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Old 2006-01-26, 01:11 PM   #1
danijoe
 
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Default Computer as PVR - How To?

Hi There,

Anyone here using their computer as a PVR? I have an HP Media Center computer which I have hooked up to cable. I also have an SA8000 and subscribe to the ultimate VIP package with Rogers. As well, I have 2 Linksys Media Center extenders which I can use to watch TV, show pics etc from my computer.

I am almost ready to make the leap to full computer use for my PVR and getting rid of my SA8000 now that Computer/extender system appears to be very stable. I am also thinking about downgrading my service with Rogers to the bare bones digital cable. (I can't afford almost $130. a month!). Does anyone have a cable box hooked up to their computer? I'd like to ask about your experience with it.

Joe
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Old 2006-01-26, 01:35 PM   #2
jvincent
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You will only be able to record analog cables with the PVR capture cards. The digital channels are all encrypted and are not tunable by any of the PVR cards on the market.

Until ATI delivers their cableCard enabled AIW card AND (big AND) the various cable companies decide to support cableCard, you are out of luck.

It's possible to kludge a solution that uses the S-video out of a STB, but it's more hassle than it's worth.
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Old 2006-01-26, 02:25 PM   #3
agover
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danijoe
Anyone here using their computer as a PVR?
Im using a software pvr called SageTV to deal with my pvr needs. Basically it is hooked up to 1 SA3200 (standard def) rogers cable box combined with two fusion 5 gold ATSC OTA HD tuners. (so it can record 1 SD program and 2 HD programs at the same time)

The SA3200 needs to be controlled by Sage using an IR blaster (basically an IR transmitter) which serves to change the channels when necessary.

Some of the capture cards come with IR blasters now and they are supported by a number of PVR software packages (MCE, Sage,beyondtv etc). Some third party IR transmitters (IRMan etc) can control multiple tuners.

Ive been using either sage or Tivo with Rogers SA set top boxes for over 3 years without and major problems. The worst issue is the occasional missed show because the set top box misses a IR transmission.
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Old 2006-01-26, 09:57 PM   #4
e268
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danijoe
Anyone here using their computer as a PVR?
I just hooked up the cable, not stb, to Sapphire Theatrix 550 Pro card. I only do limited recording, but it works very well. I use GBPVR as htpc frontend, and it even has plugins to remove commercials. The only downside is analog tv only. But there is not really much HD programming that I am interested in, and also I noticed that regular channels are looking pretty good. GBPVR can also work with MVP.
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Old 2006-01-27, 03:00 AM   #5
furball69
 
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I've used an ATI All In Wonder to capture from cable, satellite, and cable box and burned many a DVD from the captures. If you want to record from a cable box, you have to tell it to tune the program, then set a timer recording on the software you are using. Of course, your software may be different or may even have an IR blaster, making things easier.
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Old 2006-03-02, 03:44 PM   #6
emmanuelm
 
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Default So, Danijoe, did it work?

Curious to know if XP MCE can decode the Rogers digital signal directly.
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Old 2006-03-02, 04:10 PM   #7
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In short NO
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Old 2006-03-03, 09:12 AM   #8
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Im using a SA3250 HD box on my MCE machine as most of the material I want to record is comming off of the HD Channels, although I can only capture from the S-video port at this time the resulting recorded programs/recorded DVD's Look Very acceptable indeed. The recorded DVD's When played back on a SD tv
look as good or better then most realtime Cable Broadcasts.
Rogers/ Microsoft Please Hurry up and Bring on Cable card, Please please
pretty please, I cant wait,
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Old 2006-03-25, 03:32 PM   #9
nunoborges
 
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Does anybody know where i can buy an IR Blaster in Toronto? I don't want to have to shop in the US. Many of them don't ship to CA and if they do i'll have to fork up customs charges. bleh!

Cheers,

Nuno
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Old 2006-03-30, 07:55 PM   #10
shinysuitman
 
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Default Htpc

hi I have a sa3250 hd box from rogers and i have mce 2005. I need to know what card I can use to record HD in full quality to my mce.
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Old 2006-03-31, 08:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvincent
You will only be able to record analog cables with the PVR capture cards. The digital channels are all encrypted and are not tunable by any of the PVR cards on the market.
With an IR blaster, you can easily control your set-top box for PVR functionality. My HTPC has 3 tuners. A Hauppauge 500MCE (dual-tuner) and an SA3200 box controled by a USB-UIRT. BeyondTV is the software I use and it's controlling everything. I can very easily make it record shows on TMN, no problems. I have full access to digital channels.
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Old 2006-03-31, 08:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinysuitman
hi I have a sa3250 hd box from rogers and i have mce 2005. I need to know what card I can use to record HD in full quality to my mce.
There are cards that can take an HD component input source, but they're very expensive and unsupported by most PVR softwares. I don't think there's anything available right now to offer a practical and reasonably priced solution. I guess we'll have to wait for Windows Vista and HDCP compliant Firewire add-on cards to arrive for that.
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Old 2006-03-31, 08:43 AM   #13
MarcP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunoborges
Does anybody know where i can buy an IR Blaster in Toronto? I don't want to have to shop in the US. Many of them don't ship to CA and if they do i'll have to fork up customs charges. bleh!
I bought a USB-UIRT from www.ncix.com. Allows you to use ANY remote control on your HTPC and then control pretty much any set-top boxes too. I used a freeware software called HIP to map my remote contol keys to my PVR softwares key functions.
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Old 2006-03-31, 10:08 AM   #14
57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcP
I guess we'll have to wait for Windows Vista and HDCP compliant Firewire add-on cards to arrive for that.
HDCP is for displays only, it has nothing to do with recording. Perhaps you are confusing HDCP, 5C and broadcast flags, which are all different.

The firewire connections are not activated on any Rogers STBs, and that may not happen for a long time. See the Digital Home FAQ "recording HD".
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Old 2006-03-31, 10:14 AM   #15
MarcP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57
HDCP is for displays only, it has nothing to do with recording. Perhaps you are confusing HDCP, 5C and broadcast flags, which are all different.
I was refering to using an STB as a tuner as many are already doing for digital cable. I'm being hopeful here (maybe foolishly) that we may have firewire someday. And in this scenario, won't you need an HDCP compliant firewire port? Windows Vista is promoted to have PVP-OPM.

However, I'm not that hopeful to expect a PC HD-tuner that will work on digital cable someday. I fear the set-top box tuning will be the only option.
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