This is Jeff, I wrote the article. I'll try to answer your questions as best I can, am at work right now so can't check
some of what you asked out.
> 1. How will this work with Dish or DirecTV? Do you still have to go from the sat box to the tuner and set the channel on
> the sat box to record on the computer?
I don't have Dish or DirecTV so this is presumtion on my part, but since the Dish or DirecTV has to authenticate, you
would have to go from the sat box to the tuner. Supposedly the MCE remote can control your cable box, but I spent
about an hour trying to get that to work (it even tried to learn the buttons one at a time) and eventually I gave up
trying to get it to work. Even if you could get that to work however, the problem is unattended recording, and while
you could possibly get the remote to change channels, as another poster pointed out, without an IR blaster and some
means for it to realize it has to change the channel that way, you would'nt have much success. Remeber, this
is based somewhat on speculation on my part, but I would say that this wouldn't work well for a Dish/DirecTV setup.
> 2. Did you try an OTA signal for HD? No antenna included, that kinda sux.
Correct, no included antenna, but yes I did try an OTA signal and being that OTA Digital is compartive to any
digital signal in that it's either an on or off proposition, the quality was exactly the same as a digital cable channel.
The only limitation with OTA is the signal you are receiving, so depending on that, you tend to get more freezes/frame
loss (again, that's based on my signal quality/antenna)
> 3. Will it record to 720p or 1080p? What format (avi, wmv, mkv....)
My TV has 480i/480p/1080i capabilities, no 720p or 1080p, so I wasn't able to test that, the card though says it
does support 720p60 and 1080i/p30
As for format , I'll double check that when I get home, I have things recorded both through the Asus app and through
windows media center, I would imagine that depending on the app it may save in different formats, I would hope
however that due to the MPEG encoders it would save in mpg, but I will check later on.
> 4. Did you try to set the recorded shows to a seperate drive, the time delay to yet another drive and then have the main
> program on the normal drive?
No, and I do believe that would have made a difference. I don't think you can have the time delay to a separate drive,
but having the recordings/time delay to a separate drive would definately have made a difference.
> 5. Will the built in tuner pick up HBO and such or is this another time you have to go from the sat or digital cable box to
> the computer, then set the channel on the box for the computer to record?
Because HBO is an authenticated channel, you would absolutely have to go through the cable box. Without premium
channels, in fact, that is one of the main purposes behind a cable box. It is also why you need cable cards with
a Tivo, specifically to decrypt encrypted streams such as HBO. The cable company sets up your specific address
(there are entire discussions on how this works elsewhere, but for simplicities sake lets just call it a MAC address) on
their backend and permissions it with your specific address, so the tuner would be unable to decrypt the signal
even if it had decryption capabilities. it is also linked to the hardware - case in point, the motorola cable box
I have has, inside, hidden, a cable card (i thought this was rather funny) - I took the cable card out, and
plugged it into my Tivo. If the authentication was purely based on the cable card device itself, then
there wouldn't have been a problem as the device MAC doesn't change when you plug it into something
else (just like a NIC doesn't) - but it did not work (and in fact, as soon as it realized it couldn't authenticate,
it sent a signal to the backend erasing my perms entirely - try explaining THAT to a cable company that has no idea what
a cable card is.. *sigh*)
> 6. What kind of file sizes are we talking for a 1 hour show? 480&1080 HD and SD comparison would be nice.
I'll take a look when I get home. I might have both, if not, I'll set it to record both a 1-hour SD and 1-hour HD.
The HD goes to 1080i automatically and the SD goes to 480i automatically, this is a function of my TV/cable box, and isn't
controlled by the Asus.
> Main sticking point i have had is they just dont work for crap when you have sat service! I want to record a show or 2
> shows at once while watching another on tv and NONE have been able to do that
Correct, even with Tivo (before DirecTV dropped Tivo) they had problems with Sat. Dishes. The vanilla Tivo's - back then
it was the Series 2, had more functionality than the DirecTV tivo's. Mainly I think this is due to the absolute need
for the direcTV/Dish box being involved no matter what. Tivo Series 3 and Tivo HD boxes were finally able to get
the dual-tuner/All channel functionality with cable by getting the FCC to mandate cable companies provide
cable cards to customers (the cable companies fought this very hard because they didn't want to lose DVR business)
Eventually Tivo won (yes, I cant get cable cards because I a forced to use a rinky-dink no-name cable company that
has zero idea as to what a cable card is). Even with cable cards, you still can't get 100% cable functionality - for example,
with Charter here in St. Louis they have "Charter On-Demand" whereby you can access a menu and select an HBO show
for example, and Charter will stream it to you. Cable cards are one-way devices, they are not bi-directional, and
due to the on-demand service needing bi-directional capabilities, you can't do it. Same with *ORDERING* pay-per-view
specifically through your cable box - no 2 way communication means no ordering through cable (you can still call
the cable company, order it over phone and set tivo to record). So with all that being said, because Dish/DirecTV
aren't able to provide separate ways of unencrypting their signal, you are always tied to the box & tuner in the box.
I think that you would run into the same problems with your setup with the Asus that you have previously.
KnightRid wrote:Have some questions...
1. How will this work with Dish or DirecTV? Do you still have to go from the sat box to the tuner and set the channel on the sat box to record on the computer?
2. Did you try an OTA signal for HD? No antenna included, that kinda sux.
3. Will it record to 720p or 1080p? What format (avi, wmv, mkv....)
4. Did you try to set the recorded shows to a seperate drive, the time delay to yet another drive and then have the main program on the normal drive?
5. Will the built in tuner pick up HBO and such or is this another time you have to go from the sat or digital cable box to the computer, then set the channel on the box for the computer to record?
6. What kind of file sizes are we talking for a 1 hour show? 480&1080 HD and SD comparison would be nice.
Main sticking point i have had is they just dont work for crap when you have sat service! I want to record a show or 2 shows at once while watching another on tv and NONE have been able to do that, hence all the questions ;) I would LOVE to have a real HTPC for recording shows and such, but with sat service, I just cant see how to do it, unless this will work.