The Official Vista Cable Card Thread - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 05:42 AM
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No... you can't subscribe to a time zone. Anyways, apparently no one posting here actually has cablecards, so why don't we all go to this forum. Find your area and get actual reports of cablecard do's and don'ts from people in your area, as well as how switched video is screwing things up for cable card.

1. I have monitored several Tivo Series 3 forums and from what they describe once the Cablecard is provisioned correctly they receive all the linear HD channels. I have also talked at length to Comcast service technicians and they have pretty much said the same thing. There have been a lot of problems with compatibility, some are caused by bugs in the CE equipment, some are caused by bugs in the Cablecard firmware. Obviously there is room for improvement in the certification process but there is probably no way to simulate all the different combinations of software and hardware that exist in the wild within a lab. When the Series 3 Tivo launched there was obviously a lack of communication from CableLabs and the head offices of the MSOs and again confusion reigned at the local level...Microsoft should be thankful that Tivo went first and was able to get all this straightened out.

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You can sit around here and post your hopes and dreams about cablecard in your Vista PC all day long. But a quick review of ANY independent information will tell you it's practically DOA.

SDV has definitely thrown a wrench in the works...but my understanding is that the FCC is requiring Cablelabs to provide a solution if the MSOs wish to deploy SDV. Yes, that pretty much means Vista MediaCenters are not an attractive solution right now and the early adopters of the Tivo Series 3 are probably going to get screwed but sometimes those are the breaks when you are on the cutting edge.

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Don't believe me, look it up for yourself... Or don't, keep your head in the sand and tell yourself that one day you will be able build your own ocur box and watch NFL sunday ticket and btw you'll be dating the tooth farie and life will be good!

I have personally have held the opinion that it is going to be a long time before you can build your own Vista Media Center PC that has a direct interface to the provider, no matter if it is a Digital Cable Tuner or a Satellite based solution. And yes, I understand that makes a lot of PC enthuisats unhappy but I don't think the content owners are going to accept it any other way. If that is a dealbreaker for you, sorry.

-- Jim
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post #182 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jmallory View Post

I understand that makes a lot of PC enthuisats unhappy but I don't think the content owners are going to accept it any other way. If that is a dealbreaker for you, sorry.

Well, given the legal issues of fair use it's not quite that simple. It's clear the content providers would like some margin of protection, it's their livelihood after all. But at the same time there are questions of whether the draconian tactics they're trying to implement are legal. Fair use allows more flexibility that what the content providers are attempting to jam down our throats. Just look at the bitchslap Sony's been given for their spyware attempts. The same heavy-handed tactics of abusing customers are being applied here. The question is whether legislators will pull their mouths up from the trough of campaign donations from the content providers long enough to actually DO something about these illegal behaviors. I'm not holding my breath.
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post #183 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

Well, given the legal issues of fair use it's not quite that simple. It's clear the content providers would like some margin of protection, it's their livelihood after all. But at the same time there are questions of whether the draconian tactics they're trying to implement are legal. Fair use allows more flexibility that what the content providers are attempting to jam down our throats. Just look at the bitchslap Sony's been given for their spyware attempts. The same heavy-handed tactics of abusing customers are being applied here. The question is whether legislators will pull their mouths up from the trough of campaign donations from the content providers long enough to actually DO something about these illegal behaviors. I'm not holding my breath.

I don't see where the ability to build your own OCUR or Satellite receiver equiped Media Center has anything to do with fair use. I mean, you are being told up front what the restrictions are going to be with Vista Media Center. It is up to you as a consumer to determine if these restrictions are acceptable to you, if they are not, simply don't purchase the product. Sony got into trouble because they didn't disclose what exactly their DRM was going to do.

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post #184 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 07:21 AM
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Fair use provides for the citizen to do things like make a single copy for their own consumption. It's not about having to decide if the restrictions are acceptable, it's whether those restrictions are legal in the first place. But this isn't the place for THAT debate.
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post #185 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 02:13 PM
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With the understanding that DCT-recorded content will only be viewable from the certified DCT system (or an extender of that system), my question is regarding storage of the recorded content for the DCT system to play back. Will it be limited to reading from internal storage at time of installation, or will it be flexible for swapping to larger hard drives later, external storage, or even NAS storage? My objective for this potential solution is not a media center with high-end audio, blu-ray and/or HD-DVD playback capability, etc., but rather near-infinite storage capability.
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post #186 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by frankinla View Post

No... you can't subscribe to a time zone. Anyways, apparently no one posting here actually has cablecards, so why don't we all go to this forum.

