[mythtv-users] Can Myth 'tune' these 'free' converter boxes?

Scott Alfter scott at alfter.us
Fri Dec 4 21:07:28 UTC 2009

Eric Sharkey wrote:
> FWIW I don't think Comcast has any plans to encrypt broadcast
> channels.  They may be legally prevented from doing so.  Having a
> tuner that can only tune ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX/PBS is certainly less useful
> than what we want, but isn't "useless".

In practice, it's not been too bad.  Cox has always (AFAIK) encrypted 
non-broadcast channels so they can't be picked up with a tuner card, but a 
FireWire-equipped cable box will let you pick up everything (again, AFAIK) to 
which you're subscribed.  I have a cable box (SA3250HD) and a tuner card (A180) 
in my MythTV box.  Shows on most non-broadcast channels are often sent multiple 
times throughout the day or week...if you missed Good Eats the first time a 
particular episode airs, Food Network will probably run it two or three more 
times over the next couple days or so.  With this kind of scheduling 
flexibility, just the cable box would suffice...if not for the broadcast 
networks.  They only air most shows once during the week, so if you don't want 
to wait for the reruns to come around, one or more tuner cards (or whatever) 
come in handy.  For instance, NCIS and V aired at the same time.  Having the 
tuner card allowed both to record simultaneously.  (I could've used a second 
cable box, but the tuner card doesn't have a monthly fee associated with it.)

Would having everything unencrypted on the cable be ideal?  Of course it would. 
  It's a bit of a pipe dream to think it'll ever happen, short of the average 
cable-company exec gaining a bit of clue (good luck with that).

Scott Alfter
scott at alfter.us

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