AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this and so I'm pretty confused by what all I can and can't do and what exactly I need, so if I could get some help here it'd be greatly appreciated



Anyways, here's my situation:


1) For the next eight months, I will have analog cable where I am staying for my internship, but this is the easy part - I should be able to just get any old TV tuner card and I'll get all the channels no problem by just taking a coax cable from the wall to my card, right?


2) When I get back to school, at my apartment we have Comcast Digital Cable and we also pay extra for HD channels and such. I would at the very least want to be able to view all of the channels (doesn't have to be HD, but that would be a plus). So, what would I need in order to first just view the channels on my computer regardless of SD/HD, and secondly (optionally) get them in HD?



The tuner that I was planning on getting that I thought would get the job done was an AverMedia M780 (ATSC/NTSC/QAM - I'd post a link but I'm not allowed to yet). It'll do the analog no problem, but am I understanding this correctly in that I will not be able to get all the digital cable channels, only the ones that are unencrypted? If that's the case, how can I get all of them, do I need to get another set-top box, or is there something else I can do? Like I said before, we have Comcast, and knowing them I wouldn't doubt that I would be lacking many of my favorite channels if I had to depend on Clear QAM.


Also, if you have any other recommendations as far as the tuner card goes, let me know, if I can get by cheaper and still have decent quality then I'd be willing to consider that (i.e. if the ATSC tuner wouldn't even be needed and a basic tuner would work pretty much just as well). Thanks for any help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
It sounds like you understand the current situation correctly. Normal analog cable channels can be tuned by any analog NTSC tuner (but you want one that does hardware MPEG2 encoding). Over-the-air ATSC and unencrypted cable QAM can be tuned by the digital tuners. There are only two ways to get the encrypted digital cable channels. (1) get a set top box from the cable co., with the computer controlling it via an IR blaster and using an analog tuner with Svideo input to get the video signal, which will not be HD. (2) Buying a new media center PC with a CableCard tuner and getting a CableCard from Comcast.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,818 Posts
There is a third way


Quote:
Originally Posted by snodgrass; ...Over-the-air ATSC and [B /forum/post/0


unencrypted [/b]cable QAM can be tuned by the digital tuners. There are only two ways to get the encrypted digital cable channels. (1) get a set top box from the cable co., with the computer controlling it via an IR blaster and using an analog tuner with Svideo input to get the video signal, which will not be HD. (2) Buying a new media center PC with a CableCard tuner and getting a CableCard from Comcast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,531 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkanet /forum/post/12881012


There is a third way

And a fourth .


However, the CableCard PC is the only option that works with all providers and all channels [except SDV].
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,818 Posts
Tivodesktop isn't really a forth way; it just sends a copy of un-copyprotected recordings from a tivo to a PC. Sounds like they're talking about the PC controlling tuners that can record encrypted channels.


The third way is the R5000; which is compatible with his cable provider. The only option with zero limitations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/12881024


And a fourth .


However, the CableCard PC is the only option that works with all providers and all channels [except SDV].
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by snodgrass /forum/post/12880976


It sounds like you understand the current situation correctly. Normal analog cable channels can be tuned by any analog NTSC tuner (but you want one that does hardware MPEG2 encoding). Over-the-air ATSC and unencrypted cable QAM can be tuned by the digital tuners. There are only two ways to get the encrypted digital cable channels. (1) get a set top box from the cable co., with the computer controlling it via an IR blaster and using an analog tuner with Svideo input to get the video signal, which will not be HD. (2) Buying a new media center PC with a CableCard tuner and getting a CableCard from Comcast.

Is there a reason why I couldn't just buy a CableCard tuner separate and use it on my existing computer?


Anyways, since it doesn't seem to work the way I would like it to, I'm tempted to do one of two things: 1) just go with a cheap analog tuner for while I'm here and don't worry about getting TV on my computer back at my apartment (we have a nice LCD HDTV there), or 2) There's an old (but not THAT old) TV in the garage that my landlord said should work and maybe I'll just try and get that set up here in the house.


Oh yeah, what's the R5000, and how expensive is it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
the OCUR PC are only allowed to be sold as a complete setup. not as add-ons to existing computers


Today - if I really wanted a PC recording setup - I would buy an OCUR PC..


If you really wanting to focus on DVR function in a nice interface -- I would do one of the TIVOHD boxes with cable cards


As noted other methods exist as noted, but be ready to twiddle and tweak your rig -- many people like this -- other just want a easy setup that just works..


I do most satellite reception (DirecTV) and only have a few of there DVR's -- All the new HD stuff is nice -- but you can only get all these cahnnels on their new DVR's -- my beloved DirecTivo HD's are rapidly be left behind


The Tivo infterface on these boxes was very nice


The new stuff works but is far less user friendly


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregory_WE /forum/post/12882206


Is there a reason why I couldn't just buy a CableCard tuner separate and use it on my existing computer?


