In the early days of cable television, local companies began introducing the “box” as a way to conveniently transmit the programming to customers who did not own a cable-ready television. Today, almost every TV that comes off the assembly line has these capabilities built into them, yet the HDTV cable box is still ubiquitous. This is because premium television and digital cable has necessitated the continued need for these tuners. Additionally, many cable companies put their own particular scrambling into their programming. The licensed box is needed to unscramble these signals.
Hooking up the HDTV Cable Box
In an ideal world, your cable company will be happy to come out and hook up your cable box for you. If you can’t afford the time to set up an appointment, are planning to switch out televisions, or bought a third party box, you will need to do it yourself. Here’s a simple guide to doing just that. As with anything, the specific instructions may differ slightly according to which model you’ve rented or purchased.
Step One – Place the Box
Find a place for your cable box. Ideally, you’ll want to set it just underneath or right beside the television. The cords that come with these devices are not very long and can be an eyesore if you place the box far away from the target TV. Try to find a median distance between the TV and the cable jack.
Step Two – Connect the Cable
To activate your home’s cable, you’ll need to attach the coaxial cable to the box. This is the cable through which your home’s cable TV signal will be transmitted. Insert the end of the cable into the correct port and twist it until it is securely fastened.
Step Three – Your HDMI Cable
An HDMI cable is essential in today’s television landscape, allowing you to get the best in video and audio quality. Use one to connect the cable box to your television.
Step Four – Set Up Your Box
Plug the cable box into the wall, turn on your TV, and you should be ready to go. On some televisions, you may have to navigate to the Input selection menu and set it to the HDMI input to control the box.
Resetting Your HDTV Cable Box
Power surges, electrical glitches, and a variety of unexpected occurrences could prevent your cable box from working correctly. While any one of these things could send you to the cable company for a new box, that may not be necessary. If you are experiencing problems with your box, try resetting it. Power cycling often works to bring a box back to its full functionality. To do this, unplug your box from the electrical outlet and wait approximately thirty seconds. Some boxes will fully reset within ten, but give it the extra time to make sure. Plug the box back in, turn it on, and it should reset. Avoid doing this if you are particular about your settings or have spent a lot of time programming it manually, as these settings will be lost.
Buying Your Own HDTV Cable Box
Some people don’t like the idea of renting the box from their cable company and would prefer to buy their own. While cable companies are required by law to provide technological support for customers who wish to do this, the reality is usually a bit murky. Customers often have problems finding the right hardware to get the programming they want to watch. Even worse, many customers are misled by auction site listings for secondhand boxes. These boxes are often company-specific and may not work with your particular cable subscription. The bottom line? If you want to watch cable through your local provider with as little hassle as possible, resign yourself to renting the box. As of now, it’s still the best way to enjoy cable television.