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Cable TV Terms of Service

Cable Compatibility with Other Devices

Digital Signals: MCTV systems are 100% digital. This means that any device with an analog TV tuner (TV set, VCR, TiVo, etc.) must be connected to a set-top box in order to receive viewable pictures.

Digital TV Sets: Some digital TV sets are equipped with a digital tuner that is capable of tuning digital TV signals without a set-top box. Furthermore, some digital TV sets are capable of receiving special data, called PSIP data, which provides tuning information to the viewer. This includes on-screen labeling of TV networks and an orderly and systematic tuning pattern. Not all digital TV sets include tuners that can perform these functions. MCTV works to maximize the number of digital TV sets that will work without a set-top box, but cannot guarantee that all sets produced by all manufacturers will work without a set-top box.

Scrambled Signals: Not all subscribers subscribe to every offered service, so we may use scrambling technology to deliver a secure signal to authorized subscribers. Scrambling allows us to change the components of a signal at the cable television transmission center (headend) to render it unviewable without an authorized descrambler. In most cases, the descrambler and set-top box are contained in the same terminal, which is connected in the same way as a set-top box to your entertainment system.

We may scramble all channels above the Lifeline (broadcast) level and customers must then choose from different service options or change their level of service. Whenever a customer subscribes to service levels or channels that are scrambled, a set-top box will be needed, even if they use a “cable-ready” TV.

If you require a set-top box and/or a descrambler, special equipment is available to make your cable service more compatible with your existing equipment. Keep in mind that this special equipment will not enable analog TV tuners to receive digital signals.

Parental Lockout Devices: If you find that any channels you may receive are objectionable or contain questionable material, you can arrange for the installation of a device that will restrict the viewing of that channel. Please call for details.

The Set-Top Box

Having your cable TV connected to your entertainment system allows you the best viewing choices, convenience and value. However, extra steps need to be taken to ensure that cable TV works effectively with various equipment. The information below explains when a TV is compatible with our equipment and when it may not be. If you are unable to find your particular situation, please contact us so that we can work with you to determine the proper cable setup and equipment for you.

MCTV’s television services are delivered via cable by a composite signal called RF broadband. Analog TV receivers cannot tune to the digital signals sent out on this broadband system, including “cable-ready” analog TVs and VCRs. Some digital TV sets can tune the unscrambled digital signals. MCTV cannot guarantee that all digital TV tuners will be able to tune all digital signals. Consult the manufacturer or retailer for information.

If a TV or VCR cannot tune to the channels provided in your cable service, a set-top box must be used to receive the channels and send them to your TV set or VCR. These are available for a nominal monthly fee from MCTV.

The Federal Communications Commission does not allow TVs or VCRs manufactured or imported for sale in the United States after October 31, 1994 to be marketed as “cable-ready” or “cable compatible” without meeting certain bandwidth tuning and other performance standards.

Some services offered use picture scrambling techniques that require the use of a special set-top box in order to get clear reception. Lifeline (broadcast) and some Basic services are not scrambled and can be used freely with digital TV sets with appropriate digital tuners. Analog TVs and VCRs require a set-top box, which we can provide to you. Customers are responsible for their return or will have to pay a fee.


The CableCARD™ is a technology that lets you connect to cable TV without a set-top box on some Digital Cable-ready devices sold at retail. The CableCARD™ provides you with direct access to digital programming, HD programming and subscriptions to premium cable channels. While a CableCARD™ connection offers cable service without a set-top box, there are some cable features you will not be able to access, such as:

  • Functions that enable you to stop, fast-forward and replay live TV
  • On Demand movies, TV shows and events
  • Interactive program guide

Customers who want access to the interactive program guide and other interactive Digital Cable features will want to connect via a digital set-top box. Your personal preferences will determine what connection works best.

A CableCARD™ is available to lease at a monthly fee and is activated and serviced by a MCTV technician to ensure 100% customer satisfaction.

QAM Tuner Televisions

Many digital TVs are now equipped with a QAM tuner which enables the television to receive television signals without a set-top box or CableCARD™. Please refer to your owners’ manual to familiarize yourself with your television’s capabilities. A listing of channels available to MCTV customers with a QAM tuner is available at www.MCTVOhio.com.

Remote Controls

Almost all video equipment is sold with a remote control. MCTV’s infrared remote is available to all customers for a small monthly fee.

This remote cannot operate devices not designed for it. If your remote is not working properly, please try replacing the batteries first. If you need help with reprogramming it, please refer to the remote’s user manual or contact us. To eliminate the complexity of multiple remotes for separate TVs, VCRs and set-top boxes, you can use a universal (or “smart”) remote to control multiple devices at once. Some universal remotes can be programmed to replace your existing remote, while others are pre-programmed with built-in codes compatible with a variety of TVs, VCRs and other devices. To use a universal remote with MCTV, the remote must use an infrared format compatible with MCTV set-top boxes.

Video Games

Video game consoles are usually sold with matching transformers that connect directly to the TV set and are connected after other video equipment. Please follow your video game unit’s instructions carefully.

Additional Outlets

You can enjoy cable services on every TV in your home or office by adding additional outlets. Each additional outlet provides all of your subscribed channels (although you may need a set-top box to receive every channel).

In most cases, additional outlets cannot be added in apartments unless the complex has been prewired for cable.

Solar Interferences

Twice a year, for approximately 10 days (usually in March and October), the sun, satellite and antennae line up perfectly to cause outages with satellite-delivered services. When this occurs, your screen may show white specks that may gradually increase until the picture scrambles. Your picture should return to normal within 5-15 minutes. More information will be available during solar interference time on www.MCTVOhio.com.

Cable Service Theft

Cable theft affects everybody. Unauthorized viewing or theft of cable is illegal under federal and state laws. To report unauthorized viewing, contact MCTV.

Signal Leakage

A Cable TV system is a “closed system.” Breaks in the wire can cause signal leakage. There are many causes of signal leakage. Among these causes are improper installation, substandard equipment, wire and connectors. The Federal Communications Commission requires cable TV operators to regularly check the entire system for leakage. We are responsible for minimizing signal leakage. If our tests show signal leakage at your home or office, we will contact you. You will be responsible for eliminating the leakage within a reasonable period of time. If the leakage is not corrected, we are required to discontinue your service until the problem is corrected. As with all aspects of in-home wiring, you can fix it yourself, pay MCTV to fix the problem, or hire someone (such as an electrician) to make repairs.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Make sure that all cable connections among your video entertainment equipment are finger-tight.
  • If a problem occurs on only one channel, it may be a temporary problem with the TV station or cable network, not your TV set.
  • If a problem occurs on all TV sets, please call our office.
  • Modern TV equipment has many inputs and outputs. Please check the inputs and outputs of all equipment to be certain you are using the proper source and input.