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Descrambling cable

Posted on 2006-04-19
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I have basic cable coming into my house.  However, I do not have a cable box.  There are some channels that I can barely see because they are messed up.  For example, the golf channel is in black and white, a bit fuzzy, and I can only here white noise.  

I want to know if there is a box that I can buy, perhaps off ebay, that will take the cable signal I have currently with comcast, and descramble the channels.
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Question by:mintsii
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Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16487714
this is a question that shouldn't be asked here at EE
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Author Comment

by:mintsii
ID: 16487778
Its an educational experiment.
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by:jdietrich
ID: 16487911
Right
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 16487949
What year was your T.V. made?  It is labled "Cable Ready".  If  your T.V. is "new" (made in the last 5 years) and is cable readn and you are supposed to be able to receive the problem channles, contact Comcast.  

If you have a older T.V., then contact Comcast to see what cable boxes are compatiable with their system.

If the problem channels are not part of your package, then anything you do to descramble them is illegal.
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Author Comment

by:mintsii
ID: 16488027
My tv is new. Im looing for a piece of hardware that will descramble the channels that are fuzzy.. how do I know which piece of hardware to get?
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by:humeniuk
ID: 16488129
Ask Comcast.
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Author Comment

by:mintsii
ID: 16488200
YOU are missing the point.  You are not giving me the answer to my question.  If you have nothing to offer, you dont need to repeat your first post in a different way.
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Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 16488351
NO you are are missing the point.

The answer has been provided.  You need to contact your cable provider no matter what.  If you paid for the channels they need to fix it.  If you did not pay for the channles they are scrambled for a reason.  If you want to get pay services, then you need cable box that is compatiable with Comcast's system where you are located and only Comcast can tell you that.

Just because it is not the answer you expected, does not mean that it is not the answer.
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Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 16489141
O.K. Educate us, what did Comcast say?

And, IMHO, buying a box that can do this is NOT and educational experiment.  How much education does it take to buy something that is already designed to do what you want?

Now, building a box that can do this IS an educational experiment.  But building a box to even just decode cable would be an experiment, no need to descrable it.  Again IMHO.

All we could do is point you in the direction of cable box makers, we can't tell you which exact one will do what you want unless we knew which type of scrambling your local Comcast does.  Comcast is a collection of smaller cable providers which used their own equipment and standards for scrambling channels.  No all Comcast locations use the same equipment, so what works with my Comcast may not work with yours.  In fact where I live there are 3 or 4 different "Comcast areas" and the box that works at my house, does not work at my parents house who live 7 miles away.
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arthurjb earned 2000 total points
ID: 16489146
Boys, Boys, Boys.

Forget if he is trying to steal services or not, since the technology has changed a lot in the last few years.

Here is why you cannot get what you want without contacting the cable provider;

In the past, a single was "Scrambled" by placing another signal on a very close frequency, which would interfere with your television's ability to lock onto the actual channel.  The "Descrambling Cable" was actually a notch filter tuned to the frequency of the interfering signal, blocking it from reaching the TV, so that the TV could again lock onto the original signal. So, by adding the "Descrambling Cable" you could get the channel.  (Yes, it is a simplification, but generally correct...)

The current technology in most places now inserts a signal block into the line that stops the paid channels from reaching the customer's TV.  No filter is perfect, so some signal leaks through which is why you can see ghosts of the signal, or snowy pictures.  Nothing that you can (reasonably) do will boost that signal to a useable level.  

If you call the cable company, they will send someone out to remove the trap, allowing you to see the channel(s), at the same time increasing your bill to the amount required for viewing the channel(s).

If you find the trap (usually located on a pole) and remove it yourself, you will then be a criminal. In my area, the traps are viewable from the road, and every few months they preform a sight (visual) survey to verify that the traps are still in place.

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Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16494580
@AnnieMod....I apologize..Hawaiian Superman came out.
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