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  #1  
Old 01-22-2007, 05:29 PM
frostband frostband is offline
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Digital Cable, Multiple Tuners, HDTV

HTPC:
BTV 4.5 & BM
Hauppuage PVR-150
Hauppuage HVR-1600
(Hauppauge PVR 350 that's not installed and unused right now)

Trying to keep this concise: I currently have Cox Basic Cable. The cable is split into the 150 and 1600 (not using the ATSC tuner right now). Everything works very well. All is standard definition.

I would like to upgrade to Cox Digital Cable for more channels and HD Channels. I want to use my HTPC since it pwns standard DVRs. I have had a little trouble figuring out how it is supposed to work.

I've read that I'll need multiple set top boxes (STB) and have to use an IR blaster to change the channels. Are there any STBs that have multiple tuners and that can just connect straight to the computer through USB (I'm sure this is a "no" since that would be waayyy too easy)?
Do the STBs go in through an S-video/composite line on the Hauppauge cards (rather than the cable)? Would I be able to watch the HD signal? If it goes in through the S-video, do I even need the ATSC tuner on the HVR-1600?

Can I use the Hauppauge IR Blaster to control the STBs? Since I have two Hauppauge cards, can I use each IR individually to control the STBs? Do I need to get something like USB-UIRT (I've read about it being able to do multiple zones)?

Edit: Forgot to ask about the audio. Currently, I have 5.1 audio coming out from the computer. NTSC provides 5.1 audio right? And the Hauppauge cards can record that 5.1 audio right? I've been hearing what sounds like true 5.1 audio when I use the ffdshow audio decoder (that was in GBPVR, I think it does it in BTV also), otherwise I've been tricked! Anyway, is it going to be possible to get the 5.1 audio out of the STB for both standard def (if SD doesn't have 5.1 ignore that) and HDTV (definitely has 5.1)?

I appreciate any help, thanks!

Last edited by frostband; 01-22-2007 at 05:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2007, 05:50 PM
tscales tscales is offline
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Re: Digital Cable, Multiple Tuners, HDTV

Answers inline


Trying to keep this concise: I currently have Cox Basic Cable. The cable is split into the 150 and 1600 (not using the ATSC tuner right now). Everything works very well. All is standard definition.

I would like to upgrade to Cox Digital Cable for more channels and HD Channels. I want to use my HTPC since it pwns standard DVRs. I have had a little trouble figuring out how it is supposed to work.

I've read that I'll need multiple set top boxes (STB) and have to use an IR blaster to change the channels. Are there any STBs that have multiple tuners and that can just connect straight to the computer through USB (I'm sure this is a "no" since that would be waayyy too easy)?

>>>No. STBs connect through S-video and stereo audio cables.

Do the STBs go in through an S-video/composite line on the Hauppauge cards (rather than the cable)? Would I be able to watch the HD signal? If it goes in through the S-video, do I even need the ATSC tuner on the HVR-1600?

>>> Correct. No Coad. No ATSC tuner (unless you really do want HD). No HD from a cable box (s-video can't do HD).


Can I use the Hauppauge IR Blaster to control the STBs? Since I have two Hauppauge cards, can I use each IR individually to control the STBs? Do I need to get something like USB-UIRT (I've read about it being able to do multiple zones)?

>>> I don't think so. I know the Hauppauges are unreliable. Get a USB-UIRT, which can control 3 cable modes.

Edit: Forgot to ask about the audio. Currently, I have 5.1 audio coming out from the computer. NTSC provides 5.1 audio right? And the Hauppauge cards can record that 5.1 audio right? I've been hearing what sounds like true 5.1 audio when I use the ffdshow audio decoder (that was in GBPVR, I think it does it in BTV also), otherwise I've been tricked! Anyway, is it going to be possible to get the 5.1 audio out of the STB for both standard def (if SD doesn't have 5.1 ignore that) and HDTV (definitely has 5.1)?

>>> Stereo only. Tuner cards don't have input for anything else. 5.1 for ATSC though.

I appreciate any help, thanks!



