Digital cable through TV Tuner?

sethmo

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I currently have Mediacom and a POS DVR that resets itself, doesnt record what it is supposed to, and crashes quite often. I want to get rid of the DVR(cable box all together if possible), $10/month DVR service, and replace it with either a LinuxMCE or MythTV box.

My only question is, I have standard cable, and the Digital+ package(Really the only channesl I want are G4, BBC, IFC, and Showtime). Is there a way to still get these digital channels through a tuner card and something like MythTV?

Any direction or recommendations on TV Tuners is appriciated! Thanks.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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If you are running Windows 7 you can purchase an ATI TV Wonder DCT unit (internal or external) and ask your cable company for their CableCARD. This is the only way you can pull HD contents from your cable company to your HTPC. QAM tuners will only pull local HD channels (WGN, CBS, ABC, WTTW, NBC, etc).

http://ati.amd.com/products/tvwonderdigital/index.html

This DCT setup was recently approved on November 6 by CableLabs. Before that you could only use pre-approved HTPC from Dell or Tivo or whatever in order to use CableCARD.

This only works on Windows 7 as far as I know. I'm not sure about Vista and earlier, and less sure about Linux.
 

ajira99

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I'd have to concur with what Azhar said. Unless you have a set-top box, the only "easy" way to get the encrypted channels is with CableCARD. I still watch G4TV (although, I don't know why anymore) and I'm going to have to go this route if I want to watch/record STARZ or even BBC America. Of course, it doesn't help when the cable provider keeps shuffling channels around. Thanks Comcast!
 

Azhar

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So does the tuner I linked to not record HD?

I don't see why not. It's a QAM tuner. Mine's an HVR-1250 ClearQAM and it records HD channels just fine.

It's just a question of being able to play cable HD channels aside from local HD channels.
 

coder_t2

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Ok, thats what I was looking for. I cancelled cable and went to using an antenna, but I have been having issues with it, so I am just going to order basic cable and then get a tv tuner for my HTPC so I can record tv. I was planning on getting something like the above tuner, and I want to record HD. Will I need a cablecard to get the additional like 5 or 10 channels I get from Basic?
 

kemist1117

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most common tuners today can record HD, but only if it is clear QAM, which is generally only the local channels.

The premium hd channels are encrypted and require either cable card, or the hd-pvr which takes advantage of the analog hole.
 

sethmo

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I am still looking into the best solution for me. Most recently, have been looking into an HDHomerun.

My TV has a cablecard slot built into it, but a cable card service would only be able to be used in that tv correct? I like the HDHomerun because any computer would be able to have TV. I want to setup a HTPC for my bedroom TV and my living room TV.

Thanks for all your guys input so far!
 

Verge

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HDhomerun isn't going to get you digital channels.


It's either cablecard or sorry.
 

sethmo

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I understand that, I am unsure if the HDhomerun will work inline with a set top box? If it doesnt, I will scratch that one off of my list.

Is there any other setups that will be able to run one cable card or set top box with one tuner and be able to stream live tv to another computer on the network?

I know with MythTV you can stream DVR recordings to any MythTV frontend on the network, but I didn't read anything about live tv over the network.
 

krupted

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signing up for anything ATT is the wrong answer in any case.

its a damn shame windows media center still doesnt recognize another wmc pc as an extender. it baffles me as to why you cant use pc's as extenders.

but youre asking too much for what technology currently supports. if you MUST have hd in every room, then att uverse unfortunately is probably the answer.

what i do though, since streaming HD on a network is both hard to do and also unecessary, i just use a hauppauge 2250 to work my 2nd tuner in my dish network box. stream it all with orb, that way, i can watch any channel in any room, on my phone, on my laptop... anywhere. i was even at my moms house a month ago- she didnt have NFL network but we still wanted to watch the game. fired up her htpc, logged into orb, and a half hour from my house we still watched 3 hours of football. its not hd, but it works and is certainly handy.

the only problem with orb right now is the interface is not setup for '10ft'. they have a theater view, which is ok, but if you can live with a little inconvenience then its a cheap way to go.
 

coder_t2

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How much do cable companies typically charge for a cable card? Is it the same as for a DVR?
 

JohnDC

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HDhomerun isn't going to get you digital channels.


It's either cablecard or sorry.

The HDhomerun will get digital channels Over-The-Air, or Clear-QAM channels from the cable company, both in HD.
 

