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Unencrypted QAM support in Vista

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I just got through reading a Q&A "chat" with Vista MCE developers here . There are several nuggets of interest to HTPC users (lots about Cablecard), however the best news was this:

Joe McClanahan [MS] (Expert):
Q: Does ATSC support include clearqam in vista?
A: If by ClearQAM, you mean unencrypted QAM channels, then yes. You'll get the best experience with a CableCard, but more advanced users will be able to scan for QAM channels if you don't have a CableCard.


If I'm reading this right, that means we'll finally have third party software support for unencrypted QAM.

Russ
www.hdtvtunerinfo.com
post #2 of 24
Hopefully it means that if you have a card like a Fusion 5 card which has a QAM tuner in addition to its ATSC tuner that you will be able to watch unencrypted QAM cable channels using MC in Vista and not be restricted to using only a 3rd pary application that comes with the Fusion like you have to do today.
post #3 of 24
hmm.. interesting. is there QAM support in Vista RC1?
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacecadet610 View Post

hmm.. interesting. is there QAM support in Vista RC1?

Good question. I would suspect there would be some special driver interface required since there has been no standard for QAM. Looks like Fusion/Dvico is sitting in the drivers seat on this since they are the only ones QAM capable and with digital MCE interface (OnAir only does analog).
post #5 of 24
I just ran the setup wizard with my Fusion card and it did not auto-magically work..

I hope some smart person figures it out....and soon!!! ;-)
post #6 of 24
So does this mean they are fixing the damn screwed up Firewire support (under both Vista 32 and 64)?

This will not only be a DVHS issue, but should be a Blu-Ray and HD-DVD issue as well, as there will no doubt be standalone recordable decks. So there will soon be a second way to record 5C enabled programming content over Firewire (or built in PC drives/tuner cards).
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappcatt View Post

I just ran the setup wizard with my Fusion card and it did not auto-magically work..

I hope some smart person figures it out....and soon!!! ;-)

Unfortunately all the statement means is that they've openned it up for drivers to support it (assuming the statement is accurate) it'll be up to the vendors to provide drivers before we can actually get it working.
post #8 of 24
My guess is that the cablecard tuners will have support for QAM but there won't be support for QAM from the existing crop of MCE capable HD cards.

...I hope I'm wrong. But I fear I'm not.
post #9 of 24
THe official word is that unencrypted QAM will be supported by OCUR devices only (i.e. if you don't put the cablecard in the slot, you'll be able to tune unecrypted channels). So officially, you still won't be able to receive unencrypted QAM because you still won't be able to obtain an OCUR device unless you buy a new media center PC.

However, on the last Vista MCE chat, it did sound like it some MS reps intoned that may be possible to hack QAM enable tuners to work, but they gave no additional details.
post #10 of 24
I think the quote was about cable card tuners, tuning un-encrypted QAM, I think normal QAM tuners are out of luck.

I'd love to be wrong.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERP View Post

Unfortunately all the statement means is that they've openned it up for drivers to support it (assuming the statement is accurate) it'll be up to the vendors to provide drivers before we can actually get it working.

Great.. and we all know how great DVICO is withtheir FUSION drivers. *SIGH*
post #12 of 24
Well I for one am hopeful that somehow we will be able to get clear QAM channels into Vista Media Center without the CableCard device. As of now, the only way you can even get one is by buying ane expensive high end PC (Velocity Micro has the most affordable right now at around $2k).
post #13 of 24
I'm getting a setup put together to test out unecrypted QAM with an ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner today...
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

I'm getting a setup put together to test out unecrypted QAM with an ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner today...

Excellent, let us know how that goes.
post #15 of 24
Sorry guys, haven't forgotten about this. We've had some trouble with some new firmware and fried 3 bad axe 2 boards. So we're still working on this and I hope to have some answers today or tomorrow.
post #16 of 24
I can't wait to hear how this comes out
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

Sorry guys, haven't forgotten about this. We've had some trouble with some new firmware and fried 3 bad axe 2 boards. So we're still working on this and I hope to have some answers today or tomorrow.

Any update from the labs?
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

We've had some trouble with some new firmware and fried 3 bad axe 2 boards.

Ouch...using a PCI-e (x1) slot?
post #19 of 24
Hey guys, tested it and failed, but I believe it MIGHT be on our end. I'll keep you informed as we get more info. To be sure, we got analog just fine over digital cable with out a CableCARD, but couldn't tune up to the digital channels quite yet. I'm confident this will work once we get a few issues sorted out, and AMD is sure of it as well.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elemental1 View Post

Ouch...using a PCI-e (x1) slot?

Naw, it was a BIOS flash that killed it - Intel's tools.
post #21 of 24
In terms of the OCUR, according to CableLabs it is MUST to be able to turn unencrypted QAM. It's a requirement on the OCUR side (hardware side). Media Center should be able to turn it fine, mapping to the EPG is the main part that I don't know about.

Chris L.
post #22 of 24
Some folks are reporting success with Vista in the HdHomeRun forum.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

Naw, it was a BIOS flash that killed it - Intel's tools.

There is always BIOS recovery.
post #24 of 24
Silicon Dust has beta QAM drivers for their HDHomeRun HDTV card. They support WinXP MCE and Vista MCE.
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