ATSC in Canada with Windows 7 via loadmxf.exe (almost!) - Page 2 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #16 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-05-20, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 825
I haven't found the offending download, but I might have found a workaround.

At first, I thought that media center had disabled the ATSC tuners in the file mcepg1-5-0.db. I compared the disabled EPG with previous working copies. Believe me, it's numbing to comb through two 50MB files. But as far as I could tell there was no dfference between the working and disabled versions. But, reloading a previous EPG file didn't re-enable the ATSC tuners. In fact, all my backups failed to restart the ATSC tuners, even the very first hacked EPG file.

This led to a very curious, but totally useless fix.
  1. Backup mcepg1-5-0.db
  2. Run the TV Signal Setup for my location in Vancouver
  3. Delete mcepg1-5-0.db
  4. Restore the backup file mcepg1-5-0.db
  5. ATSC tuners work perfectly.
  6. Reboot
  7. ATSC tuners are disabled again

So, I concluded that the hacked EPG files where OK but the ATSC tuners were disabled elsewhere. Probably the registry. So, I pored through the ..\ehome\logs and found this interesting entry in the playback logs. These are created when you start live TV.

RecorderBroker:TunersEnumeration: Begin: Tuners Enumeration
Recorder:Recorder: #1 DeviceName=ViXS PureTV ATSC/DVBC Tuner RecorderId=b189b39e-d30f-49d2-81fd-b56a8c63e227
Recorder:Recorder: #2 DeviceName=ViXS PureTV Analog TV Tuner RecorderId=131e355b-171f-483d-a0bb-53849242e35b
Recorder:Recorder: #3 DeviceName=Hauppauge WinTV PVR PCI II TvTuner RecorderId=e5713270-6f7d-46e9-a64b-218890442d54
RecorderBroker:TunersEnumeration: End: Tuners Enumeration
RecorderModel:CheckNowRecording: #3 no change
RecorderModel:CheckNowRecording: #1 no change
RecorderModel:CheckNowRecording: #2 no change
When the hack is working, Media Centre finds 3 tuners, but once I reboot, it only finds the two analog tuners. A search of the registry found entries for those cryptic recorder IDs. The registry keys are:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Media Center\Service\Video\Tuners\

Contains entries for WDM Streaming TV Tuner Devices (analog) and BDA Tuner Devices (digital). Two fields maybe responsible for disabling the ATSC tuner:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Media Center\Settings\RecorderSettings0]

There are three keys (0,1,2) when the hack is working and only two for the analog tuners when it isn't.

After some trial and error, I was able to re-enable my ATSC tuners and the hack works after downloading new EPG data and after several reboots. So, I exported these keys when the hack was working.

Now I'm just waiting for Media Center to disable my hack so I can test this registry fix. I'm hopeul that this combination of EPG database and registry hacks will give me a permanent solution to enable ATSC tuners in Canada.
Michael DeAbreu is offline  
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post #17 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-05-22, 11:20 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4
I'm a complete HDTV newbie, but not completely computer illiterate.

So basically media center is blocking ATSC recordings, which means high def stuff.

If these hacks work out, I'll be able to use my Hauppauge 2250 card to record and watch those HD channels I'm paying for (Sportsnet HD, Discovery, TSN/TSN2, Nat. Geographic, etc) without needing another HD reciever from Shaw and hacking some IR blaster setup to get it to work?
tokesGTR is offline  
post #18 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-05-22, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Scarboro
Posts: 6,331
No Tokes - I believe these is just for OTA channels such as CBC, CTV, CBS, NBc, ABC, etc. - assuming that you live in an area that has Canadian OTA channels and/or you are close enough to a US city to pull in those channels. For example, most of us in Toronto can pull in Buffalo stations.
Wayne is offline  
post #19 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-05-22, 02:00 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4
Dang. I'm assuming there isn't any kind of a solution to this in the near future, short of getting another Shaw box and using an IR blaster?
tokesGTR is offline  
post #20 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-05-23, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 825

This site has several WordPad documents with more detailed instrucions, including many screen shots of the procedures.
Michael DeAbreu is offline  
post #21 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-05-23, 04:51 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4
Wow, I guess I should've done more researched before I went ahead and upgraded my HTPC with a bunch of new hardware, because this stuff is pretty much worthless now. Go me!
tokesGTR is offline  
post #22 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-06-08, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 825
Well, I think it's time to go beta with this.

I've been running Windows 7 Media Center with ATSC enabled for the last 3 weeks without a hitch. I've posted complete instructions at:

Send me a private message if you need help creating the merged EPG file. You can send me the backup MXF files (see Steps 1-5) and I'll merge the US and Canadian lineups.

