Question: Clear QAM Converters: Which Are Good Ones?
Subscribe via RSS Feed

Clear QAM Converters: Which Are Good Ones?


This is a discussion on Clear QAM Converters: Which Are Good Ones? within the Converter Boxes and ATSC Tuners forums, part of the Over-the-Air (Antenna TV) category.

Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    6

    Clear QAM Converters: Which Are Good Ones?

    What are some good Clear QAM converters for analog TV? (Brand/Model)

    Especially ones on the lower end of the price scale.

    Would like one that has antenna reception capability also.


    I also heard some converters have built in timers so they come on so a VCR or DVD recorder could work. I would want that feature.
    Last edited by TomBrooklyn; 09-27-2010 at 08:45 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator

    Webmaster of Cache Free TV

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Logan, UT
    Posts
    3,734
    Blog Entries
    27

    My bet would be a tuner for your computer... there's dual tuner models with ATSC and QAM.

    anybody else? suggestions?

  3. #3
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Wantage NJ
    Posts
    1,617

    QAM set top boxes that are either not from the cable company or CableCARD devices (TiVo mostly) aren't that many. I don't even know if any of them exist.

    MrPogi is right, a tuner for your PC would be the best bet. However that would mean that you either tie your PC to your TV or you watch TV on the small PC screen, or use media center with an XBOX 360.

    It will suck a lot of power too depending on your PC.
    Ryan, N2RJ

    Extra class certified antenna NUT

  4. #4
    Moderator

    Webmaster of Cache Free TV

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Logan, UT
    Posts
    3,734
    Blog Entries
    27

    Maybe a beefy laptop (3ghz+ and 4 mb+ ram) with a usb tuner? Connect to the TV via vga / hdmi / dvi and shut down the monitor on the laptop. That would cut the energy usage.

    Pricey solution, But there's not many choices here. If you just wanted to watch, I would suggest a new TV it has Qam installed (usually)
    Last edited by MrPogi; 09-27-2010 at 12:32 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Wantage NJ
    Posts
    1,617

    Or I'd rent a box from the cable company. It's $3/month here, first one is free.
    Ryan, N2RJ

    Extra class certified antenna NUT

  6. #6
    Moderator

    Webmaster of Cache Free TV

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Logan, UT
    Posts
    3,734
    Blog Entries
    27

    Thanks Ryan. Not being a cable customer for over 10 years, I forget! I think Comcast was doing up to 3 basic boxes free here, when they go digital. Wonder how long before everyone rents?

    Let me see, at $3 a month, I figure you've paid for that box in 3 years.
    Last edited by MrPogi; 09-28-2010 at 03:24 AM.

  7. #7
    DTVUSA Jr. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    6
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    QAM set top boxes that are either not from the cable company or CableCARD devices (TiVo mostly) aren't that many.
    Yes, I've gotten that impression. A couple I thought I found turned out to be for PCs. It could be their not even made for TVs, as far as I can tell now.

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    MrPogi is right, a tuner for your PC would be the best bet. However that would mean that you either tie your PC to your TV or you watch TV on the small PC screen, or use media center with an XBOX 360. It will suck a lot of power too depending on your PC.
    Leaving my PC on to watch TV and running the associated wiring don't sound particularly inviting to me, including the extra energy cost considerations. I don't want to watch TV on my computer and I don't have an XBOX or know what media center is.

    Anyway, I found out Cablevision is going to encrypt their basic channels in Brooklyn (and the Bronx) soon. They apparently got a waiver from the FCC to be able to do so. So a clear QAM converter isn't going to work for much longer. I also read somewhere the Boston, MA cable company is going to encryption, so this may be the wave of the future.

  8. #8
    DTVUSA Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    DC Area
    Posts
    617

    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn View Post
    Yes, I've gotten that impression. A couple I thought I found turned out to be for PCs. It could be their not even made for TVs, as far as I can tell now.

    Leaving my PC on to watch TV and running the associated wiring don't sound particularly inviting to me, including the extra energy cost considerations. I don't want to watch TV on my computer and I don't have an XBOX or know what media center is.
    I think there are boxes other than the XBox for delivering Media Center video to your TV. I don't have a lot of experience with those devices, but I'm pretty sure I've seen them talked about before. I'll see if I can dig up some threads for you later.

    I wonder why the new Apple TV doesn't include a slot for cablecards?

  9. #9
    DTVUSA Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,857

    With AllVid on the horizon, I'd not spend that much effort or money on a clear QAM solution. The FCC says it is going to be working hard to put in place a new solution that will effectively render all current tuner equipment practically obsolete.

