Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

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azurekep
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Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:05 pm

Non-tech-savvy relative wants a small TV on her vanity. This is the current situation:
  • She has cable, but there is no cable outlet at her vanity.
  • Over-the-air reception is bad.
  • There are no rooftop antennas and she doesn't want any.
  • She wants to use a TV, not a computer.
  • The set-up needs to be cost-effective since the TV will be used only an hour a day.
  • She wants the TV for news, if possible.
  • She has a spare, older flat-screen TV, but it is missing a remote.


I'm thinking the choices boil down to:

1. Have the cable company run cable to the vanity and use the existing spare TV (or buy a new TV). This will give her the cable news she is used to.

2. Get an indoor antenna and attach it to the spare TV for over-the-air reception. This won't give her CNN/MSNBC, but would be okay if it was inexpensive and she could reliably find an "entertaining" channel.

Questions

Some of these questions can be answered by her cable company, but I thought I'd ask here first:
  • 1. Her existing TVs require a special box from the cable company and entail a monthly charge. Can TVs be purchased that don't require one of these special boxes?
  • 2. If she bought a universal remote to work with the spare TV, is it guaranteed to work with that TV? She has a variety of other brand-specific remotes. Can they be made to work with her spare TV, which is from a different company?
  • 3. The spare TV is a little big. Can TVs that are smaller - say 10-inch or smaller - be used with cable?
  • 4. Is running a cable to a new location typically inexpensive?


Thanks in advance. I'm not a TV guy, so out of my element here.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:33 pm

Cable boxes - Depends on the service provided by the cable company. If all the channels are encrypted, you have to have a box or cable card to decrypt the channels. That said, most cable companies have a more limited set of unencrypted channels that a cable-ready TV (any modern TV) could use, which usually includes news channels like CNN and MSNBC.

Universal remote - Depends on the brand and model of TV. Some work better with universal remotes than others. For example, with my TV, I can't find a universal remove that can change the input source (HDMI1, HDMI2, etc), so I have to keep the original remote for that purpose. But a universal remote works fine with power, volume, and changing channels. Other brands, and even specific models within a brand, may not work at all with universal remotes. It would be best to conduct a web search for the specific TV involved.

Smaller TVs - Any TV which takes coaxial in and is cable-ready could be used with the unencrypted cable channels.

Cost - They will charge a lot to run a new line to that bedroom, probably somewhere in the $200-300 range, if not more. It's been a while since I've had cable TV to get the pricing list, but this is the pricing I recall from a few years ago.

If your relative already has WiFi in her house, you might consider instead going with something like a Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV stick with the existing TV. That would be cheaper than running a coaxial line to the vanity. Whether or not it would access the programming she wants to access is the main question.

rob65
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by rob65 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:40 pm

Which cable company?

With some cable companies, a converter box is required on each TV. With others, you can get a limited number of channels without a converter box. Some offer less expensive converter boxes for secondary TVs that get limited channels and don't have on demand, but are less expensive.

It might be worth pricing a new small television. New TVs are very thin and you can get a 19 inch for around $100. That is small unless you are very close to the TV, but might work in this case.

runner3081
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by runner3081 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:50 pm

rob65 wrote:Which cable company?

With some cable companies, a converter box is required on each TV. With others, you can get a limited number of channels without a converter box. Some offer less expensive converter boxes for secondary TVs that get limited channels and don't have on demand, but are less expensive.

It might be worth pricing a new small television. New TVs are very thin and you can get a 19 inch for around $100. That is small unless you are very close to the TV, but might work in this case.
Yeah, this is good to know. We had COX and were receiving 70+ channels free for years. Then they went digital on them all and you can not get a single channel without a box, which means a subscription.

We use the Winegard Antenna, Plex and a Fire TV Stick - works great. The effectiveness of the antenna depends on where you live and orientation to the towers.

TerryDMillerMBA
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by TerryDMillerMBA » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:14 pm

Get a universal remote for the flat-screen TV. I use the cheap RCA brand. It takes just a few minutes to look up the code and enter it.

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heartwood
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by heartwood » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:44 pm

Define small.

