[mythtv-users] (no subject)

Dewey Smolka dsmolka at gmail.com
Sat Feb 17 01:25:42 UTC 2007

On 2/16/07, michaelachandler at cox.net <michaelachandler at cox.net> wrote:
> > There are basically three ways to get HD into a Myth system from a
> > cable TV source:
> >
> > By unencrypted QAM, if your cable operator is kind enough to transmit
> > HD programming in unencrypted form, which is not too likely and even
> > it it's happening you can't count on it continuing. Basically this
> > will only be the stuff you could get off-air anyway, with some
> > exceptions.
> >
> > Get one of the cable STBs that output an MPEG stream via firewire.
> > Again this only works for unencrypted programming and only with
> > certain STBs and only if the cable operator has enabled the F/W port
> > (or more likely neglected to disable it). Yes, I know they are
> > supposed to enable this feature for the basic broadcast channels but
> > try explaining that to the customer service rep.
> >
> > Spend upwards of $50,000 on a Lucent or Tandberg HD encoder that will
> > allow you to encode the component output of a STB into an MPEG stream.
> >
> > Any other alternatives I'm all ears to hear about.
> >
> > This will all of course change with time. There are some HDMI capture
> > devices that look promising and are relatively "cheap" (ie: under
> > $5000) and there are some HD camcorders that apparently have encoder
> > chips/chipsets in them that can apparently encode 1080i for well
> > under $1000.
> >
> > But essentially it's the "Hollywood" types who insist on protecting
> > their "premium content", and are making things difficult for
> > everyone, including themselves if they could only figure that out.
> >
> > It's not really a technical problem at this point, it's an economic
> > and legal one.
> Thanks Brian, I'm sure you meant well, but your answer is way over my head. I am just wondering if that card will work or not, using a standard cable hookup.  Seems lots of folks are using it. HDTV is available in our subscription.

Be aware of what an HDTV subscription means. Generally (eg with
Comcast) an HD subscription is an additional $5-10 or so a month and
gives you access to some cable-only HD channels as well as OTA HD
channels. But you'll need an HD-capable STB from your cable company to
actuallty see them in HD, which costs an additional $5 or so per

But the OTA channels are already on the cable before you subscribe to
the company's HD plan. In other words, their plan will only give you
channels like Discovery HD, ESPN HD, etc, which you will most likely
not be able to record in Myth anyway.

You already have (or should have, according to FCC regs) access to
CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, and PBS HD channels no matter what your
subscription is. If you have a QAM-capable card, you should be able to
capture these in Myth already without subscribing to an HD plan.

If you want to go the firewire route, all you need to do is ask your
cable operator for an HD STB (eg the Motorola 6200 series). You'll
have access to the OTA HD stations out of the DVI and component ports
(useless for MythTV), and should have access through the firewire
port. You'll still need to pay an additional $5 per month for the box
but you don't need the HD subscription. If a customer service rep
tells you otherwise, they're lying.

But if you already have a QAM card, then getting the STB won't help
with anything.

Hope this helps.

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