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TV - Cable Box Setup
TV - Cable Box Setup Scientific Atlanta 4250HDC
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How to Setup the
SA4250HDC Digital Cable Box
The Scientific Atlanta 4250HDC High Definition Cable Box
This guide is intended for those who are comfortable with electronic
gear and want to do their own setup. Those who do not feel comfortable
with electronics should consult their cable TV service provider for
help or get someone who knows electronics to help them with the setup.
Your cable TV service provider will typically charge a fee for the
setup service but it is convenient and hopefully the technician will do
a proper job. The main point to remember when setting up a cable TV box
is to be patient because some operations take time to complete and it
is not always apparent that something is happening.
Note: You must have Digital Cable TV Service. This service usually has
music channels, movies, pay per view and video on demand in addition to
all the standard channels. Check with your cable TV service provider to
determine what offerings are available and what channels are High Def.
Cable TV providers today use a wide variety of cable boxes and several
different software programs to control the cable boxes. Even the same
cable TV provider may use different brands of cable boxes. Technology
is changing rapidly in this area so check often with your service
provider. This guide is only for the Scientific Atlanta 4250HDC cable
The SA4250HDC cable box will work with a standard analog TV or a HDTV.
Your cable TV company will provide the cable box, remote control, power
cord and possibly cables to hookup to your TV. You can buy cables
yourself if you prefer. You should look over the remote control and
become familiar with where the buttons are and also insert the
batteries into the remote. Typically the remotes for cable boxes are
"Universal" remotes, meaning you can control multiple components with
the remote IF you setup the remote to
do so using the proper codes.
Coaxial Cable connection
After unpacking the cable box and remote, inserting the batteries into
the remote, place the 4250 cable box near your TV. You must connect the
cable TV service provider's input cable to the cable box RF input
labeled on the 4250's rear panel, "CABLE IN". This would be the same
cable you used before if you had cable TV service before you got the
4250 (assuming all else has not changed). This connection provides all
your TV shows from the cable company and also provides a path to
communicate back to the cable company. The cable is typically a RG-59
or RG-6 coaxial cable with a standard "F" connector.
Scientific Atlanta 4250HDC rear panel
Connect your cable TV service provider's cable to the far left (1)
screw-on input jack on the rear panel of the 4250 cable box. Make sure
the wire in the cable goes into the small hole and you screw the cable
connector tight on the jack.
Cable hookup to TV
There are several options when connecting your TV to the cable
set-top-box. If you have a HDTV and want High Definition video, you
must use either the HDMI connection (10) or the component video
connections (3). For a standard TV, use composite A/V connections (5)
where yellow is video and white and red are audio or if your TV has
component video inputs, use component video connections.
HDMI can carry video and audio, High Definition (HD) or Standard
Definition (SD) and multi-channel audio. Component video uses three RCA
cables for video (green, blue, red) and two RCA cables for audio (white
and red). Component video can carry HD or SD video and the two audio
cables can deliver 2-channel sound. In addition, if you use HDMI, your
TV has to be HDCP compliant. Most HDTV sets today are HDCP compliant.
HDMI uses an electronic handshake to constantly verify the connection
Note: When you first setup an HDTV, you might consider using the
component video connection or even try the composite video hookup to
keep things simple. Later you can switch to HDMI when you are more sure
about how things work.
Cable connections from SA4250HDC digital cable box to TV
Now that your TV is hooked up to the 4250 box, plug in the power cord
(15) to the cable box rear panel and into an AC power outlet. As soon
as the cable box gets power, it starts a sequence of checks and
initialization. You should be able to read the front panel display on
the 4250 cable box as it goes thru the routines. Look for digits
displayed such as "1111" and the word "boot". This means the cable box
is initializing. The box will enter a standby state with the power OFF.
The 4250 will most likely need to download some information from your
cable provider, so wait at least 4 mins. after the box initializes
before proceeding. Firmware updates should automatically download to
your cable box when available and your 4250 box has to download all the
GUIDE information so you can see what TV shows are coming up today.
This download can take several mins. to complete. When you see the
clock display on the front panel, hours and mins., then the download is
most likely completed.
