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Old 05-11-2021, 04:28 AM   #1
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Cable TV question

This issue has come up recently on a trip to FL and need advice from those smarter than I am with troubleshooting:
1) We have 3 factory installed Vizio TV's (2018 model), a cable coax input in the house power bay, a wall switch to change from cable to antenna and auxiliary tv coax connector in a bay, along with a Winegard roof mount satellite for DirecTV.
2) On this trip through FL, we have been unable to find digital cable channels in two RV parks yet have no problem finding analog. I must assume both signals ride in on the same coax, so there is no reason to believe the digital signals are heading elsewhere as the analog cable TV channels come in fine.
3) Digital antenna signals come in fine. Satellite is not HD since it is an in-motion. Seems the most parks we visit are analog only or digital only and occasionally we find one that is both.
4) The Vizio TV's have no apparent digital/analog selector in the menu setup process and have had no problems in the past finding digital channels.
5) In one of the parks a few days ago, one of the workers attached his digital cable TV tester to the end of my coax input cable and was receiving a good signal.
Any troubleshooting ideas on what is happening to the digital cable signal would be much appreciated. My wife likes to watch a couple of network shows and I like watching local news/weather wherever we land and we usually find ourselves out of reliable antenna range.
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:56 AM   #2
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Many if not all cable systems now require a box to receive digital channels. Over the last several years anytime I go to a CG with cable all I get are analog, non HD stuff and for the most part lousy reception. Some CG’s provide a box to use while you’re there.
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Old 05-11-2021, 05:06 AM   #3
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I discovered that in Sunshine Key, FL., that the new cable system requires a " QAM " compatable TV or a QAM converter box.

The box is less the $20.
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Old 05-11-2021, 05:49 AM   #4
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I know at least in my area, Comcast encrypts all the digital HD channels, so the only way to get them is to rent a box from them... No third party boxes you can buy will work.

If you don't rent the box, then you are limited to analog SD channels.
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Old 05-11-2021, 05:57 AM   #5
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Thanks - right now, we are at Boyds in Key West. No problem here - all analog.
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:25 AM   #6
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The problem with renting the digital cable box is that they are often difficult to connect to your RV entertainment equipment. You need access to the coax cable coming in from the post, and the inputs (hopefully HDMI) on the back of your TV. (And some knowledge of how to select the correct input on your TV.) And a place to put the box. Fortunately I have a DVR with a QAM tuner, as well as an analog tuner. If the digital cable is encrypted, I will do without. I am not going to wire in a cable box unless I have a really long stay and no other choice.

You can't blame the campground. They are stuck with whatever the local cable company provides to them, and they do not know how to access your connections.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:07 PM   #7
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We have been in 30 parks in the past year. Most had cable. None required anything other than connecting the cable to our coach. Then from each TV I do a channel scan.
Most parks have more digital channels than analog.

Samsung TV’s from 2017.

Why would a campground have cable that requires a box? Maybe if it is a place that people stay long term.

We do have to make sure our TV antenna / booster is turned off to use cable.

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Old 05-12-2021, 10:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RVFunlovers View Post
Why would a campground have cable that requires a box?
Sometimes the box may be nothing more than a QAM (aka digital) tuner. At a campground I worked, we had digital cable but many of the campers had TVs without QAM tuners . . . so we lent out these boxes.
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