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Verizon FIOS HDTV and pcHDTV cards
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:29 pm Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




Long post coming-

I currently have a MythTV system running just fine, without HDTV.
Pertinent Specs:
Gentoo linux
MythTV
Hauppage tuner
Comcast cable tv
I do not use any of the premium, extra cost channels
1 cable box

I am considering a few things:
Verizon FIOS (fiber optic) TV service is about to be available in my town, and I despise Comcast's service. I now use Verizon for both internet and phone, and am considering using them for TV as well. This will let me get rid of Comcrap and also let me use the HD capabilities of my LCD monitor/TV.

My questions:
will the pcHDTV work-
1) with standard tv as well as HD?
2) work in conjunction with my Hauppage card?
3) receive ALL the channels in the basic service? (SciFi is one of the ones that I want- somewhere around 150 in the channel lineup for Verizon)
4) will I still need a Verizon box for this setup to decode signals?

I have just started researching these questions myself, so answers may not be hard to find, I don't know. Thought I'd start here. Smile

I'm hoping to actually SEE the FIOS tv here and be able to mess with it soon- a friend of mine is already on the list for installation...I'll know more about what kind of signal they actually send out then.

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Media System: using PVR350 and testing a pcHDTV in a second system.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:38 pm Reply with quote
waterhead
 
Joined: 24 Apr 2005
Posts: 299




NO TV capture cards can show encrypted channels (as far as I know). The only HD cable channels that a card can tune to are unencrypted ones. I don't have cable, but everyone says only the local channels are not scrambled.

I heard that there is a way to record HD if your cable box has a FireWire output. I know that MythTV has a setup option for this. I could be wrong, this may be only for changing channels on the box, with MythTV.

For recording HD cable, the best option is to get a HD-DVR from the cable company.

$$$$$$

Paul


Last edited by waterhead on Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Verizon FIOS HDTV and pcHDTV cards
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:48 pm Reply with quote
toups
 
Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 18




rogerdugans wrote:

3) receive ALL the channels in the basic service? (SciFi is one of the ones that I want- somewhere around 150 in the channel lineup for Verizon)


Although I really hope that I am wrong, from the searches that I have performed, it appears that only the locals are not encrypted. (Possibly including the HD locals, although this was a little fuzzy also.) The non-premium basic tier channels are reported to be encrypted. By the way, my understanding is that they are using QAM.

Quote:

4) will I still need a Verizon box for this setup to decode signals?


If my understanding is correct, you will need a Verizon box (or a receiver with a cablecard) for anything but the locals. Video on demand will require a Verizon box for now also.

Quote:

I have just started researching these questions myself, so answers may not be hard to find, I don't know. Thought I'd start here. Smile


I did quite a bit of searching earlier, and there wasn't a lot of information available and some of it was dis-information.

Quote:

I'm hoping to actually SEE the FIOS tv here and be able to mess with it soon- a friend of mine is already on the list for installation...I'll know more about what kind of signal they actually send out then.


If you can hook up a tuner to it, let us know if the above is correct. Thanks.
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Re: Verizon FIOS HDTV and pcHDTV cards
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:06 pm Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




toups wrote:


If you can hook up a tuner to it, let us know if the above is correct. Thanks.


My media pc is connected to a water cooling system which is buried in my yard, BUT- once my buddy has FIOS TV I plan on trying both my TiVo and a LAN-portable computer up to it. Borrowing my current tuner card to test results, of course. Wink

I'll report what I find when I try things out.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:22 pm Reply with quote
tytus
 
Joined: 11 Nov 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Boston, MA USA




What was the outcome of your research? I am thinking also about switching from Comcast to Verizon and have mythtv working...
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:59 pm Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




Outcome of my research:

I out things on hold over the holidays and so on, and have as yet done little.

But Comcast just really pissed me off again tonight, so I call the FIOS people tomorrow. Very Happy

Basically, it looks as though I need the decoder boxes for both to get all the channels, but the TiVo (Series 2) should work fine with a low-def decoder box.

Now I need to save up some dough for a pcHDTV card and get that running in my MythTV rig, which is pretty much ready to go, otherwise.

I may even try and do some OT at work so I can order the new tuner as quick as I can. Wink

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:43 pm Reply with quote
toups
 
Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 18




tytus wrote:
What was the outcome of your research? I am thinking also about switching from Comcast to Verizon and have mythtv working...


Well, the quick answer is that the HD locals and the "local plus" channels are not encrypted. The analog locals (channels<50) appear to be mirrored unencrypted in the digital channels. There may also be an oddball channel or two that is also not encryped. The music channels are also not encrypted. However, only the HD locals and the "local plus" channels are reporting their identification. Note the digital stations are QAM encoded.

