Is there any firmware to feed to my laptop to get it to not only recognize this firewire connection, but allow me to record onto my laptop and/or view shows? It identifies the HDTV tuner just fine, but prompts that it requires a firmware CD to initiate usefulness. Did Samsung ever produce (or envision) such a thing?
AFAIK Samsung never offered what you are looking for. Their intention was simply to be able to hook the receiver up to a D-VHS or similar product. IIRC there were threads about this years ago here. You might try a search...
The Samsung SIR-T165 is the only way I know that you can record HDTV (over the air-OTA) to tape using a JVC special VCR. I have the combo and save PBS programs and games to tape- wish I could do the same with cable or satellite- but no chance on that one! If you want to record over the air programs- and don't want to wait for 'whatever' HD DVD (Blu Ray, HD DVD, or something else) to get as inexpensive (about two years away or more) get this combo!
While not for recording, I have used the SIR-T150 for viewing on a PC via use of its RGB output. I actually kept a couple of those old units for just such a purpose. I took a very old 19 inch tube TV in a spare bedroom out and replaced it with a SIR-T150 hooked to a 19 inch computer monitor and have it hooked to a spare pair of powered computer speakers. I have a friend with a spare T165 and one of these days I may snag it just for laughs. I assume you hooked it up with a 6 pin to 4 pin firewire cable?
Search for Exdues drivers. Download and install them following the step by step instructions with the sammy plugged into the firewire on your lappy, and wherever you see cable stb/dvr replace it with samsung.
Then d/l and install capdvhs and record your show.