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I'm trying to get away from paying comcast $10-$15 a month for the privilege to access the content I'm already paying for, so I was trying to figure out a way to just buy the cable boxes I need and then run everything else through HTPCs. I already have an HTPC that I use HDHomeRun for non-encrypted channels, but I want to expand it to include all the channels I'm paying for. I had planned on using the Hauppage HD-PVR connected to 2 dct6200s, bought on ebay, to Comcast service, but I wasn't sure if that would actually work. I'm sure the HD-PVR will function, but I've not heard of any stories of other people doing this and having the boxes work with Comcast service. I'm sure this has been done before, but I haven't come up with anything concrete in my searches online, so I figured I would ask here to see if anyone had done something similar with success. Any help would be appreciated.


Thanks.


-Zipper
 

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The cable set top boxes you are looking at purchasing from a third party, do they have cable card inputs on them any where?


Comcast is a beast and most cable or Sat providers do not like you looking into this. Check out the FCC website, do a search on time shifting and cable cards.


As far as I have read and can understand: Most STB's come with a 1394 port, and a cable card port. Most Providers Tell you that these ports are disabled. However it is law that these ports be made available to you. They have to provide you with a working 1394 port and they have to provide you with a cable card upon your request.


Will this solve your issue, maybe not. Out of 11 cable installers I have talked to about half have not tried or heard of people using the 1394 ports to add additional HDD space to their DVR. The others don't even know if they work. None have commented on my questions about cable cards, however the last DVR I just got actually had one installed in the back, which is odd since it was brand new.


Now why have I brought up a 1394 port, well ever STB DVR I have had has always come with a 80-120 internal HDD. That just isnt enough for me and in theory I should be able to plug in a larger HDD to the 1394 port and just have the OS read it as additional drive space. Most providers wont tell you what OS they run but most run a version of linux, so you have to format that drive to a linux file system. and most of my installers have shown me how to access the internal menu of the box (or I watched them closely to find out how)


I am still doing my own research but I hope this adds some information for you to think on and review and maybe open up dialogue with someone who knows more than I do.
 

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Most older Motorola STBs had slots on them that looked like cable card slots but AFAIK they were never used since the cable company downloaded the subsription services that your were subscribed to directly to the boxs from their Headsite so not cable card was required to do the same thing.

The newer Motorola STBS do not have slots on them.
 
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