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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.

View Poll Results: Do you want to see Cablecard support in SagtTV?
No, I could care less 32 21.33%
Yes, but only if it is free 22 14.67%
Yes, and I would be willing to pay small premium for the feature. 96 64.00%
Voters: 150. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 05-20-2010, 10:44 AM
tpboyce tpboyce is offline
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Do you want Sage to push for use of Silicondust HDHR-CC (Cablecard tuner)

It seems that the only feature lacking in the latest release is Cablecard. I switched back to WMC7 for this feature and a cleaner GUI. I will be trying the Beta, however, really want Cablecard support.

Last edited by tpboyce; 05-20-2010 at 11:16 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2010, 11:30 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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I couldn't () care less personally, I don't have cable, don't see ever going back to it. And even if I did, I think I'd rather have DRM free HD PVR recordings.
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2010, 11:33 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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It is not a matter of want but money. Cable card certification is expensive. They would either have to pay microsoft to use their drm certificated decoder or get their own certified (very expensive)

and given that cable card is a dead duck soon I would rather they wait and see what the fcc decides.
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  #4  
Old 05-20-2010, 11:37 AM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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I'd just be happy with limited support that would only access shows marked copy-freely. SiliconDust indicated a while back that they were going to try to convince CableLabs to let them give uncertified applications access to copy-freely content, but there hasn't been an update on that issue for several months.
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  #5  
Old 05-20-2010, 12:45 PM
soccerdad soccerdad is offline
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I'd pick an option that is not available in the poll: "Yes, and I would be willing to pay a significant premium for the feature."

I have a lot of money invested in SageTV, and really like the idea it is based on. I've tried all the capture options, am currently using clear QAM and HD-PVR's. The easing of restrictions on cablecards gives me hope that there might be a future without cable boxes and quirky HD-PVR's. I am willing to forego it all, DRM free recordings, comskip, you name it, for trouble-free direct digital copies of the transport stream that can be played back via ethernet in the entire house. If SageTV does not support cablecards, but Windows Media Center does, I'll dump my SageTV setup and install xbox360 extenders in lieu of SageTV extenders. It doesn't matter how SageTV supports cablecards, plugin or natively, if it works, I'll buy it. Ofcourse, if Windows Media Center support turns out to be too limiting, I'll have dust off the Hauppauge boxes again and crawl back to SageTV.
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  #6  
Old 05-20-2010, 01:44 PM
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barney B.A. barney B.A. is offline
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The only feature cablecard has is to impose DRM.
I have no use for it.
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  #7  
Old 05-20-2010, 08:44 PM
texneus texneus is offline
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I'm a refuge from WMC for a number of reasons, but chief among them are because it has slowly turned into DRM hell. A good percentage of cable/satellite stations now transmit CGMS-A and/or Macrovision flags which WMC gleefully honors.

The best case scenario are that shows flagged "copy once" cannot be played anywhere other than the PC they originated from. Update hardware or reinstall windows, and suddenly you can no longer play those shows with NO recourse.

Then there was a period of time (since fixed, I believe) where you couldn't even watch live TV if the show was "copy never", but you are still prohibited from recording such shows at last check. Even worse, a few randomly turn the "copy never" flag on and off at random, so you get half a show and right when you get hooked, you get a blue screen of DRM until the end (save the commercials, conveniently).

Cable card is fine in principle and I'd likely get one for copy-freely stations, but I have a hunch DRM is an all or nothing proposition. If SageTV has to honor *analog* flags as a requirement for cable card certification, I want no part of it. I see no option for this in the poll, so for now I'll abstain for now.
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  #8  
Old 05-20-2010, 10:15 PM
medwynd medwynd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
I couldn't () care less personally
I was going to make the same comment lol
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  #9  
Old 05-27-2010, 03:12 PM
dfitz43 dfitz43 is offline
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I'm among those who think that Cablecard support is really critical for Sage going forward, and would definitely be willing to pay a significant premium for this capability.

Obviously, there are ways to get DRM'd content into Sage via component capture methods, but like many, I would prefer the ease and elegance of a direct stream capture.

I think many of us will be anxiously awaiting the Ceton quad tuner that's due out 5/31, in conjunction with the babgvant WMC bridge into Sage. If this works as promised, it's going to be a beautiful thing.

As many have pointed out, this is only as good as your provider is at marking content "copy freely", but in FIOS-land, this situation is fortunately looking good.

It'll be interesting to see if the SiliconDust network cablecard tuner comes to fruition, though I think this was only 3 tuners and not 4 that Ceton was offerering.

Anyway, to each his own, and I know a lotta folks have expressed ambivalence about the whole cablecard thing, but I'm firmly in the camp that think it's a big deal for Sage collectively, and personally, awesome.

cheers,
Dave
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  #10  
Old 05-27-2010, 04:08 PM
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ThePaladinTech ThePaladinTech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
I couldn't () care less personally, I don't have cable, don't see ever going back to it. And even if I did, I think I'd rather have DRM free HD PVR recordings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
I'd just be happy with limited support that would only access shows marked copy-freely. SiliconDust indicated a while back that they were going to try to convince CableLabs to let them give uncertified applications access to copy-freely content, but there hasn't been an update on that issue for several months.
How do these two comments go together? meaning - If they did what Reggie asked would those recordings be DRM free??? That is all I would be interested in, I couldn't care less to record HBO or any 'premium' channel, but it sure would be nice to get History Channel HD etc without needing a cable-box and an HD-PVR
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  #11  
Old 05-27-2010, 04:14 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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I personally think people are getting their hopes a little too high that the situation with "Copy Freely" flagging will be any better than it is with clear QAM.
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  #12  
Old 05-27-2010, 04:19 PM
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Naylia Naylia is offline
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Yes most of the providers have gotten pretty good at applying whatever flags are available once they realize that someone is benefiting without paying extra.

