HD Basic cable?

coder_t2

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So I cancelled my cable service since it was expensive and 90% of shows I watch are on local channels. I got an Antenna for my TV, but the reception wasn't the greatest since I was having issues with stuttering pictures, etc. So I decided, it would be worth it to just pay for basic cable then. Since it would be like $40 cheaper than what I was paying for the full blown cable service. Ok background story done.

So I called TimeWarner to get basic cable and they said it was $12 a month. I asked him if I would get HD channels with this. He said I would need to pay an extra $8 a month to get a HD box to watch it since HD can't go through Coaxial Cable. Now I can get HD channels through my antenna, and it connects via Coax. Do I really need a box or is he yanking my chain? Thanks.
 

PolygonGTC

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With any satellite or cable provider if you want HD content you will have to get one of their HD boxes.

As for HD not going over coaxial, he's just wrong. I'm sure it's a matter of stupidity rather than deception. Regardless, you still need the box.
 

450

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With any satellite or cable provider if you want HD content you will have to get one of their HD boxes.

As for HD not going over coaxial, he's just wrong. I'm sure it's a matter of stupidity rather than deception. Regardless, you still need the box.

I think he meant that you couldn't connect to the TV from the wall jack to coax input, and that you'd need a box in between somewhere.
 

SC385

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If your tv has a QAM tuner, and I don't know many TVs that don't, then you should be fine with basic cable without the box.
 

PolygonGTC

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I think he meant that you couldn't connect to the TV from the wall jack to coax input, and that you'd need a box in between somewhere.

If his wording is correct I'd say the rep's an idiot. If not I suppose he could just have worded it wrong.

If your tv has a QAM tuner, and I don't know many TVs that don't, then you should be fine with basic cable without the box.

He's still not going to get them in HD.
 

darkflames

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If his wording is correct I'd say the rep's an idiot. If not I suppose he could just have worded it wrong.



He's still not going to get them in HD.

He could get a few channels in HD not all, It just all depends on your basic channel lineup
 

SC385

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If his wording is correct I'd say the rep's an idiot. If not I suppose he could just have worded it wrong.



He's still not going to get them in HD.

He'll get the locals at least. I only have basic cable and get NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, ESPNs 1,2 and U
 

BinarySynapse

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Hmm, that didn't work with Comcast when I last had it. Maybe it would work now, maybe it just depends on the provider?

Also, the set did have a QAM tuner.

If they encrypt them, you can't see them. If they leave them open (like my provider does for locals and music-only channels), then you can get them without a box.
 

PolygonGTC

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If they encrypt them, you can't see them. If they leave them open (like my provider does for locals and music-only channels), then you can get them without a box.

Well, I'm guessing his does then. Then again, you can always try the HD package without a box and see. If it doesn't work tell them to send you a box.

I would guess if they're telling him that he needs one then they do encrypt.
 

pre1014

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Its against the LAW for cable providers to encrypt local stations on QAM. I get all local HD stations over my standard cable (cableone) with my qam tuner. Either you are doing it wrong or comcast needs to be reported to the FCC.
http://hd.engadget.com/2009/08/28/clear-qam-hd-isnt-going-anywhere/

Now, they may be blocking the signal with a high pass filter, or maybe you just have a shi**y splitter somewhere that is nuking the signal.
 

CrimandEvil

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(Sigh)

He'll get the local stuff in HD over QAM without a box. If he wants HD from his Cable Co then they that means he wants the HD package that his Cable Co offers which means he'll need one of their boxes. Which means that the rep is right.

If you want just the basics in the HD then QAM is fine, you don't need the antenna to get them.
 

sneaky0

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OP just drop the cable. Not worth it just for the basic HD channels. Cable tends to have the worst HD quality. Seems like you just need a better antenna. Go to www.antennaweb.org and put your zip code in there and see what antenna they recommend for you.
 

coder_t2

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(Sigh)

He'll get the local stuff in HD over QAM without a box. If he wants HD from his Cable Co then they that means he wants the HD package that his Cable Co offers which means he'll need one of their boxes. Which means that the rep is right.

