why should I need a cable box just to get basic cable ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Moved from Newport Beach up to Costa Mesa, 5 miles, same cable provider (TWC) and I'm told that I cannot just plug the cable into my TV like it was before ! I don't want or need these boxes, why do you suppose this is ?

The tech who came out couldn't get any of our TV's to learn channels, then told me that "he talked to another tech" who told him that in our small area you need a box, I find this unacceptable, to have to pay for 4 boxes in our home that we don't want. The computers all work great, the system is up and running, I had him install one HD receiver and it's working fine, but I don't need anything but basic service elsewhere in the house.

The tech mentioned that it could be something to do with our area belonging to Adelphia before TWC took it over, anyway, I'm frustrated, looking at Direct TV, then I would need set top boxes as well, I'm thinking that TWC should pay for the boxes themselves, anyway....
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 07:39 AM
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Did you try connecting the coax from the wall to your tvs and running a channel scan? How many channels are you referring to as basic? Just your locals or things like TNT and USA? What kind of tvs are they and do they have QAM tuners?

I live in Pittsburgh. When I was in college here we could run cable right into our standard def tvs and get about 100 channels. In 2009 or so they began phasing that out and requiring a box to get those 100 channels. I can still get the locals via clearqam.

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post #3 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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These are all fairly new TV's 1 or 2 years old, all cable ready, and were working without boxes getting the usual basic 100 channels. When they did the channel learning, it would get local channels and 2 or 3 cable channels, about 15 channels plus some foreign channels.


What gets me is you can go down the street and it will work, same provider.
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 09:02 AM
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Because FCC allowed cable TV providers to encrypt everything due to HIGH rates of cable theft.

Plugging TV into a cable outlet without paying for TV service is cable theft.

If you want free TV, get an antenna.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 09:12 AM
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I don't think the OP wants to steal anything. He doesn't want to be forced into renting their [presumably crappy] box and I don't blame him. My grandmother cancelled her cable after she was forced into a box and couldnt figure out how to use it. She pushed the power button on the remote and it turned the TV on and the cable box off. It was a huge hassle for someone in her 80s who never used a box before.

Are the channels you used to get in HD or not? My suspicion is that the former Adelphia system has less bandwidth. The channels you got before were likely being sent as an analog signal, which takes up more space in their pipes. Moving those analog channels to digital allows them to save a significant amount of space that they can use to offer more HD channels.

The fact that the same cable company owns both systems is irrelevant - they inherited completely different technology. It was the same case in Pittsburgh. Comcast here is made up of three or four legacy cable providers, Adelphia being one of them. They phased out analog at different times.

http://www.fcc.gov/document/viewability-rule-sunsets-affordable-boxes-or-analog-carriage-allowed

That is the FCC info about mandating boxes.
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 11:08 AM
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Original location a different node. Perhaps unencrypted digital channels and analog without a box.
New location.... no analog and encrypted digital channels and you need a box.

5 miles or 5 blocks, just because it's the same provider, "nodes" can differ.

You need to work this out with your cable provider. Even if you want to switch to FiOS, D* or E*, you will most likely need to rent/buy a tuner for the additional TV's.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 250mm View Post

The tech mentioned that it could be something to do with our area belonging to Adelphia before TWC took it over, anyway, I'm frustrated, looking at Direct TV, then I would need set top boxes as well, I'm thinking that TWC should pay for the boxes themselves, anyway....
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The fact that the same cable company owns both systems is irrelevant - they inherited completely different technology. It was the same case in Pittsburgh. Comcast here is made up of three or four legacy cable providers, Adelphia being one of them. They phased out analog at different times.

Yep, LA was split between TWC and Adelphia for a long while, and then when Adelphia went belly up, TWC inherited their system. Same way in the Valley, with areas that were former Adelphia still carrying analog band while others are all digital (read: requiring boxes for non-locals.) My place still gets analog so I can use my old CRT in the bedroom, while my dad's place three miles away is digital, and he needs a box (he has one TV.)

It is what it is. I'd put up an antenna for the less used TVs (in the LA area, you'll get a good bunch) and bite the bullet on the most used TV.
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I'm thinking that TWC should pay for the boxes themselves, anyway....

They'd just raise the cable rates to compensate. wink.gif

If you call up and threaten to cancel (whether you actually intend to or not), you can get the box fees waived. I've done that and haven't had to pay a box fee in three years. If you're in an all digital area, though, you will need a box to get more than just the handful of channels you have now.

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post #8 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

Because FCC allowed cable TV providers to encrypt everything due to HIGH rates of cable theft.

Plugging TV into a cable outlet without paying for TV service is cable theft.

If you want free TV, get an antenna.






Free ? I wish.

