[mythtv-users] QAM vs. Firewire

Jerry Rubinow jerrymr at gmail.com
Fri Mar 16 21:07:02 UTC 2007

On 3/16/07, jmk <jmk at foofus.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-03-15 at 10:16 -0500, Jerry Rubinow wrote:
> Thanks for the feedback.
> > I did this for a while, but I was never really that happy with the
> > reliability of the firewire recording.  This may have been due to the
> > crappiness of the coax in my 30+ year-old house, I don't know, but
> > every so often things wouldn't record right.  For the most part it
> > worked though, and due to the particular shows we watch, there was
> > rarely a conflict due to trying to tune to something on s-video at the
> > same time as the firewire.  Of course, I have a pvr-500 as well.  So
> > in my setup, I used the pvr-500 for all the analog channels only, the
> > s-video for all the digital channels only, and the firewire just for
> > the HD channels which were in the clear (in my area, just the
> > broadcast channels).  However, then Verizon started offering FIOS TV
> > in my area...
> Did you just setup two capture devices (1 firewire, 1 ivtv s-vid) and
> hope for the best? I'm curious if you had to make any additional
> modifications to Myth to try and limit collisions.

Yes, two capture devices, where the ivtv one would issue an external channel
change command using 6200ch, and just keep an eye out in Upcoming Recordings
for collisions.  I had aspirations of modifying the code, but in the end it
didn't turn out to be a big enough problem to motivate me to do so.

> This is what I use now instead of firewire.  The pvr-500 and s-video
> > is still set up the same as it was.  But I get all my HD and broadcast
> > SD over QAM.  I've found this to be rock solid, plus I don't get
> > tuning conflicts with the set top box.  It's more of a hassle to set
> > up initially, but once it's done, who cares?  On both the cable that I
> > used to have (Comcast in the Philly area) and the FIOS, only the local
> > broadcast channels (SD and HD) and analog channels were unencumbered
> > by any protection over QAM and firewire.  But like you say, I've heard
> > of people who get everything unencrypted in other areas (but I think
> > this is more the exception).
> This may be a dumb question... I'm wondering what level of cable service
> I need in order to access QAM. Do I need the HD tier, if I decide that
> all I want is the OTA HD via QAM?

With Verizon FIOS, there's no HD tier - it comes with the basic $43 a month
subscription.  Whether you get an HD set top box, that's another thing, but
that shouldn't impact the QAM signal.  Oh wait, I see you were switching to
cable, not FIOS.  It was someone else who brought up FIOS.

I don't know.  I never had non-HD cable.  If I had to bet a dollar, I'd say
it's there, since the cable company probably would like to be able to simply
send a signal to your set top box to enable/disable services which are
already present on the cable, plus the must-carry rules.  But I really don't

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