TV card for Comcast Cable - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 07-22-2009, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
rimmi2002's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hi I am building an HTPC and wanted to incorporate a TV card in it. I have built several HTPCs but never used a TV card.

I have comcast and I pay $9 a month for a HDTV capable receiver. My question is that are there TV cards out there that are capable of getting all the channels from comcast including HD channels the way comcast reciever does. Then I'd prefer to buy that card and return the comcast box and save the $9 a month.

If there are such cards any recc'd for these cards?
rimmi2002 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 9 Old 07-22-2009, 01:39 PM
AVS Special Member
jrwalte's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
There is no easy solution - lets say that. You can't just buy a tuner, install it, insert cable card and go. However, if you're tech savy, there is a hack out there to be able to use the OCUR ATI Cablecard tuner. As long as your local cable company is willing to give you a cable card (I'd verify with them) you should be able to get it working, though you're not guaranteed and Comcast will not offer you any support. These cable tuner cards cost over $200.
jrwalte is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 07-22-2009, 05:08 PM
AVS Special Member
candre23's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Cable cards also have a significant limitations that you may want to consider. Because the cable companies have been dragging their feet for the better part of a decade on the cable card issue, the cards they give out now are already obsolete. They cannot handle 2-way communication, which is necessary for any sort of on-demand programming.

If you want to keep on-demand functionality, you will have to use your current cable box and have the HTPC control it with an IR transmitter. It sucks, but there is a reason that cable companies are the most hated utility in America.
candre23 is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 07-22-2009, 05:30 PM
AVS Addicted Member
walford's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 16,789
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 12
I suggest that you read through the following thread:
walford is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 07-22-2009, 05:48 PM
AVS Special Member
Servicetech571's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 4,691
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Cable companies have basically given up on cable cards, most won't even mention them unless you ask. For standard TV use they had a lot of issues and it was easier just to give customer's cable boxes.
Servicetech571 is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 07-22-2009, 06:02 PM
AVS Special Member
steven975's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I did the CableCARD hack, and it worked for me. The tuner was $195 on ebay...I got the external one.

There is no difference between the internal and external...they are both USB.

The issue with CableCARDs is they will not do On-Demand or any channel that uses SDV (Switched Digital Video), but they will get QAM. I know for me, I get all the channels I care about...the multiple secondary iterations of HBO and Showtime are SDV but the main channels aren't so I'm fine. You'll want to check with Comcast about what is SDV and what is not...and that assumes whoever you talk to there will know...and that is not likely. And, yes, I get HD and SD channels.

With Comcast, recurring costs for a CableCARD will be <$2. I think the cable companies are being a bit careful about what they move to SDV and what they keep on QAM. CableCARD users tend to be pretty sophisticated and vocal...and there's only so much they will tolerate before they call the regulators...moving every channel to SDV would do that. I know that the cable company here tried that and there were newspaper articles about it.

Another very-low-cost option is to install one or many QAM capable tuners...this will let you record the major network HD channels for no recurring monthly cost. Major network meaning anything that is broadcast over the air.
steven975 is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 12-31-2012, 01:46 AM
cmrodican's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10

thank you so much. i have been searching all over for days, as id like to add a tuner to my xbmc box, but was looking in all the wrong places for how to make it work with my cable... it turns out comcast will actually give you a cable card for free if you are a subscriber.

a few years back, i called comcast about using my own htpc with their service, and the person was really uneducnt ated about it... and she was comcast tech support... i got pre-occupied, and haven't looked into a tuner since about 2009... xbmc has tons of content, so i actually scrapped my cable subscription for a while and just relied on my own library, and mostly add ons like bluecop's repository.
cmrodican is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 12-31-2012, 07:54 AM
AVS Special Member
Karyk's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle
Posts: 6,570
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 182 Post(s)
Liked: 40
Since this thread was active there have been two companies' new products out there (either that or time really has flown). The HD Homerun Prime and the Centon. Both are Cablecard devices.

BTW, in addition to getting the free cablecard from Comcast, I believe you will also get a small credit for having your own device.
Karyk is online now  
post #9 of 9 Old 12-31-2012, 08:28 AM
AVS Special Member
Sammy2's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,850
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 124 Post(s)
Liked: 192
Wow! Dig up a 3 year old thread rather than the current ones on the first page or two of the HTPC thread..

There are three actually:

Ceton InfiniTV 4
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime
Hauppauge! WinTV-DCR-2650
snappjay likes this.

Sammy2 is offline  
Reply Home Theater Computers

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off