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Help Tuning Channels with HD-3000
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:21 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 26 Apr 2006
Posts: 2

I recently purchased an HD-3000 card for use in a MythTV system that I am working on. Although I am a long time Linux user this is my first attempt at setting up any type of PVR/DVR system, so my knowledge of some of things involved in the setup, especially with regards to TV formats (NTSC, ATSC, HDTV, QAM256, etc.) is definitely at a beginner's level.

I have a line from my cable TV feed (Comcast - Boston, MA area) going directly into the HD-3000. Using some documentation from the MythTV wiki I was able to get the card configured and working, and I can currently tune about a dozen channels (most of them HDTV). Honestly, based on research I did before purchasing the card this is about what I expected. However, some of the things I am seeing during the setup and configuration process have me confused, and wondering if I should actually be able to tune more channels. (Note: I know that the HD-3000 can also tune analog channels, and I'm patiently waiting for the next release of MythTV, which I believe will have support for using the card in both analog and digital modes. For the purposes of this post I am referring strictly to the digital side of things)

I am using the tools from the dvb-apps package along with mplayer to try to figure out what channels I can get. Right off the bat, one thing that has me confused is that I have run the "atscscan" command several times, and each time I get slightly different results. Why would this change? Beyond that, I usually get around 300 (give or take a few) "services" found by the atscscan command. From research I did on the web I have found that Comcast strips out some of the information, so I have no idea what these "services" really are. I am also seeing that of the 300 or so channels, roughly two-thirds have no Video ID. For now I am basically ignoring these channels. However, even after eliminating these channels, I still have around 90 channels that are showing up with valid Video and Audio ID's. The problem is that when I try to tune the channels I mostly get various forms of nothing. When using azap to tune and mplayer to view most of them either just sit there in mplayer until I hit CTRL-C, or it sits for a while and then dies, with an error message of "NO VIDEO! NO AUDIO! NO SUBS (yet)!". Again, from information I found on the web this may simply be an indication that the channel is encrypted and I will not be able to tune in. But, here are some of the other things that have me confused:
1. Of the channels I have been able to tune one is a channel that is part of Comcast's Digital Cable Tier (Style channel). Maybe it is just an oversight by Comcast, but I don't understand why only one of the Digital Cable channels would be unencrypted.
2. I've gone through the process of trying to tune the 90 or so channels several times. During a couple of these passes I was able to tune one or two of the Digital Music channels that are available from my cable company. I don't understand why I would only be able to tune one or two of these channels. Also, it doesn't seem to be consistent on which of the Digital Music channels I can tune, and sometimes I will go through the entire pass and not tune any of them.
3. I've hooked a cable feed directly into a Sony TV that has a built-in HD-tuner and I'm able to tune more channels this way than when going into the HD-3000 card. I don't understand why I wouldn't be able to get most, if not all, of the same channels with either method.

I apologize for the long post. Overall I'm pretty satisfied with the HD-3000, but I just feel like I am missing something. Any help on clearing up my confusion would be greatly appreciated.
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Help Tuning Channels with HD-3000
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