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New HD distribution via QAM tuners from Bocs? Cheap HD Modulation? - Page 5

post #121 of 310
The guy from DirecTV told me I couldn't have cable and directv on the same line! GRRRR I just spent $900 on a wireless HDMI extender that I used over COAX because I needed to steal back one of the coax for Comcast. Darnit. I hate DirecTV!!! The installers are the worst.

Neil
post #122 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffneil View Post

The guy from DirecTV told me I couldn't have cable and directv on the same line! GRRRR I just spent $900 on a wireless HDMI extender that I used over COAX because I needed to steal back one of the coax for Comcast. Darnit. I hate DirecTV!!! The installers are the worst.

Neil

Neil:
I've had some bad experiences with them, they seem to be good guys but are trained to say no if an install is outside their "standard equipment plan". DirecTV seems to only train on the equipment they are pushing at the time.
Just for clarity, the SWM8 switch WILL allow you to share cable and satellite ont eh same line -
I always keep an extra SWM8 in my trunk for installs just like yours.

This might sound arrogant, but I've decided the only way to really help folks out on my product is to know more about DirecTV and Dish than their installers do. I went and spent a few days with their "master trainer"...

David
post #123 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffneil View Post

I really don't want to make this a bitchfest and I have to admit I haven't called anyone / David Feller for support. I usually work on this late and night and strange times. So I have a bunch of problems:

1. I can't get the remote to repeat certain button presses. I can't press STOP STOP in a row. I can press STOP PAUSE STOP. STOP DOWN STOP but not STOP STOP. I can't press the skip back multiple times. In SageTV I need to be able to press STOP STOP in a row but it won't register the second press until I hit another button. Also I think the repeat or spead in which a subsequent button is pressed seems delayed. I saw a way to speed up local tv buton presses but is there a way to speed up the Xtender? Also if I hold a button it doesn't seem to repeat it (I could be wrong about this).

2. My range in the house is about 100 feet. I have to ask I paired the RF extender do I have to pair a remote with the RF Extender? I walked down the hall and the remote stopped working. I plugged in the RF Extender and it didn't do the three lights blink fast response. Then I moved the RF Extender a little further away and stood next to it with the remote and it worked. I walked 10 feet away from the RF Extender and got the three lights blinking fast. I still can't get the remote to work where the TV's are currently.


That is it for now but I am sure I will have new developments soon. David if you message me your email or something I will send you some questions but I like the public forum so hopefully other people can appreciate and gain help from this.

Thanks!

Neil

I forgot to follow up on this - did you ever get the double press thing figured out? stop stop... I'd like to get that fixed for you and I have some new tools - let me know. I love a good engineering challenge.
post #124 of 310
Hey all, a little advice on etiquette:
This thread is getting pretty long, would it be ok if I started 2 or 3 new threads maybe BOCS-HD questions, BOCS technical, BOCS reviews
I could start each with a post that references the applicable parts of this one.

Or - is that bad form - I do tech support on my own site but since some folks seem to prefer to post questions here I'm happy to answer, but I don't want to take advantage of AVS site for my own support needs...

"Help me be a better poster"...

David
post #125 of 310
I'd keep it in one thread for certain. And should probably just keep this thread going. The AVAtrix thread is 470+ posts long, so it's nothing detrimental for a thread to grow long. You might ask the forum moderators to change the title to "The official BOCs thread" similar to the AVAtrix thread.
post #126 of 310
Good advice, I'll keep it all in one place -
I asked admin to change the name of this thread and they said no... So I started a new one with just an index - I'll try to keep it updated with what is posted in this thread.

