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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I've been doing some research and have a question. I noticed that both the AccessDTV and MyHD cards have the Nextwave NXT2000 HDTV Receiver/Demodulator chip on them. The spec for this chip says that it supports 8VSB AND QAM signals.


Does anyone know if either of these 2 cards support QAM? I know there will be quite a few people out there that will want to be able to hook up their cable line to this card so that it can tune in the HD channels.


Thanks for any insight. I posted messages to both companies about the support, so we shall see if it happens.


-Brian
 

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Brian,


The hardware of these two cards should be able to handle both types of signals, but the current drivers do not support it. It would be great if they were to enable support for QAM, though I'm not sure that the cable/satellite companies would be happy with such a move


Let's see what you hear from the companies that make the products...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I sent the message to MyHD and got this resposne in a VERY timely manner.


Dear Brian,


Thank you for your inquiry. Although the Nextwave chip can indeed support QAM, it will most likely not be used in conjunction with cable services as that would require licensing agreements between these companies and the manufacturers of the MDP-100, which will be very unlikely.


I do not know of any cable company at this time that plans to approve PC based solutions for decoding of their signals.


Thank you again for your interest, please e-mail if you have further questions.


Best Regards,

Customer Support

Digital Connection


-----Original Message-----

Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 7:09 PM

To: [email protected]

Subject: MyHD card



Hello, I noticed that this card has the Nextwave NXT2000 HDTV Receiver/Demodulator chip. This chip supports both 8VSB and QAM signals. Does the MyHD card support QAM? I am interested in this because my local cable company will be using QAM instead of 8VSB for HD channels. Thanks.


==================


I then sent this resposne...


Thanks for the quick response, but I have another question. I am not interested in decoding encrypted QAM signals which are used for pay per view and premium channel packages. That would be illegal. I can’t understand why it would require a license to tune in a QAM signal that is unencrypted. IF that is the case, than I guess any TV set that has an integrated HD tuner would be illegal I know the Mitsubishi WS-xx511 and xx711 series have the tuner in them. I doubt they have an agreement with my local cable company. Could you explain to me why it would require a license to be able to decode a QAM modulated signal? Thanks.
 

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Brian,


I recently had a very similar conversation with AccessDTV about supporting QAM modulation on their cards.


AccessDTV indicated that they are doing some lab work on QAM modulation and that they have a developer working on some driver code for some additional in-house testing. No expected release date was given - if ever.


AccessDTV also indicated that they did not anticipate cable service providers to provide the decryption keys to decode the signals properly, which would render the QAM modulation feature useless.


My response to that assertion was similar to yours - not all QAM signals are encrypted and I would like to view broadcast television signals (NBC, ABC, CBS) that some providers provide HDTV feeds for. I also cited examples of HDTV sets with built-in QAM tuners.


There seems to be a general perception that 100% of QAM modulated signals are encrypted by the cable company. That would include the cable company rebroadcast of free-to-air network television signals.


Have you ever found any literature or threads about cable company practices on encrypting free-to-air channels?


Are there any people out there using their QAM enabled HD television to bypass the cable box for network television?


ParkerV
 

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ParkerV,


I feel the same as you on this issue. I'm not looking to have QAM access to pay channels just the locals so I can get rid of my three indoor antennas.


According to this thread: (see post by HDCblGuy)
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&highlight=qam


A beta-tester of Comcast's HD service in Detroit is able to receive the local unencrypted HD stations via his Mitsubishi WS-65909 Integrated HDTV. I know there is some questions regarding the legalities of having a PC card decode these channels. As far I can see if a HDTV set can decode the local QAM stations I can see no reason why a PC-card can't. After all he can't decode the premium stations with his Mits.


It makes no sense to me that we can have access to the analog locals but we can't have access to the digital locals, why? because it's HD. It just doesn't make sense to me. After all these are free OTA signals and are not allowed by law to be encrypted. If someone can explain or point me to a thread that explains the point I'm missing I'd appreciate it.


Thanks,

Rick
 

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Rick, I think this may provide some explanation for why OTA HD needs to be encrypted over cable:


-------------

Johnny Cochrane: Ladies and Gentlemen, (Pulls down picture of Chewbacca) this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wooky from the planet Kishic, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it. That does not make sense.


Johnny Cochrane: Why would a Wooky, an eight-foot-tall Wooky, want to live on Endor with a bunch of two-foot-tall Ewoks. That does not make sense. But more important, you have to ask yourself what does this have to do with QAM encryption.


Johnny Cochrane: Nothing. Ladies and Gentlemen, it has nothing to do with QAM encryption.


Johnny Cochrane: It does not make sense. Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major cable company and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca. Does that make sense? Ladies and Gentlemen I'm am not making any sense. None of this makes sense. And so you have to remember when you're in that jury room deliberating and conjugating the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No. Ladies and Gentlemen of this deposed jury it does not make sense. If Chewbacca lives on Endor you must encrypt. The defense rests.

