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Can a motorola catv converter be used anywhere?

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  • Motorola
  • Converter
  • Cable
Last response: in Other Consumer Electronics
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August 17, 2012 3:41:38 PM

Hello, I live in an area serviced by Time Warner cable. I'd like to buy my own converter box- but not from them. I don't believe they even sell them- rental only. There's a lot of motorola converter boxes for sale out there-- will one of them work for me?

More about : motorola catv converter

August 17, 2012 3:52:36 PM

Some providers allow you to do that, some don't. You'll need to call them in order to ask if they allow you to or not. There are some motorola units that use an m-card cable card. Those units can be used on any cable system. Time Warner by law has to supply you with 1 cable card. The tough part, is finding one. Motorola doesn't supply these units unless you can find one on ebay, or have a distributor account.

http://www.motorola.com/us/consumers/Home-Digital-Video...
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August 17, 2012 4:01:28 PM

Here's my problem. I have a samsung hdtv that had the catv connector broken off of it. It was cable ready so there was no box. Once that connector was gone there was no way to connect the cable to the tv- so I'm using an ancient vhs as a "go between" adaptor- from catv cable to rca plugs. This works fine, but the vhs doesn't have the capability to receive hdtv signals and all of the new channels that appeared after the conversion. I'm open to all suggestions to get the tv fully functional again.
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August 17, 2012 4:03:07 PM

You need an outboard tuner, They connect via HDMI or Component Video. Are you subscribing to cable, or do you simply want over the air broadcasts?
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August 17, 2012 4:05:40 PM

cable subscriber
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August 17, 2012 4:09:50 PM

jcoultas98 said:
You need an outboard tuner, They connect via HDMI or Component Video. Are you subscribing to cable, or do you simply want over the air broadcasts?


Can you suggest a make or model ??
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August 17, 2012 4:23:24 PM

I found a non DVR version on ebay for 60 bucks. There are a bunch out there, just search for Motorola DCX3200. Check with TWC to see if you can use this on their system.
If you want a DVR, I'd probably go TiVO. Cable DVRs royally (and universally) suck. All new tivo units use a cable card. Even if you bring your own DVR(EXCLUDING TIVO), i believe TWC can still charge you for the DVR service (not 100% on that one, you'll have to ask)

Tivo.com

Edit: When you talk to them, there's a 50\50 chance the operator will tell you you are not allowed to use your own equipment, or they don't supply cable cards. This is a complete lie. Under the FCC's FCC Rule 76.1205(c), a consumer is allowed a cable card device minus the set top box fees. Under a different, but similar act, it requires cable companies to allow the consumer to bring thier own equipment, though i wasn't able to find the exact rule.
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August 17, 2012 4:33:12 PM

jcoultas98 said:
I found a non DVR version on ebay for 60 bucks. There are a bunch out there, just search for Motorola DCX3200. Check with TWC to see if you can use this on their system.
If you want a DVR, I'd probably go TiVO. Cable DVRs royally (and universally) suck. All new tivo units use a cable card. Even if you bring your own DVR, i believe TWC can still charge you for the DVR service (not 100% on that one, you'll have to ask)

Tivo.com

Edit: When you talk to them, there's a 50\50 chance the operator will tell you you are not allowed to use your own equipment, or they don't supply cable cards. This is a complete lie. Under the FCC's FCC Rule 76.1205(c), a consumer is allowed a cable card device minus the set top box fees. Under a different, but similar act, it requires cable companies to allow the consumer to bring thier own equipment, though i wasn't able to find the exact rule.


Thanks a lot for the advice. You think going with a motorola cable box is a better idea than an outboard tuner ?
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August 17, 2012 5:32:34 PM

A cable box actually is an outboard tuner :) 
The internal tuner on your television actually wouldn't receive most of your subscribed package anyways. it only would pick up QAM channels.
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August 17, 2012 6:11:49 PM

jcoultas98 said:
A cable box actually is an outboard tuner :) 
The internal tuner on your television actually wouldn't receive most of your subscribed package anyways. it only would pick up QAM channels.

Thanks again. There actually are no subscribed channels, just the basic package. I was wondering whether something like the Zenith DTT901 might be worth picking up. I'm not sure whether it will pass along the HD signal so I have to do a little more research - unless you already know the answer :)  Of the two-- do you still like the motorola box better?
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August 17, 2012 6:38:29 PM

The Zenith box you linked will not pick up QAM channels (Cable's Free HDTV signal). Believe it or not, QAM tuners cost 2.5x what that cable box does. Your best bet, is still to pick up one of those motorola boxes. Clear QAM is limited to what your broadcaster puts on it. You won't pick up anything other than your Local Network stations. Most of them also do not have an NTSC analog tuner as well, so you won't be able to pick anything up that isn't on the QAM/Digital network. Read: No ESPN, TBS, TNT, Etc etc. Best bet, still pick up one of those used boxes. Make sure they're compatable with the system first.

Here is an example of a standalone QAM tuner.
http://www.hdtvsupply.com/hdtv-tuner.html
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August 17, 2012 7:37:04 PM

jcoultas98 said:
The Zenith box you linked will not pick up QAM channels (Cable's Free HDTV signal). Believe it or not, QAM tuners cost 2.5x what that cable box does. Your best bet, is still to pick up one of those motorola boxes. Clear QAM is limited to what your broadcaster puts on it. You won't pick up anything other than your Local Network stations. Most of them also do not have an NTSC analog tuner as well, so you won't be able to pick anything up that isn't on the QAM/Digital network. Read: No ESPN, TBS, TNT, Etc etc. Best bet, still pick up one of those used boxes. Make sure they're compatable with the system first.

Here is an example of a standalone QAM tuner.
http://www.hdtvsupply.com/hdtv-tuner.html

Thanks again for your invaluable input. If I'm reading you correctly, nothing that's out there is really going to work without sacrificing the channels that you mentioned- even though they are included in the basic cable that we receive with using the vcr that I mentioned earlier. Does that about sum it up?
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August 17, 2012 7:48:33 PM

You got it.

There could possibly be a QAM tuner out ther that also decodes standard CATV, but I have never run across one. Currently, the cable industry still broadcasts analog CATV over a standard cable line. It is in their power, but not best interest to shut that off. The Motorola cable box does both for you. If you supply your own equipment, they should refund the equipment rental fee. Mine was 10 bucks. Feel free to ask if you still have questions!
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