DF
post #127 of 310
David,

Can a supercombiner cause enough of a DB loss to wreak havoc on my cable? I asked before what the DB loss was but yesterday out of the blue the cable and the modem started acting really flaky. I removed the supercombiner from the line today and everything is working ok? Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Neil
post #128 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffneil View Post

David,

Can a supercombiner cause enough of a DB loss to wreak havoc on my cable? I asked before what the DB loss was but yesterday out of the blue the cable and the modem started acting really flaky. I removed the supercombiner from the line today and everything is working ok? Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Neil

Neil:

There is about 1dB loss on the downstream side and about 2dB loss upstream so you really should not notice much and it definitely does not change over time.
I know it sounds like a pass-off, but since our gain should not change over time, it is more likely that your cable signal dropped somewhat - If a tech was in the area either adding new customers or balancing the signal, sometimes they adjust how much signal comes into your home.
Even though we do have a reverse channel activated (0-50Mhz passes well upstream), we recommend that all cable modems and voip modems are tapped (split) before the supercombiner with a dedicated line to those modem(s). That is actually the proper install procedure for those digital devices and any cable tech that did not do that was negligent.

I'm always more than happy to send another supercombiner if you suspect an issue with that - but I don't think I've ever seen one go bad in the field.
So - try the split off before supercombiner for the cable modem and let me know if that fixes things - if not let me know and I'll take the next step to get you back up and running solidly.

DF
post #129 of 310
I just wanted to ask. I have an appointment with Comcast on Friday. Isn't that fast . Anyway I wanted to try without the supercombiner. My signal is obviously a problem considering I have two drop amps. Anyway I will have the comcast tech check the signal before and after the supercombiner just to see.

One thing I wanted to confirm is that increasing the signal strength or clarity on the supercombiner couldn't cause a problem?

Thanks!

Neil
post #130 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffneil View Post

I just wanted to ask. I have an appointment with Comcast on Friday. Isn't that fast . Anyway I wanted to try without the supercombiner. My signal is obviously a problem considering I have two drop amps. Anyway I will have the comcast tech check the signal before and after the supercombiner just to see.

One thing I wanted to confirm is that increasing the signal strength or clarity on the supercombiner couldn't cause a problem?

Thanks!

Neil

There is a little drop in the supercombiner but with a decent signal for your home, it definitely should not pose a problem.

A few pointers - to hold the Comcast guy to and how to best amplify...
You should have at least +10dB and preferrably +15dB across the entire cable spectrum coming into your home - watch him carefully as lower channels sometimes droop to much lower power - they are supposed to check that and then go adjust the tilt in their system if it is too far from that. And that is BEFORE any drop amp in your home. The comcast folks really like to get lazy, put in an amp and say everything is ok.

The problem is that amps amplify both signal and noise and while the power may look good on a meter, the noise (which the meter can also measure) is also amplified and your signal quality goes down. Drop amps should ONLY be used to compensate for a lot of splitting.

As for how/where to amplify I'm very much an advocate of doing all amplification at one place - preferrably in one amplifier if needed, and using a good quality amp (truspec or pico macom +15DB with reverse channel no more reverse loss than -1dB - most are about $35 - if you pay less or buy at the local megamart you will regret it)...

I did a thread on amplification - specifically in response to getting rid of hum bars but I think it is a good read for anyone. It is HERE

As for the Supercombiner, they seem to be pretty bulletproof, but they are, after all, electronic components and are subject to ESD at least. If you even suspect you have aproblem with excess noise, too much drop or anything else, let me know and I'll gladly ship you another one to try.

Oh - one more thing. I typically recommend this hookup.
in from cable TV comany
tap off for cable modem (usually a 12dB tap
In to RF-IN of Supercombiner
Wire to Xtender's ANT-IN port to the Xtender port on Supercombiner
RF-Out of Supercombiner to Amplifier input
Amp out to splitter(s)

That way the Xtender channels and the CATV signals get amplified together. The reason is that the Supercombiner has a -50dB filter to get rid of the FM band. But consider what happens if you put the amplifier before the supercombiner and you start with a strong signal (+20dB) - it gets amplified to +35dB then we filter it down 50 dB to -15dB. Well, -15dB is within the discrimination window of many TVs and will cause interference with the BOCS channels. This game is kind of a Zen - it is about balance. Get all the signals about the same up front, amplify them all together in one place, split and distribute - all to get the best possible signal.

Long answer I know - but hope that helps a little.