Not many (any?) small TVs available. Smallest at best buy looks like 19 inches and $70. We went through this awhile ago. There seems to be no counter top TVs anymore. We were unable to find a 9 or 12 or similar size.

edit: I should have googled 14 inch tv or similar. Lots.
Last edited by heartwood on Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

runner3081
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by runner3081 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:46 pm

Another option, thought not inexpensive, would be the new Echo Show. News on demand and has a bunch of additional features.

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Ged
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Ged » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:07 pm

A lot of cable companies make apps available that let you watch cable TV on tablets. If you have a wi-fi setup it is possible that something like a 7" Fire tablet will work for this.

It may be too much like using a computer though.

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Toons
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Toons » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:13 pm

Vizio
Walmart.
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

azurekep
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:22 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Cost - They will charge a lot to run a new line to that bedroom, probably somewhere in the $200-300 range, if not more. It's been a while since I've had cable TV to get the pricing list, but this is the pricing I recall from a few years ago.
Wow. I was thinking it was more like $25. My relative can afford it, but as long as I'm involved, I wouldn't want to steer her that way when the TV use would be so limited.

azurekep
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:26 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Yeah, this is good to know. We had COX and were receiving 70+ channels free for years. Then they went digital on them all and you can not get a single channel without a box, which means a subscription.
Dang. The provider is Cox.

So if I"m understanding this, running a new cable may run into the 100s.

Adding a new TV to Cox requires a monthly subscription.

This doesn't sound like a cheap proposition.

azurekep
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:30 pm

heartwood wrote:Define small.

Not many (any?) small TVs available. Smallest at best buy looks like 19 inches and $70. We went through this awhile ago. There seems to be no counter top TVs anymore. We were unable to find a 9 or 12 or similar size.

edit: I should have googled 14 inch tv or similar. Lots.
The spare TV she has... I didn't measure it, but I think it was about 14 inches. She said she'd like something a bit larger than half that size. A 10-inch tablet would probably do, but again, she wants an actual TV.

I might try talking her into a radio. :mrgreen:

azurekep
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:43 pm

As for the indoor antenna plus universal remote...

The universal remote is a possibility. The spare TV is not a name brand (Name starts and ends with E, that's all I remember), but conceivably it is on a list of approved brands for certain universal remotes.

The indoor antenna may be more problematic. I can't even get decent cell phone reception at her house due to the topography. So unsure how the antenna would work without twisting in pretzels to get the right orientation.

Plus, the daily dreg from the OTA channels might not be worth an additional expenditure of dollars.

VaR
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by VaR » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:48 pm

1. Does she have internet and wifi?
2. Does she have a favorite news channel?
3. Do you think it is at all possible that she could be a candidate to be a cord-cutter? Then she could avoid the whole pay-per-tv model that Cox has.

Personal anecdote: My wife and I converted our non-tech savvy aunt to use Roku. Well, it's really the kids who have taken on the daily lessons. We just taught the kids and they're teaching her.
Last edited by VaR on Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:49 pm

azurekep wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote:
Cost - They will charge a lot to run a new line to that bedroom, probably somewhere in the $200-300 range, if not more. It's been a while since I've had cable TV to get the pricing list, but this is the pricing I recall from a few years ago.
Wow. I was thinking it was more like $25. My relative can afford it, but as long as I'm involved, I wouldn't want to steer her that way when the TV use would be so limited.
It might be that cheap if the coax cable can be run along the outside of the house and they can just drill a hole through the exterior wall for the outlet. I'm seeing online prices of about $25-50 for that sort of work.

But if you want them to run it through the attic or crawl space and come through the wall cavity for the outlet, it will cost more. Around here, it's brutal to have to run coax cable through the attic or crawlspace in the late spring, summer, and early fall when the weather is hot. So the charges could be higher here to account for that. The online prices are all over the place for interior installs, range from $75 to several hundred. That suggests it's a highly localized cost.

VaR
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by VaR » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:54 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:It might be that cheap if the coax cable can be run along the outside of the house and they can just drill a hole through the exterior wall for the outlet. I'm seeing online prices of about $25-50 for that sort of work.
Yeah, and there's always the similar kind of work that the contractor installers do for a "free" install - staple the coax to the baseboard and drill holes through your interior walls.

azurekep
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:20 pm

VaR wrote:1. Does she have internet and wifi?
She has internet and a wi-fi capable router.
2. Does she have a favorite news channel?
Anything but Fox. ;)
3. Do you think it is at all possible that she could be a candidate to be a cord-cutter? Then she could avoid the whole pay-per-tv model that Cox has.
It would be great if she could cut the cord. But its complicated. She has everything -- phone, internet and TV -- bundled with Cox. I recently helped her negotiate a steeper discount on the bundle, which oddly bumped UP the internet speed (to stream-worthy) but I don't know how long that will last. Once, the special is over, the internet speed may need to be reduced to get a comparable discount.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:24 pm

Does her older spare tv have an HDMI connection that could accept a Roku stick or similar for streaming channels?

VaR
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by VaR » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:28 pm

azurekep wrote:
VaR wrote:1. Does she have internet and wifi?
She has internet and a wi-fi capable router.
As Doom&Gloom said, you can always get her a Roku Streaming Stick or Roku Express for $40 if her old TV has a working HDMI port.

If not, is a new 32" TCL with Roku for $170 in the budget? I was thinking of getting one of these myself.
azurekep wrote:
VaR wrote:3. Do you think it is at all possible that she could be a candidate to be a cord-cutter? Then she could avoid the whole pay-per-tv model that Cox has.
It would be great if she could cut the cord. But its complicated. She has everything -- phone, internet and TV -- bundled with Cox. I recently helped her negotiate a steeper discount on the bundle, which oddly bumped UP the internet speed (to stream-worthy) but I don't know how long that will last. Once, the special is over, the internet speed may need to be reduced to get a comparable discount.
Personally, I find that for a couple of video streams, 10 mbps is fine. Well, I have some friends who find it to be fine. I personally need to have near-gigabit speeds for the bragging rights and to be able to assert to IT that my home internet is not the reason the company VPN sucks.

Re: Fox - Ha! I asked to make sure that her favorite news channel was supported via streaming. :)

runner3081
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by runner3081 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:34 pm

VaR wrote:
azurekep wrote:
VaR wrote:1. Does she have internet and wifi?
She has internet and a wi-fi capable router.
As Doom&Gloom said, you can always get her a Roku Streaming Stick or Roku Express for $40 if her old TV has a working HDMI port.

If not, is a new 32" TCL with Roku for $170 in the budget? I was thinking of getting one of these myself.
azurekep wrote:
VaR wrote:3. Do you think it is at all possible that she could be a candidate to be a cord-cutter? Then she could avoid the whole pay-per-tv model that Cox has.
It would be great if she could cut the cord. But its complicated. She has everything -- phone, internet and TV -- bundled with Cox. I recently helped her negotiate a steeper discount on the bundle, which oddly bumped UP the internet speed (to stream-worthy) but I don't know how long that will last. Once, the special is over, the internet speed may need to be reduced to get a comparable discount.
Personally, I find that for a couple of video streams, 10 mbps is fine. Well, I have some friends who find it to be fine. I personally need to have near-gigabit speeds for the bragging rights and to be able to assert to IT that my home internet is not the reason the company VPN sucks.

Re: Fox - Ha! I asked to make sure that her favorite news channel was supported via streaming. :)
We have 5MB down and zero issues with video streaming on multiple devices at one time.

azurekep
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:42 am

Doom&Gloom wrote:Does her older spare tv have an HDMI connection that could accept a Roku stick or similar for streaming channels?
I'll have to look into that. Does it matter if it's HDMI-1 or HDMI-2?

Also, is it necessary to have a Roku account to use Roku? Or, if one has cable, can one just plug the Roku stick in and get streaming CNN?

rob65
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by rob65 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:07 am

azurekep wrote:
Doom&Gloom wrote:Does her older spare tv have an HDMI connection that could accept a Roku stick or similar for streaming channels?
I'll have to look into that. Does it matter if it's HDMI-1 or HDMI-2?

Also, is it necessary to have a Roku account to use Roku? Or, if one has cable, can one just plug the Roku stick in and get streaming CNN?
Any HDMI port should work.

When you buy a Roku box or stick, you will first connect it to the TV. (Make sure the TV source is set to the correct HDMI port.) You will then have to go through a set-up process to activate the box, connect it to the wifi network, etc. This will require creating a Roku account and linking the box to the account. However, the Roku account is free. It will ask for a credit card in the activation process in order to enable the ability to make purchases from the Roku. You can skip giving a credit card number, but this might require calling Roku support. I would take the extra time to avoid giving them a credit card - as much to prevent accidental purchases as being worried about them having the card info.

