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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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Old 05-18-2012, 08:39 AM
KarylFStein KarylFStein is offline
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CableCard and Comcast "Limited Basic"

I have really basic cable (Comcast calls it Limited Basic). They have separate “digital” tiers, (Digital Essentials, Limited, etc.) I’m not looking to upgrade to a digital plan as the cheapest one that keeps the channels I get now, (the ones we most watch are Discovery, Disney, Nick, Travel, and FSDetroit), is $45/month more and I’m not willing to pay that. Getting those in HD would be nice, but not $540/year nice, (I get the local networks in HD via OTA). However, I would like to get a second tuner and a better feed, (OK, it’s still SD, but I have problems with my right audio crackling—must be something in the STB as I’ve replaced the audio cable and tried in two different tuner cards). I’m thinking that cable card is the best route instead of trying to get the USB-UIRT to control two boxes, finding space and power for another STB, etc.

Question: Is my plan something I could use a cable card to tune? It’s still “digital” right even if not branded as such? It seems like a silly question because I know it’s not analog—that went away a while ago. I just don’t want to get a cable card tuner and find that the feed I have is missing something cable card needs.

Also, is there a less expensive PCIe dual-tuner that works with SageDCT and WHS 2011? OK, $200 isn’t that much for a quad-tuner, but hey, this is someone with a $20/month cable plan ! I rarely have conflicts with one tuner except during baseball season when the game's on ESPN or FS, so two should be plenty, (plus the two OTA tuners and I can't recall ever having conflicts with those). I also like keeping my tuners inside the server instead of something external, but would consider it if it gets me around the $100 price point.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:52 AM
Dargason Dargason is offline
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You should be able to ask your cable provide if they support cablecards... chances are, your STB has one inside, so they probably do. While you're on the phone with them, you should ask what is involved to install one. My company had a self-install option, which was nice. You'll probably have to pay a couple bucks a month rental on the cablecard itself.

For a tuner, I bought the Hauppauge DCR-2650: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/produc...a_dcr2650.html

It's a Dual-tuner cablecard tuner that costs about $110. It's based on the silicondust hardware and seems to behave very similarly to the HD HomeRun Prime.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:43 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarylFStein View Post
I have really basic cable (Comcast calls it Limited Basic). <....> (I get the local networks in HD via OTA).
At least in my area, Comcast digital "limited basic" is the locals, a zillion shopping channels, WGN, and a weather channel. Eg, almost nothing of any value that you cannot get over the air. Also, most (all?) of the limited basic channels are available unscrambled via QAM, so you would not need the complexities of a cable card...

Drew
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:19 PM
KarylFStein KarylFStein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewg View Post
At least in my area, Comcast digital "limited basic" is the locals, a zillion shopping channels, WGN, and a weather channel. Eg, almost nothing of any value that you cannot get over the air. Also, most (all?) of the limited basic channels are available unscrambled via QAM, so you would not need the complexities of a cable card...

Drew
Yeah, I don't get it and the Comcast site is no help, (and mirrors what you said I should get but doesn't). With the plan I'm on I get over 65 channels in SD plus most of the music channels.

Maybe I'm on some unpublished plan that I got put into because I refused to go "digital" when they made the switch to encrypted QAM for most channels? All I know is my bill says "Limited Basic Service" and costs $20.49 plus $1.19 for the STB--along with taxes. That matches what I found on their site as "Limited Basic." And, no, none of the things I watch are available non-encrypted except if I remember the SD locals and some shopping/religious channels.

If I can keep whatever plan I'm on and add a second tuner + direct digital recording via CableCard, I'd be golden. I just don't want to upset what I have at that price point if I make a call and spend $ on a CableCard tuner!

Maybe just asking for another STB and dealing with the USB-UIRT/power/space issues is the safest way to go...
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:28 PM
Dargason Dargason is offline
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If nothing you are watching is actually encrypted, I think you can use the cablecard tuner without a cablecard. I'm not an expert, but I read that in the "HDHomeRun Prime + SageDCT" thread in the hardware section. (It's in the middle somewhere, so you'll want to search the thread)
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:15 PM
Rico66 Rico66 is offline
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The above listed DCR-2650 is probably your best option. It's less than $100 now. Furthermore the 1st Cablecard is often free. So if you go Cablecard only and return the STB you safe money.
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2012, 09:05 AM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarylFStein View Post
Maybe I'm on some unpublished plan that I got put into because I refused to go "digital" when they made the switch to encrypted QAM for most channels? All I know is my bill says "Limited Basic Service" and costs $20.49 plus $1.19 for the STB--along with taxes.
I'm tempted to say "don't touch anything"... I'm currently in a somewhat similar situation. I signed up for service when I moved last August, and the rate-plan I'm on was supposed to be $X/mo for 6 mo, going up to something horrible after that. Flash-forward 9+ months later, they're still charging me the same $X/mo. So I'm afraid to change anything.

Drew
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