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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 09-13-2009, 05:24 PM
Mizpah Mizpah is offline
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Question regarding IR blasters

Hi all,

I have been using SageTV for years, and really like it. I have had no problems until my local cable company, Comcast, had us equip their new DTA's (Digital Adapter box) so we can continue watching most channels when they switch their analog channels into digital. I've never used a cable box or external box with my PC, I always ran the cable directly into the TV Tuner.

So as you can guess, the feature I have lost is the ability for SageTV to change channels. I have read up on the USB-UIRT component, and to my understanding, the PC can use this to send an IR signal to my cable box acting as a remote? It appears that SageTV can control this natively.

So my reason for this post is
1. For those of you who have such a device is it complicated to set-up and reliable?
2. Since my DTA is new would this device work on it, what sort of information would I need to know before I make a purchase?
3. Any other IR blaster's (if I"m even using that term correctly) might I consider. I know the device in question retails for $50, more for the 56KHz addon.
4. The DTA box has a small jack for an external IR receiver. Are their patch cables out there for this? In other words a USB cable that I can plug into the box directly? The jack looks like a 1/8th inch stereo jack.
5. Any other solutions I might not have thought of?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2009, 05:31 AM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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Quote:
1. For those of you who have such a device is it complicated to set-up and reliable?
Complicated is relative but I would say no. I have found them to be very reliable. The USB-UIRT was the most reliable and easiest to use in my experience. Hauppauge is next with the MCE blaster being the most difficult to setup as a blaster.

Quote:
2. Since my DTA is new would this device work on it, what sort of information would I need to know before I make a purchase?
With the USB-UIRT you can train it to use just about anything you have the original remote for. For the Hauppauge it would need to be supported nativity unless something has changed but they have a very large list of supported devices. Can't recall if the MCE hack will allow you to learn commands but I think it does.

Quote:
3. Any other IR blaster's (if I"m even using that term correctly) might I consider. I know the device in question retails for $50, more for the 56KHz addon.
If you need a new capture card then buy a Hauppauge and it will come with a IR blaster. If your current card will work then buy a USB-UIRT. It will control multiple devices. If you want to capture HD from your cable box you will need a HD-PVR which will come with a Blaster. Many people have had difficulties controlling multiple devices with the Hauppauge blaster.

Quote:
4. The DTA box has a small jack for an external IR receiver. Are their patch cables out there for this? In other words a USB cable that I can plug into the box directly? The jack looks like a 1/8th inch stereo jack.
No help here.

Quote:
5. Any other solutions I might not have though
Some devices have a USB port on the back that allows direct control of the device. (Not many)
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  #3  
Old 09-14-2009, 06:09 AM
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davephan davephan is offline
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Here's a link that might help you setup multiple zones with the USB-UIRT. Page 6 has wiring diagrams and photos.

http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/show...usb-uirt+zones

Dave
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:23 PM
Mizpah Mizpah is offline
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Thank you both, this helps lots. One more question, how would I know if I need the 56Khz option for a USB-UIRT?

Thanks again!
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  #5  
Old 09-14-2009, 02:14 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizpah View Post
Thank you both, this helps lots. One more question, how would I know if I need the 56Khz option for a USB-UIRT?
This thread has a discussion about that.

Odds are, you probably don't need it. The USB-UIRT can transmit at 56Khz, it just needs the option to receive 56Khz signals.

By the way, I think it would be an interesting experiment to try to look up a USB-UIRT directly to a DTA. What you'd probably need is a 1/8 inch stereo to a 2 1/8 inch mono adapter, and a 1/8 mono cable with male ends on both sides. In theory you should be able to plug the adapter into the back of the USB-UIRT, and connect the 1/8 inch mono cable to the adapter and the DTA. I don't know if it'll work, but its an interesting idea.
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  #6  
Old 09-14-2009, 11:42 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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I very recently acquired both a USBUIRT and a Comcast DTA. I had some initial setup difficulty (a mix of RTFM and optimizing the remote configuration). For the latter, I found that I would get frequent tuning errors until I set the number of digits to tune to 0. Until I did that, channel 257 would sometimes tune to channel 25, 2, 57, or 7, for example. I thought I had everything working perfectly until I got the wrong channel for a recording. Fortunately, knowing that things sometimes misbehaved, I checked the recording quickly, discovered the problem, and was able to record another ariing of the same show. So I think a bit more fiddling is in order . Because of this issue, I have the tuner connected to the DTA set with the lowest "merit" score, so that it's last in line to be used.

You also asked about the receiver-connector in the back: the DTA comes with a receiver-extender that you can stick over the USBUIRT emitter for a better transmission - at least that's what I did with mine. I think Comcast just expects you to put it on your TV so that you can point its remote at your tv instead of the DTA.
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2009, 07:38 PM
rupture rupture is offline
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VCRUser:
Did you ever figure out the best way to get the USB-UIRT to control the channel changing on the Comcast DTA? How exactly do you "set the number of digits to tune to 0"?
Thanks for any information you can provide.
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2009, 11:59 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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It seems to (mostly) work. I have it set to Digits per channel: 0; Channel Change PRefix Cod: Enter, Confirm Code: None. Delay between codes: 350 msec, Delay between channel changes: 1200 msec; IR Blaster Repeat factor: 3.

I have the external receiver on the DTA stuck to the USBUIRT emitter; I've wondered whether it would be better not to use the external receiver, but haven't had an opportunity to experiment with it in that configuration.

To get there, go to: Setup, video sources, [select the tuner], Tuner Control: USB-UIRT Transceiver dc50x; remote control options.

I'm still nervous about recordings in this setup, and try to "encourage" it to work mainly with shows that have multiple airings, so that if the first attempt doesn't work, I can retry.
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cable box, change channel, ir control, usb-uirt


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