To make a long story short, nearly all of the non-local channels are encrypted.

For my purposes, I am reasonably happy since I want to use my mythtv box to record the HD locals to take some of the load off of the Verizon DVR since HD takes up lots of space. I would have been happier if the HD nationals were also not encrypted, but that is not to be.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:34 pm Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




That's some good news on the local stuff. Smile

I did make some calls on thursday and once again had to spend some time on the phone with folks at FIOS- I have a business FIOS internet connection for some of my computer interests, and apparently the TV scheduling system does not get along with static ip FIOS ONT (fiber optic box.)

Since I am not actually a business, or in a business zoned area, I can get another ONT though. Very Happy

They will be here to connect my FIOS TV on thursday. Wink
And it will cost me about $20 LESS per month than comcast.

I will be able to make a partial report then, but I do not yet have a pchdtv card- budget is a bit tight around the homestead, so a full report on any success I have will have to wait a bit.
Not too long though- I collect my change and periodically count it all up:
about $90 towards the card right now. Wink

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:16 am Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




Update time:

The FIOS is in and working fine in general-

TiVo Series 2 with standard TV is all set.

The multimedia/pvr computer is more troublesome.
Currently I am again using my old tuner- the HD box apparently sends an NTSC signal along with the ATSC one or something; in any case, the media system is running though NOT with HD.

Install/driver/config issues abound right now.

Distros I have tried so far:
Knoppmyth: (Debian Sid with Knoppix stuff mixed in) v4l v1 driver works, ntsc only. Sound is buggy, picture is not great.
SimplyMepis: (Debian based) same as Knoppmyth.

Now trying Ubuntu Edgy per suggestion of someone here, also planning on trying SuSe.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:50 am Reply with quote
dreamdreams
 
Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Boston




I think we can use an IR blaster to control FIOS box from media PC. We probably can't scan channel this way though.

Dose anybody know what format FIOS box outputs to TV? It must be unencrypted. But is it digital or analog?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:01 am Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




My basic tuner cable box has numerous video outs:
composite, component, hdmi, s-video, coax and 1394

composite, coax and s-video are analog and do NOT carry HD signals
component, hdmi and 1394 can output hi-def signal

(Note that 1394 is NOT enabled on my tuner stb, but I have read reports of dvr boxes that it does work on, though it is encrypted.)

The DVR boxes do not have a coax connection, I believe... not sure what they do have.

As for using an IRblaster- that was my plan, but I am unable to get my irblaster working.
At all.

The signal from the rf/coax on my STB is unencrypted and I can receive all channels from the stb. S-video and composite should be the same.

Right now, my Hauppage pvr350 works fine when set this way- tuned on channel 3 and using the FIOS stb to change actual channels.
IF I had the IRblaster working, it should be possible to use that to change channels and have scheduled recording working just fine.
Since this configuration does NOT (using rf/coax for signal) does not carry HD signal anyway, the pcHDTV card is not required, and in fact the pvr350 hardware works better.

Since I now have more time into getting all of this working than I needed for the first time I installed Gentoo linux a few years back, I'm taking a break. Wink

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:11 am Reply with quote
dreamdreams
 
Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Boston




rogerdugans wrote:
My basic tuner cable box has numerous video outs:
composite, component, hdmi, s-video, coax and 1394

composite, coax and s-video are analog and do NOT carry HD signals
component, hdmi and 1394 can output hi-def signal

(Note that 1394 is NOT enabled on my tuner stb, but I have read reports of dvr boxes that it does work on, though it is encrypted.)



So if using FIOS TV it seems that a Tuner card is not necessary. Instead, we need a capture card which has HDMI input.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:22 am Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




dreamdreams wrote:


So if using FIOS TV it seems that a Tuner card is not necessary. Instead, we need a capture card which has HDMI input.


A capture card with hdmi (possibly with DVI adapter might work too) or component input should work to store HD programming, though something would be needed for scheduling and channel changing.

One of the things I WILL be checking on once I have a dvr box is the firewire... Wink

I know that there is support for firewire tuners and channel changing available, but I believe there is a problem with encryption on the firewire.

IF a capture card that can work is available, and the firewire port DOES work for changing channels, that could be the combination that does the trick.

Definitive answers are something I just don't have right now though-
my stb firewire is disabled, it seems.
I do have a buddy with a FIOS HD dvr and he has had success capturing streams, but they are encrypted and I do not know if he has had success changing channels.

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Verizon FIOS HDTV and pcHDTV cards
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