And I'm MORE than happy to be available for when you Comcast guy is there - keep my cell number handy - I can go another level deeper with him to make sure he gets you what you need.

David Feller
I've been thinking of having a cable meter for "loan" - that I can ship out to folks who want to borrow one - this would be a good place to use one. I might take that up again.
post #131 of 310
Thanks for the info. My signal is so poor that they had to put the amp before for the cable modem.

The way I had it was cable in to Supercombiner then out to a two way splitter. The two way goes to two drop amps and each amp is 1 x 4. Off of one of the amps is the cable modem. Everything was working well for a while but now it seems to have died. More to come tomorrow!

Thanks,

Neil
post #132 of 310
Howdy all:
Thought I'd pass along an invitation - I'm going to be at the Houston Home and Garden show this weekend - it is at the Reliant center Friday, Sat and Sunday.

I'll also be teaching a short seminar on whole-home distribution discussing the AVAtrix, ZeeVee, and BOCS systems - at least in abbreviated form for the casual home tinkerer.

If any of you are in the area, I'd love to meet you in person - and there will be a full up BOCS system at the Amperor booth (#454).

They are giving away free "VIP" tickets - just go to the main show site HERE.

I'd love to meet you -

David Feller
post #133 of 310
David, I'm looking to view and control 2 pc's and an STB with BOCS.

PC #1 for DVR functions via MythTV
PC #2 to view and control several IP security cameras I have around the house
Regular STB from the cable company.

Question is, what types of PC remotes are supported by BOCS? Are there any preferred brands that you know work well or have codes for the BOCS remote?

Thanks,

Lewis
post #134 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicL77 View Post

David, I'm looking to view and control 2 pc's and an STB with BOCS.

PC #1 for DVR functions via MythTV
PC #2 to view and control several IP security cameras I have around the house
Regular STB from the cable company.

Question is, what types of PC remotes are supported by BOCS? Are there any preferred brands that you know work well or have codes for the BOCS remote?

Thanks,

Lewis

I need to look into MythTV - I havn't used it myself yet.
The good news is that almost all Windows PCs use the standard "Media Center PC IR codes". Our remotes (and the MediaHub itself) all have learning capability built in - (exceptional learning by the way) so I'll wager you will have no trouble (or nothing I can't walk you through).
The only product I've ever had trouble with was the Cisco PNG200 STB but I now have a new version of firmware that solves that issue as well.
I think I rambled a little, but bottom line, you should be able to get it to do anything you like.
My cell is (720) 206-4114 if you want to ask any questions or need help during setup.
Good luck
Oh - and there is a promo going on - if you go to www.bocsco.com/tivo.php there is a coupon code there that gives a discount and a free remote.

David
post #135 of 310
Thanks for the fast reply David. I have a windows media center pc remote running on my MythTV system, so I suspect I will be ok.

I already placed an order for a BOCS on amperordirect and ordered an additional remote. Oh well, missed out on a nice deal. Thanks anyway.

Lewis
post #136 of 310
So, how about you write something up about your integrating BOCS with a MythTV system so we all can learn from it, I'll send you a free remote for your troubles. Just a thought.

David
post #137 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Feller View Post

So, how about you write something up about your integrating BOCS with a MythTV system so we all can learn from it, I'll send you a free remote for your troubles. Just a thought.

David

David, I'll take you up on that offer. I received the BOCS today and I will install and set it up tomorrow. I will post my setup experience with MythTV shortly afterwards.
post #138 of 310
Good work
post #139 of 310
Ok. Got the bocs system setup in about 20 minutes. Before I post a more indepth review,maybe someone here can offer some suggestions.

I plugged in one of my pc's (this one runs vista) to the BOCS Red via TV-out composite from the video card. 2 issues:

1st issue: I can't get the picture to fill any TV screen ( I have 3 HD LCD's, ranging from 37" to 19"). On every tv, there is a border around the picture. Every resolution I try up to 1024x768 (max for tv-out via composite for my vid card) does this. Is there any adjustments that can be done to the BOCS? Or does anyone have any recommendations for a VGA to Composite converter that will provide a good 16:9 widescreen picture?

