Converter box doesn't work with cable

MartyOhio

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
Have 9 year old Sony HD TV with analog tuner. Cable company says a different box required to convert their digital signals to analog on the channels they are dropping from basic menu. Gov’t converter box won’t work with cable. Can I get box for cable to do multiple TVs without renting box from cable company for each TV set ?
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#2
In some states and locations it may not be legal to own your own box. It may be against the TOS with your cable company.

But if you search the internet you can buy anything.

But you need to figure out what types of inputs you have to your TV. In most locations the cable people aren't to smart or lazy. If you TV is a older HD without the built in tuners, most likely it has some type of HD input, such as HDMI or DVI. Or at a bare minimum, though not true HD is component input.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#3
Cable, in the United States, uses QAM modulation (which is a lot more efficient than ATSC's 8VSB modulation, but would be more susceptible to interference if used OTA). So you need a QAM tuner.

There were a few stand-alone QAM tuners for sale a couple of years ago, but they ran $180, and no one bought them, so they've been discontinued. Now, mostly QAM tuners are found in DVRs, built in to new televisions, PCI cards and USB add-ons for computers, and in equipment that the cable company rents. (The cable company has no choice; they have to buy these tuners, because they're required by law to make them available to you for rental.)

In my search this morning, I could not readily find a stand-alone (non-DVR) QAM tuner for you to purchase. Sorry. There just isn't a big enough market for them.

Do keep in mind that if you do find one of the old ones on eBay, it still might not do the trick for you. All it would be good for is converting in-the-clear QAM. If your cable company encrypts channels, to preclude cable theft, then you'd not be able to receive those channels with your own, stand-along QAM tuner. You'd need either their cable box, or your own host device that is CableCARD capable (and there has never been a stand-alone QAM tuner with that feature; there has never been a big enough market for that).
 

MartyOhio

DTVUSA Rookie
#4
So if I have to rent one from the cable company, do they make it where it'll feed 2 TVs? My rooms are so close together and I don't want to pay for 2 boxes.
 

divxhacker

DTVUSA Member
#5
I don't think that's allowed per their rules - it's one cable box per TV. Trying to split the signal out might make the picture become scrambled - quite unwatchable- the cable boxes are set to put a picture out to only one TV. Using a splitter degrades the "picture lock" signal enough to break the hold. I think it's one of the Macrovision patents. I remember reading into that patent ages ago - my mother's friends didn't like that as they used to tape movies, could not do it any more when the system was changed to use that copy protection system.
 
#6
I remember adding a splitter to our cable box for another television in the house......BUT......the 2nd tv only got the basic 2-98 channels. The premium stuff we could only access on the tv that had the box.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#7
I don't think that's allowed per their rules - it's one cable box per TV. Trying to split the signal out might make the picture become scrambled - quite unwatchable- the cable boxes are set to put a picture out to only one TV. Using a splitter degrades the "picture lock" signal enough to break the hold. I think it's one of the Macrovision patents. I remember reading into that patent ages ago - my mother's friends didn't like that as they used to tape movies, could not do it any more when the system was changed to use that copy protection system.
couldn't you put a small distribution amp after the box to over come that?
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#8
Actually, most outputs should be able to be split, at least once, without need for an amp. But remember: These boxes put out only one channel (regardless of the type of output you use), the one channel that the box is tuned to, so you'd basically have to watch that one channel, everywhere.
 

O-O

DTVUSA Member
#9
Actually, most outputs should be able to be split, at least once, without need for an amp. But remember: These boxes put out only one channel (regardless of the type of output you use), the one channel that the box is tuned to, so you'd basically have to watch that one channel, everywhere.
I have wondered if this was possible but have never had the time to attempt it.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#10
Actually, most outputs should be able to be split, at least once, without need for an amp. But remember: These boxes put out only one channel (regardless of the type of output you use), the one channel that the box is tuned to, so you'd basically have to watch that one channel, everywhere.
I don't know if what divxhacker said happens in the real world.

But since the noise floor is about -106 dbm for TV bands and the signal needs to be about 15 db above the noise floor.

So say a box puts out about a -90 dbm signal. Once you split it you would go below the minimum and noise would show up in the picture is analog.

Just saying what divxhacker said is technically possile.
 

CptlA

DTVUSA Member
#12
Actually, most outputs should be able to be split, at least once, without need for an amp. But remember: These boxes put out only one channel (regardless of the type of output you use), the one channel that the box is tuned to, so you'd basically have to watch that one channel, everywhere.
I have wondered if this was possible but have never had the time to attempt it.
I don't know if what divxhacker said happens in the real world.

But since the noise floor is about -106 dbm for TV bands and the signal needs to be about 15 db above the noise floor.

So say a box puts out about a -90 dbm signal. Once you split it you would go below the minimum and noise would show up in the picture is analog.

Just saying what divxhacker said is technically possile.
So, far instance, would a two gigahertz low-loss splitter do the trick?
 

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