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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read a little about QAM tuners in the Hit and Mits integrated RPTV sets being able to pick up digital locals from cable companies. After wading through all of the legal info, FCC's/congress' intent, speculation, etc. I am still not clear how this works. Are any integrated Mits or Hits owners getting digital locals (and HD) with basic cable (w/out the cable co's STB, digital cable, and all the other junk they usually insist that you have)?


If so, are you splitting the signal and connecting one to the digital tuner and one to the analog? Is there any way to do this and still get OTA digitals with antenna (how w/only one digital coax input?)


Thanks. Depending on the answers to these questions, I may see if analog cable in my area looks any better than satellite on my new RPTV.



to mod: I put this under RPTV forum in lieu of HDTV reception forum to get responses from Hitachi and Mitsubishi integrated RPTV owners specifically. Sorry if this is wrong.
 

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Hi Rich,


Just for grins I did hook up the cable (I only subscribe to analog) to Ant C on my Hitachi XWX.


It scanned a whole ton of channels although none seemed to have any picture. I did get one channel with Discovery but it looked really bad. What I did pick up were all of the digital music channels. Of course these are not worth burning in the screen so I switched back to the OTA antenna and did not experiment any further.


The issue is that the built-in tuners will handle unencrypted QAM. If they (COmcast in this case) are encrypting everything then you will still need their STB and decoder. You would think that local channels should be unencrytped but I did not see any.


My understanding with Comcast is that to get HD you need to first purchase the digital package and then pay even more for HD. And the FCC wonders why HDTV has not had the uptake they desired.
 

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That's partly true. I have Comcast HD. I had digital already and if I had just swapped my old digital box for the HD box, it would have been net-net. I kept my other box, so adding the new one cost me a little less than $10 per month. Keep in mind though that it added Showtime HD, so I think that the extra $$ a non-premium subscriber would be paying will net them two premium channels (HBO and SHO).


The value seems very fair to me, but you're entitled to feel otherwise.



Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
amphicar770,


Thanks for sharing your experience. I read somewhere on AVS forums that the FCC's "intent" in the cable act (of ??? I forget which year) was to NOT require customers to purchase digital cable or require the use of a STB to receive local digital stations. In other words, unencrypted digital local stations were to be provided at the lowest tier of service. I don't know how strong or legally binding the FCC's "intentions" are and I don't care to wade though legal documents to find out. I doubt many people are challenging cable companies on this if it is even true.


For my potential use, I would not expect ALL of the channels to be unencrypted, just the locals as per the alleged intent. I would attempt to split the signal and watch all of the other analog cable channels on antenna A or B (not to mention in other rooms of the house which I cannot reasonably, cheaply do now). I just want to see if a clean analog signal (if I can get a clean one) at my house would provide a better picture than the overly-compressed satellite that I am currently using. Getting the local digitals over the cable (unencrypted) would just be a bonus.


Then all I would need is that upgrade from Hitachi to address the tuner integration

;)


Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
UUronl,


Thanks for the response. The value does seem fair for those who are interested in the digital package and premiums that most cable companies push. It just *seems* contrary to the FCC's intent and may not be reasonable for those not interested in anything but the very basic channels AND the digital channels (+HD if available).


To put into another perspective, it seems that the cable companies want to force you to purchase a high-end package (including rental of their equipment) just to receive a handful of local digital (and possibly HD) networks if you are fortunate enough to live in an area where they are actually transitioning to digital. I guess an OTA antenna is enough of a "choice" to keep this from being pressed legally :rolleyes:


Rich
 

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I think what is driving the cable companies is that they ultimately want to go all digital. Being able to charge more is just a part of it. Addressable digital boxes make it a lot harder, almost impossible, to steal cable service. At the same time, I believe there is pending legislation which would allow consumers to purchase their own boxes based on some yet to be defined open standard (in other words do not hold your breath).


I do get all of the HDTV locals OTA. Still, since I get basic cable, I would have preferered not to mess with an antenna. Like yourself, I have no interest in the "premium" channels so I can not justify the digital upgrade PLUS the HDTV fees on top of that.
 
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