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Apparently there is one capture card on the market DviCo Fusion III Gold that can be used to tune HD on comcast. However, it is limited to those channels that aren't encrypted or scrambled so no HBO HD ect....


Alas, I'm not certain why DVI video can't be captured.


Mike
 

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What about those who have a non-HD digital box?


For instance, I have a Motorola DCT1000 digital cable box (it is fairly old now I believe). It is quite simple, but would there be a tuner card that can be used in place of that cable box to tune my non-HD channels as well even though it is SD?


And w/r to scrambling, would that normally only be on HD signals?


(P.S. I live in Canada, so does that change the equation at all?)
 

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But... correct me if Im wrong - the Fusion III card does QAM which would allow you to tune, record, timeshift everything on digital cable except the encrypted HD channels.. right? This is the way that I am leaning if this is true.


Jeff
 

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Well there's 2 forms of QAM on cable 256 and 64, the F3Q is supposed to be able to recieve both. So yes you should be able to tune/record/timeshift anything in the clear on DC.


That said I can't recall anyone reporting that they could record anything on DC except some HD channels (locals mostly) and a few music channels. From that I conclude:
  • Nearly all DC channels are encrypted except for HD locals and music (most likely)
  • There's a problem with the F3Q and QAM 64 (normally used for SD channels)
 

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Hmm... sounds disappointing.


However, how can the Motorola understand the signals? Does my cable provider physically 'calibrate' or 'adjust' each DCT1000 box before it goes out to understand their own particular type of encryption? Why is it that Motorola can make an encryption understanding piece of equipment while other's (I.e. Fusion) cannot? Maybe I am just confusing myself!!?


There might be a good chance these digital signals are not encrypted from this particular provider. It is quite a small market they serve for the province. They might not yet be concerned with such issues? (but that is speculation)
 

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Basicly encryption normally requires two things that match at both ends. First there will be an encryption algorithym that scrambles the bits and the inverse algorithym at the other end to unscramble them. Secondly there is a string of bits called the encryption keys which establish a common starting point and set variables within the algorithym.


The hardware within the box will contain the encryption algorithym within a chipset inside. The encryption key is an arbitrary number known only to the cable company and seeded within the box before they give it to you, so that a box from one cable system will not work on another - the key numbers are different. Finally, some cable companies use the box serial number within the box to address and control the box. This allows them to individually switch the boxes on after a valid account is opened - meanwhile they will send randomly the "magic bullet" to disable non-authorized cable boxes - those that did not get authorized in the last month, for example.


It's their method of insuring they get paid for each and every cable attachment. It's also better for them to rent you the box for a monthly fee. It's also a security hole for anybody with a PC to be able to attach, as the cable content and authorization functions would eventually get compromised.


Frankly, PCs on cable systems are as welcome as skunks at picnics.


Gary
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Declare01
Why is it that Motorola can make an encryption understanding piece of equipment while other's (I.e. Fusion) cannot?
Because Motorolla is allowed to and PC card makers are not. It's the same thing with satellite, there are cards capable of recieving Dish Network, and there are cards that can privide the decryption (CAM cards). They do that in Europe.


However Dish/Cable Co/etc. are paranoid about people stealing their content and don't allow anything in a PC to decrypt anything. There's nothing technical preventing it, it's all political. Personally I think it's stupid, because all they do is make it hard for those of us with legitimate intentions, it does almost nothing to stop those with less honorable intentions.
 

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The cable company is required to provide you with a firewire capable box, which should allow you to record any non-encrypted HD channels via Firewire, but I don't think it applies to the SD channels (I've never tried it, however).


The Fusion card will connect directly to the cable, and tune in the QAM channels which are not encrypted. I've tried this and it was somewhat problematic because the channels did not correspond to what a cablebox would display, and encrypted channels would sometimes crash the program. So there is some setup involved finding the right channels, and in my little test I never did find the UPN channel. I haven't done it for longer because my cable system does not have CBS in HD.
 

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Quote:
but I don't think it applies to the SD channels (I've never tried it, however).
Actually, it does work on the SD channels also, even the analog ones, at least on the DVR boxes. It seems to just dump the mpeg-2 stream that it's recording for the DVR and offer it on the firewire port. No idea what happens with the non-DVR firewire cable boxes. I would think the encoder technology would be kind of expensive to have to include just to have a firewire port.
 
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