Windows Media Center vs TiVo Premiere - Page 17 - AVS Forum
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post #481 of 919 Old 05-31-2013, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Only thing I know is my local Fry's had a blow-out of the existing models what seems like months ago and I haven't seen any since. Hopefully, the new guys are right around the corner. I keep wanting to built another small form factor PC. Either this guy or a shuttle...

 

 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0093LINVK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

 

I'd rather play around with streaming TV via DLNA... so hurry up!

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post #482 of 919 Old 05-31-2013, 03:03 PM
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^^^

Oooo... that's pretty sweet. I just put it on my wish list.
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post #483 of 919 Old 05-31-2013, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^

Oooo... that's pretty sweet. I just put it on my wish list.

 

Rumor has it there might be a new version before long... so that's a great excuse to keep waiting. They currently have a low-end version for $179 (slower cpu). I'm hoping my local Fry's close them out at some point and I'll probably bite just for the heck of it.

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post #484 of 919 Old 05-31-2013, 05:22 PM
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That is a pretty neat little box, added to my wish list as well.
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post #485 of 919 Old 06-01-2013, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post


I'd rather play around with streaming TV via DLNA... so hurry up!

It works great on the Prime but all the clients pretty much suck because you get a huge scrolling list of channels that you have to page through. And it's only for live TV right now so there's little point to it for me. SiliconDust mentioned that they know it sucks and are working on getting better clients out there, so we'll see.

The Intel NUCs are great SFF HTPCs, there's a thread about them in the HTPC forum. As you said new ones are just around the corner so no need to buy the i3's now.
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post #486 of 919 Old 06-01-2013, 11:02 PM
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Amazon has the Celeron based Intel NUC for $164.99
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post #487 of 919 Old 06-02-2013, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I finally found an advantage to upgrading to Windows 8 outside of the pure tweaking, staying current with tech, etc. With network TV between fall and summer programming my DVR schedule appears to be dramatically reduced and I'm starting to catch up with the series I built up. All except one with ten episodes left.

 

So I decided to take another look at Netflix and saw the Windows 8 app supports 1080p and Dolby Digital 5.1. I was going to move my WD TV Play to the den but decided to give the app a chance and so far it's pretty impressive. Among others I'm catching the final season of Weeds and it looks better than most (if not all) of the network shows I catch. Lots of detail in the image as I first noticed with the warning labels on a ladder that I could read perfectly.

 

Certainly not worth upgrading over but it's nice to get some advantage...

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post #488 of 919 Old 06-02-2013, 08:41 AM
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Not following why the Win8 version of NF is any better than Win7's.
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post #489 of 919 Old 06-02-2013, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Not following why the Win8 version of NF is any better than Win7's.

 

It's a Metro App... not browser based and offers features such as Super HD (not available with Windows 7 last I heard).

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post #490 of 919 Old 06-02-2013, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

It's a Metro App... not browser based and offers features such as Super HD (not available with Windows 7 last I heard).
True, you get 1080p and a few other features in the Win 8 versoin, but no remote control is a huge deal breaker for me, so I'll never be using it. In any case, my blu-ray player is much better at NF than either Win 7 or Win 8.
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post #491 of 919 Old 06-02-2013, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post


True, you get 1080p and a few other features in the Win 8 versoin, but no remote control is a huge deal breaker for me, so I'll never be using it. In any case, my blu-ray player is much better at NF than either Win 7 or Win 8.

 

XBMC is better than any Blu-ray player I have used. smile.gif However I sort of like the WD TV Play for playing HD DLNA files including HD audio. I always keep my paddle around for non remote use. The guy in the first post. The only issue is controlling volume. If I used the remote that came with my IR sensor even that wouldn't be an issue.. as it has built-in mouse support and works rather nicely. Again, it's linked in the post...

 

Netflix wise the best image/audio wins although the interface is pretty slick and much better than I have seen on various other players. It's just nice to see something integrated into Windows 8... a ray of hope for down the road.

