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New HD distribution via QAM tuners from Bocs? Cheap HD Modulation? - Page 9

post #241 of 310
I have one coaxial cable going into my second floor den. I wanted to put the cable modem, bocs extender, stb/dvr and dvd player all in the den. I am trying to avoid running a second coaxial cable from the basement to the den. Is there something I could do to make this happen?
post #242 of 310
If I understand it correctly, I believe you can make it work as long as the splitter and the supercombiner are in the same location, being your den. You would connect the 2 way splitter off the coax coming from the wall. One of the split coax cables would go to your modem. The other split would go to the supercombiner also in your den. Then you would connect everything according to the BOCS diagram off from your supercombiner.
post #243 of 310
@dbachman, I appreciate your help, but I would need the supercombiner in the basement where my main cable line comes in, because that is where my 3 way splitter splits the line to the other rooms where I have tv's. If you get a chance can you look at the picture I have attached a couple posts earlier. It shows what I would like to do more clearly. Thanks in advance.
post #244 of 310
You might PM David Feller if you haven't already. He is the subject matter expert for this BOCS xtender. I'm sure he could confirm what would work best for your setup. Some of his posts are on page 8 of this thread.
post #245 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by psisco View Post

My Samsung Plasma, Samsung LCD, LG, Toshiba and Vizio TV's all have QAM tuners. A quick scan of several of the best selling HDTV's on Amazon indicate they all have QAM tuners. Even the cheapest 22" tv I could find on Sony site had a QAM tuner. I'll take your word for it that QAM is not universal or is going away but it must be in the next generation TV's.

One of the major reasons I have cable in my house is that I have 7 TV's in my house and I didn't want to rent/buy a satellite box for every TV. Having cable allows me to have the regular channels available on every TV and I only have to rent a box for the 1 or 2 that I watch the most. I thought the BOCS HD was going to allow me to keep basic cable on all the TV's and then distribute those 1 or 2 cable boxes in HD to ALL the TV's. I was under the impression that this was the beauty of the BOCS supercombiner. Now most of my TV's (except maybe the Vizio) only have one RF connector and I don't think they will tune both ATSC and QAM at the same time.
Going ATSC seems like a deviation from the existing BOCS SD system. Will the new HD still be a "module" for the existing system? Do they still play nice together?

Bump, still curious how this ATSC is going to integrate with cable, still curious on availability issues?
post #246 of 310
David,

Great articles on HomeToys. I enjoyed the read. I just wanted to point out that your comment in the first two chapters about builders only wanting to deal with "professionals" and that low voltage work does not require licensing or certification is incorrect with regard to some states. We do work in 2 states and one state has no requirements and the other has quite a bit (in that state you cannot even put 22-2 speaker wire, hdmi cable or anything in-wall unless you are a licensed low-voltage contractor which requires testing/certification, etc.). Anyway, although most states do not have requirements, some do and you wouldn't want your readers to get in trouble.

Just thought I'd point that out. Great articles!
post #247 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond design View Post

David,

Great articles on HomeToys. I enjoyed the read. I just wanted to point out that your comment in the first two chapters about builders only wanting to deal with "professionals" and that low voltage work does not require licensing or certification is incorrect with regard to some states. We do work in 2 states and one state has no requirements and the other has quite a bit (in that state you cannot even put 22-2 speaker wire, hdmi cable or anything in-wall unless you are a licensed low-voltage contractor which requires testing/certification, etc.). Anyway, although most states do not have requirements, some do and you wouldn't want your readers to get in trouble.

Just thought I'd point that out. Great articles!

Really appreciate it - I did get that feedback from one other person. Apparently in a few states you do have to have a license even for low voltage work. I'll update that in the online version of the book on my website. Too late, I'm afraid, to get it in the Hometoys publications.

I actually, also wrote one on building your own DVR, but with all the cable companies going digital, it has become more difficult to tune or record premium content and it looks like the build your own DVR market is starting a death spiral. Too bad - one more thing taken away from us by big companies wanting more control in my home...