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Wantage NJ
    Posts
    1,617

    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn View Post
    Anyway, I found out Cablevision is going to encrypt their basic channels in Brooklyn (and the Bronx) soon. They apparently got a waiver from the FCC to be able to do so. So a clear QAM converter isn't going to work for much longer. I also read somewhere the Boston, MA cable company is going to encryption, so this may be the wave of the future.
    In that case you have no choice. I hear that Cablevision is giving free equipment to some customers for a specific period of time though.
    Ryan, N2RJ

    Extra class certified antenna NUT

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Wantage NJ
    Posts
    1,617

    Quote Originally Posted by CptlA View Post
    I think there are boxes other than the XBox for delivering Media Center video to your TV. I don't have a lot of experience with those devices, but I'm pretty sure I've seen them talked about before. I'll see if I can dig up some threads for you later.
    There are boxes called extenders but they have all been discontinued. I have a Linksys DMA2100.

    I wonder why the new Apple TV doesn't include a slot for cablecards?
    For the same reason they don't like Blu-ray. Licensing and it cuts into iTunes sales.
    Ryan, N2RJ

    Extra class certified antenna NUT

  12. #12
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Wantage NJ
    Posts
    1,617

    Quote Originally Posted by bicker View Post
    With AllVid on the horizon, I'd not spend that much effort or money on a clear QAM solution. The FCC says it is going to be working hard to put in place a new solution that will effectively render all current tuner equipment practically obsolete.
    AllVid is many years away. Clear QAM tuners for PCs are cheap and will get you up and running today.

    And even with AllVid, QAM isn't going to go away overnight. There is just way too much invested in it. Besides, the delivery to the home is likely to be QAM anyway, with AllVid translating between QAM and IP.
    Ryan, N2RJ

    Extra class certified antenna NUT

  13. #13
    DTVUSA Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,857

    As long as people go into a purchase now, knowing that AllVid is on the horizon (but we don't know how far out the horizon is) and that anything they buy now won't be able to capitalize on what AllVid will provide/impose thereby (resulting in perhaps inferior service for the same price), then no problem. What I object to is folks projecting the impression onto unsuspecting potential purchasers that they can purchase something today with assurance that they'll get full service from that device for many years to come. That is simply not the case. And it leads to lots of unnecessary, self-centered chest-beating later when things stop working.

  14. #14
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Wantage NJ
    Posts
    1,617

    How do you know when Clear QAM will stop working? What kind of crystal ball do you have???

    ANALOG isn't even going away until 2012 for many cable operators. QAM will be around for some time to come.

    AllVid is being met with resistance all around, except from TiVo and a few other CE manufacturers. It doesn't seem that it will become reality for at least a couple of years and it doesn't seem that it will replace cable company provided boxes ever unless the FCC bans them from renting equipment.

    There is no equipment today built for AllVid. There is no guarantee that CE manufacturers will write firmware upgrades for TV sets to accommodate AllVid. In fact they are more likely to tell you to buy a new and improved TV. Waiting on AllVid is like waiting for Apple to bring Flash to iProducts.
    Ryan, N2RJ

    Extra class certified antenna NUT

  15. #15
    DTVUSA Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,857

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    How do you know when Clear QAM will stop working? What kind of crystal ball do you have???
    I didn't say anything about Clear QAM, nor did I say anything about a specific "when". Stop trying to object to things I didn't say, just because you don't have a valid rebuttal to something I did say, but something you didn't like. Clear QAM is not the only thing that people use televisions and DVRs for. My message above clearly said "full service", not just Clear QAM. Why did you ignore that, in crafting your reply?

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    QAM will be around for some time to come.
    Yes, it will. That doesn't conflict one bit with the message you objected to. Read it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    AllVid is being met with resistance all around, except from TiVo and a few other CE manufacturers. It doesn't seem that it will become reality for at least a couple of years and it doesn't seem that it will replace cable company provided boxes ever unless the FCC bans them from renting equipment.
    The point I made is that the future is unclear. People buying things should know that there is work underway that could affect what the devices they purchase today can do. You seems to want to foster in people an unreasonable expectation that if they buy something today then it will be useful for watching whatever channels they want forever. That just leads people to shock and disappointment if, as is a strong possibility, the industry standard changes and renders the device they are purchasing now unable to access some of the services. So it seems like you're deliberately setting yourself and perhaps others up for outrage later on. That's a terrible thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    There is no equipment today built for AllVid. There is no guarantee that CE manufacturers will write firmware upgrades for TV sets to accommodate AllVid. In fact they are more likely to tell you to buy a new and improved TV.
    Precisely my point: If you buy something today, be prepared - you might have to buy a new one when and if AllVid is deployed. It is a simple message, and you haven't presented any reason to have objected to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    Waiting on AllVid is like waiting for Apple to bring Flash to iProducts.
    I don't disagree with that.

  16. #16
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Wantage NJ
    Posts
    1,617

    This is what I originally responded to:

    With AllVid on the horizon, I'd not spend that much effort or money on a clear QAM solution. The FCC says it is going to be working hard to put in place a new solution that will effectively render all current tuner equipment practically obsolete.
    AllVid, while on the radar, is not what I'd say is close to being deployed.

