What is needed to use Digital Cable Service for separate view and recording?

danmirage

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Mar 24, 2013
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This is crazy to me.

The cable company in this rural area went digital. Now the set-up of cable to VCR to TV (HD) will no longer work. I used to be able to record one and watch another channel. I also have the computer connected to the TV to allow viewing Netflix and Amazon Prime on the TV.

I believe I could have two Digital cable boxes (DCBs) [run on off a splitter], one to the VCR and one to the TV. But it seems the VCR will not control the DCB and so I will always have to set the channel? I read the quality of the recording will be low, as well?

I read that a DVR connected to the DCB will only record and not allow watching a separate channel? Further, that it may be a low-quality recording. Also, the DVR cannot switch to the desired channel?

The cable company appear to offer an HD/DVR service, I see it buried on their menu, but the charge for this is EXORBITANT! I think about $420 a year on top of cable service? Outside my budget I am afraid.

What equipment/set-up could I use to record and watch now?
Ideally, I want to program a week in advance and not have to remember to set the channel each time!
I want to record one (or more) channels and watch another.

Can someone spell this out for me in sufficient detail to enable someone confused by all of this to understand?

Thank you in advance!
 

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator


Huh. My bad. I thought this one was Ethernet, but I guess it is USB to the PC. It's the SiliconDust HD Home Run Prime that's Ethernet (also three tuners).

But yes. You connect the coaxial cable from the wall outlet to the device and then from the device to the PC via USB. This turns your PC into the set top box/DVR. You can return the DCB to your cable company.

As far as RAM is concerned, I initially started my HTPC with an AMD Athlon II X2-240 and 4GB of RAM. It worked just fine watching one program while recording two more (I had used the Ceton InfiniTV4 PCI-E card), Don't know how much RAM you have in your PC connected to your TV, but I'd recommend at least 4GB. 8GB would be the sweet spot.

As far as hard drive space is concerned, I don't know how much recording you'll want to do or how long you'll want to keep those recordings, but for HD content, a two hour movie will take anywhere between 9 and 14GB of hard drive space. Half hour programs usually took less than 4GB of hard drive space. Again, depending on how much you record and how long you intend to keep it, it adds up, so you'd also want to make sure you have enough storage space.

-Wolf sends
 

danmirage

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Mar 24, 2013
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It is with Stowe Cable Systems (www.stoweaccess.com)
 

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator
Contact Stowe and see if they offer cablecards. If so, you might want to look into a TV Tuner device like the Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650.

With a cablecard from your cable company, you install this on your computer network. You use the PC connected to your HDTV to control it. You'll need some type of Media Center Program like Kodi (or Windows Media Center if using Pre-Windows 10) to view live TV and set up recordings. You will also need a Media Center Remote Control so you can handle things from the couch.

I used a similar set up for about seven years until my internal card burned out and I couldn't afford a replacement. Something to look into.

-Wolf sends
 

danmirage

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Mar 24, 2013
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Well, that is interesting. I see it has 2 tuners. The computer is Win 7. Will have to check on the cable card and then check on set up of the media center.

So, the cable card goes in the DCR. The DCR is USB to the computer and computer Media Center controlled image out to the TV.

Is the DCR coaxial from the Cable TV wire and replaces the DCB?

That could work, though it would be nice to not have to use the computer...would have to boost its RAM, etc.

 

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator


Huh. My bad. I thought this one was Ethernet, but I guess it is USB to the PC. It's the SiliconDust HD Home Run Prime that's Ethernet (also three tuners).

But yes. You connect the coaxial cable from the wall outlet to the device and then from the device to the PC via USB. This turns your PC into the set top box/DVR. You can return the DCB to your cable company.

As far as RAM is concerned, I initially started my HTPC with an AMD Athlon II X2-240 and 4GB of RAM. It worked just fine watching one program while recording two more (I had used the Ceton InfiniTV4 PCI-E card), Don't know how much RAM you have in your PC connected to your TV, but I'd recommend at least 4GB. 8GB would be the sweet spot.

As far as hard drive space is concerned, I don't know how much recording you'll want to do or how long you'll want to keep those recordings, but for HD content, a two hour movie will take anywhere between 9 and 14GB of hard drive space. Half hour programs usually took less than 4GB of hard drive space. Again, depending on how much you record and how long you intend to keep it, it adds up, so you'd also want to make sure you have enough storage space.

-Wolf sends
 
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