Observer

What are my options to use Basic Cable Service with my Analog TV?

Hi all.  I have an old school CRT TV that has no special connections or options on the thing other than a coax connection and a couple of composite in jacks.

 

I have the bare minimum cable required simply to use my cable Internet and I have a grandfathered in TWC plan for it.  The technician when they first installed my cable already made the necessary runs to leave a cable to use in the rooms where there would be a TV.

 

I want to use an old but still working analog TV in my living room.  I did some Googling around and apparently I either need a Digital to Analog TV Converter box, a Spectrum/TWC-provided Digital Adapter (which ironically, TWC no longer provides) or a set-top box.

 

I want to avoid monthly fees but still want to use my old analog TV - what are my options at this point?  I don't have many channels anyway and I don't want all the bells and whistles of a set top box - I just want whatever TWC offered in its basic package and nothing more.

 

Your help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

5 REPLIES
Established Sharer

Re: What are my options to use Basic Cable Service with my Analog TV?

Are you saying that your signal is now encrypted so plugging the coax straight from the wall to the tv no longer works? If this is the case you will need a set top box...probably an older one that has coax or composite outputs as the new ones likely only have HDMI. You're correct that the Digital Tuning Adapter is no longer offered.

Expert

Re: What are my options to use Basic Cable Service with my Analog TV?

Have them get you a cable box that has composite video and audio and use the r/w/y cables to your tv's a/v input.

Some cable boxes are HDMI only, some have composite, component, rf ch 3/4 and hdmi...

 

Highlighted
Established Sharer

Re: What are my options to use Basic Cable Service with my Analog TV?

As Ms Raye has typed, you'll need to rent a converter box.  I am on a legacy TWC plan, and have the $4 / mo Cisco DTA's, which are probably no longer being distributed.  These boxes do NTSC RF3/4 Out, and HDMI.  I use the Coax RF Out for my two CRT tube sets.

 

You will just need a cable box that will output Composite video or RF via coax and you'll be good to go.  It will add to your bill, though.  If you are on a legacy TWC plan, they may charge you $11.75 / month for that set top box...   The rental is cheaper if you migrate to Spectrum - but make sure it doesn't impact your channels... but on Broadcast basic (StarterTV), it probably doesn't matter.   I'd still investigate the cost before pulling the trigger..

Expert

Re: What are my options to use Basic Cable Service with my Analog TV?

You can get 32" and smaller flat screens for around $100, Black friday specials...they use half to 1/4 the power of crt sets, have better picture quality, stereo sound and have at least one hdmi input.. Look for upcoming disposal fees for CRT sets... 

Better bet is the Vizio D and M series smart TV's(avoid E series)  although some Samsungs better support the TWC/ Spectrum IP based channels if you have their internet service.  

 I would buy a set that has an antenna cable port, You may get more channels for free over the air than on basic/starter cable... What's your zip code? Do a lookup in TVfool.com

 

Expert

Re: What are my options to use Basic Cable Service with my Analog TV?

As for picure quality from worst to best... 1-5

1- RF ch 3/4

2- Composite a/v (3 rca's for stereo, 2 for mono)

3-  Svideo a/v (4 pin din  + rca audio)

3- VGA

4- SVGA/ DVI (DVI is a subset of HDMI)

4- Component video (5 rca's) - 

4- SDI

4- HDMI

4- Firewire

5- Broadcast ATSC via antenna 

5- BluRay via HDMI 

5- HDSDI

1,2,3 out of cable/ converters DTA's may be limited to a shrunk letterboxed picture with no zoom capability to fill the screen

1,2,3,4 are typical cable  interfaces and quality is never tru HD as there is too much compression, especially on live sports, DirecTv/ dish have less compression than cable. Broadcast TV (ATSC digital) is better quality on the main subchannels with virtually no compression. Sorry but 4K is more or less a joke/ marketting ploy  with only sources being Bluray and IPTV sources.

SDI are pro interconnections without HDCP 

DVI/ HDMI have HDCP which is an interface nightmare between some devices as well as a max 25-50' cable length without amplified cables.