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-   -   Unable to use TV tuner with shaw? (

todmac 2012-02-11 02:07 PM

Unable to use TV tuner with shaw?
I have shaw cable,and recently bought a mac to make a home theater pc system.
I bought an elgato hd-homerun as a tv tuner, it does not however recognize the shaw cable signal (except for the digital music channels )
I only hoped to get the basic cable channels same as if i plugged the cable into my tv..... but i cant get those.
Can anyone let me know if there is a way (device or otherwise) that i can unencrypt the signal before it goes into the hd-homerun?
i just paid 1000$ for a system that doesnt work, and shaw keeps telling me they dont support it and cant help.
thanks very much for any help.

57 2012-02-11 04:51 PM

Perhaps your PC tuner is ATSC/QAM and not NTSC? Even if it has NTSC, most areas of Shaw are mostly digital now and you would only receive say channels 2-22 on Analogue. You would need to rent/purchase a Set top box (STB) from your service provider to decrypt the channels. The STB would function as your tuner and most people would then use an Hauppauge to record in HD. I have moved this to the HTPC Forum here. Here are some posts that you should check out:

Recording HD:


Useful Post:

Also check out the other threads here in the HTPC forum. Please advise if you wish to record HD or only SD.

pnear 2012-02-11 07:25 PM

Yes, the HDHomerun is digital only and won't be able to tune in your analog channels. It can be confusing because the US cable systems have different rules that require the basic channels to be unencrypted, and the premium channels to support a decryption called CableCard.

In Canada, neither is true unfortunately. You get whatever your cable company chooses not to encrypt.

I'm not that familiar with the Mac products, but you likely need one of Elegato's hybrid tuners to encode the analog channels.

Depending where you live, you may be surprised how many over-the-air channels you can get with that HDHomerun. Go to and type in your address. It will tell you how many channels you can receive via antenna (and they'll be better quality than your analog cable).


pnear 2012-02-11 07:26 PM

Oh, and the direct answer to your question is no. There are no devices which can decrypt the cable signal (besides your Shaw set-top-box).

j0dest3r 2012-02-12 01:27 AM

The cable operators in this country simply don't cater to HT / Computer enthusiasts and only care about the masses with their traditional viewing systems. Your only option if you care about HD is to record the signals from an over the air antenna. I wish I could tell you complaining to the CRTC would help, but unfortunately it is pointless!

57 2012-02-12 11:20 AM


Your only option if you care about HD is to record the signals from an over the air antenna
That is simply not true. You can get an HD STB from your provider and use the Hauppauge to record and some software to control it all, as discussed many times in this HTPC forum. It also gets you the many channels offered by the providers since the few OTA stations in many areas are simply not enough for most people. Let's keep to the discussion at hand and not turn this into an OTA, anti-provider thread.

VuMax 2012-02-12 04:24 PM

Plus, some Shaw STBs have their Firewire ports enabled and digital (including HD) signals you subscribe to can be recorded from there with the proper software. There are threads here about that as well.

todmac 2012-02-13 12:25 AM

Thanks everyone, here is what i learned
HI everyone,
Here is what i learned.
I originally wanted to get just analog cable (basic cable channels) on my mac mini, with the ability to record. I have an old HP touchsmart computer that i plugged the coaxial cable in the bedroom into, and was able to do this with via media center.
I learned that the touchsmart uses an NTSC card which will pick up some analog or basic cable channels. Finding an NTSC card for a mac however proved to be almost impossible. (The first person that replied to my post was bang on the money about this ).
What i ended up doing was returning my Elgato HD Homerun ( was ATSC) and buying an Elgato EyeTV. I tried to hook this up to my digital set top box, only to find out that the output on the set top box (only had one jack ) wouldn't work with the Eyetv ( has red green blue input ) so i ended up having to get an HD set top box ( add another 170$ ). with this set up i am able to watch tv on the mac, use the elgato software to record, pause, rewind, etc. and best part of this system is that it "talks" to the set top box, so when i change the channel on the computer (or when a recording begins and causes the channel to change ) it sends a signal to the set top box and changes the channell. now i am getting a true PVR experience from my mac mini.
thanks again for the input and advice here, as always its been a learning experience !


57 2012-02-13 12:55 AM

Thank you very much for the feedback and your resolution.

pnear 2012-02-13 10:03 AM

Point of clarification for future readers of this thread.

You can no longer purchase an NTSC-only tuner due to US law which requires all tuners to support digital transmission. The newer generation tuners that support NTSC are now called hybrid tuners, which are able to tune in both NTSC and ATSC.

Glad to hear you got it all working!


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