: HTPC PVR with Starchoice

2010-03-04, 11:02 PM
Hi Guys,

First post here. I recently converted an old Dell box into an HTPC by purchasing a Hauppauge HVR-950Q. I have it connected to my satellite connection through my Starchoice receiver. This setup works, however is a pain to use. The tuner only reads one channel out from the Starchoice. This means that I have to pick the channel on my receiver, and set it to record on my box.

SATELLITE ---> Receiver 1 ---> HTPC ---> TV

Is there anyway to integrate the 2 devices together, so that my PVR sees all the Starchoice channels, and a guide, so that I can program everything off the computer?

Ie: SATELLITE ---> HTPC (with onscreen guide)

And if so, what do I need to do so that my computer can control the satellite and pick the channel of my choosing?

Thanks in advance!

I am computer literate, but this is a first time project for me.

2010-03-05, 09:31 PM
You cannot directly tune pay satellite on your computer. There are no such tuner cards the providers would permit you use to tune their singal directly on a PC. You can only get DVB-FTA that way.

You need the receiver and the tuner/capture card. To integrate guide, you need a DVR softwar epackage, and an IR blaster, such as the USB-UIRT.

2010-03-05, 11:48 PM
Thanks for your response Classicsat!

What would you recommend for DVR Software? Where can I get a USB-UIRT?

Thanks for your help!

Michael DeAbreu
2010-03-06, 02:11 AM
Admittedly, I haven't done this myself. But I thought that some HTPC software can control other devices, like the satellite reciever, using an IR blaster. The real problem is getting the Starchoice program guide. But, Windows media center includes program guides for Canadian cable, so I'd assume they have guide data for satellite services. (They just don't have guides for OTA, but there are hacks for that)

If you are running Windows 7, try setting up Media Center and see if you can download the Shaw Direct guide info. If that works, then you can invest in an MCE remote with IR blaster.

2010-03-06, 11:53 AM
this is the setup I have

Shaw direct receiver --> HD-PVR (hauppauge) --> Win7 --> TV

win7 (media center) is a billion times better as a guide than the craptacular native shaw guide.

also, you can now schedule recordings, pause live tv, etc etc

2010-03-06, 01:12 PM
Awesome! Thanks for your help everyone!

I am running XP on my HTPC, but I will try using Media Center with my laptop. What do you guys use for an IR Blaster? Does MC support IR Blasters?

Thanks in advance.

2010-03-09, 12:56 AM

you need the MS IR receiver/blaster combo

they run about 30ish bucks

i've just recently updated to win7, had previously been running XP MCE for a couple of years

2010-03-09, 07:56 AM
What are you using for the ir blaster?

i'm assuming you're using the dvblogic code to integrate the hdpvr into mc, how do you like that?

2010-03-12, 10:48 AM
I had a ton of issues getting it installed but once it was running it's been fantastic. Certain channels seem prone to lose audio/video sync occassionally bit overall it's been very good

2010-03-16, 01:32 PM
There is a combo version of the MS MediaCente Remote that comes with 2 IR Blasters and a USB receiver.

I have this hooked up to 2 Shaw Direct receivers. Media center controls both of the receivers

Media center also recognizes the Shaw Direct guide, both new and classic.

2010-03-17, 07:34 PM
Thanks everyone!

Could anyone post a link to these MC blasters? I have looked on various websites and can't seem to find them.

2010-03-17, 11:48 PM
ebay is about the only place you'll find them these days

what you want is the MS IR beanbag

2010-03-18, 08:15 AM
do an ebay search for JF957

unfortunately the only sellers with this are not shipping to Cda so e bay dot ca will not get any hits.

You may have to build up the components you need separately.

2010-03-19, 11:34 AM
Just to clarify on this a bit - if you want to be able to record HD channels in HD then you will need the Hauppauge HD-PVR. It comes with its own IR blaster/receiver but this ddevice can be somewhat problematic.

If you only want to record SD channels then there are lots of options - any tuner card with an s-video input will suffice and then you will need the MS IR blaster to change channels. But you will only be able to watch or record one channel per satellite box. You could hook up several satellite boxes to several tuners if you wanted but then it becomes trickier to do the IR control on all of those satellite boxes. The USB-UIRT can control up to 3 devices at once - two channels using the leads from its port and one more using the front LED. I am not sure how well it does this with Win Media Center as I use SageTV.

2010-03-20, 10:51 AM
Thanks Wayne!

Does anyone have any experience using the USB-UIRT? I have read a little bit about them and they seem to be highly recommended. Is their website the only place to buy them?


2010-03-20, 10:55 AM
I have had one for years and they work very well. I use mine for switching channels on the SD cable box for my SageTV server. For HD boxes I use the firewire port for channel changing.

2010-05-27, 06:07 PM
A little late to the thread but it should be pointed out that there is a add-on for the Starchoice(ShawDirect) hardware that allows for full control and digital recording from the HD STBs. It is called R5000-HD and is fully compatible with SageTV, which since the release of SageTV 7 Beta, is flat out THE best choice for any HTPC setup.

Relevant Links:



2010-05-27, 10:43 PM
it's also the most expensive solution ;)

i haven't really heard any legit bad reviews about it though