I'm trying to find the simplest way to allow her to get both her analog cable channels as well as the digital OTA local channels. There are a few local channels broadcast in HD she is interested in that she doesn't get with cable. She doesn't want to drop cable because there are news stations she watches regularly that aren't broadcast OTA. Would it be possible at all to seamlessly merge cable channels and OTA channels into a single list? I know you simply can't use a reverse splitter to merge the cables together as analog and digital UHF occupy the same signal spectrum. I have also seen suggestions for external devices with tuners such as VCRs connected through a plain old RCA video input. A wireless A/B cable switcher could work but the TV would have to rescan for channels every time there is a switch from cable to OTA or vice-versa.
At this point there really doesn't appear to be an alternative to simply getting a TV with 2 seperate dedicated coax inputs, one for cable and another for an antenna. I've seen a setup like this before and surfing through channels is really simple as the TV merges them into the same channel list for you as well as scan for both analog and digital channels if you so choose.
She is specifically looking for a 24" flatscreen and doesn't want to go bigger than that. She has a small living room. The problem I have with the size restriction is 100% of the TVs I've been looking at online are technically PC monitors with digital ATSC tuners built in. I'm not sure if it's possible to find at least a 720p monitor with dual coax inputs with a size like 24". Has someone seen something like this? Thanks a lot for your help.
Last edited by Titan91; 10-21-2015 at 11:24 AM.
No antanna needed just buy a new TV that supports QAM digital as well as ATSC digital and NTSC analog and use only her existing cable with no changes required. AFAIK almost all/if not all current TVs sold in the US will meet this requirement., Small TVs that are PC moniotrs with tuners added normally have better picture quality then just TVs.
Not you would need about a 27" widescreen HDTV to replace an 24" old standard screen in order to have the same screen height.
But one thing I will suggest is try to get at least a 32" TV, otherwise your grandma will need binoculars for anything less. You can get a half decent 32" these days for less than $200.
I setup my parent's TV for OTA and a DVD (they refuse to have cable...). I still get questions about a year later.
And.... I agree that 32" is the size to go with.
Well the idea is to upgrade her TV and somehow get digital HDTV channels as well as her existing cable at the same time. A switch would work, even if it has to be a more expensive wireless one, but the TV would have to be reprogrammed every time she switches. I'm wondering if any TVs exist in a 24" size or around there with dual cable/antenna inputs. That would solve the problem but I'm not sure they exist in that size.
You imply she has cable. Most cable companies have the local broadcasts available in HD. So do why you need to even set her up with an antenna? What size is her current TV? If she is using a 24" in TV now she'll need a HDTV larger than 24" since the dimensions are different.
If that's the case, and there are absolutely no TV's of your preferred size available now with dual inputs, then the best suggestions here would be in post #3. I'd also add that you can get a remote-controlled A/B switch from Radio Shack, then get a Harmony remote and program the switch into the equation, so it will automatically change inputs.
Csn you provide the identification of one of the specific local HD channels she is interested in?
and enter your zipcode to see which subchannels your local cable company carries. They may have the subchannels your grandmother wants to watch. If so, you would not need to hook up an antenna to receive OTA stations.
Since she is going to stay with cable it is probably best to not get anything else from the cable company until the new TV is installed and she what she can get at no additional cost.
When people ask for help with OTA and cable tv, LOCATION is actually pretty important. If he stated his grandma's location and cable company we could have told which channels they offered via clear QAM. We also could have helped him determine how easy or hard getting OTA in would be.
TV's were produced with two coax inputs (Antenna and Cable) long before 2004, and at least as recently as late 2009. Maybe you're not very observant?
Blu-rays & DVD's
She already has analog cable (which probably are soon to be converted to digital), so it's probably safe to assume that she has a "basic" subscription (not lifeline).
With that assumption, just by having a TV with an internal QAM tuner, she should continue to receive NTSC/analog channels as well as probably getting HD locals.
Now if there's one particular sub-channel that is not provided via digital cable and only via OTA, Granny didn't have it all these years and probably won't miss it.