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post #1 of 32 Old 01-17-2013, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking at picking up an HDHomeRun for my PC so that I can record TV. I have a small local(ish) cable provider (www.sectv.com) and I'm trying to figure out which channels I'd be able to record directly from my cable, without using an OTA antenna. Getting another digital cable box wouldn't be a problem if that would help. How would I go about finding this out? Any help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 32 Old 01-17-2013, 07:51 PM
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looking at one of the markets, it appears your best bet, if you are set on a homerun, would be to get a "prime" as the market I checked does offer cablecard... I briefly checked as the name sounded similar to a service that I used in a gated community years ago in ohio that actually resold satellite retransmitted as analog but at the time didn't offer hd or digital cable without a satellite tuner so that was what I wanted to check (ygnition is a company with locaions here in az that also does something similar)... but it appears you don't need to worry about that. The only potential problem I see with a prime is that they may have many non hd channels as analog only but since they mention a dta required for all {SD- full channel lineup} channels, I don't think you will run into that problem. Today's cablecard tuners from ceton or sd (homerun prime), as well as the regular non-prime homerun (called the dual or US) don't include an analog tuner but usually one isn't necessary.

With cablecard, your idea of getting another stb won't work as the stb (or dta) outputs in analog to be tuned by an analog tuner. A regular homerun (non-prime / cc) will only tune any channels available to a digital tv without a box, while the prime with a cablecard should tune in all your channels except any video on demand or pay per view. Either of the homeruns connect to your network which for many is desirable, but some prefer a direct connection such as a Ceton InfiniTV which is available in pcie or usb versions and both provide 4 tuners where the prime only has 3 (later his year there will be a 4 tuner prime)

{edit added SD-Full channel lineup to quantify "all"}
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post #3 of 32 Old 01-17-2013, 11:31 PM
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According to the Silicondust website, it looks like everything non-premium is available in clear QAM (I checked an Allentown zip). If you have a TV with a clear QAM tuner, the HDHomerun Dual will record any digital channels you get on the TV.
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post #4 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

@vladd - how would I know if my TV has a QAM tuner? I'm currently using a STB for both my TVs, should I disconnect the STB and see what I get?
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post #5 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

According to the Silicondust website, it looks like everything non-premium is available in clear QAM (I checked an Allentown zip). If you have a TV with a clear QAM tuner, the HDHomerun Dual will record any digital channels you get on the TV.

But isn't the FCC changing the rule (or did they already) requiring clear QAM of local channels? I thought I read about that somewhere. If so, buying a non-CC device would be risky. Even if it worked today, it might not work next month.
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post #6 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 06:13 AM
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If you have cable card and you record a flagged show ... Is there playback issues ?

Example: what if I recorded a show on my htpc then moved it to my laptop to watch on a plane ride ???

Issues ?

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post #7 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

If you have cable card and you record a flagged show ... Is there playback issues ?

Example: what if I recorded a show on my htpc then moved it to my laptop to watch on a plane ride ???

Issues ?

If it is flagged CopyOnce you cannot do that unless you record it to your laptop directly.

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post #8 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karyk View Post

But isn't the FCC changing the rule (or did they already) requiring clear QAM of local channels? I thought I read about that somewhere. If so, buying a non-CC device would be risky. Even if it worked today, it might not work next month.

This is true.

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post #9 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

If you have cable card and you record a flagged show ... Is there playback issues ?

Example: what if I recorded a show on my htpc then moved it to my laptop to watch on a plane ride ???

Issues ?

If it's flagged you won't be able to watch on anything other than the device it was recorded on.
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post #10 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by law086 View Post

Thanks guys!

@vladd - how would I know if my TV has a QAM tuner? I'm currently using a STB for both my TVs, should I disconnect the STB and see what I get?

Look in your manual but most, if not all, current TV's have a QAM tuner built in. Connct the cable directly to the TV and do a channel scan to see what you get.

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post #11 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karyk View Post

But isn't the FCC changing the rule (or did they already) requiring clear QAM of local channels? I thought I read about that somewhere. If so, buying a non-CC device would be risky. Even if it worked today, it might not work next month.
Yes they did but if your provider is giving you more than just the locals in clear QAM already, it's unlikely that they will change that because of the new ruling. Most likely, the only providers that will encrypt the locals are the ones only offering the locals in clear QAM.
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post #12 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

If it's flagged you won't be able to watch on anything other than the device it was recorded on.
or an extender (XBox or Ceton Echo).
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post #13 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

Yes they did but if your provider is giving you more than just the locals in clear QAM already, it's unlikely that they will change that because of the new ruling. Most likely, the only providers that will encrypt the locals are the ones only offering the locals in clear QAM.

That could be, but with the Prime only costing about $100 more I'd go that route. Not only do you get an extra tuner, but if your cable company reassigns the QAM channels you won't miss any programs.

