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post #1 of 16 Old 01-26-2012, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi I am new here and I hope I am in the right forum;If not sorry! I have a chance to get a replay recorder and I just need to know if it is compatable with comcast digital service. My cable guy did not even know what a replay was.I also have a comsat that get the air waves for certain free channels over satellite. Will either of these work with the replay Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-27-2012, 08:41 AM
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I have a chance to get a replay recorder and I just need to know if it is compatable with comcast digital service. My cable guy did not even know what a replay was.

I also have never heard of a "replay recorder". Do you mean a DVR? Is Replay the brand name?

Either way, you should be able to record SD content on the unit. Depending on if you are using a comcast cable box or not, and what inputs the unit has, that will determine how you would connect it. As far as HD, it's very unlikely you will be able to record that without using Comcast's dvr or a cable card tuner for a PC.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-27-2012, 09:16 AM
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Replay is dead

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReplayTV

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

Either way, you should be able to record SD content on the unit. Depending on if you are using a comcast cable box or not, and what inputs the unit has, that will determine how you would connect it. As far as HD, it's very unlikely you will be able to record that without using Comcast's dvr or a cable card tuner for a PC.

This is interesting -- I didn't know that it was possible to hook up a device separate from the set-top box (and not owned by the cable company) to capture the SD signal coming out of the box.

We have an HTPC in the family room and a cableco DVR in the bedroom, but I have a set-top cable box in the office (SD only) and it would be nice to be able to record news programming there without having to shell out for another DVR.

What type of device should I be looking for to accomplish this?
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 10:15 AM
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What type of device should I be looking for to accomplish this?

Umm, anything that records. VCR, DVD-R, DVR etc.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JorgeA View Post

We have an HTPC in the family room and a cableco DVR in the bedroom, but I have a set-top cable box in the office (SD only) and it would be nice to be able to record news programming there without having to shell out for another DVR.

What type of device should I be looking for to accomplish this?

If it's an office, these days it's fairly safe to assume that there's a computer there. If the SD content is in the clear (ClearQAM or analog NTSC), a tuner adapter for the PC with recording software will do the trick nicely, and still allow watching live TV with the SD STB simultaneously. The same or similar adapter (it depends on the STB outputs and tuner inputs matching up) can often be set up (using an IR blaster) to tune the STB and record its output.

When I'm on the road I carry a Hauppauge 950Q USB tuner to record the local news and other stuff that I may want to watch. It works in hotel rooms ("breakout" panels with various connectors just for this purpose are becoming more common), homes and most any place where there's a good enough OTA signal.

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post #7 of 16 Old 01-29-2012, 05:35 AM
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You can always take the demodulated output of a STB (NON HD) and feed it to a recording device.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-29-2012, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

Umm, anything that records. VCR, DVD-R, DVR etc.

As I said in my post, I'd like to avoid the fees for a second DVR. As a recorder, it would be used only lightly.

I am aware that you can hook up a VCR or DVD recorder to the STB, but this means that you have to keep the recorder tuned to channel 3 (or 4), and the STB turned on even if you're not watching TV, so that the recorder can do its thing at the scheduled time.

That's the kind of clunky approach I'm trying to avoid. Maybe it was too optimistic to think there was a better alternative solution.

Comcast has killed off all of the analog and virtually all of the clear-QAM cable channels in our area, so the elegant approach of using a splitter to connect the VCR on its own coax feed, separate from the STB, now works only if you want to record stuff off the local broadcast channels.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-29-2012, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post

If it's an office, these days it's fairly safe to assume that there's a computer there. If the SD content is in the clear (ClearQAM or analog NTSC), a tuner adapter for the PC with recording software will do the trick nicely, and still allow watching live TV with the SD STB simultaneously. The same or similar adapter (it depends on the STB outputs and tuner inputs matching up) can often be set up (using an IR blaster) to tune the STB and record its output.

Thanks, but sadly pretty much all we have left here in the way of unencrypted programming is broadcast channels. Maybe I got too excited when I saw sitlet's reply to the OP about recording SD content without a DVR.

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Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post

When I'm on the road I carry a Hauppauge 950Q USB tuner to record the local news and other stuff that I may want to watch. It works in hotel rooms ("breakout" panels with various connectors just for this purpose are becoming more common), homes and most any place where there's a good enough OTA signal.

That's pretty neat. What would the breakout panel be for -- wouldn't you just plug the USB tuner + antenna into your laptop? Or maybe it's to connect the tuner to an antenna on the roof of the hotel.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-29-2012, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JorgeA View Post

Thanks, but sadly pretty much all we have left here in the way of unencrypted programming is broadcast channels. Maybe I got too excited when I saw sitlet's reply to the OP about recording SD content without a DVR.

