[mythtv-users] trouble with CSPAN channels

Greg Woods greg at gregandeva.net
Mon Mar 8 14:45:31 UTC 2021

On Sun, Mar 7, 2021 at 4:51 PM Gary Buhrmaster <gary.buhrmaster at gmail.com>

> On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 6:10 PM Greg Woods <greg at gregandeva.net> wrote:
> > In that case, it would appear that my days of using MythTV are numbered.
> Depending on what channels you watch

Yes, there's the rub. I do have an OTA antenna and an old-style HD Homerun.
It works well, but many of the channels we watch (including CSPAN2 and
CSPAN3 that started this thread) are not OTA channels. Also I do watch
sports, which greatly limits my options. The NFL is the only major US sport
that is mostly available OTA. All the others require sports cable/satellite
channels. So for now I am stuck with Comcast or satellite. There are
streaming services (Hulu, Sling) that offer channels, but their DVR's will
not let you watch a recording until it is completed. That's fine for things
like weekly network prime-time shows, but unacceptable for sports. All I
want to do with sports programs is time shift and fast forward/skip through

For now I'll just rent the cheapest non-DVR box I can get from Comcast so
my wife can watch CSPAN 2&3. There are some other channels she watches such
as Hallmark for example that are still available via Cable Card, but what I
have read here says that more and more of them will only be available to me
via streaming services or Comcast. If some of her channels go to IPTV,
that's no problem for us because she always watches her shows live (except
for shows that we both watch, of course, which I record via MythTV). When
the sports channels go, I will probably just have to give that up and punt
Comcast completely; I will not be forced into renting a lot of their lousy
overpriced equipment; I just got away from all that. But the landscape may
have changed a lot by then. Already we watch more and more of our TV from
various streaming services (Netflix, BritBox, and Great Courses Plus are
our three at present). But in the end it's always being a sports fan that
trips me up.

So that's a lot of detail about my own personal situation, but it
illustrates the point that one person's recommendations are not likely to
be useful for someone with very different viewing requirements.

For my own case, the thread was useful because this is the first I heard of
this "IPTV migration", and like most technological "advancements" touted by
government-mandated monopolies like Comcast, it sucks for us and is more in
their interest than ours despite how it is likely to be marketed. Another
way to use their monopoly power, hand-in-hand with the government, to force
us to watch the content the way they want us to rather than the way we want

(and whether you require them in HD(*))

In the case of CSPAN*, HD is not a requirement, but even the SD channels do
not work here via cable card (except for original CSPAN, but not CSPAN 2&3).

> that could be today, a month from now,
> or a decade(**) from now (just like the
> previously mentioned TiVo-ites who
> intend to continue using their solution
> until something they really care about
> stops working).

And that's what I am going to do with MythTV.

> Based on some other recent changes it
> would appear that should you live in the
> Comcast central division you are more
> likely to see any wholesale migration

I don't know if the Denver area qualifies as "central" or "west" here.

> > Heck, the X1 boxes don't even have component outputs either
> Well, some of the (earlier gen) X1 boxes
> (the Pace XG1v1) do have component
> out.

Yes, but you can't go into a Comcast store and request a particular type of
box and meet with much success. I have tried similar things in the past.

> That said, I think most would agree that
> using a HD-PVR2 solution is not optimal,
> although as with all else, sometimes you
> do what you have to do, and it might
> be an acceptable step for some.

For now that option remains on the table, but it too requires renting
another box from Comcast as well as purchasing a new device. And it may not
be possible to use it anyway, as the HDMI ports do not work with
HDCP-protected channels (which most of them are going to be now) unless you
can get them to give you a component-capable box (see above for your
chances of that; GFL).

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