Cisco DTA 170 with MAGNOVOX 537 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-26-2013, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I ordered this because it is currently free but I wonder if I really need it. I am having a hard time installing it but I have lost a lot of digital channels I was getting that are not included in basic cable. Will this equipment find them again?

Anybody got any info on this?
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-26-2013, 12:18 PM
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If you ordered this DTA through your cable provider it will give you basic channels output on a RF (screw-on) connection that your Mag 537 will record on analog channel 3 (or 4). This will provide only mediocre picture quality. Your cable provider will probably have to activate this DTA before it will work.

If you ordered this DTA from someone else your cable provider will probably not activate it for use on their system. In that case this DTA could be used as a door-stop.

If you want to record better picture quality on your Mag 537 you should get a converter box (from your cable provider) that provides S-Video and/or composite video outputs (the yellow connection) plus white/red audio outputs for connection to inputs on your Mag 537. If you use the S-Video connection it will have to be enabled in a Magnavox setup menu. A regular converter box will provide you with more programming options than a DTA.

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-26-2013, 12:19 PM
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Nice beagles. smile.gif

The DTA should get you whatever channels you currently have in your subscription, whatever that is. So if you had more channels than basic before, and they all went digital, they should come back.

But as Digado said, I'd go for a box that has composite/s-video out to use with the Magnavox recorder. Might have to pay a bit of a fee for it, though.

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-26-2013, 01:51 PM
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I ordered this because it is currently free...

Free of monthly fee?
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-26-2013, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes if you get it after a few months it will be 99 cents a month and you will have to pay for the unit.
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-26-2013, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice beagles. smile.gif

The DTA should get you whatever channels you currently have in your subscription, whatever that is. So if you had more channels than basic before, and they all went digital, they should come back.

But as Digado said, I'd go for a box that has composite/s-video out to use with the Magnavox recorder. Might have to pay a bit of a fee for it, though.

Your beagle is a cutie too. I am a big Beagle fan. My three are all rescues.

Back to business. I have tried installing it on my brand new Toshiba and I can't get it to work. They have some support you can call and he told me how to set it up but that is not working. Does it have to be activated before you can see if your connection is good? BTW there is no 3/4 switching on anything I have connected.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-31-2013, 01:59 PM
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Does it have to be activated before you can see if your connection is good?

Yes. The DTA must be activated by your cable co. Then connect its Yellow White Red outputs to the inputs of your recorder.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-31-2013, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes. The DTA must be activated by your cable co. Then connect its Yellow White Red outputs to the inputs of your recorder.

It only has cable in and cable out. I am not going to bother with it.
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-10-2014, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I finally got this DTA activated and working and the remote is useless. I have around 300 channels that come in view saying that I am not subscribed and there is no way to delete them. yes, I checked with TWC and they said that is the case. Does anyone know of more sophisticated DTA that would have a method for deleting unwanted Channels.

Also, they suggest that cable go into the DTA and them the DVR is that the best way to do it?
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-10-2014, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Joanieq View Post

I finally got this DTA activated and working and the remote is useless. I have around 300 channels that come in view saying that I am not subscribed and there is no way to delete them. yes, I checked with TWC and they said that is the case. Does anyone know of more sophisticated DTA that would have a method for deleting unwanted Channels.

Also, they suggest that cable go into the DTA and them the DVR is that the best way to do it?

As mentioned earlier a DTA is not the way to go because it has only the RF output that provides mediocre picture quality.

For best results you should get a fuller-featured converter box that has a S-Video or composite (yellow) video outputs and white and red audio outputs. Connect the S-Video OR the yellow video output (one only-not both) plus the white and red audio outputs to the corresponding inputs on your Magnavox recorder. If you use the S-Video connection it will need to be enabled in a menu in your Magnavox recorder.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #11 of 16 Old 04-10-2014, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joanieq View Post

I have around 300 channels that come in view saying that I am not subscribed and there is no way to delete them. yes, I checked with TWC and they said that is the case. Does anyone know of more sophisticated DTA that would have a method for deleting unwanted Channels.

Usually only a full-on cable box is capable of channel delete, and even then it sometimes varies depending on model and software interface. It's a crap shoot, IMO.

All DTAs are bare bones devices solely designed to tune digital channels and convert them to an analog form for older TVs. That's about all they're good for. Anything beyond that is not in their design.

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post #12 of 16 Old 04-10-2014, 12:49 PM
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Not to put too fine a point on it, but the DTA is designed for 90 year olds with ancient 25" console TVs and no video recorder whatsoever. It isn't really intended for use with flat screen HDTVs and is pretty much worthless for DVD recording. The only reason cable companies even bother offering it is to make a hollow gesture of "compliance" with weak regulations that force them not to arbitrarily cut off "no-box" basic cable subscribers when they switch to all-digital all-encrypted service. Since digital-only channels require a decoder box to play on older glass TVs, offering this near-useless DTA for "free" for a year or two gets the cablecos off the hook cheaply regarding customers with old TVs.

