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Is there a way to receive Comcast's HDTV signal into my HTPC, or do I have to rent/purchase Comcast's HDTV receiver and go all digital?


BTW: does the Comcast HDTV receiver output VGA or component?


TIA,


:) neil
 

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First, Comcast is a big company. It's made up of literally *hundreds* of regional cable operators, most of which used to be owned by someone else. So there's no guarantee your local Comcast provider is using the same equipement or platform as other Comcast markets. But in most areas, it seems Comcast uses Motorola digital cable set-top boxes, with QAM-256 modulation. If you can find a HD tuner card that supports that standard, then you should be able to receive/record the *unencrypted* channels only. Unfortunately, that's probably a small fraction of the total # of digital cable channels on Comcast - probably local HD channels only. The non-local, non-premium HD channels they offer (INHD, ESPN-HD) may or may not be encrypted in your region. The premium HD channels (HBO-HD, SHO-HD, Starz-HD) are almost certainly encrypted.


Supposedly after April 1, 2004, cable companies like Comcast are supposed to comply with the FCC's "OpenCable" mandate, and allow 3rd-party equipment to decode encrypted digital cable signals. I'm not holding my breath, though...


I suggest you check the "Local HDTV Info and Reception" thread on AVS to see if there are threads for your local Comcast provider.
 

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Oh, and the HD receivers Comcast is deploying in most areas - the Motorola 5100, and recently the Motorola 6200 series - have Component output and *maybe* DVI if you're lucky. No VGA.
 

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What are the requirements for recording HDTV off of a cable STB? Is there any way a HTPC can record a DVI signal? I assume the only other way is via Firewire out from the STB, correct? Which of course, my SA4200HD does not provide any firewire out, so what are my other options, if at all?
 

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It is possible that Moto DCT6200 STBs will support Firewire but not guaranteed and not anytime soon.
 

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Most of the Motorola 5100 boxes installed in the past 6 months have the DVI port on the back. However, the DVI will not work without activation via a firmware update. In late November, Comcast enabled it, possibly by accident, and then reverted back.

http://www.cjhengineering.com/5100faq.htm is updated fairly regularly.
 

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So, say the DVI port is activated, can you really just hook up a dvi-rgb adapter and plug it into a projector? I read somewhere there are different DVI standards and the comments I read were referencing a DVI-I port which may be different than the one on the Motorola 5100.
 

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I have the Moto DCT6200 STBs with DVI and 1394 ports (they aren't hooked up and maybe not activated). I'm watching HDTV in Dallas (Flower Mound) with component connection to my Mitsu WS55819.


I don't have an HDTV tuner in my HTPC so I am going to split the signal. I want to watch analog shows without going through the box which makes them look worse.


My problem is that I have been using the 1080i RGB connection for the HTPC an ATI dongle. Now that I want to hook the Moto/Comcast box up to that port I don't know how to have both connected to the TV. I can't seem to get the HTPC to display using the other 2 component connectors(480i/480p). Am i doing something wrong? I'm using the recommended ATI dongle desktop timings from karnis--I have the same TV.


On another note: the regular pic quality of my P4/ATI9800Pro HTPC looks washed out and has a line slowly moving up the pic. The TV pic quality looks better w/o the HTPC. How do you get a regular TV pic through a HTPC to look similar to TV w/direct cable--not great either. The HTPC looks good when displayed in a little window. Do I need to lower the resolution and soften the sharpness? Do I need to use dscaler and ffdshow?
 

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Quote:
Most of the Motorola 5100 boxes installed in the past 6 months have the DVI port on the back. However, the DVI will not work without activation via a firmware update. In late November, Comcast enabled it, possibly by accident, and then reverted back.
This is funny. I called Motorola tech support today. They told me the DVI port on the 5100 is not even connected; it is there since it shares the same chassis as the newer 6200 that does support DVI. I get my 5100 in a couple of days. I might even be curious enough to open it up to find the truth. :)


Either way, it does not work so it is not a viable way to get RGB out of the box.


Update: It appears the DVI port in the 5100 is DVI-D (digital), so it is useless to those of us looking at viable options for getting the HD signal out other than the component connection.
 

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akelley: Best advice based on current status is (1) to wait for the firewire to be activated and swap STBs or (2) to wait for the DCT6208 with HD-PVR.
 

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Well it sounds like the 7.07 firmware is starting to get rolled out in various areas of the country. It supposedly enables the DVI port AND the Firewire port.


So the big question, what software would I need to be able to record through the firewire port? Would Sage, or something similar support firewire input? Or would I need something totally different.


Thanks

Andy
 

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General Bump also on this!


Have a few customers with this same box, and they want to know about capturing video via the firewire port.


Anyone else doing this and what software do you use for PVR management? Wish I had a nice HDTV to do some experimenting on my own, but alas I can't afford that yet :)
 

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Much thanks, doing alot of research on it now to tack down the facts. Probably woulda ran across it shortly.
 
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