questionswhat hardware do i need to watch/record hdtv from…

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Your going to need to hook the video output of the cable box they will provide you to something like this: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr.html

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@catbertthegreat: I'm hoping for something better than an IR blaster solution.

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@catbertthegreat: Nice! Expensive, but exactly what I'm looking for.

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@shawnmiller: Votes aren't sticking, comments are screwy, and the comment count is also messed up. I have now voted up @catbertthegreat's suggestion twice, and I see that @chris12345 is posting test messages again, so it's not just me.

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@shrdlu: We have been working on a large code refactor utilizing Amazon SimpleDB's new consistent read and conditional put features (http://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2010/02/24/amazon-simpledb-introduces-consistent-reads/) that will address these issues.

We're taking extra time to test it thoroughly. It's working well in the test environment so far, but we have a few more functional test cases to look at. I plan to release it along with a couple big new features soon. Next week should be interesting.

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@shawnmiller: So your saying next week the site will explode, aren't you?

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shawnmiller: Ooh! Fresh deals page folders? Staff badges? Being able to move the "What's Your Comment?" lightbox around the page? PMs? Static reply and tattle buttons?

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@shawnmiller: That's interesting when you click on Visit the Amazon Simple DB page to learn more. It outlines the features, and looks great! Should be exciting to watch what happens next week.

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I asked a guy at the local walk-in Charter service center about cable cards. I'm pretty sure this guy was a lead rep but he said he never heard of cable cards. Anyone have a different experience?

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Yes - Charter Cable DOES have cable cards (OK - So I'm a bit late on chiming in, but didn't see this topic)

I was installing those cable cards out of Reno, NV back in 2006.

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It's my understanding Cable Cards don't give you access to ALL premium channels on some providers. Maybe i'm wrong, but either way, FCC just released new regs last week.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/14/the-fcc-changes-the-cablecard-rules-but-not-dramatically/

I have an HDPVR and it works okay. I think there's a pretty big user community out there for it. Not sure on the cable cards though. with the HDPVR you can recored anything that has component output, BLU-ray players, 360s, PS3s. My next project is getting it to run on Windows Home Server with SageTV. WMC doesnt run on WHS :(

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@wootcompare: Don't know if it's by market area, but I've asked several times and each time it's "No". Each time the CSR seemed to know what a cable card is.

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@shawnmiller: Shawn, I got the Ceton Infinitv 4 at home with FiOS. It's what you need. Let me know if you have any questions.

edit: You need the card, not necessarily FiOS.

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1) Get decent hardware. My El Cheapo ATI card (from here, btw) can take almost any one hour show, make a three to five GB recording (1gb at a time, btw) and turn it into fuzzy crapola. My good ATI card does a bit better.
2) A lot of output that looks kinda good going to an interlaced old TV ten feet away doesn't always quite look as good on a LCD monitor at two feet. You can't fix insufficient data.
3) Don't forget the commercials, etc. They ain't gonna delete themselves!
4) The cable card thing is a token backpat to make you think that you don't really need cable company hardware to see cable company product. Tis the reason TIVO is dying.
5) Sometimes shows on cable (or channels, or whatever) have anti-copy "flags" that either degrade or stop any basic copy schemes. Try to copy "Avatar" to see an example. Here in LaLaLand, Time Warner is somewhat infamous for not allowing any recording past it's own DVR boxes. Unless you rent another cablecard.