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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 04-25-2007, 02:43 PM
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mkanet mkanet is offline
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Will the R5000HD 169time.com products work with SageTV 6.1?

I'm really getting tired of watching my satellite programming through an svideo connector. What the most compatible and future-proof product for SageTV?

R5000HD or the 169time.com product? My understanding is that there's an external tuner I'd buy which would be controlled via serial from SageTV to change the channels and firewire to directly save the recordings to a PC's hard disk.

Could someone please clarify exactly what I need. I am ready to order!

Thanks,
-Michael
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:49 PM
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R5000 includes/offers/provides (can't remember which) a SageTV network encoder for the R5000. This is curently the "best" way to record non-clear digital in SageTV.

The tricky bit is R5000 mods are limited to some "legacy" DirecTV boxes, and don't (AFAIK) support any of the MPEG-4 stuff.

The "most compatible and future-proof" option currently is to use R5000 modded Dish Network boxes with Dish Network. Nextcomm supports R5000 modding the latest dish boxes (ViP211's) which support everything Dish has to offer and will probably be supported for some time to come (I haven't heard of any new Dish boxes on the horizon).
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkanet View Post
My understanding is that there's an external tuner I'd buy which would be controlled via serial from SageTV to change the channels and firewire to directly save the recordings to a PC's hard disk.
The external tuner you're talking about is your existing digital cable or satellite STB. If your particular STB isn't R5000-compatible (not all of them are), you might be able to find a compatible one on Ebay. The R5000 folks modify your STB by inserting a USB 2.0 device for channel changing and video capture. There's no serial or firewire involved. As Stanger said, the device appears to Sage as a network encoder (even if it's running on the same machine). There's a $50 surcharge for the SageTV-enabled version of the R5000 software, over and above the $500-$550 for the STB mod itself. (But apparently there's a limited-time %15-off sale on STB mods going on now, so that part of it is $425-$467 until mid-May.)
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:18 PM
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I thought that DishNetwork recently switched to Mpeg4 for HD and made all the mpeg2 boxes obsolete. I do have a DishNetwork dish which is already mounted and ready to go.

DirecTV already started sending HD locals in mpeg4 only.

So... anything thats mpeg4, wont be supported by SageTV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
R5000 includes/offers/provides (can't remember which) a SageTV network encoder for the R5000. This is curently the "best" way to record non-clear digital in SageTV.

The tricky bit is R5000 mods are limited to some "legacy" DirecTV boxes, and don't (AFAIK) support any of the MPEG-4 stuff.

The "most compatible and future-proof" option currently is to use R5000 modded Dish Network boxes with Dish Network. Nextcomm supports R5000 modding the latest dish boxes (ViP211's) which support everything Dish has to offer and will probably be supported for some time to come (I haven't heard of any new Dish boxes on the horizon).
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mkanet View Post
So... anything thats mpeg4, wont be supported by SageTV?
That's not correct. SageTV does support MPEG4, if you can capture it. There is currently no DirecTV STB that both receives MPEG4 and accepts the R5000 mod. So DirecTV users are out of luck with MPEG4 due to hardware limitations, not because Sage doesn't support it.

Dish is a different story. There are some Dish STBs that can receive MPEG4 and can also accept an R5000 mod. So MPEG4 capture and playback ought to be possible in Sage using these boxes. Or so I understand; I'm not a Dish user myself.
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2007, 04:39 PM
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I have not tested yet, but I don't believe any R5000 user is reporting success with playing R5000 MPEG4 recordings in SageTV. Although, SageTV says that it should work, as they believe they have put the necessary items in place.

MPEG2 SD and HD, including OTA work like a champ.

One hockey playoffs are over, I hope to make the push to 6.x and being trying to get MPEG4 going, or at least assist further in troubleshooting
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2007, 10:58 PM
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I just got an email back from R5000 support. They said they already can provide mpeg4 H.264 to sageTV. It's up to SageTV software to support this with directshow decoders such as PowerDVD's hardware accelerated H.264 decoder. I emailed SageTV support asking if this is possible or not.

I dont think I'm going to go down the Mpeg2 route since support it might not last too long.
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  #8  
Old 04-26-2007, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mkanet View Post
I just got an email back from R5000 support. They said they already can provide mpeg4 H.264 to sageTV. It's up to SageTV software to support this with directshow decoders such as PowerDVD's hardware accelerated H.264 decoder. I emailed SageTV support asking if this is possible or not.