TV connection setup
At this point, you could probably start watching TV, however there are
a few more operations you should perform, particularly if you are using
an HDTV. Power on your TV set and make sure you select the input where
you have the cable connection to the 4250 cable box. For example, the
component video inputs may be video 3, so select this input using the
TV's remote control. With the 4250 cable set-top-box powered OFF, press
in and hold the "GUIDE" and the "INFO" buttons (7 and 8), on the front
panel of the cable box, together for a few seconds.
SA 4250HDC set-top-box Front Panel
A screen should appear on your TV titled "TV Connection Setup". Using
the remote control for the cable box, press the "A" button or the "B"
button. The "A" button for standard definition TV (analog) or the "B"
button for HD or High Definition TV. The "A" button is yellow and
shaped like a triangle and the "B" button is blue and shaped like a
square. The procedure for analog or standard definition TVs is simple.
The procedure for HD is a little more involved. But never fear, you can
always go back and reset or re-do this process. Basically what this
does is define your TV's picture size and format. Standard TV sets are
4:3 or an almost square picture. HDTV's are 16:9 which is more
rectangular. HDTV sets look wider than they are tall.
"HDTV Setup Wizard" should appear on the TV screen if you pressed the
"B" button. Then, press "A" to start. Two choices are available, EASY
setup or ADVANCED setup. Advanced setup allows you to select and test
various picture formats for your TV and reject or accept them.
Picture formats include 480, 720 and 1080. These are the TV video
resolutions sent by your cable provider and displayed on your TV. Your
TV has a "native" screen resolution. For example, analog TVs work with
480 and cannot go any higher because only 525 maximum lines of
resolution are available. HDTVs work with 720 or 1080 but can display
480 also by scaling down the video if required. TV shows are basically
sent to you by your cable provider as 480, 720 or 1080. High Definition
shows are 720 or 1080. (Analog TVs can still show a High-Def TV show,
just not in HD resolution, by using the composite Audio/Video
connections) Your HDTV is capable of converting 1080 to 720 if 720 is
its native resolution or a 720 TV show to 1080 if 1080 is its native
Using the "SEL" button on the remote and the "B" button, you can run
thru all the picture formats and select which ones you want from 480i
to 1080i. Press "EXIT" on the remote when finished.
There is a button on the remote for the cable box labeled "SETTINGS".
Press this button during the time you are watching TV and a pop-up
screen should appear with many options. If you press the SETTINGS
button again, another screen appears with even more options. One of the
options is SET Picture Format. Scroll up or down to get to these lines
using the arrow buttons on the remote next to the settings button. By
selecting SET PICTURE Format you can hilight several different lines.
Scroll to the line "PASS-THRU" and select this. EXIT using the EXIT
button on the 4250 remote.
Look at the 4250 front panel display. You should see the word "AUTO"
lighted up on the front panel. What this does is allow the box to
pass-thru the cable TV show without scaling the video and your HDTV can
do all the work to scale the video to it's native resolution. Most good
HDTVs today will do a much better job scaling the video than the
set-top-box. Look at the front panel display of the 4250 as you flip
thru HD channels and eventually you should see on the HD digital
channels, 720 or 1080 light up on the 4250 display. This means the TV
show is coming to you as 720p or 1080i (or close to it) but it is
passed thru to your HDTV without change. If you select FIXED instead of
PASS-THRU, then the cable box will select 720 or 1080 depending on your
selection, and do the video scaling.
You can see a System Status screen on your TV by pressing the SELECT
button on the 4250 front panel until you see the message icon appear.
Then press the INFO button. Certain information will be displayed such
as the 4250's last reboot time/date, status of system (READY for
example), signal levels, operating system and other technical data.
If after trying to get everything working you experience problems,
don't get frustrated, just call your cable provider for help or go
online and search for answers. Many problems have already been solved
by other people. You can find some info in forums online. Also download
user manuals from Scientific Atlanta or your cable provider. Ask
friends, neighbors for help. You can always call in a professional from
a local audio/video retailer or shop. An electronic repair shop may be
able to help.
Do not hesitate to ask your cable provider for another cable box if you
suspect the box is the problem. Try a different brand or model. Work
your way step by step and document each step. — Enjoy!
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