David Feller
post #248 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by psisco View Post

Bump, still curious how this ATSC is going to integrate with cable, still curious on availability issues?

Yeah, bad form on my part for not being in this forum more often - my apologies. The idea here is that the HD "module" can be used either stand alone (modulator only) or as an add-on to the basic BOCS system. There is only a wireless link to control channel/power/mod type to the remote but no hardwire connection other than mixing the RF.

DF
post #249 of 310
ok, i'll try again since it's been a couple months. Any updates on HD module availability?
post #250 of 310
All,

I haven't posted in a long time. The family has been too busy watching TV!

I just bought a Slingbox Pro HD. I set it up on my HD Tivo to verify functionality and it works nicely including slinging to my new Motorola Droid X smartphone.

Since I want the Slingbox to work with my BOCS Xtenders, but don't want to reinvent the wheel, can anyone help with this?

I am assuming that I will need to set up like it is a same room control so that the Xtenders expect IR only commands.

I am assuming that I will also have to create a custom remote for Slingbox somehow.

Please help.

Thanks,
Dave
post #251 of 310
Do the colored buttons output an ir code for the xtenders locally or is it rf output only?

I need to be able to have slingbox output these ir codes to change the input and related device codeset.

If it is rf only, i'm in trouble.

Now there is two options for controlling the sources. First and simplest is if each bocs remote button has a unique ir code for the xtender. This way i can create a custom bocs remote in slingplayer and let the xtender control the sources based on the input selected.
The alternative is to try to create the custom slingbox remote with the core control codes from each source in a single setup, but i think I will have space and layout problems criticaly limiting functionality.

Please help.
post #252 of 310
I called Bocsco tech support today. Three rings and David Teller picks up with no wait. Now that is customer service.

The bad news though is that all the control signals between therefore remotes and the Xtender are RF. Therefore there is no really straightforward way to use all six of my BOCS inputs via a single coax Slingbox input.

I guess its not really a huge letdown since I use the HD Tick 99 percent of the time anyway.

I could probably rig up something more complex by using a PC with Girder and IR remote and IR blaster network, but I don't really want to invest the time right now.

DB
post #253 of 310
I called Bocsco tech support today. Three rings and David Teller picks up with no wait. Now that is customer service.

The bad news though is that all the control signals between therefore remotes and the Xtender are RF. Therefore there is no really straightforward way to use all six of my BOCS inputs via a single coax Slingbox input.

I guess its not really a huge letdown since I use the HD Tick 99 percent of the time anyway.

I could probably rig up something more complex by using a PC with Girder and IR remote and IR blaster network, but I don't really want to invest the time right now.

DB
post #254 of 310
I am having some issues with my remote in my den. There seems to be some interference but I can't tell what is causing it. It is on the same floor as the Extender and probably 40-50' away max.

I tried more than one remote and have the same issue. The remote works at times and at other times all light flash repeatedly. It just seems that the distance is well within the range of using the unit without the repeater.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
post #255 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by blgarrison View Post

I installed the BOCS system about 3 weeks ago and it has been great, however, my programming data has started to dissappear from my Comcast SA8300 DVR about once a week. It could be a problem with the DVR box, but I wanted to see if anyone else had experienced this. I have gone through a series of resets while rerouting the cable feed around the BOCS unit, but I still do not have a defined sequence to make the programming data come back. I just see "No Data Available" in the guide and on the channel tag.

Could the data be filtered by the BOCS gear?


UPDATE - 11/29/2009
In order for the program data to appear, I need to power off the BOCS unit and reboot the DVR. Once the DVR is up with the fresh data downloaded, I can then turn on the BOCS unit. I guess this will have to be a weekly task unless I can come up with something with BOCS.

UPDATE - 8/23/2010
Calling Comcast every month to reset my STB and having to unplug the BOCS unit after every power failure was getting old. Today, Comcast could not get my STB to reset, so I gave in and got a new one. i still have the same problem even with the new Cisco RNG200. The BOCS unit must be powered off in order for the Comcast box to boot and receive program data. Surely someone else has exoerienced this and can offer some advice.

bump
post #256 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbielowicz View Post

I am having some issues with my remote in my den. There seems to be some interference but I can't tell what is causing it. It is on the same floor as the Extender and probably 40-50' away max.

I tried more than one remote and have the same issue. The remote works at times and at other times all light flash repeatedly. It just seems that the distance is well within the range of using the unit without the repeater.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

Sorry for the delay, I seem to have come unplugged from AVS updates - I think I have it fixed now.

We use 900Mhz RF for remote communications, and while that tends to be better for longer range in homes (at least at slow speeds), there are all kinds of things in a home that could potentially interfere.

The "tell-tale-signs" of an RF issue include: the colored light on the remote (corresponding to whatever button you just pressed) should only flash briefly when a button is pressed. If it stays on for a second or more it indicates the remote is going through a set of retries (kind of like WiFi) to get your button press command through to the main unit. If it absolutely cannot get an acknowledgement back from the BOCS unit, it gives you the "I give up" signal of flashing all three colored lights (Red, Green, Blue) on the remote three times rapidly. In either case, you either have a remote that is not yet bound to the base unit (kind of like a bluetooth headset needs to be bound to a phone - see manual for process - note that if remote works close to the unit but has trouble in some areas this is obviously not the issue) or you are having RF troubles. Interference or range.

My first suggestion is always to play with the antenna on the back of the main BOCS unit - standing straight up to attention fixes a lot of common issues - get the unit up high, not buried in a metal cabinet - and make sure wires and everything else is cleared away from it.

If none of that works, we do sell an RF repeater - it is basically a 2" cube "Wall wart" that plugs in halfway to where you are having trouble and gives your remote more range. Just visit the website or drop me a note.

David
post #257 of 310
Bill:
I thought we had this fixed for you - no one should have to live like that.
I just replied to your PM regarding the Cisco RNG box - summary was that I would consider selling my house before I let Comcast put one of those crappy boxes in my home - but...
On the program data, I have some alternate wiring options that should solve any issues it is having. It sounds like Comcast in your area is using a different frequency for the downstream data. The alternate wiring should solve that. I'll send you a PM with my email address so I can send you the diagram.
If it continues, I'm happy to swap out BOCS units just to make sure we are not the cause.
And last (just so everyone else can see as well) - the RNG200 box uses the new XMP IR code (my lengthy rants on my blog on the stupidity of Cisco for this blunder have already gotten me into trouble so I'll be a bit more subtle here)... It requires a firmware upgrade to control it but I'm more than happy to provide it.

David
post #258 of 310
Just wanted to put my thoughts on the unit having had two of them for about a month...

I've tried many different modulators to handle what I want to do with my television network configuration and none of them have worked as well as the BOCS unit. My situation is probably somewhat unique, but my goal was to have a satellite DVR and security cameras sent through-out the house. This, in and of itself, is not that unique, but I wanted to also replace the rabbit ear antennas I had for every TV to pick up OTA HD signals (have HD Tivo's at different TV's and don't have HD satellite). I put a huge antenna in my attic, plugged it into the system, have the BOCS modulate on a non-cable frequency and it works flawlessly.

//Can't wait for the HD unit to be released
post #259 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by psisco View Post

ok, i'll try again since it's been a couple months. Any updates on HD module availability?

It's been a while, thought I'd check back in for an update.
post #260 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigte View Post

If I have caught your interest great! As a result of my success, David has decided to extend the offer to others that want to reprogram their remote. The code is well written and documented. Even with a rudimentary understanding of C++, changing remote functions is fairly straightforward. There is plenty of memory space available for more functions, and as a combination RF and IR remote with a spectacular basestation in the Xtender, it can be programmed to do just about anything. Home Automation, Security, lighting control, and of course entertainment control.

By the way, David provided excellent support and helped me through getting everything up and running.

Want the easy way out?
There are 3 options if you would like to take advantage of what I did (no C++ programming on your part).