The TWC service TV/phone/Internet will end up costing me $175.00 a month with almost $50.00 of that because of cable box rental fees. For now it's a teaser rate which will expire in 12 months. What pisses me off is when I call the support line, the person swears I don't need a box to get basic cable ! They have no idea about why mine won't work, frustrating.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post


If you call up and threaten to cancel (whether you actually intend to or not), you can get the box fees waived. I've done that and haven't had to pay a box fee in three years. If you're in an all digital area, though, you will need a box to get more than just the handful of channels you have now.




I think I'll try going this route, thanks.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 250mm View Post

when I call the support line, the person swears I don't need a box to get basic cable ! They have no idea about why mine won't work, frustrating.
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When they did the channel learning, it would get local channels and 2 or 3 cable channels, about 15 channels plus some foreign channels.

I bet those are what they are referring to.

I subscribe to what Comcast calls "basic cable" - its cheaper to subscribe to high speed internet AND basic cable than just internet. Stupid I know.

What channels do they consider basic cable? ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CW, My NetworkTV, and a few digital substations and shopping networks.

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post #11 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 02:31 PM
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I subscribe to what Comcast calls "basic cable" - its cheaper to subscribe to high speed internet AND basic cable than just internet. Stupid I know.

What channels do they consider basic cable? ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CW, My NetworkTV, and a few digital substations and shopping networks.
Actually, that's called "limited basic". (some may call it antenna service or lifeline service)
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 09:10 AM
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Free ? I wish.

The TWC service TV/phone/Internet will end up costing me $175.00 a month with almost $50.00 of that because of cable box rental fees. For now it's a teaser rate which will expire in 12 months. What pisses me off is when I call the support line, the person swears I don't need a box to get basic cable ! They have no idea about why mine won't work, frustrating.

We have 6 TV's on FiOS, renting their boxes/DVR would have cost $60/mo in just equipment rentals.

Built my own, we only pay $3.99/month to rent a single CableCard. Serves all 6 TV's tuning different channels, independantly from each other, and 20 Tb (yup, terabyte) DVR.

Come on over to the dark side of DIY Cable Decryption, which is perfectly legal per the FCC. biggrin.gif

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Come on over to the dark side of DIY Cable Decryption, which is perfectly legal per the FCC. biggrin.gif


Now this sounds interesting ! I'll look into this more, don't even know what a cable card is ... wink.gif
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 12:33 PM
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A cablecard is a little index card sized "chip" you get from Time Warner. They are a replacement for a cablebox.

Between 2004-2006 a slot for them was a very common feature on larger tvs. You got the card from the cable company and it knew which channels you subscribed to. You put it in the slot, did a channel scan, and that was it. If you buy a Tivo brand box a cablecard is needed to make it work.

They weren't very popular and had a number of issues at the time so the tv makers quit adding them. My cousin had one on a Sony XBR tv and ditched it because it was too unreliable where he lived.

About 5 or 6 years ago a cablecard device for computers was introduced - it would let you use your computer to record and watch tv. In the last three years a half dozen or so newer models were released. Between those manufacturers and Tivo pressuing the cable companies the reliability and experience of using one has gotten a lot better. No problems with mine in the last few years.

http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2013-05/samsung-to-reenter-cablecard-fray/

That was just announced recently and might be of interest to you too

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post #15 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 06:15 PM
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Now this sounds interesting ! I'll look into this more, don't even know what a cable card is ... wink.gif

Just keep in mind you'll either need a box (like TiVo or the new Samsung one) or a PC that houses a cableCARD tuner.

There is no more cable from the wall full subscription cable TV anymore. Those days are long gone.

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post #16 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 250mm View Post

Now this sounds interesting ! I'll look into this more, don't even know what a cable card is ... wink.gif

Just keep in mind you'll either need a box (like TiVo or the new Samsung one) or a PC that houses a cableCARD tuner.

There is no more cable from the wall full subscription cable TV anymore. Those days are long gone.

 

OMG! I'm the last one!?

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post #17 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 09:39 PM
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Oh, all right, they're long gone except at wajo's house. tongue.gif Happy?

FWIW, I also have analog cable for my bedroom TV, no box. But they keep chiseling away channels that it won't be too much longer. I think I'm down to sixty or so.

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post #18 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 09:50 PM
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Id personally check with them and see if perhaps there is an existing filter out on the road side blocking the cable feed, as most legacy cables companies the cable internet and tv run thru the same line so to thwart thievery of their cable freq...they would simply put a different filter in... Id call them back out to check the road side box, or line above head to see if in fact it is filtered from the other companies legacy (older) connections and if it is convince him to remove the filter and double check that there cable connection and make sure there is not any interference with the internet smile.gif if not go xbmc media center!!
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post #19 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Got some great input from you all, thanks so much ! I think I'm going to enjoy this forum...
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