[mythtv-users] (no subject)

michaelachandler at cox.net michaelachandler at cox.net
Sat Feb 17 01:39:27 UTC 2007

---- Dewey Smolka <dsmolka at gmail.com> wrote: 
> 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
> month.
> 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.

It certainly does. I appreciate it. Lots of good info there.

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