Once the Roku is activated, go to "streaming channels" (or maybe "channel store") on the roku menu on the TV screen. Find and download the CNN GO app. Then go into CNN GO, go to settings, and authenticate with the cable provider. It will walk you through the authentication process, but it is much easier if you have either a computer, tablet, or phone with internet access in the same room as the TV so that you aren't having to go back and forth to enter codes. Note that you will need her username and password from her cable provider during the authentication process. I'm assuming she already has that since she has internet from Cox, but that was an issue when I tried to help my in-laws set-up a Roku. :oops:

One big caution: not all cable providers authenticate on all channel apps. I just tried adding CNN GO to my Roku as an experiment and it looks like Cox does authenticate CNN GO, but I'm not a Cox customer, so I can't go all the way through the process to make sure it works. I don't think it will be a problem, but keep the Roku receipt until you are sure it works! :happy

Once this is done, she should be able to watch CNN live through the CNN GO app on the Roku.

Rinse and repeat for any other channel apps she would like to add to the Roku.

Some cable providers have a Roku app that basically lets you use the Roku as a converter box to watch any channels in your package. I don't think
Cox does, but it might be worth checking on.

I really like our Roku. That said, this is a different way to tune and watch TV. I'm not sure why your relative wants a TV and not a computer or tablet, but someone who doesn't want to use the CNN app on an Ipad, might not like using a Roku.

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cowboy
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by cowboy » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:48 am

runner3081 wrote:Another option, thought not inexpensive, would be the new Echo Show. News on demand and has a bunch of additional features.
+1

We set my grandparents (in their 80s) up with Echos several months ago (and now an Echo Show). It has changed their lives very much for the better. They can watch news, videos, movies, listen to music, set timers, and all the other wonderful things the Echos can do. We added skills like "Ask my Buddy" to send family members alerts if they fall or have another emergency. And my kids can now video chat with their great grandparents anytime they want. Well worth the $ in our situation!

azurekep
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:37 pm

rob65 wrote:
Any HDMI port should work.

When you buy a Roku box or stick, you will first connect it to the TV. (Make sure the TV source is set to the correct HDMI port.) You will then have to go through a set-up process to activate the box, connect it to the wifi network, etc. This will require creating a Roku account and linking the box to the account. However, the Roku account is free. It will ask for a credit card in the activation process in order to enable the ability to make purchases from the Roku. You can skip giving a credit card number, but this might require calling Roku support. I would take the extra time to avoid giving them a credit card - as much to prevent accidental purchases as being worried about them having the card info.

Once the Roku is activated, go to "streaming channels" (or maybe "channel store") on the roku menu on the TV screen. Find and download the CNN GO app. Then go into CNN GO, go to settings, and authenticate with the cable provider. It will walk you through the authentication process, but it is much easier if you have either a computer, tablet, or phone with internet access in the same room as the TV so that you aren't having to go back and forth to enter codes. Note that you will need her username and password from her cable provider during the authentication process. I'm assuming she already has that since she has internet from Cox, but that was an issue when I tried to help my in-laws set-up a Roku. :oops:
Thanks for the detailed info. Very helpful.
I'm not sure why your relative wants a TV and not a computer or tablet, but someone who doesn't want to use the CNN app on an Ipad, might not like using a Roku.
Good point. In the end, she may just have to get a cable installed in the vanity area.

rgs92
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by rgs92 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:45 pm

I use a wireless remote extender on 2 remote TVs and it works great, but in this setup you need to run a regular AV cable (left/right/video) or HDMI cable (if the TV accepts it) from the Cable box to the TV. But you get full control of the TV.
You need 2 things:

1. Remote extender (I have this and it works great and is easy to use and setup):
https://www.nextgen.us/remote-extender- ... erplus.htm

2. Get a 10 or 13 inch TV (just google or look up in Amazon for 10 or 13 inch TV). Some are HDTVs.
Here is one (I have a Vizio but I don't think it's made anymore):
https://www.amazon.com/Small-TV-Perfect ... B01N43XEUQ

You don't need a universal or any special remote control. The cable remote works remotely. A rechargeable battery that comes with the remote extended goes in the regular cable box remote and transmits to a little receiver that sits near your cable box. It's all wireless.
All functions of the cable box work (DVR, etc.). You can use the TV remote to control volume, or try and program the cable remote to do this too (cable remotes *are* universal remotes to some degree and can usually do this).