Anyways, since it doesn't seem to work the way I would like it to, I'm tempted to do one of two things: 1) just go with a cheap analog tuner for while I'm here and don't worry about getting TV on my computer back at my apartment (we have a nice LCD HDTV there), or 2) There's an old (but not THAT old) TV in the garage that my landlord said should work and maybe I'll just try and get that set up here in the house.


Oh yeah, what's the R5000, and how expensive is it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
......and yet another way:


from this post:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post12664483


"4. Sometimes, the Cableco's SetTop box has a Firewire port on it. If the stars are aligned, you can connect this firewire port to your HTPC, and get some or maybe ALL content in its beautiful original form (as mpeg-2 files) directly into your HTPC. There is another protection scheme called a Broadcast Flag that may or may not be in place (and seems to have nothing to do with the QAM encryption). This is called the 5c flag, and cable companies may or may not pass this along on a program by program basis (think it is sourced upstream by content provider to cable company).

"


I get very few channels that are Clear QAM on my cable (no Premium content)......BUT EVERYTHING IS AVAILABLE OVER FIREWIRE. Have three Settop boxes into firewire ports and four external USB-ATSC tuners for my antenna into my server. With SAGETV it is quite easy.


If 5C is not turned on, this will be cheapest option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Dcard,


i'm very curious about your setup, as i am about to upgrade my cable service, but am wondering now how to incorporate the new encoded channels with my HTPC (i would prefer to run everything through the HTPC, rather than have to buy a new TivoHD and use up another input). i see that you are using SageTV, but how are the set-top boxes being controlled by the pc?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,818 Posts
R5000 isn't for everyone. Even though it's undoubtedly the most desirable way (in respect to having zero limitations in recording channels even PPV/On Demand and you and you actually have control of what you can do with your recordings)


... you have to pay to play. $500 per R5000 mod. Plus, another $50 for seemless SageTV support software. I just thought I'd throw it out there as an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregory_WE /forum/post/12882206



Oh yeah, what's the R5000, and how expensive is it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregory_WE /forum/post/12880608


I'm new to this and so I'm pretty confused by what all I can and can't do and what exactly I need, so if I could get some help here it'd be greatly appreciated



Anyways, here's my situation:


1) For the next eight months, I will have analog cable where I am staying for my internship, but this is the easy part - I should be able to just get any old TV tuner card and I'll get all the channels no problem by just taking a coax cable from the wall to my card, right?


2) When I get back to school, at my apartment we have Comcast Digital Cable and we also pay extra for HD channels and such. I would at the very least want to be able to view all of the channels (doesn't have to be HD, but that would be a plus). So, what would I need in order to first just view the channels on my computer regardless of SD/HD, and secondly (optionally) get them in HD?



The tuner that I was planning on getting that I thought would get the job done was an AverMedia M780 (ATSC/NTSC/QAM - I'd post a link but I'm not allowed to yet). It'll do the analog no problem, but am I understanding this correctly in that I will not be able to get all the digital cable channels, only the ones that are unencrypted? If that's the case, how can I get all of them, do I need to get another set-top box, or is there something else I can do? Like I said before, we have Comcast, and knowing them I wouldn't doubt that I would be lacking many of my favorite channels if I had to depend on Clear QAM.


Also, if you have any other recommendations as far as the tuner card goes, let me know, if I can get by cheaper and still have decent quality then I'd be willing to consider that (i.e. if the ATSC tuner wouldn't even be needed and a basic tuner would work pretty much just as well). Thanks for any help!

The only way I know to do this would involve hostages and an explosives vest.

Otherwise don't hold your breath.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by erl /forum/post/12884143


Dcard,


i'm very curious about your setup, as i am about to upgrade my cable service, but am wondering now how to incorporate the new encoded channels with my HTPC (i would prefer to run everything through the HTPC, rather than have to buy a new TivoHD and use up another input). i see that you are using SageTV, but how are the set-top boxes being controlled by the pc?

Each Settop box is conected to a different 1394 Firewire port on my Server (my micro-ATX motherboard, GA-MA69GM-S2H has three firewire ports on it!). Channel changing (to the box) and mpeg-2 program streams (from the box) are handled through the same Firewire port.


First your cable company has to provide HD settop boxes with Firewire ports (many do), and look at "a" list of STB's that have PC drivers for doing this very thing (google "Timmmoore")


Next, If you know someone in your neighborhood with one of these boxes, there is usually a simple way to enter a diagnostic menu and see if current channel has 5c flag on or off....this is how you can survey what is and is not available. If there are enough channels without Broadcast flags, then you are in business.


It seems a little complicated at first, but if you just follow the step-by-step instructions, it is very simple. You don't even need an application like SAGETV at first. Load drivers, hook up firewire and point wizard to the driver directory, execute a command-line command to change channels. If you install free VLC player, you can "open" a video capture stream from the firewire device and watch in your PC, as you change channels from the command prompt. Very cool.


