Saturday, January 1, 2005
Don’t Touch That Port!
This week, I signed up for HD from my cable company since I can’t seem to pick up the digital signals with an antenna. They delivered a new converter box, the Motorola DCT6200 which appears to be packed with features. It has firewire, USB, RCA, component video, DVI, and a 10/100 Ethernet port, among other features. Luckily, my cable provider opted to activate all ports on the unit. Apparently, some providers purposefully deactivate various ports. Even the firmware appeared to be the latest version.
I read up on the Ethernet port and it appears the box has a built-in cable modem making the box useless for streaming content from a PC. After fiddling extensively with the firewire port, I found out that there is no driver available. A makeshift Panasonic driver seems to allow the capture to work, but doesn’t provide access to the tuner, so there’s no way to automatically change channels. I’ve heard rumors that this may never be remedied on this model.
Overall, I’m happy so far with the quality of the HD channels and the box as a whole but, as soon as I can get a fully working driver set, I’d like to set up a PC as a media center for recording shows, music playback, etc. I even saw an internal DVD recorder on sale for $40 the other night. Granted I’d probably buy a faster one, but the prices are definitely right.
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