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I have the SA3100HD from San Diego TWC. The HDTV is actually next to useless for me without the ability to timeshift. Is there *any* solution I can use? even a card for a PC that'll take component input? I'm going to ask them about when the SA8000 or Pioneer 4000 boxes might be available, but... who knows? And I'd rather pay $XXX up front than have yet another monthly charge into the forseeable future.
 

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Sorry but there are no HD component video recording solutions, there is a JVC DVHS firewire recorder but that won't work with the cable boxes. In the future there will be HD PVR units lke the SA8000HD - probably about a year away though. Zenith/LG is coming out with an HD PVR unit in a few months that supports cable's QAM HD recording to hard disk but it must be an "unencrypted" QAM channel and I belive TWC encrypts all their local HD channels - perhaps you can call and complain and get them to unencrypt the local HD channels (it should only be encrypted for the "pay" channels) then the new QAM HD recorder units would work! The Zenith/LG model will list price at $999, probably discount to $800 or so. The only current HD recorder models (PVR and PC card) are for OTA HD only, they don't support cable or satellite HD at all. You could put an antenna and record HD that way instead of cable.
 

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My local cable company, TWC, is indicating they will have a HD PVR "early 2004". Also the FCC recently approved an agreement with the cable industry which requires them to offer firewire output on their HD receivers by 4/1/2004. The firewire output can be used with a D-VHS recorder to timeshift.
 

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OK, I meant no "reasonable cost" HD component video recording solution. That W-VHS recorder is $5000 and the Power Mac solution $10,000 - not reasonable cost. Find one under $1000 and I will buy into it.
 

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Has anyone successfully used the QAM tuning on their integrated tuner (like Mitsubishi) to get the HD locals on Comcast? I haven't heard for sure whether this works or not. If it works, that would be a "reasonable cost" option.


- Mike
 

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I've successfully used the QAM tuner on my Mitsubishi to get the HD locals from Comcast here in Arlington, VA. (It was a pain to find the channel numbers, but after some trial and error I figured it out.) This doesn't get you anywhere, right now, on the recording front though, since it doesn't work with DVHS recorders for QAM; the Mitsubishi sends the entire channel stream to the DVHS (including all subchannels), but that stream contains too much data for the DVHS to handle (28 Mbps versus 19 for a standard ATSC stream, including subchannels, if I recall correctly). I should also add the proviso that this doesn't work everywhere, since a number of people have reported their local cable system scrambles even the local channels; the Mitsubishi tuner can only handle unencrypted QAM.


Soon, though, the integrated Mitsubishi will be a good solution when combined with the upcoming RCA AV hard drive (just $449); there's no reason this shouldn't work with QAM since it's just a harddrive. And of course the forthcoming coming FireBus software will allow you to hook up the integrated Mitsubishi TV to your computer and use that as basic hard drive recorder.


I wish one of these products would come out soon, though, since the fall season is just about to get started!
 

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Ah, yes, the Mitsubishi QAM subchannel problem. I forgot about that. It seems that the RCA A/V HDD box may have a problem with that issue as well. It may work, but unless it has enough intelligence in it to strip out and record only the desired stream it may be a huge space hog. Vividlogic FireBus seems to be the best solution to work with the Mits QAM tuner so far. At least the stream is on a PC so that you can PID filter if necessary.


- Mike
 

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W-VHS doesn't support 5.1 audio, and it's dead technology. Comcast is "supposed" to make a PVR STB that will record HD available in November. About the same time the Dish releases its 921. Maybe.
 

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I've noticed some posts discussing how to 'extract' transport streams from channel/subchannel MPEG. When using my 3100HD cable converter's diagnostic mode I notice that the MPEG data page shows 10 digits for each channel tuned under PCR Lock Status. Usually the numbers begin with 37 or 38, with most numbers fluctuating within the 10 digits. Are these numbers the total bit steam at the selected frequency? We're using 256 QAM in our cable system, which I understand can carry about 38 Mbps. Converter outputs don't permit taping, but it would be interesting just to view the bit rates for each channel sharing the cable frequency. -- John
 
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