Cliff from the no-television-required dept.
William George asks: "As of April 1st, 2004 it has been required that all cable companies in the United States be able to provide customers, upon request, with a High Definition set-top box with IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connectivity (e-CFR Part 76.640 Section 4 Subsection i). This was designed to allow easier connections between modern TVs, set-top boxes, and digital PVRs. However, it should also allow for a connection to a computer... at least in theory. Well, I am out to test that theory. After extended communication with my local cable company (CableONE) they have arranged to send out a pair of techs to help me try this out. The arrangement is for them to come out on September 22, and with phone support from their corporate offices and Motorola (the company that provides their set-top boxes) we are going to see if it will work."
"I have a Windows XP-based PC, and I recently added a 3-port FireWire card specifically to test this out. There is only one problem: software. Macs apparently have software built in for this, but I am having trouble finding a solution for Windows (Linux would be worth trying too, but I have not had any experience with it before). Does anyone out there know of any software for Windows that allows viewing and/or recording of an MPEG-2 transport stream over a FireWire connection? I found one website with a trial version of some software available for download, and I think it might have even been mentioned in a previous Slashdot post. However, their software crashed during installation even though my hardware meets their stated requirements and my FireWire card is based on a TI (Texas Instruments) chipset as they specify. Contact to their tech support resulted in instructions to try again, which I did with no luck. From reading their software description, however, it looks like it is only designed to store the video recording on a computer and then display it back to a TV - which is not what I need anyway. I want to get rid of the TV completely and allow for viewing and recording of pure, digital HDTV directly on a PC. Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated, and if this works I will set up a website with instructions on how to do it yourself!"
"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation."
-- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments