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How Do I Install a Digital TV Transport Adapter In My RV?

by Chuck
(Tacoma, WA)

I live in the Seattle/Tacoma area, and just reviewed an article by Alan Wiener on "How to install a Digital TV Converter Box in Your RV". (A wonderful article) With the Winegard switching box, two TV's and a VCR, I have to have three of these converters to obtain over the air signals when not connected to cable. I now have six remotes ... three originals and three more for this system. Now, the next issue is that our cable provider, Comcast, is now throwing the need for a "Digital Transport Adapter" (made by PACE, model DC50X) into the mix. This adapter will be required to receive all cable signals above channel 30, effective on or about 1 June 2009. Of course, the local channels and networks are in the bottom 29 along with a lot of ho hum channels such as CSPAN, publc access, etc. All the network cable news channels along with TNT, TBS, USA, ESPN, etc are in the upper ones.

So, the question is "How to install a digital transport adapter" in an RV which uses a Winegard switching system AND a digital converter box so that we can receive full cable service when hooked to cable, and still receive over the air digital when not hooked up.

By the way, this DTA box also has its own remove which means I will now have 9 remote control devices to keep up with

I also know that all the high new LCD and/or plasma TV's, no matter what the cost, will have to set their sets to channel 3 or 4 and use the DAT remote and device for channel selection. I feel sorry for all of these owners as their audio and video will still have to come through that little cable plug which will defeat all the high tech developments. But, this is another story in and of itself.

Thanks .... Chuck, Tacoma, WA

ANSWER Greetings Chuck thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Special Note Before I answer your question, please let me take a moment to clarify something for our visitors. In your question you mention reading an article by Alan Wiener and when you submit a question to our website it is answered by RVing Al. Just so everyone knows RVing Al and Alan Wiener are not two different people we are one in the same. When I write articles for magazines or other websites I use my given name of Alan Wiener and when I answer questions on this website or contribute to RV forums I use the nickname RVing Al and on Twitter I am known as RVing_Al. Also my wife (Mrs. RVing Al) and I own this website. So now that I have cleared that up, let's move on to your question.

What happened to the simple days of TV when you just went outside put an antenna on the roof of your house or RV and connected a couple of wires to the back of your TV, turned the TV on and turned the antenna around until you got a picture on the TV that usually had snow in it. Well those days are gone.

I am not going to go into the all of the gory details as to why your cable company is now going to require you to have a Digital Transport Adapter. The simple explanation is they are trying to save bandwidth; a digital signal takes up less bandwidth than an analog signal.

I checked out the specs of the Digital TV Transport Adapter you are getting and I know that it does not have analog pass-through, so you just cannot hook it up to the Digital TV Converter Box and expect it to work. You are going to have to split the signal to all three of your TVs. You are going to need 3 of these Digital Transport Adapters 1 for each TV and that will give you 3 additional remotes to add to your collection (more about that later).

Let me walk you through the process.

1. Disconnect the cable going to your TV from the Digital TV Converter Box.

2. Disconnect the cable going into the DTV Converter Box from your switching box.

3. You need a Two Way TV Cable Splitter. Attach the cable coming from your switcher box to the input port on the splitter. From the output port on the splitter attach one cable to your DTV Converter and the other cable to your Digital Transport Adapter.

4. Now you will need a Cable TV / Antenna A/B Switch. Now run a cable from the To TV port of the Digital Transport Adapter to the Cable TV in port of the A/B switch, then run a cable from the To TV Port on the DTV Converter Box to the Antenna In Port of the A/B Switch. Finally attach the cable attached to back of your TV to the TV Out Port on the A/B switch.

Now all you have to do is repeat this process 3 times and you should be all set. Just a note, you are going to have to manually switch the slide on the A/B switch when you want to switch sources, so put the switch where you can get to it. Make sure you set your DTV Converter Box and Digital Transport Adapter to transmit to same channel on your TV.

OK let's talk about all the remote controls you now have, I would suggest you get something like the One For All URC 6131N 6-Device Universal Remote Control. Of course you would need one of these remotes for each TV or you can just carry this one with you to each TV. That will get you down to 3 remotes instead of 9.

I hope this information was helpful to you. If our visitors have any suggestions or tips for you they can add them by clicking on the add a comment link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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