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Want to watch Cable on my computer monitor

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Cobalt60

New Member
My apartment has basic cable. I would like to be able to watch TV on a computer monitor. My cable company only rents out their cable boxes that have the coax input and hdmi output (I didnt check for an analog output). I simply do not want to rent the hardware required for this, but want to own it. I would like to point out that what Im trying to do is completely legitimate in case theres any confusion.

My computer monitor has a regular VGA (15 pin) input, as well as a DVI input. It is currently connected to my computer via DVI -> HDMI -> DVI.

So this device requires:

1 - A coax input, and an output that is compatible with my monitor.
2 - A remote control for changing channels.
3 - Spending as little money as possible.
4 - To be a standalone device independent of my PC

I would like to point out that I am a professional electronics technician, so gutting a device and custom soldering is not a problem. So I would have no problem salvaging the required parts from a TV or DVD player, and I would have no problem adding a VGA connector (which I have from old video cards) so long as the signal is compatible.

If an inexpensive device already exists, you might as well let me know. Otherwise, please share your thoughts.

Thanks!

-Chris P
 

BrownOut

Banned
I just use the line out connector on the back of my TV, and watch on my computer using Media Center, which also serves as my PVR. Only down side is TV has be be on. Or, I could just connect a demodulator. I could connect dirctly to my computer's demodulator, but I don't want to have to use the computer's remote control. I'd rather just use the one provided by my cable company.
 
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Cobalt60

New Member
Id really like to own the device though.

Further more, I have my own secondary account with internet only. So, I couldnt even technically rent the box myself.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Id really like to own the device though.

Further more, I have my own secondary account with internet only. So, I couldnt even technically rent the box myself.

That doesn't mean you can steal cable - connecting a device you built yourself would be stealing.

But a VGA monitor is a completely unsuitable device anyway.
 

HarveyH42

Banned
The cable box is part of the service, if you aren't paying for cable service, you won't have any use for the box, except to steal service. That is why you can't own the box, it's programmed for the channels you pay for. I don't watch enough TV, nor am I thrilled with the billing policy, so never had cable. If you search the internet, there are probably places that still sell cable boxes, and SIM cards, maybe you can find something that will work. Since a lot of folks want what other folks have, without paying for it, most likely a cable box forum or two out there. Good start would be to enter the model number of your cable box, or one of your neighbors, that fits your needs into Google, which should give a list of links.

Nigel, why is a VGA monitor unsuitable? Been using a 19" LCD computer monitor as a TV since last spring, when the old 55" arced, sparked, and died. Only problems are that it's tiny, compared to the TV is sits on, need separate speakers/amp, and noticed one night, that back light wasn't turning off with pushing the power button, but it's an old monitor. Using it, because it happened to have a composite input.
 

Cobalt60

New Member
Guys let me be VERY CLEAR. I am NOT trying to steal cable. This is for my bedroom. I do not wish to have a CRT in my bedroom. I want to use my 17 inch LCD now, and perhaps upgrade to a different COMPUTER MONITOR later.

in the other rooms of my house, there IS NO CABLE BOX, yet we still get cable (which is PAID FOR). The cable plugs directly into the TV
That doesn't mean you can steal cable - connecting a device you built yourself would be stealing.
You are absolutely incorrect. I am simply trying to build a tuner for a monitor that doesnt have one built in. The only thing I am trying to do is built an EXTERNAL TUNER to be used with an LCD that doesnt have one built in.

The cable box is part of the service, if you aren't paying for cable service, you won't have any use for the box, except to steal service. That is why you can't own the box, it's programmed for the channels you pay for.

I tried to be perfectly clear on my first post. What Im asking IS NOT ILLEGAL IN ANYWAY, IT IS NOT STEALING. PLEASE DO NOT CLAIM WHAT IM DOING IS STEALING BECAUSE IT IS NOT. I Have a room mates account with my cable company. I pay for the internet, and my room mate pays for the Cable TV. My room mates dont care about internet enough to pay for it, and I dont care for TV enough to pay for it. But while I live in a place where the cable is PAID for, I am perfectly able (LEGALLY) to use it. Quite simply, I do not want to use what is defined as a TV by definition (with a tuner built in). Instead, I want the tuner elements to be external to my computer monitor, or any COMPUTER monitor I may purchase in the future.

Thank you

-Chris P
 

BrownOut

Banned
Yes, cable is available without a box. I can get my cable and not use the box, unless I want to see one of the premium channels. You only need a tuner card for your computer. That should get you going.
 

tblo163

New Member
I don't have cable TV,so I can't really coment on it,but I know that Windows Media Centre does give the option to select Analogue,Cable or Digi box.I've tried several so called "capture devices" and none have been satisfactory.My system allready had a TV card installed,which has an analogue co-axial socket,RCA(audio) Composit & S-Video.I know you can get them with the Cable connection as well.(I've seen them on ebay) Since I use AVS4YOU programs for all my converting and video projects,I use their Video recorder to watch digital free view,I can receive all 98 channels,and record them as well.This is a cheap way to access digital tv.you can get a digi box for the price of TV-ready-meal!You can also receive analogue channels if you have the conexant drivers installed.Not knowing what part of the world you are from,limits the sugestions.
Good luck
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Apparently neither Nigel or Harvey are reading Cobalts posts correctly. The apartment complex provides basic cable, he either doesn't have a TV or doesn't want to use it for some reason. He has cable modem access at his apartment separately.