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post #492 of 919 Old 06-03-2013, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

XBMC is better than any Blu-ray player I have used. 
smile.gif
 However I sort of like the WD TV Play for playing HD DLNA files including HD audio. I always keep my paddle around for non remote use. The guy in the first post. The only issue is controlling volume. If I used the remote that came with my IR sensor even that wouldn't be an issue.. as it has built-in mouse support and works rather nicely. Again, it's linked in the post...

Netflix wise the best image/audio wins although the interface is pretty slick and much better than I have seen on various other players. It's just nice to see something integrated into Windows 8... a ray of hope for down the road.
Hopefully Win 7 will also get a better Netflix app once the ditch silverlight and switch to HTML 5. I've been holding off on trying Netflix on XBMC. I didn't think it was quite ready for prime time last time I looked into it. I guess I should give it another try.

Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how good Win 8's NF is, the rest of the OS is so unusable, that's not an option for me.
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post #493 of 919 Old 06-03-2013, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how good Win 8's NF is, the rest of the OS is so unusable, that's not an option for me.

 

Now you are just being silly. Having used it since before release (various Betas) my experience is 99.5% the same as Windows 7. Both as a desktop and HTPC. I know a few things won't work on 8 such as the one of the WMC commercial skip apps which is a biggie if you want to use it... I ended up spending $15 (one free - one $15) to upgrade Windows 7 boxes to 8 Pro with WMC of which I have found usable. smile.gif Even a few features like hibernate work better.

 

This is typical HTPC forum material so I'll let it drop here as I try to keep this thread clean of such.

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post #494 of 919 Old 06-03-2013, 10:24 AM
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Have to agree with dave - Win8 is crap UI-wise, and especially if you want to use it for WMC with the extra cost involved and by screwing with the extenders. MS was really smoking something by trying to impose a phone/tablet UI on a PC, and you can see with the announcement of 8.1 (and the lower PC sales) that they realized they went too far.
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post #495 of 919 Old 06-03-2013, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Now you are just being silly. Having used it since before release (various Betas) my experience is 99.5% the same as Windows 7. Both as a desktop and HTPC. I know a few things won't work on 8 such as the one of the WMC commercial skip apps which is a biggie if you want to use it... I ended up spending $15 (one free - one $15) to upgrade Windows 7 boxes to 8 Pro with WMC of which I have found usable. smile.gif
 Even a few features like hibernate work better.

This is typical HTPC forum material so I'll let it drop here as I try to keep this thread clean of such.
I used it a lot as well from the early betas through the commercial release. I even bought several copies in case I'm ever forced to use them. I ran WMC on it for a while too, which worked fine for the most part. So I gave it the old college try. In fact, I tried really, really hard. I just can't deal with it. They ruined too many things. I find the Win 8 desktop very different from Win 7, no where near 99%, more like 50%. Win 8 just makes using a PC a miserable experience IMO. It's primitive, ugly, illogical, unintuitive, awkward and inefficient. If I wanted to throw away my mouse and type everything I want to run, I'd have stuck with Unix. I was hoping for some improvement in 8.1, but my hopes were dashed on that front as well when I discovered the new start button will do nothing except show the Win 8 app list.

If you like it, that's great. Enjoy. But it's not for me. I'm going to sit this one out, just like I did with ME, Bob and Vista, and hope they come to their senses with Win 9 in a few years. And if that never happens, then I guess I'm done with Microsoft.
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post #496 of 919 Old 06-03-2013, 01:10 PM
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Given the above discussion, it's probably worth reposting this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

All that while I was trying to learn how to use Windows all over again because it looks like they replaced the Start menu with the Program Manager from Win 3 rolleyes.gif WTF is the matter with M$ anyway?

