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Old June 18, 2008, 07:09 PM
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I am looking to build a box to record Starchoice if possible. I have found very little information regarding this. Any specific tuners that will work with it?
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Old June 18, 2008, 10:11 PM
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I would imagine that you are looking for something other then their products? I don't know personally of any tuners that will openly accept a satelite signal without the service providers equipment, generally the equipment can be hooked up to a seperate tuner attached to your computer thus the software included with the hardware would allow you to record the shows that you are watching.
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Old June 18, 2008, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle Eye View Post
I would imagine that you are looking for something other then their products? I don't know personally of any tuners that will openly accept a satelite signal without the service providers equipment, generally the equipment can be hooked up to a seperate tuner attached to your computer thus the software included with the hardware would allow you to record the shows that you are watching.
ok i think you lost me. I will have a high-def satellite receiver, I just don't want to have to pay for their PVR. I'd like to setup my own. So what would I need to record tv from it just like a PVR. Set it to record all the shows I want automatically.
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Old June 18, 2008, 10:29 PM
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That shouldn't be hard at all check this website out they should have exactly what you might be looking for to do that Hauppauge Computer Works. They have a wide variety of products that should be far cheaper then purchasing any digital PVR from starchoice.
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Old July 7, 2008, 08:43 AM
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I am using an Ati 650 theater pro tuner card to recored and play back live tv using media center/ vista home premium. It works very well with non-HD tv as I don't have HD yet. I think they are making an HD version now. I have used both my bell express vu and FTA recivers with good results. Vista makes it easy to use and the 650 pro came with a remote to contol the computer from my couch. The picture quality is good, not great, but it's cheaper than buying a pvr. It works good, I would recomend trying this before shelling out huge money for a PVR. I have heard good things about the Hauppauge cards, but went with ATi as I got a good deal on the tuner card.
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Old July 7, 2008, 09:23 AM
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Be careful. "Signal theft" is illegal in Canada and they are tracking down and fining people. You may also want to keep your eye on the new Copyright legislation that is floating through parliament right now. It may very well make a lot of this kind of equipment illegal to use.
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Old July 7, 2008, 09:34 AM
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They own the receivers, there is no "signal theft", it's just like using a VCR. If I could figure out how to replace my Shaw HD-PVR with an HTPC I would.
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Old July 8, 2008, 06:21 AM
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Short answer: there is no "tuner" that will work with StarChoice.

Long answer: a "tuner" is a device that translates RF signals from and antenna or cable line into electronic signals. Terrestrial, satellite, and cable signals are all different. Each has their own set of frequencies and modulations and there are different kinds of each in different parts of the world. Each requires slightly different electronics to "tune".

You can buy a satellite "tuner" that will receive the DVB-S (I think) signals from the StarChoice satellites. It will accept the RF signals collected by your dish and translate them into binary data that the computer can see. This is probably illegal in Canada. The data you get is encrypted with Motorola's Digicypher II technology. This is not a widely used encryption scheme so no one has bothered breaking it as there are better targets out there. If a crack was available it would definitely be illegal in Canada; even if you were paying for the service you could get nailed. Because the laws are getting stricter in North America these tuners are getting harder to find. My local computer store used stock them on the shelves but no more.

The only real option you have right now for recording HD video from your StarChoice box is the Hauppauge HD PVR. This exploits the analog hole and allows you to record the HD signals from the component video output of your set top box. This is not a tuner because it does not receive RF frequencies. It is a video capture box and a serious kludge. It even comes with a WebTV era "IR Blaster" that pretends to be a remote control and changes the channels for you.

Keep in mind that this device is currently illegal in Canada. We have no time shifting or format shifting provisions in Canadian copyright law. Yes, that means that VCRs are illegal in Canada, too. Do not confuse "what everyone does" with what is legal. No, I am not saying the cops are going to raid you for your illicit VCRs. That would be a PR nightmare. However, if the proposed changes to the copyright law are enacted the device will be more illegal. It will most certainly allow you to watch your recorded shows more than once and that will be illegal. It will probably ignore any Broadcast Flags or other TMs that restrict your use and that will be illegal. No one knows what the real fall out from these changes could be and what that might mean to the average consumer but you can Google for "Bill C-61" for all the FUD you can stomach.

You can follow along with these folks if you want more information on the HD PVR.
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Old July 8, 2008, 07:20 AM
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Here is some info on ATI tuner cards. It looks like thay make an HD version now... ATI TV Wonder™ - TV Tuners for the PC These cards can also allow you to watch and record over the air (OTA) HD-TV with the use of an amplified antenna, but being in Grand- prairie there won't be any.. Here is a list of OTA HD broadcast stations in Canada:
Canadian OTA HD Channel Line-up .: HDTV Canada The list is a little dated, but there is opportunity for free HD tv in Canada.
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Old July 12, 2008, 04:50 PM
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I already have Starchoice so I do not want OTA. I've looked into the Hauppauge HD PVR, and I'll likely go that route.
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