Panasonic HS2000 and Comcast DTA? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 110 Old 12-09-2009, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi-

I've been searching threads on this, got confused, and figured I'd just ask straight out if anyone has managed to get an old HS2000 working with the Comcast DTA. The DTA model type is DCI1011.

I activated this morning via online chat, and my two TVs are working, but not the Showstopper. I told the rep that there was no indication in the instructions or anywhere else that DVRs wouldn't work with the DTA device, and in fact when it says "connect the VCR *or other recording device*" it implies that they will. She was very pleasant, but I'm very unhappy!

Anyway, is there a way to get this combo working as it used to? I don't mind going through whatever I have to as long as it works in the end, esp. since I have a free lifetime subscription to the Panasonic service.

Thanks very much-

-Susan
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post #2 of 110 Old 12-09-2009, 09:05 AM
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I don't know if your DTA is the same model, but you might want to check out this thread on the subject...

Henry
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post #3 of 110 Old 12-09-2009, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Henry-

I did read that thread, but I still couldn't tell if anyone got Comcast's DTA working with the Showstopper HS2000.

Thanks-

-Susan
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post #4 of 110 Old 12-09-2009, 10:03 AM
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Well, while not explicitly, it did say that people got the Comcast DTA working with their ReplayTVs, and it gives instructions on how to install the custom IR blaster codes on a ShowStopper. So, assuming that your DTA is the same model or uses the same IR blaster codes as posted in that thread, then you'd have to follow the manual instructions for installing custom IR blaster codes on your ShowStopper, which requires removing the hard drive from the ShowStopper and installing it in a computer so that you can manually copy over the custom IR blaster codes onto the SS's hard drive...

Henry
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post #5 of 110 Old 12-09-2009, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Henry-
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdonzis View Post

which requires removing the hard drive from the ShowStopper and installing it in a computer so that you can manually copy over the custom IR blaster codes onto the SS's hard drive...

I've done something similar before. I just don't want to do it again unless someone has already tried this successfully with the same configuration I have.

Thanks-

-Susan
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post #6 of 110 Old 12-13-2009, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Henry-

One more question, if I may:

I had to replace my Showstopper hard drive back in 2005, which is when I ran the RTV patch and all that. It's been working fine since, but it was a bit of a PITN.

Is the procedure to get the SS working with Comcast's DTA more complicated than that, and does it for sure work? I realize that might be impossible to answer

I'll go through the thread you cited again, but you seem to know a lot about this, so I thought I'd pick your brain once more.

I'm already missing the ability to record some channels, and it's only going to get worse over the next month or so. :-(

TIA!

-Susan
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post #7 of 110 Old 12-13-2009, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post

I had to replace my Showstopper hard drive back in 2005, which is when I ran the RTV patch and all that. It's been working fine since, but it was a bit of a PITN.

Is the procedure to get the SS working with Comcast's DTA more complicated than that, and does it for sure work? I realize that might be impossible to answer

Not a lot more complicated. You hook the SS hard drive up to the PC the same way, but instead of running RTVPatch, you run extract_rtv or extract_rtv5 instead to copy files from the SS to the PC, modify them, and then copy them back to the SS (you may not need to copy any files from the SS to the PC if you don't need to edit them)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post

I'll go through the thread you cited again, but you seem to know a lot about this, so I thought I'd pick your brain once more.

I'm already missing the ability to record some channels, and it's only going to get worse over the next month or so. :-(

Yeah, I definitely can't answer. I actually got a 3K so I could go through the process myself to learn more about simpler ways of doing it, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. If people have been successful with getting those codes to work on 5Ks and/or 4Ks, then I see no reason to think that they wouldn't work on the ShowStopper as well. The process for the ShowStopper is a little bit different because the directory names are different than the 4K/5K, but the instructions for these older units should contain that, either in the thread I cited, or in other threads about putting IR codes on older units...

Henry
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post #8 of 110 Old 12-13-2009, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Henry-

Thanks so much for your feedback already!

Another probably stupid question: Can I do all this on a newly-formatted drive instead of the one that's currently installed in the Showstopper, then swap them? I realize I'd lose everything I've already recorded on the SS, but that's not a big deal. I'm just hoping to be able to do a "trial run" with the new drive.

Thanks again-

-Susan
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post #9 of 110 Old 12-13-2009, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post

Can I do all this on a newly-formatted drive instead of the one that's currently installed in the Showstopper, then swap them? I realize I'd lose everything I've already recorded on the SS, but that's not a big deal. I'm just hoping to be able to do a "trial run" with the new drive.

