Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Digital Cable and the DVR

Our TV is an old hand-me-down Zenith from 20-some years ago.  I couldn't care less about digital cable.  But, when the cable company sent us a letter and numerous e-mails telling us that we needed a converter and that our channels were destined for digital cable, I started to worry.  I ordered the (free) converter, and waited.

It didn't take long to figure out that the converter wouldn't work along with the DVR unless I wanted to change the channel on the converter prior to every show being recorded.  Not gonna happen.  I needed an alternative.  Of course, not knowing how the digital cable thing works I had to now figure out what to do.  Are they encrypting the signal to force me to use a cablecard or their DVR?  What is ATSC? QAM? These things make no sense to me.  Thankfully, I discovered that the tv tuner card I bought has a separate port for digital cable.  Cool.  Split the cable, plug the analog one back in and use the other one on the digital line already in the card I bought and haven't touched in 2 years.  Scan for new channels and all is good.  Scary how easy this was, so crossing my fingers and waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I think I just need to re-setup my recordings.  Not bad.