I dont think I'm going to go down the Mpeg2 route since support it might not last too long.
Ah, this is the nice thing about using an R5000-HD mod in a DCP501 or other Moto box with cable service. No MPEG4 stuff to deal with that Sage seems to have issues with. My R5000-HD captures MPEG2 SD and HD very effectively in Sage.

Expensive, but currently the best way to go. I would also argue that the cable version of the R5000-HD is also more reliable than the dish version because of the mpeg4 issue, but I do think that Sage will fix this eventually.

thanks,
mike
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2007, 09:22 AM
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Shame they don't do a mod for FTA boxes.
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2007, 09:48 AM
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Hey Mike, I guess I could order cable (comcast cable). How sure are you that cable wont switch to Mpeg4 too? Also, why aren't more people doing it this way instead of the very limited cablecard method.. where they have to buy a whole new pc?

Thanks for your information!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
Ah, this is the nice thing about using an R5000-HD mod in a DCP501 or other Moto box with cable service. No MPEG4 stuff to deal with that Sage seems to have issues with. My R5000-HD captures MPEG2 SD and HD very effectively in Sage.

Expensive, but currently the best way to go. I would also argue that the cable version of the R5000-HD is also more reliable than the dish version because of the mpeg4 issue, but I do think that Sage will fix this eventually.

thanks,
mike
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  #11  
Old 04-26-2007, 11:03 AM
mikesm mikesm is offline
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Originally Posted by mkanet View Post
Hey Mike, I guess I could order cable (comcast cable). How sure are you that cable wont switch to Mpeg4 too? Also, why aren't more people doing it this way instead of the very limited cablecard method.. where they have to buy a whole new pc?

Thanks for your information!
First off, cable has so much more bandwidth, they don't really need to go to MPEG4, at least not anytime soon. MPEG2 is supported by all the cable boxes, and swapping them out would be a HUGE impact. They will get capacity back from digital conversion from analog going to MPEG2. There just isn't the crunch there that DBS has forcing them to MPEG4.

As for cablecard, it could have been much more useful had cablelabs not forced DFAST restrictions on cablecard equipped devices. It causes a huge increase in complexity of cablecard host devices, and limits the functionality in a PC environment so much to make it next to useless (e.g. you can't playback cablecard recorded content on a different system than the one it was recorded on, plugins can't get access to the raw mpeg for trasncoding, compression or commercial tagging, you can't brun recordings to DVD, you can't replace the motherboard without losing access to all recordings, OEM only solutions because cablelabs has to certify every configuration of PC, etc...).

So no point in my mind doing anything with cablecard, hence why the R5000-HD is my preferred solution to solve the problem. At least in Motorola markets like the one we both live in. :-) BTW, Comcast in the SF Bay Area has a process for provisioning customer own DCP501's, which make great boxes to run R5000-HD mods on.

Thanks,
Mike
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  #12  
Old 04-26-2007, 11:31 AM
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mkanet mkanet is offline
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This is great information. Sorry if my questions sound really basic; but, I want to make sure I do this right...

Question #1:
Do I order a cablebox from Comcast or from the R5000 people? If from comcast, do I get a specific model? (ie, non-DVR model, etc).

Question #2:
After I receive a modified comcast box from the R5000 people, is it as simple as connecting a USB cable from the cablebox to my PC and installing the sageTV software that's provided by the R5000 people?

Question #3:
After I plug the cablebox to my PC and install the software, how do I configure SageTV's software to use it? For example, channel changing plugin, recognizing the cablebox as an external tuner.

I will order this all as soon as I am sure I understand this will work for me and it will be something that can last me a while...

Thanks again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
First off, cable has so much more bandwidth, they don't really need to go to MPEG4, at least not anytime soon. MPEG2 is supported by all the cable boxes, and swapping them out would be a HUGE impact. They will get capacity back from digital conversion from analog going to MPEG2. There just isn't the crunch there that DBS has forcing them to MPEG4.

