Cable Television

If you subscribe to a Cable service provider, you will be affected by the analog to digital transition now, or in the very near future.

There was a compromise adopted by the FCC that stated cable television companies were required to continue offering local commercial broadcast signals in analog format to be viewed on analog TVs for a period of at least three years after the analog to digital transition on June 12, 2009.

Now that the deadline has passed, Cable companies are
switching to all digital cable service.

According a consumer advisory published by the FCC, cable companies are switching now to digital programming.

This was a business decision made by the cable companies and not a requirement of the federal government.

What does that mean to you?

It means you will need to rent a digital cable box (also know as digital converter box or digital receiver), a Digital TV Adapter or a CableCard from your cable company to watch cable TV.

Digital Cable Box

A digital cable box (also known as a digital set-top box, digital converter box or digital receiver) processes digital-quality signals. With this box, you can view the on-screen channel guide, On Demand programming and commercial-free music channels.

Digital TV Adapter

A digital television adapter is a small device that allows digital television signals to be displayed on your analog TV. When using an adapter, you won’t have access to the on-screen channel guide or On Demand programming.


A CableCARD can be used with TiVo or a CableCARD-ready TV set to access video services without having to rent a cable box or adapter.
Using a CableCARD device instead of a digital converter means you will only be able to receive one-way digital cable channels and not be able to receive On Demand, pay-per-view, or the interactive programming guide.

Digital QAM Tuner

A QAM Tuner allows the reception of unencrypted digital cable signals from your cable company without a converter box.

  • If you have a Digital QAM tuner built-in your TV or another digital device, you don’t need a cable box, adapter or card to view limited basic cable channels.
  • Whether or not you have a digital QAM tuner, you’ll need a cable box, adapter, or CableCard to view expanded basic cable channels.
  • The Kworld KW-SA295-Q DE Digital TV Tuner Box has a QAM tuner for digital cable reception and an ATSC tuner for over-the-air broadcast reception. It also has HDMI, DVI and VGA ports and supports MP3/JPG playback from a USB input.

    Some digital recorders such as TiVo, and new TV sets have digital cable tuners (QAM) and slots for CableCards. These cards are plugged into the slots to allow HDTV and other cable features.

    Please note:
    In most cases, if you also want high-definition TV (HDTV) from your cable company, it requires a digital cable box or a CableCard and has an additional fee.

    As more and more programming is provided in high-definition, you may also want to consider upgrading your analog TV to a Digital TV to take advantage of the picture improvements made possible by digital television.

    EZ Tips for Buying a New Digital TV Set


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    The Digital Transition

    Digital Recorders