[mythtv-users] OT: Comcast Chicago changing channel lineup , SCI-FI moving to digital only

Mark J. Small msmall at eastlink.ca
Wed Aug 10 12:18:06 UTC 2005

On August 9, 2005 05:53 pm, Scot L. Harris wrote:
> On Tue, 2005-08-09 at 15:57, Lonnie Borntreger wrote:
> > On Tue, 2005-08-09 at 15:13 -0400, Scot L. Harris wrote:
> > > But if I want to record two shows at once, as I can currently do, I
> > > would need two boxes.  It gets even more expensive if I want to have 3
> > > or 4 inputs (which is what I am aiming for to prevent recording
> > > conflicts, two inputs have eliminated most conflicts but still get some
> > > occasionally).  To say nothing about having a stack of cable boxes next
> > > to the TV just to be able to get the content you want.
> >
> > Well, there is a workaround.... maybe.  Here in Bakersfield, CA, I have
> > a friend with digital cable (I don't), one box and three TVs.  It seems
> > that the cable company sends the analog cable signal along with the
> > digital ones.  So she is limited to the "extra" channels on one TV
> > (using the box) but has access to "expanded basic" (with ESPN, DISC,
> > etc.) on the other TVs.
> >
> > So, if Comcast does the same, you could just go with one card set to
> > record digital channels (through the box), and the others to the analog
> > (directly to the cable as before).  You should be able to eliminate most
> > program overlaps that way, unless you end up recording a lot of digital
> > only channels.
> >
> > > Is there anyone that is pushing digital standards so digital tuners are
> > > standard in TVs and can then be standard on capture cards?
> >
> > Give it time.  It took a while after cable first came out to get an
> > analog standard (analog cable boxes didn't use to be compatible from one
> > provider to the next, either).
> This is how I have things setup now.  I only have analog input to my PVR
> cards.  I don't get any pay channels.  Nor do I use the cable box as
> input to the mythtv box.  For the moment everything I watch is available
> over the analog signal that comes in on the cable line.  I could do with
> out the digital box.  The problem the OP was relating was that cable
> companies are moving channels that some want to watch out of the analog
> set to the digital only set.
> If they do as the OP suggests and move everything to digital then the
> PVR cards become useless for the most part since you would need a
> digital box for each encoder.  I guess the encoders could be simplified
> which should make them cheaper since they  would only need to be set to
> channel 3 or which ever channel your cable company selects.  It becomes
> more troublesome since you have to then have and control multiple
> digital cable boxes to get to the different channels.
> I don't look forward to having to pay extra for each cable box to have 3
> or 4 of them to feed the mythtv box.  Plus the added complexity of
> controlling those boxes.  While I don't use live tv much anymore I would
> expect it would be easier in such a case to just have a cable box
> connected directly to the TV and switch to that for live TV.  The
> utility of the DVR system would be less than before.

My setup is similar to what others here are descibing.  I have 3 PVR cards, 
and two digital cable boxes hooked up to my backend.   The third PVR card is 
hooked up to analog cable.  Fortunately for me, my cable provider was willing 
to let me use Cable boxes that I got off ebay, so it wasn't an enormous extra 
cost for me.  

One problem that I have had is that myth doesn't always use the inputs 
intelligently.  I tried to schedule three recordings last Saturday night for 
the same time, and myth wouldn't let me, even though at least two of them 
were on analog.  Maybe I have a setup problem.


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