This is all simple and cheap to do (and reliable) if you can run that single cable.

azurekep
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:26 pm

rgs92 wrote:I use a wireless remote extender on 2 remote TVs and it works great, but in this setup you need to run a regular AV cable (left/right/video) or HDMI cable (if the TV accepts it) from the Cable box to the TV. But you get full control of the TV.
You need 2 things:

1. Remote extender (I have this and it works great and is easy to use and setup):
https://www.nextgen.us/remote-extender- ... erplus.htm

2. Get a 10 or 13 inch TV (just google or look up in Amazon for 10 or 13 inch TV). Some are HDTVs.
Here is one (I have a Vizio but I don't think it's made anymore):
https://www.amazon.com/Small-TV-Perfect ... B01N43XEUQ

You don't need a universal or any special remote control. The cable remote works remotely. A rechargeable battery that comes with the remote extended goes in the regular cable box remote and transmits to a little receiver that sits near your cable box. It's all wireless.
All functions of the cable box work (DVR, etc.). You can use the TV remote to control volume, or try and program the cable remote to do this too (cable remotes *are* universal remotes to some degree and can usually do this).

This is all simple and cheap to do (and reliable) if you can run that single cable.
I need to put this into different terms to understand....

Okay, my relative currently has two TVs. They are in separate rooms. Each TV has its own cable outlet and Cox digital box.

If she adds a third TV in a separate area where there currently is no cable outlet, how does the wireless remote extender fit in? And if I understand you correctly, she still needs to have a cable run to the third (vanity) area in any case, correct?

Also, I need help on the term "HDTV" as it relates to TV sets. I have the vague impression that Cox subscribers get HD TV from Cox automatically, so I'm unclear what difference having an HDTV set makes. Or am I confusing an HD signal with HD screen resolution?

azurekep
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:09 pm

azurekep wrote:

Okay, my relative currently has two TVs. They are in separate rooms. Each TV has its own cable outlet and Cox digital box.

If she adds a third TV in a separate area where there currently is no cable outlet, how does the wireless remote extender fit in? And if I understand you correctly, she still needs to have a cable run to the third (vanity) area in any case, correct?


I left out some possibly pertinent detail. Aside from the two active TVs mentioned above, there are two cable outlets that are currently unused. One outlet is only two rooms away from the vanity. Can those in some way fit in with a wireless remote extender scheme?

rgs92
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by rgs92 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:14 pm

OK, I will try to clarify. I hope this helps.
The Cox cable box has 2 output jacks: 1 for HDMI (which carries an HD video signal and stereo audio along a single HDMI cable), and another for simple video+stereo audio along a regular analog "RCA" cable that has 3 connectors, usually Red/White/Yellow (Left/Right/Video).

The TV can connect to either of these cables, but only the HDMI cable will produce an HD picture. But for a small TV, the regular "RCA" cable will produce a fine picture. And this latter cable can be very, very long (100 feet is not problem most often). I use it.

This "RCA" cable is pretty cheap also.

And the audio will actually (to my ears) be better than with an HDMI cable. (I only use HDMI for video even for my main TV, as the analog outputs sound much more natural).

So try and run the RCA cable from the cable box to the TV. You can actually split the RCA cable's outputs into multiple ones with cheap "Y connectors" or, better yet, a small cheap amplified distribution box near the Cable box that takes the analog output from the cable box as input and sends the output to multiple output cables. So the world is your oyster here. So you can send the signal to multiple TVs.

But still, you can't change channels at the TV since you need to control the cable box. The "remote extender" allows you to use the (usually conventional infrared standard) remote control for the Cox cable box anywhere in the house. Otherwise, you could not change channels, use DVR functions, or do anything else with the cable box. (The volume and power for the TV is controlled by the TV's own remote. So there will be 2 remotes. You might be able to program the Cox remote to control these for the specific TV. I do this.)

