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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I've done some searching around here and on the net, and I'm still confused about some things. I currently have two 5040s and one 4040 (all upgraded). I am still on analog cable, having never switched to digital because I didn't want to mess with set-top boxes (STB's).


But now FIOS has come to my area and I'm ready to take the plunge. I know that replays will control a STB via the IR blaster, but I'm still a bit confused about just how many STBs I will need. Perhaps somebody can tell me what I have correct and what I don't, and fill in the gaps.


If I go with a single-tuner STB for each replay, I assume that means that I can't watch one live program and record another, correct? But if I spring for the higher-cost dual-tuner STB then I can send one tuner's feed into the replay and another directly to the TV, correct? I want to verify that the two tuners in a Motorola STB can be sent to different locations. (For the sake of this discussion I am ignoring the few analog channels I could feed directly to the TV without going through the STB, since that would give me little flexibility.)


The most complex situation exists in my living room, where I run a 5040 and the 4040 side-by-side with my TV. If I have this correct, in order to simultaneously record a program on each replay and watch a third live program on my TV I would need a single-tuner STB for one of the replays, and a dual-tuner STB for the other replay and the TV. Also, would running multiple STB's in the same location cause problems with IR signal confusion?


Do I have all of this correct? It is just this mess of numerous STB's that has kept me from switching to digital before now. But my increasing distaste for Comcast and the option of FIOS has me finally ready to take the plunge. Thanks.
 

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You can't really use a dual tuner STB with your Replay. Technically, you can, but you'll run into all sorts of problems. Since the Replay can't communicate with an external STB, there is no way for the two devices to act as one cohesive unit. Your best bet is to go with a single tuner STB for each Replay.
 

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According to a friend of mine who has FIOS, there are analog signals available. He does not have any FIOS STBs and watches the local HDTV stations with his QAM capable HDTV set. The analog lineup is not extensive on FIOS. You should be able to get a channel list from their website.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, they do have analog channels, but they are only my local broadcast stations.


I don't really care too much about HD, I just want to be able to record something on my replay while watching something different from the full channel lineup. Since it appears the dual-tuner is out, it sounds like to do that I would need two STB's, one for the replay and one for the TV (or 3 STB's in my living room where I have two replays). Is that the way everybody handles digital cable or satellite with their replay? It seems like quite the headache and an awful lot of equipment.
 

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I have one ReplayTV hooked up to a single tuner HD Moto box that is controlled by an IR emitter. (We have this tuner for On Demand and PPV)


I have one ReplayTV on a standard Def Digital STB in the bedroom.


I have two ReplayTVs that are just hooked up to the cable for analog channels.


Finally, I have a TiVo HD for HD recordings.


Basically, two of the ReplayTVs control set top boxes, two use the ReplayTV's internal tuners, and the TiVo has an M card to enable two HD tuners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So in your bedroom Creech, you cannot record a digital channel on the replay while watching another digital channel, correct? You would need another STB for that? With your current setup you can only watch an analog channel on the TV while the replay is recording?
 

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Correct --- if you have a STB controlled by a RTV, you can not record one digital channel and watch another LIVE. Its a little frustrating if you want to catch up on the weather, etc - but FIOS has an analog weather channel in my area (MD) so we just tune the TV to that when we need to if the RTV is recording.


As for dual tuner STB - since they only output one video signal it has to go to the RTV so even with that you can't watch one tuner LIVE while the RTV is recording the other tuner since it only outpus one signal.


I used to have 1 of my RTV record from the HD-DVR (SD shows of course) but even with the dual tuners I was having issues. So I just went with the analog channels which as stated above are mostly just the local broadcast channels. You can get a LIVE HD signal if you have a QAM HDTV -- but not all HDTV are capable of QAM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I figured I had to get an STB for every tuner I want. The analog channels alone won't do the trick for me, since I often want to record my local broadcast and watch a channel that won't be available via analog. This will mean a mess of equipment in my living room, with 3 STB's added to my two replays and home theater setup.



Does anybody know if you can run multiple STB's in the same room without control problems? Is it possible to set different IR codes for each STB (these are Motorola 2500's) so they respond to different remotes? Further, when the IR blaster of the replays is attached to the STB will there be a problem with other nearby STB's picking up its IR signal? Or are the signals from the IR blaster focused enough that they don't "leak out" to nearby equipment?
 

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Use some black gaffers tape (or something similar) over the IR sensors to create an "IR fort" and it will be fine. Then you won't be using the STB remotes at all. You can, set ReplayTVs to respond to different IR signals--do a search here and you'll find information on that.


With my multiple ReplayTV setup, I just turn the ReplayTV on I want to watch through, leave the others off and there isn't any issue at all. In fact, I almost never watch through the others--they simply record for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. I do the same trick with the power that you do, so I don't have a problem running multiple replays. But I was concerned that when a replay changed the channel on one STB they might wind up changing the channel on others, since the STB's would all need to stay on.
 

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I don't think you'll have a problem, but if you do--the gaffers tape or electrical tape trick works great.
 
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