[mythtv-users] Satellite providers? OTA HDTV antenna recommendations? Questions about providers (Comcast) in Western MA?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Tue Feb 20 11:54:30 UTC 2007

On Feb 20, 2007, at 4:18 AM, Brian wrote:

> I live in Westfield, MA and am somewhat stuck with Comcast basic  
> cable. I'd
> prefer to have absolutely nothing to do with Comca$t but it's  
> either their
> broadband service or dial-up Internet access. :( The basic cable  
> (maybe 15
> channels) is essentially free due to the way they price their Internet
> service. I absolutely refuse to pay $70+ dollars (in addition to their
> broadband service) for their low-end digital package (IIRC,  
> includes 100
> channels)
> Can anyone recommend any satellite providers? Cost is an issue (I'd  
> like to
> stay under $30-40/mo), HD programming and compatibility with MythTV  
> are
> others. (i.e. set-top boxes with unencrypted firewire out perhaps,  
> RS-232
> channel changing control) I currently have a FE/BE system running a  
> PVR-350
> but intend to add a HDHR and a dedicated HD FE very soon.
> For those local to Westfield, MA: Does Comcast broadcast local HD  
> channels
> on the wire unencrypted? Any experience with their HD set-top  
> boxes? If so,
> what make/model are they?
> Can anyone recommend an affordable/effective HDTV antenna? (or antenna
> installer local to Western MA).

Those are somewhat contradictory requirements. The two big satellite  
providers are obviously DirectTV and DISH. Only DirectTV has some  
receivers that can be controlled serially, but not all of them. DISH  
receivers all need IR control (or RF for the second channel of the  
dual units), but controlling a DISH receiver is pretty easy, I do it  
every day.

No legal sat receiver has F/W output, but you can buy jeeped ones  
that do. Some digital cable boxes have unencrypted F/W output but  
only for the unencrypted channels and only certain boxes and if you  
can get the cable co. to enable them - they're supposed to but  
actually getting them to do so can be hard with some operators, and  
generally you will only get what you'd get OTA in any case.

Under $30/month might be hard as well, basic sat packages are in that  
range but usually don't include HD, and even the HD packages require  
receivers that only output component or HDMI, not F/W.

OTA may be the best bet for you in that market if you want HD, but  
you'd have to talk to somebody local about that.

Wish I had better news, but things will change in time.

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