I hope this is understandable. Thanks and good luck.

rgs92
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by rgs92 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:27 pm

As far as cable outputs go, if you can find the source of it and it's near the cable box, you can run a coax cable from the coax output of the cable box and send the output to the one by the TV. The cable box will usually put this on channel 3 or 4 (and you can configure it to any unused channel in your area usually).

But I think these outlets come from outside the house and are meant to have a separate cable box connected to it, for which you will pay for each month ($10-$20?). There will be a remote control with each cable box and fully independent control, so no extender system is needed. It's just adding a TV to the system. But then you get a cable box on your vanity or wherever.

If you put the additional cable box in a nearby room, you will also need the remote extender to control this new cable box.

(Side note: some systems like DISH network actually offer UHF remotes, which incorporates remote-extender capability natively, but I don't think any one else does this. Most systems use conventional "infrared" line-of-sight remote technology. I doubt that Cox offers anything like UHF remotes, but I'm not absolutely sure as I'm not familiar with the Cox system.)
Last edited by rgs92 on Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

spammagnet
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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by spammagnet » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:28 pm

runner3081 wrote:Yeah, this is good to know. We had COX and were receiving 70+ channels free for years. Then they went digital on them all and you can not get a single channel without a box, which means a subscription.
You can get a mini-box converter for free, I think. They announced plans to charge $2.99 "in the future". I don't know if that started, yet.

You can't get premium channels with it, as far as I know. As her interest is news, there's plenty available on broadcast which you can get with the box. I think you can also get extended channels like 24-hour news channels, if desired.

The primary driver for Cox to switch to all-digital and require a box was to enable them to leave the signal on all the time. Now it no longer requires a service trip to activate your signal. They just mail you the box or pick it up at the store and they activate the mac address of the box. Their labor savings is huge. Of course, they sell it as a convenience to the subscriber (which it is), as they don't have to be home for the visit.

Whether Cox would charge to extend the cable within the house, I don't know.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by runner3081 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:48 pm

spammagnet wrote:
runner3081 wrote:Yeah, this is good to know. We had COX and were receiving 70+ channels free for years. Then they went digital on them all and you can not get a single channel without a box, which means a subscription.
You can get a mini-box converter for free, I think. They announced plans to charge $2.99 "in the future". I don't know if that started, yet.
Not if you don't subscribe, which was our situation. We were getting free cable as they hardly ever put filters on lines anymore. Our service was Internet only ;)

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:21 am

rgs92 wrote:OK, I will try to clarify. I hope this helps.
The Cox cable box has 2 output jacks: 1 for HDMI (which carries an HD video signal and stereo audio along a single HDMI cable), and another for simple video+stereo audio along a regular analog "RCA" cable that has 3 connectors, usually Red/White/Yellow (Left/Right/Video).

The TV can connect to either of these cables, but only the HDMI cable will produce an HD picture. But for a small TV, the regular "RCA" cable will produce a fine picture. And this latter cable can be very, very long (100 feet is not problem most often). I use it.
I'm wondering.... One of the active TVs is in the master bedroom, which is next to the vanity area. It uses a minibox and HDMI cable. It sounds like I can use an RCA cable with the same minibox and wind it around the bedroom to the vanity area. If that's the case, two TVs would be using the same minibox, while paying for one minibox only.
But still, you can't change channels at the TV since you need to control the cable box. The "remote extender" allows you to use the (usually conventional infrared standard) remote control for the Cox cable box anywhere in the house. Otherwise, you could not change channels, use DVR functions, or do anything else with the cable box.
Okay, I see now.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:31 am

spammagnet wrote:
You can get a mini-box converter for free, I think. They announced plans to charge $2.99 "in the future". I don't know if that started, yet.
It's started. The TV package my relative gets uses this $2.99 minibox -- one for each TV. Oddly, for a cheaper package, a different box is used, which costs more. Go figure. In any case, the proliferation of different types of boxes is confusing.
Whether Cox would charge to extend the cable within the house, I don't know.
Will soon find out.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:35 am

runner3081 wrote:
spammagnet wrote:
runner3081 wrote:Yeah, this is good to know. We had COX and were receiving 70+ channels free for years. Then they went digital on them all and you can not get a single channel without a box, which means a subscription.
You can get a mini-box converter for free, I think. They announced plans to charge $2.99 "in the future". I don't know if that started, yet.
Not if you don't subscribe, which was our situation. We were getting free cable as they hardly ever put filters on lines anymore. Our service was Internet only ;)
You're saying that you're paying for internet only from Cox but are getting cable TV for free?!! Is it the economy package? ... the one that mainly includes the regular networks like ABC, NBC and CBS?

