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New Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-15-2008

Can I connect a NON-HD tv to an HD TV box??

HI,

I have just recently got digital preferred plus from Comcast and they gave me a Motorola DCT2524 cable box. I am frustrated because this box only has composite video out, which is one of the worst video out signals possible.

My question is... could I change it for their HD cable box and get regular (non-HD) picture to my non-HD TV, or would I see a garbled or incomplete image?

Yea, yea...I know. I should get an HD TV...but that ain't an option right now.

Or is there another standard cable box from Comcast that has better video out options? **bleep**, even S-video would be OK right now!

Thanks
Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Can I connect a NON-HD tv to an HD TV box??

I've had a DCT 2200 for many years, and it has both composite and component outputs.

But I assume if you get an HD box, it only outputs an HD signal when you're viewing an HD channel.
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,670
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Can I connect a NON-HD tv to an HD TV box??

That isn't true.  The HD boxes output composite and s-video signals that work fine on a non-HD TV.  All outputs are active at all times, for HD and SD channels.
Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Can I connect a NON-HD tv to an HD TV box??

[ Edited ]
That's even better. So it down-converts the HD signal from the network to SD when it's sending to the SD outputs?

But what's the point? Aren't the HD channels all duplicates of SD channels? Won't you see the same thing if you just tune to the SD channel? I guess this would be useful if you had two TVs connected to the cable box, and only one of them is HD -- you could see the better picture on the HDTV, but still be able to watch the regular TV at the same time.

Message Edited by Barmar on 10-15-2008 10:17 PM
Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,670
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Can I connect a NON-HD tv to an HD TV box??

[ Edited ]
Yes.

(This was only a response to the initial question -- as to whether the SD outputs were always available.)



Message Edited by WarEagle57 on 10-16-2008 06:44 AM
Recognized Contributor
Posts: 596
Registered: ‎06-27-2006

Re: Can I connect a NON-HD tv to an HD TV box??

No. Not all HD's are duplicates of existing SD's just the vast majority. On my lineup we have MOJO (apparently this goes away soon), MGM, HD Theater, Universal HD & Palladia that have no SD's. Rumor has it that there are also more coming, at least to some areas of the country, and once (maybe a long time from now for some areas) all current SD's have been duplicated on the HD side I'd expect there to be even more standalone HD's...
 
But I assume if you get an HD box, it only outputs an HD signal when you're viewing an HD channel...
 
Yes & No. If you have an HD converter it's able to tune in HD channels & content, regardless of your type of tv. When using the SD connections out (Composite & S-Video) the box must downconvert HD to SD if any signal is output at all because those connections are not capable of carrying HD-quality signals, again independent of the tv type. When using the HD-capable connections (Component, DVI, HDMI) what actually gets output depends on the program content & your converter settings...
 
So to the OP's question, yes you can get an HD box & run SD-quality connections to your non-HD tv. Sounds like you're exploring getting an HD box for the higher-level connections they offer & you didn't specify whether you were actually trying to watch HD channels via your setup (and what type of inputs your tv has). I've never actually tried to watch an HD channel via my HD box using Composite or S-Video connects but I would think it would work (by first getting downconverted within the box). As WarEagle pointed out, all connections are always active so for HD's you'll either get no video/audio only (like I used to get using my SD box) or a downconverted version. Maybe someone else has actually done this & can confirm...
 
Silver Problem Solver
andyross
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎10-17-2003

Re: Can I connect a NON-HD tv to an HD TV box??

As mentioned, the composite/S-Video always output 480i. Further, by adjusting settings in the user configuration, you can also set the component/digital outputs to 480i. In fact, if you want to see the on-screen graphics for HD channels, you need to do this.
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How_to_use_a_Motorola_DVR/Setup

You also get the option of digital audio output, so you can connect it to a receiver for surround sound.

Be aware you will be charged extra for the HD box. My area just increased the charge to $8.99/month. It was $7.