TV/VCR/Stereo Troubleshooting/cable tv


QUESTION: Hi! I have a very simple question. Does a cable provider, like Time Warner, deliver ALL the stations to your TV as EITHER analog or digital, or can it send you some as analog and some as digital?


ANSWER: "Yes" to your question.  

I haven't been on TimeWarner for some time but most cable companies send down their programs in both analog and digital.  The analog is required for those subscribers who are still using the old analog tv sets that have been in their homes for years - although they are being retired rapidly as these old crt sets are getting old and dying out.  Someday in the future the cable companies will surely drop the analog signals and send down only digital or HD transmissions.

The FCC has required that USA cable companies have available a subscriber service that includes the local over the air tv broadcasters.  And, not usually advertised by the cable company, a subscriber can insist on this 'basic' service which is mostly used by those having old 'over the air' users and in which their analog sets can no longer receive the signals because all over the air transmitters are in digital and require either a digital television or a converter that works with the analog sets.

I have probably given you more than you asked for but let me know if you have further questions.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks very much. I am in the process of retiring two analog tvs, and this will be helpful in understanding the process.


Glad to hear of your progress.  I think Target and Radio Shack still carry digital converter boxes for use with antenna on analog tv sets.  Walmart has them in some stores.  

Most buyers of used analog tvs are on a budget and you should advise them to explore the lowest tier cable service.  I don't know about TimeWarner but Comcast basic service which contains all the local broadcasters such as ABC, NBC, CBS and a few others is usually only $12 per month or something like that - depending on location.

Best wishes.  

TV/VCR/Stereo Troubleshooting

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Consumer Electronics of all kinds. Audio, esoteric audio systems and components, video, tv. Digital equipment for consumer use. Ham radio and automotive electronics. Note: I give advice on tv repair based on general consumer electronics engineering experience but I am not engaged in actual repair of sets. MAKE SURE YOU GIVE THE MAKE AND MODEL NUMBER AND AGE OF THE SET. BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR THE RETURN ANSWER DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS AS I TRY TO REPLY TO ALL QUESTIONS WITHIN THE SAME DAY IF NOT THE SAME HOUR.


Electrical Engineering; recording, broadcasting, design, international standards, tv and radio theory and practice.

FELLOW of AES (Audio Engineering Society)
Senior Life Member of IEEE (Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers)
International Consulting Organization

IEEE Spectrum
Various Consumer Electronic publications


Awards and Honors
Famous Engineer for Digital Audio

©2017 All rights reserved.