I have cable card in my TV in portland, OR on comcast.

You can subscribe to and recieve any channel you can recieve with the cable box.

You can phone in and request PPV events.

You do not get VOD or the EPG.

Joel Barsotti
SpectraCal
CalMAN Lead Developer
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post #187 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by scoombs View Post

With the understanding that DCT-recorded content will only be viewable from the certified DCT system (or an extender of that system), my question is regarding storage of the recorded content for the DCT system to play back. Will it be limited to reading from internal storage at time of installation, or will it be flexible for swapping to larger hard drives later, external storage, or even NAS storage? My objective for this potential solution is not a media center with high-end audio, blu-ray and/or HD-DVD playback capability, etc., but rather near-infinite storage capability.

Internal and external local storage (USB, 1394, etc) can be upgraded, changed, etc. Doesn't matter. Just point Media Center to the volume that you want to record to, it's in the Settings. You can move recorded (SD and HD) around on these hard drives and playback will still work fine.

Recording in Media Center is limited to local media, it can't record to a NAS to begin with. I believe storage of CableCARD content is limited to SD material if you want to go with NAS. I'm not entirely sure about that, but pretty sure it's limited.

Chris
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post #188 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisL01 View Post

Internal and external local storage (USB, 1394, etc) can be upgraded, changed, etc. Doesn't matter. Just point Media Center to the volume that you want to record to, it's in the Settings. You can move recorded (SD and HD) around on these hard drives and playback will still work fine.

Recording in Media Center is limited to local media, it can't record to a NAS to begin with. I believe storage of CableCARD content is limited to SD material if you want to go with NAS. I'm not entirely sure about that, but pretty sure it's limited.

Chris

Whoa! This is even more neutered than I had realized. No HD stored on a remote volume, even if the HD content is encrypted? How worthless can you get?

The MSFT people should be fighting DFAST and not building neutered products.

Oh well, at least the R5000-HD works.

Thanks,
Mike
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post #189 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisL01 View Post

I believe storage of CableCARD content is limited to SD material if you want to go with NAS. I'm not entirely sure about that, but pretty sure it's limited.

Chris

I guess it is possible for premium content on NAS. The decryption could only happen in the PC it was recorded on. After all, Windows home server is one kind of NAS?

HDPLEX
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post #190 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 03:51 PM
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I believe media must be stored locally for decryption to take place on HD content (some SD too, again I don't know the exact thing here). Windows Home Server isn't going to be Media Center friendly.

Maybe we can add NAS playback to Chris' list for testing?

Chris
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post #191 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by keenan View Post

Unless HBO-HD is a switched digital channel in your area, it can be received by using a CableCARD. A CableCARD can decrypt any linear-fed digital channel.

Which is the problem... all but the standard definition HBO, Showtime and Cinemax in TWC Los Angeles Areas are switched video... i.e., uni-directional. This may be true for other areas as well... The HDTV form will have specific advise for your particular areas. You can also try your own cable co's web site and look up info on cable card.

A letter from the CEA to the FCC also suggested that more cable co's were planning to switch to switched video as it saves them bandwidth, so the issue will become more of a problem down the road. Cablecard 2.0 (as specified) would address this, but no one has seen a 2.0 card.

In any case, OCUR is not 2.0 compliant. Check the threads for your area for people who have used cablecard and see what they had to contribute. Also check with your provider.

For me, between the expense of a pre-built Media Center box (and a new HDCP monitor), and the present and foreseeable limitations of cablecard 1.0, Vista Cable Card is DOA.

Nuff said
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post #192 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 08:22 PM
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I agree, Vista Cable Card is DOA. This is just what the cable companies wanted.
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post #193 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jmallory View Post

I have personally have held the opinion that it is going to be a long time before you can build your own Vista Media Center PC that has a direct interface to the provider, no matter if it is a Digital Cable Tuner or a Satellite based solution. And yes, I understand that makes a lot of PC enthuisats unhappy but I don't think the content owners are going to accept it any other way. If that is a dealbreaker for you, sorry.

it is and cableis going bye. just stick to OTA and friend's places if there is a big ESPN game.

did anyone of these places ever go out of business from VCRs?
if they want to go crazy locking down the mostly movie channels, ok, but the rest of this is ridiculous.
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post #194 of 1877 Old 02-06-2007, 08:57 PM
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I'm really getting tired of all this content protection. It's getting ridiculous. It makes someone like me who doesn't download illegally want to start because it is easier than going through the hassle of obtaining and playing back my media legally. Hollywood, the RIAA, and Cable Labs are defeating themselves.
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post #195 of 1877 Old 02-07-2007, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisL01 View Post

I believe media must be stored locally for decryption to take place on HD content (some SD too, again I don't know the exact thing here). Windows Home Server isn't going to be Media Center friendly.