I view the original HDHR as being more for people interested in OTA programming.
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post #14 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 07:49 AM
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According to the company's site, again only using the first choice for area since you never mentioned your area/zip from what I could see (don't know where vladd got allentown except that was included in first choice), only full basic is clear qam as they state any digital television or DTA is needed ... HD, premiums, and ultimate digital "require" a box or cablecard. This is just the info provided by your cable company but I would imagine some of the hd and ultimate may be included as clear qam as well but it also might mean that at any time they might decide to encrypt any of those channels. Another thing I found odd was they actually let you buy cablecards... $125 vs $3/month and $25 deposit for a lease.

{edit - I also quantified "all" in my first post for all channels when I was talking about the possibility of analog only being present for some channels as all does not mean all channels but in this case the SD-Full channel lineup}
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post #15 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Another thing I found odd was they actually let you buy cablecards... $125 vs $3/month and $25 deposit for a lease.

That is odd. I wonder if you lose or damage a leased CC if they go after you for anything more than the deposit amount?

I'd also add that I might change my post above on the benefit of CC in the HDHR Prime if I had to pay $3 a month. The QAM channel reassignments were not all that frequent when I was using the original HDHR. For Comcast I get the CC for free.
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post #16 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by signcarver View Post

(don't know where vladd got allentown except that was included in first choice)
Lehigh Valley (the first option on the providers site) is not a town and therefore does not have a zip code so I chose Allentown (18101) which is in Lehigh Valley. I then entered that zip code into http://www.silicondust.com/support/channels/ to see what other people in that zip code were receiving in clear QAM. The first two lists for "Digital Cable: Allentown, PA, 18101" matched up with the channel listings at http://www.sectv.com/LV/v_lineups.html which told me I had the right lineups. http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/lineup_web/US:18101#lineup_8909838 in particular shows channel 2 as "TV2" matching "SECTV2" on the SEC website.
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post #17 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Karyk View Post

That could be, but with the Prime only costing about $100 more I'd go that route. Not only do you get an extra tuner, but if your cable company reassigns the QAM channels you won't miss any programs.

I view the original HDHR as being more for people interested in OTA programming.
I've been using HDHR duals with clear QAM since 2006 and I've never missed a recording due to channel reassignments. There have only been 2 channel reassignments in those 6 years and I knew about them almost immediately.
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post #18 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

If it is flagged CopyOnce you cannot do that unless you record it to your laptop directly.

So how does that work ??

Is there a work around ??

That is basically why I never bothered with a cable card tuner.

Is this the same for CETON or HD PRIME ???

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post #19 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 11:04 AM
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It's the same for any CableCard tuner. Copy protected programs are recorded with PlayReady copy protection which is tied to a particular PlayReady installation, not just the machine. If you have to reformat your machine and reinstall the OS, you will also lose the ability to view previously recorded copy protected content.

There is one potential work around that I've found but I haven't actually tested it. Even if I did, I'm not sure I would make it public knowledge, sorry. It wouldn't work in your scenario anyway.
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post #20 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

So how does that work ??

Is there a work around ?

That is basically why I never bothered with a cable card tuner.

Is this the same for CETON or HD PRIME ???

For me it is worth it to cut out the $20 per month DVR tax and the $5 per month per STB rental fee that Charter charges. It is only $2 per month for the CableCARD. I am ahead by $30-$2 or $28 per month this way and it would be more if I had more STB / TV locations.

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post #21 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

So how does that work ??

Is there a work around ??

That is basically why I never bothered with a cable card tuner.

Is this the same for CETON or HD PRIME ???

Thats the entire reason for WMC extenders - because technically the computer that recorded it is playing it back. Tivos have to deal with it as well.

You can't manipulate the recording in any way either - no cutting commercials or compressing.

I would imagine the DRM is some how crackable but there is really no reason to. If you were into the torrent scene it's much easier to capture tv shows via component than it would be to crack WTV file encryption.

Some providers are better than others. For me on Comcast just a few premium movie channels are set that way.

Anything I recorded when I had HBO will need to be deleted when I finish putting my new htpc together - none of it will play.

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post #22 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

Thats the entire reason for WMC extenders - because technically the computer that recorded it is playing it back. Tivos have to deal with it as well.

You can't manipulate the recording in any way either - no cutting commercials or compressing.

I would imagine the DRM is some how crackable but there is really no reason to. If you were into the torrent scene it's much easier to capture tv shows via component than it would be to crack WTV file encryption.

Some providers are better than others. For me on Comcast just a few premium movie channels are set that way.

Anything I recorded when I had HBO will need to be deleted when I finish putting my new htpc together - none of it will play.

I have comcast.

How can I tell which stations would work and not ?

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post #23 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I have comcast.

How can I tell which stations would work and not ?
No way to tell really without trying it. If you have a clear QAM tuner in your TV, all the digital channels you receive will be recorded without encryption. Beyond that, you have to check the copy protection flags on the stream with either a cable co DVR (Motorola boxes can show the information) or a cable card tuner.

Note that it's possible for channels to be encrypted but the programs to be marked as copy freely. It's also possible to have unencrypted channels with programs marked as copy once but that is very rare.

Also, the copy protection flags are on a per program basis, not per channel. But usually if a channel has one program that is copy protected, all programs on that channel will be as well.
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post #24 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

I've been using HDHR duals with clear QAM since 2006 and I've never missed a recording due to channel reassignments. There have only been 2 channel reassignments in those 6 years and I knew about them almost immediately.

