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icthulu

join:2012-07-22
Cary, NC

[Cable] Cheapest service?

We have antenna right now, and the switch to digital is getting annoying with the poor reception despite being 10 miles from Raleigh. So I looked at prices for basic and broadcast service through TWC with their packages and such. The price to add it to our internet plan is acceptable. What isn't, is the cost of a box rental.

Can I buy a box for digital conversion instead of renting it? Can I hook up directly to the coax and get all the broadcast channels without fear that next year they'll all be digital?

My only real goal is that the over-the air channels come in better, so I feel reluctant to spend more than 10 a month to simply enjoy uninterrupted reception. Any advice, recommendation, direction, help?

Thank you all for the responses.


Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1
said by icthulu:

Can I hook up directly to the coax and get all the broadcast channels without fear that next year they'll all be digital?

Thank you all for the responses.

You sure they aren't already? However likely not encoded so if you have an ATSC TV then just connecting should work for the locals and probably a bunch of shopping and religious channels.

Most cable company will not activate a third party box (besides most are stolen or have a balance tied to them).

Pretty much stuck with the rental.
--


davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3
reply to icthulu
The analog OTA channels handled by the cable company will most likely go all digital soon. The FCC decided against an extension of the "voluntary" 3 year agreement that delayed cable's transition to an all digital format. The cable system operators need those analog channels for many things. New HD channels, new digital SD channels, more Video On Demand(VOD), and more internet service capability. Some cable system operators are handling this by giving out plain digital to analog converter set top boxes for those still on analog only cable service. You self install the box and get switched to digital service of the same channels you got as analog. Usually the transition is done over a 12 month period. I would guess all the big cable system operators are going to be doing this over the next three years. It does take some time to set up the transition program, so they might not start until sometime in 2013.

icthulu

join:2012-07-22
Cary, NC
reply to icthulu
Thanks. I figured that's what I have to deal with.

I do wish there was a package that was just broadcast. I don't suppose there's some secret handshake to get that kind of heavily discounted deal?


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·FirstLight Fiber
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reply to icthulu
Not to talk you out of going with Cable TV but OTA reception at only 10 miles should be fine.

What kind of antenna do you have and where is is located?

If you have not already done so may want to plug you address in TVfool to model expected receive signal strength.

/tom

icthulu

join:2012-07-22
Cary, NC
The land is really flat so I liken it to building a cell tower at 20 feet off the ground and expecting to get a good signal through 10 miles of dense trees. It doesn't really work in practice, but sounds good on paper.

I've tried a couple antenna, switching old, power amplified, combination of the two, etc. It's acceptable for free, but I would really like to pay a simple 10 dollars more to not miss dialog because the reception goes regularly and randomly.


TheTechGuru

join:2004-03-25
TEXAS
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Charter
·HughesNet Satell..
·WesTex Connect
reply to icthulu
said by icthulu:

We have antenna right now, and the switch to digital is getting annoying with the poor reception despite being 10 miles from Raleigh. So I looked at prices for basic and broadcast service through TWC with their packages and such. The price to add it to our internet plan is acceptable. What isn't, is the cost of a box rental.

Can I buy a box for digital conversion instead of renting it? Can I hook up directly to the coax and get all the broadcast channels without fear that next year they'll all be digital?

My only real goal is that the over-the air channels come in better, so I feel reluctant to spend more than 10 a month to simply enjoy uninterrupted reception. Any advice, recommendation, direction, help?

Thank you all for the responses.

STOP! DO NOT DO ANYTHING!

If all you are interested in is local channels you probably already have access to your local channels for free as open QAM with your internet service. By FCC mandate cable companies can not encrypt the digital local OTA channels.

You need to install a splitter at your modem and scan for open QAM channels before paying any more.

Most modern flat TV's can nativly scan for QAM on a cable line but tube TV's will need a QAM tuner (the free ATSC digital tuners DO NOT do QAM).

The iview 2000STB is the only SD set top box I know of that does QAM.

»www.amazon.com/iview-2000STB-Tun ··· 3OQGJV6/

My suggestion is if there is not a single QAM tuner in your house to test the line with, have a friend bring a flat TV over that does QAM and scan the line, if the locals are found invest in one or more of the iview 2000STB's or just upgrade to a flat LCD TV.

Cable companies normally only trap 2-70 something and most QAM signals are in the 100's which is why it's possible to get the QAM locals for free with internet only and not be able to get the analog locals.
--
CompTIA Network+ Certified


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to icthulu
You need to CALL your local Time Warner office and ask them for their "limited" or "lifeline" type package. They don't like to advertise it, but they DO have it.


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit
reply to TheTechGuru
said by TheTechGuru:

If all you are interested in is local channels you probably already have access to your local channels for free as open QAM with your internet service. By FCC mandate cable companies can not encrypt the digital local OTA channels.

You need to install a splitter at your modem and scan for open QAM channels before paying any more.

That's good advice but I have TW internet-only and they have it pretty well bandpass filtered down to nothing. I get NTSC TBS and a few other garbage/ad channels, maybe a Jesus channel or something, but no Clear QAM locals or anything else worth watching.

I used to have TW Basic cable, for which I paid just over $20 per month. That included most, but not all subchannels of local over-the-air ATSC converted to Clear QAM. But they didn't include the program names or descriptions, so for me it was a no-brainer to switch to an antenna. Not looking back.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
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TheTechGuru

join:2004-03-25
TEXAS
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Charter
·HughesNet Satell..
·WesTex Connect
Well it "can" differ from system to system and sometimes a installer installs the wrong trap so until the OP actually scans for QAM will never know what he can get for free.

I have Charter internet only and I get no analog but I get all HD locals + TWC-HD and TXCN from open QAM on the line.

I have a OTA antenna up but it got to be so unreliable I switched to splitting the cable modem line to get them via cable.
--
CompTIA Network+ Certified


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to ArgMeMatey
said by ArgMeMatey:

That's good advice but I have TW internet-only and they have it pretty well bandpass filtered down to nothing...

There are ways to deal with that "restriction"


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
said by Hall:

said by ArgMeMatey:

That's good advice but I have TW internet-only and they have it pretty well bandpass filtered down to nothing...

There are ways to deal with that "restriction"

I've lived here over a decade and twice I've seen guys with clipboards up the pole checking the meter tags they put on every drop. I am guessing that as NTSC channels on cable approach zero they won't bother with this as much.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
They trap/filter at the pole ? Around here, they did it in the "box" they attach to the side of customer's homes. I haven't had any sort of TW service in many years though to know if they've changed things.

icthulu

join:2012-07-22
Cary, NC
reply to TheTechGuru
Very helpful. I have a flatsceen, but haven't tried testing for direct connection possibilities.

I'll also call about the limited and see what TWC will offer.

Great help all!

icthulu

join:2012-07-22
Cary, NC
QAM through TWC works well. The stations are remapped to obscure numbers plus quite a few were duplicates.

I didn't see ABC or PBS in the returned 50 or so channels. I assume they have to be there? Checked: »www.silicondust.com/support/chan ··· hannels/ and it says it should be there, but maybe something's changed.

Have to research it a little more, but good all around.
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