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Mudpuppy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:29 pm

azurekep wrote:
runner3081 wrote:
spammagnet wrote:
runner3081 wrote:Yeah, this is good to know. We had COX and were receiving 70+ channels free for years. Then they went digital on them all and you can not get a single channel without a box, which means a subscription.
You can get a mini-box converter for free, I think. They announced plans to charge $2.99 "in the future". I don't know if that started, yet.
Not if you don't subscribe, which was our situation. We were getting free cable as they hardly ever put filters on lines anymore. Our service was Internet only ;)
You're saying that you're paying for internet only from Cox but are getting cable TV for free?!! Is it the economy package? ... the one that mainly includes the regular networks like ABC, NBC and CBS?
IMHO, this poster wasn't obtaining the cable TV legally before the change. Cox forgot to install an Internet-only filter (or installed a bad one) on their line when they went to Internet-only, so they could technically receive the signal even though they were not paying for it. And that's all I'll say on the matter, because more depth would traipse on the edge of the forum rules.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by House Blend » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:13 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
azurekep wrote:
runner3081 wrote:
spammagnet wrote:
runner3081 wrote:Yeah, this is good to know. We had COX and were receiving 70+ channels free for years. Then they went digital on them all and you can not get a single channel without a box, which means a subscription.
You can get a mini-box converter for free, I think. They announced plans to charge $2.99 "in the future". I don't know if that started, yet.
Not if you don't subscribe, which was our situation. We were getting free cable as they hardly ever put filters on lines anymore. Our service was Internet only ;)
You're saying that you're paying for internet only from Cox but are getting cable TV for free?!! Is it the economy package? ... the one that mainly includes the regular networks like ABC, NBC and CBS?
IMHO, this poster wasn't obtaining the cable TV legally before the change. Cox forgot to install an Internet-only filter (or installed a bad one) on their line when they went to Internet-only, so they could technically receive the signal even though they were not paying for it. And that's all I'll say on the matter, because more depth would traipse on the edge of the forum rules.
Ages ago, back when basic cable could be viewed without a box, I resumed my basic cable subscription after some time abroad. Was told "We're out of filters, so for now you'll be getting HBO for free."

That lasted for a few years. I remember it was during the original run of the Sopranos, so well worth it. ;-)

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Pajamas » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:19 pm

Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick, as long as the news show she wants to watch is available on the internet and she has a computer with internet.

Otherwise, just pay the cable company or someone else to run a cable line to where she wants it.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:32 pm

Toons wrote:Vizio
Walmart.
:happy
Bought a 24" 1080 p for $100 yesterday. They didn't have the 19" $65 in stock. Spend another 20 for an indoor antenna. Digital over the air stations reach 75 miles and there are far more of them than the number from the old days.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Ice-9 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:12 pm

VaR wrote:1. Does she have internet and wifi?
2. Does she have a favorite news channel?
3. Do you think it is at all possible that she could be a candidate to be a cord-cutter? Then she could avoid the whole pay-per-tv model that Cox has.

Personal anecdote: My wife and I converted our non-tech savvy aunt to use Roku. Well, it's really the kids who have taken on the daily lessons. We just taught the kids and they're teaching her.
I agree on Roku or similar device. Since news is the big draw, I also suggest SlingTV subscription ($20/month for "orange" or $25 for "blue" which includes NBC stations) plus their additional News stations for additional $5 per month.

