What technical directions would you take if:
- You were forced to Comcast Digital service (private) with HD
- You wanted to tune for Live TV thru Myth 0.22 AND record
- ideally you had the bulk of the backend and tuners in a "server closet"
somewhere in the house
- your were selecting/building your hardware from scratch
- you have ethernet wiring ready from each FE to the BE/Tuner closet
Asking in ref:
- Tuner devices/cards to work (as best as possible) with whatever Comcast
box and link technology (firewire, composite)
- Does HD change the recommendation
- Does trying to make the Tuners and BE remote from FE change the
recommendation? (IR and blasting)
I'm asking because I'm really unclear what would be most "turn-key" and
reliable if budget and pre-existing equipment were not considerations.
p.s. "screw Comcast" is a very viable answer, but not quite what I'm
looking for here... ;-)
I'd wait a bit.
Comcast in my area is threatening to encrypt all clear QAM broadcasts
(probably with the exception of OTA broadcasts).
Currently, the only clear QAM HD on comcast is OTA channels. If you want
HD for other channels, you are stuck with getting a Comcast STB.
1. Get whatever non-DVR cable box Comcast will give you that will
tune all the channels in HD you pay for and has component output.
2. Buy an HD-PVR for each such cable box
3. Set up the combination IR blaster (or other channel changing
method) giving you one tuner for each set of equipment.
For the frontend I would some sort of ION based system (build your own
or REVO style) which will play back the HD-PVR content just fine.
You get HD component capture of all your channels as long as Comcast
provides HD component output.
Your question is very broad and will be hard to answer without nothing
what you already have.
I had to do the switch to digital a little while back. Im using 2 STB's,
a Motorola 6200 via firewire (which is so simple to setup, the only
negative ive heard is channels that are not in clearqam will not work,
any standard/HD cable channels ive tried have worked) The other STB is a
DTA100, does mostly standard SD channels, took a while but i found a
working ir blaster solution to change the channels. Im feeding that into
If your starting the frontends from stratch highly consider getting VDPAU: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VDPAU
From results ive read it can basically handle any high demanding video
formats (i.e. HD) Note: Im not using VDPAU since i have an AGP card, but
ive been using XVMC for my HD recording. So If were starting from the
beginning Id look into using nividia ION for frontends. Basically with
that choice the rest the hardware doesnt matter as much i.e. even an
atom processor will work.
I think even if you leave comcast you would be in the same situation
with sat providers, unless you happen to have an cable provider, which
That would be the biggest concern because encryption will require you
to use a cable box and capture the video from that with an HDPVR or SD
Or to use firewire. However that is not always implemented and this
will probably limit your channels to less than what you have
OK, good clarification... Let's assume that I've already been forced into
the full Digital Packages which are encrypted. Thus I'll require Comcast
STBs to get any non-clear-QAM and HD
It depends on what you watch. Using the stats supplied by mythweb, I see
that 85% of what is recorded by my system is OTA. I am fortunate that with
a simple bow-tie antenna on my roof, I get excellent reception of NBC, CBS,
ABC, FOX, and CW as well as PBS. For this majority, I use a dual tuner
HD-HomeRun which is almost unanimously recommended on this list. For the
other 15%, I have subscribed to my cable company's (MediaCom) digital
service at a cost of $9.95/month which gets me one STB. I did get this to
work with firewire, but because of the 5C "encryption", the recordings were
not 100% reliable, so I bought Hauppauge's HD-PVR to record the component
output of the supplied Motorola STB. If you do not have access to OTA
(can't/won't install antenna or not close enough to transmitters), you are
kind of stuck with the cable company's STB offering.
- Does HD change the recommendation
HD makes a difference when it comes to the size of the recordings and how
you plan to play them back. Most of the newer systems will play the HD
content in mpeg format (HD-HR) (someone more knowledgeable can probably give
CPU specs required here), but you will need a video card that supports vdpau
to play back the H.264 from an HD-PVR. The mpeg file sizes are about 3x
what the SD recordings are (6 GB / hour). The HD-PVR will produce at about
half that at 720p resolution.
receiver from one of my PVR-350's that I still have installed.
is the best way with the least complexity?
From some of the responses on this list, you wouldn't be the first to thumb
their nose at their cable provider (Comcast seems to get the worst press).
-- Ken E.
If time is on your side, I'd wait and hope for a quick release of the
HDHR with cablecard support. This is the boat I'm in. Love my HDHR.
Don't really want extra STB with firewire channel changing. Don't
really want IR channel changing hassle.
mythtv-users mailing list
And if the OTA recpetion is an issue for you (It is Dallas proper) you
can most likely supplement your HDPVR STB setup with an HDHR that
can get at least your local channels using QAM on the wire of your
cable provider. I went this route since it's prime time and local
channels that are trying to put programs head to head.
I just did this myself over the weekend - switched from SD on a combined
FE/BE to HD using an Acer Revo FE, separate BE connected to dual tuner HDHR
with local channels in clear QAM and PVR250 & PVR150 for SD cable. I too
overwhelmingly record network shows so the HDHR is perfect for this (and has
eliminated what few schedule conflicts I'd had as well). The Revo was
pretty simple to install - I went with Mythbuntu 9.10, and honestly the
hardest part was looking for an external CD drive for the install (I ended
up using Unetbootin to copy the ISO to an SD card and installing via that
instead). Total time to both update the BE (from 8.04/Myth 0.21) and
install the Revo FE was about 6 hours.
Right now my only concern is that my wife likes watching shows on her
netbook running Windows, and MythTV Player doesn't seem to like 0.22, so I
need to figure that out soon before she starts complaining that she can't
watch her shows in bed anymore.
The latest MythTV Player for windows does work with 0.22.
+1 (408) 335-0112
Ah, good to know. I will be sure to grab the latest then; thanks for the
Definitely investigate the antenna option. Anything you can use to help
avoid going through a cable box should be helpful to overall usability and
reliability. I would get more stuff off the air myself if my OTA reception
Went through the digital conversion with Comcast last year. My system is
old and cobbled together, so with proper planning you could probably
combine my 3 backends into 1 backend. Here's what I have for inputs
I have a master backend with has no functional tuner, but was previously
a standalone mysql server and I figured might as well make it the master
backend to offload schedule updates, etc.
My first slave backend has two QAM cards. A hauppauge 1800 and a KWorld
110, or something like that. I've found almost all of my scheduling
conflicts are for OTA channels. A good thing Comcast (at least in
Chicago) did was to put the network HD feeds on shared frequencies, so
multirec lets you record shows on NBC/FOX together as well as ABC/WGN, etc.
My second slave backend has an HD STB hooked up to an HD-PVR with
firewire channel changing. I never bothered trying firewire video
capture, since I already had the HD-PVR. I also have one of the "free"
DTA adapters hooked up to a WINTV 500. Most of the cable shows we watch
repeat so often we only have something record on the DTA every few
months. If you do a lot of live tv viewing, you might need a second HD
STB, but we've had no problems living with just one.