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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a newbie to the forum, and haven't had a chance to go through the mountain of posts but I thought I'd post the following question and see what response I get.


I want to build a HTPC and of course enjoy HDTV to the fullest (ESPN HD). From what I can gather I'm not sure I can view HD through my pc if I get HD from a cable operator like Comcast, Dish, Voom, etc. Is this indeed true? My only option would OTA HDTV?


If not true which HD Cards could I try? Is there something on the horizon? Also if the HTPC is out in terms of being a hub for the HD signal, have people used splitters or other means of hooking up Cable Co. HD Tuners as well as HTPC's through a single DVI input on a plasma/projector?


Apologize for my ignorance.
 

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That's correct, current hardware (at least everything I'm familiar with, which is all the mainstream cards) can only receive OTA HD. There aren't any cards that can take a component input stream either.


You could use a DVI switching box to swap between the HTPC output and your cable box without any hassle.
 

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The Fusion III QAM and Sasem USB HDTV can recieve HD from cable. But only unencrypted channels. Whether or not the channels you want to watch are unencrypted is a different question.
 

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The Fusion III I have receives Comcast HD, including ESPN. I'm not sure about the legality of getting ESPN via such a card. The locals they do not charge extra for, but there is a small extra charge for other HD channels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys for the posts.


So technically if I pay for all the HD premium channels they should be unencrypted after they pass through the Comcast STB and before going into my HTPC with a Fusion III card wouldn't they.


If anyone has tried this scenario let me know.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cbeitel67657
Thanks guys for the posts.


So technically if I pay for all the HD premium channels they should be unencrypted after they pass through the Comcast STB and before going into my HTPC with a Fusion III card wouldn't they.
No, there is no way to record the output of a STB, it is uncompressed and requires far too much bandwidth/CPU/HDD space to do in practical terms. What you may be able to do is record HD cable directly of the cable line, however it's only possible with unecrypted channels. That means probably only your locals, but AFAIK the rest of the channels are at the discression of the Cable Co.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cbeitel67657
Thanks guys for the posts.


So technically if I pay for all the HD premium channels they should be unencrypted after they pass through the Comcast STB and before going into my HTPC with a Fusion III card wouldn't they.


If anyone has tried this scenario let me know.
yes and no...


The Fusion III card is a cable TV tuner that you use instead of a cable box. There is no way for it to receive the encrypted channels you pay for and it does not in any way attach to your cable box.


The cable company isn't allowed to encrypt the local channels. Sometimes they don't encrypt any HDTV channels.


There is a way to capture from your cable box using firewire. But that is only for unencrypted channels.


My opinion is that HTPC and cable HD-CATV are best left separate. I have the CATV DVR so I can timeshift and record ANY channel I pay for. It isn't as nice as a tivo, but it is a lot better than anything I can concoct on an HTPC.


~Jay
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stanger89
there is no way to record the output of a STB,
I beg to differ with that statement. You most certainly can record HDTV transport stream to a HTPC, from a STB; it can be done via 1394 Fire Wire. It's not the most elegant solution, but it can be done... This method will not record digital cable channels, as they are not the requisite transport stream.


Here is a link that tells about it:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=403695
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jay M
There is a way to capture from your cable box using firewire. But that is only for unencrypted channels.
I knew about firewire, but had assumed that would allow you to record whatever HD content you'd subscribed to.
 
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