Understanding digital cable

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In the United States, a transition to digital cable is being made on February 17th, 2009. Many people have been giving confusing information about who will need converters and this also affects LMCE's tv recording. Here are the answers that LMCE users will need to know about the switch.


OTA: This is shorthand for "Over the Air". This refers to any tv channels which are broadcast for free. They are over the air in the sense that all you need is an antenna plugged into your tv to access them. There is no need for a subscription to a cable company in order to receive these stations. However, some cable companies provide these channels in their tv line up.

Coax cable: This is the standard tv cable. When going from a wall jack to the tv, you use a coax cable. It's basically an insulated piece of copper wiring with an attachment on the ends to hold it in the plug.

Analog tv: This refers to the type of signal that comes through the coax cable. It is very similar to a radio signal in that multiple channels (or stations) can be carried through the wire on different frequencies. You don't need a wire for each tv station. This is why we use the term "tv tuner". A tuner is able to lock onto different frequencies carried through the coax cable. This is simplified definition. If you have any more details, please add them.