[mythtv-users] Comcast & Firewire STB's without 5C/Firewire equipment
markknecht at gmail.com
Sat Apr 4 00:14:28 UTC 2009
On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 3:22 PM, Brad Fuller <bradallenfuller at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 3:15 PM, Mark Knecht <markknecht at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 3:12 PM, Brad Fuller <bradallenfuller at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Let us know what you find out, Mark!
>> Will do, if I do it at all. I don't want to go get the box if it needs
>> a Firewire enabled TV to even turn on. If it doesn't then it's a
>> possibility. I was jsut hoping someone here knows how that all works.
>> May take some time to get the answer and being that this is Friday
>> afternoon here it may be too late in the day anyway.
> From what I've heard on this mailing list, the STB you get and the
> service that you receive seems to be dependent on the area that
> reside. Hopefully, we'll receive some advice from experienced users in
> the SF area.
> Brad Fuller
OK, I took a ride over to the Comcast store here in Los Gatos after
the market closed and this is what they told me:
1) None of their non-HD STBs have ANY digital I/O or controls at all.
It seems that the only way to control these boxes would be going down
the IR Blaster route and then (I suppose) fixing my PVR to be
permanently locked to channel 3, etc.
2) As for digital interfaces the HD STBs have 1394, USB, HDMI and
Ethernet ports on them so depending on what those allow for input
*possibly* the STB could be tuned by any of them. No one there knows
and we're left to figure it out on our own. No one knows what comes
out on any of the digital ports except HDMI which works by default.
3) The HD STB also has S-Video and component video outputs so
*possibly* I could record using the S-Video inputs on the PVR but I've
never used them. This requires the STB to output what's tuned and
likely doesn't work for HD which would have to be down converted.
4) IMPORTANT - Renting the STB costs $7.99. That cost allows you to
drive ONE digital device. If you want to drive a second device (I.e. -
1394) then you have to pay Comcast an additional $6.99.
5) As for Firewire, the people at the counter called elsewhere to
determine that the 1394 interface is not supposed to be enabled by
default and can be disabled remotely if they find you are using it but
not paying for it. To get it enabled you have to pay the additional
$6.99 to allow the STB to drive a second digital device. She didn't
know anything about FCC laws so possibly this is true or not true.
6) They do rent the inexpensive converter boxes for $1/month if you
need more than two. That could be tuned with an IR Blaster also.
(Although I have both a Blaster and a box but haven't even tried to
make it work.)
7) Oh, yes, everything above channel 34 will be digital very, very soon.
Based on what I saw I was left with the idea that for digital:
a) Rent additional non-HD STB's and control them with IR Blasters.
b) For digital it would be best to find some HDMI-input enabled
recording device that goes in the PC, if one exists, and use the HDMI
output on the STB. This works for the minimum monthly cost of $7.99.
c) At $6.99/month for the second device cost it would be far more cost
effective to use some sort of IR Blaster for tuning if you're going to
run this for more than 4-6 months.
I think that's everything I know. Not much but hopefully it helps someone.
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