[mythtv-users] Why FireWire makes sense even for those without HDTV displays

Scott Alfter mythtv at salfter.dyndns.org
Tue Jan 3 00:10:42 UTC 2006

Yeechang Lee wrote:
> Chris Ribe <chrisribe at gmail.com> says:
>>Just to clarify this point, some cable providers (like mine -
>>Comcast) only make OTA rebroadcasts available unprotected over
>>firewire.  The only channels I get over firewire are CBS, ABC, NBC,
>>FOX, and PBS.
> Ouch! Too bad. As noted, this definitely varies, even within the
> providers themselves; it's entirely possible that if you were to move
> to the next county over Comcast's offerings (and the box, for that
> matter) over FireWire might be completely diffferent. RCN, my
> provider, in San Francisco is--shall we say--much more generous, but
> RCN in NYC might be completely different; I really don't know.

To add another data point, Cox in Las Vegas appears to make most of its
digital-cable channels available in the clear over FireWire.  Of the channels I
get, only the pay-TV channels and non-broadcast HDTV channels are blocked.
(PPV and VOD channels are probably blocked, but I never use those.  I don't
know if the music channels are blocked, as I never use those either.)  The
other digital-cable channels are available for capture over FireWire.  The
local broadcast channels that offer HD are available in both HD (starting at
channel 730) and in SD (channels 3, 5, 8, 10, and 13).  The remaining channels
below 100 are analog-only, so you need an analog capture device to get those.

> Neither can I, but I've had zero problems with FireWire since I
> started running each hour with cron the little script comprised of
> four plugctl lines that's been posted here several times, and even
> before then any issues were infrequent, only occurred some of the
> times I restarted mythbackend, and could be cured by rerunning
> mythtv-setup to move the FireWire node used from 2 (the usual number
> with my setup) to 1, then moving it back after the next MythTV box
> reboot.

That script appears to be for a different cable box than what Cox uses (mine's
an SA3250HD).  The streams are mostly OK, but there's some occasional
corruption in them.  I've ruled out decoder issues as I seem to get glitches
with the same video with different decoders under both Linux and Windows.

(There is the possibility that some library has been corrupted and that that's
what's causing the glitches.  Between that and the machine apparently not being
quite fast enough for HD playback all the time, I've had an excuse to buy
faster hardware and build up a new MythTV config on it.  Maybe that'll get rid
of the glitches.)

 / v \ Scott Alfter (remove the obvious to send mail)
(IIGS( http://alfter.us/            Top-posting!
 \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden            >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?

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