1.) If you have the knowledge\ ools\\ability to flash your remote, I will send you the compiled file gratis.
2.) You could physically send me your remote (along with a small donation to help me save for my next BOCS unit and shipping money to get it back, say $15 total)
3.) I have new remotes, which have the sequencing capabilities already added, that I am selling for $49, which includes priority shipping.

My email address is remoteupdate@live.com - just drop me a note to make arrangements.

Also, if you have an idea for a good remote feature, I'm open to suggestions, as I understand the firmware pretty darn well now.

Craig


I just want to say that I took Craig up on his offer and had him upgrade one of my existing BOCs remotes and purchased another from him. His charges were more than reasonable and the turnaround was fantastic.

I used these to solve two problems:

1) In my upstairs study, I had a TV that was hooked to my HD TiVo via an HDMI extender. I needed the 'red' button to use the IR to set the TV to its HDMI input, rather than change to channel 14. Craig's upgrade offered the flexibility to allow this type of programming.

2) I wanted my 'main' set to also use the BOCs remotes. So in this case, I needed 'red' to mean -- switch to the component input, 'blue' to mean -- switch to the composite input, and 'green' to mean -- switch to the HDMI input'. Again the flexibility added by Craig's upgrade came to the rescue.

It is so flexible that I'm now thinking of other uses and setups for it. For example I could use the BOCs remotes to control an HDMI matrix switch as well -- and any 'user' of the system would be none the wiser as the macros would hide all the details. The ability to mix RF and IR commands into one button is great -- like a Harmony without the cost or complexity.

Kudos to Craig for putting the time into figuring all this out and providing this service to the BOCs community.

- andy
post #261 of 310
This might be a little different kind of "help" than one would normally find on this forum.

Long story short, I started this thread - (I'm the founder of BOCS), and we are looking to expand into the Security/Surveillance market but need some advice and help from folks, well, that have a lot of expensive stuff they want to protect.

I'm looking for 5 people who already have a home surveillance (Security cameras/DVR, remtoe viewing or whatever) system in place.

My plan is to offer 5 of our systems free so those folks can install it and then give me feedback on how it works with your security system. Free means no money exchanged, but make no mistake, I'll end up asking a lot of questions and probably get each person to write something up on their experience.

What is our system? BOCS is actually made for home A/V - plug in your Tivo, DVR, DVD player, or whatever, and have access and control home-wide. 3 independent inputs/channels, wireless remotes etc. So the idea here is to focus on a surveillance/DVR system as and input to BOCS so you can hit one button and have full access to all your cameras from any TV in your home... The system is normally about $250 for a setup, so this is a good opportunity. And you get to keep the system when we are finished.

What people used to do was put a modulator and a little filter and combine that with their cable TV system, but since most cable has gone all-digital, it takes a lot more work to integrate - frankly, we figured that out and can co-exist with most cable systems... So this is something unique for the home-security market. (we think)

I'll be posting this on Cocoontech HomeTheaterShack as well so will probably choose a couple folks from each group -

If you are interested, you can respond here and drop me an email dfeller@bocsco.com

What I'll need to know:

  • What kind of surveillance system do you have - brand, features
  • How many cameras
  • Do you have remote access (web, phone etc?)
  • What kind of TV service do you have - cable, sat, ant?
  • Are you also set up for monitoring? (front door, kids trampoline etc or only security)

(Yeah, this seems like a good application for the SD boxes I have in stock before HD - overkill for security)

And, one more thing, I did a whitepaper on home security (features, functions, how to choose one etc) as well as a review of a cheap DVR system I found on Newegg (just to get things primed) - if anyone might like to have a copy or review it (gently) I'd love the input. I'll be posting it somewhere for general consumption soon. You can get a copy now HERE

Thanks in advance
David Feller
post #262 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by psisco View Post

It's been a while, thought I'd check back in for an update.

Still wondering, whatever happened to the HD module for this BOCS system?
post #263 of 310
I know I check back every so often but I've just about given up hope.
post #264 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by psisco View Post

Still wondering, whatever happened to the HD module for this BOCS system?

