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post #1 of 10 Old 03-12-2012, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently got the Cisco DTA50 from Rogers, is there a cheap device that will change channels for me on a timer?

I want to keep using my Pio dvd recorder, but how would I change channels somehow?

What kind of devices are out there that will do that? Does the Pio 640, 550 etc have anything that can be used?

Is there a stand-alone kind of device with some kind of timers... anything like that?
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-12-2012, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred999 View Post

I recently got the Cisco DTA50 from Rogers, is there a cheap device that will change channels for me on a timer?

I want to keep using my Pio dvd recorder, but how would I change channels somehow?

What kind of devices are out there that will do that? Does the Pio 640, 550 etc have anything that can be used?

Is there a stand-alone kind of device with some kind of timers... anything like that?

Don't know how fancy a cable box the Cisco DTA50 is, but some cable boxes will allow you to set a "reminder" for any show that displays in the programming grid.

That'll get the box to change to the correct channel at the time the program's airing, tho' it might be smarter to have it change to that channel when the PREVIOUS show is coming on. That way you're sure to not miss a few seconds of the opening of the one you actually want.

With your box's ID starting out with "DTA", tho', I suspect it's a "digital transport adapter", meaning a cheapo dumb cable box with no features at all.

You could try leaving it set to the channel you want, and hope the box doesn't somehow get changed to a different channel while you're away. Got family or roomies?

To the best of my knowledge, there are no recorders out there currently that can control a cable box. Even TiVo has gone in a different direction. (Using cable cards to get cable channels in current models, rather than allowing for cable box control.)
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-12-2012, 05:58 PM
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The PDF quick reference for the Cisco DTA50 shows it to be a no-feature bottom of the line product:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/...ence_list.html

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-12-2012, 06:09 PM
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Their used to be devices that looked like a remote control and could be programmed to send out a IR signal at the appropriate time(Google "VCR Co Pilot") but they were made some time ago and it's very unlikely they would have the IR codes for a newer device like your DTA.
Cable companies don't want people to be able to do what you want and make every effort to make it as inconvenient as possible they'd rather you spend a monthly fee to rent a DVR from them
Panasonic HDD DVDRs of yesterday had IR blasters to do what you want but again their codes don't include the newer DTA boxes so even one of those wouldn't do what you want.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-13-2012, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Their used to be devices that looked like a remote control and could be programmed to send out a IR signal at the appropriate time(Google "VCR Co Pilot") but they were made some time ago and it's very unlikely they would have the IR codes for a newer device like your DTA.
Cable companies don't want people to be able to do what you want and make every effort to make it as inconvenient as possible they'd rather you spend a monthly fee to rent a DVR from them
Panasonic HDD DVDRs of yesterday had IR blasters to do what you want but again their codes don't include the newer DTA boxes so even one of those wouldn't do what you want.

Thanks jjeff, I'll check that out. I remember reading in this forum a long time ago, some folks had some secondary device with IR Blasters to change their channels, so I thought I'd ask. Probably a lost cause, but if there is something out there, that would be great.

Quote:


The PDF quick reference for the Cisco DTA50 shows it to be a no-feature bottom of the line product

Thanks, I should have mentioned, the DTA50 is as dumb a box as you can get.... it has a small display area, but it doesn't display anything.

And me with 3 Pios to keep busy.... sigh...
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-13-2012, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Cable companies don't want people to be able to do what you want and make every effort to make it as inconvenient as possible they'd rather you spend a monthly fee to rent a DVR from them

Or at the least, a "real" STB. I was under the impression that DTA's were designed/intended to be used with legacy 4:3 analog CRT's and are just low-cost converter boxes that the FCC requires them to supply as a condition for them to eliminate all analog broadcasting. Many of them have only Rf outputs and no composite output. Probably not the best of choices to record from, if one cares about the quality of the recording.

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-13-2012, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Or at the least, a "real" STB. I was under the impression that DTA's were designed/intended to be used with legacy 4:3 analog CRT's and are just low-cost converter boxes that the FCC requires them to supply as a condition for them to eliminate all analog broadcasting. Many of them have only Rf outputs and no composite output. Probably not the best of choices to record from, if one cares about the quality of the recording.

I know, you're right... but, it's free. Renting a better box would add another $7 monthly, and I don't wanna pay that. And even if you got a brand new plasma or lcd, you'd still need one of these... or rent another box.

I'm really only recording TCM anyways, and seldom archive, so it's good enough. Actually, picture isn't too bad, but this box really destroys the sound. The volume on the box needs to be maximum as well as my receiver needs to be upped, and then of course that adds all kinds of noise...

But for those occasions when there might be a movie or something on another station, now it's going to be difficult.

It does have an IR in though, which gave me a bit of hope, but I'm not finding anything that I could use.

Really time to cut the cable....
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-13-2012, 10:09 AM
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  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fred999 View Post

    I recently got the Cisco DTA50 from Rogers, is there a cheap device that will change channels for me on a timer?...

    Second-hand ReplayTV 5XXX @ ~$50 (plus ~$20 shipping if not local pick up).

    Also gives you a 12-day Channel Guide.

    The JP1 Forums keep up with the new IR Codes (for devices besides the ReplayTV) *AND* there are *FREE* ReplayTV Tools to load the new IR Codes into its 'Database'.
    .
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

    Their used to be devices that looked like a remote control and could be programmed to send out a IR signal at the appropriate time(Google "VCR Co Pilot") but they were made some time ago and it's very unlikely they would have the IR codes for a newer device like your DTA...

    ...
    Panasonic HDD DVDRs of yesterday had IR blasters to do what you want but again their codes don't include the newer DTA boxes so even one of those wouldn't do what you want.

    I'VE GOT ONE (or more?!?) OF THEM (somewhere... )!!! Thanks for reminding me. Now, the BIG issue with them, besides the lack of current IR Codes, is the dear wife moving it when cleaning.
    .
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

    Or at the least, a "real" STB. I was under the impression that DTA's were designed/intended to be used with legacy 4:3 analog CRT's and are just low-cost converter boxes that the FCC requires them to supply as a condition for them to eliminate all analog broadcasting. Many of them have only Rf outputs and no composite output. Probably not the best of choices to record from, if one cares about the quality of the recording.

    I had a pair of *FREE* DC50X DTAs (RF-Only) from Comcast that at least looked better than the original Analog NTSC IN on my ReplayTVs. IIFC, the Composite OUT of the *FREE* DCT-700 wasn't much better. The S-Video OUT of the 2160A is pretty good (a bit dark though ) *AND* it's 16x9A!

    My current FiOS Motorola QIP 7232 HD DVR and Motorola QIP 2500 SD STB are OK, but the S-Video only provides 4x3LB. Thus, each box will need one of the Monoprice 'Component-to-S-Video' Converters to get true 16x9A.
Fred999,
  1. What is your PICTURE QUALITY expectation?
    .
  2. Do you require 16x9A or 4x3LB?
    .
  3. How much $$$ are you willing to spend?
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
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I just noticed that this is my 1500th Post since July 2001!

It's difficult to imagine how folks who joined MUCH later have MULTIPLE TIMES as many posts.

It PROBABLY has something to do with NOT spending ~1-4 hours on EACH reply.

Low Post Count <> Low Knowledge ergo High Post Count <> High Knowledge

ClearToLand's Picks For Best Answers to Common ReplayTV Questions

Remember, it's only TV...
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-13-2012, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred999 View Post

Really time to cut the cable....

I know this is kind of like a foreign concept around this part of the forum, but are you able to get satellite? If you're talking about recording from the "main" tuner, you get the first one free with the service.

My particular, non-DVR Dish tuner (the dual-tunered 322) has a full-featured, front and back-paddable timer.

Some others do, also, but some only have "reminder" features (although those are usually better than nothing).
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-14-2012, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, for the suggestions.

I've been googling a bit, and combined with your thoughts, I think now my expectations were too high, perhaps unrealistic.

I've read something about Microsoft Media Centre being able to do what I want, but that's way too much work. I was hoping for a simple fix, but I guess the world is more complicated.

Quote:
What is your PICTURE QUALITY expectation?
.
Do you require 16x9A or 4x3LB?
.
How much $$$ are you willing to spend

I'm only willing to spend about $50. And I don't want to do lots of work. I'm not sure how Replay would work in my scenario. I'm guessing you mean just setting it up to use it's timer to change my DTA50's channel?

PQ is not a great concern, as long as it's not less than what I have now, which is ok... not great, just ok (it's the sound that's crappy), and it's feeding an old Sony Wega CRT, so 4x3LB is fine.

Satellite is not really a consideration - I find it's not worth the cost for me.

It's looking now like I might have to settle for what I've got, namely, being glued to TCM only. There' s not that much else that really catches my interest anyway, except for once in a while, and maybe I can deal with those exceptions when they happen.

I think I can set up one of my Pio's to record my daily soap OTA, and the other two to get TCM, so maybe that'll be good enough.
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