HTPC, digital recording from HD cable box?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by PhillJones, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

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    I'm fairly new arround here and am looking for a bit of guidance of whether to buy an HTPC or not. Excuse the stupid questions.

    I first thought about it as a solution to my multi-region and multi standard needs and so that I can stream TV programmes from my beloved BBC directly onto my big-assed american TV.

    What I'm interested in is the hard disk recording capabilities. I gather you can get HDTV tuner cards but what if you have HDTV over cable. My cable company say that they give you a box that outputs your HDTV signal. Does this means I won't have all the functionality of an HDTV tuner built into my PC like one touch recording and automatically recording a whole series etc? Could I even record HighDef on a PC at all?

    Cheers,
    Phill
     
  2. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    You can record HighDef on your PC with the appropriate HD tuner/capture card but these only work with OTA signals. Cable boxes use a different type of signal (QAM?), and I don't believe there are any tuner/capture cards that will record the HD content in High Definition. I have a HD cable box (SA4200HD) and a HTPC. I use SageTV as my PVR software. I can record the HiDef channels but the resulting capture is not in high definition. I've seen many threads about this over at AVS and if someone could come up with a reasonably priced HD cable-compatible capture card, there's lots of folks ready to buy.
     
  3. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

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    Thanks for that, I have a couple of questions if you don't mind.

    1) How does it work, do you have to set the cable box reminder and set the PC up to record or do you have some kind of way of making the PC control the cable box.

    2) Is it not possible to buy a video capture card that accepts a 1080i of 780p signal?

    Thanks for helping me out.

    Cheers,
    Phill
     
  4. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    1)I use an infrared transmitter. You connect it to your serial port and have it pointed at your cable box. When it's time to change channels, an infrared signal is sent and the cable box is tuned to the channel you have set to record. Works great. I bought it along with the Hauppauge PVR-250 and SageTv software from SageTv.

    2)Yes they are available but not for cable tv systems. Some popular ones are the MyHD MDP-120, the FusionHDTV II, accessDTV, and if money is no object the Holograph card. But again these cards are for OTA signals.

    Another option would be to see if your cable company plans to rollout DVR-cable boxes. Some cable companies have started this and will give you a HD DVR like this SA8000HD

    The only other options you have for recording HDTV would be if your cable box has a firewire output (and it's active). I've read of some cable boxes that have this.
     
  5. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

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    Thanks for the info.

    I've done some poking arround myself. What suprises me is that there aren't any capture cards with componant inputs on them. It would seem the logical thing to do as you would then be able to record from any source. Irrespective of the encoding used.

    It's a pain that no solution seems to offer all the functionality that I want.
     

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