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BlackJays 2011-08-03 12:29 PM

Ok let's say someone has analog cable in Hamilton from Cogeco... They go out and buy a DTA box, hook up to old school tv, will this just automatically work?

Some pepople are saying they connect to digital tv, everything works, others say you need to activate the box?

Is it possible to buy your own box, not provided by Cogeco and receive the channels that have recently been removed?

Thanks in adanvce

57 2011-08-03 12:37 PM

You need to purchase a Cogeco STB, either from them, from their authorized distributors or from a Cogeco customer in good standing and have it activated by Cogeco and paying for the channels obviously. Although Cogeco may authorize an "outside" STB, it simply isn't worth the hassle or risk for an SD STB. Here's the article:

Here's a similar thread in the Rogers forum - same thing holds for Cogeco:

TVs with QAM tuners can pick up some unencrypted channels - depends on the location - here's the thread on that topic: There's a link for unencrypted Cogeco channels for some areas in the FAQ. These channels can be encrypted/changed by Cogeco at any time.

Here's a post useful for those new to the forum - FAQs, Search Tips, Optimization, etc:

BlackJays 2011-08-05 01:12 PM


Thanks!! That clears things up ;)

17671 2011-08-08 11:58 PM

also, lets say you want to subscribe to an ethnic channel like spanish or italian, you WILL NEED a cogeco digital box or adapter to view it on your tv. if you simply connect the coax line to your tv and watch it with your tvs built in atsc tuner, you will NOT receive the premium channel. this is the idea behind a set top box, your cable company can deliver channels you subscribe for

mcbayne 2011-09-03 08:41 PM

I have one digital HDTV and 3 analogs. Since the changover my upper channels, which I pay extra for, now have 12 channels I can't get on my analogs. Since I have an HD box on my digital tv I do still get all my channels. I tried, just for the heck of it, to connect my digital tv direct to the cable and it also could not recieve these channels. Cogeco wants to charge $4 per month per box to get these channels. Is anyone else having this problem. To me this is Cogeco double charging for a service I already pay for. They are using the digital change as a way to gouge consumers more.

xjaysfan 2011-09-07 10:50 PM

Yes I have the same issue... Can't setup any channel to record...

Has to be set on that channel and no one can change it...

NOTLguy 2011-09-15 08:27 AM

Confused about Digital migration..........
Cogeco has just sent out a package encouraging me to get either adapters for each television in the house or a digital receiver for each TV depending on which package I choose. They say I will need the adapters so that I will continue to receive my current channel linup when digital migration occurs. If I don't choose to get the adapters and do nothing, they say my channels will drop to 25 approx. I am curious as to why I will need an adapter? My friend has a digital receiver setup with Cogeco on his old TV and I asume that he is receiving digital feed through it. Therefore I must be receiving digital feed through my cable as well and the picture is fine without adapters and such, so why will I need adapters?

Thanks for any help on this subject,


hugh 2011-09-15 09:01 AM


No idea where you are but simplistically speaking, cable companies send lots of channels in two formats: digital and analog. Going forward Cogeco appears to be saying that only 25 will be sent in analog and the rest in digital. This is to save bandwidth so they can deliver more channels.

If you have a digital set top box (STB), it will decode the digital signals and send them to your tv. If you don't have a STB, you will only be able to get the 25 you are speaking of.

Long story short, if you want more than the 25 channels, you will need to get a STB.

doomy 2011-09-15 09:04 AM


mike marshall 2011-09-15 03:47 PM

Hugh said to NOTLguy:

Long story short, if you want more than the 25 channels, you will need to get a STB.

Also, and I hope this doesn't smack of heresy to the HD converts who, for the most part, populate dis 'ere Forum, you won't be able to watch one channel while you record another at the same time if you're still using a VCR.

Life was much simpler for a lot of us before Cogeco made the switch back in July.

Now, if I've got this right, the only way to watch AND record at the same time is to spring for the Cogeco-approved HD PVR at 500-bucks outright or $18 per month once the freebie deal expires. ($500 strikes me as higher than it should be but that probably has something to do with the fact that all the cable/satcos are pretty much charging the same thing.)

We're longtime Cogeco subscribers, who find the use of an STB for the first time fraught with frustration. (Sorry, but the alliteration there would send shivers down the back of one of my former radio PDs):cool:

We have a perfectly good Toshiba CRT in the living room, so we resisted the switch to digital until Cogeco gave us no choice.

A year from now, the same number of channels will cost us more and we'll be paying for the STB we didn't need in the past. Ka-ching!

In addition, we figured we'd opt for the channels that were stripped away from the Analogue Value Pack in recent years (fewer channels for the same price = price increase). Digital Select would also get us TSN2, the other 3 Sportsnet feeds and SportsnetOne. Ka-ching!

