Free Cable TV if you have Cable Internet???

Archived From: Technology
  • Text Only
anyone knows anything about this? I heard that if you have Cable Internet, you can get Basic cable TV free by installing a splitter. Any idea??

Call your cable company. They'll be happy to give you a free lesson on how to hook things up properly.

It all depends, sometimes they put a guard on the cable line coming in so that you can't get it unless they change a setting at the main cable office. But sometimes you get lucky <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> In my experience, I've been lucky once and unlucky once <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>

You will need to get your hands on a cable box first.

By me they put filters on the pole so no TV signal comes in.

You can around here

time warner nyc is suck. you need cable boxes for everything. you might be able to get local channels without a box but they come in snowy. to use a PIP tv well you need 2 cables boxes on the same tv which is an extra 6 bucks a month

sometimes yes sometimes no...just gotta try it and see <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>

Here is my experience.

I never had cable TV service so when I called for cable modem they told me it would be $10 extra for not having cable TV. Fine, I asked how much is the basic antenna service. It's $7.99 and I would only get about 6 channels. I opted to get the extended antenna cable service for $13.99 (This would give me about 15 channels)

It's been about a year now and I have what a regular basic subcriber would pay $39.99 for. MTV, ESPN, Food Network, ETC.. (about 40 channels)

I recently called them for Digital cable since I wanted to get HDTV. They told me they were in the process of upgrading the cabling in my area for Digital TV and comfirm that what I currently have is in fact the $39.99 package but I am only paying $13.99. I would bet that this will be the case if I was paying the $7.99 package. I think the upgraded cable will fix this problem.

Word of advice. Get the cable modem service only and see what you get. Don't get any cable service. If you don't get a signal, start with the cheapest package and see what you get. Someday COMCAST will have this fix but I am going to enjoy paying $52 a month for Cable modem and Cable TV.

By the way. You are in no way doing anything illegal.

It all depends on the cable company you go with. Time Warner in the San Fernando Valley outside of Los Angeles considers what your proposing to do as Theft. And like the others said, they install a line filter to block out your cable channels but allow cable modem through.

<<Time Warner in the San Fernando Valley outside of Los Angeles considers what your proposing to do as Theft. >>

So should I skip the MTV channel when I come across it? I paid to have the cable service run to my TV but if a channel is not filter out, I should close my eye or skip the channel? Better yet let me re-program my TV so that I don't get those channels. What I am doing or proposing may not be ethical but illegal?

BTW, I a Comcast customer service person know that I am getting all these channels.

Like I said, I know it will end when they upgrade the cabling in my area but how can this not be consider a deal?

Also, I think some people thought the original poster was referring to having an illegal box when he/she asked the question.

I am canceling the cable tv.....lets see what happens....i'll post the result. How is it a theft if I cancel the service and still get all channels.....not my fault.

i have optimum online not comcast.

Cable in Boston is like that too. I hate needing 2 cable boxes for PIP. SUch a ripoff!

We moved into a condo in August and the cable was hooked up and we never received a bill. I want to get cable internet service but I'm afraid they will shut off my cable TV. What should I do? In my area they have already upgraded the cable service and I would have thought that they would have cut me off then!

I moved to my new apartment in the Bay Area and subscribed to AT&T cable internet about 6 months ago. Had been paying only $45 and I also get about 30-40 TV channels after I added a splitter.
So, to answer the original question: Yes, you should get basic cable TV

However, I recently had some internet connection speed problem and AT&T sent a cable guy to fix the wiring. Since then I cannot watch TV anymore, all my preset channels are snowy now. I am suspecting that the cable guy "turned off" and stop my cable TV coming in since my subscription is only cable internet. Is there anything I could do now? can I just order CABLE tv and then cancel service after a month?

You don't know until you try. What's holding you from trying?

hey, StudentPT

You will get caught once of this day of not paying cable and using it! I have a friend who are still in court now! He cancel the cable but they came to the wrong house and never disconnect his cable. He did not get any payment for a year (means he thought he got it free!). When he moves out and the other people move in and call the cable company to subscrips the cable. The company found my friend knowingly use without paying and took him to count and accute him dishonest and priratecy. He needed to pay like $500 cable fee + $25000 fine for dishonesty or prirate!

You will get caught once of this day of not paying cable and using it! I have a friend who are still in court now! He cancel the cable but they came to the wrong house and never disconnect his cable. He did not get any payment for a year (means he thought he got it free!). When he moves out and the other people move in and call the cable company to subscrips the cable. The company found my friend knowingly use without paying and took him to count and accute him dishonest and priratecy. He needed to pay like $500 cable fee + $25000 fine for dishonesty or prirate!