The only problem with a newly-formatted drive is that when it first net connects, it often wants to upgrade everything and you might lose the information that you just put on it. So, I would put a fresh image on a new drive, install that drive in the ShowStopper and allow it to net connect and configure it completely. Then I'd remove it and install the IR blaster files and put it back in. That way you'll know that everything is good before you start installing the IR blaster files so that you can see if installing the IR blaster files does what you want. That will make it much more like upgrading your current HD. And, you can basically just use any 'ol drive of any capacity if you just want to try an experiment. Although, I guess if you are happy with the results and just want to leave it in the SS, you might want to stick with a 140 or 160GB drive. But, if it works out well, there shouldn't be any reason that you couldn't then go back and perform the same steps on your current drive so that you'll have your shows and recording schedules back...

Henry
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post #10 of 110 Old 12-14-2009, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Henry-

Excellent! I'll follow your suggestions.

Thanks again for all your help.

-Susan
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post #11 of 110 Old 12-15-2009, 06:18 PM
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Susan,

You might want to take a look over here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1111004

We had a discussion about this a few months ago, I was investigating the same thing (Pace box and a Showstopper). Comcast put things on hold in my area so I didn't get the box yet, but I did get some of the IR blaster files that the kind folks here made to get this box working with a showstopper. I had everything ready to go and now it's on hold, but if you need help trying this out let me know....I'm interested to see if it will work.
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post #12 of 110 Old 12-16-2009, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi-

I was going to try this last night, but now I realize where some of my confusion came from. There's a lot of discussion on that thread about the IR Blaster code, and I've never had to use the IR Blaster before. I'm using a cable splitter with the Showstopper on one extension and the cable box (DCT2224) on the other.

I gather I'll have to use the IR Blaster to change channels once I connect the DTA box, which is why all the talk about working codes .

I've looked at that thread again, and I can't find any mention of anyone getting the HS2000 working. That's not to say it won't, but at the very least I'd need to get a DCT700 box, correct, or might it work with the DCT2224? BTW, the DTA Comcast gave me is model DCI1011COM. I don't know if that's good, bad, or indifferent!

With my current setup, I can record on the Showstopper and watch a different channel via the cable box. As long as I continue using the splitter, will I still be able to do that?

Every time I think I'll go ahead and try this I get cold feet! I guess the next step is to find out if in fact I need to swap out my DTA box. Do either of you know if the DCI1011COM will work (or how I can find out), or if it will work if I connect the SS directly to the cable box? Actually, I just found a thread here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1188836 that indicates the DTA box I have will work with ReplayTV 5000, but then another user asking again about older SSs.

I hate to go through the whole upgrade thing if it's not going to work, but I suppose someone has to try it at some point!:-(

Thanks again-

-Susan
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post #13 of 110 Old 12-16-2009, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post

I was going to try this last night, but now I realize where some of my confusion came from. There's a lot of discussion on that thread about the IR Blaster code, and I've never had to use the IR Blaster before. I'm using a cable splitter with the Showstopper on one extension and the cable box (DCT2224) on the other.

I gather I'll have to use the IR Blaster to change channels once I connect the DTA box, which is why all the talk about working codes .

I've looked at that thread again, and I can't find any mention of anyone getting the HS2000 working. That's not to say it won't, but at the very least I'd need to get a DCT700 box, correct, or might it work with the DCT2224? BTW, the DTA Comcast gave me is model DCI1011COM. I don't know if that's good, bad, or indifferent!

With my current setup, I can record on the Showstopper and watch a different channel via the cable box. As long as I continue using the splitter, will I still be able to do that?

Every time I think I'll go ahead and try this I get cold feet! I guess the next step is to find out if in fact I need to swap out my DTA box. Do either of you know if the DCI1011COM will work (or how I can find out), or if it will work if I connect the SS directly to the cable box? Actually, I just found a thread here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1188836 that indicates the DTA box I have will work with ReplayTV 5000, but then another user asking again about older SSs.

I hate to go through the whole upgrade thing if it's not going to work, but I suppose someone has to try it at some point!:-(

That's why I started my first response post with "I don't know if your DTA is the same model". I guess if you are going to put in a new hard drive to experiment with, you'll find out if you DTA works with those codes or not...

Assuming that your locale of Comcast still provides analog cable, then you should be able to leave the splitter in place and record both analog and from the DTA. However, there are several caveats to that. First being that because the comcast digital lineup will have more channels than the analog lineup, the digital lineup will come out at channel 0 - 999 and the analog lineup will move up to 1000 - 1099. That means that your current recording will have preference to recording from the DTA rather than the cable input. I think you could create new recordings using the analog channel numbers instead, but since the RTV works by channel ID and not channel number, they may revert back to the lowered number digital channels because they have the same channel ID.

