[mythtv-users] Beginners question

Dave Sherohman esper at sherohman.org
Thu Sep 22 20:47:31 UTC 2005

On Thu, Sep 22, 2005 at 04:23:46PM -0400, Paul Schied wrote:
>  I have comcast cable, extended basic cable. To my knowledge it is not
> digital but I DO have a cablebox. From what I've been reading I will need to
> hook up the cable to my tuner card after it goes through the cablebox (so it
> is decoded).

If you just have extended basic, you can probably return the box to
Comcast and run the cable directly into your capture card.  (You can
test this by running it straight into your TV before buying a card or
sending the box back if you're sane enough to not just take my word
for it.)  As long as it's not digital, the only channels that need to
be descrambled are generally the premium channels - HBO, Cinemax,
etc.  The basic stations are normally sent in the clear.

> I want to be able to watch tv while recording a different channel. From what
> I've read I am pretty sure this means I need two tuner cards which will both
> need to have the cable coming from a cablebox.

If you want to watch one thing on live TV (as opposed to watching a
previously-recorded program) while recording something else, then,
yes, you would need two tuners.  However, once you give myth a try,
you may find yourself never wanting to watch live TV again...

Also, there are dual-tuner cards out there, such as the Hauppage
PVR-500 (which I currently use, although only one tuner is working
for me), so you don't necessarily need two cards.  When I bought
mine, newegg.com was selling the dual-tuner PVR-500 for only $10 more
than the single-tuner PVR-150, so I see no reason not to get one.

> My question is if I just
> split the cable from the cablebox, is there any way to record something and
> simultaneously watch a different channel or do I have to have two cable
> boxes for this?

Each cable box only has one tuner (there are some exceptions, but the
only ones I know of have DVRs built-in, so you're not likely to be
using mythtv with them) and, if you run your signal through the cable
box, you have to use its tuner, not your own (which will generally be
locked on channel 3 or 4 to match the cable box's output).  So, if
you run your video through the cable box, then 1 box = 1 tuner = 1
show at a time, regardless of how many tuners your mythtv system may
have.  But, like I said above, you probably don't need the cable box
anyhow.  (Even if you do have some scrambled premium channels, you
could set them to only be recorded on a specific tuner which goes
through the cable box while having a direct cable line into the other
tuner to record non-scrambled channels.)

The freedoms that we enjoy presently are the most important victories of the
White Hats over the past several millennia, and it is vitally important that
we don't give them up now, only because we are frightened.
  - Eolake Stobblehouse (http://stobblehouse.com/text/battle.html)

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