[mythtv-users] trouble with CSPAN channels

Gary Buhrmaster gary.buhrmaster at gmail.com
Mon Mar 8 18:40:32 UTC 2021

On Mon, Mar 8, 2021 at 2:47 PM Greg Woods <greg at gregandeva.net> wrote:

> Also I do watch sports, which greatly limits my options.

The sports industrial complex is actually
a strong contributing factor of many of the
price increases by the content providers
(and by localities that tax one to pay for
their stadiums and other supporting
facilities).  But the need to offer breads
and circuses to the masses in order to
remain in power tends to continue the
redirection of funding (the Romans knew
all of this, of course).

That, too, is likely to change, as more
and more people do not want to pay
for others' sports viewing.  When almost
every bill has a (forced) $8/mo ESPN
tax (just the one channel!) people are
starting to want things to change, and
that percentage of people is going up.
And that does not include the other
required sports fees by many providers
(and the OTA retransmission fees that are
increased due the ability of the content
owners to hold those channels hostage
if a provider does not agree to pay the
sports taxes).

> 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 ads.

No personal experience, but there are
claims YTTV allows you to watch a
recording in progress (it uses a slightly
unusual access, you have to go to
Library, Scheduled, Recording Now,
and then you can select it to play
and then FF and skip ads).


> 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).

If you are in the Denver market, check
to see if channels 169 and 170 tune
on your Prime (those are SD versions
of CSPAN2/3) in addition to channel
98 (CSPAN).  You might need to
run another HDHR channel detect to
update the CableCARD map(s) which
would show the info if they are
accessible (you may want to include
a "?show=all" to the tuner http
lineup display to see some additional
info, although personally I prefer
getting the data in the json version).

If not, the cheapest box will be a
HD-DTA (called a "TV Box" in the
rate cards).  However, since you
currently have CableCARDs, and
are not in a S&E pricing market,
the costs may be higher than one
wants after all the adjustments
get made to get you that box
(S&E pricing make all CableCARDs
"free" without the dreaded "service
to additional TV" fee, but other
markets will vary).

If you have a streaming device that
has the Xfinity Stream app (not all
devices have the app) you may be
able to watch CSPAN (and 2/3) on
that for "free" with your Comcast

> When the sports channels go

Depending on market, some of the game
specific sports channels with the advanced
sports packages have already moved
(the extra innings, league pass, etc.)

Previously Comcast offered a limited number
of games in HD, and the rest were in SD
(they assigned the few HD channels to the
games that had the most local interest).
They have reorganized many of the offerings
such that all the games are HD, and in
addition every team has their own channel.
So there is a channel for the Boston Red
Sox, and a channel for the NY Yankees,
and they show those teams games, and if
they play each other the channels both
show that game (same for NBA, NHL,
NFL teams).

If the channel numbers (in your lineup) are
now in the 3000's for the sports you want
to see in your advanced sports package,
they have moved to HD IPTV (and require
either an X1 box, or one of the streaming
devices/apps).  Note that not all IP channels
are in the 3000's.  Again, you have to go
pick up a physical lineup to see which
are which.

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

Denver would be in the Western division
(As I recall the Western division HQ is
even in the greater Denver area).

> 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.

I have never had a problem (although YMWV)
back when I had Comcast STB's, but in
the case of a component out box they likely
have, or can get, one, because there are still
a fair number of customers who still have
(component only) projectors (typically in "home

> 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).

That is the point of component (not HDMI)
output, as it uses the analogue "hole" in the
regulations which is 100% allowed.

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