Spectator

Can you still watch cable TV on an old TV?

 
8 REPLIES
Trusted Helper

Re: Can you still watch cable TV on an old TV?

Hello,

 

You should be able to watch cable on an old TV.  Is the TV standard definition?  The only thing is that if it is SD, you will get black bars on the screen, because almost all stations are high definition and the cable boxes are now almost all high definition as well.

 

Some of Spectrum's Guides have a menu setting in the Settings options where you go to adjust the output resolution of your TV.  If you get an HD box and you have a standard definition TV, you will want to set your Output resolution to 480p and deselect all the others.  If you have a Menu Output setting and you have the old TV hooked up to an HD box, you will need to change the menu output from 16x9 (The HD setting) to 4x3 (The SD setting.)

 

If you purchase an HD set in the future, you will need to also have an HDMI cable or Component Cable for an HD picture.  They run about $20 at any local electronics store, AND you will need to change your Menu Output resolution to 16x9 and your cable box resolution to the highest HD setting that your TV supports, generally 1080i

 

Spectrum employees, does Spectrum rent out SD boxes anymore?

 

Satch

Established Sharer

Re: Can you still watch cable TV on an old TV?

If you are talking about an old CRT TV, the answer is "YES", with some caveats.

 

You can no longer use the TV's internal tuner to tune cable channels.  You will need to rent or buy some kind of equipment in order to view cable programming on the old set.

 

If your TV has composite input (i.e. - 3 RCA cables:  red, white, and yellow), your options are:

1.  Rent a set-top box from the cable company.  The cost varies, depending if you are still on a legacy TWC plan, but will start at $6.99 per month ($5.99 + $1 secure connection fee).

2.  IF YOU ARE ALSO A SPECTRUM INTERNET CUSTOMER, you can buy a Roku Express+, and use the SpectrumTV app to watch programming on your set.  Your only cost is the Roku, which should run about $40.

3.  Buy a used Tivo, preferably with all-in or lifetime service, which has composite video outputs (or even RF outputs).  You will need to rent a cable-card from Spectrum to make use of this service, and setup the Tivo.  (The all-in or lifetime Tivo's have no recurring fees - to Tivo that is - you still pay a monthly rental for the cable card, $2 per month to Spectrum)

 

If your old TV only has RF inputs, you'll need to choose Options 1 or 3 above.

Re: Can you still watch cable TV on an old TV?

the answer is NO and thats forcin alot of ppl to cancel everything i know a family that has had cable since the early 90s and now they are bein forced to get a cable box but they aint getting it cuz they dont wanna pay the fees its all about the fees and the taxes they charge that are insanly high
Highlighted
Proven Sharer

Re: Can you still watch cable TV on an old TV?

@DR_Stranger_Who The answer is yes it's possible. See the two excellent posts above yours. A separate question is what you are answering...whether or not one wants to lease a set top box or other device to allow that older tv to work.

Established Sharer

Re: Can you still watch cable TV on an old TV?


@DR_Stranger_Whowrote:
the answer is NO and thats forcin alot of ppl to cancel everything i know a family that has had cable since the early 90s and now they are bein forced to get a cable box but they aint getting it cuz they dont wanna pay the fees its all about the fees and the taxes they charge that are insanly high

That old TV won't even tune free-over-the-air television anymore.  Technology advances.  There are ways to make use of that old television, but doing so costs money - some more than others.

 

The Roku is still the cheapest solution and most versatile.  Not only will the Roku tune cable channels (with the app, if you are also a Spectrum intnernet customer), but you can use it for streaming, too.  (Netflix, Hulu, etc.)

Spectrum Employee

Re: Can you still watch cable TV on an old TV?

Satch,

 

TWC stopped handing out SD stb back in 2015, if my memory serves me correctly.  As for now, the best option is to visit a store to see if they have any models in stock that have the composite, or coax out connectionsn that the older TV sets have.

 

If you request a stb via mail, there is no way to request a model.  

 

Ry

Re: Can you still watch cable TV on an old TV?

dstoffa the family im talking about has new tvs that have QAM tuners when they use a off air annetena they get several channels local and from mexico in 1080p 720p
Spectrum Employee

Re: Can you still watch cable TV on an old TV?

@pastelero79 , @mr170253 , @DR_Stranger_Who , @dstoffa @reds91185 , @Satch

 

Please be advised:

No we do not use or stock SD STBs anymore, haven't in years.

There's a device called a remodulator that allows newer, HS STBs (like the Arris DCX3200) to do video feed to really old coax-only TVs (which are rare but definitely still in use by a few customers  out there).

The remodulator plugs into both the yellow & white composite (RCA) jacks and the USB jack on the newer boxes, and then gives a downsampled coax output that'll work with those old TVs.

 

I honestly don't know of local retail stores carry remodulators in stock, but Field Techs can definitely order them from Warehouse Services. We use a lot of them on EZ Connect Rescue TCs when encryption began in my city.  Been seeing less and less need for them since,.

 

That said picture quality from a remodulator to an ol' school TV like that would pale in comparison to an HDTV running off of HDMI or HD Component.  But it does work, even with the old tuner-knob CRT TVs.

My postings on this site are my own, off-the-clock, and don’t necessarily represent TWC’s/Charter's strategies or opinions.