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When analog ends

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Currently, I have my cable hooked into an old VCR and into a DVD recorder. Neither has a Qam tuner. When the cable co. stops providing analog, what will I need in order to make recordings from my cable feed on my VCR and DVD recorder?
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill57 View Post

Currently, I have my cable hooked into an old VCR and into a DVD recorder. Neither has a Qam tuner. When the cable co. stops providing analog, what will I need in order to make recordings from my cable feed on my VCR and DVD recorder?

Just a cable supplied STB. The output of the boxes will be analog, as usual. Don't want to pay the $5-$10 per month for a cable STB? Buy a STB with a QAM tuner.
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

Just a cable supplied STB. The output of the boxes will be analog, as usual. Don't want to pay the $5-$10 per month for a cable STB? Buy a STB with a QAM tuner.

The DTA that Comcast gives out for those formerly on analog are $2.50 a month not $5-$10. I'm pretty sure most other cable companies will price them accordingly.
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

Buy a STB with a QAM tuner.

In the U.S., you cannot buy a STB that will be activated by any cableco.
Exceptions would be a "clear QAM" tuner, which will only receive non-encrypted channels typically, locals only. No "expanded basic" (I.E. USA, Bravo, TCM, Discovery, History, etc.).

It's possible you may be able to get one or two DTA's for free without monthly rental. Comcast had that offer a few months ago, but that may have changed since.
post #5 of 28
DTA is the answer you should be able to split it if needed so if not recording you can leave the recorders turned off.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

In the U.S., you cannot buy a STB that will be activated by any cableco.
Exceptions would be a "clear QAM" tuner, which will only receive non-encrypted channels typically, locals only.

The FCC at the request of the cable companies may soon rule that the local channels can be encrypted eliminating that exception.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks, all, for the replies. I'll probably wait until I need a device before I run out and purchase one, but is there some makes and models that someone might steer me to. I hate to think that my VCR and DVD recorder are about to become useless, since neither is capable of receiving anything but analog.
post #8 of 28
Don't do anything til it happens. Anything you look at now might be obsolete by the time "it" happens.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill57 View Post

I hate to think that my VCR and DVD recorder are about to become useless, since neither is capable of receiving anything but analog.

You can go on recording in standard definition with those two devices, just as you've always done, using the cable company's box as an external tuner, as long as the recorders have got analog A/V inputs on them.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill57 View Post

Thanks, all, for the replies. I'll probably wait until I need a device before I run out and purchase one, but is there some makes and models that someone might steer me to. I hate to think that my VCR and DVD recorder are about to become useless, since neither is capable of receiving anything but analog.

Only a few clear-QAM STBs for sale and most of those get poor reviews from users. Perhaps with more cable companies dumping analog this year the market for such devices will grow and they shouldn't cost more than the OTA DTV boxes did during that transition.

In Maine TWC is giving subscribers simple digital converter boxes free through 2013. But no word yet when TWC will pull analog from it's NYC operations.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill57 View Post

Currently, I have my cable hooked into an old VCR and into a DVD recorder. Neither has a Qam tuner. When the cable co. stops providing analog, what will I need in order to make recordings from my cable feed on my VCR and DVD recorder?

Get a CableCard tuner ($50 - $200 range), rent a CableCard from your provider (Free - $3.99/month) and connect the CableCard tuner to a Windows 7 PC. Connect PC to the TV, and get a Windows remote.

You will get all of the channels, will have the ability to view and record up to 6 channels at the same time (CableCard supports 6 streams at once) and will get a nice user friendly guide, as well as ability to get Netflix, Hulu and your own digital content on TV.

There are no monthly fees like you get with a company provided DVR or TiVO. The guide is provided for free my Microsoft (they have had this service since 2005, and have no plans to stop it).

And the best part is that you can connect up to 5 additional TVs (6 total) for free.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan3 View Post

Perhaps with more cable companies dumping analog this year the market for such devices will grow and they shouldn't cost more than the OTA DTV boxes did during that transition.

The problem is that cable cos encrypt the majority of channels people want, so the market for clear QAM tuners is to those who basically want the locals, which most places can get with an antenna anyway.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

The problem is that cable cos encrypt the majority of channels people want, so the market for clear QAM tuners is to those who basically want the locals, which most places can get with an antenna anyway.

I have those OTA DTV boxes and the reception is inconsistent. I have cable hooked up to my 'extra' older TVs/VCRs in basement, bedroom etc., where I don 't need a cable box. Happy to just get basic on those as they are not used that much.
post #14 of 28
I understand, but most people get decent reception of their locals OTA.

The market for clear QAM tuners is not going to be very lucrative, so there won't be very many choices. You'd probably be better off with an internet streaming solution.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan3 View Post

I have those OTA DTV boxes and the reception is inconsistent.

In most areas, OTA reception can be reliable, if the antenna set up is right. Have you tried asking about your issues in the HDTV Locals forum?
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

I understand, but most people get decent reception of their locals OTA.

The market for clear QAM tuners is not going to be very lucrative, so there won't be very many choices. You'd probably be better off with an internet streaming solution.

Generally, most ATSC tuners are also Clear QAM capable.

I have used some of those "free government" Digital TV conveters, and some were capable of receiving Clear QAM signal.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

I have used some of those "free government" Digital TV conveters, and some were capable of receiving Clear QAM signal.

Really??
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

I have used some of those "free government" Digital TV conveters, and some were capable of receiving Clear QAM signal.

That is extremely surprising, as the government subsidy was *supposed* to be solely for OTA reception. They weren't supposed to use (our) tax dollars to subsidize cable in any way (because cable was supposed to take care of its own digital transition.)

Do you have the make and model of these government subsidized boxes that had QAM tuning?
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

That is extremely surprising, as the government subsidy was *supposed* to be solely for OTA reception. They weren't supposed to use (our) tax dollars to subsidize cable in any way (because cable was supposed to take care of its own digital transition.)

Do you have the make and model of these government subsidized boxes that had QAM tuning?

I don't have the exact model numbes with me, but Channel Master and Magyca supported QAM.

I think it was more of a hassle to actually take out support for QAM from the existing chips, so some manufacturers shipped them with QAM enabled.

A FiOS tech alerted me to the fact that you can use digital converter boxes to get ClearQAM channels with FiOS, after he saw our set up to connect 5 TV's and only pay $3.99/month to rent a CableCard.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

I don't have the exact model numbes with me, but Channel Master and Magyca supported QAM.

I think it was more of a hassle to actually take out support for QAM from the existing chips, so some manufacturers shipped them with QAM enabled.

A FiOS tech alerted me to the fact that you can use digital converter boxes to get ClearQAM channels with FiOS, after he saw our set up to connect 5 TV's and only pay $3.99/month to rent a CableCard.

Let's get back to the original statement that "I have used some of those "free government" Digital TV conveters, and some were capable of receiving Clear QAM signal".

It's highly unlikely that the CECB's ("standalone") were capable to tune "clear QAM cable" channels as well as OTA ATSC channels for ~$50.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Let's get back to the original statement that "I have used some of those "free government" Digital TV conveters, and some were capable of receiving Clear QAM signal".

It's highly unlikely that the CECB's ("standalone") were capable to tune "clear QAM cable" channels as well as OTA ATSC channels for ~$50.


Not mine, a Magnavox TB100MG9. Unless there is some magical hack we never learned about.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Let's get back to the original statement that "I have used some of those "free government" Digital TV conveters, and some were capable of receiving Clear QAM signal".

It's highly unlikely that the CECB's ("standalone") were capable to tune "clear QAM cable" channels as well as OTA ATSC channels for ~$50.

I bought an ATSC and clear QAM box (with HD component and VGA outputs!) for $59.95 shipped from Newegg a couple years ago so they do exist.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Let's get back to the original statement that "I have used some of those "free government" Digital TV conveters, and some were capable of receiving Clear QAM signal".

It's highly unlikely that the CECB's ("standalone") were capable to tune "clear QAM cable" channels as well as OTA ATSC channels for ~$50.

Well, they worked. That is all I can say.

I don't have them anymore to check the model numbers. They had, in addition to RF, composite? (banana jacks Red, White, and Yellow) and S-video.

They used an external, 12 V power supply. I even connected one of those to the AV input in my car's GPS, and was able to tune TV that way, just as an experiment.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

I bought an ATSC and clear QAM box (with HD component and VGA outputs!) for $59.95 shipped from Newegg a couple years ago so they do exist.

It's not a question of boxes that do ATSC and QAM. A number of them exist.

The question was whether they were coupon eligible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

I don't have them anymore to check the model numbers. They had, in addition to RF, composite? (banana jacks Red, White, and Yellow) and S-video.

Are you sure it was coupon eligible? AFAIK, the ones that were subsidized had RF out only. Or at least they were supposed to be only those. Our tax dollars were supposed to help those who were getting screwed when OTA went digital by allowing them to purchase an RF only output to give their non-ATSC TVs a bit more life, not to supply someone with a QAM tuner.

If QAM tuners were coupon eligible, something shady was going on.
post #25 of 28
post #26 of 28
If they output HD or HDMI, they couldn't be "Coupon Eligible" boxes.
I have a couple of the original boxes that the NAB and MSTV sent out for evaluation. They had analog video and audio outs, and an NTSC RF modulator.
I suggested to MSTV that an S-VHS output be allowed, which was later added to the standard.

The idea was to only replace the lost functionality of the existing analog-only TV set.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

It's not a question of boxes that do ATSC and QAM. A number of them exist.

The question was whether they were coupon eligible.



Are you sure it was coupon eligible? AFAIK, the ones that were subsidized had RF out only. Or at least they were supposed to be only those. Our tax dollars were supposed to help those who were getting screwed when OTA went digital by allowing them to purchase an RF only output to give their non-ATSC TVs a bit more life, not to supply someone with a QAM tuner.

If QAM tuners were coupon eligible, something shady was going on.

I bought them online, I think from Meritline, or something. I did use the government coupons, so they were definitely eligible. It was not advertized that they worked with QAM, but they did.
post #28 of 28
Buying from an E-tailer that "honored" CECB coupons is not the same as purchasing a legitimate CECB from a retailer. That was not the government's intent and probably not on the "up and up".

Also, the coupons were not intended to be used for computer card tuners or standalone HD capable tuners (QAM or ATSC).
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