Digital cable boxes or cable cards are needed as most of the digital channels are encrypted. This gives tiered levels of service, boxes can be shutdown for non-payment & controls theft of services.
A clearQAM tuner in a recent HDTV can't un-encrypt those channels and can only receive a few remaining clearQAM channels on some systems that are mostly local network channels, PEG's and shopping.
There was time 6 to 8 years ago that some higher end TV's had cable card slots, which took the place of a cable box. Those TV's were short lived for various reasons including higher costs.
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Thanks for the helpful comment. Your comment was much clearer than Comcast's letter to me: "You should check each TV in your home to see if it's connected to to a digital set-top box, digital adapter, or CableCard device (like a Tivo)". They didn't make any distinction between LCD and non-digital TV's.
The Free dta boxes convert the digital signal to analog thats why your picture is bad. You should not put a DTA box on an lcd tv if you want a good picture, the DTA boxes are meant for two scenarios only.
1. You have an old tube type tv that cannot get digital.
2. You can't afford or don't want a digital box and still want to receive cable.
The DTA boxes are not meant for newer type tv's as they are just converting the digital signal to anolog, so you need to rent a ditial box if you want good looking tv, if those lcd's are HD you need to rent an HD box to see HD.
Ordered and installed four Digital Transport Adapters for our TV's, two LCD's and two CRT's. The picture quality after installation on the LCD's is noticably worse than before the install. The LCD pictures appear to be no better than analog. We had much better pix on the LCD's before the transition; some visitors said near-HD quality. A Comcast rep confirmed on the phone my understanding that the transition is to implement a pure wall-to-wall digital signal all the way to the customer's TV, but it would require installation of the new equipment. So, after all of this, I get an ANALOG picture on my LCD's? Added channels are nice, but at the expense of picture quality? Is the next step having a technician come take a look? Or are others experiencing the same thing? What am I missing here?