How to connect Magnavox MDR513H/F7 to DTA? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-27-2013, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Our cable company has digitized certain channels, and even though my TV is digital, I can no longer view these channels without a digital adapter. The DTA that's being provided free of charge (for now, at least) has only the following connections: a cable input, an HDMI output, the TO TV output, and the 3/4 channel selector (no audio/video jacks). How should these devices be connected to each other (the DTA comes with a coax cable and an HDMI cable)? Once connected, will I still be able to do timed recordings on my Magnavox while watching other channels as I do now? Will I still even be able to do timed recordings for different channels--meaning, if I want to record a show on ABC at 9 and another show on NBC at 10, I'm guessing that I will no longer be able to do so. I've been told that I would have to be home to change the channels. Any way around that? Thanks for any help.

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post #2 of 7 Old 11-27-2013, 05:54 AM
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The box they gave you is a "dumb" box that *apparently* has no menu feature to set multiple programs to tune. The cableco wants to rent you their "smart" boxes which can do that, and also get their DVR for integrated recording with the box serving as the tuner.

 

The FCC changed their Rules and is now allowing cablecos who go to an "all-digital" system to scramble ALL their channels, making QAM tuners in TVs and recorders useless to subscribers to those all-digital systems. Comcast is at the front of the line for this new FCC gift.

 

Your only option is to rent the cableco's "smart" box (STB, plus DVR?) or get an indoor or outdoor antenna and tune local networks, if you're close enough to their antennas.

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post #3 of 7 Old 11-27-2013, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lani View Post
 

Our cable company has digitized certain channels, and even though my TV is digital, I can no longer view these channels without a digital adapter. The DTA that's being provided free of charge (for now, at least) has only the following connections: a cable input, an HDMI output, the TO TV output, and the 3/4 channel selector (no audio/video jacks). How should these devices be connected to each other (the DTA comes with a coax cable and an HDMI cable)? Once connected, will I still be able to do timed recordings on my Magnavox while watching other channels as I do now? Will I still even be able to do timed recordings for different channels--meaning, if I want to record a show on ABC at 9 and another show on NBC at 10, I'm guessing that I will no longer be able to do so. I've been told that I would have to be home to change the channels. Any way around that? Thanks for any help.


HDMI to TV, coax to RF in of Magnavox. Select either channel 3 or 4 for DTA output and while DTA is ON do a channel scan on Magnavox, you will only find either channel 3 or 4(whatever you've set your DTA to).

You will only be able to watch live or record whatever channel you've set your DTA to and if leaving the house you will only be able to record from the one channel you've left your DTA on, no multiple channel events. No way around it, as Wajo said the cable companies got what they wanted, everyone needs to have a rented box for every device, no free lunch anymore :(

Note recording from channel 3/4 will be the worst quality and 4x3 and mono audio at that! It's possible you could rent a real STB from Comcast that has line outputs for better picture quality and stereo audio but more than likely it will still be 4x3 and won't have a timer to change channels while you are away, oh and without a second STB or DTA you'll never be able to watch one channel while recording a different(unless you rent a more expensive dual tuner DVR from Comcast).

Merry Christmas(or happy Hanukah) from your friends at Comcast :(

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post #4 of 7 Old 11-27-2013, 11:58 AM
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For clarity's sake, are you sure that your 513 & tv's digital tuner aren't getting any QAM signals? You did have the cable wire plugged directly into either one without the dumb DTA inbetween? Sorry, irritating question, but had to ask. If you put the box on, then saw you couldn't get either of those 2 to pick up the QAM digitals, then remove the box and plug cable directly back in to either, and run a channel scan to be sure.

While the cable companies have been given permission to scramble everything, not all, even the Evil Empire that is Concrap, has done it on all their systems yet.

 

If you're on Concrap (and your post didn't actually state that), you should have been provided a full size SD box for no additional charge. DTAs are $1.99 extra apiece. Your HD DTAs might be more. The TV Guide on it allows setting a 'timer' function that changes the ch for output to vcr/recorders. But, as mentioned already, the smaller DTAs have no such functionality.


Dazed and confused over high tech.

Sigh...Concrap. The Internet Overlord Cometh
They're not com-tastic!
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-28-2013, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for responding. To clarify, I'm with Time Warner cable, and until this recent change of theirs, I was able to get these channels. They just recently encrypted (scrambled?--whatever you want to call it) a few channels, at least for the time being. I don't have the adapter yet--it's on its way. Right now, I have the cable from the wall hooked up to the Mag, and another coax from the Mag to the TV, along with the red, yellow, and white RCA cables going from the Mag to the TV. And, yes, my TV has a QAM tuner, but I have already tried rescanning without any success.

 

I'm thinking about trying to connect the DTA, the Mag, and my TV using a splitter. Someone suggested that by doing so, I might still be able to use the Mag as I always have. Don't know, I've never used one before, but if it will work, I plan to give it a try. I was told to disconnect the cable that goes from the wall to the Mag and place the end of it into the IN side of a two-way splitter. Then, use coax cables to connect the splitter to the Mag and the DTA. Finally, use the HDMI cable to connect the DTA to my TV. (Oh, and leave my RCA cables as they are.)

 

If using a splitter will affect the quality of my picture too much, though, then I plan to do the following. I'll hook up just one adapter to one TV, get it activated, and then unhook it so that I can continue to use my Mag to record as usual. I'll only reconnect the adapter when one of the missing channels has a show on that I would like to watch. Fortunately, there are really only two channels out of all the missing ones that I might occasionally want to catch a program on. I'd rather do without watching these channels than pay the cable company additional money to rent their boxes. I hate them trying to force all of us to pay more and more by pulling stunts like this.

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post #6 of 7 Old 11-28-2013, 07:50 AM
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Splitting digital RF doesn't really effect picture quality unless your signal is very weak to begin with, in that case splitting may cause picture breakups. Splitting analog was another story where the more you split it the more snow you could get(unless the signal was very strong to begin with).

Another option would be to install a 2 way RF switch on the input to your Maggy, one side coming directly from the splitter(the one splitting the signal from your wall jack) and the other from the RF output of your DTA. Switched one way you could record whatever clear QAM channels you get, switched the other way you could record whatever channel your DTA was set to.

 

Lastly, a even better option for picture quality would be a HDMI to S-video/composite converter with HDMI passthru. You'd still use the RF splitter on your cable jack(one going to DTA one going to Maggy) but from the HDMI output of your DTA you could install the converter box. The HDMI output of the converter would go to your TV for HD viewing, the S-video/composite output of the converter would go the the line input of your Maggy. This not only has the advantage of being able to record from multiple channels while you are away(whatever the DTA was set to and whatever channels your Maggy can tune) but also should give you a fair amount better picture quality and wide screen to boot.

Just a thought, I know I've seen such converters but from a brief Amazon search I only found the converters without HDMI passthru, in your case HDMI passthru would be much handier. Oh the converters I found at Amazon start ~$40, one with passthru is sure to cost a bit more.

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post #7 of 7 Old 12-04-2013, 03:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks jjeff for all the great advice and info. It's great to know about all of these options. 

 

I finally hooked things up last night. I just connected the splitter, and then ran one coax from it to the DVR and another from the DVR to the TV (kept my RCA cables connected between them). Then ran another coax from the other output of the splitter to the adapter, and then the HDMI from the adapter to the TV. Everything runs just how I had hoped. I'm able to continue using my DVR just as I always have--can go ahead and watch any channel I wish while recording on other channels by simply changing my input and can set it to record on multiple channels without having to be present to change the channel on the adapter first. Since I only need to use the adapter once in a while to view the channels that were scrambled, I can just leave it turned off and not have it interfere with how I usually watch TV.

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