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Comcast + HDTV Tuner + Windows Media Center

Posted on 2006-07-20
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My question is simple.  If I have comcast hdtv (dual tuner) DVR Cable box (motorola) and want to use it in my media center 1) is it possible, and 2) how do i connect it (bypass the set-top-box, or not), put it in the ASTC or NTSC tuner input on the Media Center PC.  
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Question by:lukeamotion
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Expert Comment

by:fredshovel
ID: 17153169
As I'm on the other side of the world I've never heard of any of this equipment or even the suppliers (how's it sounding so far) -- but if you've subscribed to a cable service like comcast you already have the signal so you don't need to put it through any digital set-top-box or ATSC tuner or NTSC tuner -- in my thinking you just have to connect the signal to your TV monitor via the output of the comcast equipment.
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Author Comment

by:lukeamotion
ID: 17153460
I guess i'm the only person to ever do this?  How have they sold Media Center PC's for the last 3 years without anyone running into this. :)

- luke
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masoncooper earned 1000 total points
ID: 17153998
I have a Comcast HD DVR and don't yet have it accessible from my MCE2005 machine but I CAN stream the video/audio digitally into the box and record.  
This article shows you how to set everything up, you'll need a firewrie connection on the PC.  http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=403695
You can use CapDVHS to record the digital stream coming off the firewire connection to create a .TS file (Transport Stream).  This plays fine in VLC (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/) but you'll have to convert it to a MPEG2 Program Stream to play it in most other players.  There's a transcoding utility named SUPER that can convert between just about anything.

If you read through the AVSForum article, they point to some drivers that should allow you to integrate your Cocmast Box with MCE, channel changing an all, but I haven't had the time to do that.  

Another source would be "The Green Button", a site dedicated to MCE (http://thegreenbutton.com/default.aspx)

Finally, about the tuner issue, from what I've read, in a bit of shortsightedness, I've heard that you HAVE to have an analog tuner in the machine to set up the channels, from there you can add additional sources such as your Comcast Box.  I've even heard that once the Comcast source is configured properly you can even remove the analog card.

Good Luck!
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Expert Comment

by:callit
ID: 17155564
Well you've tossed a number of variables into play here that I'm not very familar with, but I do have some knowledge of PVRing on PCS -

You might want to check out the forums over at http://forum.byopvr.com/dvr/ as there are alot of people with alot of specific knowledge there.

Unfortunately, I'm not an expert on this area by any means, and don't want to add confusion or bad information, but there are alot of helpful folks over at BYOPVR.
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by:callit
ID: 17307625
I think masoncooper's response is the most complete and relevent.
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