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HD OTA and Regular cable together

 

New member
Username: Champ5

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-08
I recently got a LCD TV with one RG jack in the back for cable input. I do not have a cable box on this TV but can still get 3 out of the possible 10 HD cahnnels for my area straight out of the wall jack. Is there a way to combine the signal from a HD OTA antenna and the regular cable signal into one cable so that I can get both OTA and the Regular Cable into the TV. I don't think a splitter will work in reverse because of the loss. I also don't know about any possible frequency conflicts. Any suggestions?
 

Gold Member
Username: Tapeman

New York City in-HD, NY

Post Number: 2108
Registered: Oct-06
I don't think there is a way as yo need 2 seperate tuners
One for each signal
I would use an A/B switch
They also have an A/B switch with remote

Another choice will be to use the input of another device like TIVO/DVR VCR etc. that is going to same TV as yo can use 2 seperate inputs of your TV

Also check this thread:
https://www.ecoustics.com/cgi-bin/bbs/show.pl?tpc=2&post=1063352#POST1063352
It may give yo an idea
 

New member
Username: Champ5

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jan-08
Thanks for the info. This weekend I got the HD antenna working and can get about 14 channels in my area. The problem is when I want to go from ANT input to Cable input, the TV wants to go through a 10 minute channel finding routine everytime I make the switch. I have an old VCR that has a tuner in it, I might play around with that. I was hoping that I could get them all into the one cable input so I would not have to worry about switching from one to the other. I'll see what the old VCR can do- Thanks for the help.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 2045
Registered: Feb-04
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You should not "combine" OTA with cable, because some OTA channels occupy the same frequencies as cable channels and would therefore cause distortion.

King's suggestion of an A/B switch (either remote controlled or not) is sound here. Or, you could use an old VCR for the cable signal. You could hook it up via its composite outs into the TV. The tuner should be able to tune in the same channels as the TV's NTSC cable ready tuner on all analog channels.

Either way, it's going to require some switching on your part. You won't be able to pick and choose any OTA and cable frequency on your one RF input without external switching assistance.
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Gold Member
Username: Tapeman

New York City in-HD, NY

Post Number: 2119
Registered: Oct-06
John is right

"I was hoping that I could get them all into the one cable input so I would not have to worry about switching from one to the other"

Yo got a much better choice
Out of the VCR to TV using RCA
Out of Cable to TV using coaxial

Yo can now switch TV Input using your remote control
 

New member
Username: Champ5

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jan-08
You guys have been a lot of help. Some new TV's have two coax inputs and now I see why.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 2046
Registered: Feb-04
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"Some new TV's have two coax inputs and now I see why."

Actually, I believe most newer TVs have been cut back by the corporate beancounters to only one RF (coax) input. The reasoning is that most consumers won't use even one, not to mention two antenna inputs. They consider your situation fairly unique, since most people use converter boxes of some sort.
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New member
Username: Champ5

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jan-08
The only TV I have seen lately with 2 RF inputs is SAMSUNG but they're a little pricier than I was looking for. I'm already paying my cable company over $100 a month and I'm not in a big hurry to pay them more. I used my 10 year old VCR last night for the tuning of the regular cable signal out of the wall and used it's RCA outputs to the TV, it seems to work fairly well. Go Figure! I then use a OTA antenna for the 14 HD stations in my area and put it into the coax jack so I get the best of both worlds and don't have to pay any more.
 

Gold Member
Username: Tapeman

New York City in-HD, NY

Post Number: 2164
Registered: Oct-06
Actually Crawford
If yo have a Digital Cable box
Yo can Run Antenna in to box
Plus coax from utility cable to box
Coax out to TV

By turning Cable box off your TV uses uses antenna
No need to run VCR tuner to get all HD from antenna
 

Gold Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 2055
Registered: Feb-04
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Actually King, Crawford's original post states "I do not have a cable box on this TV...."

"If yo have a Digital Cable box
Yo can Run Antenna in to box
Plus coax from utility cable to box
Coax out to TV"

King, all my digital cable boxes have only one RF input. But even if they did have two, you're saying the OTA antenna signal would go through the box with its power off???
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New member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 9
Registered: Jan-08
I have a similar issue - my antenna works great through my Directv unit, but when I hook up the ant coax directly to my tv, I only get half the channels and the reception is aweful.

Do I need to run the antenna coax through a DVD or VCR with a tuner to get a good picture?
 

New member
Username: Champ5

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jan-08
This is what worked for me. I didn't want to rent another box so I was okay with having just the 100 or so regular cable channels that come out of the wall cable. But I also wanted to get the 14 HD OTA channels in my area. To solve the issue, I am using an old VCR with RCA outputs to tune the wall cable signal and I have my HD amplified antenna feeding into the coax jack which gives me the 14 HD channels in my area. It sounds like you might not have an "amplified" antenna and your direct TV box was doing the amplification for you. You can get a good amplified antenna for around $30.
 

New member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 10
Registered: Jan-08
Thanks Crawford. I will first try to connect via an old VCR. If that doesn't work, I will try the amplified antena.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 12
Registered: Jan-08
I think I figured out my problem - my TV is a HDTV monitor - no HD Tuner, just a regular tuner. I think I need an HD tuner to receive OTA HD channels?
 

New member
Username: Champ5

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jan-08
A HD ready TV has the ability to pick up the HD signal over the air and demod it for the HD display whereas a HD monitor must have the 1's and 0's sent to it (HDMI, etc). Did you get any HD channels with just the antenna? If you did, then your set had the ability to decipher the signal. That would make it a HD ready TV.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 13
Registered: Jan-08
Well, I get HD picture over the antenna when its connected through my DirecTv receiver (H10-250). Example: my local NBC station on Sat is channel 3, on Ant is 3-1. Channel 3-1 is HD.

But the antenna is going through the H10-250 so I'm not sure if the HD picture is due to the H10-250 or just the fact that its going through a tuner. When I connect the antenna directly to the TV Ant-in, the picture is aweful and I only get half of the channels.

Thanks for taking the time to help!
 

New member
Username: Champ5

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jan-08
It sure sounds like you have a HD monitor and your DirecTV box has been handling your HD tuning all this time. The HD antenna might not help you much because your TV is looking for 1's and 0's. (when it comes to HD reception) The bad picture you are getting is probably this antenna picking up the regular UHF and VHF in your area. What do you guys think (King Tapeman and John S)?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 14
Registered: Jan-08
I found a temporary solution! I connected the Antenna to a really old DirecTv HD receiver (no DVR). I then connected the unit to my TV via DVI and RCA for audio.

I will have to wait and check tonight if the HD shows come in in HD. Will post the answer tonight after I check!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 15
Registered: Jan-08
Success! Now I have to hope that this very old HD receiver will hold up.

It looks like a DVD recorder with tuner will also allow me to view HD OTA, but from what I am reading, it is not "true HD". I guess the signal is downconverted to 480, then upconverted back to 1080.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 2060
Registered: Feb-04
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"Success! Now I have to hope that this very old HD receiver will hold up."

An HD receiver can't be that old. "Very old" would apply to some of my neckties and my turntable. With no moving parts, that tuner should last for years more.

"It looks like a DVD recorder with tuner will also allow me to view HD OTA, but from what I am reading, it is not "true HD". I guess the signal is downconverted to 480, then upconverted back to 1080."

Soon there will be true (non hard disc) removable media HD recorders -- either Blu-ray or large capacity solid state memory. You are correct, when the signal gets downconverted to 480, it ceases to be HD. Any "upconversion" that happens after that doesn't change that fact. Ultimately the display must scale any signal to its native resolution. So Kevin, if your TV is 1280 x 720 (and it most likely is), you just don't have enough pixels to see true 1080, even if the source says its sending that resolution to your TV.
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Bronze Member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 16
Registered: Jan-08
Thanks John. You are right, the HD DirecTv unit is probably 4 years old (Samsung SIR-TS160).

My TV is an HD monitor at 1280x720, does that mean I should be using 720p instead of 1080i for viewing? The aforementioned HD receiver has a selector to choose between 720 and 1080 and its connected via DVI. Should I set the unit to 720?

I also think that maybe I will hold off on a new DVD recorder if there is a chance that HD recorders will be available soon.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 17
Registered: Jan-08
One more question - The Samsung SIR-TS160 HD unit is connected to the TV via DVI and RCA for audio.

If I were connect to the TV via Component cables, would I lose picture clarity? Would I still be able to view in 720p via component cables?
 

Gold Member
Username: Tapeman

New York City in-HD, NY

Post Number: 2191
Registered: Oct-06
Yo can get best 720p quality by using HDMI or 5 RCA RGB component
others are not 720p
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 19
Registered: Jan-08
Thanks for the reply King, but my HDTV does not have an HDMI connection (its an older HDTV - about 4 years old now).

So, would you recommend I connect it via DVI or Component cables? Do Component cables support 720p? Do they support 1080i?

Bigger issue is I have 1 DVI connection and I have 3 devices I need to connect - DirecTv HR21 HD unit, Prog scan DVD player, and Samsung for OTA HD channels. What would you recommend?
 