Offers on free/discounted devices with a two-month subscription to Sling: https://www.sling.com/devices/offers
Sling News Extra $5/mo: https://www.sling.com/programming/news

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by sschoe2 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:21 pm

I got a tuner for my large computer monitor. I don't watch much TV this way I have dual purpose and save space, electricity and money. I use HDhomerun but there are a a lot of decent tuners out there. The HDHomerun can network the TV everywhere via wifi.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by inbox788 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:30 pm

I got a SlingBox (different from sling.com) to solve this type of problem, but have yet to hook it up. It requires a wireless network and media player and app (roku, firestick, etc.). It's a place-shifting TV problem/solution. I did some testing and it had all the parts, but some limitations. Mainly, the advantage would be that you wouldn't need another cable box. Also, you can watch away from home (also at home) on phones and tablets.

https://www.amazon.com/Sling-Media-Slin ... B00PJ3MGYG

Most cable remotes are universal and programmable, and they work with most recent TVs. Give it a try.

https://cdn.comcast.com/support/pdfs/re ... button.pdf
https://www.xfinity.com/support/cable-t ... ty-remote/

You can also buy an inexpensive universal remote.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by runner3081 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:50 pm

azurekep wrote:
runner3081 wrote:
spammagnet wrote:
runner3081 wrote:Yeah, this is good to know. We had COX and were receiving 70+ channels free for years. Then they went digital on them all and you can not get a single channel without a box, which means a subscription.
You can get a mini-box converter for free, I think. They announced plans to charge $2.99 "in the future". I don't know if that started, yet.
Not if you don't subscribe, which was our situation. We were getting free cable as they hardly ever put filters on lines anymore. Our service was Internet only ;)
You're saying that you're paying for internet only from Cox but are getting cable TV for free?!! Is it the economy package? ... the one that mainly includes the regular networks like ABC, NBC and CBS?
Yes, for about 3 years. We cancelled TV, kept internet and still received the channels. Actually didn't realize it for about 6 months until I bought a TV at a garage sale and was testing it, surprised that we still had the same channels!

Someone mentioned illegal below, that is not the case, Cox was just too lazy to send someone out to put a filter on. No illegal box or other methods were used.

Now that they have gone digital, it doesn't work like that anymore. Which is fine, because TV is basically a waste of time.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:42 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Now that they have gone digital, it doesn't work like that anymore.
That was going to be my next question... It seems nothing works without a "box" of some type now.

I checked into the price of running a new cable and it will be under $100, plus the $2.99/mo. for the additional minibox. A Cox remote is part of the package so no need to buy a separate TV remote. That seems reasonable enough. I'll look into the other options that don't involve a computer or computer-like interface, but this seems good enough.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Toons » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:06 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Toons wrote:Vizio
Walmart.
:happy
Bought a 24" 1080 p for $100 yesterday. They didn't have the 19" $65 in stock. Spend another 20 for an indoor antenna. Digital over the air stations reach 75 miles and there are far more of them than the number from the old days.
+1
Bingo :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by rgs92 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:25 pm

The problem with over the air TV is that there usually is no DVR (I think).
I find it impossible to watch TV without one.
Even in the pre-DVR days, I could only bear to watch with a VCR to fast forward or rewind.
Even if I watch CNBC I need to watch it delayed to skip over the junk.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by azurekep » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:58 pm

rgs92 wrote:The problem with over the air TV is that there usually is no DVR (I think).
There are also no 24-hour news stations over the air. At least not that I've heard of.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by rgs92 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:45 pm

They play daytime network TV at the gym I use. I often think to torture someone all you need to do is strap them to a chair and force them to watch it.
Maybe it is good for Guantanamo.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by Hypersion » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:57 pm

On black Friday for $100 I got a 32" Samsung smart TV with WIFI and a true web browser where the OP's friend could watch any news channel she wanted.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by spammagnet » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:22 pm

rgs92 wrote:The problem with over the air TV is that there usually is no DVR (I think).
I don't advise it for this "cheap tv" application but a TiVo Bolt (not +) will record OTA TV or cable, including encrypted premium channels. It can't connect to both at the same time but I'm not sure why you'd want OTA if you had cable. In addition to the purchase of the device, you pay an annual subscription for the service, ~$180.

I compared the 3 yr total cost to comparable cable and satellite options and it's about 1/3 of the cost, and that includes a decent attic antenna. I did not count the cost of internet, Netflix or Amazon Prime because we already have those and won't change them, either way. For someone who doesn't already subscribe to a streaming service, that additional cost should be part of the analysis, but it's still cheaper.

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Re: Cheap TV Set-up for Limited Daily Use

Post by rgs92 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:46 am

Interesting. Thanks for that. Tivo has always been kind of a mystery to me.

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