Basically, its a Trojan Horse: the regulations are toothless, cablecos realized they can now force a decoder box fee down your throat even if you're on a regulated "boxless" plan, and thats that. You WILL pay for a box rental one way or another, either 99 cents to $1.99 for the worthless DTA, or $3.99 to $6.99 for the "full-service" box. If you have any plans to use a DVD recorder, you need the full-service box: that is the only option that lets you customize the channel lineup, connect properly to a recorder for a decent picture and stereo sound, and (usually with TWC) set 8 timer events on different channels you can sync with your DVD recorder timer. Depending how many shows and movies you follow to record, the full-service box justifies its cost with one feature: free on-demand. This lets you pull up many popular TV series episodes (and some movies) for free, at any time, in case you messed up your timers or otherwise missed something and need to catch up. If you walk in the door ten minutes late into your favorite network show, you can also press a button to have the show start again from the beginning (if you press the button before the show ends). At least they throw you that convenience carrot in exchange for the forced box.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-10-2014, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Usually only a full-on cable box is capable of channel delete, and even then it sometimes varies depending on model and software interface. It's a crap shoot, IMO.

All DTAs are bare bones devices solely designed to tune digital channels and convert them to an analog form for older TVs. That's about all they're good for. Anything beyond that is not in their design.

I don't have an old TV. Will the Magnavox be able to handle all digital. If that is the case I don't need this piece of junk. I can just remove it.
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-10-2014, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Not to put too fine a point on it, but the DTA is designed for 90 year olds with ancient 25" console TVs and no video recorder whatsoever. It isn't really intended for use with flat screen HDTVs and is pretty much worthless for DVD recording. The only reason cable companies even bother offering it is to make a hollow gesture of "compliance" with weak regulations that force them not to arbitrarily cut off "no-box" basic cable subscribers when they switch to all-digital all-encrypted service. Since digital-only channels require a decoder box to play on older glass TVs, offering this near-useless DTA for "free" for a year or two gets the cablecos off the hook cheaply regarding customers with old TVs.

Basically, its a Trojan Horse: the regulations are toothless, cablecos realized they can now force a decoder box fee down your throat even if you're on a regulated "boxless" plan, and thats that. You WILL pay for a box rental one way or another, either 99 cents to $1.99 for the worthless DTA, or $3.99 to $6.99 for the "full-service" box. If you have any plans to use a DVD recorder, you need the full-service box: that is the only option that lets you customize the channel lineup, connect properly to a recorder for a decent picture and stereo sound, and (usually with TWC) set 8 timer events on different channels you can sync with your DVD recorder timer. Depending how many shows and movies you follow to record, the full-service box justifies its cost with one feature: free on-demand. This lets you pull up many popular TV series episodes (and some movies) for free, at any time, in case you messed up your timers or otherwise missed something and need to catch up. If you walk in the door ten minutes late into your favorite network show, you can also press a button to have the show start again from the beginning (if you press the button before the show ends). At least they throw you that convenience carrot in exchange for the forced box.

That is all good but I only get basic cable and I do not want to give TWC any more money. I get 30 more channels than I am supposed to get. I don't know why but i do. If the Magnavox can handle all digital when the switchover happens then I will be good to go.

I just bought a Tivo Roamio for my main TV and I can record four shows at a time. If ever I need more than five I have two Magnavox DVR's to handle the overflow.

By the way I am not 90 but I am 75 and not all of us are clueless. I had a Commodore in 1980 and have been using computers and doing all my own hookups and fixups for a long, long time. smile.gif Joan
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-10-2014, 01:08 PM
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I don't have an old TV. Will the Magnavox be able to handle all digital. If that is the case I don't need this piece of junk. I can just remove it.

The Magnavox tuner will handle some, perhaps all, of your digital channels. For the moment.

But little by little, all but the basic five off-air networks are being encrypted in many cable systems, becoming invisible to the Magnavox and TVs unless routed thru a converter. They're spreading the DTAs now, to get them into as many homes as possible before they encrypt just about everything. Until they do that, you can ditch the DTA and use the Magnavox tuner directly. No guarantee long term, not even short term: cable companies love to mess with frequencies in ways that give the Magnavox a nervous breakdown. And your favorite channels may disappear one by one. If and when it gets impossible to use the Magnavox tuner, you'll need a digital decoder. At that point, I'd suggest you opt for the full service box instead of the DTA. Much less aggravating to use with a recorder.

Or, just use your TiVO and Roamio as fake-out decoder boxes to feed the Magnavox when you want to make DVDs. Your TiVO has a special digital decoder card from TWC installed in it, which lets it decode encrypted channels as if it were a full-service TWC box. The Magnavox (and other DVD recorders) cannot accept this cable company decoder card, so their tuners are limited to unencrypted digital channels and will go dark if a channel gets scrambled. If ComCast pulls off the merger with TWC, all of us on TWC are screwed: ComCast is the company that came up with this "encrypt EVERYTHING and give 'em a crummy DTA" strategy.

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By the way I am not 90 but I am 75 and not all of us are clueless. I had a Commodore in 1980 and have been using computers and doing all my own hookups and fixups for a long, long time. smile.gif Joan

Cool! If I send you an AmTrak ticket, will you come to Brooklyn and teach my 78 year old parents how to at least turn the TV on and off without calling me to talk them thru it? Lunch is on me! smile.gifrolleyes.giftongue.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-10-2014, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Ha, ha, Good one!

Lunch sounds great but I moved from Brooklyn 20 years ago and I probably have less patience than you have. It just makes me sad that so many people are missing out on having contact with their children and grandchildren by keeping up with technology. I email and text my sons and grandchildren all the time.
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