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I believe this question has already been answered here:
However, I'd like to confirm. I'm building a gym in the basement and would like a low cost TV in there to watch sports (for me) and HGTV (for the wife). I don't want the expense (monthly fee) or the hassle (where to put the device/deal with additional cables in the small room) of a STB.
It seems like the only option is to buy a TV with a QAM tuner and only receive local, non-HD channels. Do I understand this correctly?
I have a FiOS package with multi-room DVR supporting 2 TVs already. I don't even care about HD in the gym, but looking for ESPN, HGTV and other non-local channels without a STB.
The only channels you'll pick up with with a QAM Tuner and no cable card are your local channels in both SD and HD and the public access / government access channels local to your area. ESPN, HGTV, etc ... require a box from Verizon or a Cable Card as these channels are all encrypted. Good luck if you're looking for even a small TV with a cable card slot. They don't seem to have caught on.
The only option for not using a box to receive the channels you refereced is to run a line from the output of one of your other boxes to the TV in the gym. Of course that means that whatever is being watched in the gym has to be watched on the primary set the box is attached to and unless you run a remote IR interface you won't be able to change channels from the gym.
If you don't want the expense of the STB, there isn't much you can do to get ESPN, HGTV, etc. in the basement.
Short of finding a TV with a cable card slot (might find some older models on e-bay) or running a cable from one of your existing STB's, the only other option is a capital outlay for a Media Center PC and either a Ceton InfiniTV4 (PCI-Express Card) or the just announced for pre-order SIliconDust HDHomeRun Prime (Network Tuners). However, you would be dealing with the expense of the PC, CableCard Tuner, and the hassle of placing the HTPC somewhere in the basement.
Verizon does offer something they call a "Digital Adapter" it basically provides the same functionality as a direct-connection coax link provided by a cable company. You get local channels and cable channels up to about 100. It is about the size of a CD case and about 3 CD cases thick. You have to call Verizon and ask for this because they do not typically offer this to customers. It is different from a direct-connection coax link in one way. It cost's 3.99 a month. But for the convenience and simplicity it is worth it I think. As long as you have a coax outlet or line running somewhere near the TV this should be a simple process.
Verizon does offer something they call a "Digital Adapter" it basically provides the same functionality as a direct-connection coax link provided by a cable company. You get local channels and cable channels up to about 100.
Actually that is not correct. The digital adapter gives you ALL the SD channels you are subscribed to including any premiums.
Really? I didn't know that thanks for the info. The rep on the phone told me it was just up to 100.. last time I'm trusting them
You're welcome - always take the CSRs information with a grain (or 2 or 3) of salt. It seems that sometimes they are wrong more than they are right.
BTW - I have 2 of the adapters and I get every SD channel in my package and all the SD versions of the premiums I am subscribed to so I am sure that is how they work.
agreed on the digital adapter - but those channels are NOT HD. however, if you get a TV with a QAM tuner, then at least you'll get the local HD channels over-the-air for free (depending on your area, you'll get some bonus ones like WGN).
but the ideal preference, as others have mentioned, is to get a TV that accepts a cable card. a cable card is the same price as a digital adapter, but you get all of the HD stations. the lone setback to the cable card (much like the digital adapter) is no on-screen guide or on-demand.