86.1 or 98.1 The only thing you can do is scan the channels and see what you get but dont forget to look at the channels way up high that it gets.
 

Scott Merryfield

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That's not always true. Comcast here maps our local digital channels to match their corresponding OTA channel numbers -- Fox is 2-1, NBC 4-1, ABC 7-1, PBS 56-1, CW 50-1, WB 20-1 and CBS 62-1. The only oddity is that our 37" Visio doesn't seem to be able to read the channel mapping info properly for CBS, so I have to tune to 84-1 for CBS on that set. However, our Samsung 67" LED DLP gets the station properly on 62-1.
 

Philip Hamm

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AntennaWeb is a good resource for over-the-air HD. I've been recieving HD signals over the air for years, they look fantastic. Highly recommended.
 

Jeff Whitford

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I never said it was always true and if you hadnt looked up high you wouldnt have CBS.
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
Im sure every system is different as well as how the tuners in tv's react
 

Matt^Brown

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I would like to ask a question that relates to the original topic. Currently in my area we have Insight Cable and the only way to get the HD channels is to subscribe to their premium cable box which also has a DVR built into it. Can anyone tell me what companies plan on doing once HD is the only signal to receive. Do we still have to have the premium cable box to receive HD channels or will the cheaper version work?
 

Clinton McClure

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The cable companies will most likely do nothing because local HD channels are free OTA and I read in the state paper last week where legislation was signed mandating analog local signals to still be broadcast indefinitely OTA after the "digital deadline" this spring.

It still burns me up that satellite companies refuse to make a dual tuner HD DVR with two HD tuners rather than one HD and one SD, making the customer lease or buy a second unit to get HD in another room, thus defeating the purpose of having a dual tuner unit.
 

Philip Hamm

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Got a link? I'd be dumbfounded and shocked to read this. The FCC has already auctioned and allocated the frequencies, there are plans to use the reclaimed bandwidth very soon after the transition. Some cities are turning off the digital signals early (Wilmington, NC has already gone all digital), but I haven't heard anything about analog being held out later.
 

Robert_J

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A correction to your terminology - you want an HD receiver with dual HD "decoders". I have 3 DirecTV HD DVRs and they all have dual HD tuners. But they only have single HD decoders. I'm assuming you have Dish because they have an HD/SD combo box.

On my system, I can watch any of the 3 HD DVRs on two different TV's and have the ability to add a 3rd HDTV to the sytem.

-Robert
 

Joseph DeMartino

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I suppose to reference to "full power" TV stations means that a few low-power stations (mostly at colleges and universities and serving very small areas) would still be able to broadcast in analog after the cut-over date, but the deadline seems to still be in force for everybody else.

Regards,

Joe
 

Clinton McClure

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You're correct Robert, I meant decoders.

The article I read in the paper was in the Nov. 1 edition of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. I tried searching online but the article is out of the "free" archive window and the pirates want $1.95 to show it to me, even though I'm a print subscriber and get the online edition for free with my subscription.
 

Clinton McClure

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The same way it comes in, via 75 ohm RG6 quad-shielded coax. I know there is a bandwidth constraint and lots of DA, AD conversions taking place but if the incoming HD satellite signal is carried to the box via coax and a HD OTA signal can go straight to a TV tuner via coax, then there is no reason why the satellite signal cannot be decoded then sent out via coax to a TV's antenna input. A high definition satellite signal is already seriously compromised and nowhere near BD quality to begin with, so I doubt the difference between this configuration and HDMI or component directly to the TV would be staggering. Noticable...possible, but not as horrendous as hooking up a BD player with coax or a singal composite cable.

Perhaps I'm wrong but there has to be a better way than how it is done currently.

To comment further on the "digital deadline" article I mentioned earlier, I brought this up with a co-worker who also read the article and understood it to be a lawsuit (not new legislation as I had mistakenly posted) which has been filed in federal court and the judge handed down a ruling that local analog signals have to be extended beyond the digital deadline because there is still a huge number of citizens who have analog-only TVs and who have yet to purchase a digital to analog converter. Fact or fiction, that's what the paper reported.
 

Robert_J

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Dish's first HD receiver had this feature. It would decode the HD signal from the satellite and output it in ATSC modulation format on channel 3 or 4. The receiving TV had to have an internal HD tuner. Since most at the time were just HD monitors, this reciever was not very popular.

You already have a single coax run, why not run a few more and use the component video/analog audio outputs. I use the HDMI outputs from my 3 HD sat receivers to the projector (they are in the same room). I use the component video outputs to send the HD signal to my living room. 50+ foot video cables aren't that expensive but I built my own from Ebay parts. 1,000 feet of copper RG-59 and 50 RCA connectors were less than $100 and I was able to build 3 sets of 60 ft (I wanted a little wiggle room on the size) video cables.

-Robert
 

Clinton McClure

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I want the ability to be able to watch HD programming from the DVR in one room while my wife watches a different program in HD in another room, both from the same DVR for convienence and I'm sick of companies nickel and diming for everything.
 

Robert_J

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Cable and satellite companies have been charging the extra receiver fees since the first cable boxes were introduced. I paid the extra $5 per month back in the mid '90's when I first signed up with D*. I'd much rather pay that fee now with a free receiver instead of having to purchase one flat out. In the past I've paid $700 for a Sony A200 receiver, $500 for a Dish 6000, $250 for a Dishplayer 7100, $200 for a DirecTivo and $450 for an HD DirecTivo (and that was more than 50% off at the time). My HR20 and HR22 were both free but I pay $5 per month for them. That's fine. Outright purchase price is around $700 each so by the time I need a new receiver I will still come out ahead.

-Robert
 

Matt^Brown

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Quote:
Can anyone tell me what companies plan on doing once HD is the only signal to receive. Do we still have to have the premium cable box to receive HD channels or will the cheaper version work?


Cable is not going to be affected by the digital transition at all. 1) The switch to digital does not mean all channels/programming are going to be in HD. It just means the signals will be digital instead of analog. 2) Existing SD digital cable boxes will downconvert the HD OTA signals and output them to SD TVs just like the converter boxes available for antenna users do. Digital cable boxes already take a digital feed from the wall and output is analog to the TV, so there's really only the extra step of downconverting and cropping the HD and widescreen material.

I understand that not all channels are going to be in HD. Maybe I mis-stated my question so I will try once again. As a cable subscriber I have always been forced to buy the $12 a month box over the $5 a month box because I wanted HD. Soon HD/digital programming will be the norm so do they plan on dropping the price of the boxes? Since HD is no longer the "New Thing" as it was several years ago it seems this premium price on our HD boxes is a joke.
 

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