Help me acheive a seamless experience - Throwing out all the Comcast boxes! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 03-27-2013, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

I just purchased an HD Homerun Prime in hopes of removing all the Comcast boxes and their monthly fees from my house. I will have a media center/file server hooked up in my basement along with all my living room AV gear, as well as an additional HTPC set up in my loft. Gigabit ethernet is ran everywhere.


What software is going to give me the most intuitive experience for viewing live TV and setting up a few shows for recording? It would be best if it integrates with my other media library as well, a one-stop shop if you will.

I have read XBMC now has all this functionality but may not work very well in practice. I don't want 15 steps to tune in the evening news, if you feel me.



Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
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post #2 of 50 Old 03-27-2013, 01:30 PM
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WMC for your DVR/LiveTV plus an Xbox upstairs with a universal or xbox media remote. End user experience will be identical to your old cable DVR.


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post #3 of 50 Old 03-27-2013, 01:40 PM
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the only option with a cablecard tuner is Windows Media Center, due to the copy protection and such. You are obviously free to use any software to categorize/play the content, but I believe WMC is your only option for recording and watching live tv.
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post #4 of 50 Old 03-27-2013, 01:41 PM
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My first thought was to tell you to throw XBMC out the window because you bought a cable card tuner. Only Windows Media Center can officially use those. Most cable companies mark nearly all channels as "Copy Once" so that forces you to use WMC (and only WMC) to play those channels and those recordings.

However, given that you are a Comcast customer, you might be able to get away with XBMC. In most areas only channels like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Retroplex, etc are coded as "Copy Once." If you watch those channels you're out of luck and will have to look into using Windows Media Center. You also need to understand that Comcast can start marking all of their channels as "Copy Once" at any time without any warning.

The overall best way to do what you want is to use one HTPC running Windows Media Center and purchase official extenders for the other TVs.

Extenders in production: Xbox 360; Ceton Echo
Discontinued extenders available on ebay: Linksys DMA2100/2200; DLink DSM750, HP x280n

Using an extender is the best way to sync tv recordings, as they all share the same recording schedule.


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post #5 of 50 Old 03-27-2013, 01:47 PM
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You can use both WMC and XBMC. There's an integration app that lets you initiate XBMC from within WMC. I use it on my HTPC and it works great for playing movies ripped to mkv files. In fact, I've got several HTPCs in my house and use XBMC with WMC on all of them.
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post #6 of 50 Old 03-27-2013, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the only option with a cablecard tuner is Windows Media Center, due to the copy protection and such. You are obviously free to use any software to categorize/play the content, but I believe WMC is your only option for recording and watching live tv.

You are wrong. WMC only necessary for Copy-Once. Comcast/Fios users can use XBMC with NPVR, Mediaportal, Argus, or Myth (or any of those standalone for DVR)

Also, for those "required" to use WMC, you are not free to use any software to categorize/play the content. Copy-once must be played back on the same instance of WMC that it was recorded on or an extender that extends that instance of WMC to other locations
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

You also need to understand that Comcast can start marking all of their channels as "Copy Once" at any time without any warning.

The overall best way to do what you want is to use one HTPC running Windows Media Center and purchase official extenders for the other TVs

Correct about any time without warning, but I hope that other providers start marking their content Copy-Free at any time without warning wink.gif Glass half full/empty


emcdade, while this may be like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant, there are basic limitations of both directions

WMC with extenders
  • Good robust DVR with a single clean EPG (all paid for within W7, no extra cost)
  • Limited codec/container/bitrate support
  • AFAIK, extenders are not the way to go for streaming full BD mkvs, or any isos, or anything FLAC
  • limited addon support (don't expect anything new)

XBMC with DVR
  • Not-so robust DVR (but it's getting better, and on the plus side you can use a TV server - never possible with WMC)
  • Schedules Direct subscription or some working knowledge to get your own XMLTV guide information
  • Great addon/theme support
  • Greatest file/bitrate compatibility


Essentially, you should decide what is a *must* versus what is *nice to have*
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post #7 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

You are wrong. WMC only necessary for Copy-Once. Comcast/Fios users can use XBMC with NPVR, Mediaportal, Argus, or Myth (or any of those standalone for DVR)

Also, for those "required" to use WMC, you are not free to use any software to categorize/play the content. Copy-once must be played back on the same instance of WMC that it was recorded on or an extender that extends that instance of WMC to other locations
Correct about any time without warning, but I hope that other providers start marking their content Copy-Free at any time without warning wink.gif Glass half full/empty


emcdade, while this may be like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant, there are basic limitations of both directions

WMC with extenders
  • Good robust DVR with a single clean EPG (all paid for within W7, no extra cost)
  • Limited codec/container/bitrate support
  • AFAIK, extenders are not the way to go for streaming full BD mkvs, or any isos, or anything FLAC
  • limited addon support (don't expect anything new)

XBMC with DVR
  • Not-so robust DVR (but it's getting better, and on the plus side you can use a TV server - never possible with WMC)
  • Schedules Direct subscription or some working knowledge to get your own XMLTV guide information
  • Great addon/theme support
  • Greatest file/bitrate compatibility


Essentially, you should decide what is a *must* versus what is *nice to have*

Thank you very much for the replies everyone.

What's the deal with "official extenders"? I thought the great advantage to the Prime was that it was network connected so any computer on my network can grab live TV through the router. Is that not the case? Can only one PC running WMC be up and running? If so, can I set up the second HTPC I already have as an "extender"?

EDIT: Also note that I'm not going to be getting any copy-once channels like HBO, just standard Comcast channels.

If not, I might be leaning XBMC.
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post #8 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post

Thank you very much for the replies everyone.

What's the deal with "official extenders"? I thought the great advantage to the Prime was that it was network connected so any computer on my network can grab live TV through the router. Is that not the case? Can only one PC running WMC be up and running? If so, can I set up the second HTPC I already have as an "extender"?

EDIT: Also note that I'm not going to be getting any copy-once channels like HBO, just standard Comcast channels.

If not, I might be leaning XBMC.
Basically, if you want to give every TV access to all recordings, the single HTPC plus several official extenders is the way to go. If you only care about live TV and don't want to share recordings and money is no object, then go the multiple PC / network tuners route. I personally have the former setup and have never used network tuners. Even back when I had Primes, I didn't use network tuners.

I do use additional PCs and streaming devices (laptops, desktops, streaming blu-ray players, iPads, iPhones, etc.) to watch recordings all the time, although none are connected to TVs. Extenders are just a lot easier when you just want to get content onto a TV. Multiple HTPCs seems like overkill to me, plus it makes the system less "seamless", which runs counter to your original goal.

My 2 cents.


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post #9 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 07:09 AM
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Extenders have two primary purposes
1) managing a central recording schedule. if you have 4 different HTPCs, your bedroom TV won't know that you already scheduled Hawaii Five O to record in the living room. I do think somebody makes 3rd party software to coordinate this, but with extenders if you have a program selected to record it shows up as such on all tvs

2) managing copy once content. this is such a variable. the extender protocol works by logging into the host HTPC and running a remote session of Windows Media Center, so technically that host PC is playing the selected recording. that is how programs denoted as copy once can be played in multiple locations. if you try using multiple computers you will get an error in the bedroom when trying to play a program recorded in the living room.

I think they were also a more palatable idea 5 or 6 years ago when a pc for the living room would've been a very expensive luxury. An extender at a fraction of the price allowed to you log into your office desktop (which wouldve ran WMC and done the recordings).

I have Comcast Digital Premier in Pittsburgh with no extra premium pay channels. When I had HBO on a trial it was all copy once. I'm fairly certain Retroplex is the only one I have now that is marked that (perhaps Indieplex and Reelz but I'm not sure I've ever recorded from there). Encore HD surprisingly isn't and neither is MGM HD, The Movie Channel, or Turner Classic Movies. I do believe however that specific programs can be marked as opposed to an entire channel but someone more knowledgeable than me would have to confirm it. And as I said this could all change by the time I get home.


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post #10 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Basically, if you want to give every TV access to all recordings, the single HTPC plus several official extenders is the way to go. If you only care about live TV and don't want to share recordings and money is no object, then go the multiple PC / network tuners route. I personally have the former setup and have never used network tuners. Even back when I had Primes, I didn't use network tuners.

I do use additional PCs and streaming devices (laptops, desktops, streaming blu-ray players, iPads, iPhones, etc.) to watch recordings all the time, although none are connected to TVs. Extenders are just a lot easier when you just want to get content onto a TV. Multiple HTPCs seems like overkill to me, plus it makes the system less "seamless", which runs counter to your original goal.

My 2 cents.

Here's the thing, I already have a file server/htpc and a seperate htpc upstairs in my loft, the only two areas of the house I care to watch TV. So that cost is not an object.

Why couldn't I just tell both computers to save recordings to the same folder on the file server? Then all the recorded shows would be shared between the network. I'm not concerned with people setting up multiple recordings of the same show, it's only my wife and I who are using it. There will never be an instance where she records The Bachelor without telling me and I do the same, if you catch my drift wink.gif
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post #11 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 07:32 AM
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Why couldn't I just tell both computers to save recordings to the same folder on the file server?

I think you can do that (record directly to a server). I am not exactly sure how that would work out because technically as soon as you turn on live tv it begins recording (the rewind/pause buffer). So I don't know how that would work going back and forth between computers.

Some people will record on one computer and then every night move things to a server - Windows Home Server has (had?) that capability.

You can also make the Recorded TV folder(s) on each computer available to the other computer on the network. That's how I do it. When I set up locations where recorded programs can be found I included the networked drive from the other pc.


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post #12 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 01:13 PM
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First I would recommend you look at my thread
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1465156/miracle-htpc-front-end-setup

I am in a similar situation to you.

As I expand out I am finding that if you want live TV then the easiest way is a Xbox 360. The best way is to build out yet another HTPC.

While I have not tinkered to much. I am finding MCE works best for live TV and I think you will find most will say this.

I am not real big into only streaming, but if you are then Xbox 360 seems to be a good solution along with others out there. I'll leave this to others.

The one thing that I have found that seems to work well is having only one PC do all the recording. With a HDHR setup this should be no problem.

I have run into issues with the other PC's being able to see those recordings though. What seems to work best is just having a button on the remote that closes MCE and then restarts it. This refresh seems to refresh the RecordedTV list. Also make sure you map the shared RecordedTV drive to the computer and then point to that mapped drive.

Make sure you post back with your final setup for others that find this thread in the future can get ideas on what works and what does not.

Good luck.
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post #13 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rmerikle View Post

First I would recommend you look at my thread
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1465156/miracle-htpc-front-end-setup

I am in a similar situation to you.

As I expand out I am finding that if you want live TV then the easiest way is a Xbox 360. The best way is to build out yet another HTPC.

While I have not tinkered to much. I am finding MCE works best for live TV and I think you will find most will say this.

I am not real big into only streaming, but if you are then Xbox 360 seems to be a good solution along with others out there. I'll leave this to others.

The one thing that I have found that seems to work well is having only one PC do all the recording. With a HDHR setup this should be no problem.

I have run into issues with the other PC's being able to see those recordings though. What seems to work best is just having a button on the remote that closes MCE and then restarts it. This refresh seems to refresh the RecordedTV list. Also make sure you map the shared RecordedTV drive to the computer and then point to that mapped drive.

Make sure you post back with your final setup for others that find this thread in the future can get ideas on what works and what does not.

Good luck.

Thanks for the link, good stuff.

It seems for now I'm going to be using WMC + XBMC until XBMC gets all the PVR and Live TV bugs ironed out. I hate the thought of having to pay a yearly fee for guide info too. Maybe someday we'll have all of our media in one spot and it will "just work". wink.gif
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post #14 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 02:05 PM
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Thanks for the link, good stuff.

It seems for now I'm going to be using WMC + XBMC until XBMC gets all the PVR and Live TV bugs ironed out. I hate the thought of having to pay a yearly fee for guide info too. Maybe someday we'll have all of our media in one spot and it will "just work". wink.gif

We are getting closer and closer. Yes it will be great when someone comes up with something beside MCE to handle Cablecards. Just a matter of time and I would imagine if MS ever gives up on MCE then the time will be sooner rather than later. Now that MCE charges under Window 8 it should be interesting to see how the future of MCE plays out.
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post #15 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 03:08 PM
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I hate the thought of having to pay a yearly fee for guide info too
I couldn't agree more. It's on my to-do list, and others may have already ironed the bugs of "using your own XMLTV file" out by the time I get to it
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Maybe someday we'll have all of our media in one spot and it will "just work". wink.gif
This has been my goal for a while, and I feel like I've arrived. The reason I don't recommend everywhere for everyone is the "robustness" I spoke of. I can always fix anything wrong with my setup, but not everyone would be willing to deal with it. For now it's still a choice between robust DVR and robust "everything else"
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Yes it will be great when someone comes up with something beside MCE to handle Cablecards.
To be clear, Cablecard support exists today in NPVR, Mediaportal, 4theRecord, Myth, and WMC if using Comcast or FIOS and not interested in HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Showtime. WMC seems like a requirement for nearly all other providers
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post #16 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post

I hate the thought of having to pay a yearly fee for guide info too
I couldn't agree more. It's on my to-do list, and others may have already ironed the bugs of "using your own XMLTV file" out by the time I get to it
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post

Maybe someday we'll have all of our media in one spot and it will "just work". wink.gif
This has been my goal for a while, and I feel like I've arrived. The reason I don't recommend everywhere for everyone is the "robustness" I spoke of. I can always fix anything wrong with my setup, but not everyone would be willing to deal with it. For now it's still a choice between robust DVR and robust "everything else"
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Originally Posted by rmerikle View Post

Yes it will be great when someone comes up with something beside MCE to handle Cablecards.
To be clear, Cablecard support exists today in NPVR, Mediaportal, 4theRecord, Myth, and WMC if using Comcast or FIOS and not interested in HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Showtime. WMC seems like a requirement for nearly all other providers

To be more clear, none but WMC works for copy protected content except WMC. Hopefully this will change soon.

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post #17 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 05:07 PM
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I have Comcast. I do not use any Comcast boxes and I can watch TV in any room. What I have is:
1 PC set up as a "TV" server using Win7 MCE, i5-3460K w/8GB memory, 3TB of storage.
1 PC w/Win7MCE in the rec room for watching TV/DVDs while I treadmill.
1 PC (small from factor) in the bedroom for watching TV.
1 Ceton Echo extender in the living room for watching TV in the main theater room.
This combination of devices replaces the functionality found in the Comcast boxes, EXCLUDING on demand content. Cable card devices cannot access cable on demand content at this time (and probably never will).
I have bluRay players in each room for playback of hi def disks. I rip DVDs to a Windows home server and can play them back at any of the PCs (but not on the ceton Echo...see the thread located here for more info).
Despite its shortcomings for movie rip playback, I really like the Echo for watching TV/DVRed content. It is small, low power consumption and, as of this date, steady as a rock in my setup and is very simple/easy to use. You could use an XBOX...your choice, the echo doesn't have any on-going fees associated with it, and since I don't play video games, it seems the best choice for me.
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post #18 of 50 Old 03-28-2013, 05:27 PM
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To be more clear, none but WMC works for copy protected content except WMC. Hopefully this will change soon.

Unfortunately, this is been said many times but isn't actually any more clear

I think the reason for continued confusion is

Everything is encrypted, and Cablecard tuners decrypt all channels accordingly

Several front-ends can play the decrypted channels

Encryption /= Copy Protection (Copy-Control Information such as Copy-Free, Copy-Once, Copy-Never)

WMC works for everything, others only support copy-free
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post #19 of 50 Old 03-29-2013, 05:47 AM
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I do not believe that all providers encrypt all channels. There are still lots of them that provide in-the-clear QAM channels which do not require a cablecard to view. Any QAM tuner should be able to receive these channels.

I believe that you can record TV shows on different PCs and have them placed in a common RecordedTV folder, but they have to be seen in WMC when you set up your recorded TV library. I have heard of others being able to9 have their content stored on a server. I'm just not sure how they did it. I have multiple HTPCs that share a SD HDHR Prime tuner and I'm on FIOS. Each PC has their own RecordedTV folder in WMC, but I was able to add the RecordedTV folders from the other PCs to the pool so that the content appears to be in a single folder when viewed on any PC. Since FIOS does not flag any content except the premium channels, I can play recordings on any TV in the house regardless of which PC recorded them. However, unless they are flagged as copy freely, they can only be viewed on the PC they were recorded on. This only applies to encrypted channels with the copy protection flag. WMC is the only DVR app that can record flagged content due to CableLabs certification requirements. Independent DVR software developers can't afford to pay the huge fees associated with getting CableLabs certification and therefore will never likely support cablecard tuners for recording this type of content. Many of them can record content flagged as copy freely.

If the content is copy freely then it can be played on any PC, regardless of which one recorded it. The only way to currently play flagged content on anything other than the original PC is via a WMC extender like the Ceton Echo or X-Box 360.
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post #20 of 50 Old 03-29-2013, 07:41 AM
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Closest to Cable? WMC. Period. Don't let these geeks confuse you with their Mumbo-Jumbo about XBMC can watch live TV or Sage TV can record from a CableCard or someday you'll be able to watch via DLNA or..... Don't risk ruining the 'Wife Acceptance Factor' by screwing around with anything else.
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post #21 of 50 Old 03-29-2013, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Closest to Cable? WMC. Period. Don't let these geeks confuse you with their Mumbo-Jumbo about XBMC can watch live TV or Sage TV can record from a CableCard or someday you'll be able to watch via DLNA or..... Don't risk ruining the 'Wife Acceptance Factor' by screwing around with anything else.

Haha, point taken.

Well I got my Homerun Prime set up last night. It took a few "resets" from Comcast after a couple of calls before I got all the correct channels. Just trying out WMC now and it is very intuitive, the wife tried it out and got the hang of it immediately. My only gripes are that the picture seems a bit softer than the cable box, and the lack of customization by default in WMC. I have a 65VT50 and it is definitely an unforgiving set; it pulls every flaw out of the source material but really rewards a great 1080P transfer. I'm not sure what to do with the picture, maybe try some edge enhancement in CCC and see how that plays. It's a shame I can't get MadVR into the mix because even ripped DVD's look pretty darn good through MPC-HC. They're rivaling the compressed "HD" feed from Comcast through WMC.

I think I'm going to stick w/ WMC for now and switch back and forth to XBMC for my other content. Once there's some free or "buy once" guide info I'll be checking out the alternatives.
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post #22 of 50 Old 03-29-2013, 09:09 AM
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Mine was soft too until I did THIS. Now it's just as sharp as my orignal cable box. I also turned off most of the stuff in CCC that changed the image, except the smooth video setting. Auto contrast was also giving me fits until I managed to turn that off. There's a registry hack I did to fix my black levels too, but I can't remember the details. Needless to say, there's a lot you can do to improve the picture.


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post #23 of 50 Old 03-29-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Mine was soft too until I did THIS. Now it's just as sharp as my orignal cable box. I also turned off most of the stuff in CCC that changed the image, except the smooth video setting. Auto contrast was also giving me fits until I managed to turn that off. There's a registry hack I did to fix my black levels too, but I can't remember the details. Needless to say, there's a lot you can do to improve the picture.

Thanks for the tip! I of course picked "flat panel" in the setup.


Another crazy bug I encountered that I just remembered. Live TV would crash from audio stutter a few seconds into each program with the error message "VIDEO ERROR", trying to stream Dolby Digital through HDMI to my AVR. After some googling, I found the weirdest solution to the problem. Apparently there's a Win 7 bug that if you have your speaker setup for 5.1 in both the control panel and in WMC (through HDMI) you will get the audio error I described above. I got it to work by setting my speaker setup in control panel to 7.1, then I disabled the two rear speakers that don't exist in my setup. Then I was able to choose 5.1 inside WMC, and VOILA, working Dolby Digital sound.

Thank god I found one guy's random post for the solution, ton's of people were going crazy and re downloading drivers, dropping back to stereo sound, and etc!
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post #24 of 50 Old 03-29-2013, 10:01 AM
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I'm on comcast, with a HDHomeRun Prime (two, in fact). All of the clients are Intel boxes, in mini-itx cases that support power on/off via IR remote. Everything is
hardwired to a gigabyte switch, running 1Gb between everything.

We use MythTV, with OpenElec/XBMC or minimyth, running into a 5tb drive array. We don't care about HBO, Showtime, etc. etc. Everything we want, is available on node
in the house (that includes tablets/phones, if we want it..) After about 18months of use, we have about 3TB of shows recorded.

The pros to Myth are:

- Commercial skip works. Too bad Comcast encodes/broadcasts using a variable bit rate MPEG, otherwise comskip in XBMC would work there too.
- Several clients, including upnp/dlna.
- MythTV Setup took about 1/2 hour. Biggest part is making Myth is set for a network usage, not localhost.
- You'll get a $2.50 credit.
- The second cable card is $1.10

The bad:

- No HBO, Cinemax, Showtime (they are really too expensive for what you get.. take the money and subscribe to AmazonPrime and/or Netflix)
- No OnDemand (but you can use the website for that.. bleah.)
- Comcast will still charge you $10/month for HD (depends on region, I'm told)
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post #25 of 50 Old 03-29-2013, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Mine was soft too until I did THIS. Now it's just as sharp as my orignal cable box. I also turned off most of the stuff in CCC that changed the image, except the smooth video setting. Auto contrast was also giving me fits until I managed to turn that off. There's a registry hack I did to fix my black levels too, but I can't remember the details. Needless to say, there's a lot you can do to improve the picture.

