Can I purchase a third party cable box to replace my Comcast Motorola box? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks in advance for you patience as I don't have the technical background that a lot of users on this forum have. I have Comcast "Expanded Basic" in the Seattle area and have been paying $10 a month to rent the same stupid Motorola box for 7 years now. That's a lot of money to "rent" something that I should outright own by now. Is there a relatively simple product that would substitute for the Comcast Motorola box and still allow me to receive all the standard and HD channels I now pay to receive? I don't need DVR necessarily, although that would be bonus. I don't want to hook up a PC to the side of my TV. Does the Channel Master 7001 handle this? Doesn't the Motorola have a proprietary card inserted that unlocks the signal for the household or unit?

Thanks very much.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:03 AM
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I think you will find that in the U.S., you have no option other than rent a cable box for "expanded basic".

Although, if your TV has a "clear QAM tuner", you may be able to receive "limited basic" (locals only) without a box, but that could vary by area. Some locations/providers encrypt all digital channels. And.... if they don't now, it may be encrypted in the near future.

You may want to look into TiVO or similar devices that use CableCard. But IMHO, you're better off renting.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:19 PM
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Ratman's right. The TiVo is the only option that satisfies your conditions. In that it uses a CableCard, you may still be out a fee (varies by cable system, BHN is $5/mo).

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Old 08-30-2013, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by piolet_rampe View Post

Doesn't the Motorola have a proprietary card inserted that unlocks the signal for the household or unit?

You're thinking of cableCARD (not proprietary to Motorola; Cisco uses them, too.) Very few third party devices use them. TiVo, PC tuners, and that's about it.

You don't necessarily have to have the PC next to the TV. There are extender boxes that can sit on the nextwork and tune from a cableCARD equipped PC (xBox 360 can be used.)

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Old 08-30-2013, 12:13 PM
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$840 is a good chunk of change. Does that include HiDef channels? Comcast here in Olympia actually pays me $2.50 a month to not use their box and I get all the HD feeds of my extended basic package. However I am using HTPCs and CableCard tuners. You could build an HTPC from a NUC or other small form factor PC and it wouldn't look like a PC tethered to a TV. If you ran Win7 with Media Center you can even use it entirely with a remote.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:32 PM
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If you get any CableCard capable tuner and a small PC, you will have a DVR too. You will get all the subscribed channels, except pay-per-view ones.
I have the three channel HDHomerun Prime, now is $129 on newegg. Cox charges $2.99 to rent me the M-card and they give me free of charge a tuning adapter (needed for their SDV network). This tuner can be in another room, it 'pushes' the HD signal via your regular network (router).
The PC is a Small Form Format refurbished, with HDMI output - it was some $150 on newegg (plus a videocard that I had around). Windows 7 has free DVR - Media Center (Windows 8 charges for that $9.99), with no monthly fees.
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