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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering getting a Panasonic DMR-EA18 to use to program channel changes in my Comcast set top box (Motorola DCT2224/1662). The reason I am doing this is because Comcast has just eliminated most of the QAM channels in my area so the only way I can record them is through the set top box. I can program my Magnavox H2160MW8A to start recording at various times but I cannot program my set top box to change channels at specific times, which would be necessary for recording in this new mode of Comcast operation.


This seems like the cheapest and simplest route to go (at least for the time being), in view of the only other options before me (upgrading to a programmable set top box from Comcast at additional monthly cost, getting a Comcast DVR unit also at additional cost, getting a Tivo and CableCard, etc).


I noticed that in reading the user manual for the DMR-EA18 (I don't own one yet), it recommends testing different channels by trying the EA-18 IR blaster as a test first to make sure it will change to the channels that you want. I get the impression from the user manual that using the IR blaster is a hit-or-miss affair and it may or may not work on the channels I want with my set top box.


Does anyone have any experience using this unit in the manner I am considering that you can pass on? Is the reliability of the IR blaster really as uncertain as the user manual seems to imply or is the manual just being overly cautious? Thanks in advance for any feed back.
 

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My 7 year old Tivo will change the channels of the new Motorola DTA's that Comcast is sending out in the MI area. IMO Panasonic is covering their bases if someone is trying to use a clone or "off the wall" settop box. In my case the new DTA's have not changed any of the codes and is backwards compatible with older Recording units with IR blasters.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_111 /forum/post/18686827


I am considering getting a Panasonic DMR-EA18 to use to program channel changes in my Comcast set top box (Motorola DCT2224/1662). The reason I am doing this is because Comcast has just eliminated most of the QAM channels in my area so the only way I can record them is through the set top box. I can program my Magnavox H2160MW8A to start recording at various times but I cannot program my set top box to change channels at specific times, which would be necessary for recording in this new mode of Comcast operation.

Have you tried the REC button on the Moto remote?

Here's a help file for the 2160 with tips from people with STBs that don't have DVRs. who are able to get their STB to change channels AS IF IT'S GOING TO RECORD, even tho there's no attached recorder/DVR (see #5).
 

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The one problem I can think of, just using the EA-18 for a channel changing device, is I believe you'd have to actually record on the Panasonic. I don't think it will just change channels without actually recording to a DVD.

Now you could use a RW disc and set the EA-18 for the 8hr mode and make your Panasonic recordings for just a minute, but I think that's one thing to consider. After you're RW gets full you could just reformat it. A RAM disc would probably be more reliable and you'd only need one and keep using it over again, RAM discs are getting rather hard to find, try a Frys if you have one near you.


A cheaper alternative would be a device that was sold several years ago, I believe called VCR co-pilot. It was basically a programmable IR remote that you would place in front of your STB. Although given the age of this device you're STB would have to use a very old IR code set, the Panny would probably have much newer codes. The Co-pilot device would have to be purchased used on something like e-bay, I don't think they would be very expensive if you could find one.


Edit, I can't believe Amazon lists the co-pilot as being available new form $6.98 + about the same shipping.
http://www.amazon.com/VCR-Co-Pilot-1-ea/dp/B0000CGKLS
http://www.google.com/search?client=...=Google+Search
 

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Discussion Starter #5
>>Have you tried the REC button on the Moto remote?Here's a help file for the 2160 with tips from people with STBs that don't have DVRs. who are able to get their STB to change channels AS IF IT'S GOING TO RECORD, even tho there's no attached recorder/DVR (see #5).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
>>A cheaper alternative would be a device that was sold several years ago, I believe called VCR co-pilot. It was basically a programmable IR remote that you would place in front of your STB.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_111 /forum/post/18689572


Comcast said that I can get a different set top box (DCT 700) that *is* programmable to change channels at a particular time for an additional $3.25 per month. I don't know anything about that model of set top box. Other than the programmable feature, it looks as if it is a downgrade from the box I have now.

The Motorola DCT700 is Comcast's entry-level digital to analog converter box with only limited connectivity, a RF and composite output. The rear views of a DCT700 (held up) and a Pace DC50X DTA may be seen in the attached photo. Notice that "Y" adapters are used to split the composite outputs to feed signals to two DVD recorders.


If the DCT700 has a channel changing feature, I've never used that feature.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo /forum/post/18689707


If the DCT700 has a channel changing feature, I've never used that feature.

Believe it or not, it appears that the DCT700 actually *does* permit programmable channel changes even though it is a bare bones, stripped box.

http://www.broadbandreports.com/foru...ange-channels-



In any case, it will be only temporary for me until I decide whether I want to get a Tivo or a Moxi and "M" CableCARD.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
>>Have you tried the REC button on the Moto remote?Here's a help file for the 2160 with tips from people with STBs that don't have DVRs. who are able to get their STB to change channels AS IF IT'S GOING TO RECORD, even tho there's no attached recorder/DVR (see #5).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_111 /forum/post/18733562


VCR instructions:


• Turn on VCR and tune to channel 3 or 4 (depending on manufacturer's instructions)


• The VCR needs to be programmed to record channel 3 or 4 because the set-top box is controlling the channel to be recorded, not the VCR


• When the program starts, the set-top box will automatically tune to the program so your VCR can record it


• *Please note: The steps above apply to standard-definition set-top boxes with the exception of the Motorola DCT2000. To check to see if you have this device, click here"

Per a sketch I found, the DCT2224 has Composite and S-Video out. Wouldn't hat would be a better connection to a DVDR than RF, where you'd also have to set the DVDR on Ch. 3/4?


