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TWC DTA minibox

DRB

Member
I ordered one of the TWC DTA minibox units earlier this week (free until sometime in 2017) to try out on a secondary HDTV (I already have a TWC HD DVR on the primary HDTV).
Fast delivery - delivered by FedEx yesterday within 2 days of online order.
You have to call a special phone number (automated system) to get the minibox activated by punching in your phone number thats on your TWC account.
Took a few minutes to scan for channels and about a minute after the authorize command was sent after the phone call.

This is a Cisco minibox with small remote control that has RF capability which I enabled.
You can program the remote for a few functions for your TV too (power, volume, mute).

Comparing with the minibox from Cox cable (that my brother has) the Cox unit has more features.
The Cox minibox remote also includes a video source button so you can switch the TV's video input to an HDMI input, the TWC box lacks that so you need your regular TV remote nearby too.

The Cox minibox is more like a full cable box, it has a limited guide (only goes ahead to the next day) with full program info. The TWC minibox has no guide at all and no program info, it only has a numerical list of channels (no channel labels) and it lists a few channels that it doesn't support.

Also the TWC minibox appears to not support SDV channels, so it can only tune the digital SD versions of subscribed channels and HD versions only of the local broadcast channels plus TBS and WGN. The Cox minibox however tunes all the available HD versions of channels automatically, not limited to 2-13. This might be because Cox cable probably doesn't use SDV on as many (if any) of their channels compared to TWC?

Anyway, the TWC minibox is similar to tuning the channels directly with the TV before the analog channels started to be removed, you would get the clear QAM local broadcast channels in HD and other analog channels in SD. You get that with the minibox except the analog channels are replaced with SD digital versions. The Cox minibox however is closer to a full cable box with its 24hr+ guide, more HD channel tuning, and full program info.
 

Admin65

Administrator
Staff member
TWC miniboxes are capable of regular HD minus SDV, but maybe it is not activated properly or something like that, or TWC has most of their HD's in SDV.
 

DRB

Member
Yeah I believe TWC now has most of their HD channels in SDV now, except for the local HD broadcast channels and a few basic cable channels like TBS and WGN it would appear.
But Cox doesn't appear to use SDV on their expanded basic HD channels so their minibox provides more HD channels than TWC does unless you rent a full size cable box or DVR.
 
As I recall under the minimal settings menu you can select HDMI. I had mine set to HDMI but had some sound and picture issues. So I turned it off and it fixed the problems.
 

DRB

Member
My minibox works fine using the HDMI interface. I think the only menu setting for that is for selecting the output video resolution, auto or fixed.
I selected fixed 1080i for faster channel switching than auto, and get upscaling of the many SD only channels to 1080i format.
I don't really need the minibox on my secondary HDTV since its a newer Samsung HDTV that has the TWC App for getting most of the live channels via wifi. The app is just slower to change channels than the box though, but it does give full HD on all available HD subscribed HD channels so its better picture quality that way than the box. I think a Roku box can also support a similar TWC App so that might work if you want an external box that you don't rent like a full size cable box and better than the minibox TWC provides. If it was like the Cox minibox that provides a guide and support for all available subscribed HD channels though, it would be fine.
 

Admin65

Administrator
Staff member
Roku TWCTV app works pretty well on my Roku 3 and 2 XS. Speed could have been a little better, but it does work.
 
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