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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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  #1  
Old 07-14-2015, 05:49 AM
weeber weeber is offline
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Comcast+RNG150+Firewire

I got a message from Comcast last night saying that, due to system improvements, by 8-year old DCT6200 (non-dvr) cable box needs to be upgraded. I'm still rocking a WinXP HTPC (also 8-years old) on Sage using Firewire for tuning & capture. I'm assuming that Comcast is providing me one of their Non-DVR X1s, most likely the Pace (Cisco based?) RGN150N.

1. Does anyone have experience with firwire on this box on a Comcast system? Does tuning/capture via firewire still work?

2. Any idea what I need to do to swap configure my HTPC to work on the new box. Other than minor upgrades and replacement of failed components, I really haven't touched the my HTPC in 5 years, the thing has just been a champ and does what I need. I have no idea where to start digging into firewire setup again.

P.S. I am slowly buying components for a new setup for Sage OS. I plan on going to a server/client model and using a SiliconDust Prime + Cablecard eventually. But I'm preparing for that as time/budget allow and I want to see Sage OS first. I'd really rather continue using firewire for the time being.
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2015, 08:45 PM
mangriotis mangriotis is offline
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I have the DCH3200 Motorola box, and just got the letter from Comcast (Xfinity) with the same statement.

I need to change the box or risk losing some HD channels. This change will happen in February... anyone using the new boxes?

It looks like either Pace or Samsung RNG150N will be given to me (also looks like Motorola used to make them, under model DCX3200)...

Per the Motorola User Guide, these did appear to still have the firewire input.

It would be really great if someone who has made this change has gotten the firewire channel changing to work.
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2015, 09:31 PM
weeber weeber is offline
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Mangriotis,as a follow-up to my original post...

I received an Pace RNG110 (non-DVR). It has a firewire port on the back, but it didn't matter because Comcast disabled it. I went into the box's diagnostic screen and saw it was inactive with no way for the user to turn it on (also confirmed via Internet search). I suspect you'll find the same on all these newer boxes. Even if you do have an active Firewire port, I wouldn't count on getting the firewire drivers to properly recognize the new RNG models.

I wasn't in the mood to fight it, so I upgraded my Sage system (was due anyways) and went the HDHomerun Prime + CableCard route. I'm really happy with the setup.
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:45 AM
mangriotis mangriotis is offline
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Thinking about this, but you don't lose any ability to copy certain shows (HDCP protection) when using the Cable Card?

I know there's a significant amount of info here about this type of setup, but it's completely new to me. Do you have some favorite or very helpful threads (or other links) that would help lead me through this sort of transition?

I will likely go this route also.
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2015, 01:17 PM
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UgaData UgaData is offline
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SageTV doesn't use DRM of any sort, so once a show is recorded you can copy it, move it, and/or use it with any media player (that can play the format) you want to use, regardless of the original source of the recording.

The issue you may run into is what you can actually record in SageTV with a cable card. Depending on your cable provider, you can expect to record everything except for the premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc.). That said some cable providers are marking some additional channels with a "copy once" flag. In some cases all but the local channels are marked this way. Sage isn't allowed to record channels flagged as "copy once".

The way around the copy flags is to use a cable box with an HD-PVR. Anything the cable box can tune-in the HD-PVR should be able to record.

I have Comcast and can record everything short of premium channels but YMMV.
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2015, 01:26 PM
mangriotis mangriotis is offline
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Yes, my current setup is Comcast DCH-3200 using HD-PVR (connected via component cables, i.e. analog). So, I can record anything that is tuned to that box, including all premium content.

I record a lot of shows on pay cable stations (HBO, Showtime, etc.), hence my fear of losing that if I make the switch to Cable Card + HDHRPrime...
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2015, 02:27 PM
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UgaData UgaData is offline
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Yeah, cable card isn't going to record premium channels using SageTV (WMC can but not Sage)

On a different note, their was an FCC mandate that if a cable box had a firewire port (1394), it should be operational.
I used to use firewire to capture recordings and later to tune channels for an HD-PVR. More than once Comcast turned off the firewire port. Of course no one at Comcast will even admit to knowing what firewire or 1394 port is (that's not an exaggeration either).
I complained and the only remedy was to replace the cable box with another and hope the port was turned on. I suspect some things have changed since then.
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2015, 07:36 PM
weeber weeber is offline
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Mangroitis - sorry to say, but you will not be able to record premium content using HDHomerun - it'll be flagged as copy once. Frankly, I'm amazed it worked with firewire, on my system it was 5C'd so that Sage couldn't tune via firewire either. The only way to record premium content is using WMC and hopefully SiliconDust's DVR solution, if they can get it figured out. You can watch (not record) premium content using some certified devices like the PS3 and Android app.