Does that mean that even NTSC analog channels are no longer? When I left Comcast territory 3 years ago, I had the Digital Extended Basic package, which included the analog Extended Basic channels at no extra cost.

If I'm reading you correctly, you're OK with SD-only programming in that room. Even if you can't get the SD cable channels digitally, you can still record the analog channels to digital files with most tuner cards...that is if they're still sending out the analog channels still.

If you can't get any kind of SD programming (other than the locals) without a cable box, some tuner cards have line video input capabilities using an included or sometimes optional dongle. (Or you can use a video capture card that doesn't have any tuner features.) If the cable box has line outputs, hooking up the line level audio and video outputs from the cable box to the line level A/V inputs on your tuner or capture card (and possibly your sound card) and using an IR blaster to control the cable box should give good results.

If your cable box only has a channel 3/4 RF output (no line level video out), you can still use the IR blaster to turn the cable box on and off, as well as tune it to the desired channel. In fact, some computers can be set to wake up in time to record your shows and go back to sleep when it's done.

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What would the breakout panel be for -- wouldn't you just plug the USB tuner + antenna into your laptop? Or maybe it's to connect the tuner to an antenna on the roof of the hotel.

I use the term "breakout panel" because it resembles the breakout boxes that are used to be able to use standard connectors with a proprietary system.

A lot of newer and business hotels have their flat screen TVs bolted to the wall, making something as simple as getting to the RF cable a real chore compared to the old TV credenza setup. The panels allow guests to hook up a computer, DVD player or video games to the TV. Exactly what they have varies from hotel to hotel. The Full Monty setups replicate every input and output on the TV, have conditioned AC power jacks and a separate RF jack and HDMI port so you can use a TiVo or computer-based PVR to record and play back on the big screen.

Indoor TV reception varies widely, so I wouldn't count on getting a usable OTA signal in a hotel room. Most hotels have long since replaced their old rooftop antenna MATV plant with a modern satellite system that provides "cable" and local channels through the same system. Remember that business hotels serve some of the most demanding guests, and rely on a lot of repeat business to stay in business. That's why they try to accommodate their guests who pat a few hundred bucks a night, a few dozen nights a year.

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post #11 of 16 Old 01-30-2012, 04:32 AM
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Does that mean that even NTSC analog channels are no longer?

Some areas yes it is all digital so you at least need a DTA to feed an analog TV.
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-30-2012, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JorgeA View Post

This is interesting -- I didn't know that it was possible to hook up a device separate from the set-top box (and not owned by the cable company) to capture the SD signal coming out of the box.

We have an HTPC in the family room and a cableco DVR in the bedroom, but I have a set-top cable box in the office (SD only) and it would be nice to be able to record news programming there without having to shell out for another DVR.

What type of device should I be looking for to accomplish this?

ummm, FCC mandated that cable companies allow non-cable company owned device to be able to decrypt their encrypted content in 1996.

Ever heard of TiVO?

However, TiVO charges like $20 a month to be able to do that.

Until recently, (2007) that was the only option. However, in 1997, ATI (division of AMD) made a Digital Cable Tuner, which can decrypt encrypted cable TV when connected to a PC, and turns that PC into a full feature DVR.

In 2010 Ceton released Ceton InifiniTV4, which can capture 4 encrypted channels at once in a PC. And that PC can redistribute the now decrypted content up to 5 other TV's at the same time.

In 2011 Silicon Dust released their cable card enabled tuner.

In the same year, Hauppauge release a rebranded silicon dust as their own dual tuner.

There are other options outside of the cable company provided DVR.

All of the above, with the exception for TiVO are fee FREE!!! You buy the hardware, and NEVER have to pay a fee!

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-30-2012, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post

Does that mean that even NTSC analog channels are no longer? When I left Comcast territory 3 years ago, I had the Digital Extended Basic package, which included the analog Extended Basic channels at no extra cost.

Sadly, in our area the analog channels are no more. We have the same service you had. The last remaining few analog channels got killed off just over a year ago IIRC, give or take a few months.

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If I'm reading you correctly, you're OK with SD-only programming in that room.

Yes, that's right. Only my wife requires HD. Most of the stuff I record is news programs and documentaries that I mostly listen to in the background, so the video part of it usually isn't crucial.

Thanks very much for the connection information (I've got some homework to do now) and for the explanation about breakout panels in hotels. Sounds like a great idea!
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post #14 of 16 Old 01-31-2012, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

ummm, FCC mandated that cable companies allow non-cable company owned device to be able to decrypt their encrypted content in 1996.

Ever heard of TiVO?

However, TiVO charges like $20 a month to be able to do that.

Until recently, (2007) that was the only option. However, in 1997, ATI (division of AMD) made a Digital Cable Tuner, which can decrypt encrypted cable TV when connected to a PC, and turns that PC into a full feature DVR.