If, after awhile, you find it intolerable, this is what myself and many, many others are using, so we have a start button and menu back, and we don't have to deal with the Metro interface ever again, because it boots up right to desktop:

www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php, or

www.classicshell.net

I tried them both and they both work a treat. I settled on Classic Shell because I can make either Win 7 or 8's start menus look like XP's (which I still use at work) wink.gif
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post #497 of 919 Old 06-03-2013, 01:16 PM
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I'm going to sit this one out, just like I did with ME, Bob and Vista, and hope they come to their senses with Win 9 in a few years.
I remember ME (Win98 that tried to fool you into thinking it was Win2K) and Vista, but "Bob?" confused.gif
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post #498 of 919 Old 06-03-2013, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I tried them both and they both work a treat. I settled on Classic Shell because I can make either Win 7 or 8's start menus look like XP's (which I still use at work) wink.gif

 

Never bothered going back as after 10 minutes the little differences I saw I remembered away... for either PC or HTPC the difference between using 7 and 8 is easily less than 2 minutes a day (for me). The endless hours are identical.... much to do about nothing. Now when I grab my wife's laptop (Windows 7) I think it's crazy...

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post #499 of 919 Old 06-03-2013, 02:51 PM
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I remember ME (Win98 that tried to fool you into thinking it was Win2K) and Vista, but "Bob?" confused.gif
Bob is basically a more advanced version of Metro from the mid-90's. Google it, if you want to have a good laugh.

I appreciate the advice about the start menu replacements, but the missing start menu is only the tip of the iceberg. Everything that used to take me 2 clicks now requires a cryptic windows key shortcut or a text search, which is damn hard to do on an HTPC without a keyboard. And if I'm not careful, I'll end up back in Metro hell. Also, when I'm in any sort of dialog box, it's impossible to tell what text does something and what text is just a label. It all looks the same. It's just bad design all the way around, and I won't have any part of it. Call me old, stupid and stubborn if you like, but life is too short to waste time on poorly designed products.

Imagine you spend 20 years learning how to play the piano and become a virtuoso. The keyboards change over they years, going from acoustic to analog synthesizers to digital, adding more features and functionality. But the basic operation remains the same, and you can adapt to any keyboard made in the past 300 years. Now a new piano comes out with the half the keys gone, the others mixed up, and no pedals. Maybe you can buy something and add back the missing keys, and practice until you learn the new mixed up layout. So you can probably adapt to the new piano, but why bother when the old one is so perfectly designed and works so well? That's how I feel about Windows 8. They took everything elegant, beautiful and logical about the interfaces that have been refined and perfected for years and threw it all out the window. Now our beautiful piano is enclosed in a box with a couple of giant buttons that play a couple of notes. And if you break open the box, you can play some of the other notes, if you can find where they moved the keys, but if you hit the wrong one, the box closes again and you're back where you started.
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post #500 of 919 Old 06-03-2013, 04:01 PM
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I just checked out Microsoft Bob on Wikipedia. Interesting how bad ideas never die. Bob's "Assistants" seem to be the origin of other bad M$ ideas like "Clippy." (Didn't anyone at M$ realize that an animated character on the screen would constantly draw the user's attention away from what they're trying to do? Good grief.)

Now we have Metro, which seems to be M$'s "one size fits all" UI for smart phones, desktop PCs, and everything in between. Never mind that all these devices have wildly different inputs: touchscreens vs. Kinect vs. keyboards+mice; we're going to force everything into the same onscreen boxes.

As I've said before, Metro might be a decent interface for the new XBox One. But not for a PC - especially not an HTPC where the "mouse" is actually a joypad on a remote. Using Metro with that is just torture.

Luckily Classic Shell shut all that nonsense down and let me use it just like I use Win XP and 7. And for a dedicated HTPC, that's not too bad (except you do have to put a shortcut to WMC in your startup folder - once Classic Shell restores access to your startup folder, that is - since WMC 8 doesn't have the auto-start option any more rolleyes.gif ). WMC 7 & 8 are virtually identical, and I rarely do anything outside WMC anyhow.
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post #501 of 919 Old 06-03-2013, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

And for a dedicated HTPC, that's not too bad (except you do have to put a shortcut to WMC in your startup folder - once Classic Shell restores access to your startup folder, that is - since WMC 8 doesn't have the auto-start option any more rolleyes.gif ).