Well, I couldn't wait for BOCs -- so I added my own 'module' -- an HDMI splitter + some wiring. The thing is, that this works great with the BOCs system. I have some TV's that are HD, some that SD. Also some of the sources are SD only. Each HD TV has both an HDMI cable and a coax going in. Each SD TV has only the coax.

The BOCs makes all these TV's work the same ('red' means HDMI input on HDTVs, coax ch.14 on SD TVs) and provides the control path back for the RF remotes.

If I add more 'HD modules', it won't involve any more wiring -- just hooking up more HD sources and replacing the splitter with an HDMI (BOCs remote controlled) matrix switch.

People say -- isn't the BOCs just a fancy modulator? Well, yes -- but the RF remote system works so well that I'll be keeping the system even when I've eliminated the last SD sources/TVs in my home.
post #265 of 310
HD:

I got slammed pretty hard for giving away info on a public site - pre-announcing is a no-no apparently...

So, this will have to be my last HD comment until official announcements are made...

HD is in works, but currently stagnant waiting on a particular piece of modulator silicon. Halloween curses on them for not coming through -

Anyone out there work for a fabless semi company that would like to walk in and take a design win away from a big Arizona competitor?
post #266 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_hd View Post

Well, I couldn't wait for BOCs -- so I added my own 'module' -- an HDMI splitter + some wiring. The thing is, that this works great with the BOCs system. I have some TV's that are HD, some that SD. Also some of the sources are SD only. Each HD TV has both an HDMI cable and a coax going in. Each SD TV has only the coax.

The BOCs makes all these TV's work the same ('red' means HDMI input on HDTVs, coax ch.14 on SD TVs) and provides the control path back for the RF remotes.

If I add more 'HD modules', it won't involve any more wiring -- just hooking up more HD sources and replacing the splitter with an HDMI (BOCs remote controlled) matrix switch.

People say -- isn't the BOCs just a fancy modulator? Well, yes -- but the RF remote system works so well that I'll be keeping the system even when I've eliminated the last SD sources/TVs in my home.

Good idea Andy -
I'm biased since I laid out and designed the BOCS remote (every guy wants their own perfectly customized one)... But your setup might be even more useful if you had the Macro capability (would help to automate switching so you can get the red/green/blue buttons to work the switcher and act just like they did with SD... That firmware was actually written by another user, but I still have one more that he let me program up - drop me a PM with your address and I'll send you one.

David Feller
post #267 of 310
I've been watching this topic for a couple of years now and it seems that HD modulation is never going to be an affordable reality in my lifetime. Just like electric cars that cost less than my house.
post #268 of 310
This seems to function as a general BOCS thread as well as a discussion of the HD module so I figured I would throw out a quick question. I purchased a BOCS system and love it so much I am in the process of expanding it to more televisions in my home. Anyone out there have experience/advice on a good 8 or more unmpowered splitter that plays nice with the BOCS system and has as little signal loss as possible. Just figured I'd ask before I start just tying them and seeing if I find one that works well.

Thanks
post #269 of 310
Help with an HR-21 please.

I am having difficulty getting the media hub IR blaster to play nice with my DirecTV HR-21. The only way I can get it to work at all is to mount the IR bug backwards on the window. Even in this configuration I get about 3 out of 10 key presses. Previously there was an HR-10 there and it worked great. The Tivo HD connected to the other Bocs channel works great.
post #270 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmanderson10 View Post

This seems to function as a general BOCS thread as well as a discussion of the HD module so I figured I would throw out a quick question. I purchased a BOCS system and love it so much I am in the process of expanding it to more televisions in my home. Anyone out there have experience/advice on a good 8 or more unmpowered splitter that plays nice with the BOCS system and has as little signal loss as possible. Just figured I'd ask before I start just tying them and seeing if I find one that works well.

Thanks

I use a passive combiner (don't remember the manufacturer, but it is not blonder tongue) that is rack mountable that works really well. The thing to keep in mind is the weakest link principle. No matter how good your combiner/splitter is, if you have cabling problems you're never going to get over a certain quality.
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