2nd issue: I haven't tried the other channels yet, but on the red channel, I see a line that scrolls up and down the screen. Don't know what it is, but my other cable channels it is not present.


Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Lewis

************************

Update 9/28:
OK, fixed the 1st issue. Bad video driver was causing me issues. Went back to an older driver and I'm able to scale properly on all tv's.

2nd issue: did a search here on hum bars. found lots of info, including some posts by David. I will be checking my cable box outside and see if my grounding is correct. Hopefully this issue will be fixed soon and I will post a full review.

In any case, the BOCS system is exactly what I needed. Picture Quality is very good. Works great and the WAF is through the roof!!!
post #140 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicL77 View Post


2nd issue: I haven't tried the other channels yet, but on the red channel, I see a line that scrolls up and down the screen. Don't know what it is, but my other cable channels it is not present.


2nd issue: did a search here on hum bars. found lots of info, including some posts by David. I will be checking my cable box outside and see if my grounding is correct. Hopefully this issue will be fixed soon and I will post a full review.

In any case, the BOCS system is exactly what I needed. Picture Quality is very good. Works great and the WAF is through the roof!!!

Very cool - I'm extremely glad you like it.
As for the bar - I'd suggest turning up the BOCS "power" a bit and see if you can just overpower whatever noise is in your system (kind of inelegant but what the heck) -
Grab any BOCS remote, hold down MENU and "1" until the power plight comes on - then press the up arrow (just above OK) 4 or 5 times then hit OK - that will turn the output power up to full. Worth a shot at a quick fix so you dont have to track down the real grounding problem.

David
post #141 of 310
I try hard not to do a lot of marketing on the forum - support, expertise etc are my goals, but there is a good deal going on if any of you have been on the fence on buying a BOCS system. (Sorry for those that just bought one) -

There are apparently 4 refurb units going for $220 each on an AVS classified ad here from our Distributor - Thats over $100 off I think. They were units from a recent show so i nused car parlance they are "very low mileage"...

Caught me by surprise or I would have given more heads up. First come first serve I'm sure.

I'll put this in the index post as well...

David
post #142 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffneil View Post

Thanks for the info. My signal is so poor that they had to put the amp before for the cable modem.

The way I had it was cable in to Supercombiner then out to a two way splitter. The two way goes to two drop amps and each amp is 1 x 4. Off of one of the amps is the cable modem. Everything was working well for a while but now it seems to have died. More to come tomorrow!

Thanks,

Neil

Neil:
How is your installation coming? I'm definitely interested if the new Supercombiner fixed your problem...

David
post #143 of 310
Yes I am sorry. I thought I emailed you directly but the new supercombiner fixed the problem and I need to send you back the old one. If you could email me the address I would appreciate it. I have it in a package ready to go back to you.

Otherwise that is working. I still need to fix the repeating button issue on my SageTV box. I didn't try your suggestion just yet but I certainly need to!

Thanks!

Neil
post #144 of 310
Excellent!!

On the Sage TV, let me know if the suggestion does not work, I think I found some IR codes fro Sage and could compile a special version of firmware with them in it if you have recurring troubles. I'm guessing the reprogramming will work though, as I have a few other folks recently who purchase BOCS for their SAGE systems with no troubles.

Don't forget, a free remote for you for everyone you refer!

David
post #145 of 310
I do still have signal problems before all the gear! I had comcast out to look at it. What a joke. I have to tell the comcast guys how to do their job and test the lines. They don't have a good answer as to why I am losing so much signal other than to say it is a long run. For now everything is working but my cable modem is iffy at times and it is before the supercombiner!

Thanks!

Neil
post #146 of 310
I'm very interested in BOCS.

I'm currently modulating SD via an older ChannelVision product, but Comcast recently went all digital, and now the modulator stomps a bunch of channels.

My question for David & Others:

Comcast is now requiring a DTA (cheap STB) for each and every TV that doesn't have a full-blown STB. The DTA that Comcast provides only has RF output (no component).

