Are the new TVs "cable ready?
When Comcast went digital I dumped them because I had a lot of old TVs
and I didn't want to buy a box for all of them.
I heard if you had a TV with a QAM tuner they would work for the basic
Is that still true and how many new TVs actually have that tuner.
On Sunday, February 2, 2014 10:20:44 AM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I think what exactly you get with a TV connected to cable without a
cable box probably depends on the cable system in question. Many, you
probably get the local channels at least on any new TV with the QAM
tuner they all have. But beyond that you probably won't get much.
If you want to avoid a cable box and have access to most of
cable, some TVs and other devices, like Tivo, have a slot for a
cablecard, which is essentially a cableTV decoder that you get
from your cable company. I have one from Cablevision. It's $3
a month less than renting a cablebox, which helps, but it's not free.
Here, Shaw cable has nothing on the cable if you don't have any
subscription. Your cable is off the circuit at the central plant.
At least you should subscribe for some thing like Internet use
or phone. Then cable is alive.
That sounds like a strange system. Comcast has a hard line coming down
the road and if you are plugged into that line you get a signal. The
Dmark may be blocking it but the signal is on the cable.
It is not like the phone company where every line is a pair going to
the "central office" (which might be a box on the side of the road
On Sunday, February 2, 2014 12:20:54 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
Yes, you get the signal but how much of those channels require
the cable box to decode is the issue. They certainly encode the
premium content channels. And they usually don't bother with the
local OTA channels, but AFAIK, nothing says they can't.
I think when broadcast went digital the FCC required cable to provide
the basic channels unencoded, or provide a couple simple free decoders
for a period of time.
Minneapolis Comcast was unencoded for the broad cast channels, then went
scrambled with 2 free decoders. The required free period has elapsed and
the 2 simple decoders now cost. I think that has happened or will happen
everywhere with Comcast. (We also rent one decoder that is more
sophisticated, but not hidef.)
A digital TV likely will get unencoded cable. To get encoded you need a
cable card in the TV. I think cable cards were forced on cable companies
and they really don't like them. Far as I know, cable cards are all
one-way and you can't do interactive, in particular on-demand.
I hate Comcast.
My wife talked to the A/V guy who set up the super bowl stuff at her
club today and he said Comcast was like that here. All you get without
a box is "lifeline" channels, basically what you get with a coat
hanger hooked to the RF jack of your TV.
Actually not even that good because you don't get the broadcast sub
I guess I am staying with my Dish and DSL until FIOS shows up ... and
I am going to let the dust settle on that for at least a year when it
1. All new TVs have a QAM tuner (and many have a couple
more besides, e.g. NTSC tuner for analogue VHF.)
2. But all new TVs are wired "cable ready," viz. accept cable
signals that bypass the receiver's tuner. All nowadays scan
for available channels, and before the user does that he must
usually select between CATV (cable) and antenna or satellite control
On 2/2/2014 10:20 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
It depends upon your provider. In Oct 2012 the FCC allowed cable
providers to encrypt all of their signals, even those for the local over
the air channels. If your provider does that, the QAM tuner won't allow
you to watch any channel coming in on the cable.
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