In 2010 Ceton released Ceton InifiniTV4, which can capture 4 encrypted channels at once in a PC. And that PC can redistribute the now decrypted content up to 5 other TV's at the same time.

In 2011 Silicon Dust released their cable card enabled tuner.

In the same year, Hauppauge release a rebranded silicon dust as their own dual tuner.

There are other options outside of the cable company provided DVR.

All of the above, with the exception for TiVO are fee FREE!!! You buy the hardware, and NEVER have to pay a fee!

Yes, that last is the best part! In the family room we have a Ceton quad-tuner card in a PC running Windows Media Center. We'd wanted to ditch the Comcast DVR, and I looked into the TiVo and Moxi before settling on the computer, since it offered practically unlimited recording storage and tons more features (it's a PC, after all).

When I read the OP's post, I got my hopes up that somebody had devised a piece of equipment that would connect to the STB in the office and capture the signal coming out of it, with enough flexibility that you could leave town or go to bed and tell it to record different channels while you're out... without having to fork $$$ over every month for a DVR or a TiVo. The idea that Speed Daemon describes sounds interesting. I'll look around the AVS Forum and see what the best place is for that kind of device.
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-31-2012, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by JorgeA View Post

Yes, that last is the best part! In the family room we have a Ceton quad-tuner card in a PC running Windows Media Center. We'd wanted to ditch the Comcast DVR, and I looked into the TiVo and Moxi before settling on the computer, since it offered practically unlimited recording storage and tons more features (it's a PC, after all).

When I read the OP's post, I got my hopes up that somebody had devised a piece of equipment that would connect to the STB in the office and capture the signal coming out of it, with enough flexibility that you could leave town or go to bed and tell it to record different channels while you're out... without having to fork $$$ over every month for a DVR or a TiVo. The idea that Speed Daemon describes sounds interesting. I'll look around the AVS Forum and see what the best place is for that kind of device.


Just add a Media Center extender or XBOX 360 to your HTPC for the TV in the office, and schedule your recordings either through it, or through the HTPC. Either way, the recordings are shared.

For $80-$150 that you will fork over for the extender or XBOX, you will not have to rent another box or a DVR.

I am still not clear as to why you have a Comcast DVR if you have an HTPC with Ceton, which is a much much better DVR, plus you can connect it to 6 TV's at once, and unlimited TVs in total, as long as no more than 6 are on at the same time.

We ditched company provided cable boxes and DVR the second we got the 2 ATI DCT's in 2007. Then we switched over to Ceton in 2010, and only had to rent 1 CableCard since then. We have 5 TV's in the house, and they all get live and recorded TV as well as music, radio, movies, videos and pictures from the digital collection.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #16 of 16 Old 02-02-2012, 12:47 PM
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Just add a Media Center extender or XBOX 360 to your HTPC for the TV in the office, and schedule your recordings either through it, or through the HTPC. Either way, the recordings are shared.

For $80-$150 that you will fork over for the extender or XBOX, you will not have to rent another box or a DVR.

I am still not clear as to why you have a Comcast DVR if you have an HTPC with Ceton, which is a much much better DVR, plus you can connect it to 6 TV's at once, and unlimited TVs in total, as long as no more than 6 are on at the same time.

We ditched company provided cable boxes and DVR the second we got the 2 ATI DCT's in 2007. Then we switched over to Ceton in 2010, and only had to rent 1 CableCard since then. We have 5 TV's in the house, and they all get live and recorded TV as well as music, radio, movies, videos and pictures from the digital collection.

Very glad to hear that it's working for you. I'm still aiming for that.

Just by way of an explanation --

Our original plan was to get rid of the Comcast DVR. There was going to be a transition stage, during which we moved the DVR to the exercise room so that my wife could finish watching everything she had on it. (Before the DVR, we had a regular STB in that room.) Then, when we were sure that the Media Center setup was solid, I'd connect the rest of the house (including the office) to the PC via Powerline or MOCA -- and then, once we got that going reliably, we'd return the DVR and start saving on the monthly fees.

Well, a few things happened along the way. First, the WMC/Ceton setup hasn't been 100% reliable, so I can't clinch the sale on going WMC-only.

Second, on the other hand hanging on to the DVR this long has allowed me to show the wife that some of the problems she notices have to do with the cable channels themselves, rather than with the HTPC.

Third, she keeps putting new stuff on the DVR.

Fourth, we've discovered that keeping the DVR lets us have the best of both worlds: the limitless storage of the PC approach, plus the On-Demand capabilities of the Comcast DVR. So I'm rationalizing that instead of saving on the first DVR, we're saving the cost of a second DVR...

Sooner or later, I'd like to go whole-hog with extenders and get rid of the DVR altogether. But as they say, the time is not ripe!
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