What kind of law is this? Your friend canceled the service so why is he in the court? Blame goes to the cable company.

dude that doesn't happen

<< However, I recently had some internet connection speed problem and AT&T sent a cable guy to fix the wiring. Since then I cannot watch TV anymore, all my preset channels are snowy now. I am suspecting that the cable guy "turned off" and stop my cable TV coming in since my subscription is only cable internet. Is there anything I could do now? can I just order CABLE tv and then cancel service after a month? >>

There is no way that the cable company can turn off just TV signal. Think of your cable signal as simply a water hose that only has an on/off swith. If they turn it on, EVERYTHING gets turned on (internet, TV, basic Cable, premium channels, PPV etc). If they turn it off, EVERYTHING gets turned off.

There is most likely a FILTER on yout cable line that filters out the TV signal from getting through to your TV.

<< By the way. You are in no way doing anything illegal. >>


This is called stealing service and as such, you can be prosecuted by the cable company.

Filters are generally installed on the tap which is located on the pole.
Or in the caser of a city with underground wires, it'll be in the utility box for
your section.

With Digital systems, they have no need of these filters as everything is
controlled from the "head end" via the computers. The "head end" is where
all the equipment is for your local cable company.

I used to work for Adelphia Cable Company for awhile.

If they find someone stealing cable, they will remove the offending
line and fix the damaged caused if the line had been spliced into another.
If the offender does this again, then they will actively prosecute the offender.


Explain to me how I am doing anything illegal?

1. I am paying for the Antenna+ service. $13.99 a month in my area. This is in addition to my $40 a month for cable modem.
2. Would Comcast not agree that I am doing nothing illegal in connecting the cable to my cable ready TV set?
3. What am I doing that is illegal if I receive channel that would only be available to the basic cable subscriber for $39.99 a month? I am not stealing premimium or Pay Per View channels. I am getting the additional basic channels because I subscribe to the @home service. I did not install any device and tamper with any of the cabling system.

So my point is that in my area, there is an additional $10 fee if you don't subscribe to the cable service if you want internet. What people don't realize is that the least expensive cable TV service is $7.99 and in some area, you will get what is equilavent to the Basic Cable Service which would cost you $39.99 a month. So you can save the $10 by subscribing to the most basic cable service for $7.99. Comcast is not going to tell everyone to get the basic antenna service when someone want cable modem who is not currently a cable customer. They will try to get the most $ from the consumer. What I am proposing is smart shopping! I am not proposing that this would be the case forever but with the current syste, you can save some $ on your cable/internet bill.

If Comcast come out tomorrow and put a filter on my line, fine! I don't have a problem with that. But with the current cabling, I don't see how they will do that as I am paying for some basic channels but not the full Basic package.

This is the same as Telephone company. How many of you use your Cell phone to make the majority to of your calls now? It actually cost less to use cell phone because you have better coverage area. I almost never use my land phone but it's nice to have one. Instead of paying for the regular phone service, ask for the most basic phone plan and it's going to cost about $10 a month instead of $30 (This is the case in my area).


vkl: Stop getting so defensive. None of us here give a crap if your getting channels you shouldnt be. We're simply telling you how the cable companies see things. If you want to go argue with the head of your cable company, feel free. Arguing the matter here isnt exactly gonna change anything.

I remember reading an article this guy did about this cable company like 8 months ago. he was in the same situation as you, except he opted to simply pay the little bit extra and have ONLY cable modem services. Said he hardly ever watched TV so it didnt matter to him. Well they installed his cable modem but the installer didnt have any line filters because the company had run out. The installer said he would come back in a couple days to put the filter on. (He was in a condo and the Cable box for the whole condo was outside). Anyway, homeboy doesnt think hes gonna make it back out, so he has the mothership open a work order to put a filter on the guys line when they come in as not to forget. The filters dont arrive on time, and this guy's neighbor orders cable modem service as well. Well the installer was a different guy than the first time, he checks the other connections and notices there is no filter. He adds one because he has some and informs corporate the filter was missing. They add on a month's service to the guy's bill because they thought he was trying to defraud them. Here is where it gets fun.
The filters come in and someone pops out to install one on the guys line. For some stupid reason, he ignores the filter already there, and adds a second one. Now the guys cable modem goes dead because hes not getting enough signal. He calls them back out and a new guy shows up and says the guy who installed the second one is an idiot, and then removes the filters. yes Filters. He took both. Someone else shows up later that month for whatever reason, and sees the guy again has no filter on his line. he puts one on and informs corporate who promptly bills the guy again and sends him a nasty letter threatening to sue if he continues. This went on for months, and they ended up sueing the poor guy because of their own employees mistakes.