JonDoms

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@sethmo - Going with myth as a backend will work if you have the digital plus package and a box with firewire. I was recording all my HD shows off of it onto my media center. Ran a script that converted the file names to something more usable then shared it on the network. The only downside to this is that you can't really watch live stuff. If you wanted to you can on the linux box itself or another linux box as a client/frontend.

The HD2250, HDHomerun are both great options for OTA and clear QAM in MCE. I haven't tried it on MythTV.
The HDPVR from Hauppauge also integrates well with the cable box and media center from what I read.
 

sethmo

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I have Mediacom and I am pretty sure their Digital Plus HD channels are encrypted, I could be wrong though.
 

krupted

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The HDPVR from Hauppauge also integrates well with the cable box and media center from what I read.

:/ its the most amazing piece of hardware that has one gigantic flaw. it can't reboot itself. i know it sounds weird, but just about every day or so you will be shutting it off then turning it back on to get it out of it's pms mode. mainly this only happens when you try changing channels too fast, but it happens regularly.

thing is, its just a momentary button, like a reset switch you have to push... and there is no reason it couldnt reset itself once locked up. they just didnt design it that way, im guessing they didnt think it would need to be rebooted all the time... but it does and im not the only one with the problem (everyone has to do it).

other then that, its a pretty nice device, and i do appreciate the people over at dvblink for making wmc possible on the hdpvr.
 

JohnDC

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Not the ones he's asking about

That is true, but he said it wont get digital channels, and it could well confuse people who do not understand the whole analog/digital/atsc/qam/cable card cluster. :)
 

valve1138

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:/ its the most amazing piece of hardware that has one gigantic flaw. it can't reboot itself. i know it sounds weird, but just about every day or so you will be shutting it off then turning it back on to get it out of it's pms mode. mainly this only happens when you try changing channels too fast, but it happens regularly.

thing is, its just a momentary button, like a reset switch you have to push... and there is no reason it couldnt reset itself once locked up. they just didnt design it that way, im guessing they didnt think it would need to be rebooted all the time... but it does and im not the only one with the problem (everyone has to do it).

other then that, its a pretty nice device, and i do appreciate the people over at dvblink for making wmc possible on the hdpvr.

In Sage we all have to set the HD-PVR to have a "tuning delay" where Sage won't start to do anything with the video the HD-PVR produces 4 seconds has passed, this gives the HD-PVR enough time to lock the signal in properly. If you don't set this it can cause lockups on the HD-PVR and other bullshit. Is there a way to do this in Media Center?

I've also found that locking my DirecTV box to one resolution, 720p for me, eliminates a lot of bullshit too.
 

krupted

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my dish box is always locked to whatever resolution you set it at, so thats not the problem.

the tuning delay has been set and changed many times too... i think my biggest problem is i expect 13mbs out of this thing, and while 10mbs does help with stability it does not look as nice. you can tell just slightly, but why did i buy all this HD crap if i cant really see HD as its meant to be?

since its at 13mbs, the usb bus doesnt need much confusion before itll lock up the hdpvr. i need to make a self-powered usb hub for all my devices, and just put the hdpvr on its own dedicated usb bus right on the mainboard... but that just hasnt happened yet.
 

sethmo

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I think I am going to get the HDPVR/Basic set top box for my main TV and run MythTV or Sage, then for my bedroom TV I will just run a cheaper Hauppauge tuner and MythTV/Sage and stream the downloaded content from the main HDPVR to it and just deal with basic cable and OTA HD.

So, thanks for everyones input, I will keep the post updated with my progress and any more questions I will probably have :)
 

Verge

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That is true, but he said it wont get digital channels, and it could well confuse people who do not understand the whole analog/digital/atsc/qam/cable card cluster. :)



All OTA is digital now is it not?... People who read the first post know what channels i'm referring to.(basically, the good channels people care about)
 

krupted

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I think I am going to get the HDPVR/Basic set top box for my main TV and run MythTV or Sage, then for my bedroom TV I will just run a cheaper Hauppauge tuner and MythTV/Sage and stream the downloaded content from the main HDPVR to it and just deal with basic cable and OTA HD.

So, thanks for everyones input, I will keep the post updated with my progress and any more questions I will probably have :)

sensible. its sad how limited we are right now with television technology.... i think youre doing the right thing though
 
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