On 4/9/2011 8:52 PM, Simon Baxter wrote:

From what I've read Comcast uses two levels of encryption, a basic one
for tier one channels (extended basic in marketing terms) then a more comprehensive key encryption for their digital preferred channels.

I use a combination of two set top boxes, a PVR HD for HD channels and a PVR500 for SD channels, and two Clear Qam adapters for locals.

The Clear Qam are very good quality MPEG 2 HD or SD streams with AC3 audio, the PVR500 is reasonable, but one my boxes has interference on the svideo output.

The HD-PVR is really good, giving an H264 with AC-3 passthrough TS stream. However, every now and then the cable box glitches and the HD-PVR stops streaming. PVRInput isn't aware (yet - although Lars is looking into it) that it's not sending anything to VDR. This is a problem when recording as VDR restarts, if I'm doing concurrent recordings then I lose bits of other recording during this time. As an aside, AC-3 is passed through from the original ATSC-QAM stream, I had to patch VDR again to stop checking for ATSC on Audio Type 0x81 or VDR would ignore the audio dpid of the channel and set it to 0. This also had to be done for the VNSI plugin in XBMC-PVR.

I really want to thank Lars for teaching me about TS streams..

New question - what hardware support is there for VDR and ATSC? I'm moving to the US, so will be ditching my DVB-C and DVB-S hardware - what should I
be buying to work with VDR?

I would wait until you get here and then spend a week asking people. I use Comcast at home but have been thinking of switching to Dish as I thought it was supported better with VDR: However, you have to jump through so many hoops now to get it working, it might not be worth it.

You could find just using OTA ATSC is good enough and then get Netflix working (alas not in VDR without a bit of hacking and a spare windows PC). Netflix has huge back catalogs of stuff which more than makes up for cable.

Any Hauppauge ATSC card will work with Linux either as a PCI or PCI-E. However, there is a minor glitch with the usb cards where they can refuse to sync on a station without unplugging and replugging.

Some comcast boxes have firewire output. You can change the channel and get SD and HD out of these, and the IPTV plugin can be made to work with them. However, no decrytion can be done with Linux yet (without severe hoop jumping - read resoldering the motherboard of your sat box to find the box id). IMHO it's better you use an analog input stream.

If you can leave a VDR box back home then you can streamdev it to get home TV in the US, something that we would have liked to have done..


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