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  #1  
Old 10-15-2007, 10:39 AM
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bialio bialio is offline
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Lots of new HD content - but not in Sage!

So seems like the satellite carriers are really unleashing the HD content these days. Might be good to have a sticky post talking about the options to get these into Sage in their full HD glory. I'm sure that's something a lot of people are wondering about.

I'm feeling like my locals from Clear QAM are not nearly enough options for my HD needs!

I'm assuming the only real option is the R5000 mod - is that correct? Is firewire an option on Satellite STB's?

btl.
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:55 PM
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R5000 is basically it, there's no Firewire on any sat boxes I'm aware of.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:14 PM
garyellis garyellis is offline
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Seems to me the bigger problem will be the fact that you can only tune one channel with any of these solutions.

Today, I have 5 tuners for my HTPC and for Sage... (3) Hauppauge cards and 1 HDHR (2) (HD tuners)....thus, today, I can get 5 different channels, if I want to.

There is not a good solution for giving me more than 1 HD channel through a STB... I have to have multiple STB's to get multiple channels.

Or wait...hopefully one day, all of the SD channels become HD channels and HD becomes the "Basic" cable option.

Not holding my breathe, but just can't see a good solution for HD in the near future..

Gary Ellis
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2007, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyellis View Post
There is not a good solution for giving me more than 1 HD channel through a STB... I have to have multiple STB's to get multiple channels.
Well yes, of course. An STB is a kind of tuner, and you need multiple tuners to record multiple channels at the same time.

I don't see how needing multiple STBs differs in principle from needing multiple PCI or USB tuners, or how that makes them "not a good solution".
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by garyellis View Post
Seems to me the bigger problem will be the fact that you can only tune one channel with any of these solutions.
Yes - that is a problem. I'd have to add satellite along side my existing cable setup - it couldn't replace it - I'd have to have 6 STB's to equal the number of tuners!!!!!!!

But adding a single (or maybe 2) satellite STB's to my setup to get all those extra HD channels would be something I would consider doing. Especially come '08 when I'll be needing to watch the final season of BSG in HD!

btl.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:49 PM
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Hi,

It's sacrilige to say this around here, but the Directv HD DVR's do have two tuners. We have one so that we can cover all the HD bases. They have even activated the usb port so you can add external storage.

Right now 98% of all the HD we care about is on the networks, so sage and a pair of OTA HD tuners is getting the job done. I know that as D* rolls out more and more HD this is going to start changing. I am still hoping (probably in vain..) that D* and M$ will come up with a pci based D* tuner capable of HD that will not require an oem built pc.

Quote:
Especially come '08 when I'll be needing to watch the final season of BSG in HD!
We are right there with you on that

Jesse
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2007, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bialio View Post
Yes - that is a problem. I'd have to add satellite along side my existing cable setup - it couldn't replace it - I'd have to have 6 STB's to equal the number of tuners!!!!!!!
But how many do you actually use at a time? Not including local/OTA?
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2007, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
But how many do you actually use at a time? Not including local/OTA?
My theory, and how I've set up my system, is that i want to be able to watch 2 HD shows live and record 2 other HD shows at the same time.

Do I ever actually use that capacity? Probably not. I know that I record at least 2 shows at the same time at various times during the week. Having the extra tuners ensures that my wife never gets the "Do you want to stop recording to view this channel" message.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2007, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bialio View Post
My theory, and how I've set up my system, is that i want to be able to watch 2 HD shows live and record 2 other HD shows at the same time.
Yes, but which shows? If you can receive them off the air, then you don't need an STB to tune them in.

For instance, in my HD system I have five OTA tuners and one R5000 sat box. I often have two or three OTA tuners recording simultaneously, but I almost never have conflicts with the single sat feed because there's not that much I watch on sat, and most shows on those channels are rebroadcast several times anyway, so any potential conflicts get resolved automatically.

In other words, unless you watch a lot of satellite programming, or are out of range of OTA HD broadcasts, you might not need as many STBs as you seem to think.
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  #10  
Old 10-16-2007, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKusnick View Post
Yes, but which shows? If you can receive them off the air, then you don't need an STB to tune them in.

For instance, in my HD system I have five OTA tuners and one R5000 sat box. I often have two or three OTA tuners recording simultaneously, but I almost never have conflicts with the single sat feed because there's not that much I watch on sat, and most shows on those channels are rebroadcast several times anyway, so any potential conflicts get resolved automatically.

In other words, unless you watch a lot of satellite programming, or are out of range of OTA HD broadcasts, you might not need as many STBs as you seem to think.
I don't disagree - that's why I'd want to just add 1 or 2 Satellite STB's to my setup so that I could get access to those extra HD Channels. I'd keep the existing stuff in place.

btl.
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  #11  
Old 10-16-2007, 08:35 AM
garyellis garyellis is offline
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Quote:
In other words, unless you watch a lot of satellite programming, or are out of range of OTA HD broadcasts, you might not need as many STBs as you seem to think.
Agreed...for now..but, now is not what I am concerned about....with more and more HD channels coming on line...what will be the profile of our recordings 1 year from now. Will recording HD channels be the standard and SD be the exception? I can see wanting to record 2 sports events, both in HD (ESPN and Golf Channel)... And then TBS, or HBOHD or ....

The point is that multiple STB's is not very appealing and I was just wondering what would be the solution a year from now, when HD channels are the normal...

Good discussion..thanks,

Gary Ellis
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  #12  
Old 10-16-2007, 10:04 AM
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That's the same situation everyone with Satellite faces today, SD or HD.
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  #13  
Old 10-16-2007, 10:31 AM
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Just be happy you can get OTA HD channels. I can't get OTA or satelilte HD due to my location

Juc
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  #14  
Old 10-16-2007, 10:58 AM
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Sounds like you need to move!
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyellis View Post
Agreed...for now..but, now is not what I am concerned about....with more and more HD channels coming on line...what will be the profile of our recordings 1 year from now. Will recording HD channels be the standard and SD be the exception? I can see wanting to record 2 sports events, both in HD (ESPN and Golf Channel)... And then TBS, or HBOHD or ....

The point is that multiple STB's is not very appealing and I was just wondering what would be the solution a year from now, when HD channels are the normal...

Good discussion..thanks,

Gary Ellis
There was some talk in the recent past on the various forums about D* putting out a tuner card for PC. Ostensibly this is to add satellite tuning to Vista MCE - but hopefully they will allow it to go into any PC. Then eventually we might get Sage support for it.

Other than that, a stack of STB's seems to be a possibility in the future.

btl.
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  #16  
Old 10-16-2007, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by GKusnick View Post
Well yes, of course. An STB is a kind of tuner, and you need multiple tuners to record multiple channels at the same time.

I don't see how needing multiple STBs differs in principle from needing multiple PCI or USB tuners, or how that makes them "not a good solution".
More space needed and more importantly, you have to pay for each STB. I can split my cable.
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  #17  
Old 10-16-2007, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by kevine View Post
More space needed and more importantly, you have to pay for each STB. I can split my cable.
Well that's going away, at least it looks like it. I think we're going to have to just get used to it.
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  #18  
Old 10-16-2007, 03:11 PM
garyellis garyellis is offline
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So, we need a STB or cable card that takes the input and then outputs it with all of the channels decoded depending on the plan you are on...the cable company or Direct tv could offer that. Thus allowing the cable to be split several times after the STB. They would obviously charge for that.

Gary Ellis
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  #19  
Old 10-16-2007, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by garyellis View Post
So, we need a STB or cable card that takes the input and then outputs it with all of the channels decoded depending on the plan you are on...the cable company or Direct tv could offer that.
I'm going to cop out and say:

"It can't be done". Starting with cable, the problem is all the digital channels, all 200+ of them, are spread out over 125 RF channels, each on a different carrier. Essentially you need one tuner/carrier to demodulate the transport stream off analog RF waveform.

This is exactly the reason why analog TV cards require two tuners to record two channels, they need to tune and demodulate two RF carriers, digital is no different. To do what you describe, you'd need a box with 1 tuner for each RF channel, and then something else to modulate them all back onto a new RF carrier.

Satellite is even worse. On satellite, you have up to 5 different orbital locations, all using the same bandwidth. That's why you can't just split a satellite line, you need a multiswitch, it's two-way between the IRD and the switch, the IRD has to tell the switch which orbital slot to pass to the IRD.

Now I said above "I'll say it's not possible", well it is, because you'll find apartment complexes, hotels and the like which demodulate DirecTV down to a number of analog NTSC channels, but that's in a totally different league, price and complexity wise than what we're looking at.

If you think 6 IRDs with R5000 mods is bad....

What's really too bad is that Dish doesn't offer the RF modulator anymore. They used to offer (Dish 6000 I think) a modulator which would remodulate transport streams from the IRD into ATSC for recording by ATSC recorders, but they've discontinued it. ATSC RF output on cable/sat boxes would be nice, but it's not going to happen.
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  #20  
Old 10-16-2007, 05:36 PM
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Given that you're apparently willing to pay for the privilege of splitting the signal coming out of your hypothetical hundred-channel STB, I'm still not seeing why paying for three or four single-channel STBs is so objectionable. If it's just the physical bulk of the boxes themselves, stick them in a closet somewhere and you won't have to look at them.
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