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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a friend of mine has a Hewlett Packard HTPC that he has been using as his DVR for the last two years. Hooked directly to the Comcast cable line. Recently Comcast told him that he will need a box for the HTPC. This is fine with him, except he doesn't know how to get the HTPC to change the channel on the box, for his scheduled recording while he is away. Of course Comcast's answer is they will rent him a DVR
What are some solutions to this problem?
 

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he needs basically the digital cable adapter box (or whatever they call it). Basically treat it AS a set top box, even though it's not a legit STB. It's the tuning adapter, which allows you to tune into the NOW Digital channels (formerly when analog, you could go straight into your HTPC).


what he needs is an IR blaster cable to go from his IR remote box that he then places over the spot on the tuning adapter which normally would receive the change channel signal. Then when MCE goes to schedule a recording, it will flash the proper channels and change the box.


if he is seriously against it (and why wouldn't he), the best solution would be to purchase the ATI Digital Cable Tuner (or wait for the Ceton/SiliconDust versions) and use CableCard. The rental is still way cheaper than a STB and you get even HD recordings into your HTPC
 

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The Conmcast service is being swithced from analog/digital to all digital.

If your friends HDTV tuner card does not support clear QAM have him get one that does and he should be able to use it jsut like with his current tuner card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Clear QAM, got it. What are some popular models? ATI Digital Cable Tuner is one?
 

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Go here to see what channels are provided over ClearQAM in your area. It may be that only the local channels are offered and if you want to continue gaining access to cable channels, then you'll have to get a CableCard tuner.
 

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AFAIK all or almost all of the current generation of digital tuner cards fro ATI, Hauppauge, and AverMedia support clear QAM just check their specs at newegg or tigerdirect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte /forum/post/18267458


Go here to see what channels are provided over ClearQAM in your area. It may be that only the local channels are offered and if you want to continue gaining access to cable channels, then you'll have to get a CableCard tuner.

Not many channels for Denver, looks like just the basic stuff. I vaguely remember hearing about Cablecard when I bought my TV. So you get a tuner card that accepts Cablecard? Who do you get the Cablecard from? Comcast?
 

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ok, lots of info to cover. as you noted, the amount of channels you will be able to get even if you purchase a QAM tuner are limited, and usually just the basics. IF you want access to ALL your channels that are in high definition, then you want the ATI Digital Cable tuner, which is the only cablecard tuner available for NOW (in about 1-2 months Ceton will have a $400 quad tuner), but the ATI is a SINGLE tuner (watch/record only one per tuner) and costs around $150-200 each, but it is external USB so installation is simple.


NOW, the alternative if he doesn't care about HD is still my original post. Get the Digital Adapter Converter box, connect that into your NTSC tuner, and then IR blast over to the box to change channels. It's messy, it's not in SD, but it's a cheaper route.
 

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Will this new ATI card allow you to get more channels in HD? I have extended basic cable from Comcast and was wondering if it would let me get more than the local channels in HD?
 

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THe ATI Tuner card is technically for OEM system builders only. That's why you aren't going to find it for sale at any large company like Newegg, but instead from smaller companies selling off ebay.


If you can be patient, waiting for the new Ceton Tuner cards would be best. They'll have a cheaper 2 tuner version if you don't want the 4.


A cable card will allow you to get any HD channel your current digital cable package allows (such as CNN, HGTV, FX, TNT, TBS, ESPN, etc).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yazyazoo /forum/post/18268499


Will this new ATI card allow you to get more channels in HD? I have extended basic cable from Comcast and was wondering if it would let me get more than the local channels in HD?

You should be able to get all the locals in HD. There aren't really many HD channels available through comcast in all reality. Last I looked it was like 40 and of those maybe 10 are worth watching.


They get their count up beyond that by counting the 10 versions of HBO and such in the ads when they say they have 100 channels in HD available.


I personally went OTA last year and filled the remainder with online offerings such as netflix and Bluray.


The only problem that I run into is with my Phillies baseball. Home games are OTA, but the aways are on Comcast sports net. I two phillies season tickets so it isn't a killer for me. During the playoffs, my Phils were on TBS until the World Series so I picked up the mlb.tv for $10. It is actually pretty cool. The quality is standard definition at best, BUT you can watch multiple angles at once. I had one behind the plate, one along the 3rd base up high that tracked the ball, another in the Phillies dugout and the other in the outfield.


I still have analog, but it is not plugged in. I have Comcast negotiated down to $40 for the 28mbit internet with analog cable. It was $48 without the cable - go figure
 

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The cable companies are only required to broadcast unencrypted QAM one sub-channel from each local high powered broadcast digital broadcasters which is normally the xx-1 sub channel. Over analog they are required again required to provide the same digital channels and any low powered local analog channels still available and any local goverment analog channels and you should get these channels with the basic $20 cable fee. With this basic service you should get about 5 digital channels and maybe up to 30 analog channels.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by walford /forum/post/18270856


This was only true for Vista. The OCUR tuner is available for general use and support on Windows 7 by Microsoft. Many locations have stopped selling it since there were two many Vista OS user's buying it and then trying to find a copy of Vista TV pack that was bug free so they could use it.

See the following link:

http://www.cyberestore.com/hdtv-tv-t...-internal.html

My point being they were originally sold for OEM only so they're hard to find and you have to use unknown small name companies to purchase one from.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by walford /forum/post/18272439


The cable companies are only required to broadcast unencrypted QAM one sub-channel from each local high powered broadcast digital broadcasters which is normally the xx-1 sub channel. Over analog they are required again required to provide the same digital channels and any low powered local analog channels still available and any local goverment analog channels and you should get these channels with the basic $20 cable fee. With this basic service you should get about 5 digital channels and maybe up to 30 analog channels.

Nothing in the FCC states they actually have to broadcast HD over clearqam. Only that they have to provide local channels without charging the subscriber extra for a STB box. I haven't heard of a cable company encrypting them yet, but Comcast is handing out free of charge digital tuners that are capable of 56-bit encryption to all analog subscribers. In the future, they could start encrypting the HD channels and be within the legal guidelines of the FCC.
 

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Quote:
Nothing in the FCC states they actually have to broadcast HD over clearqam. Only that they have to provide local channels without charging the subscriber extra for a STB box. I haven't heard of a cable company encrypting them yet, but Comcast is handing out free of charge digital tuners that are capable of 56-bit encryption to all analog subscribers. In the future, they could start encrypting the HD channels and be within the legal guidelines of the FCC.

Just like in Canada. Most/all cablecos consider HD to be premium channels and encrypt them along with the extended basic and premium channels. The only channels broadcast in clear QAM are the basic analog channels in SD and crap like the FOOD channel.


BB
 

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I am not aware of any cable company in the US that encrypts all of the QAM encoided local channels that are only broadcast in "HD" resolution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update: my friend and I were going to order Win 7 and a tuner card tomorrow to update his media center pc. However I can't find anyone selling the ATI, and the Ceton is not out yet. Did any other Cablecard tuners come to market lately?


EDIT: found the ATI on ebay. Still curious of others though.
 
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