 

You can easily arrange/delete/modify your Tiles and after booting select Desktop (it's already selected based on my arrangement) with your Harmony. Once the Desktop is loaded my Yellow button fires off WMC... Blue shuts it down... Red mutes and Green hibernates. Takes two seconds perhaps... I'm guessing less time than loading the Classic Shell although I certainly wouldn't know. smile.gif

 

Heck, I remember Bob, IBM PCJr... and $3,600 for the first (floppy only) IBM PC. I wrote code on it along with the TRS-80 (Radio Shack) and Apple. Always wanted a Lisa... and never purchased an Osborne!

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post #502 of 919 Old 06-04-2013, 07:52 AM
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I don't want to arrange/delete/modify my Tiles. I don't want Tiles! I do not like them, Sam I Am. (Although I am curious - if you use Metro, why bother with first going to the desktop, then hitting a yellow button on the remote? Why not just put WMC in a Tile and click it instead?)

Tools like Classic Shell set themselves up to run at boot. They slow the boot process by a few milliseconds (maybe).

But, to each his own. There's certainly nothing wrong with using Metro if you prefer it. I was only suggesting alternatives for those who hate it but want to use Win 8 anyhow.
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post #503 of 919 Old 06-04-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I use Desktop as at times I'll exit WMC and do other things within the Desktop... just a habit. I don't prefer Metro (although the Netflix app is pretty slick) nor do I (really) prefer Windows 8... I just don't understand what's the big deal. I understand having a preference... not the hyperbole.

 

Now if I wanted to use commercial skip or certain Extenders... yeah it's a biggie no way... no hyperbole. smile.gif

 

Back in the day I played with various interface shells but at this point I try to keep everything native as possible. Especially with the state of downloads as you never really know what you might also be installing... such as the few releases the Shark install installed malware even if you told it not to... I learned you could unzip the file and install it by itself but it just goes to show what can happen. A while back I wanted to install a utility I linked to in the first post and now it has been converted into malware with no auto uninstall.

 

As noted a while back in this thread I installed from scratch my two Windows 8 boxes and nothing outside of network and video drivers get installed... beyond MS security patches and XBMC.

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post #504 of 919 Old 06-04-2013, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

I agree. Getting back to WMC tuners, I wonder if Silicon Dust ever considered an "expandable" HDHomeRun? It could have small slots for, say, up to 6 tuners; but be sold with only 2 tuners plugged in to keep the initial cost down. Those who need/want more tuners could buy additional tuner cards from Silicon Dust and expand their HDHR as needed. That way, Silicon Dust wouldn't need to worry about selling enough 4-tuner HDHRs to make it worth trying to market a separate 4-tuner model, and users wouldn't need to worry about splitting their RF signal to feed multiple HDHRs.
I'd love something like that, as having a single box for more than two-tuners reduces the number of signal splits and power adapters required. That's just one more hurdle delaying me from severing the ties to my - getting way too big a chunk of my family's money - cable company.
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post #505 of 919 Old 06-04-2013, 03:19 PM
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Being that this thread would attract such an audience, I'm curious to know if anyone else is trying to combine the services of a Server (automated client system backups and centralized data) with those of an HTPC/DVR.

After using a WIndows Home Server on a maxxed-out Lenovo D400 for several years, my son and I just built a new "Server" as a kind of educational tool for him and potentially an all-in-one solution for the family. So far he's set up Debian (distro of Linux) and virtualized Server 2012 on it. The only problem is that it seems our HDHR-CC tuners can't be used by any DVR software other than WMC, which in turn doesn't run on either Debian or Server 2012, so we may have to give up on the CC tuners or on Debian.