Can you get ASTC Over-the-air channels? That's your best bet. Bugs me to watch SD now.
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2007, 06:12 PM
frostband frostband is offline
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Re: Digital Cable, Multiple Tuners, HDTV

OTA HDTV:
I purchased a Phillips antenna from Wal-Mart and I was thoroughly unimpressed by the reception. When I bought BTV (today after using the trial for awhile) I got the antenna that they sell at snapstream (I've read plenty of reviews so I'm hoping it will work much better).

On the Cox Basic Cable, I receive a few HD channels but they are numbered something like 704, etc... I can't pick those up on the ATSC tuner on the Hauppauge card but I can on the tuner that came with my HDTV.

One of the main reasons for upgrading to Cox Digital Cable was to get more HD channels. Is there anyway to get the HD channels onto the htpc?
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:43 PM
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mlomker mlomker is offline
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Re: Digital Cable, Multiple Tuners, HDTV

Quote:
Originally Posted by frostband View Post
I can't pick those up on the ATSC tuner on the Hauppauge card but I can on the tuner that came with my HDTV.
That's because they aren't ATSC channels when they come over cable. They are called unencrypted QAM channels.

Quote:
One of the main reasons for upgrading to Cox Digital Cable was to get more HD channels. Is there anyway to get the HD channels onto the htpc?
Right now there aren't any fully-supported/functional ways to get QAM channels into a Windows PVR program. There is active development going on with the HDHomeRun and I think they'll have a beta-quality solution within a few weeks but totally reliable may take a little longer.
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Last edited by mlomker; 01-22-2007 at 06:51 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2007, 06:58 PM
frostband frostband is offline
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Re: Digital Cable, Multiple Tuners, HDTV

Thanks for the replies.
I have this TV: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...v=&browse=&s=1

It only says it has NTSC and ATSC tuners.

Anyway, about HDHomeRun, how does that work (I realize it's not supported by BTV yet)? Can it receive the digital cox channels? I supposed if they are encrypted, then it wouldn't be able to.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:00 PM
NeutronRed NeutronRed is offline
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Re: Digital Cable, Multiple Tuners, HDTV

There are several QAM tuners out there you can use with HDTV over cable as long as your cable system does not scramble these HD channels. I have 2 FusionHDTV cards which can be found at http://www.fusionhdtv.co.kr/ENG/
The included application will allow you to record QAM channels but BeyondTV does not currently support this function.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:14 PM
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mlomker mlomker is offline
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Re: Digital Cable, Multiple Tuners, HDTV

Quote:
Originally Posted by frostband View Post
It only says it has NTSC and ATSC tuners.
They forgot to put it on the spec list, wouldn't be the first time. Most modern HDTV sets with a built-in ATSC tuner will also do QAM. The same cannot be said of PC cards.

You need a cablecard to receive encrypted channels. That's bleeding edge stuff at this point...some media center machines with Windows MCE are now being sold with them but you have to buy an entire machine to get it. $$

The HDHomeRun can receive your local HDTV channels, which are the only ones that your cable company will provide without encryption (those are the ones that you are seeing on your TV). NeutronRed mentioned the Fusion, which is a fine card for ATSC but the manufacturer isn't working on making QAM work with BTV (as far as I know). The vendor for the HDHR is doing so.
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Last edited by mlomker; 01-22-2007 at 07:17 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2007, 08:54 PM
frostband frostband is offline
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Re: Digital Cable, Multiple Tuners, HDTV

I think I have all the info I need at this point. Thanks for all of the replies. I suppose I'm going to stick with basic cable and just get OTA HD channels. The extra channels in the digital/premium cable really aren't worth the extra money if I can't use the HD channels (w/ BTV that is).

Thanks again.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2007, 01:03 PM
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Joe The Dude Joe The Dude is offline
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Re: Digital Cable, Multiple Tuners, HDTV

You might want to swing by www.AntennaWeb.org as that site will help ya choose the right type of OTA HDTV Antenna.

It will also:
Tell you if it needs to be Indoors or Outdoors.
Show ya where to aim it.
Let you know how many miles away you are from your local brodcast towers.
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