New HD/digital TV on old Comcast DTV box? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-26-2011, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Here come my very basic, clueless noob questions. Your patience is appreciated!

We've had basic, old tech cable for a long time. Basic cable service from Comcast, in via coax cable into a Comcast-supplied DTV box (Motorola DCH70) then into an older (but perfectly functional) analog TV. No HD content.

We're finally beginning to upgrade a piece here and there. First component is our main TV: I brought home a new digital HD TV today (Vizio E422VA).

If I simply swap out our old (analog) TV and replace it with the new HD digital TV, will that work? Of course, I know we won't get HD on it until we upgrade to HD service. I'm just wondering if I hook up the new TV in the place of the old one if we'll get any picture (SD) on it at all?

As I said, right now we've got a Comcast set-top box; this was supplied by Comcast when they went digital here. I assume this box does digital-to-analog conversion, so that's probably unnecessary with the new digital TV (it also provides some On-Demand services - not sure what else it does besides tuning channels, but the new TV should cover that).

We will be upgrading to HD service at some point soon (considering switching providers, too), but in the interim, can we just hook up the new TV where the old one is and use it that way for the time being? If so, should we remove the Comcast box and just go straight from the wall (coax) into the back of the new TV?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-26-2011, 10:46 PM
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Since your box does On demand, I assume it has audio/video outputs. Do not connect the tv via coax. Do not use channel 3 to view the box's output. Connect the box to the tv using composite video cable and RCA stereo audio cables. Connect the incoming cable coax to a splitter. Connect one output of the splitter to the box and one to the tv's antenna in coax jack. Scan for channels. You will receive all the unscrambled digital channels, including your local channels in HD, with the tv's tuner. The channel numbers will be different than the box's channel numbers, in fact all digital channels will have a decimal point instead of being a whole number. You will get some HD this way without upgrading to HD service.

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-27-2011, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

Since your box does On demand, I assume it has audio/video outputs. Do not connect the tv via coax. Do not use channel 3 to view the box's output...

It does have audio/video outputs. However, I'm really just looking at a temporary setup for a few days until we make other changes, so don't really want to bother with a splitter etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

...Scan for channels. You will receive all the unscrambled digital channels, including your local channels in HD, with the tv's tuner...

Thanks, Desert Hawk, for the suggestions. Sounds like it might be a good way to go to maximize what I've got, but in this case I'll be upgrading some other items soon, including probably switching providers and definitely ordering HD - I'm OK with that, just not ready for a few days.

My questions were really about just the next few days, before I make other changes, to see if if I could simply swap in the new TV in place of the old one (without it damaging anything but still displaying a picture).

Thanks!
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-27-2011, 06:19 AM
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Short answer YES !!!
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-27-2011, 06:32 AM
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plug the tv direct into cable and channel-scan and you can at least get all the local channels displayed as HD for today's NFL games, for example.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-27-2011, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Yep. Removed the Comcast box, plugged the coax feed straight into the new TV, did a channel scan. Found a bunch. It does not successfully tune many of the Basic Cable channels that I should be getting, but OTOH I am getting a bunch of channels, including some of the local network affiliates in HD, plus a few new (to me) other channels. Worked fine for the evening. I may futz some more with it over the next few days (I assume that plugging the Comcast box inline between the wall and the TV would result in the basic cable channels coming back, but would probably also result in a loss of the HD), but will be ordering new Dish service later this week so can live with it the way it is for now.

Thanks for the help.
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