[mythtv-users] Got my Firewire tuner back!

Bob Sully rcs at malibyte.net
Sun Sep 30 08:16:19 UTC 2007

Matt Emmott wrote:
> On 9/29/07, Bob Sully <rcs at malibyte.net> wrote:
>> I recently had to take my upstairs cable box back to the cable company
>> because it was malfunctioning (bad HD reception).  They swapped it for a
>> brand-new DCT3200 box, which I unfortunately could not use because the
>> company couldn't get the CableCard to authorize, so all I was able to
>> get
>> were the clear QAM channels.
>> I have a DCT6200 downstairs tied in to my Myth machine which has worked
>> fine except for the fact that I lost any useful output on the Firewire
>> port back in January...Others were having similar problems in this area,
>> according to this mailing list, so I've been bitching about Time Warner
>> Cable ever since, figuring that they simply cut it off.  I was only able
>> to use the Firewire port for changing channels on the STB.
>> I wound up spending nearly two hours on the phone with TWC trying to get
>> the upstairs STB working, and finally gave up and took it back (they
>> swapped it for a second 6200, which wrks fine).  However, along the way,
>> I
>> spoke with a tech person in Colorado Springs named Michelle, who not
>> only
>> actually KNEW something about these systems but was very cordial and
>> very
>> helpful.  I brought up the Firewire issue with her, telling her that I
>> had
>> a MythTV DVR computer, and mentioning the fact that the FCC mandates
>> that
>> the Firewire ports be enabled.  She not only agreed with me - with no
>> arguments - but also sent an instruction over the network to re-enable
>> the
>> Firewire ports, saying that she didn't know why I had lost the ability
>> to
>> record.
>> Voila!!
>> I now have my in-the-clear QAM channels back on the Firewire ports.
>> It'd
>> be nice if I could record the 2nd- and 3rd-tier channels over it, which
>> I
>> do pay for ($100/month cable bill) - but for now, I'll take it and won't
>> complain.
>> So, if you have lost Firewire connectivity, keep calling your cableco
>> until you find someone who knows what they're doing!
>> I'm now running two pcHDTV 5500s, each with QAM and analog, plus the
>> S-video input from the STB (the only way I can record HBO, MTV-HD,
>> etc.),
>> now also with firewire, for a total of 6 separate tuners.  Now, if I
>> could
>> only get lirc working right and figure out how to set up a playlist on
>> MythMusic (it's NOT intuitive at all - better yet, figure out how to
>> call
>> Amarok from within Myth, as has already been discussed) - I'll be in DVR
>> Nirvana.
>> Bob
> That's great news! Glad to hear somebody knows what they're doing at "The
> Cable Company"
> I have a couple questions about your setup - What do the pcHDTV tuners get
> you now that you can get HD over firewire? Any advantages or are they just
> there because the Firewire wasn't working?
> What channels do you get over QAM via Firewire?
> FInally, what are you using to get S-video from the cable box into your
> mythbox? I wasn't aware of any S-video input cards for a PC. How are you
> changing the channels on the S-video input?


The firewire output just gives me one more non-encrypted QAM tuner (about
35 or 40 channels, including five or six in-the-clear HD channels). 
Unfortunately, it doesn't let me record any of the 2nd- or 3rd-tier
(encrypted) channels.

The pcHDTV tuners get me:

(1) The ability to record two clear QAM or analog shows off the raw cable
at once while watching something else live via the STB (or record three
shows at once, which I've never actually needed to do).

(2) One of the pcHDTV tuners gets the STB S-video output, so I can record
the encrypted channels, even if not in HD.  The card comes with an
S-video/composite input port.  I use the firewire port and the 6200ch
script to change the channels for the STB S-video output.

Bob Sully - Simi Valley, California, USA

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