As for cablecard, it could have been much more useful had cablelabs not forced DFAST restrictions on cablecard equipped devices. It causes a huge increase in complexity of cablecard host devices, and limits the functionality in a PC environment so much to make it next to useless (e.g. you can't playback cablecard recorded content on a different system than the one it was recorded on, plugins can't get access to the raw mpeg for trasncoding, compression or commercial tagging, you can't brun recordings to DVD, you can't replace the motherboard without losing access to all recordings, OEM only solutions because cablelabs has to certify every configuration of PC, etc...).

So no point in my mind doing anything with cablecard, hence why the R5000-HD is my preferred solution to solve the problem. At least in Motorola markets like the one we both live in. :-) BTW, Comcast in the SF Bay Area has a process for provisioning customer own DCP501's, which make great boxes to run R5000-HD mods on.

Thanks,
Mike
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  #13  
Old 04-26-2007, 12:01 PM
mikesm mikesm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkanet View Post
This is great information. Sorry if my questions sound really basic; but, I want to make sure I do this right...

Question #1:
Do I order a cablebox from Comcast or from the R5000 people? If from comcast, do I get a specific model? (ie, non-DVR model, etc).

Question #2:
After I receive a modified comcast box from the R5000 people, is it as simple as connecting a USB cable from the cablebox to my PC and installing the sageTV software that's provided by the R5000 people?

Question #3:
After I plug the cablebox to my PC and install the software, how do I configure SageTV's software to use it? For example, channel changing plugin, recognizing the cablebox as an external tuner.

I will order this all as soon as I am sure I understand this will work for me and it will be something that can last me a while...

Thanks again!
Answer #1: Technically, you could get a STB from Comcast and get it modded, but you will be violating Comcast's TOS. My advice, buy a new DCP501 on ebay or from amazon.com (~$100)... Call comcast and get it provisioned. You may have to escalate to a supervisor and be prepared to show them the receipt for purchase (to make sure it's not a stolen box).

Once it's provisioned, pay through the nose and buy the mod online from Nextcomm. Ship the box to them, have them mod it and then they will ship it back.

Answer #2. Once you get the modified box back, you load the R5000-HD software from Nextcomm on a PC (could be the same or different than the sage server). The software acts as a network encoder for sage. You have to change a couple properties, but it's pretty simple to do.

That's it. It's now an encoder for Sage. You can now record any programming that you are entitled too, both HD and SD, even if the STB like the DCP501 can't do HD itself.

Answer #3: It acts as a network encoder to Sage, and integrates fine. The R5000-HD mod controls STB tuning in a standalone mode. No need for IR blasters etc... When you set up the encoder in Sage, select the provider and market via zip code as normal. Deactivate channels in the guide that you don't pay for (HBO for example, if you don't pay for it).

At this point, Sage now has a tuner that can record all programming, encrypted or not that you are entitled too, SD and HD, and with no DRM or restrictions. No MPEG4 issue to deal with. It just works. And if SDV is deployed, it still works since the STB will signal to the network when it needs a channel sent to it that isn't being multicast.

Hope this helps...

Thanks,
Mike
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  #14  
Old 04-26-2007, 12:05 PM
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Most of your questions about specific STB models, how to order, setup instructions, and so on are answered on the R5000 website.
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  #15  
Old 04-26-2007, 12:26 PM
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Mike, I looked on ebay and amazon for a DCP501, but the only thing that showed up was an audio amplifer by motorola. I went the R5000 website (per the suggestion above) and realized that it would be less hassle to just use the box that comcast gives me. Removal of mod is free . I guess I'm ready as I'll ever be.... I'm going to order comcast so long as I'm sure the box they provide me with is R5000 friendly. I cant believe its this simple! I wish I had known about this sooner.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mkanet View Post
Mike, I looked on ebay and amazon for a DCP501, but the only thing that showed up was an audio amplifer by motorola. I went the R5000 website (per the suggestion above) and realized that it would be less hassle to just use the box that comcast gives me. Removal of mod is free . I guess I'm ready as I'll ever be.... I'm going to order comcast so long as I'm sure the box they provide me with is R5000 friendly. I cant believe its this simple! I wish I had known about this sooner.
The DCP501 is a home theater receiver, and it comes with a digital STB included. This is the only user owned box that Comcast will provision. If you try and get a box from Comcast and get it modded, note that Nextcomm will only modify boxes that have no firewire output due to DMCA issues. This means it needs to be a DCT 2526 etc... I am not sure that Comcast is leasing these boxes to people anymore, and I do not believe the DCT700 is modifiable, at least not yet.

