An answer from a TV installer
I sell TVs for a living and I install them as extra cash-in-hand.
Yes, you can put a high definition source into an SD TV. Cable, satellite, DVB-T (free-to-air digital), Blu-ray; you can plug them into ANY TV with composite ports (the yellow, white and red ports). The signal will be downconverted to SD by your cable box when it is sent through the composite video port.
I have a high definition DVB-T set-top-box plugged into a standard definition TV through composite, and it works fine. I have also set up many HD set-top-boxes with cheap SD plasmas, CRTs and even a rear projection telly. I also met a guy who bought an HD Tivo and a Panasonic Blu-ray recorder, and had it plugged into a 51cm CRT. Both worked fine even when watching HD channels.
So, to answer your question: Yes, with 100% certainty, a high definition cable box will work with your TV as long as the box and the TV both have composite video ports. The box might have a SCART-to-composite converter, which will also work fine. Your TV doesn't need to have the "HD-Ready" logo on it. Some very old TVs might only have an aerial port, in which case you'll need to plug the cable box into the AV input of your VCR or DVD recorder.
To the people who said "No, it won't work": While I'm sure you are very good at helping on other forums here on Cnet, please refrain from posting about audiovisual unless you can speak from personal experience.
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