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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another newbie question...


I'm in the middle of building my first HTPC and was trying to figure out something. I will be using a MyHD card to record and watch OTA HD, changing channels should be easy there, specially for scheduling. What I can't find an answer for is how does MyHD (or any other capture card) change the channel on a TiVo/DirecTV receiver? If I understand this correctly, I have to use S-Video/Composite from the receiver to the card in order to record something, right? So how does the card change the channel on the receiver to record a schedule program? Do I need special software or some kind of remote control cable to be placed in front of the receiver, sort of like recording to a VCR?


This might be a simple question, I know I'm thinking too much! I just want to be prepared once I get the system put together and there aren't any surprises.


Thanks for any advice.


Jamal
 

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You can use an IR blaster such as UIRT to send IR signals to the device. Depending on what software you are using, the IR blaster can be natively controlled, or you can always use Girder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for replying. I've been doing some reading on this forum and it looks like the SageTV and PVR-250 is the best solution for what I'm trying to do, I'm just not sure if it can control my DirecTiVo box or my Samsung HD DirecTV reciever. Since SageTV is not supporting HD yet I'll use whatever comes with MyHD card for HD recording.


More stuff to buy! :)


Jamal
 

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I'm confused as to why you want the capture card to change the channel of a DirecTivo. Do you want to take the analog output of a DirecTivo into a capture card, re-encode it, and record it again on the PC hard drive? That sounds like recipe for disappointment. The video from a DirecTivo goes through one D/A conversion on its way to your TV. If you pump the video into a capture card you will basically put the signal through three cycles; D/A, A/D, D/A. Not to mention the MPEG encodes/decodes involved. You will get much better video quality feeding the video to your display directly from the DirecTivo.


And if you are talking about a regular Tivo the PQ could be downright awful by the time it got to your display.


If you want to change the channel on a regular DirecTV receiver you can use a USB-UIRT. However, if your Tivo is also connected to the same DirecTV receiver you are setting yourself up for a scheduling nightmare.


If you want to scale the video from the DirecTivo/Tivo/DirecTV Receiver through the MyHD then you can just use the device's remote to change the channel.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jkaiser
http://www.pcmx.net/dtvcon/
Now, if there was only a similar solution for the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 2100 Digital Cable STB. Not only isn't there a serial port, but the USB port isn't usable.


I've got the USB-UIRT and Girder, but I'm a novice with both, and can't find anyone who is using Girder with the SA 2100.


HELP!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Eventually I'd like to get rid of my TiVo and just use my HTPC for PVR for both regular direcTV and OTA HD. Since my receiver is also my TiVo (DirecTiVo or DirecTV DVR with 2 tuners) I'll be sending the signal to the capture card through S-video (or composite), that's the only way possible I thought, I could be wrong, is there a card that can receive DirecTV broadcast? The other way I could do it is to get rid of my TiVo and replace it with a regular DirecTV receiver. Either way, SageTV (with capture card) will have to automatically change channels in order to record scheduled programs, which will be captured through S-video, am I wrong here?


Thanks for the help. BTW, got most of the parts today (except for the MyHD card and transcoder), so I'll be putting my new HTPC together this weekend, wish me luck!


Here's what I got so far:


Antec Case PLUS1080AMG

MSI 865PE Neo2 -FIS2R

P4 2.4C

1GB DDR 3200

Radeon 9600 PRO

Audigy2

DVD+-RW

2 WD HD, 120 and 200 (for HD)

Logitech MX Duo

XP Pro


Jamal
 

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The video output of the DirecTV signal from the PC capture card will be inferior to the output of the DirecTivo whether you feed the capture card from the DirecTivo or from a regular DirecTV reciever.


The DirecTivo records the DirecTV bitstream directlty to the hard drive, it is then decoded and sent to your TV.


In your scenario, there are a few more A/D/D/A conversions as well as an extra encode/decode.


I don't know about you but the first scenario looks better to me. It works exactly the same with a regular DirecTV receiver you just don't have the recording buffer that the DirecTivo has.

Have you ever seen the quality of the image from a regular Tivo, that's about what you can expect. The output of the DirecTivo is far and away better. You will be taking a step backwards if you decide to replace your DirecTivo with an HTPC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's not what I've read on this forum. Most of the posts that compared TiVo to HTPC, DVD player to HTPC DVD, and so on, were all in favor of the HTPC. It won't hurt to try, there are so many benefits to having an HTPC in my living room, I won't let the quality of DirecTV playback change my mind.


Jamal
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bluesjam
That's not what I've read on this forum. Most of the posts that compared TiVo to HTPC, DVD player to HTPC DVD, and so on, were all in favor of the HTPC. It won't hurt to try, there are so many benefits to having an HTPC in my living room, I won't let the quality of DirecTV playback change my mind.


Jamal
Compared to a standalone Tivo an HTPC may provide better video. It will not be on par with the output from the DirecTivo. An HTPC will most likely provide better MPEG encoding than a standalone Tivo, however, I doubt any PC can perform MPEG encoding as well as the professional MPEG equipment that DirecTV uses.
 
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