Categorized | HDTV

New pcHDTV Open Source MythTV Friendly HDTV Card Available

Posted on 08 November 2004 by

via pcHDTV Card Available, Legal for Now (slashdot)

corby writes “pcHDTV has announced that their new HD-3000 Hi Definition Television Card (currently slashdotted) will be shipping tomorrow, November 8th. The card is supported under Linux, and captures NTSC and ATSC video streams. It also ignores the Broadcast Flag, which means that it will be illegal in the States starting July 1st, 2005, under a recent FCC Order.

Great Mythtv mailing list thread with info which i’ve copy-pasted to read more for the truly lazy… =)

brandon+myth at linuxis

Oct 19, 2004, 8:53 AM

Post #1 of 19 (169 views)
Answers about pcHDTV HD-3000 support in Myth, QAM support, and more
Here are some answers that questions that many people are going to be
asking/re-asking about the pcHDTV hd-3000 card, and to save confusion…

Q: Why the HD-3000 card?

A: The HD-2000 card used older components that are now obsolete.

Q: Is the HD-3000 card better?

A: You could say slightly, but not much that anyone would notice really.
The new chip has better algorithms to reduce multi-path that can cause
some signal problems, but ATSC will always be plagued with multi-path
problems because of it’s design. (And the only way to fix it is to
choose another spec, which isn’t going to happen now… Also I’ve found
that you’ll likely never get good reception if you antenna isn’t
perfectly still, so say goodbye to palm TV’s and car TV’s).

Q: Will the HD-3000 let me watch HD cable?

A: Shortly yes, but right now no. pcHDTV has the micro code that is used
for decode cable signals. This is what prevented the HD-2000 from
allowing users to watch HD cable – the HD-2000 card does support QAM,
but pcHDTV was not able to get the micro code, but this still could
happen, but don’t hold your breath. — Someone could /guess/ the micro
code but good luck because you’ll need it.

Also, just because you can decode the HD cable does not mean you can
watch it. You can only watch unencrypted cable. If cable providers
decide to encrypt signals and then sell special set top boxes that know
how to decrypt that signal you’ll not be able to watch it with the
HD-3000 card. Whether your cable provider sends plan old QAM or
encrypted QAM varries greatly. Call your cable provider to know for
sure (But be aware that the customer service person may just tell you
yes because that’s what they would assume…) Also, only some channels
could be encrypted and others may not be.

In some markets you could have 0% encrypted, in others it could be 100%.
Nation wide it’s around 70% not 30% is from people I have spoken with.

As for when the HD-3000 card will have QAM support, my personal
guess (And it is a guess) would be 1-2 months.

Q: Does the HD-3000 have anything else new?

A: Yes, it has composite and svga video in. The audio out for the NTSC
tuner also has an external jack and it is stereo, as the HD-2000 was
internal and only mono.

Q: How long until Myth supports the HD-3000 card?

A: How does Now sound? I spent a few hours over at pcHDTV a couple
weeks ago to built a myth box. I was given base fedora box with the
driver for the HD-3000 card compiled and loaded into the kernel. I
grabbed the latest CVS of Myth and went through the setup as I do on the
HD-2000 cards and it worked right off, nothing special.

Q: What about windows drivers?

A: There are plans for windows drivers, but it will probably be a few
months before we see them.

Q: Can I use these cards after July 1st 2005?

A: Yes you can use them, they are “grandfathered” into the new
regulations. It will always be completely legal to use them. The card
ignores the copy right bit and if a show has this bit enabled, the
card doesn’t care and will save the stream in full quality anyway.

Q: Can I get a card after July 1st 2005?

A: This becomes a very gray area. From what I have heard, the
regulation prohibits you from SELLING devices cross STATE boundries that
do not follow the new regulations. From what I hear, if you assemble
a HD tuner yourself, it is still legal. I know though that the
HD-3000 card will not be sold after July 1st 2005 if the EFF and other
groups don’t win the case to fight the broadcast flag. I am 100% sure
this is not the end of HDTV in Myth or any computer, and I’m not just
refering to using firewire or usb from dish/cable boxes to get the HD
into Myth. For the next little while I can’t comment though.

If I missed a common question let me know, or feel free to contact me
off list.


#### More specs from the pchdtv page (it’s loading real slow)
The pcHDTV™ HD-3000 Hi Definition Television Card is the next generation digital television card to be produced especially for the Linux video hobbyist market. Shipped with the open source multimedia player, Xine, the card provides a ATSC stream to the Xine mpeg2 decoder for playback and can be used with MythTV. Priced at only $189.89 – We are now taking orders and shipping within a week of the order. Volume discounts start on just 2 cards saving $4.89 ea. and $9.89 on 5 or more cards

The HD-3000 Hi Definition Television PCI Card is an universal PCI 2.2 compliant card. The card receives NTSC and ATSC Signals and converts them to digital streams which are transported across the PCI bus. Display and MPEG2 decoding are done on the host computer in software and displayed on the computers monitor. The pcHDTV Hi Definition PCI card is based on Oren Semiconductor’s ATSC receiver chip and Conexant’s CX23883 NTSC receiver chip providing excellent HD and SD reception.

Key Features

* Cost effective ATSC/NTSC TV reception card
* Open source drivers and player
* All-software HDTV decoder
* Supports all 18 ATSC compliant digital formats
* Supports NTSC Analog Television
* Upto 4 cards supported in a single system for recording and display of multiple programs.
* Compatible with the HD-2000 card.
* Digital Video Recording, Time Shifting and Playback
* Accelerated HDTV support with nVidia video cards.
* Accelerated IDCT and Motion Compensation with GeForce4 Mx cards
* Accelerated Motion Compensation with GeForce4 TI cards
* Selectable Weave or One Field de-interlacing for interlaced formats
* Command line support for station scanning
* Command line support for station signal strength
* Command line support for recording.


* One RF TV antenna coaxal reception port
* One SVIDEO input port
* One composite video and sound port
* One stereo connection jack to sound card for analog TV System


* IntelR PentiumR 1200Mhz or higher
* Linux Red Hat Linux 9.0 Fedora core 1 and 2
* Sound card.
* 256 MB RAM or higher
* CD ROM Drive
* One available PCI slot Currently the HD-3000 is NOT supported in Windows 98T, Windows 2000T or Windows XPT however Windows drivers are include for those wishing to experiment with the card in Microsoft Windows.

Card Specifications

* 2, 4, 8 and 16-VSB capable hardware, Currently only 8-VSB is supported.
* 4″ high by 5″ wide profile
* 19.4Mbps 8-VSB (ATSC) transfer rate

The product includes source code for xine-hd and modified xine player for
the HD-3000 and the HD-3000 modified V4L video driver both under the GPL.