Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

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Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby fsrph » Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:28 pm

Just bought a 51" plasma TV and was wondering how to connect it based on my needs. I have Basic cable with Comcast (maybe 20 channels) with a cable box and am satisfied with it. I don't plan to upgrade to a HDMI box. I do plan on adding a Blu Ray player.

I don't care if I get HD on all the channels but I thought I can get HD on local stations. Cable comes to the box on coaxial cable, how do I connect the TV/Blu Ray from there? I read if I just connect the coaxial cable directly to the TV that is not the preferred way. Anyone know what the right way is? Thanks.

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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby The Wizard » Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:33 pm

Use component cables then, usually a triple red/green/blue cable for video along with one or two more for sound.
You can certainly get local HD channels using a simple indoor antenna but then you'll have to switch your TV's "Source" between antenna and cable box. It's not at all clear that your standard definition cable box will pass through your local stations to your TV in HD.
The BluRay player you should definitely connect to the TV using a cheap HDMI cable. Most sets have several HDMI ports for connecting things...
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby dumbmoney » Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:39 pm

It used to be, you could connect the cable directly to your TV. But recently Comcast has started encrypting all channels, even free ones (there's a chance this hasn't occurred in your area yet, but if not, it will soon). So your options for HD are either to dump Comcast and use an antenna, or else inquire about getting an HD cable box.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby btenny » Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:44 pm

Connect the Comcast cable to the cable box and the cable box to the TV. Set the TV to hunt for available channels in the setup mode. It will then scan all the cable and regular channels for a signal and select those that are HD and regular. Your cable will provide HD channels of all the stations that deliver HD over the air as part of your regular service plus you will get low def basic cable channels as well.

You then have to do manual search for the various channels. Some TVs have the HD channels labeled 12.1 for regular def and 12.2 for HD or similar. Others have funny numbers like 12.1 for regular def and 72.1 (not the exact number but a way differnt number) for HD of the same channel.

Then hook up your BluRay player to a second input to your TV directly with another cable..

Then when you want to watch Bluray you will select the second input with yoour TV remote or if you want to watch cable you will select the first input on the remote.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby ieee488 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:53 pm

fsrph wrote:Just bought a 51" plasma TV and was wondering how to connect it based on my needs. I have Basic cable with Comcast (maybe 20 channels) with a cable box and am satisfied with it. I don't plan to upgrade to a HDMI box. I do plan on adding a Blu Ray player.

I don't care if I get HD on all the channels but I thought I can get HD on local stations. Cable comes to the box on coaxial cable, how do I connect the TV/Blu Ray from there? I read if I just connect the coaxial cable directly to the TV that is not the preferred way. Anyone know what the right way is? Thanks.

Francis


You would connect the cable box to your new plasma TV the same way as you do now.
Nothing changes.
http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-su ... r-manuals/

Your Blu-ray player would connect to one of your plasma TV's HDMI inputs.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby The Wizard » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:12 pm

ieee488 wrote:
You would connect the cable box to your new plasma TV the same way as you do now.
Nothing changes.
http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-su ... r-manuals/

Perhaps, but only if the OP is not using the COMPOSITE cable option presently.
I seem to recall that High Def only works with HDMI or Component connections...
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby dumbmoney » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:16 pm

The Wizard wrote:
ieee488 wrote:
You would connect the cable box to your new plasma TV the same way as you do now.
Nothing changes.
http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-su ... r-manuals/

Perhaps, but only if the OP is not using the COMPOSITE cable option presently.
I seem to recall that High Def only works with HDMI or Component connections...


If he's using what Comcast calls a DTA (dumb one-way cable box), which is likely for a basic cable subscriber, then the only output is RF (channel 3/4).
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby The Wizard » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:36 pm

dumbmoney wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
ieee488 wrote:
You would connect the cable box to your new plasma TV the same way as you do now.
Nothing changes.
http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-su ... r-manuals/

Perhaps, but only if the OP is not using the COMPOSITE cable option presently.
I seem to recall that High Def only works with HDMI or Component connections...


If he's using what Comcast calls a DTA (dumb one-way cable box), which is likely for a basic cable subscriber, then the only output is RF (channel 3/4).

