Comcast Digital Tuner Boxes and Mythtv

(2006.08.18)

Units Available within Oregon

DCT-3412 - Almost all channels except local channels are blocked from being recorded or obtained via IEEE1394 (Firewire) port.  Channel changing is said to be supported via Firewire, but why pay the $10 box rental when the same functionality can be obtained via  a DCT-700.

DCT-700 - Only has svideo and composite with audio connections.  Infrared is the only option for controlling remotely for channel changing.  A brief search on google showed ir blasters having issues with the "0" key.

DCT-2500 - Comcast had an old box laying around the office.  This has a serial connection for controlling via serial port (ie. Changing channels for Mythtv).

Experience

It took me a day and two "five mile trips to the Comcast Office" to find out 5c (a firewire copyright protection blocking technique) had been deployed across all channels except my locally broadcasted channels (1-10) leaving me not able to record the good looking girls on FoxNews or CNN!  I wish they would have told me this at the front office concernging firewire port is blocked from recording on all channels.   I did state my intent on using a VCR to record my previously mentioned channels.

I called Comcast Support and voiced my frustration with not being able to record intermittent shows on such channels as CourtTV for later viewing, as recording and archiving to the PVR/DVR unit is unreliable.  (Search for lost recording complaints for DVR/PVR units on google.com.)   Customer Support also advised composite and svideo sources can and are also blocked.

I'm not a movie fanatic or somebody wanting to distribute or even obtain a collection of shows for which I haven't paid for.

Synopsis

Ditch the Digital Setup Box(es) and just use the analog signal with Mythtv. 

After voicing my complaint to Customer Service for making me look like an idiot for returning several boxes for lack of functionality, they readily refunded the box exchange fee. 


What to do without the Playboy Channel?  Buy the magazine?