[mythtv-users] HD tuner: best bang for the buck

Cool Frood aaranya+mythtv at gmail.com
Sat Nov 3 19:38:21 UTC 2007

On 11/3/07, Rod Smith <mythtv at rodsbooks.com> wrote:
> On Saturday 03 November 2007 14:15:54 Cool Frood wrote:
> >
> > Thanks for all the info.  One more question.  I have Comcast analog
> > cable right now, without a cable box.  I don't intend to go digital
> > until they shove it down my throat, the reason being that analog is
> > cheaper and more so because I have done the whole IR blaster thing
> > before and I prefer not to go down that road again.
> Most cable companies encrypt all digital channels except for locals, and at
> present the only way to receive those channels is via a cable box's analog
> output and an analog encoding card. When using a digital (HD) tuning card,
> chances are the only digital channels you'll get are your locals. This does
> vary from one cable company to another, though; some reportedly send some
> non-local channels unencrypted, and some reportedly encrypt even the locals
> (although they're not supposed to do that).

For now, I only care about the local channels.  I just want to try out
HD for the heck of it.

> > I've heard that Comcast carries the OTA HD channels (NBC, ABC)
> > unencrypted over their analog cable, though I can't confirm whether
> > that's the case with me.  If I understand you correctly, these would
> > also be ATSC and not QAM, right?
> No. In most markets, all digital cable channels are sent via QAM, even if the
> cable company picks them up off the air via ATSC. If you plan to receive
> digital channels carried by your cable company, be sure your tuner supports
> QAM.
> > Also, can anyone confirm that Comcast in fact *does* carry the basic
> > HD channels in the clear?
> You'll need to specify your location -- and even then, it could conceivably
> vary from one head end to another. If you don't have a digital TV, your best
> bet is to ask your neighbors who do have digital TVs if they can tune digital
> cable channels WITHOUT a cable box. If they can, you should be able to tune
> the same channels with a QAM-capable tuner card.
I'm in northern NJ, close to NYC.  I don't even have a real TV
anymore.  I got rid of that clunk CRT TV and replaced it with an LCD
monitor.  Why bother getting a TV when all your TV watching happens
through MythTV anyway :-).  I guess I'll just try it out and see how
it goes.   Thanks for the help!

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