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Boston, MA: Antenna, converter box help

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am not sure this is the right forum but there is not an SDTV forum . So I want to ditch Comcast. Antenna web and Tv Fool say that I should be able to get everything I need with a set-top or attic antenna. I have three old analog devices with tuners (2xReplays and one CRT Tv). I assume that all of the signals coming through the air are going to be digital and need to be converted to analog- is this possible without using some sort of STB tuner thing? Can I just do in universally in-line (before the 3-way split) somehow so that all of those analog devices could operate as they normally did when comcast analog was coming through the tube? So that they could tune and change their own channels, etc.

If I have to get each device some sort of IR-blasting DTA box then I'll just upgrade to HD digital TV with a tuner and ditch the replays.

TIA.
post #2 of 11
Others will confirm this for you but i don't think that there is an inexpensive solution to your situation. I think that the approach would be to convert each channel (one converter per channel) and then remodulate the signals. So you are looking at $100 plus per channel.

Either #1) new flat panel TVs. Two smaller and one larger or #2) three converter boxes. Converter boxes are becoming rare items in the stores since the change over is more than a year past.
post #3 of 11
Digital signals will need to be converted to analog for your old AV equipment with a Digital Converter Box.
You need one converter box for each viewing/recording device... ie: one for each Replay (the TV connected to each ReplayTV wouldn't need a converter if you use the ReplayTV as a tuner) and one for your standalone analog TV that's not connected to a ReplayTV.

New TiVo's have OTA Digital tuners built it....
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I got the free comcast DTA converter boxes but they are sitting in my basement, would they work in a pinch with an OTA unencrypted signal? They do say they need to be "activated." I never bothered with them since they haven't fully converted my local channels to digital yet so I am coasting.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by NitrousFoxide View Post

I got the free comcast DTA converter boxes but they are sitting in my basement, would they work in a pinch with an OTA unencrypted signal? They do say they need to be "activated." I never bothered with them since they haven't fully converted my local channels to digital yet so I am coasting.

No, the free boxes you have from Comcast are designed to work with Comcast Cable...they will not work. I'm guessing Comcast would like them back if you're not going to use them.
post #6 of 11
The cable DTAs will not work for OTA because the modulation systems used for digital cable and OTA are different and incompatible.
post #7 of 11
The best approach would be to upgrade to an HD digital TV with a tuner and ditch the replays.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMI Guy View Post

The best approach would be to upgrade to an HD digital TV with a tuner and ditch the replays.

I have sadly come to this conclusion. My heart breaks for my Replay's that have performed more spectacularly than any other piece of electronic equipment I have ever owned. The elder of which has been on 24x7 since y2k and not a hiccup.

And now I have to go to the dreaded BB and pull the trigger on some easily returnable HDTVs.
post #9 of 11
Topic moved to correct forum.
post #10 of 11
If all you want is for your analog TV to get SD, it will cost you about $40 for a converter box, still sold on Amazon, for example the Zinwell Zat970A is $40, it's $20 more than my early model Zat970 was after CECB coupon. If you have S-Vid connection on TV, the ChannelMaster7000 CECB is still sold, too, although usually for $20 more.

Until last month I used my Zat timers to provide the signal for my VCR recording (VCR set to record on L1, CECB timer set to turn to the right channel), and a second CECB for my analog TV. Many things about the setup were a hassle, but it worked. Converter boxes work, but it feels like technology is leaving you far far behind. OTOH, $60-70/mo adds up rather quickly. I dropped cable March 2008. Only bad thing is you lose bundling advantage.
post #11 of 11
You also lose History Channel, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, TBS, SyFy, CNN, etc.

I decided to go without them when Comcast switched to scrambling even the digital versions of those channels, putting them out of the reach of my digital recorders' tuners.

If I can't time shift the channels (and the recorders can't control the cable boxes), why should I pay for the channels?

It'll save quite a bit of money, and the few shows I'll really miss...

They can be purchased later on DVD for a small portion of the money I'll be saving.

As for the Zinwell Zats and the similar DTVPal, the timer feature on them works well in conjunction with recorders that only have analog tuners.

The Zinwells are also among those that Series 2 TiVos (SINGLE tuner, NOT DUAL TUNER) can control the channel changes on.
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