Orange County home page

About QAM Tuners

Cable ready customers who have a TV with built-in digital tuning capabilities can access all unscrambled digital channels including Orange County Government PEG channel 1301 without a set-top or converter box. Typically only digital or HD televisions will have this capability, known as a Quadrature Amplitude Modulation or QAM tuner.

A QAM tuner is a device used by televisions and computers so they can receive digital cable television through a physical cable. Many channels can be picked-up using a QAM tuner because digital cable is mandated to not be scrambled or encrypted. Pay-Per-View channels are an exception. A converter box is required to receive encrypted signals.

How do I find available channels?

Most QAM tuner TV sets have a scanning function (typically called Auto Program, Channel Scan or some similar combination). Find the scan function in the on-screen menu and start it. You probably will see a progress bar that shows the number of channels found. A scan can take as long as 45 minutes depending on the TV set so be patient. When finished, the TV will have found all of the available QAM channels. The TV set will remember these channels for your later use. However, some sets do not have a scan function. For these TV sets, the user must manually enter each QAM channel.

How do I know if I have a QAM tuner?
The Owner's Manual for your TV should include information about a QAM tuner. If there is no information in the Owner's Manual, the TV probably does not have a QAM tuner. A good place to start is the Specifications Section. Look for the QAM capabilities in the area with the Antenna or Tuners. Another way to check for a QAM tuner is to examine the remote control. A dot (.) or a dash (-) button on the remote is normally used during the tuning process. If the remote has a dot or dash button, the TV probably does have a QAM tuner.

How do I use my QAM tuner?
This will vary depending on the TV set. Typically, the QAM tuner is always active. The user just needs to enter the QAM channel on the remote control. QAM channels are made from two numbers (a "major" and a "minor" separated by a dot or dash).