If you want just the basics in the HD then QAM is fine, you don't need the antenna to get them.

Ok this is what I was curious about. I can just order basic cable so I can get my local channels in HD and not worry about an antenna. Right now they have a filter on my cable so nothing but internet comes through the line.

And this is the antenna I ordered
RCA Antenna.

It works good sometimes, but there quite a bit of trees in my area. I tried moving the antenna around, but just couldn't get a good setup where the channels I wanted came in without stuttering.
 

Sungaisu

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I have Comcast and I get the HD channels through QAM. Granted the channels suck, unless you love the news. I can catch The Office and stuff on Thursdays in HD though.
 

coder_t2

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And just to confirm, if I get basic cable and connect it to this

Tv Tuner

The tuner will be able to record the HD channels, like abc, nbc, etc?
 

Cylinder

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If your TV has a digital tuner you should get all the local channels in HD too. I cant remember the law, but they're required by law to broadcast them if you have basic cable. You only need the box to decode expanded cable.
 

BinarySynapse

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If your TV has a digital tuner you should get all the local channels in HD too. I cant remember the law, but they're required by law to broadcast them if you have basic cable. You only need the box to decode expanded cable.

They're not required by law to send them in HD or at all really. Just that IF they do, they have to send them analaog if they're set up for analog service, and if they serve them in digital form, they have to be unencrypted.
 

Cylinder

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They're not required by law to send them in HD or at all really. Just that IF they do, they have to send them analaog if they're set up for analog service, and if they serve them in digital form, they have to be unencrypted.

Well yea that's what I meant. If they are offering HD of the local network channels & he's subscribed to basic cable, they have to be sending them in HD unencrypted. Which his TV should be able to decode if it has a digital tuner; just by scanning for them.
 

Zachstar

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Cable companies have to provide local channels in the correct form. Which is HD for many channels these days. They are not "Required" to provide HD just to broadcast the same stuff that comes in over the air. Why? Local safety broadcast systems. Maybe its a bit of cable using public infrastructure but its mostly public safety.

Atleast this what I read on another forum.
 

xrintrahx

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While not always 100% correct, you should enter your zipcode at SiliconDust, and then select your provider, and see what other users have reported as being in the clear. Then, if you have a TV equipped with a QAM tuner, or a computer with a QAM tuner, you can plug in your basic cable and most likely get those channels. If they trap your line (which is normally the case if you are only paying for the 13 basic, basic channels), then you may not get all of the clearQAM channels listed at SiliconDust. That said, in my area with my cable provider, I receive about 130 channels, about 20 HD, broadcast in the clear, and I'm only paying for the $15 basic cable (which is essentially free/included in the price of HSI). I get the local network channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS) in HD, plus TBS, A&E, USA, TLC, Discovery, NatGeo, Food, Golf, regional sports. But the lineup varies from area to area, so don't expect to get these specific channels in HD. Eventually, everyone is saying the cable companies are planning on encrypting all QAM channels, so nothing (except maybe the local networks) will be in the clear within the next 2 years, forcing most customers to get some sort of cable box. I hear they have already begun encrypting in Seattle.

Fios is the same. Just look up your channel lineup at SiliconDust. They often include the resolution of each channel as well, so you can often tell what channels are HD from the list.

With all that said, if you only want the local network channels, it may be better to simply invest in a better antennae for OTA broadcast. You won't have to worry about what channels you may or may not get in the clear, you don't have to worry about the cable company possibly trapping your line, you won't have to worry about possibly loosing the clearQAM in the future, and they often say OTA HD is the best quality because it is the least compressed.
 

coder_t2

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With all that said, if you only want the local network channels, it may be better to simply invest in a better antennae for OTA broadcast. You won't have to worry about what channels you may or may not get in the clear, you don't have to worry about the cable company possibly trapping your line, you won't have to worry about possibly loosing the clearQAM in the future, and they often say OTA HD is the best quality because it is the least compressed.

