[mythtv-users] Moving from Cable to Satellite

Rod Smith mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Thu Jun 12 14:50:49 UTC 2008

On Thursday 12 June 2008 09:53:38 am Brian Wood wrote:
> On Thursday 12 June 2008 07:42:03 Brett Williams wrote:
> > I have my MythTV up and working just the way I like it with my local
> > cable company and using a PVR-350.  I just bought, but haven't installed,
> > a PVR-500 so I can have more tuners available.
> >
> > With that said, I have been looking at the offers from DirectTV and am
> > really impressed with the savings that I would be able to have by
> > switching to Satellite instead of cable.
> You would have to use the composite or S-Video baseband output of the sat
> receiver into the PVR. You will also have to set up some way to change the
> channel on the receiver. Some DTV receivers have a serial port for this but
> others will require an IR blaster. Not hard, many folks do it (including
> me).

Note that this is one of the "gotchas" with satellite. With cable, you can 
split the cable with a cheap splitter to feed input into as many tuners as 
you like. (There are limits based on signal strength, but the basic principle 
is valid.) With satellite, you can't do this; you must have a satellite tuner 
box for each channel you want to record. DirecTV charges $5/month per box, 
IIRC, so if you want to have the ability to record several channels, those 
numbers can add up quickly. You've also got to consider the possibility of 
crosstalk between IR blasters to tune the boxes, if that's the route you go. 
(Some DirecTV receivers can be tuned via serial cables, which can be more 
reliable. There are other ways to avoid IR blaster interference, too, but you 
should be aware of the issue.)

Rod Smith
rodsmith at rodsbooks.com

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