Was a long time MCE user, but the one Server with ALL tuners on it (7), terabytes of storage (RAID 5) on same box in a closet, several Client PC's on HD displays and a soon HD Extender makes this SAGETV a great setup.


I do like the concept of the R5000 mod thing, and if I was locked out on the firewire, that would be the next step. However, it is easy to see if Firewire is flag-free.....and if you are lucky, it is inexpensive.


The coming Hauppage HD may be the solution for the masses, though, if the quality hit is not too great (digital encoded stream to decompress to analog out to analog in to recompress)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkanet /forum/post/12881323


Tivodesktop isn't really a forth way; it just sends a copy of un-copyprotected recordings from a tivo to a PC. Sounds like they're talking about the PC controlling tuners that can record encrypted channels.

A moded prom on the tivohd and a little 'software tweaking' solves this issue completely. There is absolutely nothing I can't transfer to my pc because with the 'tweak' nothing is ever protected. This setup absolutely stomps all over every other 'solution' I have tried in the past. Will never go back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,139 Posts
I didn't think modded proms existed yet for the TivoHD. Can you point me to a reference on how to do it?


BTW, since the R5000-HD is a modified STB, it is not a hack per se, it will always work as long as the type of box it is installed in works. It's just easier than prom hacking a TivoHD.


Though, if that's possible, it should be possible to turn the TivoHD into a network tuner device. That would be very cool, since you wouldn't need to pay for the Tivo service, you get 2 tuners per box, and the hardware is subsidized.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcard /forum/post/12882514


......and yet another way:


from this post:


"4. Sometimes, the Cableco's SetTop box has a Firewire port on it. If the stars are aligned, you can connect this firewire port to your HTPC, and get some or maybe ALL content in its beautiful original form (as mpeg-2 files) directly into your HTPC. There is another protection scheme called a Broadcast Flag that may or may not be in place (and seems to have nothing to do with the QAM encryption). This is called the 5c flag, and cable companies may or may not pass this along on a program by program basis (think it is sourced upstream by content provider to cable company).

"


I get very few channels that are Clear QAM on my cable (no Premium content)......BUT EVERYTHING IS AVAILABLE OVER FIREWIRE. Have three Settop boxes into firewire ports and four external USB-ATSC tuners for my antenna into my server. With SAGETV it is quite easy.


If 5C is not turned on, this will be cheapest option.

Any idea on if Comcast does this? I'm about to buy a new mobo and I could make sure I get one with firewire on it if Comcast doesn't have that '5c flag' in place. If that DID work, do you even need a tuner?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,818 Posts
Comcast completely locks down firewire port access on all their STBs. I know this, because I have Comcast. The port is there, but just cant be used. In fact, most cable companies have some kind of restriction via firewire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregory_WE /forum/post/12888997


Any idea on if Comcast does this? I'm about to buy a new mobo and I could make sure I get one with firewire on it if Comcast doesn't have that '5c flag' in place. If that DID work, do you even need a tuner?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,818 Posts
Try transfering PPV and On Demand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamhost /forum/post/12886966


A moded prom on the tivohd and a little 'software tweaking' solves this issue completely. There is absolutely nothing I can't transfer to my pc because with the 'tweak' nothing is ever protected. This setup absolutely stomps all over every other 'solution' I have tried in the past. Will never go back.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,818 Posts
I didn't even think of of this possibility... that sure would be nice if possible (TivoHD as a dual tuner Network device).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM /forum/post/12887394


I didn't think modded proms existed yet for the TivoHD. Can you point me to a reference on how to do it?


BTW, since the R5000-HD is a modified STB, it is not a hack per se, it will always work as long as the type of box it is installed in works. It's just easier than prom hacking a TivoHD.


Though, if that's possible, it should be possible to turn the TivoHD into a network tuner device. That would be very cool, since you wouldn't need to pay for the Tivo service, you get 2 tuners per box, and the hardware is subsidized.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM /forum/post/12887394


I didn't think modded proms existed yet for the TivoHD. Can you point me to a reference on how to do it?


BTW, since the R5000-HD is a modified STB, it is not a hack per se, it will always work as long as the type of box it is installed in works. It's just easier than prom hacking a TivoHD.


Though, if that's possible, it should be possible to turn the TivoHD into a network tuner device. That would be very cool, since you wouldn't need to pay for the Tivo service, you get 2 tuners per box, and the hardware is subsidized.

As I don't want to take a chance of getting banned, I'll pm you the link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkanet /forum/post/12889277


Try transfering PPV and On Demand.

Currently there is no way to get ppv or on demand using the standalone tivo. That is going to change though when they move to the new system, sorry forget what it's called at the moment. At that point, then yes, it would be possible. I can transfer anything on the hard drive either through tivotogo, or ftp.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top