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  1. #1
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    Skyh13's Avatar
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    Home Theater PC and Mediacom

    Have any of you out there ever run a Home Theater PC on Mediacom digital cable? (meaning, running the Cable through your PC)

    I've considered doing it, the big question is whether or not I would be able to still access all of my channels like I do with the cable box now (which, btw, is not a dvr box), in particular the HD channels. I also wonder whether or not I would be able to pick up the channel guide information or not.

    So anybody have any experience with this, or know anything about it? I'd like to have calling Mediacom for information as a last resort, as I'm not sure I can trust anything they tell me, assuming anybody knows anything at all about this when I call.



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    Re: Home Theater PC and Mediacom

    I've done it, the guide shows up, but the issue is the HD channels. I only see the locals, even though on my Mediacom box I get everything HD including ESPN, Discovery, etc.

    Overall though, it's an awesome thing to do. I have it set up to record South Park and the Paul Rhoads show every week and since those don't matter really if they are in HD or not, it works out pretty well.

    If someone else knows how to get the rest to show up, that would be great too :)



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    Re: Home Theater PC and Mediacom

    I dont believe mediacom runs anything except for the local hd channels in what is known as Clear QAM (unencrypted) at this point. To access the hds, i believe you would have to have a tuner that would support a cablecard, as well as a cablecard (they run about $2\month for a multi stream card).

    Your options arent the best right now for that though. There havent been many add on tuner options that supported cablecard, a few were supposed to be released this year i had heard, but so far the only one i can find thats made it to market is one from Ceton that has 4 tuners, but runs $399. And as a TiVo owner who uses cablecards, i can tell you to count on almost zero support for anything involving cablecards from mediacom. They will try to blame problems on your equipment, often have defective cablecards, etc.



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    Re: Home Theater PC and Mediacom

    To answer your question, yes.

    I have the mediacom digital cable non-dvr box (just like yours I think), and I hook it up to my computer to record the games.

    I have Windows 7 and I use Windows Media Center to do all my watching and recording. Once you setup your signal, the guide comes in just like it would if it were hooked up to a normal TV. You will need to hook up an IR reciever to your computer so that Windows can recognize the Mediacom remote.

    My computer has a built-in TV tuner that has the following inputs: coaxial, composite (yellow), and S-video. The problem with this is that the best one(S-video) can only support a resolution of up to 480 (standard definition) so everything downsizes to that resolution, which is perfectly fine for cartoons and everything else that comes in in SD anyway. However for HD sports it really isn't that desireable (I archive every Football, Basketball, and Vollyball game that's on tv). I record them anyway because it still shows in the 16:9 ratio.

    To my knowlege, there is only one way to get this to work in HD, but it will set you back an extra $200. And that is to buy the Hauppauge HD-PVR.
    HD PVR Product overview

    This has the high def componet cable inputs(Green, Blue, Red) that Tv-Tuner cards do not, and it then transfers to your PC by USB cable. I do not have this device and have not used it so I can't say to much about it. I do know someone that uses it to record all the Oklahoma games and put the highlights on Youtube

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR4eI8b9hUk]YouTube - Oklahoma Highlights vs. Colorado - 10/30/10 (HD)[/ame]

    As you can see it works very well and in the future I will try to get one myself.

    PM for more questions and I'll try to get them answered but I hope this helped



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    Re: Home Theater PC and Mediacom

    Thanks for the info. Glad I know that the HD channels definitely would not come in before I tried investing in anything.. and the CableCard stuff definitely has a bad reputation from what I can tell. Anything involving getting more stuff from the Cable company is not desirable, as they'll impede you any way they can either through incompetence, or purposeful sabotaging.

    Sounds like the HD PVR would at least allow me to do recordings in Windows, although the $200 price tag stings a little bit... definitely something to think about, and I'm glad to hear that something like that would indeed work.

    I've used a linux based option called Red Button PVR, which allows you (if it happens to work) to record video through a firewire cable from your cable box. I've been able to do that on my laptop occasionally for shows.. it just sucks that you can only do it in Linux (as much as I like to support Linux). Not to mention there's never any guarantee that stuff will usually work, and the interface for recording shows is about as minimalist as you can get, although it isn't usually too hard.

    There used to be other firewire options for Windows.... XP. And only 32-bit. I'm running Windows 7 64-bit. Oh how old software dies...

    Anyways, thanks for the info everyone.



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    Re: Home Theater PC and Mediacom

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyh13 View Post
    Thanks for the info. Glad I know that the HD channels definitely would not come in before I tried investing in anything.. and the CableCard stuff definitely has a bad reputation from what I can tell. Anything involving getting more stuff from the Cable company is not desirable, as they'll impede you any way they can either through incompetence, or purposeful sabotaging.

    Sounds like the HD PVR would at least allow me to do recordings in Windows, although the $200 price tag stings a little bit... definitely something to think about, and I'm glad to hear that something like that would indeed work.

    I've used a linux based option called Red Button PVR, which allows you (if it happens to work) to record video through a firewire cable from your cable box. I've been able to do that on my laptop occasionally for shows.. it just sucks that you can only do it in Linux (as much as I like to support Linux). Not to mention there's never any guarantee that stuff will usually work, and the interface for recording shows is about as minimalist as you can get, although it isn't usually too hard.

    There used to be other firewire options for Windows.... XP. And only 32-bit. I'm running Windows 7 64-bit. Oh how old software dies...

    Anyways, thanks for the info everyone.

    You could always tell windows to run the program in XP compatibility mode. And as far as the 64-bit problem, I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that 64-bit windows can run things in 32-bit. My workstation at work does with a couple programs anyways.


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