If I subscribe to digital cable, can my analog tuners still pick up analog channels? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-02-2010, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello, this all started because I'm shopping for internet, and Time Warner is offering me a deal where I can bundle internet and digital cable TV together at a price equal to what I currently pay for analog cable (about $61 which includes taxes) + about $26 for roadrunner (cable based internet, substantially faster than the DSL I've been using).

My wife is actually totally happy with the analog cable we currently get from Time Warner, and to get the same price as analog, I'd have to not get a converter box, as that would add another $8 per month. The sales lady tells me I can plug in the coax to an analog tuner, and still get all the same analog cable channels that we're currently getting with our analog subscription. This sounds kind of fishy to me, so I was wondering if you guys here could confirm if what she's telling me makes sense.

By the way, even if I were to fork out the extra $8 / month for a converter box, my wife doesn't watch live TV anyhow; she watches TiVo, and it's one of the older S2 models of TiVo, meaning it has a built in analog tuner - no digital tuner. The only way a converter box would be of use to her is if there is someway to get the TiVo to control it (which there might be a way, I don't know.)

But she really doesn't care about the extra digital channels anyhow, so I'd be interested to know if the digital signal coming in would really have the analog signal buried within it, so that her analog TiVo could still tune into it.

Also, by the way, my TiVo I use is an HD TiVo, which will tune into digital cable if I were to install a cable card, which Time Warner will rent to me for $2.99 / month. And since I have an HD TV to watch it on, I might be interested to rent the card, so this digital-for-the-same-price as analog kind of appeals to me.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-03-2010, 06:38 AM
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You can always go online and check the channel lineup with the TW system you'd be subscribing to. But odds are, they're still supplying about 50 - 60 analog channels. And, if your HDTV has a QAM tuner built into it (most newer ones do) you'll also get your local stations in HD and any other digital channel that's not encrypted. For example, I'm able to tune all the Music Choice, Big Ten Network and a few other "open" channels.

Yes, digital cable and analog can be sent down the same pipe. Your cable company can use a "channel" to send down one analog signal, or a digital signal which can contain several television stations within it.

I haven't dealt with Cablecard TiVos, so someone else would have to chime in. But I'd think if you're just a few bucks away from the ability to record all your favorite network and basic cable shows in HD, then why not?

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post #3 of 6 Old 10-03-2010, 06:50 AM
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Unless your cable company has switched to all digital service then the cable coming out of the wall contains both analog and digital channels and it is the tuner that determines what chanels you receive. When the cable company upgrades you to digital service they do not change what is being sent to your home they just provide you with tuner(s) that can receive the digital channels in addition to the analog channels.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-03-2010, 06:52 AM
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Yea, usually when you subscribe to a digital cable package, it will include the analog channels as well. In fact, I've never seen a cable company ONLY send digital channels to a house. And yes, to get the digital channels, you will need a cable box. All other tv's currently connected directly to the wall will still get analog channels.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-03-2010, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

In fact, I've never seen a cable company ONLY send digital channels to a house. And yes, to get the digital channels, you will need a cable box. All other tv's currently connected directly to the wall will still get analog channels.

Verizon FiOS TV (QAM/IPTV hybrid) is all digital and I've heard of a few small cable companies being all digital as well. Comcast in my local area has only about 20 analog channels. All of those are simulcast in clear QAM, the HD locals in both SD and HD. There are about eight other clear QAM SD channels that are included in the Basic service as well. Comcast currently provides up to two Digital Transport Adapters free (with self-install) to a subscriber and most digital TVs can get clear QAM as well. The Standard (previously analog) and Digital Starter (same regular price as Standard) tiers require at least a DTA to get their additional channels.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-03-2010, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all these informative answers. It does seem like this this is the best forum I know to pose my audio/video questions and get such quick responses.

It also occurs to me, after speaking to my brother-in-law who also subscribes to a bundle with Time Warner (his bundle is high speed internet + digital TV + phone, but my bundle wouldn't include the phone) that his price is way higher than mine (even taking his phone into account), so I wonder if this offer I got is a promotional deal, and maybe 12 months from now, they're going hit me with a significant price increase. I suppose even if that's true, it's worth doing this for now, and 12 months from now, if I want to shop around again, I can.
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