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UHF Antenna & Basic Cable

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Old 10-18-2008, 10:21 AM   #1
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

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Default UHF Antenna & Basic Cable

Hi guys,

Is there a way to connect a DB2 HDTV Antenna as well as a Basic Cable feed to an HDTV simultaneously? I'm looking at which TV I want to buy, but if there are certain TVs that can allow you to do this, I'd be interested in that!

The TV I was looking at was a Sony Bravia M Series - KDL32M4000

Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:44 AM   #2
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Hmmm, interesting question! I checked the sony specs and it has clear a QAM tuner. Your HD locals should be available to your tv through a single cable connection. IE, simply connecting the coax cable gives you all the basic cable channels with the analog tuner *and* your HD locals with the QAM tuner. The antenna would only be useful if you are pulling in channels outside your local area.
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:29 AM   #3
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

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I'm not sure you understand what I mean. Right now, I have a 20" CRT Tube TV, receiving basic cable from Time Warner. I will not be getting HD service from Time Warner. I'm going to keep basic cable tv with this new HDTV, I just want to be able to receive some HD channels (for football mostly) through an antenna. And if possible I'd like to keep both connected at the same time. (Basic Cable and HD Antenna).
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiller. View Post
I'm not sure you understand what I mean. Right now, I have a 20" CRT Tube TV, receiving basic cable from Time Warner. I will not be getting HD service from Time Warner. I'm going to keep basic cable tv with this new HDTV, I just want to be able to receive some HD channels (for football mostly) through an antenna. And if possible I'd like to keep both connected at the same time. (Basic Cable and HD Antenna).
It is very possible that I don't understand your specific situation. In my case, my cable service has our HD locals in clear QAM. I can watch these HD channels on our two HDTV's with NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners (as well as basic cable channels). We have an older CRT tv that only receives the basic cable channels through the cable coax. All three tvs can receive cable through one coax connection with the HDTV's being able to display the HD programming.

So, the real question, what is the source of your football games? Are they local stations? If so, they will be available with your QAM tuner on the new HDTV but not on the CRT. It is more of a challenge if they are outside your local area. In that case, you will need a digital tuner for the antenna and connections from the tuner to your tv. These accessory tuners have not been very popular and tend to be expensive ($200+).

An alternative solution involves the use of a computer. Circuit City has the Hauppauge HVR 1600 on sale for $30. This video capture card has an analog tuner and a digital/QAM tuner. You can record two programs at one time (1 analog and 1 digital). You can have all the benefits of a dvr box from the cable company for a very small investment. You could simply watch the games live on your computer or save to the hard drive. You can also transfer the video to your HDTV with a HDMI cable (assuming your computer's video card has HDMI output). Older computers frequently don't have HDMI output. Mine doesn't. I can connect to my HDTV with a VGA connection or alternatively, I can purchase a component dongle for my video card and connect my computer to the tv with component cables.

HTH

Rick

Last edited by IDRick; 10-18-2008 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:56 PM   #5
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I don't think the OP understands that even on basic cable, there is a very strong possibility that local channels will be available (without upgrading the service) in HD. My basic cable has CBS, NBC, PBS and MYCW in HD.

This all depends on weather the TV has a built-in QAM tuner. Check the specs.
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:01 PM   #6
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Two problems here, Skiller:

* In most locations, cable-provider signal strengths are way beyond what an antenna puts out, even with a pre-amp.

* Cable systems use some of the same channels OTA broadcasters use.

Any attempt at combining both on one tuner is very likely to cause interference to at least some channels on either service, or both. Even if you hook up an A/B video switch to the HDTV, with one side for cable and the other for the antenna, the switch can't isolate the signals from each other well enough to completely shut out the cable box while you're watching an OTA signal. You can try it without harming anything, but it's unlikely to work well, if at all.
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:57 PM   #7
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorCAD View Post
I don't think the OP understands that even on basic cable, there is a very strong possibility that local channels will be available (without upgrading the service) in HD. My basic cable has CBS, NBC, PBS and MYCW in HD.

This all depends on weather the TV has a built-in QAM tuner. Check the specs.
I didn't realize that!

So I won't bother with the antenna then.

I just checked the specs, and as Rick said:

Channel Coverage: CATV
Tuner (Cable) : ClearQAM (unencrypted)
Tuner (Terrestrial): NTSC, ATSC

So I will have the QAM tuner.

Rick: I realize now that you answered all my questions with your first post

Thanks for all the help guys!

Last edited by Skiller.; 10-18-2008 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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The OP's question is whether you can use the single RF input on the KDL32M400 for both antenna and basic cable input at the same time. The answer is yes, if you use an a/b switch. Details on the connection, TV set- up and how to switch back and forth between OTA and Cable can be found in the KDL32M4000 manual. A copy of the manual can be downloaded from the specs page for the TV on the Sony web site at http://www.sonystyle.com
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:42 PM   #9
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

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Right, but if I don't need the antenna to pick up local HD channels since the TV has a QAM tuner, then there is no point in getting one, as all I was trying to do with the antenna was pick up Local Channels like CBS, NBC, FOX, etc in HD.
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:13 PM   #10
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Glad to be of assistance! Hope you enjoy your new TV, looks to be a very good one! Although I should warn you, once you start watching HD, it's very hard to go back to SD... :-)

All the best,

Rick
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Old 10-18-2008, 05:11 PM   #11
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You might want to check out tvfool. An antenna and a CECB with passthrough might get at a few channels that basic cable doesn't include. None of the CECBs will provide HD though.
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Old 10-18-2008, 07:25 PM   #12
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In answer th the OP's original question yes there are some TV's that have a connection for both cable and an OTA antenna.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorCAD View Post
I don't think the OP understands that even on basic cable, there is a very strong possibility that local channels will be available (without upgrading the service) in HD. My basic cable has CBS, NBC, PBS and MYCW in HD.

This all depends on weather the TV has a built-in QAM tuner. Check the specs.
Does the cable provider intend to allow this "free HD"? I would expect that the cable providers are aware people can receive this HD without paying extra for it. Then one must ask if it is ethical to receive this upgraded service without paying for it.

Nick
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:36 PM   #14
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Cable providers are required to provide local affiliates. I am merely tuning the high def locals with my clear QAM tuner. The cable co choses to not encrypt HD locals but does encrypt other non-premium HD stations.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickRogers View Post
Does the cable provider intend to allow this "free HD"? I would expect that the cable providers are aware people can receive this HD without paying extra for it. Then one must ask if it is ethical to receive this upgraded service without paying for it.

Nick
My cable company advertises "FREE HDTV" with basic cable.

Northland Cable.
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