So after my above Myth-adventure
, I reinstalled the system with MCE 2005 and downloaded the latest Firestb.msi from Timm Moores site.
At the same time, I was forced to pull one of my hauppauge 150 cards from my dual tuner setup in the bedroom. So with that, I also rebuilt that box so that I could clean up some of the mess from all of my tinkering. I will save that for another post as there is a few things that I want to touch on.
Back to the firewire fun...
I built up the system and patched fully, something that is highly recommended by Timms installation instructions. After that, I installed the Firestb.msi package but I did so with my Motorola DCT6208 hooked up to the computer. There is no definitive warning against this in the instructions but I was to discover that this is not the preferred way. It is better to leave the box disconnected and to hook the firewire cable up after the Firestb.msi package reboots the PC.
So after getting the software/drivers (There are drivers in the msi as well) installed, everything started to come together. Timm has a command line test that can be run to confirm channel changing is working. With my incorrect installation giving me unplanned insight, I can say that if you test the channel change function and it works, it nearly guarantees 100% that recording over firewire will work.
Once I was recording successfully, I started watching how things behaved. The first is that the firewire recording is stored in a subdirectory of the MCE target recording location. The directory is named "fire". Depending on how you set Firestb to handle the two recordings, er, let me take a pause and bullet out a few things...
Limitations of Firestb:
- Only works 100% on the most dominant STBs like SA and Motorola. Others will work but only to varying degrees.
- Will not push the firewire stream as the actual Live TV feed.
- Still requires an analog tuner card for each firewire connected STB
- Requires a set amount of free space for the temporary storage of the firewire recording as both the firewire and analog feed are recorded at the same time.
Back on track...
So after recording, you have 3 ways to deal with the two recordings:
- Keep both
- Delete the analog on successful firewire recording
- Archive analog recording to a subdirectory called "Old" on successful firewire recording.
I can only see using the keep options if you are leary that there is an ongoing issue. Otherwise, just set to delete the analog.
A neat thing that I took note of was that it seems that the MPEG2 stream from the firewire port produces SD quality recordings at only half the size of the Hauppauge card. HD recordings are obviously larger. Timm states that they should be around 7 GB per hour. As I continue to use the new setup, I will take a close note of how much space is used on average.
Beyond this, I can't say a whole lot. I have only been using this new setup in the main HT for a day. I can say that as annoying as the Live TV limitation is, it is not a showstopper. I still have the component video feed going to my AV switch so I can always switch directly to the STB to watch HDTV properly.