Is the Happague HD PVR 1212 a good Computer based DVR for encrypted cable boxes?
The Cablecard systems have all this stuff with " flags" to make it not record.
My Replaytv is great but I don't know how to get it to change channels on the Cablebox. I think the codes may not be up to date and no one trying to update them.
So is the Happague HD PVR 1212 the next logical choice to get some kind of basic DVR action without paying comcast a lease for one of theirs?
Please let me know
I use a cablecard with my HTPC, and it definitely does record. You're a bit mistaken about exactly how those "flags" work.
There are a few levels of flags which are set by your cable provider. Comcast and Verizon are the most permissive, so you're set there as a Comcast customer.
-Copy Freely. This is your local channels (the ones you can get OTA). On Comcast and Verizon it extends to almost all other channels like USA, TNT, ESPN, AMC, etc. This means you can record the program, cut out the commericals, compress/convert it, and watch it on another computer/device.
-Copy Once. On most cable companies this is everything BUT locals. Discovery, TBS, HBO, Showtime, ESPN, etc. On Comcast and Verizon it only applies to premium movie channels like HBO and Cinemax. You can only watch on the computer that recorded it (or a WMC extender like an Xbox 360). No cutting out commericals or converting.
-Copy Never. This only applies to pay per view events.
I have Comcast in Pittsburgh. It might be slightly different in other cities, but among the channels I subscribe to I only see Copy Once on HBO, Retroplex, and AMC's standard def
A cablecard tuner will also allow you to record between 2 and 6 channels at once, depending on the one you buy.
The big benefit of the HD-PVR is that you get DRM free recordings, as you noted. You also have more choices of software (cablecard more or less requires Windows Media Center). But you still need to lease a cable box, can only record one program at a time, need to use IR blasters, and it will get additional compression applied to the signal during the conversion from MPEG2 (what your cable company sends) to H264 (how the HD-PVR records).
I'm a huge proponent of a cablecard and Windows Media Center:
My custom guide screen. All the standard def channels are disabled/hidden and I ordered everything alphabetically so I dont have to memorize numbers:
Ceton's My Media Center remote scheduling app:
My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
Why not give your existing Cable Box back to Comcast and rent a CableCard instead... for probably $2 or $3 per month. Then put that CableCard in a used (or new) TiVo with Lifetime? Why settle for "some kind of basic DVR action" when you can travel First Class?