Cable boxes are NOT REQUIRED for cable TV service, excluding digital service or encoded channels, as just about every TV out there has been cable ready for a very long time.

A simple google search for "Stand alone VGA cable tuner" and links such as
**broken link removed**

I saw at least a half dozen others, the only two I clicked on were 30-40 dollars or so. I'm definitely wondering why you don't just use a TV though =\ Or a TV tuner for the PC, cheaper.
 

Cobalt60

New Member
That is why you can't own the box, it's programmed for the channels you pay for.

my room mates pay for the least expensive cable, I am just trying to get like 20 channels. If I rented that Digital box for $7 a month, I would still only get 20 channels. But I know that box would work since it has the cable input and HDMI output.

I don't watch enough TV

Me neither which is why I dont even chip in for the cable bill. I can stay entertained with what (little) there is available LEGITIMATELY free on the internet (which I pay $44 a month for).

nor am I thrilled with the billing policy

Cable requires no contract, DSL does. I primarily am interested in gaming performance (low latency) and the 12.5mbps service i have now seems slightly slower than the 2.5mbps DSL I used to have. I only got cable due to its, IMHO, superior billing policy.

Since a lot of folks want what other folks have, without paying for it, most likely a cable box forum or two out there.

Everyone wants free stuff. Personally, I dont take the risk. As a technician I am trusted to repair devices which cost upwards of $1000, and am trusted to order parts that cost hundreds of dollars. If I wanted to steal an MCU that costs $300 I could, but I dont, because of what is to me obvious reasons.

Nigel, why is a VGA monitor unsuitable? Been using a 19" LCD computer monitor as a TV since last spring, when the old 55" arced, sparked, and died. Only problems are that it's tiny, compared to the TV is sits on, need separate speakers/amp,

Actually I was concerned about resolution too. My LCD only does down to 800x600, and I dont think I get any HD channels. But it does bring up the point that in addition to video outputs, I need an audio out. My computer is hooked up to an old stereo receiver (320W, 4 x stereo outputs), which is in turn hooked up to 2 pairs of speakers and a 110W sub w built in amp and pass thru to one of the pairs of normal speakers. A simple headphone jack will suffice, as will RCA red and white.

-Chris P
 
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Cobalt60

New Member
I'm definitely wondering why you don't just use a TV though =\ Or a TV tuner for the PC, cheaper.

I am trying to avoid CRTs. I do have a (CRT) TV at my disposal, but it would exceed the weight limit of the shelf I would put it on. Even though it probably wouldnt collapse it, if it did, it could be hilarious. Umm, yeah I want to stick with LCDs, and I do not have the money to purchase an LCD TV at this time, and would prefer to just be able to use computer monitors (LCDs).

As for not using a PCI card, I have a particular interest in small PCs. My current PC only has one free PCI slot, and I dont necessarily want to use it for this purpose. It would be better used for an audio card for example.
 

Sceadwian

Banned
There are more than a few very good USB tuner cards out there Cobalt... Look into them. The ones that use USB 2.0 are fantastic. Best thing is with Vista, and possibly Windows 7 there are recording features that will effectivly let you turn such a tuner into a DVR, all for only the cost of the USB tuner device, which are quiet cheap. Slightly more expensive than a standalone cable converter that outputs a VGA signal, but with significantly more value added appeal due to it being on a PC that can do other things with the video.
 
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Cobalt60

New Member
Thanks very much Sceadwian. You first solved my problem with the standalone VGA tuner. I apparently just wasnt using the correct keywords in Google. You then went again to point out the USB tuners. A USB tuber does have some very clear advantages and I would enjoy routing the signal through my PC. Now that I know what to look for, I just have some shopping to do.

Thanks!

-Chris P
 

Sceadwian

Banned
You should have plenty of choices, I bought a pretty under performing USB tuner and ended up ditching it and going with a PCI card, but that was over 5 years ago, they've come a LONG way since then and I don't hesitate to suggest looking into them now.

I've run into similar problems on Google, not knowing the right keywords for what you're actually looking for can send you on an information wild goose chase.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Nigel, why is a VGA monitor unsuitable? Been using a 19" LCD computer monitor as a TV since last spring, when the old 55" arced, sparked, and died. Only problems are that it's tiny, compared to the TV is sits on, need separate speakers/amp, and noticed one night, that back light wasn't turning off with pushing the power button, but it's an old monitor. Using it, because it happened to have a composite input.

It's not just a VGA monitor then, because it has a composite input - which is entirely different to VGA. Presumably it includes the required circuitry to convert from composite to VGA, which isn't a simple procedure.

It's very rare to find this on a VGA monitor, and presumably it will have been advertised as including it?.
 

HarveyH42

Banned
It's not just a VGA monitor then, because it has a composite input - which is entirely different to VGA. Presumably it includes the required circuitry to convert from composite to VGA, which isn't a simple procedure.

It's very rare to find this on a VGA monitor, and presumably it will have been advertised as including it?.

No, I bought it used, for $65, a cheap replacement for my XP computer's monitor. Wish I could have gotten more, but they were 'As-Is', and only could tell it powered up, and assured it was from a working system. Think it has three choices of input. It's an HP 2035, if that helps.
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Sounds like you got a good deal, those types of monitors aren't very common.
 
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