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can I connect a coaxial RF wire to a plasma TV?

by fitch29-21326862467848385204087712332007 / August 20, 2006 1:44 PM PDT

I plan on buying the Panasonic TH37PX60U plasma TV in the next couple of weeks. I currently have basic cable without a cable box, so my cable is coming through a coaxial RF wire. Will I be able to hook the RF wire directly to the TV or is there an adapter that I can buy that will allow me to plug the RF wire directly into the TV?

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All TVs come with coax
by Dan Filice / August 20, 2006 3:07 PM PDT

You will be able to connect your coax cable to the back of the TV directly. It became law many years ago that the cable providers were required to provide basic cable to a cable-ready TV without a cable box. You only need a cable box if you want digital service and HD.

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actually, not all tv's
by masterying01 / August 21, 2006 4:59 AM PDT
In reply to: All TVs come with coax

since you said "plasma" in your title...i'll assume you have a plasma and that you probably went with a cheaper set that is called a "monitor" instead of a tv. hd monitors do NOT have RF Tuners built into the tv and require a box of some type.

if you have (or can get) hd cable, thats the route i would recommend. the rf from your wall will go into a cable box and the cable box will turn that into an HD feed that your tv can take in.

if you are unable to get a cable box, you have two more options.

1.) (Best option) go to a local electronics store and buy an external ATSC tuner. they range from $200+ and are made by companies like samsung, sylvania, lg, sony. this way, you can still get hd without upgrading your service through an antenna and you can still use ur existing cable.

2.) (Worst option) get a VCR. most stero vcr's will let you input a signal through RF and output it through RCA. if you go to an electronics store and talk to someone who doesnt know anything...they'll tell you that you need an RF modulator. they are wrong. you need the OPPOSITE of what an rf modulator does and most vcr's will let you do that.

your last option is to return the tv and get something of better quality. this is what i would recommend, but that is entirely up to you.

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by stewart norrie / August 21, 2006 5:17 AM PDT
In reply to: actually, not all tv's

Satellite or cable Hi-Def service will let you injoy your t.v. with a true hi-def picture. If you feed it with a anolog signal the it will look just like a regular t.v. stewee

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Good Points
by Dan Filice / August 21, 2006 6:19 AM PDT

Good point about the "monitor" not having an RF. Forgot about that.

And Stew, good point. Why not just buy an EDTV which will probably look much better displaying regular cable and 480p DVD movies than trying to feed a 720 or 1080 TV lousy 480i signals.

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now I'm REALLY confused!

Well the short answer is that I will upgrade to HDTV from my cable company in a few months, but I don't want to do that right now (for reasons I don't need to get into here). So for the next couple of months I will be relying on basic cable coming through a coax RF wire.

Also, in response to the person who suggested I'm buying a "monitor" I don't believe that is the case. I am buying what I presume to be is a Panasonic plasma of solid quality (TH-37PX60U), but I can't tell from the specs if it will come with an coax RF connection. Does anyone know with any degree of certainty?


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Do some research
by Dan Filice / August 21, 2006 7:56 AM PDT

I can't believe that you are about to plunk down $2000 for a TV and you haven't done much research. The internet is your friend. I went to the Panasonic website and looked at your TV. Did you know that you can download complete operating instructions for your 37PX60U? It tells you everything about your TV that you've asked here. I'm not picking on anyone. I just feel bad that anyone might buy a product simply by impulse rather than doing some detailed research.

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please dont take offense to my "monitor post"
by masterying01 / August 21, 2006 10:04 AM PDT

very few tv's in the stores nowadays do not have tuners in it.

your 37inch panasonic does have a tuner. look at this picture

you'll see the cable/ant tuner on the left. i would still recommend you run your cable through a vcr first before going into your tv (cause there wont be much difference on basic cable and it wont give you an amazing picture anyways). instead, i'd save the tuner thats built into your tv for an OTA (over the air) antenna which will at least let you get local channels in hd.

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