[SATLUG] Cable TV on the computer

FIRESTORM_v1 firestorm.v1 at gmail.com
Fri May 8 12:46:46 CDT 2009

DigiPic2000 is digital cable service.

The tuner is an analog tuner only, (depending on what Time Warner's
done with the channelmap in the area) you will get all channels lower
than 100.

If you are going to hook it up to your cable box to record stuff
you're watching, then this will fit the bill.  I would recommend
however using the composite connector.  I use a Hauppauge TV tuner
that looks strikingly similar to the one in the Ebay link.

If you are wanting to receive HD channels then you'll want a Digital
QAM tuner  but that will only pull in the HD local stations.  No
premium channels (Like HBO, Starz, etc) as they are encrypted.

I don't know what the state of Linux support for digital cable and
cablecards is, but if you are really looking to receive all subscribed
channels, you will need a digital tuner that is capable of using a
cablecard. The cablecard will be a horrendous pain in the posterior to
get working but it's one of those things that if you can get it
working and it works for a day after, then it will work till the thing
blows up, otherwise you'll be wrought with problems.

A cablecard is a small card, (think PCMCIA-esque) that is an
encryption module that is issued to you by the cable company.  It
serves to decrypt and authorize the digital encrypted channels that
you are subscribed to. It is required for digital channels above 100
that are encrypted and/or copy protected. (CCI) That being said, a
PCMCIA slot on your computer will NOT support a cablecard, it merely
uses the PCMCIA form factor to serve as a connection buss between the
card itself and the QAM tuner/MPEG decoder in the TV set (or PC as the
case may be.)

>From what limited knowledge I have about cablecards and PCs, I have
only seen a Windows Media Center PC take on a cablecard and actually
work with it in some usable form (disregarding a TiVo, which is Linux
based but the hardware and the software is largely proprietary.

In my setup here, I have my DVR hooked up to my HDTV via Composite and
my TV card in my PC connected to the DVR via the "cable out" on the
back of the DVR.  I fire up the TV application and tune to channel 3
and am able to see what the TV is showing, with the exception that all
HD channels are automatically downconverted into a standard signal.

Good luck!


On Fri, May 8, 2009 at 12:32 PM, Ian L. Target <ian69 at comcast.net> wrote:
> Jeremy Mann wrote:
>> Besides RoadRunner, do you current have Cable with TWC? If so, yes,
>> this card will work. However it will not work with digital cable.
>> You'd have to hook up the composite out from the digital box to this
>> card.
> Again, forgive me for being slow.  I know most lists dislike those of us
> that have
> to be "spoon fed."
> I have the "all-in-one" phone/cable/internet  service from TW.  I am
> looking at my
> bill.  My bill does not state whether it is digital cable or not.  To be
> honest, I didn't
> know that there is a distinction between the two.  I always thought
> cable was cable!
> My bill says I have the DigiPic 2000 Package, which includes among other
> things,
> a digital home terminal.  I assume that a) this means that I have
> digital cable and b)
> the terminal that it refers to is that ugly black box that says
> "Scientific Atlanta
> Explorer 4240 HDC" on the front of it.
> Jeremy, your response says I have to hookup the composite out from the
> digital
> box to the card.  This won't work for me as the box is in my front room
> and my
> computer is hooked up to the cable modem in the spare bedroom.  I just
> assumed
> I could put a Y splitter on the outlet in the bedroom and plug the cable
> directly into
> the card.  I guess I'll have to call TW and see how much an extra box
> costs per month.
> Thank you and the others who responded.  I appreciate it.
> Y'all have a great week end.
> Ian
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