How To Run OTA And Cable On Same TV? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 67 (permalink) Old 2009-04-21, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question How To Run OTA And Cable On Same TV?

I at present have just analog cable but would like too also
have OTA DTV since I live in Toronto and have a good line of sight too the CN Tower. My new TV has a Quam tuner in it. Is there a way to combine the 2 signals into one coaxial cable??? If not,
what would be an alternative??

Thanks for your time
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post #2 of 67 (permalink) Old 2009-04-21, 02:12 PM
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Hi Rob and welcome here - since you have only one digital-ready coax input on your TV there are a couple of solutions:
  1. get an A-B coax switch (you can even find remote controlled ones)
  2. get an ATSC Set Top Box or PVR and run it into an HDMI or component input

Last edited by stampeder; 2009-04-21 at 02:34 PM.
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post #3 of 67 (permalink) Old 2009-04-21, 02:27 PM
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3. For analog cable get a NTSC PVR (like the TiVo Series 2 DT) and connect your cable to that, then S-Video to your TV.
4. Go digital cable (SD or HD).
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post #4 of 67 (permalink) Old 2009-04-21, 02:30 PM
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From post 21 in Stampeder's excellent OTA Knowledge Base & FAQ

Can I run Cable TV and OTA on the same coax line?

You cannot have Cable TV signals on the same coaxial cable as OTA TV signals. There is a risk of signal leakage, which is treated very seriously by the authorities. For more information see the Signal Leakage Between CATV and OTA FAQ.
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post #5 of 67 (permalink) Old 2009-04-21, 02:33 PM
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ericball's analogue cable solution is good too since I doubt you'd be getting any Clear QAM signals from Rogers.

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post #6 of 67 (permalink) Old 2009-04-21, 08:30 PM
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I use an A/B switch. You cannot combine the two feeds (unlike Direct Broadcast Satellite), as Cable TV uses the same spectrum as OTA channels.

In Kitchener, the only clear QAM channels (besides audio-only music and radio stations) I get are BET TV (standard definition), and the PPV promo channel.
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post #7 of 67 (permalink) Old 2009-04-21, 11:18 PM
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I am fortunate that my Samsung TV has 2 coax inputs. That said, I don't use it for cable. Instead, I use a HTPC with 2 combo tuners and a third hybrid tuner. That allows me to record 3 ATSC and 2 NTSC channels at the same time. I use Vista MCE and I can get full guide listings for all the channels. I personally love it and the unit is extremely intelligent as to what it records for me. If you have the money to spare, I'd recommend a HTPC.

The poor-man's way would be to use a DVD or VHS recorder to tune the cable (NTSC) and your TV's input to handle the ATSC. You can probably pickup a DVD recorder for under $80 nowadays.
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post #8 of 67 (permalink) Old 2009-04-22, 11:03 PM
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any recommended a/b switch?

I'm in the same situation: one input only on the Sharp.
I was going to try to go through the VCR and then use the component video to the TV.

I think its easier to go A/B switch but I'm worried about the quality of the switch and how much to spend on something that's good bang for the buck. Does anyone have any experience with the products available out there?

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post #9 of 67 (permalink) Old 2009-04-23, 01:21 PM
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tpet, here is the thread containing lots of helpful information on OTA gear like A-B switches:

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post #10 of 67 (permalink) Old 2012-04-11, 03:13 PM
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Question Run OTA And Cable On Same TV?

Hi everybody,
here is my problem:
I have a subscription with a cable company (Videotron, Montreal), analogic version, quality: so-so but numerous chanels;
I have an antena: few chanels but fantastic quality.
to go from a mode to another, the built-in ATSC tuner must scan the entire band and it takes forever;
so I think I must buy an external tuner and plug it to an HDMI port of the TV;
TV to HDMI is quick.
is there a better way to solve my problem?
Which tuner is best for that?
Thank you
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post #11 of 67 (permalink) Old 2012-04-11, 03:46 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

I agree with your solution. Buying an external tuner is the cleanest and easiest way to solve your problem. The thing you should consider, though, is that most of the external tuners out there have previous-generation chip sets. So if you have any weak channels, then you might not get as good of reception on those marginal channels compared to your regular TV. I don't think this is a big enough problem to stop you, though, because if something really important is on TV you can always go back to your regular TV tuner if necessary.

Is your TV able to connect to a computer? If so, then I highly recommend the HDHomeRun dual tuner. It will solve your problem even better than an external tuner box. The "HDHomeRun Dual" made by SiliconDust connects to your home network and can be accessed by any computer on your network. With Windows Media Center your computer can be a PVR.

Good luck and enjoy your OTA!

OTA, Winegard HD7679 UHF&VHF-high Antenna, CM7778 pre-amp
CM Rotator, CM3218 Splitter, TiVo Premier, HDHomeRun
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post #12 of 67 (permalink) Old 2012-04-11, 03:49 PM
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Just as an FYI, Videotron is doing away with some analogue cable, so you may be better off getting a digital STB from them instead of the other way around. Here's the thread. Eventually all analogue cable will be gone and you'll need a digital STB (or adaptor) for cable. I don't know if you're on basic or more than basic with Videotron. If more than basic, I'd suggest getting the cable STB. Your quality should also go up with the digital STB.

Here's a post useful for those new to the forum:

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
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post #13 of 67 (permalink) Old 2012-04-11, 06:31 PM
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Another solution, for now, would be to run your antenna into your TV, and run the analog cable into a VCR. Plug the VCR into some RCA jacks and just use it to tune cable channels. This will work as long as analog cable exists.
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post #14 of 67 (permalink) Old 2012-04-11, 07:48 PM
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Which model of TV do you have?

My Sony Bravia allows me to turn "cable" on or off--no need to rescan, and I use an A/B switch on the back to switch between cable and antenna.

I'm wondering if perhaps your TV has the same capability....

Roof-top mounted Antennas Direct DB8e & C5, Channel Master 7777 preamp, Siemens surge protection. TiVo Roamio DVR
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post #15 of 67 (permalink) Old 2012-04-11, 11:59 PM
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Get a digital cable box. Not only will this give you better reception and the ability to subscribe to high definition cable channels (which look so much better than standard def channels on HDTVs), but it will free up your cable in jack to use for your over-the-air antenna. This is my setup on both of my high-def TVs.
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