Originally Posted by First XBR
Im not using a digital cable box, i just connected the cable to the back of the tv where it says cable when i set it to auto program it says it finds over 350 digital channels but i only get local channels can anyone help thanks
As Joe explained, the only "copy-freely" channels normally delivered are local OTA networks which you could also get without a problem using a roof antenna. All (or most) of the other basic cable and premium channels are marked "copy-once" and delivered as encrypted, in order to prevent piracy (so the theory goes, but it's 100% effective). At least that's how TWC/LA delivers its content.
Encrypted content will show up on your 960 as a black screen. There's no way the 960 can understand it.
In order to decrypt such encrypted programming (and display it properly) you need a cablecard in the 960. All STB/DVR boxes provided by cable systems have a built-in cablecard (locked behind a metal gate to prevent tampering by the user), so that you have no problem watching all cable-provided content through their STB/DVR.
The 960 does have a slot on the back for an S-card (for single tuners, as opposed to M-cards which are what is used in the STB/DVR's to support dual-tuners in those boxes). If you rent an S-card from your cable company (shouldn't cost more than $2-3 per month, much less than the rental cost of a STB/DVR plus service) and insert it in the 960 and go through the "pairing" (required to get the cable company head-end equipment to recognize and authorize use of your cablecard and TV), you will now be able to use the 960 to tune to ALL channels to which you subscribe.
The only thing a cablecard does not support is pay-per-view, which requires 2-way communication which is not possible with S-cards in a TV.