I'm anxious to see if this works for other people.
Michael DeAbreu is offline  
post #23 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-07-07, 11:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6
Hi Michael,

I followed your instructions closely and there are no .MXF files in any of the folders you mention. I am using the RC of windows 7.

tomb18 is offline  
post #24 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-07-08, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
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It is a bit confusing. The backups that Media Center creates are hidden, system files without file extensions. You need to set the file view options of Windows Explorer to view hidden, system files and file extensions. A typical filename is: 20090621_173134. The first part is year_month_day. The second part is the time (24-hour clock). Corresponding files will have the same name in each of the three backup folders: \lineup, \recordings and \subscriptions. Those are the backup files that I rename CA.mxf or US.mxf for convenience.

I'll edit my guide to make this clearer.

This has been working great for me, but I'd like to get some confirmation. So, thanks for trying this. I'll help any way that I can.
Michael DeAbreu is offline  
post #25 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-07-08, 02:41 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 25

Thanks for posting this, I may try this tonight. Do you know if this method would work with 3 digital tuners? in Win7? For Vista, I had modify stuff in the registry to make it work.
addp009 is offline  
post #26 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-07-08, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 825
It should work. I think you can have a maximum of 4 tuners. I noticed that in the registry, there are only 4 keys for RecorderSettings(0-3)

I have it working with two analog tuners and two ATSC tuners.
  1. Visiontek All in Wonder HD Radeon 3650 (ATSC only)
  2. Vista View Saber DA-1N1-E PCI-E TV Tuner Combo (ATSC and NTSC)
  3. Hauppauge Win TV PVR 150 MCE (NTSC)

The current ATI 9.6 driver does not fully support the AIW combo tuner. So only ATSC is available to Media Center.

Good luck and PM me if you need help.
Michael DeAbreu is offline  
post #27 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-07-10, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Richmond, B.C.
Posts: 459
Great work, Michael.

Haven't decided to go Win7 or not yet....but this may make the decision easier if this pans out.
toybox is offline  
post #28 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-07-13, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6
Hi Michael,

I gave your tutorial a shot and it works! I can now tune ATSC and analog in Canada.

The only thing that is missing is the ability to get guide listings from two locations! For example I get my guide listings from the US for ATSC and my analog cable from a cable company. I am able to edit the guide to pick NBC affiliates for example but this does not work for all channels.

None the less, It works. I hope it will continue to!

A couple of hints on your tutorial. It would help to show the screen shots on the left and right with the transferred items from the US.mxf in the CA.MXF.
It would also be usefull to tell people they need to take the whole node with the sub-nodes as well.
Anyways, thanks for your efforts!
tomb18 is offline  
post #29 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-07-13, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 825
It Works!

I have been waiting ages for confirmation that this works for other people and that it wasn't too complicated.

Following your suggestion, I edited the images to clearly show which node is cut from US.mxf and where it is pasted in CA.mxf.

Using XML Notepad 2007

I added this note (Thanks Addp09)

NOTE: moving a large XML branch takes a minute or two and XML Notepad 2007 appears non-responsive even with a quad core machine.

I changed one step:

The next node is the Lineup of channels supported by the Devices in the DeviceGroup. The first five appear to be the broadband Internet channels for MSN Series, channels, movies, news, sports and music videos. They are followed by the MergedChannel nodes for the ATSC channels. Look for the element which identifies the ATSC channel, for example:
<MergedChannel matchName="OC:24:1" .../>
Copy each MergedChannel node and paste the selected XML fragment as a child of the node <channels> in the files CA.mxf.

OPTIONAL: This can quickly become tedious if you are lucky enough to live near the border and are blessed with a bunch of DTV stations. Instead, just copy the entire US <channels /> node and paste it under the <lineup /> node in CA.mxf. <channels /> seems to be simply a logical grouping of <MergedChannel /> nodes. So there is no harm in having two under <lineup/>.

Although I didn't, you might want to delete the <MergedChannel/> nodes for the Internet stations. It would have been awesome to enable streaming Internet TV. But it didn't work out.
Michael DeAbreu is offline  
post #30 of 58 (permalink) Old 2009-07-14, 12:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6
Your new explanation will be much easier for others. Good job! I figured out your original, but I guess I was just lucky (I didn't make a mistake!).
Perhaps you can let5 people know also, that XML notepad will take some time to insert some of those trees. I thought it had crashed but then on the second try I let it sit for a few minutes. And that's on a 4.1GHz quad system.

I have a couple of questions about the guide. I guess, that the listings are no longer obtained from the listing service where you set up the ATSC channels.

For example, when I set up MC in the past I specified a US postal code, and selected the service I wanted (such as Plattsburgh) and the guide was filled in.
Is there anyway to specify two channels listings to be used in the guide?

On a Side note, it would be great to write a program that would do all of the steps you explained so that all you have to do is execute something like
"MCE Canada Edition"
tomb18 is offline  

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