HDHomeRun - Dual ATSC or QAM to Ethernet Box - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceCadet View Post

I got the information on the virtual ATSC tuner from Silicondust's support/development forum. As far as I know, Vista only supports QAM in the context of an OCUR. The HDHomeRun can't emulate an OCUR because most cable systems are analog/digital hybrids and the HDHomeRun doesn't have an NTSC tuner. If it did, emulating an external OCUR without a CableCARD would be the best way to support it (Vista would be able to record all unencrypted QAM channels).

I don't think it needs to emulate an OCUR device though. The HDHomerun does not use BDA drivers, but rather appears to Windows as a Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) device. This is unique, and would allow it to tune and record QAM in Windows, provided you have some way to map those channels you want to record to the guide, which I believe they are going to work on.
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post #62 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 03:44 PM
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I just set one up. Connected directly to my HTPC, using tftpd32 to give it an IP...SageTV 5.0.4 was easy to setup. Channels are mapped and guide data (it uses the built in SageTV guide) is good. I'm using OTA...I don't get any more channels with QAM.

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post #63 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by SpaceCadet View Post

the HDHomeRun doesn't have an NTSC tuner.

That is incorrect. The hdhr's receiver does have NTSC capabilities, however, its just that the device doesn't implement it ... the technical reason being that the device would also need to incorporate an A/V decoder in order to digitize the cvsb signal coming from the receiver
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post #64 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CityK View Post

That is incorrect. The hdhr's receiver does have NTSC capabilities, however, its just that the device doesn't implement it ... the technical reason being that the device would also need to incorporate an A/V decoder in order to digitize the cvsb signal coming from the receiver

Encoder . What they would need to do is take the analog signal from the tuner, then encode it in mpeg-2 (with an encoder chip, just like a lot of pci tuner cards do), and then since its digital, put it over the network just like they do with the hd stream.

It wouldn't surprise me if they do this at some point.
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post #65 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munkee Boy View Post

I don't think it needs to emulate an OCUR device though. . . . would allow it to tune and record QAM in Windows, provided you have some way to map those channels you want to record to the guide, which I believe they are going to work on.

You can use it to record QAM channels in Windows now if you're using another application; I was responding to an inquiry about using it with MCE, where the fact that Silicondust is implementing MCE QAM support as a virtual ATSC tuner is relevant.
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Originally Posted by CityK View Post

The hdhr's receiver does have NTSC capabilities, however, its just that the device doesn't implement it ... the technical reason being that the device would also need to incorporate an A/V decoder in order to digitize the cvsb signal coming from the receiver

It's irrelevant that it has an NTSC tuner if the hardware doesn't have at least a video digitizer (and preferably a hardware MPEG-2 encoder; it also has to have an analog demodulator); the NTSC tuner cannot be used.
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post #66 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceCadet View Post

I think that there are going to be serious limitations under MCE. Silicondust plans on mapping the QAM channels to ATSC channels, since MCE doesn't support QAM. MCE guide information for ATSC channels is for OTA signals. Therefor, I suspect that one will only be able to receive QAM channels that have an OTA ATSC equivalent, i.e., major-network broadcasts. Using your digital cable guide data probably isn't going to work, because MCE will use the ATSC guide data for the virtual ATSC tuner. This doesn't bother me because most digital channels are encrypted anyway; at least I'll be able to receive major-network shows in DTV/HDTV if Slicondust can write a functional MCE driver.


I'm not sure about you but the only unencrypted QAM channels I get have ATSC equivalents. I get all my standard channels up to 23 in digital 480i, and then just the major networks in HD anyway.

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post #67 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 07:30 PM
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Just to chime in. I am using this device with SageTV to watch QAM non-5C'ed local HD channels, and I am very pleased with it's performance, quality, and integration with SageTV.
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post #68 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceCadet View Post

You can use it to record QAM channels in Windows now if you're using another application; I was responding to an inquiry about using it with MCE, where the fact that Silicondust is implementing MCE QAM support as a virtual ATSC tuner is relevant.

What I said also applies to MCE. I'll refer you to this thread.

"MCE supports UPnP for streaming video sources - it will show up as a source in the same way it does for a BDA driver."

I'm not sure what you are getting at with the "virtual ATSC tuner" thing. The majority only receive their locals via QAM anyway. If you get more than that, you are the exception to the rule. If you get channels that don't have an OTA equivalent to map to, you could always map it to the analog versions of those channels (I believe this has been done before). It will still record on the digital tuner, but use the guide data from the analog channel.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityK View Post

That is incorrect. The hdhr's receiver does have NTSC capabilities, however, its just that the device doesn't implement it ... the technical reason being that the device would also need to incorporate an A/V decoder in order to digitize the cvsb signal coming from the receiver

It's irrelevant that it has an NTSC tuner if the hardware doesn't have at least a video digitizer (and preferably a hardware MPEG-2 encoder; it also has to have an analog demodulator); the NTSC tuner cannot be used.

Agreed. That is rather nitpicky and unimportant.
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post #69 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceCadet View Post

it also has to have an analog demodulator); the NTSC tuner cannot be used.

It does have a NTSC demodulator. The key word from my post was receiver. Receiver = tuner + demodulator(s). The hdhr utilizes twin Thomson NIMs.
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It's irrelevant that it has an NTSC tuner if the hardware doesn't have at least a video digitizer (and preferably a hardware MPEG-2 encoder

yes, a hardware encoder would certainly greatly assist the packetization process

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Originally Posted by Munkee Boy View Post

Agreed. That is rather nitpicky and unimportant.

Call it irrelevant or nitpicky or whatever ... but it was still a statement of fact. And that is all it was.
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post #70 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtvm View Post

Encoder . What they would need to do is take the analog signal from the tuner, then encode it in mpeg-2 (with an encoder chip, just like a lot of pci tuner cards do), and then since its digital, put it over the network just like they do with the hd stream.

No, I was talking about an A/V decoder. The output from an analog demodulator is a cvsb signal that is inputed into an A/V decoder for digitization. From the A/V decoder, the digital bitstream (RGB or YUV) would then be inputed into a MPEG2 encoder.

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It wouldn't surprise me if they do this at some point.

They could, its certainly a possibility, but I don't know if they would bother with analog dissapearing. I think they were just thinking of keeping it as a digital device.

One thing interesting though (from a cursory google search into its internal elements) is that its Ubicom network controller is from a wireless family apparantly....a natural evolution
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post #71 of 1966 Old 11-26-2006, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munkee Boy View Post

What I said also applies to MCE. I'll refer you to this thread.

"MCE supports UPnP for streaming video sources - it will show up as a source in the same way it does for a BDA driver."

I'm not sure what you are getting at with the "virtual ATSC tuner" thing. The majority only receive their locals via QAM anyway. If you get more than that, you are the exception to the rule. If you get channels that don't have an OTA equivalent to map to, you could always map it to the analog versions of those channels (I believe this has been done before). It will still record on the digital tuner, but use the guide data from the analog channel.

That's exactly the thread that I was talking about. Using a virtual ATSC tuner is an obvious solution to MCE's lack of QAM support, but it has the problems that I have referred to, including manual channel mapping. I've always wondered why other QAM-tuner vendors haven't done this. I posted about this long ago on The Green Button. This is the quote from the thread you referenced which refers to the virtual ATSC tuner:
"It would be possible to code a channel/sub-channel translation layer that would make the QAM channels appear to be OTA ATSC channels."
I currently don't have a digital tuner because I can't get OTA ATSC (which is why I'm interested in the HDHomeRun), but as far as I know it's not possible to use the guide data from the analog channels with the ATSC tuners (real or virtual). MCE's limitations with tuner types has always been a guide problem. It uses only one guide, and in the US the OTA ATSC guide data is bundled with the analog guide data, but MCE distinguishes between the two internally. There's a difference between clear QAM and encrypted QAM; all of your digital cable channels wiill be QAM, and many more channels than are available via OTA ATSC will be available via either clear QAM or analog (guides; cable-only local, community, and religious channels; government channels, etc.), but the most useful channels that aren't available OTA or via analog will be encrypted. In a few years, analog will go away, and you will need QAM for everything, but by then you'll have a PC with an OCUR and a CableCARD. Anyway, if you actually read my original post you would see that I addressed the limited clear-QAM issue--I considered HDHomeRun, despite the current price, as being useful just to get the major networks in DTV/HDTV.
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post #72 of 1966 Old 11-27-2006, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by CityK View Post

They could, its certainly a possibility, but I don't know if they would bother with analog dissapearing.

Hadn't thought of that, but the way they keep pushing back the 'cutoff' date, it could be another 5 years or more. There's no requirement for cable companies to go digital as far as I know, so they may hang on to their analog distribution for a long time. If you are only using over-the-air, you will have to have a digital tuner of some kind at the 'cutoff' date, if using cable or satellite, life will go on as usual.
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post #73 of 1966 Old 11-28-2006, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by curtvm View Post

There's no requirement for cable companies to go digital as far as I know, so they may hang on to their analog distribution for a long time.

Are you kidding? Cable companies love digital. It allows them to cram in more useless channels in the same bandwidth. They love forcing you to pay exorbitant STB fees. They love STB's anyway because of the control that it gives them and to entice you to try revenue-enhancing services such as pay-per-view and video-on-demand. Say goodbye to analog the instant that your last local station goes digital.
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post #74 of 1966 Old 11-28-2006, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SpaceCadet View Post

Are you kidding? Cable companies love digital. It allows them to cram in more useless channels in the same bandwidth. They love forcing you to pay exorbitant STB fees. They love STB's anyway because of the control that it gives them and to entice you to try revenue-enhancing services such as pay-per-view and video-on-demand. Say goodbye to analog the instant that your last local station goes digital.

I'm not sure how its going to shake out, but I bet its going to be a mess when it actually happens. Most people don't even know that the local over-the-air stations are also digital/hd. I didn't realize it until about 2 years ago when I hooked up a tv that had a digital tuner in it. The local stations seem to want to keep it a secret.

I know cable companies want to extract as much as they can from every subscriber, but I would think they would know that if they force every 'basic service' subscriber to go digital, they are going to lose a bunch of subscribers. I think their current system (at least in my town) of analog/digital will be around for awhile. I'm not sure where they can come up with more useless channels anyway .
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post #75 of 1966 Old 11-28-2006, 11:11 AM
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Has anyone tried this box with Win 2K instead of XP?
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post #76 of 1966 Old 11-28-2006, 01:59 PM
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"I know cable companies want to extract as much as they can from every subscriber, but I would think they would know that if they force every 'basic service' subscriber to go digital, they are going to lose a bunch of subscribers."

how so? when (not if) the locals go digital, they won't have a choice beyond:

1) leasing digital converter box from cable company (same number of channels)
2) buying converter box for OTA locals (far less channels)
3) buying a digital TV (bigger $$$$) for OTA (far less channels)
4) going satellite


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post #77 of 1966 Old 11-28-2006, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jimwhite View Post

"I know cable companies want to extract as much as they can from every subscriber, but I would think they would know that if they force every 'basic service' subscriber to go digital, they are going to lose a bunch of subscribers."

how so? when (not if) the locals go digital, they won't have a choice beyond:

1) leasing digital converter box from cable company (same number of channels)
2) buying converter box for OTA locals (far less channels)
3) buying a digital TV (bigger $$$$) for OTA (far less channels)
4) going satellite


5) Do nothing. Cable companies can keep the 'analog delivery system' going for as long as they want (as far as I know). The only thing the cable company will need to do is change the input of their modulators (for the locals) to their digital receivers. They already have the digital receivers for the locals, just hook up a/v output of digital receiver to a/v input of modulator.

If someone has cable split to 3-4 tv's in the house, under the above scenario they don't have to buy a box of any kind for each tv. If the cable company decides to chuck the 'analog delivery system', then a box (or cablecard) is needed for every tv in the house. I don't think they want to give their subscribers reasons to start looking at other options (such as satellite, or realize how good ota can be).

Let's say the 'switch' is going to happen in 1 month-

Cable companies can say- 'Don't worry, if you are a subscriber of Super Duper Cable, you don't have to do a thing. BUT, if you want take advantage of the new Super High Definition Incredible TV Signal, we have a box we can rent you for only......'

The 90% of ota people will wake up some morning, turn on their tv, see a snowy picture, and then call the tv repairman.
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post #78 of 1966 Old 11-28-2006, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mac The Knife View Post

Has anyone tried this box with Win 2K instead of XP?

No, but it will work with any OS that has networking and can run VLC. Their GUI little config/tune program requires .Net 2.0 runtime, but I don't think the commandline version does. How fast a machine you will need to view hd is a different matter.
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post #79 of 1966 Old 11-30-2006, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by greggplummer View Post

I tried the SageTV beta and it is even worse. I'm sure I haven't spent enough time with SageTV, because I read comments from many people who claim that it is a great program. The beta with HDHomeRun isn't very good. SageTV doesn't find any of the channels during a scan. And after manually adding a channel, you cannot get it to recognize any of the 'programs'.

.

Not sure which version you tried, but the release candidate for the sage plugin has been available for the last few days.

You should definitely retry SageTV - I'm not alone in saying that the HDHomerun and SageTV now works perfectly for both QAM and ATSC. That includes mapped channel, subchannels and full guide info.

No problems whatsoever with this device. It's one of my favorite gadget purchase this year. I got rid of the Dvico Fusion and the Firewire from the cablebox.
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post #80 of 1966 Old 11-30-2006, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tomtnt View Post

Not sure which version you tried, but the release candidate for the sage plugin has been available for the last few days.

You should definitely retry SageTV - I'm not alone in saying that the HDHomerun and SageTV now works perfectly for both QAM and ATSC. That includes mapped channel, subchannels and full guide info.

No problems whatsoever with this device. It's one of my favorite gadget purchase this year. I got rid of the Dvico Fusion and the Firewire from the cablebox.

I should probably spend some time over at the Silicondust forums because I haven't been able to get it to work very well on my systems. I think I'm running the latest versions. I'll need to figure this out in the next few days because my SageTV trial is about to expire.

I did get it to work reasonably well with OTA even though I couldn't get the channel scan using the CLI version of hdhomerun_config.exe to work with 8vsb. I've had less luck with QAM. I followed all of the configuration instructions, including the channel scan with the CLI version of hdhomerun_config.exe. The scan finds all of the channels and subchannels. However, when I run SageTV and try to configure it by using the setup wizard, once I get to the part where you enter your zipcode and choose your lineup things start going down hill. The list of digital broadcast for my location doesn't include the cable service we use, which is Charter cable. Instead it lists all the satellite services like Dish and DirectTV. There is nothing on the list for any cable service. So I can't simply edit the channels from one of these services to remap them for Charter. Basically, I have to start from scratch and add the channels manually. However, none of the channels mapped to a channel number greater than 100 will play. The SageTV HDHomeRun Manager status shows these channels have good signal strength, quality, etc. In Sage, I get an error that tells me that there was a problem rendering the video portion for playback. I don't know if there is a problem with channels numbered larger than 100 or if it is because all of these channels are HD. All of the OTA HD channels work in Sage.

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post #81 of 1966 Old 11-30-2006, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimwhite View Post

"I know cable companies want to extract as much as they can from every subscriber, but I would think they would know that if they force every 'basic service' subscriber to go digital, they are going to lose a bunch of subscribers."

how so? when (not if) the locals go digital, they won't have a choice beyond:

1) leasing digital converter box from cable company (same number of channels)
2) buying converter box for OTA locals (far less channels)
3) buying a digital TV (bigger $$$$) for OTA (far less channels)
4) going satellite


Losing subscribers to satellite (or by then...to a telephone company) is what the cable operators want to avoid. Also, having an analog tier to service analog televisions (sans STBs) is a differentiator against Telco and Satellite.

My guess is that the cable companies gradually reduce the number of analog channels available -- so that analog TVs with no STB can still get service (with fewer channels), but the cable operators can free up more and more spectrum for digital services (such as more HD channels). Eventually they will phase out analog altogether, but not immediately after local stations cease analog broadcasts. They'll wait until the percentage of digital subscribers (which currently hovers around 50%, as I recall) is closer to 100%.
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post #82 of 1966 Old 12-01-2006, 05:03 AM
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"My guess is that the cable companies gradually reduce the number of analog channels available "

in retrospect, you've got a point.... they'll probably keep the analog "basic cable" package (maybe about 25 channels), and ALL upgrades will require an STB....


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post #83 of 1966 Old 12-01-2006, 06:02 AM
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FYI, Nick (the hdhomerun developer) has created a mce usergroup on the silicondust forums. Hopefully this means that a beta driver will be available soon!
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post #84 of 1966 Old 12-01-2006, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek K. View Post

FYI, Nick (the hdhomerun developer) has created a mce usergroup on the silicondust forums. Hopefully this means that a beta driver will be available soon!

And if the SageTV drivers are any indication, he'll have this up and running in MCE in no time. The Sage drivers went from Beta 1 to RC1 in 1.5 weeks.
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post #85 of 1966 Old 12-02-2006, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomtnt View Post

Not sure which version you tried, but the release candidate for the sage plugin has been available for the last few days.

You should definitely retry SageTV - I'm not alone in saying that the HDHomerun and SageTV now works perfectly for both QAM and ATSC. That includes mapped channel, subchannels and full guide info.

No problems whatsoever with this device. It's one of my favorite gadget purchase this year. I got rid of the Dvico Fusion and the Firewire from the cablebox.

if your lineup doesn't exist, you can pick a neighboring city and just remap your channel to that lineup. Or just remap QAM to the off the air lineup.

ie, if your abc is 8.1 OTA and 103.5 off the air, just remap physical channel 8.1 to 103.5

with regards to your >100 problem - is the file being written correctly? Go look at the directory to are recording to and see if the file is growing. Or just record a short 5 minute clip and try playing it.
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post #86 of 1966 Old 12-02-2006, 07:39 AM
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I'm a newbie to VLC and I can't get a stream to VLC from the HDHomerun OTA tuner
I launch the windows version of the Homerun config and it shows high strength signal. I then launch VLC from the Homerun config utility and I get nothing and "Navigation" is empty. I have VLC set to port 5000 and I turned my McAfee firewall off.
Is there something obvious I'm not doing?
Thanks for any help
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post #87 of 1966 Old 12-02-2006, 09:18 AM
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Got it figured out...I uninstalled everything in "McAfee Total Protection" (except Virus Protection) and now VLC and HDHomerun work perfectly. I don't know why simply turning off the firewall in McAfee didn't work. There are a number of anti-intrusion settings in McAfee and maybe they were the source of the block.

The Windows Firewall asks for permissions and when granted, VLC works great.

The HDHomerun is a great gadget! OTA High Def looks great through VLC.

Now on to configuring Sage...
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post #88 of 1966 Old 12-02-2006, 08:54 PM
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Tested the latest version with QAM, using GUI and VLC over 802.11g. Because of filtering, this is the first time that I'm able to watch high data rate QAM channels over 802.11g without breakup (8VSB has always been working well). The filtering has lowered the data rate to within 802.11g rates.

I can now watch both 8VSB and QAM over 802.11g without breakups. Great progress!

Former Top 1000 Amazon reviewer bemoaning the loss of objective user reviews. Amazon, stop your complacency!
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post #89 of 1966 Old 12-03-2006, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimwhite View Post

"My guess is that the cable companies gradually reduce the number of analog channels available "

in retrospect, you've got a point.... they'll probably keep the analog "basic cable" package (maybe about 25 channels), and ALL upgrades will require an STB....


In fact, the pending end of analog broadcasts (February 17, 2009) applies only to analog OTA broadcasters. Both cable companies and DSS satellite broadcasters (who are not affected by the OTA date) would be expected to produce at least one more generation of STBs after that date that offer 480i analog outputs. Congress has also earmarked $1.5B for "free" D/A converter boxes to subsidize those citizens who have only analog OTA receivers. The free converters are expected to cost the taxpayer $50 each - plus whatever the expenses a government distribution and allocation system costs us (which might be a few hundred dollars per box considering typical government efficiency). Togather these exceptions allow the existing analog DVRs and analog VCRs to be used with existing analog CRT televisions for at least another 10 years or so after the analog OTA signals are gone.

The important date that has not been changed is July 1, 2007 - the date when all newly manufactured TVs, VCRs, DVRs, etc. must contain digital tuners. That doesn't mean they won't also contain analog tuners and 480i video inputs for older A/V gear or cable systems or satellite broadcasts.

Bottom line: we'll be dealing with 480i equipment and signals until at least 2019. At some point such 480i images and equipment become the domain of those who today treasure vacuum tube electronics in audio gear. These folks will nostalgicly view 480i B&W videos on vacuum tube CRTs from "the good old days" for decades after 2009, claiming magic properties for analog TV that have more to do with childhood memories of analog programming than technical merit.

Gary

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post #90 of 1966 Old 12-03-2006, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tomtnt View Post

if your lineup doesn't exist, you can pick a neighboring city and just remap your channel to that lineup. Or just remap QAM to the off the air lineup.

ie, if your abc is 8.1 OTA and 103.5 off the air, just remap physical channel 8.1 to 103.5

with regards to your >100 problem - is the file being written correctly? Go look at the directory to are recording to and see if the file is growing. Or just record a short 5 minute clip and try playing it.

Good advice. It was actually a little easier. I just had to pick another nearby zip code and was able to get a good channel lineup. However, I subscribe to the extended basic service. This is still just the analog service, so some of the channels, like the unencrypted local HD channels, are not included in their EPG. Instead, I had to add these channels manually.

I don't quite follow your logic for remapping the HD OTA channel to the cable channel. Why would I want to do this? I already have the OTA HD channel listed and working. I don't have the cable channel working. I'm trying to get them both working. Since this is a dual tuner setup, with one tuner connected to my cable service and the other to an antenna for OTA, won't I be able to watch one channel while recording another only if the channel being watched is not using the same tuner as the channel being recorded? Under your scenario, I will not be able to watch an HD program while recording a different HD program, because the only source for HD will be OTA, right? That's why I'd like to get the HD programming from my cable system working in SageTV.

These channels that aren't working in SageTV, work fine using VLC.

Gregg Plummer
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