Only diff. besides a higher-quality recording is setting the DVDR timer program for a line input.


I'd like to link to your post as another example of timer rec directly from a STB, but I'd like the instructions to be "right."
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo /forum/post/18733596


Per a sketch I found, the DCT2224 has Composite and S-Video out. Wouldn't hat would be a better connection to a DVDR than RF, where you'd also have to set the DVDR on Ch. 3/4?


Only diff. besides a higher-quality recording is setting the DVDR timer program for a line input.


I'd like to link to your post as another example of timer rec directly from a STB, but I'd like the instructions to be "right."

You're quite correct. I just checked the other DCT2224 that I still have (originally had two identical ones). There is no "S" video on my particular box (the connector marked "S" video connector on the rear panel of that box is empty and blanked out) so apparently some versions of that series are configured slightly differently.


There is indeed a composite video output via a single RCA jack on my version of that box however, and that in fact was what I had been using to connect to my H2160 (connected and programmed as L1). I was remiss in not pointing that out earlier but I was just reflecting the instructions as Comcast had published them on their website (and their instructions only described the process via RF connections). It was an oversight on my part not to mention previously that I was using composite video and the L1 input.


On the other hand, my new DCH3200 *does* have "S" video, component video (P PB PR), composite video and HDMI outputs. I am still using the composite video output, this time from the DCH3200 and still connected to the H2160 and still programmed as L1. The STB and H2160 have been programming and recording fine together for me in that manner.


Feel free to copy, edit or link to either this or my previous post (or both) in any way you think may help.
 

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Scott, when you get a chance, you may find using svideo cable out of the moto dch3200 gives a better picture on the 2160. Also , you can use the various stb out ports simultaneously . You may need two audio y adapter cables if you are trying to send to multiple (non hdmi ) connections. (component and svideo + audio, for example) or if you want to use headphones.
 

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Scott, I have Comcast, and use a DCH 3200 as a tuner for my Pio 640. I started a thread about it a few months ago, "Comcast HD STB as tuner for a DVDR." I bumped it up, so you could check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
>>Scott, I have Comcast, and use a DCH 3200 as a tuner for my Pio 640. I started a thread about it a few months ago, "Comcast HD STB as tuner for a DVDR." I bumped it up, so you could check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
>>Scott, when you get a chance, you may find using svideo cable out of the moto dch3200 gives a better picture on the 2160. Also , you can use the various stb out ports simultaneously . You may need two audio y adapter cables if you are trying to send to multiple (non hdmi ) connections. (component and svideo + audio, for example) or if you want to use headphones.
 

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Another thought, I've never been able to get the EA38 IR blaster (same type as in the panny 18you were referring to) to talk to the comcast DCH3200 STB . The STB menu says that the remote feature is disabled. It worked fine with a CECB box (Zenith, and I understand it works with Channel Master), but the DCH3200 did not respond. Could've been a set up error, I suppose, but I gave up on the idea of remotely controlling it, and just use the 'record' feature to change the channels on the motorola.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've been getting a number of questions about whether I knew what models of Comcast STBs are currently in Comcast's line. The list of models is published by Comcast (along with their user manuals and if applicable, their "Setup and Installation Guides" and "Troubleshooting Guides") here:




According to the Comcast web page that I referred to in an earlier post, all of the HD boxes and any of the SD boxes (except the STB2000 series (i.e. STB2244)) should be able to be programmed to record. I of course haven't had any personal experience successfully programming any of those boxes except the DCH3200 so I can't vouch for the others. I am simply relaying what Comcast has published.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_111 /forum/post/18738786


According to the Comcast web page that I referred to in an earlier post, all of the HD boxes and any of the SD boxes (except the STB2000 series (i.e. STB2244)) should be able to be programmed to record.

I don't know if Comcast specifies it, but it probably bears repeating (for anyone who's just checking into this thread here researching that doesn't already know) that the SD DTA's can't be "set to record" from, either.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_111 /forum/post/18738786


I've been getting a number of questions about whether I knew what models of Comcast STBs are currently in Comcast's line. The list of models is published by Comcast (along with their user manuals and if applicable, their "Setup and Installation Guides" and "Troubleshooting Guides") here:




According to the Comcast web page that I referred to in an earlier post, all of the HD boxes and any of the SD boxes (except the STB2000 series (i.e. STB2244)) should be able to be programmed to record. I of course haven't had any personal experience successfully programming any of those boxes except the DCH3200 so I can't vouch for the others. I am simply relaying what Comcast has published.

Right, you can program the box itself to change channels, but you can't control it from the external Panny -- at least I was never able to. You have to set the recorder separately to record (on the cable channel) at the same time, but the STB will change the channel, as well as warn you ad nauseum that it is about to change - which can be annoying if you want to record two sequential programs that are on different channels. Better than not being able to record remotely, but not ideal.
 
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