What I did for my same type installation was to configure the RTV for input 2 (S-Video) as "other". Then when Iwant to record from a channel that isn't available on the analog cable, I program my STB with a recording schedule (I don't know if your DTA has this, but my cable box has timers) and I program the RTV with a manual recording of input 2 for that time period. This cause the STB to turn on and lock on the channel that I want to record at that time so that someone can't change channels while it's recording or turn off the STB (it also gets rid of screen savers). You don't get any show information on the RTV, it just says manual recording, but I don't really care about that.

The other thing you can do, which is probably a lot of trouble for you, is to setup your ShowStopper with a dial-up router which allows you to convert your ShowStopper net connect to Ethernet, and then you can run WiRNS to customize lineups for your digital lineup and your analog lineup (you can read about it here). I customized my digital lineup with just the channels I want to record, and that makes my digital lineup have fewer channels than my analog channels, so my analog channel numbers stay at 0 - 99 with my digital channels being 100 - xxx, which makes my RTV channel numbers much more normal and makes the RTV record from the analog cable except for the digital-only channels...

So, lots of thinking for you!

Henry
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post #14 of 110 Old 12-16-2009, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Henry-

Truth be told, I think I'll just give up at this point!

It'd be one thing if I had any indication that someone had gone through all this successfully with an HS2000, but it doesn't seem so.

I might call Comcast again, but I suspect I'd only be giving one of their Tech Reps a hard time, and it's not their fault.

Thanks-

-Susan
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post #15 of 110 Old 12-16-2009, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post

It'd be one thing if I had any indication that someone had gone through all this successfully with an HS2000, but it doesn't seem so.

I wouldn't base it on that, Susan! You have to remember that with the newer model ReplayTVs being so cheap on eBay and such, there's not a lot of reason for people to keep using their older model units. I was telling my brother the other day how I acquired a 3K just so I could play with changing it to use Ethenet and customize the channel lineup and IR blaster. He asked why in the world anyone would want to go to that much trouble with their older unit when then can get something newer that already supports all that!

Anyway, knowing what I know about the line of Panasonic and ReplayTV, they don't have different files for the older units versus the newer units. They all use the exact same channel guide and things like the defunct MyReplayTV.com. They all use the same ReplayZones, and the IR blaster files are technically part of the ReplayZones mechanism. So, what this all means is that there really shouldn't be any problem putting these IR blaster files on your Showstopper and having to worry about if they'll work or not. People have been putting lots of custom IR blaster files on their Showstoppers and ReplayTVs for quite some time, which is why there is even a CD for doing for you. There have never been any files that say that they are different for the Showstopper versus the ReplayTV. So, I just want you to be aware that if the IR blaster files for that other Comcast DTA should work for your DTA, then there shouldn't be any reason for you not to try it...

So, I just want you to be aware that you really should remove one unknown from your list of unknowns, namely that those files might not work on your Showstopper. However, still having the unknown of if your DTA uses the same IR blaster codes as that other DTA is a pretty big unknown!

Henry
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post #16 of 110 Old 12-16-2009, 01:37 PM
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I really don't think you'll have too much trouble with the DTA. Really, you'll just have an analog signal coming from the DTA and into the Replay. From some people I talked to about this, choosing the local Comcast Digital lineup works for them on the Replay even when they don't have digital cable. If I have this correct, and if not anyone please feel free to correct me, it doesn't seem like a problem.

The tricky part is definitely the IR blaster codes, but it's far from impossible. I've gotten help here and on the JP1 forums and people have made the required files for me to get the IR blaster working. It is more complicated to load them onto the Showstopper but definitely workable. I would give it a try, if none of the built-in codes work, try asking here or on the JP1 forums. It's very likely that someone has a file (or could even help make one) that would get it working.
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post #17 of 110 Old 12-17-2009, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh, okay, tomorrow's the day! After all, I've got nothing to lose...

@Henry- I certainly understand your point about older vs. newer units, and in other circumstances I'd definitely take a different route. Unfortunately, I've been unemployed for a while now, and since my old SS has been working fine and I have a lifetime free subscription I'm trying to keep it alive as long as I can.

Thanks to both of you for your support & encouragement! I have a spare hard drive I can use for testing, and then I guess it's just a question of whether the DTA I have will work.

