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I have a Toshiba/direct TV box that I use for OTA signals, I'm at work I cannot recall the model#(I think it's the DST3000). I was wondering if I could configure the unused satelite input for the signal mentioned below?


When will HDTV be available on the cable system?


In the foreseeable future. We are actively researching and testing HDTV signals and equipment. In fact, we already carry three HDTV channels on the system (Channels 105-107: WTVS, CBS, and FOX respectively). However, the current customer equipment - your DCT 2000 cable box - cannot decode these HDTV signals.


(Our current three channels - in their current HDTV modulation format (8 VSB) - can only be viewed with ATSC-compliant HDTV decoders which cost around $1,000 dollars in addition to most HDTV sets.)


There are numerous technical issues that we are sorting out in order for home users to view HDTV channels over cable. These issues relate to converting the HDTV signal from what our cable system receives into what we can send down our cable lines to customers. Next, customers will need new HDTV-compatible television sets, and additional or new cable decoding equipment that can handle HDTV.


It won't be easy, but we are working on it! Our current projections call for beginning HDTV roll-out to customers around the end of 2002.
 

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According to the info, your cableco is currently transmitting 3 DTV/HDTV channels in 8VSB format, which is what the Toshiba DirecTV HDTV receiver (model 3000) will decode as an over-the-air DTV/HDTV signal. All you have to do is to connect the cable into the 3000 and do a channel scan.


It also sounds like they are planning to switch to the more popular QAM system for cable HDTV. The advantage is they can fit twice as many HDTV channels in the same bandwidth as using 8VSB.


When they do this, your Toshiba will not be able to decode the QAM signal, and you will have to use the cableco's new STB, which will probably be the Moto DCT 5100, or another QAM compatible decoder. Many cableco's are using the 5100 and thus are offering more channels in HDTV. In Detroit, Comcast currently has 5 HDTV channels with more on the way.


Some of the new Mitsu HDTV's have a QAM decoder built in for standard HDTV (like the local DTV channels), but it will not decode premium cable channels, like HBO & Showtime.


A QAM decoder with premium decoding capability will be available in the future, either as an outboard STB or built in to HDTV's, and Panasonic is the first company to commit to this type of product, but I wouldn't I expect to see it available for sale until late next year at best.
 

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The DST-3000 can indeed decode 8VSB signals delivered over cable. The input must be configured as an antenna input to do this. Since you already have antenna configured on one input, the other cannot also be set to antenna. The usual work-around is to use an RF switch with the antenna and the cable lead on the dual side and the single side connected to the ANT input on the DST-3000. A scan will locate the available channels when the switch is set to the cable feed. Enter each actual, not remapped, channel for the antenna with the switch in the antenna feed mode. E.G. If CBS is using channel 31 and remapping to 2-1, key in channel 31-1 on the remote and it will remap 2-1 and add it to the guide. You can't scan channels on each switch setting because the channels not being fed through the switch will be deleted when scanning. This is assuming you don't have a dish attached so that no channels will be added by a database download.
 
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