Comcast is Wrecking My Video Recordings!

I got a letter in the mail today stating that my local cable TV provider, Comcast, will be requiring digital cable boxes for viewing premium cable channels. What this effectively means, is that my current WinTV TV Tuner Card will not longer be able to record channels other than the basic local stations. So no more SciFi Channel, History Channel, FX, etc. What I’ll need to do, is get a new TV Tuner card that has an “IR Blaster” feature (which is basically a wired IR remote that “changes” the channel on the digital cable box). So, I will need to spend some money to get a new tuner card and figure out how to make it change the channel on the cable box. What a pain! I can imagine the IR Blaster not changing the channel correctly and my TV shows not being recorded.

Using an IR Blaster method seems so archaic in a digital world. I’m wondering if the new digital cable box has a connector that I can plug into a new TV tuner card? I’ve got about one month to figure this out, so I’ll keep everyone posted.


4 thoughts on “Comcast is Wrecking My Video Recordings!

  1. Comcastcares1 says:

    We apologize for the inconvenience. I use our DVR box for my recording needs and it has made my recording tasks a lot easier. If you are interested, I can reach out to my contacts and see if we have low-rate package with a DVR that we can offer to you.

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations

  2. zunetips says:

    Mark: Thanks for your comments. I’m currently using Vista Media Center on my PC to set TV recordings and watch them on my PC, in addition to using DVRMSToolbox to convert these recordings to WMV format for syncing with my Zune. Everything is working fine currently, but having to include a set top box in the mix will just complicate matters. For sure, I’ll need to get a new TV Tuner card with an IR Blaster (to change the channels on the set top box).

  3. Steve says:

    Does your current TV Tuner card also have A/V inputs? I have the WinTV PVR-150 and Iuse the MCE Remote which has a IR Receiver and a pair of blasters to change up to 2 cable/satellite boxes. The IR blaster that came with my PVR-150 never worked but the MCE IR Blaster did from the get-go. Just thought it might be a cheaper alternative

  4. zunetips says:

    Steve: I also have a WinTV PVR-150 in my system (which works great). How do you use it with the MCE Remote + IR Blasters? I don’t have a jack on the PVR-150 for an IR Blaster to plugin in.

    Edited: Ok, I think I understand. Your MCE Remote has an IR Receiver that connects to the PC via a USB port. Then, you have an IR Blaster plugged into the IR Receiver unit. The Vista Media Center software controls the IR Blaster. You’re right, in that buying a Vista-Certified MCE Remote is cheaper than getting a new video card. In fact, I don’t think that the IR Blasters that come with many video cards are Windows Media Center compatible.

    Thanks for that tip!

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