Originally Posted by Go Hard
Thanks for the info, this helps a lot. So if I did want PPV and I got a basic box from Comcast, could it be tied to the pc for viewing in any room?
No. PPV can only be viewed on the HDTV connected directly to the box.
Actually, if you had a real DVR you could not even record that PPV program to hard drive for later watching. PPV is marked (in 5C lingo) as "copy NEVER". Cannot be recorded to hard drive even once, not even by the DVR being used to receive it. I think analog outputs to TV are the only form of audio/video output from PPV, other than HDMI to the HDTV/AVR and optical to the AVR.
But that's ok, since your PPV purchase lets you watch it any time you want for up to 24-hours? Yes? Don't know... I've never used PPV myself. But if you can watch it "on demand" whenever you want in that purchase license period, why would you need to record it to hard drive? It's "copy NEVER", so you cannot preserve it for indefinite later viewing.
There is no way to connect your external basic STB box to the PC for digital distribution in any room, since the STB/DVR will not even deliver digital output over firewire (the only possible digital connection option which might have given you what you're looking for) for PPV (which is marked "copy NEVER").
Sorry... PPV requires an external box and standard digital delivery method for audio/video from that box direct to your HDTV/AVR system. That's the idea behind all this digitally perfect content... DRM protects it from piracy and unauthorized distribution or duplication. You can buy it, you can watch it, but you cannot copy it... and sending it to a PC or anywhere else in unencrypted unprotected digital form is simply not allowed.
Also, if I'm buying programing, why would I also need an OTA/ATSC tuner?
You wouldn't, if you're satisfied with the image quality implicit in how your cable system delivers local OTA networks.
Sure, you can get NBC-DT from your cable system (here on channel 404 in TWC/LA). But TWC/LA re-compresses the original OTA/ATSC program they received from NBC Burbank or NY or NJ (or wherever the digital delivery comes from for TWC), so the bitrate in 404 is lower than OTA/ATSC, and is actually re-compressed from the original. This degrades the image quality for anyone who cares (and apparently TWC doesn't think anybody cares).
So for me, who before going with Ceton and M-Card-enabled cable programming already had an OTA/ATSC tuner in my PC (using BeyondTV as the DVR/viewing software) for support of local OTA/ATSC channels received from my roof antenna, I simply continued to use that same OTA/ATSC dual-tuner card but controlled by WMC... since I prefer the image quality of local OTA/ATSC channels received via genuine roof antenna to the degraded picture received via TWC/LA.
But, if you don't have a roof antenna, or you can't tell the difference, or don't care about the minor difference, then you certainly don't need a separate OTA/ATSC tuner card. I just already had it along with the roof antenna, and I just added the Ceton card and switched from BeyondTV to WMC, so I now use both. That means I have 6 tuners total (two for OTA/ATSC and 4 for cable-provided content of any kind), which is just additional flexibility with improved picture for OTA/ATSC channels.