Can I get a better antenna for my TV? I was told that the $10 ones weren't going to give me better reception than the $50 ones. That I would need to install an antenna or something in my attic to get better reception. Is this the case?
 

jalaram

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Can I get a better antenna for my TV? I was told that the $10 ones weren't going to give me better reception than the $50 ones. That I would need to install an antenna or something in my attic to get better reception. Is this the case?

Bigger outdoors ones usually are much better than the indoors ones.

That said, some indoor ones are excellent also. Here's a thread over at AVS Forums.
 

coder_t2

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Hmm. I checked it out. Issue is I have no place to put the antenna without it being an eyesore. Only place is behind the TV, but I kind of wonder if all the electronics I have in that region mess with the TV signals. I got the TV, xbox 360, wii, HTPC, cable modem, and router, all set up in a corner.
 

xrintrahx

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I was talking about an external (or attic) antennae. Not rabbit ears. Though, I am not on the up and up with the latest technology on the smaller units. Of course, if you live in a condo or apartment, something bigger is probably not an option.
 

coder_t2

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Ok, well I decided not to mess with it and just decided to get basic cable. Now the next question is, what TV Tuner do I get for my HTPC. Specs are in the sig.

I am looking at this one HVR 1250, but I might want dual TV Tuners in case 2 TV shows are on at once that I want to record.

So I am thinking either one of these for two tuners.
HVR 1850

HVR 2250

Any recommendations or comments?
 

JonDoms

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Yes both HVR 1800 series and 2200 series should work fine. I recommend going with Windows 7 media center and just connect everything and you should be fine.
 

whrswoldo

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Yes both HVR 1800 series and 2200 series should work fine. I recommend going with Windows 7 media center and just connect everything and you should be fine.

Definitely second getting Windows 7. Vista media center is terrible in comparison :( I am using an HVR-1250 in my setup (1 tuner version of 2250) and it works flawlessly :) With Time Warner, I get the major networks in HD and the rest in SD. All show up together in the guide (ABC is right next to ABC HD, NBC is right next to NBC HD, etc)

EDIT

I opted for the single tuner version because I don't ever record shows. It takes under 10 minutes to hop on usenet, download a tv show (in HD), and import it into media center. This way I get the show in HD and there are no commercials.
 

yossarian

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Can I get a better antenna for my TV? I was told that the $10 ones weren't going to give me better reception than the $50 ones. That I would need to install an antenna or something in my attic to get better reception. Is this the case?

I'm using the Channel Master 4221HD (check Amazon) in my attic, cable runs into the wall to my computer on the second floor. Picks up all the local channels (HD) which are about 20 - 30 miles away. You can see a big difference between OTA and cable. Eventually I'll run another cable to the main TV downstairs, but the signal may need to be amplified for that. I'm using a HVR 1600 I bought a couple years ago in my PC with Windows 7. Works very well.
 

coder_t2

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Are the remotes necessary for these tuners? Or will my generic media center remote work fine?
 

coder_t2

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Hmm I thought of another issue I might have. With the Hauppauge 2250, do I need two coax lines going into it? Because then I would have to split the cable line like 3 times. That would be one cable for internet, one for TV, and two for the tuner. Sounds like some serious image degradation would occur. Anyone know?
 

whrswoldo

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Hmm I thought of another issue I might have. With the Hauppauge 2250, do I need two coax lines going into it? Because then I would have to split the cable line like 3 times. That would be one cable for internet, one for TV, and two for the tuner. Sounds like some serious image degradation would occur. Anyone know?

No, it has an internal splitter. There are 2 connections on the card, although one is for FM only iirc
 

keenan

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If you're the DIY sort, you can build a very effective antenna pretty cheap.

This is one good example, here's another simple design you can build inexpensively.

I'm happy enough with a simple wire antenna that cost me about $0.50 to make, but I'm fairly close and have good line of sight to the transmission towers and there're only 3 stations broadcasting HD in my market anyway. Unfortunately in Canada the cable providers aren't required to broadcast unencrypted HD, and as far as I know, they do not :(. Nor is CableCARD an option here. I might investigate what some of the third party options are doing, my building is wired for FTTP, so I've got three options for TV, maybe one of them sends some unencrypted streams in addition to my 3 locals.
 
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