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  1. #1

    Default Do I have to rent a cable box for my TV?

    I'm trying to find out if I have to rent a cable box for my HDTV. I just got off the phone with my cable company and they're wanting me to rent a cable set top box for a month but if my TV is HDTV, why do I need a cable box?

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  2. #2


    Greetings Tammy, welcome to the Forum

    Renting one of their Boxs is the only way to receive the full list of channels, which are in the "Package" you have bought. Some Cable Companies allow a "few" channels to slip through and you are able to receive them without a box. BUT, it is far less than the number you actually pay for.

    Those Companies have more than one choice of the type of "Box" you can have. Some people just want a simple Box, and some want to have a Recorder. The Companies charge different rates, for you to use a given piece of equipment.

    So, all in all, if you don't rent their box, you're shorting yourself from watching a majority of the channels available.

  3. #3
    Moderator dkreichen1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy1 View Post
    I'm trying to find out if I have to rent a cable box for my HDTV. I just got off the phone with my cable company and they're wanting me to rent a cable set top box for $10 a month but if my TV is HDTV, why do I need a cable box?
    As SW said, inorder to get all the channels you are paying for you need a set top box. On ther other hand, if you are satisfied with the local (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, MyNetworkTV, Ion, PBS, and various sub-channels) there is a good chance that you can get yourself an antenna and give your overpriced money sucking cable company the double {...} salute.
    Last edited by dkreichen1968; 11-17-2011 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Did I really say that?

  4. #4

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    If you're only paying for "basic" limited cable (usually under $20 for your local channels only), you shouldn't need a box since you aren't paying for or getting those channels anyway. Make sure your TV is set for "Cable" and scan for channels.

    If you're subscribed to a higher tier of programming, then yes, you need a box for each TV. However, if you only want the locals on a second / third TV, you shouldn't need one for those TVs.

  5. #5



    Pogi is certainly right, when it comes to a second or third TV (not your main viewing entertainment center).
    They will let most of the Local channels through, but you can count on some/many more you can receive to be what is called "encrypted", or "scrambled". In other words, you need their Box to get to see those. AND, what the Company will do no doubt, is have enough of those scrambled channels available, where you will want to rent their box to see them. They'll really tempt you, but, finally it is your decision to rent or not.
    NOW, IF you decide not to rent, then a viable question arises...
    Most of what the Company will let you see without a box, you can get for FREE like Dan mentioned. You can buy an Antenna (one time charge), and not have to pay anything beyond that...forever !

    Just a sudggestion...
    Why don't you try a cheep Antenna first, before you buy into Cable ?
    Just take a look at what's available, see if it's enough for you, and maybe it will be.
    IF you'd like to go that route first, we can talk you through the process, where we'll
    need a report on your location, which we can tell you how to get for us.

    As a side note to this...
    MANY people have an Antenna and Cable, lots of times Cable goes out (like during storms)
    and they switch over to the Antenna to continue getting TV. I and many here on his Forum
    have duplex systems like that, and that has paid off many times.
    Last edited by SWHouston; 11-17-2011 at 09:29 AM.

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