[mythtv-users] Ceton vs multirec questions

f-myth-users at media.mit.edu f-myth-users at media.mit.edu
Wed Jul 28 23:38:48 UTC 2021

    > Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2021 22:41:28 +0000
    > From: Gary Buhrmaster <gary.buhrmaster at gmail.com>

    > Actually, it is channels marked with no flagging
    > (i.e. CCI=none_specified), *but* with CGMS markings, which were
    > seen in some markets (typically Cisco/SA) which made content that
    > should otherwise be available be blocked instead. CableLabs issued
    > a clarification to the specifications as to how to interpret the
    > various combinations once the issue was identified, but it took
    > time for various updates to occur throughout the entire ecosystem.

Ah yes, I vaguely recalled it was something more complicated like that.
My current (old) cable boxes, FWIW, are Motorola units, and I'm in a
Boston-area market, whereas my impression was that Cisco/Scientific
Atlanta were typically other areas of the country?  [I can't recall what
they offer for new equipment here, given that I wasn't planning to get
any.]  I wonder therefore if I'm going to see CCI=none but with CGMS
markings (and how to tell by asking my Ceton, especially if not (yet?)
running latest firmware).

[A few days ago, I did an "availability scan" (I won't call it a
"channel scan" because that means something different) in which I wrote
a script that simply tuned to every channel returned by SD's XMLTV
service for my zipcode, and reported flags, e.g., "Copy Free", "One Copy",
"None".  The "None" results seem to be (a) a gaziiiillion Major League
Baseball and NBA channels (don't care), a metric ton of international
channels (ditto), a few local origination channels (eh? aren't those
usually random community television?), COMEC (the "Comcast Employee
Channel" :), and a very small handful of movie channels.  (Full list if
anyone cares; 244 callsigns.)  So I wonder if this affects me at all.

Meanwhile, I see 85 "One Copy" (pretty much the rest of the movie
channels)---should I be able to decrypt those, or not?  I've been
assuming "not."  (I think there are a tiny number in my bundle that I'm
actually subscribed to, but I haven't tested any yet.  It's pretty clear
that the flags I'm seeing certainly have nothing to do with whether I'm
actually subscribed to that channel.)  Also, I think some of the SD-only
variants of the same callsign are Copy Free; need to go back and check.

And then 586 "Copy Free".  And I should note that redoing this scan by
using the channel map disgorged by the Ceton's web interface (and not
what I got from Schedules Direct) includes 100-200 more entries, but I
haven't carefully checked to see what's going on there---whether there
are duplicated callsigns in that listing or what.  If there are channels
SD is missing, I'll tell them, but otherwise if I have no scheduling
data for them, it'd be pointless to allow them to be tuned anyway.
Maybe they're music channels or something.]

[One of my tasks very soon is to edit my XMLTV channels to drop
the ones I'm not subbed to and otherwise clean them up, because
yowza that was a big download.  Very first tv_grab_zz_sdjson_sqlite
run took about nine hours to download everything and stuff the DB
on a relatively fast modern machine; later ones maybe 30m.  I was
just about to do that when I hit the "why do I have 10 tuners?"
question and sent mail here instead.]

    > > I really wish that SiliconDust had managed to get their 6-tuner
    > > version out the door.

    > In the end, while I think they really wanted to continue the
    > development, it is clear that not continuing was the only correct
    > business decision for the company.

Not saying it wasn't. :)

    > I will point out that should you live in a Comcast market that has
    > moved to S&E (Simple and Easy) pricing, and you change to the new
    > bundles, CableCARDs are $0, and the "Service to Additional TV" fee
    > has been eliminated, so how many tuner devices you use is less
    > interesting.

Had no idea.  That might indeed have changed the calculus.  *sigh*

Currently, Comcast offered me the first CC for free, but wanted to
charge a monthly rate for additional card(s), so I suspect I am not
yet in that market.  Or I am, but they didn't mention different bundles
being available---not that I asked, because it never occurred to me.
Though had I known, and had I known it was soon, yeah, I might have
decided that 2 or more SD units might be less fiddling around than
trying to minimize CC's by going with a Ceton.  (Could still, but
now I have sunk costs.)

    >                               You may want to check
    > your current rate card to see if it is S&E.

How would I do that?  Just go to their website and see what plans they
offer for my zipcode?  Call them?  I've always found trying to actually
get such information out of Comcast rather challenging.  (Googling
``comcast "simple and easy plan"'' plus locations isn't returning
more than a handful of results, all useless.)

    > Eventually all divisions will move to S&E pricing, but it is a
    > mixture today (some on S&E, some on legacy), and Comcast has not
    > stated their schedule to move to S&E in the different divisions.


(And thanks for all this, by the way!)

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