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After so many hours of trial and error I set-up the HDPVR, DVBLink, Rogers 8300HD, Windows 7 MCE and Harmony 550 remote(original MCE 2005 remote receiver hooked in) with firewire.
I am still working on to speed up the channel changes and then take care of the channels in win mce guide that I am not subscribed to. Can I use an xml file to delete some channels?

After these I might do a quick write-up for the other people who will be suffering from the same thing :)

Thank you all for the help.
 

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Could someone give me some advice.

I am thinking of jumping into the HDPVR. I have a Cogeco HD box with component out. I have a Vista VMC HTPC that currently records analog SD with 2 Hauppauge 1800 tuners and the quality is quite clear on my 42" Pany plasma. However on my 100" DLP projector, the output is not so good. I have 1 TB of space for TV recordings.

If I switch to recording HD using DVBLink, questions I have are:
1. Will the channel guide be correct for my region?
2. What format will the TV show record in (H.264)?
3. Will I be able to watch the output file directly in Vista, or do I need to load another codec? I am not keen on upgrading to Win7 just yet.
4. How much disk storage space will a one hour show take?
5. How about watching the output file on my DMA 2100 extenders? Will Transcode 360 make it watchable?
6. Is there any software that can automatically remove commercials (I currently use LifeExtender)?

One other option I may be able to take is have a dedicated PC just for HDPVR recordings and place them on my server for file sharing using Media Browser.

Hope this all makes sense.

I am not prepared to make the switch if this affects the WAF too much. Thanks to anyone who can help.
 

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OK. I think I managed to stabilize my system a bit further.
I have even found a software add on to Media Center that has a feature of disabling channels easier.
http://www.hack7mc.com/category/plugins

One bothersome thing remaining on my set-up is my rental SA 8300HD PVR receiver goes in to sleep mode if there is no activity for a while and HD-PVR streaming is lost. This requires me for a power cycle but if I forget to do that I lose some future recordings.

Is there a way to send a (fake) command via windows at regular intervals to keep the 8300HD active?

Worst case scenario, if I go buy/rent the 4250HD Rogers box do I need to worry about power save issue? Do 4250HD boxes have this annoyance as well or only 8300HD suffer from this due to the hard drive inside?
 

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Programming the 8300HD to record or auto-tune the program will "fix" the standby issues. I had to do this with a 9200. It's a PITA though since everything should theoretically be possible from the HTPC. More sophisticated remote software such a Girder should be able to provide a proper fix but it's quite expensive. If the 8300HD has discrete on/off commands, sending a power on before the channel command should fix the issue. The HD-PVR blaster software is very limited in this respect.
 

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Only the 8300HD shuts down every night - the other boxes stay powered on - unless there is a power outage or there is a software refresh from Rogers which happens occaionally.

But with all of these boxes you can set them to power on with any key press which should solve this problem as long as it always tunes the channel.
 

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How is the live TV with Win7MC and the HD-PVR? I know channel changing is a bit slow...but is video and audio all in sync?
 

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Only the 8300HD shuts down every night - the other boxes stay powered on - unless there is a power outage or there is a software refresh from Rogers which happens occaionally.

But with all of these boxes you can set them to power on with any key press which should solve this problem as long as it always tunes the channel.
Would that not cause the channel to fail to register the first digit? For example, if you're trying to tune channel 112, wouldn't it miss the first digit and instead tune channel 12?

Assuming this is the case, is it possible to force the IR blaster/firewire to add a 0 to the front of the channel, for example entering channel 0112? This is also assuming that it will instantly register channel changes upon startup...

Sorry for all the questions, I have an 8300HD at home (owned not a rental so no exchange possibilities) that I've been interested in adding to my HTPC (kind of holding out for rumoured native support for the HD-PVR in 7MC) and this sounds like a game-breaker for me if it seriously affects reliability. No way the family will accept that.
 

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Would that not cause the channel to fail to register the first digit? For example, if you're trying to tune channel 112, wouldn't it miss the first digit and instead tune channel 12?
No. Try it for yourself. The option is under "Settings (hit it twice) > Set: Power-On Keys" > select "Power and Numeric".
 

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Thanks for the quick reply, I'll test it when I get home (as I probably should have before I posted in the first place).

Reliability is the only thing holding me back from integrating the 8300. Back in my early days with MCE 2005 I was with Bell and suffered occasional issues with the IR blaster missing a digit with the Bell receiver. The occasional missed recordings were more than a minor issue, and there are still some bitter memories from my family. My current setup involves HD OTA and analog cable, both of which don't use the IR blaster, and although I recently integrated an SD digital box (e940) with no IR issues in over 2 months, I'm still hesitant as even rare failures of recordings could cause me to lose the HTPC fight for good.

To summarize that long and boring story, I need it to work perfectly. Does anyone know if firewire channel changing solve that issues with STBs, or does it have it's own reliability issues?
 

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Are you using 32 or 64 bit Windows 7? Apparently changing channels via firewire in win 7 64 is impossible right now.


Oh, and BTW, someone from hauppage told me a few days ago that they will definitely have a driver for the HD-PVR in Win 7! Who knows if they were lying or not though....
 

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At the moment I'm using Vista, however I pre-ordered Windows 7 when it was discounted and will upgrade when it arrives. Since it comes with both versions I can decide then. I only have 3GB of RAM in my HTPC so I wouldn't lose anything immediately with 32bit, but I'd prefer 64 for future expandibility.
 

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Colour me skeptical - I really think MS continues to move away from supporting products like this. For the most part I gave up on WinMC a year ago to switch to Sage. I hope I am wrong as I have a HTPC sitting under my 60" TV that is still running XP MCE. But it would take a lot to get me off of Sage since I now have about $1000 invested in four Sage extenders.

The other thing MS has to announce if they are really going to be viable, at least to me, in this space is extenders other than the Xbox360. It is unreasonable to expect a HTPC or Xbox360 under each TV in a multi TV home.
 

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Just out of curiousity, does this unit get warm like the other HD-PVRs Hauppauge releases? I have the USB Stick and that gets a bit warm to the touch after a while.
Thanks.
 

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@querty - Yes, early units had problems with overheating but I have two of these and haven't had any problems. They have now been out for about 14 months so hopefully these issues have been dealt with.
 

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Also, considering the heat and noise the 360 puts out I really don't think it makes a terribly practical extender. Nice if you already own one as a gaming console but not to buy one explicitly for that purpose.

Sadly my HDPVR still sits in the corner. I got my collection ripped and Sage working fine for Movies/Music/Pics but ran into a snag with the PVR getting the remote to work. I also was trying to focus on fanart for the collection. Need to make another attempt at the PVR in the near future.
 

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I own 3 Xbox 360s that are primarily media center extenders. It's a nuisance to have to find somewhere outside of AV cabinets for them, but other than that they work beautifully. Something to remember, the newer 360s are significantly quieter than the originals, and a lot of the running noise is the optical drive which doesn't run in extender mode. The noise has never bothered me.

Throw in the performance boost over my DMA2100 and they do a fantastic job. I'd prefer a slightly cooler running option, but they're cheap now and they have a lot of room for updating.
 

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Xbox 360 as media center extender

Speaking of XBOX 360 as extender in a Windows 7 Media Center where Hauppage HDPVR is used for HD, I am thinking of getting the cheapest 360 (I think no HDMI) for $220 and since I am anal about the noise replacing the original xbox case with one of those Lian Li cases (That is around $120).

My question is over the 10/100 LAN connection how is the HD streaming.

I am not into the games at all and thinking of putting this extender to the bedroom as long as I can make it silent with the new case.

Any insight, inputs to this idea?
 

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I don't know if the Xbox will work as an extender for HD-PVR files since I don't think that the Xbox supports H.264 files in extender mode and this is the format for all files from the HD-PVR. But I am not 100% sure about this and I do believe that H.264 may be supported in the Video Library mode, or whatever it is called in the Xbox.

For what you want to do, and if you aren't a gamer then I would recommend Sage as they have extenders that are 100% silent for US$180. And Sage directly supports the HD-PVR which Win7 does not, at least not yet.
 

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All 360s have had HDMI ports for a long time now, the only internal difference between the consoles is the 256MB of internal flash memory in the newest Arcade consoles.

They are also the only WMC extender I'm aware of with the ability to play back the H.264 HD-PVR recordings as normal (including in extender mode).

Before you buy the expensive Lian Li case I'd recommend trying the console out of the box. Depending on your setup you might find it's not as bad as you were expecting. Also, for whatever reason the MSRP on the Arcade seems to have jumped to $230 CAD, however if you look around you can still find some retailers that still carry it for the old $200 CAD.

10/100 is more than enough to stream HD, you won't even come close to saturation and someone else using the Internet won't even notice it.
 
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