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When we started our remodel, the plan was to have cameras mounted with a view of our doors, home run the feeds via co-ax to a 4x modulator in the equipment closet, and set the analog outputs to free Comcast cable channels and distribute that throughout the home on structured cabling. The idea was if we're watching TV in the family room we could turn to channel X to see who's knocking at the front door, if we're wondering about the noise in the back yard and we're up in the bedroom, we'd turn to channel Y, etc.

Comcast fooled me and switched to digital partway through my project. My modulator has analog output, and Comcast doesn't have too many analog channels in their lineup (used to have 1 or two, may be 0 now). However, they do have unused digital channels.

Does anyone have a solution I could pursue to let the camera feeds be accessed from any TV in our home on separate channels? Are there modulators which accept analog video in and provide addressable, digital feeds out, and are they affordable? Any other ideas for me?
Jeff
 

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Got a smartphone? Use that instead of the TV. That's easiest, but might require you get new cameras if you already have analog ones that you were going to feed into the modulator.

QAM (digital) modulators are expensive. Like $1500 each new. You might find some cheap used ones on eBay. But you're also going to need band-pass filters to "insert" your channels into the existing signal on the cable. Those can be expensive too.

Maybe you could list the equipment you already have (other than the analog modulator)?
 

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So have you tried to see if it works? Analog and digital can co-exist on the same coax. May not be tunable with cable company equipment, but will be by your TV; if it has analog tuner. Happens everywhere, even on OTA. The thing is using "channels" that are unoccupied. What "channels" does your modulator use? are they selectable? Are you planning to use "notch" filters to clear the way for your modulator?
 

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Got a smartphone? Use that instead of the TV. That's easiest, but might require you get new cameras if you already have analog ones that you were going to feed into the modulator.

QAM (digital) modulators are expensive. Like $1500 each new. You might find some cheap used ones on eBay. But you're also going to need band-pass filters to "insert" your channels into the existing signal on the cable. Those can be expensive too.

Maybe you could list the equipment you already have (other than the analog modulator)?
We hadn't gone too far when the digital switch occurred, so we only have the analog modulator and one of 4 cameras installed. As such, if there's a different solution we need to pursue, we can start from scratch.

I did get the video feed from one modulated channel to appear in the channel lineup, but it's been a while since I've checked, don't know if that analog channel is still available. The modulator did allow me to select an output channel for each input, I think 1 - 120 or so, and on the one analog channel I found, I did see the camera feed. I bought a number of different notch filters, but they seemed to filter out a number of digital channels, so that didn't seem a successful alternative.

I do like the original plan of populating vacant channels with the video feeds because as long as the TV is on and we have a remote nearby, we can easily look through any camera.

If digital modulators are so expensive, what architecture would you suggest to accomplish this? Appreciate your advice.
Jeff
 

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I can't think of any solutions for inserting the camera video into your cable TV signal. Even with the analog channels, if you can't find an unoccupied block of frequencies to use, you're going step on something.

I think what's more common these days is IP cameras. You can either set up a server that records (if you want), or you use an app on a smartphone or tablet to watch the live stream.

Some things to research:

http://www.homemonitor.me

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ip-cam-viewer-pro/id402656416?mt=8

http://blueirissoftware.com
 

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Ok, so a channel scan with the cable directly to the TV does what? Finds some analog channels, and digital channels? You either need to map the unused channels so you know what channel to set your modulators on, or ask your provider for the "real" channel map. This will show unused/available channels. And again, set the channels on modulators accordingly. If you are having stepped on channels, change channels on the modulator. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_television_frequencies
 
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