Gold Member
Username: Tapeman

New York City in-HD, NY

Post Number: 2192
Registered: Oct-06
HD TV formats start at 720p
Yellow, Red, White will give yo 420i
Coaxial coming out of a tuner is also 420i
420i=720x480 standard defintion 4:3

So it seems like your only option for 720p will be RGB component for true 720p

For me
I got an SD station center feeding 5 rooms:
I have 6 devices on 1-TV and to all other house TVs
I use a Panasonic DMR (HDD DVD burner) that controls additional inputs
All Cascaded on 3 inputs coax out to all TVs

HDD DVR
DVD-Burner
DVD Regulard stand alone
1-VCR
Digital cable box/TIVO
1-Satellite tuner
All used as a stationary center feeding 5 rooms
I have 2 additional HD TVs

So finding an external device that has multiple inputs such as DVD-Burner can replace an A/B/C switch
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 20
Registered: Jan-08
Thanks again King. Sounds like I will be ok using Component connections for 2 of the 3 devices. Here are the inputs my TV has according to the Samsung website:

DVI Input: This input consists of a DVI-D terminal. The DVI-D terminal can accommodate a copy-protected digital connection (HDCP) to other devices (such as digital set-top boxes) that have compatible interfaces. When using this DVI-D terminal, you must use the PC Audio input for your audio connection.

Note: The DVI-D terminal will accept 1080i, 720p and 480p.

PC: This input consists of an analog RGB (D-Sub 15-pin) jack. This jack allows you to connect a digital set-top box with an RGB output, or a personal computer with a D-Sub 15-pin output. When using the RGB (D-Sub 15-pin) jack, you must use the PC Audio input for your audio connection.

PC Audio: This input consists of left and right RCA audio jacks, and can be used with the PC input or DVI input.

Component 1 Input: This input will only accept 480p and 480i.

Component 2/3 Inputs: These inputs will only accept 1080i, 720p and 480p.

I think the TV is able to display 1080i per the above, but it looks like the Component connection will only get me to 720p.

Wow, you have quite a Home Theatre!}
 

Gold Member
Username: Tapeman

New York City in-HD, NY

Post Number: 2193
Registered: Oct-06
Most TV broadcast in 1080i
It seems like your TV is 720p not 1080
It will accept all signal sizes but it will convert to 720p for final display
Yo won't get 1080 resolution out of 720p TV
Only as down scale

720p is your frame size
15 pin DVI is only video RGB will be as good as component not to many consumer video devices use DVI to interface with your TV
But if yo have a DVD player I guess yo connect it if yo buy its cable
Just to let yo know
There is an adapter yo can convert HDMI to DVI (Video)
Check e-bay
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 22
Registered: Jan-08
Thanks again King. My TV booklet says, "All video signals are converted to a 16:9 widescreen (1280 x 720 resolution) progressive display for flicker-free images." so I guess that means the best resolution I can get is 720.

With this in mind, I don't think it makes much of a diference between my DVI/HDMI connection vs Component. I do have a HDMI to DVI cable and will probably use it for the DirecTv HR21 HD DVR unit.

Thanks again for all your help!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 2062
Registered: Feb-04
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So, would you recommend I connect it via DVI or Component cables? Do Component cables support 720p? Do they support 1080i?

Component can support all the way up to 1080p, although there's no common source for 1080p via component. So yes, component will support 1080i and 720p.

With this in mind, I don't think it makes much of a diference between my DVI/HDMI connection vs Component. I do have a HDMI to DVI cable and will probably use it for the DirecTv HR21 HD DVR unit.

Don't forget that DVI carries no audio signal, so you're going to have to deal with sound by other means from the DirecTV box. Of course the same is true of component video from your other sources.
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Bronze Member
Username: Kevinrob

Post Number: 23
Registered: Jan-08
Thanks John. I watched the Packer/Giant game last night on the HD OTA antenna through the Samsung SIR-TS160. WOW!!! It was the best picture I have ever seen on my TV! Even better than using the same OTA antenna through my DirecTv H10-250. I couldn't believe how good the picture was - it was like a different world. BTW, it was connected via DVI at 720p display (the Samsung unit and my TV both have DVI connections), don't know if that makes a difference.

Amazing picture via the OTA antenna! Head and shoulders better than any HD picture I get through DirecTv currently. I am still waiting for the new HR21 unit to be installed so I will conitnue to watch HD shows through the 160. Only downside to this hook-up is no DVR option. I found myself getting up to get a beer and not being able to pause the game - small inconvenience I guess.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 2063
Registered: Feb-04
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Great!
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