Cable TV Descramblers & Converters
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* Please note:  *

  High-Tech Productions DOES NOT sell or lease cable boxes or descramblers. This web page is for informational purposes only.

DO  NOT  call us for information on where to purchase equipment. 


What does a converter do for me?
It allows you to receive all the basic channels if your TV or VCR is not cable ready. If you add a cable descrambler, it allows you to view premium and pay-per-view channels.

This is what you would see on your television screen:

Without a Descrambler With a Descrambler

Are Descramblers and Converters legal ?

YES! Descramblers are legal. If your cable TV company can possess & rent the box then you can own the box yourself providing that you notify your cable company about it's use. It is legal for you to purchase and it is legal for you to own. When you buy a converter, descrambler, cable boxes & equipment it is your responsibility to inform the cable TV company that you are accessing their signal. It is illegal to receive their transmission without paying for it. This holds true even if your cable box is purchased as a non-addressable, non-detectable, and "bullet proof" unit.

Are all Descramblers and Converters alike ?

No. Prices can range from $55 to $450 depending on the quality and amount of features. Some companies sell old converters, descramblers, and cable boxes that are barely in date and likely to be replaced by the cable companies by higher technological grades of equipment. State of the art cable box companies will provide the most recent technology in a variety of packages tailored to fit the consumer's budget. You must have a box that is right for your cable system in order to receive any or all channels available.

Do you need a Descrambler if you have or a cable ready TV ?

Yes you do. A cable ready TV or VCR does not descrambler TV signals. You must have a descrambler to view premium & pay-per-view channels.

What is a Converter ?

A converter is an electronic tuning device that transposes all available channels from the cable company and outputs it into an RF signal on  channel 3 or  4. Some high end converters can also convert the signal to a "Video" output  that can be plugged directly into a video monitor or projector for higher resolution. A converter is simply a "channel changer" that cannot by itself descrambler encoded premium channels. It allows you to receive all basic channels if your TV is not the cable ready type. When you add a descrambler to your converter, it allows you to view all premium channels.

What is a Descrambler ?

A descrambler is a device that restores the picture and sound of a scrambled channel. A descrambler must be used with a converter to be able to descramble all the premium & pay-per-view channels of a cable system.

What is a Combination Converter/Descrambler ?

A single (one-piece) unit that is capable of descrambling premium & pay-per-view cable channels. This unit contains a converter and a descrambler, enclosed in a common box and outputs the signal directly to your TV, VCR or video projector.

This is also the most common type of equipment supplied by the cable company to subscribing customers. Customers usually pay a specified monthly rental fee for such equipment.

Which Descrambler System is best ?

You have two choices when purchasing your equipment, a single unit or a system containing two units.

Combination Box Advantages:

The one-piece system is based on a combination of a converter and a descrambler, installed in a single box. This unit is referred to as a combination unit. These units feature:

    1) Easy to hook up & service.
    2) Available in both generic & name brand models.
    3) Similar to the systems used by cable companies.

Separate Component Advantages:

The two-piece system is based on two separate units, a converter and a descrambler, that are connected together and function as one. The pluses:

    1) Low cost per component.
    2) Components can be individually upgraded.
    3) Interchangeable with some other components.

What is an Addressable Converter Descrambler ?

These are cable converter/descramblers that can be controlled by the cable company. Through remote coded messages sent via the cable system, the cable company can "address" the customer's unit to begin descrambling selected premium or pay-per view channels. Addressable cable box equipment allow the cable company to access your cable box to change the descrambling configuration or programming. This function provides the cable company the ability to add or delete descrambling on the channels that come in through your cable line. It also allows them to remotely disconnect you for non payment of your cable bill.

Can a Descrambler work anywhere ?

No. Descramblers are specific to each cable system. Different cable companies use different scrambling systems, characterized by the manufacturer's brand name and model number. You must use a compatible cable box or descrambler that is meant to work in your area. The same box may not work in a different area or cable company.

What do you do if your Converter doesn't work ?

Call your cable box source. Let them know that there are problems. Most companies want to correct any problems you are having.  Sometimes technology changes for your area and you may have to update your equipment.

How can you improve the quality of your reception?

Amplification may be needed to correct the problem. Whenever a cable signal is split between two or more TVs/VCR's, the signal weakens and produces a poor quality picture. The weak signal may cause a "snowy" or grainy picture, or may even result in poor color. Using an amplifier can usually restore the signal strength and the picture sharpness. In most cases, the amplifier brings the picture back to its original quality.

What are "bullets" and can the cable company hurt my box ?

Bullets are nothing more than a transmitted signal which effects the cable box program. It does not effect the electronics inside of cable boxes, converters or descramblers. A non-addressable box is not effected at all by "Bullets" sent by the cable companies. This is what is meant by a "bullet-proof" cable box.

How do you determine which box to use in my area ?

Get the brand name & the model number of the converter descrambler unit that was supplied to you by your cable company. The brand name is located on the front of the box. The model # is located on the bottom of the box.


Cable terms: Basic, Premium, Pay Per View Services

Basic Cable Service: The least expensive cable service provided by cable companies to their customers. This service usually includes local TV channels.

Premium Cable Service: Additional programming service provided by the cable company to subscribing customers. The extra fee for such additional service may be based on a per channel, per group of channels, or on any other combination of channels. Some of the premium channels include: Disney, Showtime, HBO, Playboy, etc.

Pay Per View: Selected channels that offer movies and special events such as sports or adult entertainment, for an additional fee, on a per movie or per program basis. A special "addressable" converter is furnished by the cable company to subscribers of this service. Through the use of special equipment, the cable company can "address" the customer's cable box to descramble the program for which the fee was paid.

For more information, visit our Info Center


* Please note: High-Tech Productions DOES NOT sell or lease cable boxes. This web page is for informational purposes only.
DO  NOT  call us for information on where to purchase equipment. 


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