Newbie Question on PVR & Digital Cable - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-21-2006, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all - Here is my question:

I have the Cox digital HDTV cable service with the SA 8300HD DVR and a tuner-less HDTV screen. I am intrigued with the idea of replacing the SA box with some sort of PC-based PVR system. However everything I read tonight does not address this basic HDTV configuration. I am looking for at least the same level of functionality provided by the 8300 but would prefer more disk space, recording options, etc.

Is anyone using a PVR implementation with Cox cable and able to output to a HDMI-connected HDTV?

TIA,
Rob
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-23-2006, 10:32 AM
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For one thing if you want to get rid of the cablebox your going to have to get a PVR that can use a cablecard. Without a cablecard capable box you will have to keep some sort of cableco provided box to get digital cable. So you should search for a PVR with cablecard and HDMI support. This rules out TiVo (until series 3 maybe) and replay. Maybe look into Myth or an MCE box. Maybe others can steer you twords a box that has these two options.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-23-2006, 10:52 AM
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There are no PC-based PVR systems that support cablecard. In fact - only 1 stand-alone PVR has been cerified to support cablecard - the Sony DHG-HDDxxx.


CableLabs CableCard Certification List

(The list changes weekly though)
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-24-2006, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. I will have to wait then until this setup is supported better.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-28-2006, 09:16 AM
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You can always create a MythTV backend that you can put somewhere discreet (closet somewhere or garage) and then have that control the cable box directly. You then can create as many mythtv frontends that you want that you can plug into your tv's throughout your home. The backend will handle all the recording and live-tv buffering and the frontends will just play the streams on your tv. You could have 3 or 4 (or more?) tuners in the backend and be able to record several programs at once. This is one of the most functional setups around, the only problem is the cost of the backend and frontends.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-09-2006, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay19bm
You can always create a MythTV backend that you can put somewhere discreet (closet somewhere or garage) and then have that control the cable box directly. You then can create as many mythtv frontends that you want that you can plug into your tv's throughout your home. The backend will handle all the recording and live-tv buffering and the frontends will just play the streams on your tv. You could have 3 or 4 (or more?) tuners in the backend and be able to record several programs at once. This is one of the most functional setups around, the only problem is the cost of the backend and frontends.
jay19bm, will this allow you to record & Play back the Premium HI Def channels such as HBO-HD & others?
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-10-2006, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usv
jay19bm, will this allow you to record & Play back the Premium HI Def channels such as HBO-HD & others?
This can be accomplished in one of two ways. If the HBO-HD channels are unencrypted, then the HD cards can process the streams just like any other with their QAM reception. However, I'm not sure that any of these channels are being sent unencrypted right now.

So this currently leaves you with one option and that is passing the signal through the satellite dish or the cable box to your mythtv box. This can be through a tuner card or with the firewire port if your STB has that. This may already be setup for other channels to work as well since most channels over 100 on cable are digital channels (often encrypted).

Soon there are supposed to be tuner cards with cable cards that will allow the cable company to give you a card to plug in and your tuner will be able to read the encrypted channels as well.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-10-2006, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay19bm
This can be accomplished in one of two ways. If the HBO-HD channels are unencrypted, then the HD cards can process the streams just like any other with their QAM reception. However, I'm not sure that any of these channels are being sent unencrypted right now.

So this currently leaves you with one option and that is passing the signal through the satellite dish or the cable box to your mythtv box. This can be through a tuner card or with the firewire port if your STB has that. This may already be setup for other channels to work as well since most channels over 100 on cable are digital channels (often encrypted).

Soon there are supposed to be tuner cards with cable cards that will allow the cable company to give you a card to plug in and your tuner will be able to read the encrypted channels as well.
This is not very accurate. Most channels over 100 may only be available in digital format, but this does not mean channels under 100 are not digital. If you have a digital box, every channel you watch is digital. Furthermore, most channels are not encrypted. In fact, on Comcast all of my digital channels are supposedly unencrypted except ESPN-HD and probably the pay channels like HBO, et al.

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post #9 of 10 Old 05-10-2006, 02:36 PM
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Not necessarily true. Many cable plants still use analog up to channel 74 or so. Also - ATSC tuners can't decode digital cable - you need a QAM capable tuner - i.e. digital cable ready. Generally these are not yet available for PCs. If you know of one - please post.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-10-2006, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robdgibson
I have the Cox digital HDTV cable service with the SA 8300HD DVR and a tuner-less HDTV screen.

I am looking for at least the same level of functionality provided by the 8300 but would prefer more disk space, recording options, etc.
If your 8300HD is running SARA software then you can add another external SATA hard drive (huge thread about it on the HD Recorders forum).

If it's running the Passport Echo software then you can't do this. So i have two SA8300HDs side by side on the same TV which doubles my disk space :D

Randy
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