Digital and Analog TV - Receiver help!

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Dalaran, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Dalaran

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 3, 2009
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    I just recently upgraded to digital cable from the old analog package I had. The cable company I deal with had a promotion on so digital cable packages are the same price for the next 12 months. I was told that shortly after that there will be no more analog channels supported.

    Right now I have one digital receiver for my main TV upstairs and then I just split the coaxial cable (before the digital receiver) to feed my other TVs. I was told that when the analog channels are gone I will need to purchase (or rent) a digital receiver box for all of my other TVs. I really do not want to be spending an extra $5 a month per TV to have them working.

    So that brings me to my question, is it possible to build one of these digital receivers? I take it that right now the channels I am getting on all of my TVs comes in analog, when it comes in digital, the digital box will take this data and convert it to analog so my older TVs can pick it up. Where I think I am getting confused is with the remote. Right now on the older TVs I can use the TV remote to change channels, but when I go through the digital receiver I would have composite (or component) outputs and would need to control the channel through the box. Would this be possible to set up with some sort of universal remote?

    I could use a digital receiver chip and then video and audio DACs. But I'm still unsure at how I could get control over the channels. Is this even possible?

    Thanks very much for the help and sorry if I rambled on!
     
  2. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    2,803
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    If you put the splitter after the digital box then you get digital on the other TVs (when you tune them in), but with 1 cable box, all the TVs will be watching the same channel. You can get a thing called something like "remote eye" so you can change channel on the cable box from other rooms, but they will use the same type of remote as the cable box - I imagine universal remotes would work if set up right.

    As for building a cable box - I think that could take years and cost way more than just getting more cable boxes and an aerial amplifier.
     
  3. Dalaran

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 3, 2009
    168
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    Thanks for the reply.

    I understand that splitting the signal after would be fine, but then I am restricted to the same channel on all TVs (the lady and I don't always agree on what to watch!). Was hoping there is a way to build this, eg schematics or something, but seems I might be hoping for too much.
     
  4. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    Short answer, you cannot build a cable decoder. You must buy or rent one.
     
  5. Dalaran

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 3, 2009
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    Thanks for the reply, even if it's not what I wanted to hear!

    I guess my final question then would be, do I need to rent/buy the cable decoder from my cable provided or is it a generic solution in that I could buy any after market unit?

    Cheers.
     
  6. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    Most cable companies only support units they sell, contact yours to confirm. You could always go OTA for the locals.
     
  7. Dalaran

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 3, 2009
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    Again, your prompt and useful replies are much appreciated.
     
  8. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,127
    3,049
    +1

    With a digital receiver box for ~$45 and an antenna, perhaps amplified, you'll get a range of channels with no monthly fee. With that and a Netflix subscription for ~$10/mo, I'm a happy clam. I just can't imagine why so many folks pay $100+/mo to just watch TV.
     
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