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Digital TV with old TVs (before DTV existed)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
When the analog to digital switch was made I was using Dish Network so I didn't worry about it. But now I'm thinking of switching to OTA. I have a few old CRT TVs that were bought way before the digital switch. I'm going to use a HTPC as my DVR.

What I want to know is there any possibility that they can receive the digital broadcast without a converter box?

Is there such a thing as TV's that can receive both analog and digital broadcasts without a converter box?

If I can't use my old TV's without a converter, will my home theater PC act as a converter for multiple TVs watching different channels or will it just work for one channel at a time and I either have to limit my TV watching to one TV or all of the old TVs have to be on that one channel?
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rakosnik View Post

When the analog to digital switch was made I was using Dish Network so I didn't worry about it. But now I'm thinking of switching to OTA. I have a few old CRT TVs that were bought way before the digital switch. I'm going to use a HTPC as my DVR.

What I want to know is there any possibility that they can receive the digital broadcast without a converter box?

No.

Quote:
Is there such a thing as TV's that can receive both analog and digital broadcasts without a converter box?

Yes, all TV's sold these days have both digital and analog tuners.

Quote:
If I can't use my old TV's without a converter, will my home theater PC act as a converter for multiple TVs watching different channels or will it just work for one channel at a time

Yes, one channel at a time.

Quote:
and I either have to limit my TV watching to one TV or all of the old TVs have to be on that one channel?

It would be less expensive to simply get converter boxes for the TV's that are older.
post #3 of 14
Well - you're coming to game rather late - but

There are still some available new (check the internet stores), You may also find some new ones from local big box stores (however - they will all now be full price)

My wife suggested you try your local freecycle group - people are swaping their old TVs out when they get one with a builtin digital TV tuner.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Would a CRT bought in 1995 have a digital tuner or just analog?
post #5 of 14
more than likely - just analog.
Digital tuners didn't start becoming widely spread until 2005 at the earliest, and then, only in the largest, most expensive sets at first.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rakosnik View Post

Would a CRT bought in 1995 have a digital tuner or just analog?

Just analog. Digital TV wasn't available until 1998 and even then most all TV's did not included DTV tuners until they were made mandatory:

By July 1, 2005 all televisions with screen sizes over 36 inches must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner

By March 1, 2006 all televisions with screen sizes over 25 inches must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner

By March 1, 2007 all televisions regardless of screen size, and all interface devices that include a tuner (VCR, DVD player/recorder, DVR) must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rakosnik View Post

Would a CRT bought in 1995 have a digital tuner or just analog?

No. Here's a decent one that's still available new: http://amazon.com/Zinwell-ZAT-970A-D.../dp/B001DVZXC0

No built-in, analog tuner (no CECB has that), but it has a "pass-through" feature, which allows you to use your TV's analog tuner (if you should need it).
post #8 of 14
Quote:


.... I have a few old CRT TVs that were bought way before the digital switch. I'm going to use a HTPC as my DVR.

What I want to know is there any possibility that they can receive the digital broadcast without a converter box?

You don't need a converter box if you use a HTPC. But you do need one or more digital tuners in the HTPC

Alternatives are DVRs in the $200-$300 range with built in digital tuners and no monthly fees. You program them in a similar way to VCRs. See: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=42

Quote:


Is there such a thing as TV's that can receive both analog and digital broadcasts without a converter box?

Any TV made for the US market after Feb 2007 will do this.

Quote:


will my home theater PC act as a converter for multiple TVs watching different channels or will it just work for one channel at a time and I either have to limit my TV watching to one TV or all of the old TVs have to be on that one channel?

You can build a HTPC that will handle multiple channels.

You should ask at: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Do newer VCRs have digital tuners in them?
post #10 of 14
The only VCRs with a digital tuner(other than a few combo VCR/DVDRs(which many don't record from the digital tuner to the VHS side)) were DVHS(digital VHS) and sold several years ago. VCRs are basically dead, you cannot purchase a new VHS only recorder anymore, just a few combos.
You can easily record digital to VHS with a CECB found in this forum.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm not worrying about using the VCR to record. I'm going to get a HTPC to do that. And I agree that VCRs are basically dead. Don't worry I'm not going to go out and buy a VCR. I'm just wondering if I already had a few digital tuners in some VCRs I still have hanging around that would help me bridge the gap when I make the switch to OTA until I eventually replace all the TVs I currently have with new ones with digital tuners built into them.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smpowell View Post
Believe me I've been asking all kinds of questions in the HTPC forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smpowell View Post
You don't need a converter box if you use a HTPC. But you do need one or more digital tuners in the HTPC

...You can build a HTPC that will handle multiple channels.
What did you mean by this? The only thing that I know of that will do this is a separate HD homerun Prime not a HTPC. And my understanding is that I could get a HTPC with an internal tuner card like the Ceton InfiniTV which is a quad tuner. But it can only record 4 things at once. It can't also be used to watch 4 different things on TVs that aren't either hooked to another HTPC or Media Center Extenders. Am I missing something?
post #13 of 14
There are a lot of crts out there with ATSC tuners, some with qam, mostly hidef sets, but not all.

Sony only did it on their highest end units at first.
Some are speced as not having atsc, but have it after 2004.

Samsung, Toshiba and some others had many more with digital tuners.

You can get a tuner in a dvd recorder, but all I've seen are lodef.
A blueray recorder should have a hidef tuner.
post #14 of 14
Didn't John Fogerty write a song about that? -

"Oh, Lord ---- I'm stuck in lodef again".
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