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digital cable boxes

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This question may seem stupid to someone experienced with cable tv, and I hope it is not a topic which is not allowed here (I apologize in advance if it is). This is my 1st post. I have a subscription to Comcast Cable TV. It is basic, and I never had a box. There was no filter installed on the pole, so prior to comcast going digital last week, I was receiving the same channels that other people were receiving who had the "Full Basic" package. When digital took effect, I lost all the analog signals in all channels above ch 22. So now I only receive about 12 channels/basically local channels (not having a box). I borrowed someones box with 'full basic' service for a quick test. With his box, I receive all "full basic" channels (just like before comcast went digital). Now for my 'stupid question'. If I buy a comcast box from e-bay, can I simply plug it in and receive all open channels, or does a purchased used box have to be "activated" to receive channels?? If it has to be activated...is this something I can do myself with my computer (like in the days of dish and dtv)...or is it the end of the game with cable as with sat tv. If so, I may look back into true FTA and see what's unscrambled on that end. Thank you for your help.

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This question may seem stupid to someone experienced with cable tv, and I hope it is not a topic which is not allowed here (I apologize in advance if it is). This is my 1st post. I have a subscription to Comcast Cable TV. It is basic, and I never had a box. There was no filter installed on the pole, so prior to comcast going digital last week, I was receiving the same channels that other people were receiving who had the "Full Basic" package. When digital took effect, I lost all the analog signals in all channels above ch 22. So now I only receive about 12 channels/basically local channels (not having a box). I borrowed someones box with 'full basic' service for a quick test. With his box, I receive all "full basic" channels (just like before comcast went digital). Now for my 'stupid question'. If I buy a comcast box from e-bay, can I simply plug it in and receive all open channels, or does a purchased used box have to be "activated" to receive channels?? If it has to be activated...is this something I can do myself with my computer (like in the days of dish and dtv)...or is it the end of the game with cable as with sat tv. If so, I may look back into true FTA and see what's unscrambled on that end. Thank you for your help.

when you connected your friends box to your line you were able to view all of the channels that YOUR FRIEND subscribed to, because digital boxes are addressed, such as a computer MAC address, so the BOX is what is being registered, not your connection...

you can not buy a cable box and expect it to work... in fact, you should not be able to buy a box anyhow, since they are not sold, so you would not likely be able to activate any box that someone stole, or never returned and sold to you on the internet...

you CAN use a television with a QAM tuner, or get a television, or set top box such as a TiVO that uses cable cards, and rent a cable card from your cable provider...

you could get a digital converter box from your cable provider - they usually provide 2 or 3 of these to customers for free... these are NOT the same type of digital converter boxes that you could buy at the store for over the air broadcast television - OTA DTV uses different technology than digital cable...

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you CAN use a television with a QAM tuner, or get a television, or set top box such as a TiVO that uses cable cards, and rent a cable card from your cable provider...

You can also use a Cable-TV card in you PC, but be aware that many cable providers wrap the Free-View-Channels up in their encryption scheme. Look for the phrase 'clear-qam'.

If you have decent local Over-the-air broadcast you could get a basic selection of channels via an aerial.

Mungewell.

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I guess it is quite possible the boxes sold on flea bay are hot...I thought they would not allow stolen property to be sold on that site if they had such knowledge. If all the boxes posted are stolen, I'm pretty sure their sale would be banned from ebay...but let us for argument sake say that all boxes listed there are stolen...Before N-3 encryption was introduced to charley and dave, the cards were hacked and wide open. If a box took a hit, simply j-tagging put it right again. Cards could be cloned and EEPROM's manipulated. We all know those days are over, as well as programming FTA boxes to pick up encrypted signals, as no ones done a successful dump of a N-3 card yet.

But it brings me to my next question....Has anyone successfully j-tagged a cable box and cloned it to a working box?? And please, if you are a loyal cable corporate flunky, as I have already spotted some who post here, do not answer this question, as I will immediately know by your response. I am simply curious for testing purposes only...not to 'steal' cable.

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