Right, so he'll either have to upgrade to a box that's HD capable or simply use an antenna for local HD channels. I do the latter on one of my HD TVs...
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby ieee488 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:48 pm

dumbmoney wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
ieee488 wrote:
You would connect the cable box to your new plasma TV the same way as you do now.
Nothing changes.
http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-su ... r-manuals/

Perhaps, but only if the OP is not using the COMPOSITE cable option presently.
I seem to recall that High Def only works with HDMI or Component connections...


If he's using what Comcast calls a DTA (dumb one-way cable box), which is likely for a basic cable subscriber, then the only output is RF (channel 3/4).


If so, his plasma TV should be able to accomodate it.

My LG HDTV which I purchased last year is connected via the RF connector directly to the cable RF connector without using even a cable box.
Fortunately, Comcast here still is not scrambling basic cable. Thank goodness for small favors.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby fsrph » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:05 pm

dumbmoney wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
ieee488 wrote:
You would connect the cable box to your new plasma TV the same way as you do now.
Nothing changes.
http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-su ... r-manuals/

Perhaps, but only if the OP is not using the COMPOSITE cable option presently.
I seem to recall that High Def only works with HDMI or Component connections...


If he's using what Comcast calls a DTA (dumb one-way cable box), which is likely for a basic cable subscriber, then the only output is RF (channel 3/4).


Thanks eyeryone. Here's the exact box I have. I believe it is not a one way box because I have on demand viewing of TV shows. The back panel, with the available connections, is on page 2.
http://media2.comcast.net/anon.comcasto ... rguide.pdf

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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby 22twain » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:46 pm

You have up to three basic options, depending on what kind of input connections your TV has. In order of decreasing video quality:

A - S-Video Out (4) and Audio Out (6)
B - Video Out (5) (a.k.a. composite video) and Audio Out (6)
C - Cable Out (11) [includes both video and audio]

For options A and B, you will have to set your TV so that it receives input from the appropriate video input.

For option C, you will have to tune your TV to channel 3 or 4, whichever channel the cable box uses as its output channel.

In either case, you use the cable box to change channels for viewing.

If your TV has an optical audio input, or you use a soundbar, or you use audio receiver with an optical input as part of an already-existing audio system , you can probably substitute Optical Audio (8) for Audio Out (6).
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby The Wizard » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:38 pm

fsrph wrote:
Thanks eyeryone. Here's the exact box I have. I believe it is not a one way box because I have on demand viewing of TV shows. The back panel, with the available connections, is on page 2.
http://media2.comcast.net/anon.comcasto ... rguide.pdf

Francis

OK, I took a look.
No Component or HDMI outputs on the back panel so it's not gunna be able to pass through HD video from your local stations.
Just go with a cheap antenna for the locals and you'll be fine.
There are websites to determine what you can receive from your street address.
tvfool.com might be the best...
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby killjoy2012 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:45 pm

That box doesn't pass a HD signal (480i at best), so any of the video options are equally sufficient. I would wire Comcast's coax to the Cisco box 'cable in', another coax from the Cisco 'cable out' to your TV's coax in, and then the BluRay player directly to any of the TV's HDMI ports.

I don't know what size TV you had before, but once you see 480i picture on a 50"+ TV, I think you may reassess the need for HD. Over-the-air is an option depending on where you live (in a big city?), but it's also a convenience vs. cost decision too.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby ieee488 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:51 pm

Are you sure you really need that cable box?

About 6 months ago Comcast sent me a letter strongly urging me to get a cable box. I resisted.

I didn't need. I have Limited Basic cable and I get all the local broadcast channels ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, CW in HD.

Connect the RF cable that is now going to the cable box directly to your TV's RF connector bypassing the cable box. Do an autoscan of the channels.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby The Wizard » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:54 pm

If you have good vision, once you see what BluRay discs do, you'll be annoyed with the poor resolution of the SD cable box you have.
Just go with it for now and check in again later...
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby The Wizard » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:58 pm

ieee488 wrote:Are you sure you really need that cable box?

About 6 months ago Comcast sent me a letter strongly urging me to get a cable box. I resisted.

I didn't need. I have Limited Basic cable and I get all the local broadcast channels ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, CW in HD.

Connect the RF cable that is now going to the cable box directly to your TV's RF connector bypassing the cable box. Do an autoscan of the channels.

Your TV doesn't get a HD signal from the RF output from a cable box from what I understand...
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby fsrph » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:02 pm

killjoy2012 wrote:I don't know what size TV you had before, but once you see 480i picture on a 50"+ TV, I think you may reassess the need for HD.

I may have to get the HD box, we'll see I didn't receive the TV yet. The reason I am resisting the HD box is I have basic cable and would be satisfied getting some HD on local stations with an antenna. Also, I believe the box is $10/month along with an $8/month technology fee. That doen't seem worth it to me. But, if you are saying the HD box will increase my picture even on non-HD TV then I may have to consider it.

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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby fsrph » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:04 pm

ieee488 wrote:Connect the RF cable that is now going to the cable box directly to your TV's RF connector bypassing the cable box. Do an autoscan of the channels.


Other posters say Comcast scrambles the signal. Will this work in that case?

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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby derosa » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:10 pm

It doesn't seem like anyone, including the OP, has read the manual for the new tv?

I think that would be the first thing the OP needs to do. And then all the tv manufacturers have websites with FAQ.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby Swivelguy » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:12 pm

fsrph wrote:
ieee488 wrote:Connect the RF cable that is now going to the cable box directly to your TV's RF connector bypassing the cable box. Do an autoscan of the channels.


Other posters say Comcast scrambles the signal. Will this work in that case?

Francis


Comcast scrambles it in some locations and not in others. If it's scrambled, you won't be able to get anything directly from the cable. It's worth a shot as YMMV.

I don't understand why they do this, either. It is at best anti-consumer, at worst anti-competitive.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby fsrph » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:18 pm

derosa wrote:It doesn't seem like anyone, including the OP, has read the manual for the new tv?

I think that would be the first thing the OP needs to do. And then all the tv manufacturers have websites with FAQ.


I did read the manual as to what connections the new TV has. But if the cable box doesn't provide the proper signal does the connections on the TV matter? FWIW the tv's connections are:

2 HDMI Ports

USB 2.0
1 USB 2.0 Port
Universal Serial Bus. Interface standard for connecting peripherals to a computer. USB 2.0 is high-speed.

Component
1 Component Analog video connection that transmits information along two or three separate signals.

Composite In (AV)
1 (Shared with Component) Composite (AV) Analog terminals that transmit audio and video information along a single signal.

(Shared with Component)

RF In (Terrestrial/Cable Input)
RF In (Terrestrial/Cable Input) Radio Frequency socket that accepts analog signals. Often used to connect lines for cable TV.


Digital Audio Out (Optical)
1 Digital Audio (Optical) Input Ports used to transmit digital audio streams between components without interference.


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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby 22twain » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:58 pm

fsrph wrote:Composite In (AV)
1 (Shared with Component) Composite (AV) Analog terminals that transmit audio and video information along a single signal.


Feed the Video Out and Audio Out (5 and 6) from your cable box to these jacks. The picture will probably be a bit better than feeding the Cable Out to the RF In, although nowhere near the difference between SD and HD.

As some others have noted, you may get some HD channels for the time being if you connect your cable directly to the RF In (without the box) and run a channel scan. It depends on your area. Comcast and other cable providers eventually want to remove all analog channels and encrypt all digital channels, requiring you to use a box for everything. It's an ongoing process, taking place in different areas at different times.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby ieee488 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:16 pm

fsrph wrote:
ieee488 wrote:Connect the RF cable that is now going to the cable box directly to your TV's RF connector bypassing the cable box. Do an autoscan of the channels.


Other posters say Comcast scrambles the signal. Will this work in that case?

Francis


Other posters where?

It only matters for Comcast in your area.

It doesn't hurt to give it a try.

The HD channels are wonderful.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby fsrph » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:22 am

ieee488 wrote:
fsrph wrote:
ieee488 wrote:Connect the RF cable that is now going to the cable box directly to your TV's RF connector bypassing the cable box. Do an autoscan of the channels.


Other posters say Comcast scrambles the signal. Will this work in that case?

Francis


Other posters where?

It only matters for Comcast in your area.

It doesn't hurt to give it a try.

The HD channels are wonderful.


I certainly will try your suggestion. It might work. I didn't even get the TV yet. I'm even going to try using an antenna only and see what I can pick up. It may be enough for me. Then I could drop Comcast totally.

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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby fsrph » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:45 am

The Wizard wrote:If you have good vision, once you see what BluRay discs do, you'll be annoyed with the poor resolution of the SD cable box you have.
Just go with it for now and check in again later...


I only have basic cable and watch mostly local stations. If I drop Comcast and just use an antenna to pick up local stations do you know --

1. WIll these stations be in HD?

2. What will be the resolution, 480, 720, 1080?

Thanks.

Francis
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby dumbmoney » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:45 am

fsrph wrote:I only have basic cable and watch mostly local stations. If I drop Comcast and just use an antenna to pick up local stations do you know --

1. WIll these stations be in HD?

2. What will be the resolution, 480, 720, 1080?


Yes. ABC and FOX use 720, the others use 1080. Sub-channels (e.g. weather) are 480.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby 22twain » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:49 pm

To get a good idea of over-the-air (OTA) reception possiblities at your location, use http://tvfool.com . If you use the "maps" option (click the "Start MAPS" link), you'll get a map of your neighborhood that you can drag a marker on, to fine-tune your location, which can be important if you live in a hilly or far-fringe area.

It will probably show you many more stations than you can actually receive. Anything in the gray area (bottom half or so, in the list) is probably out of the question for reliable viewing, even with the best rooftop (outdoor) antennas. Anything in the red area above that will probably require a very good rooftop antenna. Etc.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby The Wizard » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:08 pm

Important to note that you don't have to get this entirely "right" on the first day you have your new HDTV.
Try cheap, simple things to start with and see how you like them...
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby fsrph » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:17 pm

The Wizard wrote:Important to note that you don't have to get this entirely "right" on the first day you have your new HDTV.
Try cheap, simple things to start with and see how you like them...

Received the TV. First I tried connecting the cable connection directly to the TV (bypassing the non-HD box). Result = no picture. Comcast must be scrambling the signal. Then I tried connecting the "out" cable from the box to the TV just as it was with my old TV. Got all my previous stations but the picture was average at best. Then tried an old style indoor antenna. Received about 9 stations, all in very clear HD. TV picture looks great whth these. So now I have a decision to make. Either upgrade to HD box, with associated cable fees, or I'm tempted to stick with the antenna and add a Roku or a Blu Ray player. If I go this way I'm leaning to the Roku 3.

But one problem. If I use the Roku I'm going have to upgrade my internet speed. Right now I have Verizon DSL with about 1 Mb of speed. Plenty good enough for my computer. But, too slow for the Roku as I understand it. I could go with Verizon's next level of speed but it has a speec range is 1Mb - 15 Mb - so if I am at the lower speeds this to may be to slow. Leaves me with Comcast's 25 Mb service, which they have an promotion price of $29.99 a month for 1 year, I believe. So it looks like my options are HD thru cable or Internet speed upgrade + Roku and or Blu-Ray. Any one of these options seem better? Thanks.

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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby oxothuk » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:44 pm

fsrph wrote:But one problem. If I use the Roku I'm going have to upgrade my internet speed. Right now I have Verizon DSL with about 1 Mb of speed.

1Mbps would be too slow, but you don't need the Comcast 25Mbps service to get full value from your Roku. IIRC, the highest bandwidth setting on my Roku is about 4 Mbps.

I had 1.5 Mbps DSL for years and the Roku video quality was quite usable even with that. I usually had 3 bars out of 4 on their "quality meter"; occasionally it would drop back to 2 bars, which made it like watching a VHS tape.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby fsrph » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:55 pm

oxothuk wrote:
fsrph wrote:But one problem. If I use the Roku I'm going have to upgrade my internet speed. Right now I have Verizon DSL with about 1 Mb of speed.

1Mbps would be too slow, but you don't need the Comcast 25Mbps service to get full value from your Roku. IIRC, the highest bandwidth setting on my Roku is about 4 Mbps.

I had 1.5 Mbps DSL for years and the Roku video quality was quite usable even with that. I usually had 3 bars out of 4 on their "quality meter"; occasionally it would drop back to 2 bars, which made it like watching a VHS tape.


I mentioned the 25Mb service because by some promotion it is cheaper than their 6 Mb product. It seems kind of strange but Comcast's 25 Mb is $29.99/month for 2 years. Their 6 Mb is 49.95 month to month.

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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby yatesd » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:28 pm

Just go down to Comcast and exchange your old box for one that includes HDMI connectors.

Personally, I think HDMI is the best thing that ever happened to home audio/video. I use a Receiver at home with only HMDI connectors between the Comcast cable box, Receiver, PS3, and TV. One cable for carrying HD video and audio...doesn't get any better!
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby jfn111 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:09 pm

fsrph wrote:
The Wizard wrote:Important to note that you don't have to get this entirely "right" on the first day you have your new HDTV.
Try cheap, simple things to start with and see how you like them...

Received the TV. First I tried connecting the cable connection directly to the TV (bypassing the non-HD box). Result = no picture. Comcast must be scrambling the signal. Then I tried connecting the "out" cable from the box to the TV just as it was with my old TV. Got all my previous stations but the picture was average at best. Then tried an old style indoor antenna. Received about 9 stations, all in very clear HD. TV picture looks great whth these. So now I have a decision to make. Either upgrade to HD box, with associated cable fees, or I'm tempted to stick with the antenna and add a Roku or a Blu Ray player. If I go this way I'm leaning to the Roku 3.

But one problem. If I use the Roku I'm going have to upgrade my internet speed. Right now I have Verizon DSL with about 1 Mb of speed. Plenty good enough for my computer. But, too slow for the Roku as I understand it. I could go with Verizon's next level of speed but it has a speec range is 1Mb - 15 Mb - so if I am at the lower speeds this to may be to slow. Leaves me with Comcast's 25 Mb service, which they have an promotion price of $29.99 a month for 1 year, I believe. So it looks like my options are HD thru cable or Internet speed upgrade + Roku and or Blu-Ray. Any one of these options seem better? Thanks.

Francis

Did you use the search function on the TV to look for HD signals when you hooked the cable up to the TV bypassing the box?
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby ieee488 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:13 pm

jfn111 wrote:
fsrph wrote:
The Wizard wrote:Important to note that you don't have to get this entirely "right" on the first day you have your new HDTV.
Try cheap, simple things to start with and see how you like them...

Received the TV. First I tried connecting the cable connection directly to the TV (bypassing the non-HD box). Result = no picture. Comcast must be scrambling the signal. Then I tried connecting the "out" cable from the box to the TV just as it was with my old TV. Got all my previous stations but the picture was average at best. Then tried an old style indoor antenna. Received about 9 stations, all in very clear HD. TV picture looks great whth these. So now I have a decision to make. Either upgrade to HD box, with associated cable fees, or I'm tempted to stick with the antenna and add a Roku or a Blu Ray player. If I go this way I'm leaning to the Roku 3.

But one problem. If I use the Roku I'm going have to upgrade my internet speed. Right now I have Verizon DSL with about 1 Mb of speed. Plenty good enough for my computer. But, too slow for the Roku as I understand it. I could go with Verizon's next level of speed but it has a speec range is 1Mb - 15 Mb - so if I am at the lower speeds this to may be to slow. Leaves me with Comcast's 25 Mb service, which they have an promotion price of $29.99 a month for 1 year, I believe. So it looks like my options are HD thru cable or Internet speed upgrade + Roku and or Blu-Ray. Any one of these options seem better? Thanks.

Francis

Did you use the search function on the TV to look for HD signals when you hooked the cable up to the TV bypassing the box?

+1

On my LG, the search for channels takes about 5 minutes or so.
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby sscritic » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:16 pm

But the OP got channels with the antenna. That also doesn't happen without a search/scan. It would surprise me if there was an antenna scan but not a cable scan, but it's possible. The OP said the first try was cable; that could have been without a scan. OP?
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Re: Connecting HDTV without HDMI box

Postby fsrph » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:45 pm

sscritic wrote:But the OP got channels with the antenna. That also doesn't happen without a search/scan. It would surprise me if there was an antenna scan but not a cable scan, but it's possible. The OP said the first try was cable; that could have been without a scan. OP?



First I bypassed the cable box - direct connection to tv. Did a scan and initially got lots of channels. Tv then went thru a process of removing scrambled channels. All channels were removed.
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