-Susan
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post #18 of 110 Old 12-17-2009, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post

@Henry- I certainly understand your point about older vs. newer units, and in other circumstances I'd definitely take a different route. Unfortunately, I've been unemployed for a while now, and since my old SS has been working fine and I have a lifetime free subscription I'm trying to keep it alive as long as I can.

Wasn't MY point, was my brother's point! I was just explaining a possible reason why you don't see post on other ShowStopper users trying the Comcast IR blaster upgrade (think of the statistics of being both a ShowStopper owner AND having a new Comcast DTA). But, he's not a ReplayTV/ShowStopper owner, I am. I also have 5 BetaMax players and 2 LaserDisc players and have no reason to purchase new movies as long as these players keep working with my current movies. I completely understand about using things that work, which is why I got a 3K to play with. I have the 3K recording a show every day and net connecting to my WiRNS every day. Unfortunately, since I haven't yet played with installing new IR blaster codes, it can only record shows from the one channel that I leave the DTV converter tuned to. I will continue to use my RTVs until they cut off analog video all together!

Henry
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post #19 of 110 Old 12-18-2009, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post

Oh, okay, tomorrow's the day! After all, I've got nothing to lose...

-Susan

Is it done yet?!?

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post #20 of 110 Old 12-19-2009, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi ClearToLand-

No, I haven't done it yet. Something else took priority, and when I did have the time my SS was recording programs. I'll try to get to it in the next few days, though.

Thanks-

-Susan
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post #21 of 110 Old 01-08-2010, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi-

I've been at this for several hours now, downloading files and following links that take me back to other links ("Loop, Endless" -- see "Endless, Loop"", and I've made some progress, but now I'm stuck. (Not everything seems to work In Windows 7, but fortunately I have XP as well.)

Just a reminder that I have an ancient Panasonic HS2000, which doesn't have any networking capabilities, and uses .obj files with a size restriction, rather than .rid files.

1. I used RTVPatch to put an "empty" SS image on a new drive. That worked fine.
2. I used extract_rtv5 to list the files and get a copy of the IRBTable.
3. I installed RemoteMaster and have a general idea of how it works, but I still don't understand how to create an .obj file from it, as described here: http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11239
BTW, RM doesn't have a Showstopper option, just "ReplayTV Unknown Version, ReplayTV Version 1, and ReplayTV Version 2". I don't know if that matters or not.

So I *think* the next step is to see if I can replace an existing .obj file with the one I downloaded here: http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/dl...e&file_id=7027

Am I on the right track? If I get this to work (somewhat doubtful at this point!), I promise to write a step-by-step if anyone's interested.

Thanks again-

-Susan
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post #22 of 110 Old 01-08-2010, 02:16 PM
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The only comment I have is that I thought that all the files you needed were posted here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post16723318...

Henry
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post #23 of 110 Old 01-08-2010, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Henry-

But I was taken aback when I read this from that post:

Quote:


Henry (hdonzis) has reminded me that extract_rtv cannot change a file's size, consequently it unlikely that this OBJ file can be easily installed onto 2K/3K models because the largest factory OBJ already present on the HDD is only 138 bytes. You'll need to wait until extract_rtv is improved, unless you have PTVIO enabled or are extraordinarily handy with a hexeditor.

I couldn't find a new .obj file for the HS2000 anywhere that was that small. The smallest I found (I think it was from The Robman) is 208 bytes. That's where I'm stuck -- should I just go ahead and try that anyway?

Thanks-

-Susan
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post #24 of 110 Old 01-08-2010, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post

I couldn't find a new .obj file for the HS2000 anywhere that was that small. The smallest I found (I think it was from The Robman) is 208 bytes. That's where I'm stuck -- should I just go ahead and try that anyway?

The thing about can't be larger isn't in bytes but in allocated space. The smallest allocation unit is 512 bytes (and it might be larger than that on your SS), so as long as the object file is 512 bytes or smaller it should be OK. Anyway, you can just try it. If the file is too big to overwrite the existing file, Extract will give you an error and won't do anything...

Henry
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post #25 of 110 Old 01-08-2010, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Henry-

Ah, okay, I'll try that, then.

I'm still pretty much in the dark about, well, everything else!

Once I update the SS disk with the new .obj file, I guess I'll install it and see what happens. As you suggested, the new settings might be overwritten when I run the Setup. I don't really care at this point, since I'm not using my "real" SS disk for this anyway.

I'm still not clear what to do after that. Sorry to be so dense about this!

-Susan
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post #26 of 110 Old 01-08-2010, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post

Once I update the SS disk with the new .obj file, I guess I'll install it and see what happens. As you suggested, the new settings might be overwritten when I run the Setup. I don't really care at this point, since I'm not using my "real" SS disk for this anyway.