Anyone doing a successful implementation of combining those two 24/7 services (HTPC-DVR & Server) in a single box?
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post #506 of 919 Old 06-04-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
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Anyone doing a successful implementation of combining those two 24/7 services (HTPC-DVR & Server) in a single box?
Yes, I've been doing that for some time now but with Windows not with Linux. I built a new Media-PC based on a Shuttle SH67H3 with i3 processor. It runs 24x7; manages a disk farm for serving media to my streamers; runs TiVo Desktop to auto-transfer TiVo recordings; runs WMC for recording from an HDHR-3 (OTA). I don't use it as a DVR for playback of recordings, it is not connected to a TV or any monitor -- it just records and I use my media streamers or my TiVo for playback. Soon it will take on the additional duty of DLNA server. I use WMC because it came with Win-7 Pro. Before Win-7 I was using Win-XP and used NextPVR for my recording software.

Your problem is that you have a cable card HDHR Prime. You can only use WMC with cable card tuners. None of the other DVR packages support the DRM required by cable labs for cable card use.

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post #507 of 919 Old 06-04-2013, 05:49 PM
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You can only use WMC with cable card tuners. None of the other DVR packages support the DRM required by cable labs for cable card use.

More specifically, DRM violates the open-source licenses employed by most *nix software (such as the GPL), which means that popular *nix PVR packages like MythTV cannot support encrypted channels. If you want a single computer for DVR and NAS functions, it must be running Windows and using WMC to record encrypted channels.
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post #508 of 919 Old 06-05-2013, 05:38 AM
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Not true, Myth works fine with Cablecard tuners and encrypted channels, because the tuners do the decryption and Myth just writes the mpeg2 UDP stream to disk. SiliconDust and Ceton both provide Linux drivers for their tuners.

What it can't handle is 'copy-once' content (i.e., CCI bit protected channels) which is a separate issue. On Comcast, Verizon, and others this means you can use Myth for everything but the premium movie channels, but on Time Warner, Brighthouse and others you can't get anything other than the locals because they're all protected.
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post #509 of 919 Old 06-05-2013, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Not true, Myth works fine with Cablecard tuners and encrypted channels, because the tuners do the decryption and Myth just writes the mpeg2 UDP stream to disk. SiliconDust and Ceton both provide Linux drivers for their tuners.

What it can't handle is 'copy-once' content (i.e., CCI bit protected channels) which is a separate issue. On Comcast, Verizon, and others this means you can use Myth for everything but the premium movie channels, but on Time Warner, Brighthouse and others you can't get anything other than the locals because they're all protected.
Well, that's good to know. The last I checked on the Silicondust forums, I don't recall seeing anybody talking about using the HDHR Prime on MythTV, so when someone on the WeGotServed forums told me WMC was the only DVR application that could use them, I took their word for it. Since we're on Comcast and very few channels are flagged 'copy-once', I guess we'll have to give MythTV a shot on our Debian host. I hope it's not too much of a hassle to set up and works as well or better than WMC with the networked tuners.
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post #510 of 919 Old 06-05-2013, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Not true, Myth works fine with Cablecard tuners and encrypted channels, because the tuners do the decryption and Myth just writes the mpeg2 UDP stream to disk. SiliconDust and Ceton both provide Linux drivers for their tuners.

What it can't handle is 'copy-once' content (i.e., CCI bit protected channels) which is a separate issue. On Comcast, Verizon, and others this means you can use Myth for everything but the premium movie channels, but on Time Warner, Brighthouse and others you can't get anything other than the locals because they're all protected.

If I understand you correctly, there are encrypted channels that can't be tuned with a standard QAM tuner, but if you use a CableCard to decrypt them, you're allowed to copy them freely, and MythTV can be used with a CC-compatible tuner for that purpose? I wasn't aware such a configuration was used by any content providers. I had thought that all encrypted channels were already using the "copy-once" flag, and that the "copy-freely" mode was only used in unencrypted content. I wonder how long the cable companies that provide pay channels as "copy freely" will continue to do so.
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