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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I've got quite a predicament here. My cable company (Charter) sent me a letter saying that they're converting to all digital cable. No worries there, except now I'll need boxes for each of my TVs. I've got 9 TVs in total, so renting boxes from Charter is going to be a bit costly. Only one of those TVs needs an HD box, the remaining 8 could go with standard boxes.

Short of getting rid of the TVs, which I cannot do because its a rental property in a program that requires 1 TV per room, what can I do to reduce box rental cost? Can I buy some kind of central distribution box with 9 tuner cards?


-- Dan

EDIT: The rooms do not have network drops. So buying some kind of streaming box for each TV isn't an option either. Gotta use the coax.

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Originally Posted by Cpudan80  /t/1517704/best-options-for-digital-cable-transition#post_24354938

Can I buy some kind of central distribution box with 9 tuner cards?
Hotels might have something like that, but it'd be an expensive initial investment. I know TiVo and Moxi have small slave boxes that tune through the main DVR, but I think they require a network connection, not coax.

If you're okay with just the local networks and a few other channels, you could buy eight boxes that use QAM tuners. But then you're limited to what Charter doesn't encrypt.

If you must have a fuller array of channels for each, bite the bullet. Maybe talk to Charter and see if they can waive some of the costs for keeping you as a customer. You'd be surprised what you can get if you ask, especially if you drop hints you might defect to satellite (they don't have to know if that's not an option.)

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Existing coax can be used as networking wire with MoCA or DeCA adapters.

DIY solution is to purchase a Windows 7 Advanced Entertainment pack, which will have a Windows Media Center that supports up to 10 TV's at one (regular WMC only supports 6 at once).

Then install a 6 tuner and 3 tuner or two 6-tuner CableCARD tuners, rent two CableCARDs from Charter.

Install Windows Media Center Extender in each room, you can get for $99 right now on Newegg, look for Ceton Echo. If there are XBOXes available, they will work too.

Things to consider, you will most likely need a robust CPU to support 9 extenders, something like an i7, or an AMD 8-core CPU, 16 GB of RAM.

You would need a MoCA or DeCA adapter in each room, at the end of the Coax, and one where you have the PC, so that you can feed the decrypted Cable TV signal to the Extenders.

We have a single PC run 6 TV's in the house, using regular Windows 7, not Advanced Entertainment Pack, the costs are SIGNIFICANTLY lower than renting from the provider, or TiVO.

The other option is to purchase Ceton UCrypt system, which is more for hotels, but I am sure they will work with you.
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