All of a sudden, we need a dual-tuner PVR, at even more money? Ka-ching!

Standard Def is fine for us, especially with the CRT. We're passing on the PVR for the time being. We'll tape the Basic tier channels only and try to work around the current situation. At the moment, we have a few more channels but can no longer tape all that we have. We'd almost double our cable bill to be able to record all our channels.

What's the old saying? Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it? The BTUs should look next door, at the music industry. It gouged and discouraged until it was a shadow of its former self. People found a better way.
Cogeco should be doing everything it can to offer the highest quality at a fair price. We don't think it, as a company, is. We don't think it's "helping" us.

Unless we see change, when *we* find a better way, we're gone.

57 2011-09-15 11:41 PM

See the following post on connecting a STB/VCR. You can still record one analogue channel and watch digital, or if you get a second digital STB, you can use it for your recordings. You don't have to get a PVR, but it sure is a lot simpler.

mike marshall 2011-09-16 01:58 AM

57 wrote:

See the following post on connecting a STB/VCR. You can still record one analogue channel and watch digital, or if you get a second digital STB, you can use it for your recordings. You don't have to get a PVR, but it sure is a lot simpler.
Funny you should mention that, 57. I read it, actually reread it, about 5 minutes before coming back to check this thread. I'd read your same post for the first time before our July digital migration. We certainly appreciate your input, past and present, here on Digital Home. Thank you.

We're already running a splitter but looking again at the jungle of wires and cables behind the, pardon the expression, *entertainment center,* I'm just guessing that we have the VCR off to the side, so that it's able to record one of the analogue channels while we watch something else. (The bulk of our recording takes place when two things we want to watch are on at the same time, between 8 and 11pm.)

We decided back in June that the PVR was the hands-down solution. As you say, it sure is a lot easier. We just can't seem to pull the trigger, though, because that would have us jumping through Cogeco's hoops, their unnecessary encumbrances. So would the use of two STBs, but thanks for the suggestion.:D

For two months, we've been unhappy campers because our cable bill has gone up and it wil cost us even more to be able to record the channels we could two months ago. It's not a huge sum, what, thirty bucks + tax, but I'm sittin' here scratchin' my head because it just doesn't make any sense.

NOTLguy 2011-09-16 08:18 AM

Yup, NOTL is Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Wow! This sure gets complicated for a guy who uses VCR's (multiple tv's) to record while watching other programs. Many thanks to you all for the most complete explanations. Looks like the score is Cogeco 1, NOTLguy 0. :-(

Now I have to decide if I want to buy a PVR or 2 PVR's, or get into all this wiring on two TV's to do the VCR recording thing.

And I thought life was simple.................


Thanks Hugh.

I take it that an STB is the digital receiver that looks about the size of a VCR and that the adapters Cogeco is talking about are smaller?


hugh 2011-09-16 08:26 AM

NOTL, don't know what adaptors you're talking about but STB are typically small boxes.

PVR is the way to go.

mike marshall 2011-09-16 03:30 PM

OK, in addition to being able to record an analogue channel while we watch something else, we are now able to record one of the digital channels when we are not watching TV.

After a closer look at our setup this morning, I added a composite hookup from the Standard Def Digital STB OUT to the VCR IN (front jacks).

One of the nifty things about a lot of the cable-only digital channels is their program repetition. They run the same shows two or three times a day and also on two or three days of the week. In many cases, it will be easy to find a time/day good for recording when we don't normally watch TV. As 57 suggests, STB on and tuned to the channel we want to record, VCR programmed to record at the appropriate time on LINE2 (LINE1 in our case is dedicated to audio recording from our Onkyo stereo tuner).

One word of caution -- something I discovered when testing to make sure everything functioned as intended. On the first attempt at recording a digital channel, the audio level was much too low, because I had turned the sound down. We, and perhaps others who try this, will have to remember to set the sound on the STB where we/they would usually listen to it. I'm not sure why that's the case; when I record the radio on LINE1, the tuner is left on, the volume is turned right down and the VCR does a timed recording at a perfectly acceptable level.

Thanks, 57 and thank you, Hugh. You're right, the PVR is much easier.

Very quickly, and this may apply to NOTLguy or anyone else working with two VCRs. We have a second VCR, a VCR/DVD combo, hooked up to a third TV (not rigged to cable) in the basement. I've hesitated to move the VCR/DVD upstairs because it's used mainly for my wife's exercise shows. Now, she's saying most of them are on disc. We could bring it upstairs, pair it with the smaller, bedroom flatscreen with a second STB (same setup as in the living room), put the bedroom DVD in the basement and find ourselves in a much more flexible situation than the one we were in 24 hours ago.

Unfortunately, while we're laughin', so is Cogeco, 'cause there's that 2nd STB. Ka-ching!

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