Originally Posted by rrg
Does TWC use Motorola equipment in LA? I know that in some other areas (like NYC) they use Scientific Atlanta.
LA is a hybrid area. Former Comcast locations (such as my own) use Motorola headend, infrastructure and equipment. Former Adelphia locations use SA equipment.
I'm still waiting for TCM-HD.
I waited a long time, and quite honestly am overjoyed at what I now see and hear. But I haven't spent enough time watching or recording anything to know if the "quality anomalies" reported in the NYC area are from TCM or from CableVision, etc.
It's worth mentioning that if your provider uses Motorola STBs then a viable and potentially even better HD archiving solution is to have an STB modified by Nextcom (http://www.r5000hd.com
) to provide post-decryption access to the digital stream via USB. Paradoxically they'll only modify SD boxes (which lack a Firewire port) but in many/most cases the channel map visible to an SD box is the same as to an HD box, so HD streams can be captured.
Cable boxes are rented, not purchased. I would imagine modifying these yourself would incur pretty hefty fines, assuming you were found out.
Also, I prefer having my off-DVR HD library on a portable medium like tape. I currently own two D-VHS VCR's, soon to be three, supporting all three of my HDTV locations. Being able to record/play a DVHS tape at any of the three displays is infinitely useful to me.
It does require using a Windows PC and recording software, but the results are outstanding and about as portable as one could hope for.
Not quite as flexible as DVHS capability at each true HDTV.
For Verizon FiOS customers, another solution (in addition to this Nextcom solution, which is available since Verizon uses Motorola STBs) is to use a TiVO HD or Series 3 with CableCards. Most channels on FiOS (at least for now) are flagged in such a way that programs can be extracted from the TiVo using several different software solutions.
I can't vouch for the veracity of my suspicion, but I would find it hard to imagine that any such "legitimate/legal" offloading capability would allow for digital copying of 5C-protected "copy-once" content. Certainly no computer is 5C-compliant, which is why firewire connections from DVR-to-computer are severely limited in what they will deliver, to OTA "copy always" content from networks.
In contrast, D-VHS machines are 5C-compliant and thus the firewire-enabled DVR will present ANYTHING YOU CAN RECORD TO DVR (i.e. everything except pay-per-view and OnDemand) to the D-VHS VCR via firewire. Thus EVERYTHING you might want to put on D-VHS tape can be put on D-VHS tape (e.g. I have the complete "Sopranos" from HBO-HD on D-VHS in its original 1080i/DD5.1 HD form).
Again, firewire-enabled D-VHS machines are "legal", 5C-compliant, work immediately and without modification with a firewire-enabled STB/DVR, and at today's B&H prices for a DT100U (which includes a built-in ATSC tuner and HDMI/component plus optical audio output) should not be passed up by anyone who's been on the fence about this product.