[mythtv-users] HDTV, Myth, and Cable television -- basic questions

Micah Wedemeyer fanmail at micah-wedemeyer.net
Mon Dec 13 22:51:42 UTC 2004


I'm sure these questions have been asked and answered 100s of times already, but
I couldn't find much by searching the forums.  Moreover, I couldn't find good
answers searching around the web, either.  Basically, I'm totally confused and I
want to get straighented out before the broadcast flag thingy goes into effect.
 So, these are some rambling thoughts/questions that I am tossing out there:

1. HDTV and Cable television
Right now, I have Comcast Cable in Atlanta, GA (USA).  I mostly watch special
interest channels (Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, SciFi, etc.)  These are not
Hi-Def, as far as I know.  Plus, they will probably be the last to go Hi-Def
(nothing to support this, just a hunch.)  So, I don't really need HDTV right
now, especially since I don't have a Hi-Def TV-set.

But...in the future, I expect that eventually I will want HDTV.  But, I will
still  want to watch mostly cable channels.  So, finally, a question: What is
necessary to watch HDTV for cable television?  Do you think Myth will be able to
do this, or will the channels be encrypted in such a way to make this
impossible?  Note: I'm not talking about stealing cable, I'm talking about
paying for a subscription and getting some sort of decryption key or hardware
decryption interface.

2. pcHDTV and Broadcast flag - (Non-USA users: ignore this)
Considering that I want to watch cable HDTV, would it be wise to get a pcHDTV
3000 card?  If I buy one before June, then I can forget about this broadcast
flag nonsense.  However, I don't currently have the capability to do HDTV
encode/decode (ie. Epia 10k).  So, I'd buy the card and shelve it until mini-ITX
systems are fast enough or hardware MPEG-2 acceleration is good enough to do
HDTV.  Maybe it is already and I just don't know.

The main question is: Will the pcHDTV 3000 allow for HDTV over cable?  Note: I'm
 not asking for a guarantee here, just a "It's in the works..."  Mainly, I don't
want to buy a card that is only for OTA HDTV and has no plans for cable.

3. MythTV and broadcast flag - (Non-USA users: ignore this)
Assuming I miss the June date and buy a HDTV tuner card after that, what of the
broadcast flag?  Anyone have any ideas how this might interact with MythTV?  I
understand that it is a hardware issue, but perhaps it can be disabled by hacked
drivers?  More basically, what is the point of it?  Can content providers send
out a signal and force all copies of tv-show X to delete themselves?

That about covers it, at least for now.  Sorry if I'm rehashing old territory,
but it's still new to me.


Some keywords to help this get flagged in archive searches:
QAM Quadrature amplitude modulation
pcHDTV 3000
broadcast flag
cable television


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