I was using it for years too, and I think I had the same number of channel reassignments during those years. I did miss at least one recording once. "Almost immediately" isn't really good enough, not to mention that it might require getting up early one morning on the effective date so that you could make the change before going to work.

But again, for $3.00 a month, I'd probably put up with those concerns.
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post #25 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 11:53 AM
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Disclaimer: I work from home and I don't use WMC so a channel reassignment pretty much means just typing in the new channel/program number for me so "almost immediately" in my case is more that sufficient time for me to make any changes I need.

If I used WMC or my cable company didn't have the entire basic/classic lineup in clear QAM, or have a specific channel that tells me the tuning information, I might feel differently. But for my situation, it's not worth me upgrading to a cable card tuner. (I do have an old ATI that I use simply for testing purposes though)
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post #26 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I have comcast.

How can I tell which stations would work and not ?

These are the clear QAM stations:

http://www.silicondust.com/support/channels/

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Its very unlikely for CCI to not be per channel and change on a per program basis, other forms of protection are "always" on a per program basis but are overridden for cablecard tuners by CCI, Generally Comcast marks everything but premiums as copy freely but it can vary by market. TW and Cox generally marks all but locals as copy once and can't be transferred. If for some reason you have channels that are clear and don't have a CCI value also provided, then you are back on a per program basis, including any commercial within the broadcast which sometimes even mark the program as copy never. The new features being brought out to the prime will also eventually allow other devices to play a stream recorded protected content, but not make a copy to watch on an airplane. Right now recording that content by dlna/dtcp-ip isn't generally available so one still must choose using WMC.

For this thread's OP, this may be another consideration as they might not have a windows 7 (nearly any version) or windows 8 (professional with media pack only) computer to take advantage of the cablecard and.or how they mark the hd, premium, and ultimate tiers in regard to CCI.

$3 sure beats the $10/month for an HD box, or $13/month for an HD DVR which are the rates for this threads OP provider of SECTV. Though the boxes can get VOD and PPV.


{edit since I saw Sammy2's post rather than make a new one}
Sammy2, that will tell you what stations are clear qam, but since comcast was mentioned, more than likely everything is encrypted (by april even the locals are to be encrypted) so a cable card tuner will be needed and it is unknown, what is copy freely vs. copy once which was the question being asked though comcast is typically copy freely for all but premiums. Another point about cablecard vs non-cablecard tuners is that I touched on above is that cablecard tuners must obey other protection if CCI isn't present... WMC also often enforces this on clear qam though not required to do so. In these cases software other than WMC and non-cablecard tuners should be used.
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post #28 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by signcarver View Post

Its very unlikely for CCI to not be per channel and change on a per program basis, other forms of protection are "always" on a per program basis but are overridden by CCI,
CCI/DRM flags are not on the channel, they are flags on a particular program stream. The flags can be flipped at any time. Playback/recording software must continually check the CCI flag on a regular basis (I don't remember the interval offhand but it's more than once per minute) and switch to copy protected recording if found. But common practice by service providers is to set the flag on all programs on a particular channel. Encryption (non "clear QAM") is per channel and not per program.
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post #29 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 12:33 PM
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My point is the cable company sets the CCI and they have better things to do than set this on a per program basis
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post #30 of 32 Old 01-18-2013, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by signcarver View Post

Its very unlikely for CCI to not be per channel and change on a per program basis, other forms of protection are "always" on a per program basis but are overridden for cablecard tuners by CCI, Generally Comcast marks everything but premiums as copy freely but it can vary by market. TW and Cox generally marks all but locals as copy once and can't be transferred. If for some reason you have channels that are clear and don't have a CCI value also provided, then you are back on a per program basis, including any commercial within the broadcast which sometimes even mark the program as copy never. The new features being brought out to the prime will also eventually allow other devices to play a stream recorded protected content, but not make a copy to watch on an airplane. Right now recording that content by dlna/dtcp-ip isn't generally available so one still must choose using WMC.

For this thread's OP, this may be another consideration as they might not have a windows 7 (nearly any version) or windows 8 (professional with media pack only) computer to take advantage of the cablecard and.or how they mark the hd, premium, and ultimate tiers in regard to CCI.

$3 sure beats the $10/month for an HD box, or $13/month for an HD DVR which are the rates for this threads OP provider of SECTV. Though the boxes can get VOD and PPV.


{edit since I saw Sammy2's post rather than make a new one}
Sammy2, that will tell you what stations are clear qam, but since comcast was mentioned, more than likely everything is encrypted (by april even the locals are to be encrypted) so a cable card tuner will be needed and it is unknown, what is copy freely vs. copy once which was the question being asked though comcast is typically copy freely for all but premiums. Another point about cablecard vs non-cablecard tuners is that I touched on above cablecard tuners must obey other protection if CCI isn't present... WMC also often enforces this on clear qam though not required to do so. In these cases software other than WMC and non-cablecard tuners should be used.

Care to elaborate a bit more?

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