I think I suggested that you first get the SS operating and setup with the new image (which I think you already did) BEFORE you try to overwrite the IR blaster files. That way you know everything is working, and you are Apples to Apples with your actual operating SS hard drive. If you can take your scratch SS hard drive and upgrade the IR blaster files successfully, then you should be able to repeat the process on your operating SS hard drive...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post

I'm still not clear what to do after that. Sorry to be so dense about this!

Hey, I've never done it myself, either! However, there is certainly plenty of reading materials on the subject! I got myself an older model unit and an incompatible DTV converter just so I could play with it for myself (when I get time). However, my plan is to get IR blaster codes on my non-networked unit WITHOUT even opening it up! Unfortunately, this takes more external equipment and software, but I already have that part all hooked up and working, so all I need is the time to play with figuring out how to get the codes into the unit. I think once you get yours working, your instructions will help me set mine up as well...

Henry
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post #27 of 110 Old 01-09-2010, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Henry, et. al.-

Back in the saddle. I'm about to install my new (scratch) SS drive with no .obj modifications. Assuming I set that up with no problems, I'll take the drive out and use extract_rtv5 to replace the old .obj file with the new one, but then what? My SS is about as far as possible from my PC, naturally, so I'll get my exercise in today, for sure!

I have my universal remote programmed differently for the SS and the cable box, and I've never used an IR Blaster before. Does the .obj file tell the remote how to respond automatically, or will I have to reprogram that, too, before I know if it works? Or will the SS then take its instructions from the cable box?

As you can tell, I'm still totally in the dark about what the .obj file actually does, and how the SS and cable box actually interact. All I know is that as of yesterday, my SS lists about 12 channels.

Thanks-

-Susan
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post #28 of 110 Old 01-09-2010, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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P.S.

[VENT MODE]

This whole thing is much more of a hassle and more time-consumng than it's probably worth, but it bugs the heck out of me that I have a perfectly good SS with a lifetime free subscription that's been rendered basically useless by Comcast's recent "enhancements".

I have a friend with the same HS2000 unit, and so far she hasn't run into this (different area, different provider).

I gather from some online reading that more & more providers will be switching to digital-only in the not-too-distant future, though.

I know technology moves on and all that, but I still resent "forced obsolescence"! My SS was working fine, but now in order to keep recording shows I have to go through these hoops or break down and buy a different unit and/or pay an additional monthly subscription.

That's just not right, esp. since Comcast wasn't at all up front with their customers about this.

[/VENT MODE]

Thanks-

-Susan
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post #29 of 110 Old 01-09-2010, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi-

The new SS disk I installed works fine, and the setup worked fine. No big surprise there, since it was the same thing I did 4 or 5 years ago to install a new hard drive.

On to copying the new .obj file to the SS drive, after which I have no clue what to do.

Thanks-

-Susan
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post #30 of 110 Old 01-10-2010, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi-

I was able to replace the old C0015.OBJ file with The Robman's new one, at least in a backup .rtv file, using extract_rtv5.exe. So I'm about to do this on an actual SS drive.

Please bear with me and keep in mind that I've always had my cable split so one feed went directly to the SS and the other to my cable box. I have no experience whatsoever with IRBlaster codes, cables, remotes, whatever, and I still don't even understand the vocabulary completely! I've been using a Universal Remote that controls my cable box and SS separately, and I've just been switching between the two.

Before I unhook the drive from my PC and hook everything up and try it out upstairs again:

1. I'll hook the Comcast cable box (or is it the DCI1011?) directly into the SS cable input (*See ALSO #1 below)
2. I'll change the SS Setup so the Input is Cable Box instead of direct cable (*See ALSO #1 below)
3. I'll run the SS Setup again (if it doesn't run automatically)
4. I'll make sure the IRBlaster cable is hooked up properly (whatever that means!)

At that point:

1. Should the SS automatically download all available channels from Comcast when it connects? As of a day or two ago, I was left with only a dozen or so.
2. Should my Universal Remote work as it did before for both my SS and the cable box, or will I have to reprogram it?

ALSO:

1. *Upstairs (where all this is going on) I have a Motorola cable box which I got from Comcast some time ago, before they mandated these equipment changes. My TV's connected to it, and I have no problems getting all my cable channels through it. I also have a Thomson DCI1011 DTA, which isn't currently hooked up to anything.

2. If I get this to work I will most definitely write the procedure up in some detail and post it here so others can benefit from it!

Thanks-

-Susan
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