HDTV Help - Do I need a cable box?

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Old 01-30-08, 05:18 AM
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HDTV Help - Do I need a cable box?

I need help understanding what I need when I purchase a new TV. I am ready to forgo the CRT TV and analog cable for new tecnology. I am looking to purchase a new HDTV (LCD) and the equipment that goes with it (DVR, DVD...). My question is once I get digital cable and my new HDTV, do I need a digital cable bos as well from my provider? I am confused as to why I might need this device. Shouldn't the new TV's be digital ready and accept what my cable provider (Brighthouse) is feeding it?
 
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Old 01-30-08, 05:50 AM
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Your new HD TV should come with a digital tuner. HOWEVWER, these tuners are for the new over-the-air digital signals, same as your old TV. You need a cable box to receive cable on your old TV, you'll need a cable box for your new one, too. AND not just a digital box, but an HD box if you want to watch, you know...actual HDTV on cable.

If you are close enough to receive the over-the-air signal, you can just get an antenna and watch HD for free, however you'll be back to probably the 4 networks, a couple of independents and a PBS or two. Just like the old days.

As much as I hate the cable company, once I upgraded to an HD/DVR box, the picturew quality is far greater and it's VERY easy to get used to. My cable company provides free analog service if you get a box, and watching on the old analog signal is noticble, even to my wife.

So, you DO need a digital HD cable box. AND to anyone reading this, even if you don't have or want cable, you WILL need to get a digital converter box beginning February '09 to watch-over-the-air TV.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 05:52 AM
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Very good, thanks for the reply, very helpfull.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tlogan View Post
Your new HD TV should come with a digital tuner. HOWEVWER, these tuners are for the new over-the-air digital signals, same as your old TV. You need a cable box to receive cable on your old TV, you'll need a cable box for your new one, too. AND not just a digital box, but an HD box if you want to watch, you know...actual HDTV on cable.

If you are close enough to receive the over-the-air signal, you can just get an antenna and watch HD for free, however you'll be back to probably the 4 networks, a couple of independents and a PBS or two. Just like the old days.

As much as I hate the cable company, once I upgraded to an HD/DVR box, the picturew quality is far greater and it's VERY easy to get used to. My cable company provides free analog service if you get a box, and watching on the old analog signal is noticble, even to my wife.

So, you DO need a digital HD cable box. AND to anyone reading this, even if you don't have or want cable, you WILL need to get a digital converter box beginning February '09 to watch-over-the-air TV.
Only with older analog TVs.
An LCD with a tuner won't need another 'box'.

fred
 
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Old 01-31-08, 12:28 PM
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It depends.

Your TV may have a cablecard slot, which means you can get a cablecard instead of a cable box.

Also, some DVRs may be able to use a cablecard, such as the TiVo HD.

Otherwise your TV can likely tune unencrypted digital cable directly, as well as analog cable.

If you want encrypted or interactive cable services, you will need a cable box though.
If you want just encrypted cable channels, and your TV or DVR doesn't support cablecards, you also will need to get a cable box.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 02:18 PM
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If you use a cablecard you will not get on-demand or the Guide.
We have one in our Sony and get free HD on 10 or 12 stations that broadcast it, and also free music channels from Comcast.
 
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