Anyways, my point is, QUIT ARGUING HERE, the cable companies dont agree with you.


If you are "paying" for cable service and you get channels that you are not paying for
"with out" the use of any decoding devices, then the cable company "can not" charge
you for their mistake.

If you are only paying for cable modem service, then if you hook it up to your TV, it
would be considered stealing the service.

If you move into a place and find that the cable was never turned off and you hook it
up to your TV, then it would be considered stealing the service.

If you tap into someone else's line or break into the box and hook the cable up, it
would be considered stealing the service.


I find it hard to believe that the cable company could actually be stupid enough to
do what the article says they did. There are safe guards that are used to prevent
what was described. All that would have to be done would be to check the service
men's reports and or question them and the case would be thrown out.

One of the safe guards is a metal ring with a piece of plastic on it. This goes through
the metal lock hoop on the box. The only way to get this tag off would be to cut it off.
Servicemen have to cut this tag off each time they open the box and replace it with a new
one when they are done. Then they have to write down the ID number of the new tag when they
finish. These type of tags are used on electric meters for the same reason. To prevent

Also, the filters and tap locks used by the cable companies require a special tool to
either install or remove them. With out this tool, the filter or tap lock would be
impossible to remove. If you've ever checked one of these filters out, then you would
know why it is impossible with out the tool.

I had cable for about two years here - only actually watched about 5 hours a week so at the rate increase I cancelled. I kept getting it for another four years or so until they finally noticed - they never said a thing, and couldn't, it was like one of those mag subscriptions you can't cancel or stuff you get in the mail - if you didn't want it and didn't ask for it, it's legally yours to keep.

DL, I never claimed Cable Servicemen were rocket scientists. Personally I think TimeWarner out here in my area stops by the local hardware stores each morning and hires on the extra help thats usually hanging out by the parking lot entrances hoping for work.

<< DL, I never claimed Cable Servicemen were rocket scientists >>

Never figured you did, Casper <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>

I was just saying that the Head End of the cable company who handled the situation in the article you refered really needs to get their act together. Cause what they did was totally off the wall, not to mention, there is no way it would of held up in court.

If I subscribe cable internet and then hook my TV with splitter, could the cable company detect such activities?

It all depends on whether or not your local system has been upgraded yet

Mosty cable systems have been either in the process of upgrading or at least
trying to get the funding so they can schedule the upgrades.

Systems that have already upgraded can control what channels you receive
directly from their Headend using their computers.

Not to mention that Federal law mandates that all systems be digital
by a certain date which I forget. Once that date occurs, they are supposed
to be "dropping" all analog broadcasts over the cable which means either
your TV will have to have a digital receiver built in or you'll need a
digital box to receive your channels.

Once this happens, there will be no way you'll be able to get free cable
without their system being hacked as they will have full control from the office.

Also, a few things to consider:

Federal law requires the signal strength to be "0" db at the back of your TV set.
Digital receivers and Cable modems require a minimum signal stregnth to work properly, but I forget what that amount is. It is higher than the "0" db though.

Signal strenth can be figured by the length of cable, cable type
(each type has different signal lose characteristics)
(RG-68 is standard the last I knew) and the splitters used.

You need to know the signal strength where it attaches to your house
or on the pole, length of wire and splitters used to figure this out.

with each splitter, you can loose between 3 db to 7 db depending on type of splitter.

Also, with the modern syustems in use, you need to make sure the splitter is
rated at 1GHz if I recall correctly. (all my notes are at home)

This is all the info I can give you at the moment.
For all I know, they may have a block on the tap for your house or they
may have the ability to control the channels already in your area.

Where I live, we only have 22 analog channels (atmospheric broadcast)
on our cable, the rest are all digital.

hi DragonsLore

I try to connect cable with my TV even though I only subscirbe the cable internet and I could recieve some calbe channels. My question is that could the cable company find that I steal their service (cable TV) ? If yes, how can they find? thanks

I'm not going to tell you that's it's Ok to do it.

But it all depends on how much your local cable system and Headend is updated.

If they are still running old tech which is doubtful, then chances are, the
only way they would know is if they had to do a tech call at your place of residence and saw the splitter and extra cable or even the TV actually hooked up.

They keep previous logs so the tech can tell what is supposed to be there.

But even with upgraded systems, until they see visual signs of it such as a wire where it shouldn't be or a missing tag on a service box. They wouldn't really be able to do much of anything.

The whole thing is, they would have to catch you first.

It is possible, but only with the most modern systems.

