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Do some TV plans require a set top box?

engrsamengrsam Posts: 2 ✭✭
in TV Equipment Jun 12, 2021

I read here in the forum that a set top box is not required. I currently have Spectrum TV Gold in El Paso, TX. No one in the household is using the DVR set top box, because many of the channels have bad audio and video (pixelation, choppy audio on many channels and recorded channels). We all use the Spectrum app to watch television.

I went in to a Spectrum store and let the rep know that I was returning my equipment and would like to cancel my DVR service. He asked if I wanted to cancel my TV service and told him no I only wanted to return equipment I'm not using and paying $21 a month for.

He proceeded to tell me that a box is required for the plan I currently have. This make no sense. I asked him, "Do I have to connect it?" He replied, "no, but you still need it." So left with the set top box and it's just sitting here, unplugged and unused and still paying rent on it.

TL,DR: Does anyone know definitively if TV Gold requires a box? I'm tempted to just go to the UPS store and sending it back to Spectrum bypassing the store.


  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,227 ✭✭✭✭
    Jun 12, 2021


    Two separate issues:

    1.) Your choppy audio and video has nothing to do with a box or lack of a box, You have a signal or drop line problem caused by bad or aging wiring that needs to be updated inside or outside the home. You will need to call Spectrum and set up a tech visit for a signal and drop line test to fix this issue.

    2.) A box would be mandatory for ordering programs on impulse. This would mean the purchase of PPV events, or On Demand Movies. If you have Spectrum Voice (Landline Phone) you would also need a box for Caller ID on TV. I am reasonably sure you would not need a box for more than what I mentioned above, if you don't need On Demand and never order PPV. You should be able to than return your box and just watch TV through your Spectrum app.

    I would still wait for a mod to double-check this, as I have had a cable box all my life. But get your signal and drop line test done so that you can enjoy CATV to the fullest, It will be a free service call and you will get your lines and wiring checked out and updated. Swapped boxes never fix bad signals or drop lines.


  • engrsamengrsam Posts: 2 ✭✭
    Jun 13, 2021

    Thanks for the info Satch. I did have a technician come out about a year ago and he did mention that my signal was weak. He cut the coaxial cable length and he stated the signal improved after that. However, the issue returned and since we only had the one cable box, we just started watching on TV on the app. I tried to watch a recorded episode from one of the channels that always has video/audio issues and the DVR recorded the issues. Watching the show was painful.

    I'll give it another try to return the box. If I'm turned down again, I'll just live with the rental fee. :/

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,227 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 14 Jun 14, 2021

    Get a tech out again,

    A lot can happen with signals in a year's time. You don't want to be paying that box fee, and have your recorded content be unwatchable. Tech should get your signals at good to great. Not "just OK." You should be about 8/10. (Minimally.)


This discussion has been closed.