------------


Or then again, maybe not.
 

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There is nothing illegal about receiving unencrypted QAM. Someone spread this stupid rumour around Internet and now even some companies that make tuners believe it. Unencrypted QAM is exactly like unscrambled analog cable. It is suppose to be like cable ready TV. As a matter of fact per 1992 cable act all off air channels which are rebroadcast on cable TV are not suppose to be scrambled. This applies to both analog and digital cable. If your cable company scrambles local OTA channels, analog or digital you can file complain with FCC. I am sure that after they investigate they will force them to unscramble. I also have MyHD card bought from Digital Connection and had arguments with them about QAM. This is probably last thing I ever buy from them since they keep arguing that receiving QAM is illegal without any proof. BTW, I used to work for Cable TV company so I have this info first hand.
 

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Jah-Wren Ryel,


So what your saying is, In order to receive unencrypted Qam signals Chewbacca needs to move back to his home planet of Kishic. Well, let's start the deportation process.


It all makes perfect sense now;)


Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I haven't heard back again from MyHD, but I did get this encouraging email from AccessDTV:

Hi Brian,


The chipset does indeed support QAM. That has been a very popular request lately, so we have begun work to see if the board itself can sustain QAM demodulation. At this point I am not sure what the outcome will be, but I'm optimistic. We got the decoder chip to behave as if it was receiving a cable broadcast, so we know that part will work.


Please let me know if I can answer and further questions, I'll be glad to assist.


Regards,


accessDTV Support



We can hope, can't we?


-Brian
 

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I am sure there are some guys on this forum that have the technical knowledge to write the code to get the chip to do the QAM modulation.


Anyone want to fess up to trying it??
 

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Brian,


Based upon your last post, I think we are talking to the same Tech Support individual at AccessDTV.


To add some more color, the response I got from Tech Support indicated that the amount of memory on their card was of some concern but were optimistic that they could get it to work.
 

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There is a lot of FUD spread by the movie industry. The AccessDTV folks were for awhile convinced they had to encrypt their files. And the MYHD folks were convinced they could not legally display DVD's at > 480 lines. I don't think either was really a legal requirement.


I asked my Comcast HD cable installer about this and he said here in Detroit the Comcast HDTV QAM broadcasts are scrambled for HBO & Showtime, but not for the network channels.


While I really like my HiDTV card I would probably consider switching again if one of the cards had functional QAM support for the unencrypted channels.


OTOH I've still got a WinTV-HD sitting on a shelf and I've heard reports they can sometimes pick up QAM cable with the existing software. Anybody know?


- Tom
 

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Tom,


I still have a PC with a WinTV-HD and have had no luck picking up QAM signals.


I suspect those individuals who have had success with cable feeds and the WinTV-HD are actually receiving 8VSB modulated channels.


Some cable providers do send out 8VSB modulated signals instead of QAM.


In the case of TWC in NYC the cable provider tested with 8VSB signals over several months and then switched to QAM. For a while - anybody with an 8VSB tuner got free HBO and Showtime. No longer.
 

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ParkerV,


Help me understand this subject a little better. If I have an NYC TWC supplied 3100HD box, why can't I feed the signal from that box into the card to record HDTV signals. Today I take the Component out of the 3100HD directly to my Plasma Monitor (Pioneer 505HD) and get a tremendous picture. As far as I understand (and I'm not too knowledgable yet on this) the Plasma monitor is not doing much other than displaying the digital signal that it receives from the component input.
 

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The signal traveling the component cable is analog...Your monitor isn't encoding the stream, it's rendering it... and no consumer PC card can encode the analog HD stream in real time. Encoding is required in order to put it on the PCI bus for consumption by another card (the VGA card) or recording to hard drive.
 

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jmbnyc,


jmbnyc is correct. The component feed is analog and no cable boxe that I am aware of pass the digital signal through the coax-out cable in the back of the cable box.


Similarly, I am not aware of any cable box with a firewire port either.


No manufacturer want to be the first to provide a native digital feed for fear of the copyright backlash.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ParkerV
jmbnyc,


Similarly, I am not aware of any cable box with a firewire port either.


No manufacturer want to be the first to provide a native digital feed for fear of the copyright backlash.
Cablevision's iO digital cable service was initially rolled out with Sony boxes that do indeed have firewire. Scientific Atlanta also manufactures boxes with firewire as an option, including the 4200HD that CV is now using (thought it is unknown if CV's version will have firewire).


The firewire port on the Sony will pass HD content using 5C copy protection and once a bug is fixed in the firmware SD content will also be passed.
 

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Shady,


I stand corrected. Firewire is an option on some cable boxes.


I have a SciAtl Explorer with the "option" but it isn't implemented by my cable provider. I am not aware of any cable provider that has implemented the option until now.


I not surpised by the limitation of SD (standard definition) digital output on copy protected material on your Sony cable box. There has been a lot of press on that standard.


Thanks for update.
 
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