If you go the Cablecard route, it's not too bad, just setup the card/HDHR using the instructions. Make sure the computer can see the HDHR. Call Comcast's activation number and be prepared to give them a couple of strings of numbers so they can pair the card with your device. After that, configure PrimeNetEncoder to record. I recommend reading through the PNE thread before you get started; it does require some setup, but it's no worse than the old firewire setup. For me, setup was surprisingly painless.

UGAData - you're right there was (is?) a FCC mandate that required a working Firewire port if requested. When I first got my RNG110, I did some searches on it, and I get the impression that the requirement has been sunsetted, watered down, or there's some loophole that basically makes it meaningless. I just decided not to fight and went the Cablecard route since I was building a new system from the ground-up anyways.
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:21 AM
mechling-burgh mechling-burgh is offline
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When I switched to cable card If I could record it on Firewire I could record it with the cable card. I believe they use the same cc flags.
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  #10  
Old 11-11-2015, 07:33 AM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechling-burgh View Post
When I switched to cable card If I could record it on Firewire I could record it with the cable card. I believe they use the same cc flags.
I think if they are the same it's just a coincidence because they use different mechanisms to limit copying.
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Server: Ryzen 2400G with integrated graphics, ASRock X470 Taichi Motherboard, HDMI output to Vizio 1080p LCD, Win10-64Bit (Professional), 16GB RAM
Capture Devices (7 tuners): Colossus (x1), HDHR Prime (x2)
,USBUIRT (multi-zone)
Source:
Comcast/Xfinity X1 Cable
Primary Client: Server Other Clients: (1) HD200, (1) HD300
Retired Equipment: MediaMVP, PVR150 (x2), PVR150MCE,
HDHR, HVR-2250, HD-PVR
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  #11  
Old 11-11-2015, 08:55 AM
nyplayer nyplayer is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
I think if they are the same it's just a coincidence because they use different mechanisms to limit copying.
Firewire will not let you record protected content .... It is exactly the same as using CableCard with SageDCT or PrimeNetEncoder.
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  #12  
Old 11-11-2015, 10:06 AM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyplayer View Post
Firewire will not let you record protected content .... It is exactly the same as using CableCard with SageDCT or PrimeNetEncoder.
Firewire uses something called 5C encryption. Cable Card uses CCI flags. These function in a similar manner, but I don't think they are the same. I think it is possible for the cable companies to set them differently if they want (though in practice they would probably set them the same most of the time).
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Server: Ryzen 2400G with integrated graphics, ASRock X470 Taichi Motherboard, HDMI output to Vizio 1080p LCD, Win10-64Bit (Professional), 16GB RAM
Capture Devices (7 tuners): Colossus (x1), HDHR Prime (x2)
,USBUIRT (multi-zone)
Source:
Comcast/Xfinity X1 Cable
Primary Client: Server Other Clients: (1) HD200, (1) HD300
Retired Equipment: MediaMVP, PVR150 (x2), PVR150MCE,
HDHR, HVR-2250, HD-PVR
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2015, 02:31 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Firewire is going to become even more fringe in the future given the lack of 64 bit OS support.
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2015, 07:42 PM
mangriotis mangriotis is offline
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I guess I will go the PrimeHDHR route... then just use HBO on demand to watch those shows, etc...

Have you guys run across any other programming that will not record (aside from the usual HBO, Showtime, Cinemax)? Others?
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2015, 08:48 PM
Gustovier Gustovier is offline
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I think you are going to have to use ir blasting with the new cable boxes to change channels. FireWire tuning unfortunately is on its way out.
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  #16  
Old 12-01-2015, 06:47 AM
Wirenut Wirenut is offline
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I just moved into a new house, and Time Warner gave me two new Cisco 4742HDC boxes.... I just modded the ".inf" file to add the "support" from the Timmmoore driver and whammo... Firewire tuning.

Well.... it's still a little tricky to get going, but I just followed the tutorials listed in the download section of this forum. Got both tuners working in about 2 hours total.

I use HDPVR's to record though.
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