Thanks for the tip! I of course picked "flat panel" in the setup.


Another crazy bug I encountered that I just remembered. Live TV would crash from audio stutter a few seconds into each program with the error message "VIDEO ERROR", trying to stream Dolby Digital through HDMI to my AVR. After some googling, I found the weirdest solution to the problem. Apparently there's a Win 7 bug that if you have your speaker setup for 5.1 in both the control panel and in WMC (through HDMI) you will get the audio error I described above. I got it to work by setting my speaker setup in control panel to 7.1, then I disabled the two rear speakers that don't exist in my setup. Then I was able to choose 5.1 inside WMC, and VOILA, working Dolby Digital sound.

Thank god I found one guy's random post for the solution, ton's of people were going crazy and re downloading drivers, dropping back to stereo sound, and etc!

I have both set to 7.1 with no problems.

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post #26 of 50 Old 03-29-2013, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I have both set to 7.1 with no problems.

Are you using HDMI with an AMD card? Interesting that one little change would take it from completely broken to working, but it did.
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post #27 of 50 Old 03-29-2013, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdavis View Post

I'm on comcast, with a HDHomeRun Prime (two, in fact). All of the clients are Intel boxes, in mini-itx cases that support power on/off via IR remote. Everything is
hardwired to a gigabyte switch, running 1Gb between everything.

We use MythTV, with OpenElec/XBMC or minimyth, running into a 5tb drive array. We don't care about HBO, Showtime, etc. etc. Everything we want, is available on node
in the house (that includes tablets/phones, if we want it..) After about 18months of use, we have about 3TB of shows recorded.

The pros to Myth are:

- Commercial skip works. Too bad Comcast encodes/broadcasts using a variable bit rate MPEG, otherwise comskip in XBMC would work there too.
- Several clients, including upnp/dlna.
- MythTV Setup took about 1/2 hour. Biggest part is making Myth is set for a network usage, not localhost.
- You'll get a $2.50 credit.
- The second cable card is $1.10

The bad:

- No HBO, Cinemax, Showtime (they are really too expensive for what you get.. take the money and subscribe to AmazonPrime and/or Netflix)
- No OnDemand (but you can use the website for that.. bleah.)
- Comcast will still charge you $10/month for HD (depends on region, I'm told)

No don't, you'll confuse everyone with your mumbo-jumbo
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post #28 of 50 Old 03-29-2013, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I do not believe that all providers encrypt all channels. There are still lots of them that provide in-the-clear QAM channels which do not require a cablecard to view. Any QAM tuner should be able to receive these channels.
Right, that's one more point of confusion that is worth noting. These wmc alternatives are capable of playing more than in the clear (unencrypted qam) also I think most of those are going away, but on Comcast they were limited to locals for a long time anyway

PS, with your FiOS recordings you can move them anywhere and they will still play back (server, flash drive, portable hard drive, etc) copy free smile.gif copy away, even convert if you are so inclined
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post #29 of 50 Old 03-31-2013, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I have both set to 7.1 with no problems.

Are you using HDMI with an AMD card? Interesting that one little change would take it from completely broken to working, but it did.

I have an nVidia GT 430.

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post #30 of 50 Old 03-31-2013, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Mine was soft too until I did THIS. Now it's just as sharp as my orignal cable box. I also turned off most of the stuff in CCC that changed the image, except the smooth video setting. Auto contrast was also giving me fits until I managed to turn that off. There's a registry hack I did to fix my black levels too, but I can't remember the details. Needless to say, there's a lot you can do to improve the picture.

Thanks for the tip! I of course picked "flat panel" in the setup.


Another crazy bug I encountered that I just remembered. Live TV would crash from audio stutter a few seconds into each program with the error message "VIDEO ERROR", trying to stream Dolby Digital through HDMI to my AVR. After some googling, I found the weirdest solution to the problem. Apparently there's a Win 7 bug that if you have your speaker setup for 5.1 in both the control panel and in WMC (through HDMI) you will get the audio error I described above. I got it to work by setting my speaker setup in control panel to 7.1, then I disabled the two rear speakers that don't exist in my setup. Then I was able to choose 5.1 inside WMC, and VOILA, working Dolby Digital sound.

Thank god I found one guy's random post for the solution, ton's of people were going crazy and re downloading drivers, dropping back to stereo sound, and etc!

I have mine set up as Flat Panel. Using TV doesn't work for me as I have black boarders on all sides this way.

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