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  1. I previously had subscribed to digital cable and was provided 2 Motorola DTC700 cable boxes (with remotes) as part of that service. These boxes were connected to my TV's (none of which are digital) and obviously converted the digital signal so that my TV's would work.

    I now have an antenna that picks up 'over the air' digital stations. Unfortunately, I cannot get these digital boxes to work for me. I have them hooked up to the TV as before, however, have the antenna connected to the box where the cable used to be. All I can get to show in my TV (via the digital box) is a 'guide' with no stations. I have tried telling the box specifically what stations to go to but it doesn't pickup/show anything. I know that it should work because I went out and bought a new digital box and it works fine. The only difference with it is I am able to tell that box to scan for stations. Is the Motorola box somehow locked to only wanting to receive a signal from my previous cable provider? Certainly I should be able to get these Motorola boxes to work as just a digital converter for my TV's.

    Any suggestions/ideas that anyone has would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
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    Is the Motorola box somehow locked to only wanting to receive a signal from my previous cable provider?
    yes
    Certainly I should be able to get these Motorola boxes to work as just a digital converter for my TV's.
    no
    --
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
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    Cable boxes don't work for over-the-air digital signals, and the inexpensive digital to analog converter boxes sold for over-the-air use don't work for cable.

    By the way, even if those cable boxes were provided to you free of charge with your service, they still belong to the cable company and you would be wise to return them to their local office.
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  4. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Digital cable in the USA typically uses 256-QAM modulation. Also in many cases, different channel frequencies are used above channel 13 vs. UHF broadcast.

    Over the air digital broadcast is ATSC (8-VSB modulation).

    Most new HDTV sets or PC tuners can handle both types. However a cable box is still required to receive encrypted cable channels.

    This is what you need for older analog TV sets.

    ATSC over air tuners and DVRs
    http://www.channelmasterstore.com/Set_Top_Boxes_s/27.htm
    http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=CM-7001&d=Channel-Master-CM7001-ATSC/QAM-Digita...ce=google_base

    The government rebate program has ended but you can buy many of those basic tuners used on eBay. Search "ATSC converter". The better brands are Channel Master and Zenith DTT-901.
    Last edited by edDV; 4th Jan 2012 at 06:42.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2013
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    I know this thread is old but I have a similar question. I have a very basic cable that has no cable box, just the coax from the outside to my tv. I have an older tv so I am not receiving all of the channels that the cable provides. Some of the channels are the ones I used to get with my OTA digital converter box (just the free cheapy). If I hook my cheapy converter box back up to my tv using the red, yellow, white cable thingy only can I then watch my OTA channels? My cable channels come in on my regular tv channels 2 - 26... would my OTA channels be on one of the Aux channels then? I ask this question because I was going to buy a new digital tv in order to get them all,, but if I can do this with what I have I prefer to wait till Im done with paying my sons college bills. Thanks and I hope I explained ok and it makes sense.

    Beth
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
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    Originally Posted by Brubakewn4 View Post
    I know this thread is old but I have a similar question. I have a very basic cable that has no cable box, just the coax from the outside to my tv. I have an older tv so I am not receiving all of the channels that the cable provides. Some of the channels are the ones I used to get with my OTA digital converter box (just the free cheapy). If I hook my cheapy converter box back up to my tv using the red, yellow, white cable thingy only can I then watch my OTA channels? My cable channels come in on my regular tv channels 2 - 26... would my OTA channels be on one of the Aux channels then? I ask this question because I was going to buy a new digital tv in order to get them all,, but if I can do this with what I have I prefer to wait till Im done with paying my sons college bills. Thanks and I hope I explained ok and it makes sense.

    Beth
    Yes, the inexpensive digital to analog converter box you bought for over-the-air use will still work for over-the-air channels if you connect it via one of the TV's AUX connections, and you can watch analog cable channels 2-26 using the TV's tuner.
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2013
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    Ok thanks so much for your help!! I will pick up one of the cords soon.
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