FAQ - Can I get Digital Cable (and HD) Using My QAM Tuner? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 2005-10-22, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
57
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Posts: 55,242
FAQ - Can I get Digital Cable (and HD) Using My QAM Tuner?

Updated 2015.04.17

I developed this FAQ for a US Forum, but this question comes up a lot now that people are buying HDTVs with QAM tuners built in, or people wish to use Computer QAM cards.

In Canada, the answer is usually no, since most digital channels (including HD) are encrypted, save for the odd preview channel (or the channels you'd have anyway without paying extra). You therefore need to rent or buy a STB from the service provider or their authorized distributors to receive digital channels and you need to subscribe to the channels you want.

Occasionally you may also see VOD/PPV channels/movies that other people in your area are ordering. You will have no control over the movies, they may switch channels, they may pause/rewind, etc. I'm sure these channels will also soon be encrypted...


In the US (and a few smaller Canadian Cable companies) the answer is yes or no, depending.

You need to have a tuner that has "QAM" capability (this is the modulation used by most cable companies.)

You may then be able to pick up the unencrypted (unscrambled) digital cable stations. HD stations form some of this digital tier.

Most US cable companies do not encrypt the "local OTA-type" HD stations that they carry.

Most cable companies do encrypt all other digital channels, including premium HD stations like HBO, ESPN, etc.

Sometimes, there may be digital channels that you may be able to receive, but they are usually the ones on "free preview".

This will vary from cable company to cable company and from location to location - see examples below.

Just because you can receive these now, you may not be able to receive them in the future.

In many cases, you simply need to connect the cable to the TV - you don't even need to subscribe to the digital tier, only analogue.

The channel numbers will likely not line up with the channel numbers used by the cable company, or TV guides.

There are some OTA STBs (ATSC/8VSB) that have QAM capability, but be careful and be aware of the limitations discussed above.


You can usually rent or purchase a STB from the cable company. The added features include such items as:

The ability to subscribe to any or all the digital channels
VOD (Video on Demand
PPV (Pay per view - via the remote)
IPG (Interactive programme guide)
SDV - necessary to tune some channels
PVR (this is an important one for many people - PVRs change the way you watch TV).
Future additional services.


Some TVs have a "CableCARD" option, which allows you to subscribe to all the channels, but doesn't provide the interactive services listed above with the STB. CableCARD is only available in the US, but even there is used by very few. Tru2Way was developed to address the lack of interactive services, however, it has gone nowhere.

Those people with Rogers Ontario (GTA), may be interested in the following link which indicates the unencrypted channels:

http://www.remotecentral.com/hdtv/rogers.htm This can vary by location and has recently changed to almost no unencrypted TV channels, save an odd PPV, Free Preview, "Matrix/Mix/Interactive/6 picture channels" and the music channels.

Rogers Discussion: Rogers and Digital cable with TV digital (QAM) cable tuner


Other Canadian Service providers have been reported to have similar unencrypted channels.

Cogeco:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/show...945#post483945 (Cogeco, see posts 9, 12, 64 - differences probably due to different areas) Note that as of 2015, most of the channels in various areas appear to be encrypted. I'm amazed it took this long.


Mountain Cable:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/show...451#post525451


Shaw Cable:

Feedback indicates that most people seem to be able to get the music channels and not much else. There may be an occasional unencrypted channel, or one on free preview.


Eastlink

Between-channel feeds on Eastlink (Clear QAM)


Delta

Delta Cable (Eastlink in BC) Discussion


Persona

Persona / Hauppage HVR-1800?


If you have any comments or suggestions, please PM me.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)

Last edited by 57; 2015-04-17 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Update
57 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 2009-02-18, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
57
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Posts: 55,242
Reply to avoid archive, please ignore.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
57 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome