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post #721 of 1315 Old 05-22-2007, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post

So are you basically still suggesting RAID5 is bad solution for HTPC use? If so why, as virtualization, compilers, online file sycronization isn't exaclty HTPC usage?

RAID5 has higher read throughput than single drive or RAID1(Which could improve os file access, indexing and media playback which is all read heavy), couldn't this help offset the slightly slower write speed while giving redundancy at a better cost per mb ratio?

Raid 1 can have the same read speed as raid 0 (although not usually implemented this way). Because data is duplicated, you can read alternate blocks off of either drive. So, it could actually have better read performance than raid 5. However writing would be similar/slighty worse than a single drive.
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post #722 of 1315 Old 05-23-2007, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiba3420 View Post

Raid 1 can have the same read speed as raid 0 (although not usually implemented this way). Because data is duplicated, you can read alternate blocks off of either drive. So, it could actually have better read performance than raid 5. However writing would be similar/slighty worse than a single drive.

Not exactly true, besides the fact that most RAID 1 solutions don't split read load between the two drives, once you have more than 3 drives on RAID5 reads will be distributed across 3+ spindles exceeding any RAID 1 solution at a better cost per megabyte ratio as well since its n-1 capacity vs RAID1 n/2 capacity. Ideally you should be doing 4-8 drives in RAID5 choosing more smaller spindles than 3 large ones. Past 8 and you start running into too high a statistical double failure rate and need to look at RAID6.

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post #723 of 1315 Old 05-23-2007, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

All internal and external tuners arrived today. We have way more than we need for back orders so no worries there. I'll see about getting an email out today as well...

Chris, my apologies if this has been asked before.

Can i order a new CineMagix Grand Theater with just ONE cablecard DCT and order an additional one from you later if desired? or must both be purchased with the original order?

thanks
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post #724 of 1315 Old 05-23-2007, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMiller View Post

When will you be shipping the external tuners out?
How will you be shipping the external tuners? They may be small and light enough that air instead of ground could be an option.
Will Velocity Micro be sending each of us an email with tracking information for the shipment as soon as it is delivered to the carrier?

Ben, please call sales to work out the details, I'm no in charge of filling the back orders and do not have that info. If you run into any problems, please give me a buzz.
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post #725 of 1315 Old 05-23-2007, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmccart View Post

Chris, my apologies if this has been asked before.

Can i order a new CineMagix Grand Theater with just ONE cablecard DCT and order an additional one from you later if desired? or must both be purchased with the original order?

thanks

Yes, you can order one at a later date.
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post #726 of 1315 Old 05-24-2007, 08:58 AM
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i just got a tracking number my external cable card is arriving tomorrow.
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post #727 of 1315 Old 05-25-2007, 06:25 AM
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So, as I play catch up to this thread, is it safe to assume I could place an order now without any major delays? Does VM have enough cable card DCT's for new orders or just back orders?
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post #728 of 1315 Old 05-25-2007, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post

Seems like alot of misconceptions on raid 5 causing people to steer clear of it for HTPC use when it is actually a really good solution for the HTPC drive sub system including OS files.

Justin

I agree. I think RAID 5 is a great solution for HTPC and this is what i'm going to order. In fact, with the cheap price of big drives these days, I will even consider having a spare drive on hand in case of failure. For me, uptime is very important.
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post #729 of 1315 Old 05-25-2007, 11:27 AM
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There here, recived my 2 internal cards and install went with out a hitch. I did have one tuner with bad picture, replace spliter which seemed fine on STB's and all is well. Seems strange not seeing comcast chanel bar at bottom (could not find a way to turn off) with old STB's. Now well see if the tech arrives with my cable cards....
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post #730 of 1315 Old 05-25-2007, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intofx View Post

So, as I play catch up to this thread, is it safe to assume I could place an order now without any major delays? Does VM have enough cable card DCT's for new orders or just back orders?

Yup, lead times are about 2 weeks, which is normal for our systems.
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post #731 of 1315 Old 05-25-2007, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keifer1 View Post

There here, recived my 2 internal cards and install went with out a hitch. I did have one tuner with bad picture, replace spliter which seemed fine on STB's and all is well. Seems strange not seeing comcast chanel bar at bottom (could not find a way to turn off) with old STB's. Now well see if the tech arrives with my cable cards....

Excellent.
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post #732 of 1315 Old 05-25-2007, 04:02 PM
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Comcast out on Thursday to install the Cablecards.

-- Jim
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post #733 of 1315 Old 05-25-2007, 05:09 PM
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Got a wild hair and ran scan for more services again and found 24 channels. Seems that when I first ran tv setup had bad spliter, and system only scanned one card and scanned one with bad signal... Picture quality A+ and dolby digital sound! Now where is comcast for my cablecards?
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post #734 of 1315 Old 05-25-2007, 07:06 PM
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Things start to get ugly. Set a few programs to record, Laura croft Cool - fox, some thing called closer to home, on one of the big 3 up pops msg cannot record copy rite restrictons... switched to show plays and in HD but will not record!
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post #735 of 1315 Old 05-25-2007, 08:18 PM
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OK time to calm down and play more. Still on QAM will call comcast to see what's up on cable cards. I decided to restart and program recorded properly in hd so did law and order. So there must be other issues, Need to play around and see what trigers copyrite restrictions while in digital mode vs non-digital. Hoped even though poor signal quality could triger recording errors or restrictions on non digital, would not be issue with QAM now time to test test and see whats up. Sound and video great in live playback and recorded, no longer have to wait to watch after firewire recording finished! Will keep posting yall (small salling ship).

Thank you Microsoft, Ati and of course Velocity Micro!
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post #736 of 1315 Old 05-29-2007, 12:23 PM
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Cards are installed, without any problems. Service put cards in, mediacenter pops up and provided couple sets of numbers along with the cards sn's contacted head office. We waited and waited for config conifrm from head office, when I looked at diag screen in media center which showed both activated, away we go. All seems to be working time to play and test!
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post #737 of 1315 Old 05-30-2007, 02:46 PM
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I just called COX to schedule a CableCard install and was told they are not supporting them at this time. I have 2 CableCards in my TIVO and am wondering if I can just install them myself and then have them come out and re-install 2 cards in my TIVO (which they do support). Anyone know how difficult it is to activate these myself??
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post #738 of 1315 Old 05-30-2007, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jclausing View Post

I just called COX to schedule a CableCard install and was told they are not supporting them at this time. I have 2 CableCards in my TIVO and am wondering if I can just install them myself and then have them come out and re-install 2 cards in my TIVO (which they do support). Anyone know how difficult it is to activate these myself??

They can't do that. It's a CableLabs certified device so they're required to support it. If they give you grief ask to talk to a supervisor.

On moving the cards from your tivo, it depends on how cox does their pairing. I can move my cablecards from dct to dct to tv and they work, others I've talked to have to re-pair when they move the card from one device to another.
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post #739 of 1315 Old 05-30-2007, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrown View Post

They can't do that. It's a CableLabs certified device so they're required to support it. If they give you grief ask to talk to a supervisor.

On moving the cards from your tivo, it depends on how cox does their pairing. I can move my cablecards from dct to dct to tv and they work, others I've talked to have to re-pair when they move the card from one device to another.

Cox San Diego has installed CableCards into Vista MCE machines for me multiple times before, never had much of a problem getting it scheduled correctly and the techs that did the installed were always very interested in them and liked the Vista MCE interface and way of doing it a lot.

Ask for a supervisor if the salesperson you're talking to is unaware of them.

Douglas Thigpen
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post #740 of 1315 Old 05-30-2007, 05:28 PM
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Thanks for the info, I'll call back tomorrow and ask for a supervisor. If that doesn't work, maybe I'll just say it is for a Tivo and when the tech gets there, have him install them into the PC.
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post #741 of 1315 Old 05-30-2007, 05:58 PM
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When comcast came out I offered to help, He kinda declined and indicated he had workd with comcast for three months and had installed cards before. I recomended he write SN of cards down but declinded. In go cards and ms asks for digital key and pops up with 2 sets of numbers for each card. Of course we pop cards out and reboot he gets SN's and called head office with SN and 2 sets of numbers for each card... we wait and wait for head office to report status, I decided to look at diag screen and showed all working. Time to push live TV and viola it was working. It think he may be still waiting for that call on status form office. If I can help pls PM me and I will send you my phone #.
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post #742 of 1315 Old 05-30-2007, 09:33 PM
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I received my external ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner from Velocity Micro yesterday and installed it without a CableCARD in my Velocity Micro S85 (Core Duo E6600, 2048MB XMS2 DDR2-800, 640MB eVGA GeForce 8800GTS, 2x750GB Seagate 7200rpm SATA RAID 1, Vista Ultimate 32-bit with Digital Cable Support, Dell 2407FP monitor). I am using Grande Communications for my digital cable.

The initial installation went very smoothly. I was up and running on the analog channels (2 through 99) with absolutely no problems. I can watch and record TV while doing several other things on my computer, and everything works well.

I then tried to follow the instructions in the Digital Cable Tuner User's Guide for "Settling up a Digital Cable TV Signal without a CableCARD" in order to get clear QAM channels in addition to the analog channels. I followed the instructions to "Scan for More Services" and it found 70 additional frequencies. However, then I started having problems. The instructions are definitely not complete. They state that you have to manually match channel listings in the Guide to discovered frequencies", but they don't say how to do so. I called Velocity Micro for help, and the technician was not able to help me - he had never configured a Digital Cable Tuner without a CableCARD for clear QAM. This was late yesterday evening. He did offer to have an expert call me the next day - today - to help me.

Today, I received a phone call from Chris Morley himself to help me with the configuration. He helped me find the right place to set up the clear QAM channels, and I was able to set them all up. Once they are all set up, it works fine on these channels, but setting them up requires manually looking at each frequency, determining what channel it contains, and then telling Media Center what channel is on each frequency. This has to be done separately for each channel.

I was initially very pleased when Media Center told me I had 70 additional channels, but I really didn't get that many. The 70 additions clear QAM channels that Media Center found on Grande Communications contained the following:
  • Local HD broadcast channels - 5 channels
  • Discovery Home - 1 channel
  • Wealth TV - 1 channel
  • Pay for View and Sports Preview Channels - 2 channels
  • URGE Radio music channels - 54 channels
  • Channels with no signal - 7 channels
After completing the configuration (matching each channel manually), I can now watch and record these channels just like the others. I also played back a recording of an HD program on another computer (using Media Player on XP) to verify the lack of DRM).

If anyone else needs help in setting up clear QAM, please contact me. I can provide more detailed instructions if needed about how it actually works.

I will probably be purchasing a second Digital Cable Tuner - configuring one with a CableCARD for the premium channels and one without for clear QAM. I have noticed with my cable company DVR that whenever I need to record two programs at the same time one of them is on a broadcast channel. This is especially true since most of the premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) repeat their programs several times, so I can find one without a conflict. This will also provide recording of the broadcast channels (including the clear QAM HD channels) without DRM protection.

My next step is to contact Grande Communications for the CableCARD installation. I have already found a manager to call directly to set up the appointment, since the people who answer the phone do not understand CableCARD.

Summary - The Good:
  • Ease of basic installation of the Digital Cable Tuner
  • Ease of use of Media Center
  • Picture quality - especially on the HD channels
  • Velocity Micro technical support - although the first technician could not help me, he had the person who could call me the next day
  • Ease of use of clear QAM - after it is configured
  • My local HD channels without an antenna or DRM
  • My Velocity Micro S85 - able to display HD in a window while running several other programs with no problems
Summary - The Bad:
  • Complexity of configuration of clear QAM channels
  • Lack of clear QAM channels from Grande Communications (except local broadcast and music channels)

I will provide an update later on how the CableCARD installation goes. It may be a while, since I have not scheduled it yet.
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post #743 of 1315 Old 05-30-2007, 11:05 PM
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Hi Ben,

Since no one has answered your question back from early May and you mentioned it in your post above about using one DCT with cablecard and one DCT without cablecard this is just a possible heads up. If it works, great, but I figure someone with dual DCTs now can test this now.

I checked the Windows Vista Product Guide (from Microsoft), reference information is on page 162.
"Dual digital cable tuners (with or without two CableCARDs) (E.g., They both have CableCARDS or they both do not have CableCARDS)"
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post #744 of 1315 Old 05-31-2007, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkabt View Post

Hi Ben,

I checked the Windows Vista Product Guide (from Microsoft), reference information is on page 162.
"Dual digital cable tuners (with or without two CableCARDs) (E.g., They both have CableCARDS or they both do not have CableCARDS)"

That's correct, they have to be the same. Just like before you couldn't have one tuner with a set-top box and one without.
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post #745 of 1315 Old 05-31-2007, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mabrown View Post

That's correct, they have to be the same. Just like before you couldn't have one tuner with a set-top box and one without.

That's a bummer.

Do I have any options to record, for example, HBO HD and local CBS HD from cable at the same time other than two Digital Cable Tuners with two CableCARDs? I don't live very close to the transmitters, so I don't want to go with over the air ATSC.

If I use this configuration, is the CBS HD signal protected against playback on another computer even though it is being transmitted in clear QAM without any protection?

Has anyone actually tried the configuration with one with a CableCARD and one without to see what Media Center does?
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post #746 of 1315 Old 05-31-2007, 09:38 AM
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I tried to play HBOHD- 400 / CBS-410 / Food TV-32 from capture with cablecards on a xp system and all media reported restrictions / will only play from machine recorded on, the food tv recordings had a message this pin cannot use supplied media type?
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post #747 of 1315 Old 05-31-2007, 09:44 AM
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Just means that DirectShow couldn't connect all needed filters to render the recording. In other words, it's protected so it will not playback.

Chris
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post #748 of 1315 Old 05-31-2007, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keifer1 View Post

I tried to play HBOHD- 400 / CBS-410 / Food TV-32 from capture with cablecards on a xp system and all media reported restrictions / will only play from machine recorded on, the food tv recordings had a message this pin cannot use supplied media type?

That's why I would like to use analog cable for Food TV and clear QAM for CBS to avoid the restrictions. I understand the restrictions on HBO. I understand I can get an ATI 650 as a second tuner to record the analog cable channels without restrictions but this still leaves no way to get the clear QAM (e.g., CBS HD) without restrictions. I may settle for a 650 and record the analog version of CBS instead of the HD version in order to avoid the restrictions.
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post #749 of 1315 Old 05-31-2007, 10:54 AM
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Well - I think I was one of the first to post about recieving my VM system on this thread, and I can finally say that I am 95% up and running. Two tuners, two cablecards, eveything is working great. I have even come to love the MCE interface.

I have two issues remaining to fix - first is that the system will not automatically enter sleep mode, but from all the research I have done on this - including calls to VM support - indicate that this is a known MS issue scheduled to be fixed in the first service pack. Please let me know if this is incorrect. The system will go into sleep mode manually, but if it wakes to record it will not go back to sleep without user interaction.

Second is that the temperatures are getting a little high in my cabinet. The system stays at what it considers acceptable temperatures, but it is still a little high for me. The 8800GTS runs at 85 celcius pretty consistently - and while it seems this is not absurd (ntune has a shutoff at 120+!), it is a little high I think. Some of the problem is that about half of the fan on the card is effectively blocked by the internal DCT. I am researching adding a fan system from CAB-COOL, but I am concerned about noise... we will see.

Also, if you have one of these systems - do yourself a favor and spend $50 on some readyboost memory. I had a 2GB CF card lying around from my digital camera - threw it in the multi-reader and my MCE experience is 50-75% faster (scrolling, loading album art, etc). I strongly recommend this quick easy performance upgrade.

Dave.
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post #750 of 1315 Old 05-31-2007, 11:31 AM
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Quote:


Do I have any options to record, for example, HBO HD and local CBS HD from cable at the same time other than two Digital Cable Tuners with two CableCARDs? I don't live very close to the transmitters, so I don't want to go with over the air ATSC.

If you get a HDHomeRun networked tuner (www.silicondust.com) you can use 2 x OCUR + the two tuners in the HDHomeRun to record clear QAM. HDHomeRun's drivers map clear QAM to ATSC so MCE thinks you are viewing ATSC. Since 2 x OCUR + 2 x ATSC works in MCE this could be a solution for you. Note I have not tried this personally yet.
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