Digital cable Tv Set Top box
Digital Signals: MCTV systems are 100% digital. This means that any device with an analog TV tuner (TV set, VCR, TiVo, etc.) must be connected to a set-top box in order to receive viewable pictures.
Digital TV Sets: Some digital TV sets are equipped with a digital tuner that is capable of tuning digital TV signals without a set-top box. Furthermore, some digital TV sets are capable of receiving special data, called PSIP data, which provides tuning information to the viewer. This includes on-screen labeling of TV networks and an orderly and systematic tuning pattern. Not all digital TV sets include tuners that can perform these functions. MCTV works to maximize the number of digital TV sets that will work without a set-top box, but cannot guarantee that all sets produced by all manufacturers will work without a set-top box.
Scrambled Signals: Not all subscribers subscribe to every offered service, so we may use scrambling technology to deliver a secure signal to authorized subscribers. Scrambling allows us to change the components of a signal at the cable television transmission center (headend) to render it unviewable without an authorized descrambler. In most cases, the descrambler and set-top box are contained in the same terminal, which is connected in the same way as a set-top box to your entertainment system.
We may scramble all channels above the Lifeline (broadcast) level and customers must then choose from different service options or change their level of service. Whenever a customer subscribes to service levels or channels that are scrambled, a set-top box will be needed, even if they use a “cable-ready” TV.
If you require a set-top box and/or a descrambler, special equipment is available to make your cable service more compatible with your existing equipment. Keep in mind that this special equipment will not enable analog TV tuners to receive digital signals.
Parental Lockout Devices: If you find that any channels you may receive are objectionable or contain questionable material, you can arrange for the installation of a device that will restrict the viewing of that channel. Please call for details.
The Set-Top Box
Having your cable TV connected to your entertainment system allows you the best viewing choices, convenience and value. However, extra steps need to be taken to ensure that cable TV works effectively with various equipment. The information below explains when a TV is compatible with our equipment and when it may not be. If you are unable to find your particular situation, please contact us so that we can work with you to determine the proper cable setup and equipment for you.
MCTV’s television services are delivered via cable by a composite signal called RF broadband. Analog TV receivers cannot tune to the digital signals sent out on this broadband system, including “cable-ready” analog TVs and VCRs. Some digital TV sets can tune the unscrambled digital signals. MCTV cannot guarantee that all digital TV tuners will be able to tune all digital signals. Consult the manufacturer or retailer for information.
If a TV or VCR cannot tune to the channels provided in your cable service, a set-top box must be used to receive the channels and send them to your TV set or VCR. These are available for a nominal monthly fee from MCTV.
The Federal Communications Commission does not allow TVs or VCRs manufactured or imported for sale in the United States after October 31, 1994 to be marketed as “cable-ready” or “cable compatible” without meeting certain bandwidth tuning and other performance standards.
Some services offered use picture scrambling techniques that require the use of a special set-top box in order to get clear reception. Lifeline (broadcast) and some Basic services are not scrambled and can be used freely with digital TV sets with appropriate digital tuners. Analog TVs and VCRs require a set-top box, which we can provide to you. Customers are responsible for their return or will have to pay a fee.
The CableCARD™ is a technology that lets you connect to cable TV without a set-top box on some Digital Cable-ready devices sold at retail. The CableCARD™ provides you with direct access to digital programming, HD programming and subscriptions to premium cable channels. While a CableCARD™ connection offers cable service without a set-top box, there are some cable features you will not be able to access, such as:
- Functions that enable you to stop, fast-forward and replay live TV
- On Demand movies, TV shows and events
- Interactive program guide
Customers who want access to the interactive program guide and other interactive Digital Cable features will want to connect via a digital set-top box. Your personal preferences will determine what connection works best.
A CableCARD™ is available to lease at a monthly fee and is activated and serviced by a MCTV technician to ensure 100% customer satisfaction.