Can i hook up my own cable box from comcast?



I have service form Comcast for internet and basic cable. A month or so ago our local ABC channel come in on and off. When it is "off"is is snowy but you can still see the picture but barely. I called the cable company and they want me to buy a cable box for another 15.00 a month! I already pay for the basic and internet and really don't want to give them more money.
I was given some Comcast boxes with remotes but can i hook these up myself? Can Comcast trace this? Is it illegal? I pay for service and if I have my own box why rent one right? Any ideas or info would help. Thanks!
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