Historically:
5C was wide open -> Today pretty locked down by most providers
ClearQAM wideo open -> Today pretty locked down by most providers

The content owners control what is flagged and they have certainly exerted that control in the other areas.
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  #13  
Old 05-27-2010, 05:09 PM
texneus texneus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfitz43 View Post
As many have pointed out, this is only as good as your provider is at marking content "copy freely", but in FIOS-land, this situation is fortunately looking good.
Flagging of content is not up to the provider. It comes that way from the source. It is not up to the cable co's to decide which programs get protection, and which do not. Furthermore, when I moved from Dish to FIOS the protection patterns did not change. If anything, in the two years since I've had FIOS the quantity of shows being sent "protected" has noticeably risen, and I expect that trend will continue.

All premiums (e.g. PPV and HBO) will almost certainly be protected (HBO goes so far as to have a FAQ on this at http://www.homeboxoffice.com/to/cgms...achment_qa.pdf). Some non-premiums are protected as well (e.g. AMC). A few channels protect specific shows or portions of shows only (e.g. the Turner family of channels). This is done with CGMS-A flags and/or Macrovision on the analog outputs, BTW, and if you setup 7MC without PlayReady you will very quickly discover which channels/programs do and which do not flag their signals.

On FIOS, all but a few channels are 5C'd over firewire, meaning they are not "copy freely" in the digital stream. Although one would think the digital flags would determine the analog ones, this does not seem to be the case. I hope I'm wrong!
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  #14  
Old 05-27-2010, 06:30 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naylia View Post
Yes most of the providers have gotten pretty good at applying whatever flags are available once they realize that someone is benefiting without paying extra.

Historically:
5C was wide open -> Today pretty locked down by most providers
ClearQAM wideo open -> Today pretty locked down by most providers

The content owners control what is flagged and they have certainly exerted that control in the other areas.
When was ClearQAM wide open? The only time people were consistently able to get the expanded basic over ClearQAM was when Comcast started using the DTAs. And then it was only SD channels, and they were only doing it because they didn't have the separable security waiver yet.

Will cable providers start 5Cing everything? Maybe. But its not the same situation as clear QAM. Whereas pretty much everything has always been encrypted, everything hasn't always been copy protected. In fact, over the last couple years I've actually seen the number of copy-protected channels drop.

I better find some wood to knock on...
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  #15  
Old 05-28-2010, 05:47 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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No, early days of QAM, you'd often hear reports of people getting almost everything clear (you'd hear reports of nothing at all clear too). But as time has gone one, they've generally all converged to just a few channels being clear.

I expect the same to hold true with CCI flagging. Once the cable companies/content owners realize that content is no longer "Safe" with cablecard, I expect CCI to be locked down just like clear QAM.
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  #16  
Old 05-28-2010, 07:28 AM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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To me it seems pretty clear that those were mostly accidents and oversights. The reports were scattered, unlike the Comcast clearQAM period where it was almost guaranteed that you would get the SD expanded basic lineup after their digital conversion. But probably the biggest reason to think they were accidents was that a lot period that only had internet or the basic tier were able to access clear QAM channels that they were suppose to get.

I'm pretty confident that Comcast and Verizon know about the copy protection flags, and how to set them. The fact that they haven't been set indicates to me they don't have much of an interest in setting them.

The copy protection flags serve a very different purpose than encrypting QAM channels. There's a pretty big incentive for cable companies to encrypt the channels, since it makes their lives easier. But they don't have much of an interest in turning on copy protection. Maybe content owners will start requiring that cable companies do it, like HBO has (maybe with some pushing from the movie companies), but I think that's only likely in situations where content owners really think there's a chance that a lack of copy protection might decrease things like DVD sales. That seems significantly more likely in the case of HBO case than with TNT.
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  #17  
Old 06-17-2010, 07:59 PM
Petrucci Petrucci is offline
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Cable card would be fantastic for SageTV. Its cheaper, less complicated, and a much more accessible option for the average user. Cable Card is one of the few advantages Media Center has on SageTV. Its just bad business for them not to try and make it happen.
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  #18  
Old 06-28-2010, 11:19 AM
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DFranch DFranch is offline
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I only watch recorded shows on my system, so I don't care if it is copy once. What I do care about is that Time Warner in my area has started encrypting regular analog channels. They are starting with the garbage channels so far, but I have no doubt that eventually I'll only be able to record the locals. If the ceton tuner uses cablecard and can record all of the channels, then that is what I'll have to do. If that means I have to switch to Media Center then so be it. I'd much rather keep Sage, that is why I hope they can work something out with cable labs. I'd be willing to pay $10 - $20 more for the cablecard functionality, but only if it is at least as robust as Media Center. I'm not willing to pay more than that, because then Sage would costs as much as Windows.
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  #19  
Old 06-28-2010, 11:50 AM
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barney B.A. barney B.A. is offline
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Originally Posted by DFranch View Post
I'd be willing to pay $10 - $20 more for the cablecard functionality, but only if it is at least as robust as Media Center. I'm not willing to pay more than that, because then Sage would costs as much as Windows.
How so? A full version of SageTV 79
full version Windows 7 Home Premium 179 at newegg
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  #20  
Old 06-28-2010, 12:14 PM
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VikingCrown VikingCrown is offline
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At newegg, the Windows Home premium System Builder is only $99, just a FYI ... Not too much different if you add on $20 to the base sage purchase.
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