Pace XG1 (Comcast Xfinity) IR control with Windows 7 Media Center - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Forgive me if this has already been asked. If it has, I couldn't find a relevant thread....

I recently obtained a Pace XG1 with XR2 remote from Comcast, and currently have issues getting it to change channels with my Windows 7 Media Center TV Server. I've tried both the automatic and manual procedures.

I think Windows 7 Media Center doesn't have the correct IR codes to control the Pace XG1, as it's not in the list, but I'm not sure.

Hardware:

-TV Server: Exceptional Innovation Lifemedia server with dual 3.5mm IR outputs
-IR sensor placed directly in front of Pace XG1, or the right side


Does anyone have any experience with IR control of the Pace XG1 in Windows 7 Media Center?
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 06:51 AM
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LifeWare stuff was really awesome.

Are there any other Pace codes listed? Trying those would be my first thought.

I'd try Tivo codes too, since that box is basically a Tivo, right?

Have you ever considered a cable card tuner? I would've thought a LifeWare pc would come with one.


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post #3 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 07:22 AM
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Do you have any of the newer LifeWare automation stuff with iOS or Android?


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post #4 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 07:42 AM
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+1

Since you're using WMC anyway, ditch the XG1 and get a cable card tuner. Works much better and is far cheaper.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

LifeWare stuff was really awesome.

Are there any other Pace codes listed? Trying those would be my first thought.

I'd try Tivo codes too, since that box is basically a Tivo, right?

Have you ever considered a cable card tuner? I would've thought a LifeWare pc would come with one.

Interestingly enough, I have not considered a cablecard tuner, though one of my Lifemedia Servers supports it. I actually have two Lifemedia servers....one has dual cablecard tuners, and the other one doesn't. I use the one with the dual cablecard tuners as a home automation server, since I don't have cablecard(s).

As of now, to keep things simple, I'm using my Lifemedia Server that doesn't have the cablecard tuners as my TV server. It has dual hauppauge tuners (HTV 1600 and HTV 1800), and I pipe S-video and RCA stereo audio from two Pace XG1s that I have (for streaming two different live TV shows at a time to Xbox 360 extenders).

There are other Pace codes, but they don't work. I'll try them again though. I'll also look into Tivo codes.

With regards to the Lifemedia server......they are solid, well-built servers, which is why I like them so much. A nice, solid feel to them, and they are quite stylish :-) I actually have quite a few dedicated Home Theater servers that I simply collect (several Niveus servers, and one Sony Vaio XL1A+XL1B setup as well).
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

Do you have any of the newer LifeWare automation stuff with iOS or Android?

Which Lifeware software are you referring to? I do have Lifeware installed on both my Lifemedia servers, but don't use it. I'm in the process of actually setting up CQC in my Lifemedia server I am using for home automation.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

+1

Since you're using WMC anyway, ditch the XG1 and get a cable card tuner. Works much better and is far cheaper.

I'm not sure Comcast's Xfinity X1 platform has cablecard support. Even if it does, I rather not go this route, as that restricts me to using only my Lifemedia server with dual cablecard tuners as my TV server. I like the flexibility in switching my Windows Media Center TV streaming duties to another Home Theater server I have if needed. All my other servers have non-cablecard tuners.
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 10:11 AM
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I'd try raising the IR issue to Microsoft. Given that those are really new boxes (that aren't even available everywhere yet) they likely haven't added them to their database. There used to be a handy submission form on their WMC sub-site, but I can't find it.

The X1 Platform is basically their answer to a whole home Windows Media Center + Extender, Hopper + Joey, Genie + Mini, Tivo + Mini environment. It is a DVR (tI think I remember reading that it runs Tivo software) along with on demand, some streaming apps, some social networking, sports scores, basically a lot of the features originally unique to HTPC.

It looks really cool and if you like the functionality of it that's all good too, but it sounds like you're still partial to Windows Media Center for at least your 360 extenders. Using a cable card is an extremely easy way to manipulate live tv and recordings. Plus the quality will be much better than the S-video + RCA. I can't imagine any reason you couldn't use a cable card, though you would lose the cool X1 interfaces.

Are you familiar with ethernet based tuners? There are a few cablecard tuners available that sit on your network (meaning they are not attached to a PC directly) and can be accessed by any of your WMC computers, and therefore also your 360 extenders. That would allow you to cut out/replace the X1 box(es) and tune the channels inside WMC directly.

If you are running Windows 7 your PC supports using any cable card tuner. If you still have Vista on some of those boxes it might not, but those are all high end specialty HTPCs that should have the requisite bios to use them. I bought a Niveus Vail off eBay at a great price. I was able to use my extra copy of Vista Ultimate on it along with a cable card tuner for my dad.

And regarding LifeWare, I was just curious if you had any of their home automation stuff and their specialty control apps.


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post #9 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 10:38 AM
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How much do they charge to use one of these boxes? Can I buy one outright? Can I add more HDD's to it?

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post #10 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

How much do they charge to use one of these boxes? Can I buy one outright? Can I add more HDD's to it?

Now, I know you loaded this question in a way so that when someone answers you can make the thread about how much you love not paying Charter $30 a month in dvr rental fees but I will answer anyway.

1) no extra charge beyond what their normal stb fee is

2) no you can't. You aren't a Comcast customer and they don't sell boxes. It will be obsolete in a few months when they replace it with an X2 box.

3) that will be irrelevant when they move to cloud storage on the successor model later this year


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post #11 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

How much do they charge to use one of these boxes? Can I buy one outright? Can I add more HDD's to it?

Now, I know you loaded this question in a way so that when someone answers you can make the thread about how much you love not paying Charter $30 a month in dvr rental fees but I will answer anyway.

1) no extra charge beyond what their normal stb fee is

2) no you can't. You aren't a Comcast customer and they don't sell boxes. It will be obsolete in a few months when they replace it with an X2 box.

3) that will be irrelevant when they move to cloud storage on the successor model later this year

HAHA! Good hedge!

Seriously at one point I know I will need to do something different. It would be nice to have equipment I own and control when that time comes. From the description this sounds pretty good as an HTPC replacement.

I don't like the idea of a cloud DVR at all even though I don't keep anything I record but I don't like "expiring" recordings either.

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post #12 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

I'd try raising the IR issue to Microsoft. Given that those are really new boxes (that aren't even available everywhere yet) they likely haven't added them to their database. There used to be a handy submission form on their WMC sub-site, but I can't find it.

The X1 Platform is basically their answer to a whole home Windows Media Center + Extender, Hopper + Joey, Genie + Mini, Tivo + Mini environment. It is a DVR (tI think I remember reading that it runs Tivo software) along with on demand, some streaming apps, some social networking, sports scores, basically a lot of the features originally unique to HTPC.

It looks really cool and if you like the functionality of it that's all good too, but it sounds like you're still partial to Windows Media Center for at least your 360 extenders. Using a cable card is an extremely easy way to manipulate live tv and recordings. Plus the quality will be much better than the S-video + RCA. I can't imagine any reason you couldn't use a cable card, though you would lose the cool X1 interfaces.

Are you familiar with ethernet based tuners? There are a few cablecard tuners available that sit on your network (meaning they are not attached to a PC directly) and can be accessed by any of your WMC computers, and therefore also your 360 extenders. That would allow you to cut out/replace the X1 box(es) and tune the channels inside WMC directly.

If you are running Windows 7 your PC supports using any cable card tuner. If you still have Vista on some of those boxes it might not, but those are all high end specialty HTPCs that should have the requisite bios to use them. I bought a Niveus Vail off eBay at a great price. I was able to use my extra copy of Vista Ultimate on it along with a cable card tuner for my dad.

And regarding LifeWare, I was just curious if you had any of their home automation stuff and their specialty control apps.

Yep, good points in here. X1 from Comcast Xfinity does try and bring Comcast's DVR offerings up to par, and for the most part, it is a very good improvement(I've had it for about 1 month now). I have both the Pace XG1+ Pace RNG 150N(basically, the XG1 without the internal HDD). The idea is that using MoCA(multi-media over coaxil), the RNG 150N can access recorded TV on an XG1 on the same MoCA network(like Windows Media Center + Extender over ethernet or Wifi). Despite the improvements, I'm a rock-solid fan of Windows 7 and 8 Media Center + Xbox 360 Extenders. Apart from my DVR duties, Windows Media Center also powers my movie setup using MyMovies and ArcSoft Total Media Theater, which are both excellent. I like the power of having the flexibility of Windows Media Center for doing all sorts of fancy things you cannot due in a more closed environment such as Comcast Xfinity X1(TV) + Kaleidescape(Movies). With that said, I don't really use many of Comcast X1's features for now.

Now, what I did learn more about is what Comcast runs on their Pace XG1 set top box. Check out this link on the software architecture for Comcast's XG1. It's a custom HTML5 software architecture (feels like HTML5, so I'm not surprised) called Tru2Way. Other cable operators, such as GCI employ the Pace XG1 with Tivo software onboard. So, looks like I shouldn't bother with trying Tivo IR codes.

Thanks for the info on the cablecard ethernet-based tuners. I had no idea. Actually, thinking about it more, the Pace XG1 actually has 6 internal cablecard tuners, so it is in essence an ethernet-based cablecard set top box . For now, though, I'd rather get my Pace XG1 and Pace RNG 150N working with IR control.

In addition, right now, I'm sending SDTV from both set top boxes to my TV server simply because with my current 'starter' Comcast Xfinity package, I don't get many (or any) HD channels, so I don't really care to record an HDTV signal for now.

On all my Home Theaters server, I'm either running Win 7 Media Center or Win 8 Media Center. BTW, one of my Niveus servers is a Vail as well. Great server. I run Windows Server 2012 Essentials on it with the MyMovies add-in. It's my MyMovies server and runs well
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post #13 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

HAHA! Good hedge!

Seriously at one point I know I will need to do something different. It would be nice to have equipment I own and control when that time comes. From the description this sounds pretty good as an HTPC replacement.

I don't like the idea of a cloud DVR at all even though I don't keep anything I record but I don't like "expiring" recordings either.

Yes, I know I haven't tried it yet either, but I hate the idea of cloud DVR too. I rather have it on my own servers, under my own control. Having my DVR setup run under Win 7 and 8 give me the flexibility my nerdy self needs :-).

-I can encode shows to H.264 mp4 files and throw them on my iPhone
-I can use Remote Potato to access my Win MCE DVR recordings and stream to my iPhone
-I can archive to DVD or Blu-Ray if I want

etc....

Anyway, back on topic...Help me :-)
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

Now, I know you loaded this question in a way so that when someone answers you can make the thread about how much you love not paying Charter $30 a month in dvr rental fees but I will answer anyway.

1) no extra charge beyond what their normal stb fee is

2) no you can't. You aren't a Comcast customer and they don't sell boxes. It will be obsolete in a few months when they replace it with an X2 box.

3) that will be irrelevant when they move to cloud storage on the successor model later this year

BTW....it looks like X2 is just an internal Comcast code name for their next-gen software after X1 (see my link above). The same Comcast Xfinity Pace XG1 and RNG 150N set top boxes will run the X2 software, which just ushers in cloud-based DVR.
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