Maybe we can add NAS playback to Chris' list for testing?

Chris

Cool, sounds good. Also, Chris, feel free to e-mail me with any other suggestions for testing scenarios. I'll be happy to give you results first for your blog.

cmorley AT velocitymicro DOT com

And you other guys are welcome to email me too. I get at least a dozen questions a day about DCT from our sales department...
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post #196 of 1877 Old 02-07-2007, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisL01 View Post

Internal and external local storage (USB, 1394, etc) can be upgraded, changed, etc. Doesn't matter. Just point Media Center to the volume that you want to record to, it's in the Settings. You can move recorded (SD and HD) around on these hard drives and playback will still work fine.

Recording in Media Center is limited to local media, it can't record to a NAS to begin with. I believe storage of CableCARD content is limited to SD material if you want to go with NAS. I'm not entirely sure about that, but pretty sure it's limited.

Chris

You can fool mce 2005 into recording across a network with the iscsi initiator and an appropriate SAN/NAS/Server target. I will test that in Vista shortly to see if this still works. Couple that with logical volumes and you do have a centralized storage limited by how many drives you can install.

This DRM is pointless, if you look around you can already download raw HD streams and 90% of the shows without commercials. The only catch is the lack of convenience , I was prepared to pay for the convenience but with these awful limitations... it does seem to drive people to copying stuff. Come on IPTV...
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post #197 of 1877 Old 02-07-2007, 08:11 AM
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So it sounds like worst-case you cannot select a NAS as your recording target (subject to further testing and confirmation of workarounds), but nothing would prevent the locally stored data from being moved to a NAS, and then moved back local for playback if necessary? I am keen to see testing by Chris Morley or others on what the options are here.
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post #198 of 1877 Old 02-07-2007, 10:13 AM
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We have a Bear Creek (?) Intel NAS in our lab that would be easy to test. We're just a few days away from being able to do more thorough testing due to our workload - I'll keep you guys informed.
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post #199 of 1877 Old 02-07-2007, 10:16 AM
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FWIW, I've been using CableCard with Comcast in the Chicago area for over a year. The CableCard is in one of our TVs. All of the premium and HD channels to which we subscribe are available using that CableCard. That included multiple HBO, Cinemax and some other movie channels until our promotion expired and we dropped them. I had not experience with any sports packages, but have no reason to believe that they would not be available to CableCard equipped devices.

Of greater concern to me (although not so great that it has prevented me from ordering a new CableCard Media Center from Velocity Micro) is the reliability of CableCard. For a while, we had cablecards in two other TVs as well, we didn't use the CableCards that frequent because most of our viewing was through Xbox 360's attached as Media Center Extenders, but often when I would try to tune using the CableCard tuners I would find that they were not functioning properly, usually a call to the Comcast would fix the issue after a long wait, but this was quite annoying. Several CableCard replacements did not help the problem. Interestingly, the problem only occurred on the two Sony RPTVs we have, not on the Sony LCD.

Can anyone put my mind at ease as to whether the OCUR experience is likely to be better?
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post #200 of 1877 Old 02-07-2007, 10:41 PM
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I have been using SageTV for a couple years now, and have built up quite the system in my home. I cancelled Dish network about a year ago, because I really didn't watch anything that wasn't available on basic analog cable, or OTA. I now currently have 2 ATSC tuners, 2 Analog Cable tuners, and 1 analog capture conencted to a digital cable box (for some Wife requested extended basic channels). I was hoping to be able to replace the box with a cablecard tuner, but if the cost is going to require a new system purchase, restrict me to MCE (which, in my opinion is considerably inferior to Sage), it is a no go. For the cost of one of these new systems, I can purchase 2 R5000-HD mods and some Dish 211's, and Dish will get me back as a customer. Makes me glad I left the dishes on my roof when i cancelled!
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post #201 of 1877 Old 02-07-2007, 10:55 PM
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Fair use provides for the citizen to do things like make a single copy for their own consumption. It's not about having to decide if the restrictions are acceptable, it's whether those restrictions are legal in the first place.

They are. Fair use is not a right. It's an affirmative defense against copyright infringement.
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post #202 of 1877 Old 02-08-2007, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DWAnderson View Post

FWIW, I've been using CableCard with Comcast in the Chicago area for over a year. The CableCard is in one of our TVs. All of the premium and HD channels to which we subscribe are available using that CableCard. That included multiple HBO, Cinemax and some other movie channels until our promotion expired and we dropped them. I had not experience with any sports packages, but have no reason to believe that they would not be available to CableCard equipped devices.

