« on: January 06, 2009, 07:04:11 am »
Ok, I know that I am very confused about digital cable. I thought it might be good to lay down some information in the wiki about what the user needs to know when purchasing tuners, particularly, the compatibility of tuners with their cable service. I'd be very willing to do this, but need some clarification on a few points. Here is the gist of what I know and will be putting into the wiki. Please comment if I have some information wrong or left out something important. After it looks like the posts have died down, I'll make the wiki page.
Free, OTA, or Broad cast TV: This refers to the free stations that are broadcasting over the air(OTA) and are picked up with an antenna (rabbit ears).
This tv signal will be changing to digital in feb (in america at least. Little help on other country standards would be appreciated)
1.) TV's using this signal must have digital tuners built in, or user must purchase converter box after febuary
Cable from a provider: Any type of tv signal which is purchased through the a cable company. Comcast is the main monopoly one here in america and I'll focus on them since I use them. Others would be encouraged to add information on other cable companies once I get the wiki area up and running
1.)ANALOG Comcast, at least, will continue to provide analog television to it's subscribers indefinitely. Nothing needs to be done for this. No converter boxes or new tv's will need to be bought.
A. NTSC computer tuners are the ones which can read this tv signal. I'll include links to compatible cards and make sure to mention LMCE compatibility as well here. This cable signal is unencrypted?(Need input here)
2.)DIGITAL Here's where I need help. This is what I understand after researching and chatting with comcast's unhelpful online staff.
A. In order to tune comcast digital cable of any kind, a set top box is required. (I'm not sure about this, but some comcast techie tried to convince me of this. I was under the impression that only the High def, premium, on demand, etc channels required a set top box. What about the low channels from comcast which are digital, like normal old discovery channel in digital? Need some input here.) This is due to comcast's signal being encrypted? Are all comcast channels encrypted and therefore unusable by computer tuners?? Please comment on this
i. The work around involves getting a cable box with firewire output and recording that stream while IR blasting for control of channels. I know this has been done by some users for those high definition set top boxes
B. Free digital stations are mostly (maybe always??) broadcast in the QAM format. Saying "clear QAM" refers to unencrypted QAM siganls. Look for tuner's advertised for clear qam for this form of cable. This form of digital cable is easily captured in LMCE
So, my main area of confusion is the simple digital channels from comcast. Let's say that I receive channel 32 (discovery channel in my area) in digital format from comcast. It's part of the basic plan, not free over the air, and it's not pay per view or an extra channel (like hbo). Can LMCE watch that station? That's what I need to know and then I should be able to get to work on the wiki. Also, I'd love some testimonies of you users who have listed their set ups in the wiki would be great! Which types of TV signal have you been able to tune? thanks guys