Apparently my new apartment receives free cable tv. The service was canceled years ago, but the cable was never actually shut off. If I were to get a cable box from ebay or somewhere else would it work? Also would the cable company be tipped off to the free service if a box is connected. I would like to buy a new tv, but don't want to if the only way I can hook it up to my free cable is through the coax outlet.
Do yourself a favor and don't buy a cable box from ebay, especially if it has a name of a cable company in the title. Alot of the DCT's that are being sold, & I have browsed through their listings - are unrecovered (stolen)cable company property. So, in other words, if you purchase a stb whether it is from ebay, a pawn shop or a guy on the corner and tried to hook it up, it would basically be a dead piece of equipment and the cable company would not activate it for you. There are some legitimate stb's available for sale, but are you willing to take the chance? One sure bet is Comcast does not, never has sold nor allows their equipment to be sold. Check with other cable companies before you buy. Ever hear of buyers remorse?
If you are trying to get basic analog channels you can get a cable converter. The Tristar MX cable converters seem to be what you are looking for. They may even have cable converters in walmart.
If your on digital cable you might be able to find some online but remember that most of them are the property of the cable company. In order for someone to have one is for it to be stolen in most cases.