    All current tuner equipment will also not be practically obsolete. Clear QAM currently in most cable systems is only guaranteed to receive local channels. This is not likely to change, since the only company who is allowed to encrypt local channels had to justify their position with the argument that leaving the channels open would lead to theft of service.

    There is no way the cable companies are simply going to throw away all of the current equipment. What will likely happen is that AllVid will act as a translator between QAM and IP. Regular cable boxes will still work until they die out or are phased out.

    Nearly all clear QAM tuners can also receive ATSC and the price difference is minimal.

    As for buying "future proof" I wouldn't even bother. I've found that buying "future proof" stuff is a waste of money since standards change. Electronics these days only last for a few years anyway. I know people replacing LCD TVs they bought 5 years ago.
    Ryan, N2RJ

    Extra class certified antenna NUT

  17. #17
    DTVUSA Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,857

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    AllVid, while on the radar, is not what I'd say is close to being deployed.
    Absolutely true. Again -- and I really don't know why you're resisting this so much -- the point is that it may someday be deployed, and that at that time the equipment people are buying now might not provide full service.

    This has already happened: People bought so-called "cable-ready" televisions, but then the digital cable came about, and then encrypted digital cable, and people needed a cable box, or a new CableCARD-compatible device, to get full service from their service provider. They were misled by the pundits, analysts and manufacturers into thinking that they were buying a device that would provide them full service forever. That simply was not the case. It was a fiction that people wanted to believe, so they didn't dig deep enough to realize that it was a fiction. In the end, this fiction resulted in a vast array of dissatisfaction and disaffection. And for no reason: If people understood precisely what they were buying, and weren't led astray by insinuations that it would provide full cable service "forever", then there wouldn't have been as much of a problem.

    The important thing is that people buying televisions and DVRs, today, understand that if people want full service as it is will be available at some time in the future -- maybe 4 years, maybe 8 years, maybe not for 12 years -- then they'll probably have to purchase new equipment at that time. Anyone who wants to buy a television and have it be all they could possibly need or want for 25 years, should simply not purchase anything offered for sale today.

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    All current tuner equipment will also not be practically obsolete. Clear QAM currently in most cable systems is only guaranteed to receive local channels. This is not likely to change, since the only company who is allowed to encrypt local channels had to justify their position with the argument that leaving the channels open would lead to theft of service.
    True, but AllVid would switch transmission from QAM to IP. That's not encrypted - any AllVid-compatible device you could buy in the store (at that time) will be able to request those unencrypted channels from the gateway. However, your clear QAM tuner wouldn't know how to make that request, wouldn't have a way to send that request to the gateway, and wouldn't have a way of receiving the transmission from the gateway. Round peg in square hole. Folks will need an AllVid converter box - and that brings us back to all the ridiculous chest-beating we've seen from people when told that they need a digital cable converter box with their analog televisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    There is no way the cable companies are simply going to throw away all of the current equipment.
    At least one service provider is already switching to purchasing convertible equipment: QAM-based now, with a simple way to convert it to IP-based service later.

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    What will likely happen is that AllVid will act as a translator between QAM and IP. Regular cable boxes will still work until they die out or are phased out.
    No that's not likely. Rather, as I suggested above, there will be a cut-over home by home, implemented over a transition period. After cut-over, the coax will just support IP, and each cable box will be switched to use IP. Of course, equipment that isn't being designed to be switched from QAM to IP won't be able to make that switch, and so they'll each need a converter box. See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    As for buying "future proof" I wouldn't even bother.
    That's fair, and actually pretty-much what I'm saying: If you buy something, buy it for now, and for the next 3-5 years -- maybe you'll get 10 or even 15 years from it, but buy it for the next 3-5 years, prepared to perhaps buy a replacement after that.

    Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
    I've found that buying "future proof" stuff is a waste of money since standards change. Electronics these days only last for a few years anyway. I know people replacing LCD TVs they bought 5 years ago.
    I totally agree.

 

Related Topics and Posts

  1. It's Official, "The Good Guys" Are Gone For Good. - General TV Chat Forum
  2. Question: Two Dig to An Converters on one Antenna - Converter Boxes and ATSC Tuners Forum
  3. how to connect 65 tv converters - DTV | HDTV Reception and Antenna Discussion Forum
  4. Are prices going up on converters? - Converter Boxes and ATSC Tuners Forum
  5. Review: The Apex is good, but is it good enough? - Converter Boxes and ATSC Tuners Forum

Quick Reply Quick Reply


Click here to log in

George ___________ was the first president of the United States (Answer this question correctly, it is used to stop spammers)

Share this Post

Join DTVUSAForum

The leading television and technology community discussion site, join today!

DTV USA Forum is the best source of television
and technology troubleshooting advice from a community of experts and members.

Back to top