Questions:

- The DTA at each TV will not pass through the BOCS channels. Is there a way to route it around the DTA (I've tried ChannelVisions 3101, which splits the cable before the DTA and routes the cable around the DTA via 230MHz high pass filter, but that stomps the BOCS channels). I've looked around for an 88MHz high pass filter, but can't find one.

- I considered modulating a couple of DTAs via the BOCS, but the DTA doesn't have component output, only RF/Cable.

Any ideas?

Thanks
Andy Hill
post #147 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahill View Post

I'm very interested in BOCS.

I'm currently modulating SD via an older ChannelVision product, but Comcast recently went all digital, and now the modulator stomps a bunch of channels.

My question for David & Others:

Comcast is now requiring a DTA (cheap STB) for each and every TV that doesn't have a full-blown STB. The DTA that Comcast provides only has RF output (no component).

Questions:

- The DTA at each TV will not pass through the BOCS channels. Is there a way to route it around the DTA (I've tried ChannelVisions 3101, which splits the cable before the DTA and routes the cable around the DTA via 230MHz high pass filter, but that stomps the BOCS channels). I've looked around for an 88MHz high pass filter, but can't find one.

- I considered modulating a couple of DTAs via the BOCS, but the DTA doesn't have component output, only RF/Cable.

Any ideas?

Thanks
Andy Hill

I've not looked into the DTAs they are handing out, but for simplicity's sake I think the application is like a cable card (I know that might not make much sense but bear with me)...

My suggestion would be to Use a couple of "real" STBs in a central location and let BOCS modulate those back onto the cable using the supercombiner. Then at each TV you can choose to use BOCS only (no DTA), or use a simple 2 way splitter and feed one into the DTA and one into the TV. But your TV only has one tuner input? (Some have two - a cable and an antenna - turns out channel 3 is the same for both so you might be in luck) - if it only has one, (And this sounds insane) - you just found a use for that old VCR in the basement - use it as a tuner and come out Composite to the TV.

Kind of a kludge so I'd just stick with putting a couple of real STBs on BOCS to route around.

Oh, and why does the DTA not tune in BOCS channels? Because BOCS channels are analog and the DTA only tunes in digital channels.

Does this all make sense?
Feel free to PM me or call me (720) 206-4114 with questions.

Bottom line, the whole DTA rollout has really been a huge success for us - BOCS really makes the transition to digital better.

David
post #148 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Feller View Post

if it only has one, (And this sounds insane) - you just found a use for that old VCR in the basement - use it as a tuner and come out Composite to the TV.

Or, instead of adding a VCR, you could simply add an RF A/B switch box (DTA ==> A, BOCS ==> B), and the switch's output goes to the TV's only RF input.
post #149 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Feller View Post

I try hard not to do a lot of marketing on the forum - support, expertise etc are my goals, but there is a good deal going on if any of you have been on the fence on buying a BOCS system. (Sorry for those that just bought one) -

There are apparently 4 refurb units going for $220 each on an AVS classified ad here from our Distributor - Thats over $100 off I think. They were units from a recent show so i nused car parlance they are "very low mileage"...

Caught me by surprise or I would have given more heads up. First come first serve I'm sure.

I'll put this in the index post as well...

David

I'm catching a bit of 'crap' because the refurb units are apparently gone. I guess the deal was a pretty good one after all. So, I called the distributor and they gave me a coupon code I could give out to folks who missed the deal. Just PM me and I'll make sure you are taken care of.

(If you already sent me a PM/email nice or otherwise, I'll send you the coupon code proactively)

[EDIT] Yes, the coupon code would give you a new unit for the price of the refurb deal.

David
post #150 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Garci View Post

Or, instead of adding a VCR, you could simply add an RF A/B switch box (DTA ==> A, BOCS ==> B), and the switch's output goes to the TV's only RF input.

Dang it, sometimes the simple answers get overlooked. I've even seen IR controllable RF switches. That is perfect. Thanks for the eyes...

David
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