Looking for a good coaxial to HDMI-out device - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-06-2013, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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The Xbox One comes out later this month and it has some TV features that I'm wanting to take advantage of. I only have basic cable (which also gets me a few HD channels) and thus I don't have a cable box through my provider, Suddenlink. The Xbox One has an HDMI port that is required to take advantage of the TV features.

I'm curious what my options are for receiving my basic cable through a box and outputting it via an HDMI port.

I've tried the iView 3500STB and it was extremely disappointing and had some problems.

I'm curious if my best option is to find a used DVR online and use that or if there's something less expensive that can do what I'm wanting. The device doesn't even have to be DVR as I get by without recording anything now. I just want it to be reliable.

I've been looking at Motorola DCX3400s on eBay, which is what Suddenlink rents out, but being that I don't have digital cable, I shouldn't need a Cablecard, correct?
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-06-2013, 10:40 AM
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Cable without a box is going away sooner than later. For the long term, these are your options:
  • Get a cable box from your provider (you can't just buy one of these from ebay and expect it to work)
  • Get a Tivo
  • Get a PC based cable tuner
I do the last option, and it works beautifully, giving me full whole home DVR functionality on my 5 TVs and practically unlimited storage, all for $2/month. I have no desire to add an Xbox One to the mix. It brings nothing to the table, IMO, besides gimmicky voice/gesture control. The clunky IR blaster interface from 20 years ago and metro-esque GUI from Fisher-Price are laughable.

Other than Tivos and PC based devices, cable companies generally won't let you use devices they didn't lease you.


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post #3 of 8 Old 11-06-2013, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Cable without a box is going away sooner than later. For the long term, these are your options:
  • Get a cable box from your provider (you can't just buy one of these from ebay and expect it to work)
  • Get a Tivo
  • Get a PC based cable tuner
I do the last option, and it works beautifully, giving me full whole home DVR functionality on my 5 TVs and practically unlimited storage, all for $2/month. I have no desire to add an Xbox One to the mix. It brings nothing to the table, IMO, besides gimmicky voice/gesture control. The clunky IR blaster interface from 20 years ago and metro-esque GUI from Fisher-Price are laughable.

Other than Tivos and PC based devices, cable companies generally won't let you use devices they didn't lease you.

Why wouldn't a DVR from eBay work? I'm not looking to use it for decrypting any channels or needing a cable card. If a cheap $35 converter box (iVew 3500STB) is able to accept the signal, why wouldn't a better quality DVR accept clear digital QAM signals that I'm getting from my provider?
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-06-2013, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaje View Post

Why wouldn't a DVR from eBay work? I'm not looking to use it for decrypting any channels or needing a cable card. If a cheap $35 converter box (iVew 3500STB) is able to accept the signal, why wouldn't a better quality DVR accept clear digital QAM signals that I'm getting from my provider?
Yes it would, but his point is that clear QAM is being phased out since the FCC granted cable permission to encrypt everything. Any investment in a clear QAM solution will have a limited lifetime.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #5 of 8 Old 11-06-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaje View Post

Why wouldn't a DVR from eBay work? I'm not looking to use it for decrypting any channels or needing a cable card. If a cheap $35 converter box (iVew 3500STB) is able to accept the signal, why wouldn't a better quality DVR accept clear digital QAM signals that I'm getting from my provider?
A box from ebay is most likely stolen, and your cable company won't allow it on their system. You might get lucky and get it to work on a few smaller cable systems with less sophisticated security. If you want to know what your provider says about it, just ask them.

I'm not defending them. I wish I could buy my own cable box too. If you manage to make it work, please post back and let us know.

Clear QAM is going away for everybody very soon and has already on many systems. You're throwing money away on a temporary QAM solution.


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post #6 of 8 Old 11-06-2013, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I spoke with Suddenlink today and they're apparently still simulcasting basic cable channels over analog and digital, so I don't see them getting rid of clear QAM anytime soon. Even so, it costs $6 a month to rent a basic HD receiver or $15 a month to rent a DVR, so if a used DVR online worked, it would be saving me money within the year.

What's different about a PC based tuner that makes it unsusceptible to being a "temporary QAM solution" as opposed to any other tuner?
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-06-2013, 04:21 PM
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PCs can be upgraded. Proprietary hardware systems cannot. All you need to do to make an HTPC accept encrypted cable is to add a tuner that supports CableCards, such as an HD Homerun. If you buy a DVR that only tunes ATSC and clear QAM, you can't upgrade it to work with encrypted cable systems.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-06-2013, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaje View Post

I spoke with Suddenlink today and they're apparently still simulcasting basic cable channels over analog and digital, so I don't see them getting rid of clear QAM anytime soon. Even so, it costs $6 a month to rent a basic HD receiver or $15 a month to rent a DVR, so if a used DVR online worked, it would be saving me money within the year.

What's different about a PC based tuner that makes it unsusceptible to being a "temporary QAM solution" as opposed to any other tuner?
Everybody wants to avoid the $6 cable box and $15 DVR fees. If buying these on ebay actually worked, everybody, including me, would be doing it. But it doesn't work. So the only options you have left are Tivo lifetime which is several hundred dollars, PC based QAM tuner (eventually will go away), or PC based cable card ($2.50/month on Suddenlink) tuner for encrypted channels. The latter will always get every channel a cable box or cable DVR can get. I agree a QAM tuner is the cheapest solution in the short run, clear QAM will eventually go away, and such a tuner won't tune any encrypted channels, leaving with mostly crappy analog channels and a few HD channels. Why not splurge and spend $2.50/month (8 cents per day) and get all your subscribed channels in full HD?


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