So while the DCP501 is big heavy and a somewhat of a pain to get provisioned, it is owned by you, and you can mod it anyway you choose. I would never advise you to violate TOS from comcast or anyone else. If you go that route though, you will have to ensure they give you an old box. Convincing them to do that may hard or easy... :-)

I also didn't believe this was possible until I looked into it and did it myself. It's expensive, but it really is the best way at this point in time to record digital programming.

Thanks,
mike
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  #17  
Old 04-26-2007, 12:44 PM
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Is this the thing I should order?
http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-DCP50.../dp/B00008ZPJN

As long I'm sure that I can call comcast and know for sure they will provision this audio amplifier, I will order it. I dont care how big it is, so long as I know that this thing will last me a while. I dont mind if its a bit of a hassle to get it provisioned, just as long a I know its something they will ultimately let me do; and, its my right to be able to use my own "cablebox".

So, when I order comcast cable, do I tell them I dont want to lease a box and that I already have a box? Or, do they still give me a box no matter what. I'm guessing I should only order the cable service AFTER I receive my DCP501 and have it in my hands.

Once I know this, I will go ahead and order the AMP or whatever you call it. Maybe, I can actually use it for my audio as well

***EDIT****
I called up Comcast, they told me that they dont mind provisioning it, all they can offer is try to enter the serial # of the DCP501 and see if their system accepts it. If their system doesnt accept it, they cant do it. They said they have heard of a DCP514 (or something like that) but not a DCP501. So, it looks like I have to order this unit, just to see if the serial # will take or not. Should I go ahead and order the DCP501???


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
The DCP501 is a home theater receiver, and it comes with a digital STB included. This is the only user owned box that Comcast will provision. If you try and get a box from Comcast and get it modded, note that Nextcomm will only modify boxes that have no firewire output due to DMCA issues. This means it needs to be a DCT 2526 etc... I am not sure that Comcast is leasing these boxes to people anymore, and I do not believe the DCT700 is modifiable, at least not yet.

So while the DCP501 is big heavy and a somewhat of a pain to get provisioned, it is owned by you, and you can mod it anyway you choose. I would never advise you to violate TOS from comcast or anyone else. If you go that route though, you will have to ensure they give you an old box. Convincing them to do that may hard or easy... :-)

I also didn't believe this was possible until I looked into it and did it myself. It's expensive, but it really is the best way at this point in time to record digital programming.

Thanks,
mike
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Last edited by mkanet; 04-26-2007 at 02:06 PM.
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  #18  
Old 04-26-2007, 02:57 PM
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Okay, I talked to somebody knowledgeable at Comcast and said that the DCP501 IS supported! I just ordered the below unit:

http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-DCP50.../dp/B00008ZPJN

Im going to see if I can change the shipping address to the R5000 people.
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:16 PM
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Okay, I talked to somebody knowledgeable at Comcast and said that the DCP501 IS supported! I just ordered the below unit:

http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-DCP50.../dp/B00008ZPJN

Im going to see if I can change the shipping address to the R5000 people.
Yes, that's the one. And comcast in OUR area knows exactly what to do with it. I helped them get the process right. In general, it's best to have it shippd to you, make sure comcast will provision it, and once it's up and running, ship it to nextcomm. Your approach will save time though, and I think the Comcast process today is pretty well refined re: the DCP501.

I think you'll be pleased once you get this set up working. And no MPEG4 to worry about. :-)

PS it's also best to combine this with a couple vanilla qam tuners to let you record the stuff that's not encrypted without taking up the 1 DCP501. If the R5000's were cheap, I'd add a couple more (up to 4 are supported by sage), but given the price, it's best to use something like and HDHomeRun to deal with the vanilla stuff, and let the R5000 handle everything else.



Thanks,
mike

Last edited by mikesm; 04-26-2007 at 03:20 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-26-2007, 03:50 PM
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BTW: Comcast offers the DCT5100 non-DVR HD box.. they confirmed it does NOT have firewire. So, it appears, that this is also an option; which will guarantee immediate provisioning. I am adding this to a system that already has 2 OTA ATSC tuners.
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