Of greater concern to me (although not so great that it has prevented me from ordering a new CableCard Media Center from Velocity Micro) is the reliability of CableCard. For a while, we had cablecards in two other TVs as well, we didn't use the CableCards that frequent because most of our viewing was through Xbox 360's attached as Media Center Extenders, but often when I would try to tune using the CableCard tuners I would find that they were not functioning properly, usually a call to the Comcast would fix the issue after a long wait, but this was quite annoying. Several CableCard replacements did not help the problem. Interestingly, the problem only occurred on the two Sony RPTVs we have, not on the Sony LCD.

Can anyone put my mind at ease as to whether the OCUR experience is likely to be better?

I've had this conversation with AMD before. We pretty much all agreed that because the TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner was one constant product, it's much easier to guarantee CableCARD compatibility as opposed to the myriad of TV manufacturers that may be building sets that might have issues.
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post #203 of 1877 Old 02-20-2007, 10:23 AM
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Anyone here have a Vista Machine with cable card yet?

I am very new to this forum and am very curious to see how it works out. I am thinking about switching to a Vista MC with cable cards. I was already looking at replacing my current PC and I could save some money every month switching over to Comcast from DTV.

Couple questions...
If I have a Vista MC PC in my office with a cable card and an xbox360 in another room will I be able to watch shows through the xbox live (in real time) or will I only be able to watch shows that have already completed and saved on the MC?

Also I saw this question asked but I didn't see an answer. Will I be able to upgrade the components in the PC without unvalidating it? If so which components?

I read that the MC will need to be able to Ping CableLabs once every 90 days. What if the PC is not connected to the internet? Will the cable card stop working?

Thanks in advance.
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post #204 of 1877 Old 02-20-2007, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jaymetz View Post

I read that the MC will need to be able to Ping CableLabs once every 90 days. What if the PC is not connected to the internet? Will the cable card stop working?

If you using a cablecard, your going to need guide data which requires an internet connection in itself.

Greg
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post #205 of 1877 Old 02-20-2007, 10:46 AM
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Can somebody send me a Dell link which has a prebuilt Vista MCE system with 2 cable cards included? I'm not sure even where to start.

Can your HTPC Media Center / DVR Do this??

SageTV: Unrestricted full-quality 12 tuner HD Premium Cable recording, including "On Demand" in HD + OTA ATSC + DVB-S2 + Blu-ray/HD-DVD serving 5 clients.
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post #206 of 1877 Old 02-20-2007, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mkanet View Post

Can somebody send me a Dell link which has a prebuilt Vista MCE system with 2 cable cards included? I'm not sure even where to start.

Last I checked (this morning) they do not have any yet.
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post #207 of 1877 Old 02-20-2007, 12:01 PM
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velocity micro and a few other sites show march as the shipping date for cable card based MC pc's.

John crawford
john@crawfordweb.org
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post #208 of 1877 Old 02-20-2007, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Eagle17 View Post

velocity micro and a few other sites show march as the shipping date for cable card based MC pc's.

Dell and HP are qiet on the subject. Niveus and Vidabox talk about upcoming solutions in March. Any other sites besides Velocity Micro that have configurable systems right now?
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post #209 of 1877 Old 02-20-2007, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymetz View Post

Anyone here have a Vista Machine with cable card yet?

I am very new to this forum and am very curious to see how it works out. I am thinking about switching to a Vista MC with cable cards. I was already looking at replacing my current PC and I could save some money every month switching over to Comcast from DTV.

Couple questions...
If I have a Vista MC PC in my office with a cable card and an xbox360 in another room will I be able to watch shows through the xbox live (in real time) or will I only be able to watch shows that have already completed and saved on the MC?

Also I saw this question asked but I didn't see an answer. Will I be able to upgrade the components in the PC without unvalidating it? If so which components?

I read that the MC will need to be able to Ping CableLabs once every 90 days. What if the PC is not connected to the internet? Will the cable card stop working?

Thanks in advance.

Cable Labs never implied that to me, but as an above poster stated, internet connection is highly desirable for watching content, so it would just piggy back on that and keep an eye out for a black listed key or set of keys.
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post #210 of 1877 Old 02-20-2007, 01:45 PM
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Also, you should be able to upgrade components in a DCT system as long as you don't change out the MB (which contains a special BIOS), and use a video card that has HDCP.
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