[mythtv-users] chicago il SD Comcast

Dewey Smolka dsmolka at gmail.com
Sat Jun 14 00:39:38 UTC 2008

On Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 7:07 PM, David Durham, Jr.
<david.durham.jr at gmail.com> wrote:
> Anyone on the list have experience with SD comcast and mythtv?  I'm
> trying to figure out which digital tuner I should buy and what kind of
> service I can expect from it.

I'm in Chicago and used to be with Comcast. As of last year, they had
moved pretty much everything on their cable from analog to digital
except for the locals, some shopping channels and a jesus channel or
two. So an analog card, e.g. PVRx50/500 will get you pretty much
nothing you're paying for unless you go through an STB, which means
you'll need a separate box for each input, and an IR blaster for each

You can get a Motorola DCT6000-series box, which has a firewire port.
But that costs an extra $5/mo, and I was never able to get the
firewire working reliably for channel change or for capture.

With an HDHomeRun (digital QAM/ATSC tuner), I could only get the
locals over the Comcast cable -- I actually get more channels now from
the HDHR with a $15 set of rabbit ears from Radio Shack.

If it's at all an option, I would recommend going with Directv instead
of Comcast. You get more channels, including ones that you want, for
about the same price. (As an aside, Direct carries BBC America, which
has Top Gear, which has become one of my absolute favorite shows.)

You'll need an STB for Direct, but their standard boxes are
controllable through your serial port or USB port. You'll need a bit
of a frankencable to make it work (serial->9-pin null modem
adapter->serial-USB adapter and any necessary gender changers) but my
experience was that it was surprisingly easy.

If you have to stay with Comcast, then you'll want an analog PVR card,
since you'll be feeding it an analog signal from your STB. From what I
understand, the digital cards are just framegrabbers when fed an
analog signal.

As far as IR blasters go, I believe some of the current PVR 150s and
500s come with blasters included. The Microsoft MCE remote also comes
with two blasters, which I believe are supported by lirc. Despite the
name, it really is quite a nice remote.

Hope this helps.

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