Will a HDTV with ASTC tuner get hdtv channels from cable without a cable card?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Phil Tomaskovic, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    On my latest Comcast bill there was a new channel guide. It said the local hdtv channels (CBS, NBC, etc...) were avail on ch 187-192 and these channels were included with the standard cable pkg "with hdtv equip". Ie, you didn't have to pay for the digital pkg to get the local hdtv channels.

    I was wondering if a hdtv had an ATSC tuner, would it be able to access these channels (what's the highest channel on the tuner) or would I still have to rent a set top box or cable card from Comcast to access these channels?

    Just curious, thanks.
     
  2. Larry Fabbri

    Larry Fabbri Extra

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    You would still need something from your cable company (box or cable card). If you have an ATSC tuner though, why not just pick up the network channels over the air using an antenna?
     
  3. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    I don't have the tv yet, but I figured if I don't get good reception with non-hdtv channels on an antenna, won't it be the same with hdtv channels? I don't have a rooftop antenna any more since cable and reception even then was so-so on some channels.

    Do you think I would be able to get the local hdtv channels ok with an indoor antenna? I live about 35 miles outside Chicago which I assume is where they are broadcast.

    Are the local hdtv channels generally easier or harder to pick up than the other channels?
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    First, you have to have a digital cable tuner in the TV (TV's equipped with a cable card have these built in), an OTA tuner does not tune cable based HD. Second, your cable company has to send the digital channels unscrambled. This varies according to company, but Comcast usually does not scramble anything but the pay channels.
     
  5. Howard Clarke

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    Phil,


    Check out www.antennaweb.org You can put in your address or zipcode and the will tell you what channels are available, what type of antenna you need, the direction to point it in, how far you are from the tower ect. I will be using this info myself when I get to my new house.
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    ATSC is over the air only.. QAM is the cable tuner, and most of those will not get scambled cable channels anyways.
     
  7. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    ok, I thought the cable card was only needed for scrambled channels like HBO and or access some higher range of frequencies/channels. Thanks for the clarification on the definition of ATSC as over the air. So like on my current tv (Sony Wega tube), you have to go in the menu to say whether you are cable or antenna. I assume an HDTV ready tv probably has the same type of setup. So if Comcast isn't scrambling the local hdtv channels, I was just wondering if I would still have to pay to rent the cable card or would the cable tuner on a hdtv ready set be able to access a channel in that range 187-192 or do you need the card to even access the high of a channel even if it isn't scrambled?
     
  8. Ryan Wishton

    Ryan Wishton Screenwriter

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    If you have a QAM tuner (Basically Digital Cable Ready) tv and the channels arent scrambled, you will receive them.

    If Comcast says they arent scrambled and they are included in a basic package, you should be able to receve them.

    There will come a point in time where they will be required to keep network channels unscrambled by the government.

    I know this. I own a digital cable ready tv. You are getting some bad advice. If your tv is digital cable ready and the channels are not scrambled, you will receive them without a box or cable card.

    On my tv for example, just plug the cable line in and it picks up everything available. Gets multiple HDTV broadcast channels without any additional equipment.
     

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