[mythtv-users] Recording HDTV via cable in the US? (yes another one)

Steve Adeff adeffs at gmail.com
Sun Dec 18 13:28:20 EST 2005

On Sunday 18 December 2005 12:48, Chris Ribe wrote:
> The only way to use your cable box to get HD onto your Myth box is to use
> the firewire output on the box.  This will probably only give you the OTA
> stations.  Cable channels are generally encrypted  and unavailable to Myth.

technically its digital rights management, the stream just won't get sent.

But its worth a try, you might not get all channels, but you might get enough 
to make it worth having one cable box via firewire and one via a PVR150.

Here's how you find out what channels are set with the 5C DRM on the DCT 
First, I find that the 5C management is uaually set on for all channels 
(except OTA which it is illegal to have set on for), set off for all channels 
or set on for all but OTA and basic cable (which if you get your basic cable 
channels digitally would make it ideal for capturing those channels and 
depending on your viewing habits worth having a second box just for these 

1. Tune to a channel, turn the box off and immediately hit the select button. 
This will enter you into a diagnostic menu.
2. go to d11, you will see a line that says 5C with a number value.
1+ = DRM enabled, no go with Myth
3. turn box on and check next channel.

OTA should show 5C=0, if not call your cable company and threaten to report 
them to the FCC. This does not apply to HDTV OTA apparently, as the legal 
definition of OTA in these FCC documents does not include HDTV OTA channels. 
BUT, I'd be surprised if the cable company bothered, most send the signal 
over their lines open such that you can tune via a HDTV tuner card.
From there check some Basic cable channels, extended(or what are subscribed as 
digital cable), then premium (HBO, etc). You might find that its mixed and 
you have to check every channel, but this is a good start.

> You could also get an HD capture card and leave the cable box out of the
> loop.  This will also only get you OTA channels (whether the signal is QAM
> from the cable line or from an antenna).

and whatever other random channels they send over QAM.

p.s. more below...

> As far as getting HBO, TNT, etc. onto your Myth box in HD, you are more
> than likely SOL.
> The cable box will downconvert your HD channels to NTSC and put them on the
> S-Video output, which can then be captured by one of your Hauppagge cards.
> This offers marginaly better picture quality than capturing the analog
> versions of these channels straight from the cable line, but it will still
> look like crap on your TV.
> At any rate, search the archives for info on this topic, there is plenty
> there.
> On 12/18/05, Matt Goebel <matt at goebelnet.com> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I've just bought a new HDTV and switched over to a HDTV cable box from
> > my cable company (Bright House Networks).  They gave me a Motorola
> > DCT6200 DVR for two months because they were out of plain non-DVR HDTV
> > cables boxes (DCT5100's I believe is what they are using for that).
> >
> > So now I'd like to hook that into MythTV to record HDTV content in 720p
> > HDTV format (what my TV supports).  What's the status of HD recording
> > under Linux?  Is this possible yet?  I know you can do OTA HD
> > recording.. but can you do QAM now too if you run everything through the
> > cable box first?  I'd like to record HBO,TNT,OLN, and Discover HD in HD
> > in addition to the local channels I can get OTA.  If it's possible which
> > HD card would I need?  The HD-3000 or Air2PC etc...?  With the DCT6200
> > I'm pretty sure Bright House doesn't offer a coaxial output even though
> > the box supports one.  That kills that one I think.  I plan to get a
> > plain DCT5100 anyway though.. which hopefully does have one.  If not is
> > there someway to record in HD with Component or IEEE1394?
> >
> > Also if none of this is possible would I be able to at least us the
> > Svideo output to record in 16:9 DVD quality?  I have 2 PVR-250's and a
> > PVR-500 which are both supposed to support up to 720x480 if I'm not
> > mistaken.

The DVR I believe is able to output the HD through the SVideo in anamorphic, 
whereas the non-DVR cannot. At least thats how my local Comcast boxes work.


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