Off hand, I wouldn't remember enough to give the specifics of
the different ways they can tell other than the old ways.

But anything that involves the use of computers for running the system
makes it more likely they will be able to do this through system
feedback along the lines which is one of the ways of detecting stolen service.

Old ways of detecting stuff would be such items as:

Missing tag on service box
splitters where there shouldn't be any
Signal leaks (can be detected by driving by with a detector)
Wires where they shouldn't be
someone reporting you

Just make sure you have adequate signal after the splitter
or your cable connection will suffer. The connectors need to
be tight and use good shielded RG-68 cable.
The splitter must at least be rated at 1GHz.

You'll be loosing about 3 db minimum from the splitter.


Does your cable company charge you more for having internet service only? Do they have a different cable modem rate for cable TV subscriber vs non subscriber?

I used to be a customer service rep for my loacl Comcast provider (insert Sideshow Bob Ewwwww sound here) and I can tell you that unless you are doing something major to tip folks off, at least in my area, they dont have the time to go after every little guy on the block. The law in Tallahassee, or at least when I worked there, is that you have to be "cited" 3 times by the company to be prosecuted for criminal intent. At that point they pretty much know whats going on. We had llots of folks come through that would say it was hooked up aand they werent getting a bill. It was our job to setup the cancel order. If we didnt or if the techs were being shifty, it wasnt the customers fault. That said, let me say that I dont necessarily think that premeditated fraud is a great idea, nor do I think that teh cable companies have any way of really doing much about it. I can tell you that one of the biggest things that seemed to tip them off was signal boosters. Somehow they would be able to tell when someone had hooked up 6-8 lines and then realized the signal had degraded, and then boosted it. I assume something sniffed it out. Anyway, they would use that to get a few of the biggger offenders, like apartment communty managers and such (FREE Cable with 2 months rent.....) butfrom my experience, and this may not reflect much larger cities, the local company isnt after Joe anybody. He wants to get the bigger fish.



Our service charges $39.95 if you have cable TV
or if you don't go with Cable TV, they charge you $49.95 <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>

The way things are going now a days, even though they usually go after the big time offenders, every now and then, they will go after the small fish just to make an example of them.

they are just starting to put in filters around the bay area. i saw the first one put in last spring. it's illegal to hook it up to your tv.
usually, the filters are only used for multiple dwelling units, like apartment buildings.


Are you a Cable tech, or are you saying this becausse you've seen a device
used for the cable which you assume is a filter?

I used to work for Adelphia Communications Co.
They're the ones with PowerLink Cable Internet.

If they are only using the filters for multi dwelling units, then I am
surprised. They should be able to use them even on single family houses.

Soon enough, they won't even need the filters.

The reason is because of the digital channels which are
controllable by computer from the headend.

Here's a tidbit that not everyone may know.

An analog channel takes about 16 MHz of bandwidth
a diigital channel takes only 4 MHz of bandwidth.

So because of this, they are ale to cram more channels over the cable than previously.


That was my whole point in ealier post. They want to charge $10 more if you don't have cable service but they don't tell you that the cheapest cable service is $7.99 (in my area). As you can see, it doesn't add up but the sales people don't tell you about it. They just try to sell you their basic cable for $39.99. If one is worry about splitting the signal to a TV, you don't have to if you just buy their most basic service.


Not all areas offer service that cheap just for basic service.

I don't recall what is it around here, but I think the
basic service is over $13.00 per month

Not to mention, here they are gearing up to drop all analog broadcast from the cable.
So all users will be required to have digital cable converter or a TV with a built in
digital converter.

So once that happens, there will be no more freebies for anyone in this area.

All analog channels which the cable carries will be offered in digital format only.

We have basic cable for like $10 (as an option) but VERY few channels. This would also reduce the rate for cable internet. I was thinking going with the $10 cable, the internet service and a descrambler.

Skipping 2 Messages...
The Signal booster would have to be rated high enough for modern day signals.
At least 1GHz. Same thing goes for the splitters.

Also the Signal booster would have to meet the compliance levels for your local cable system.

Any Signal leaks, FeedBack or Signal Noise from the booster will attract their attention.

Signal leaks wouold be noticable when they are driving around looking for leaks and
the FeedBack or Signal noise would be noticable from the HeadEnd.

Any of these three things could cause them to request permission to check your premisses.
Should the permission be denied, they could shutoff your service for non-compliance.
That is because something in your house causing a problem for the cable.

With the Digital networks they are setting up these days to deliver TV channels and Internet service, they have to clamp down on all signal interference to prevent problems with the system.

Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to

Thanks for visiting Join for free to remove this ad.

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2017