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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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Old 05-27-2006, 09:38 PM
xlr8shun xlr8shun is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 205
need opinions/suggestion on proposed setup

ok, so its time for me to upgrade the htpc with some more tuners, the only thing is i dont have an 'optimal' setup. so, what i need is some advice from some of the vetrens in this area for a bit of advice on how they'd setup their system if it was theirs.

the htpc is running an athlonxp 1200, with 512 meg of ram and is connected to the network via wireless-g 54mbit, it also acts as the 'server' in this whole setup. the htpc also has 2 available pci slots, so i can go with 2 pvr150's or 1 pvr500 (which i'd prefer). the htpc already has 1 pvr250(16) in it now, that is currently connected via a straight cable coax coming into the house. we have 'extended basic' (upto channel 200 something) here so right now through the htpc im missing out on some channels and sometimes just switch between the inputs on the tv to view other channels. its setup this way because i dont have an ir blaster yet. once i get an ir blaster the pvr250 will be fed a cable signal from the cable box, and the other 2 tuners will be straight coax (upto channel 73 & 98/99) and this is where some of my questions appear.

- some irblaster & which tuner goes where questions:

1) since only 1 of the tuners is connected via the cable box how is the ir blaster going to work? will it interfere with the tuners that are not connected to the cable box?

2) what if i connected another cable box to a second tuner in the htpc, or even a third, will the ir blaster know which cable box to change channels on will i have to put them far apart to avoid unwanted channel changes or other problems?

3) would it be best to just put the other tuners in seperate computers and use them as network encoders? remember its wireless, but my wireless network is fairly reliable, and has a strong signal so b/w isnt much of a concern.

- since i'll now have multiple lineups, how does sage handle this:

4) if im watching live tv, and i happen to be watching channel 12, its a basic channel, meaning its availble on all tuners, but i have a recording coming on that is on channel 184, which is an extended channel. will sage automatically switch tuners for the live tv stream to an availble tuner and then record channel 184 on the tuner that is fed from the cable box? or is it going to pop up that little "is it ok to change channels and record....." box and make me switch it manually?

5) say sage wants to use the extended tuner to watch channel 15, but i notice that it's going to cause a conflict, can i manually specify which tuner i want to watch that channel on somehow to avoid the conflict beforehand?

6) how does sage handle conflicts with these different lineups? i know about encoder merit, and i can set it up so it would cover most scenarios, but not all. what is sage is scheduled to record a show on channel 8 and channel 185 at the same time, is sage smart enough to resolve the potential conflict and put channel 8 recording on the basic tuner and the channel 185 recording on the extended tuner?

this being my first multi tuner setup, im still having problems answering some of these questions when im going over it all in my head, one minute im going... "yeah, that'll work like that" then the next im going "but that cant work because of this or that"..

so if anyone has any suggestions before i drop some money, i'd greatly appreciate it. thanks
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:57 PM
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polen polen is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 239
Depending on the Cable STB you have, you might bea ble to have Sage change the channel with a serial cable or firewire.

If you have 2 tuners in your sage system and 1 turner can tune to more channels than the 2nd, then you need to configure them with different zip codes. My city has multiple zip codes, as do many. I setup a different zip code for my STB vs. my PVR500. My PVR500 tunes channels 2 to 73 and my STB, which is connected with a firewire, tunes channels 100 to 900 somthing, all the digital channels. With 2 different zip codes, sage knows which device can do what channel with all the channels merged into one guide list.

I hope this helps.

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Old 05-28-2006, 04:20 PM
xlr8shun xlr8shun is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 205

my stb doesnt have a seriel port, nor firewire, it does have a usb port though, but i dont think i could control channel changes from it.

i understand that i could limit the channels that the stb tunes, but i'd prefer not to do that, it'd be nice if i could use all the channels that are available to it.

im really interested in finding out if there would be any conflicts with multiple stb's side by side (or ontop of each other) when controlling it from a remote and irblaster. i cant figure out in my head how it could work, unless somehow sage was smart enough to know or the irblaster was smart enough to know. i can invision it in my head that i change the channel and all of a sudden all the cable boxes change channels which would just be a mess all the time. or i could be trying to change a channel on one of the other tuners (the tuner itself, not connected to an stb) and then the channel is also changing on the stb, which would also be a mess.

-- i could have sworn i put this in the sage products section of the forum, maybe it got moved, i guess this is an appropriate forum also, seeing as how some of my questions involved hardware
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Old 05-28-2006, 04:39 PM
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polen polen is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 239
It's a US Federal law that the your cable provider supply you with a STB that has a firewire. You might want to see if you can get a newer model from them unless you don't live in the US.

I believe you would need 2 different manufacturer's STB to have IRBlaster control both of them independently. I seen articles about it, but I've not done it myself.

Hopefully someone with experience with this will chime in.

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Old 05-28-2006, 05:06 PM
xlr8shun xlr8shun is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 205
Originally Posted by polen
IIbelieve you would need 2 different manufacturer's STB to have IRBlaster control both of them independently.
thanks for your help, and this is what i was kind of afraid of. glad i didnt shell out the money yet.

i know about the fcc law, but honestly im not really worried about it. my mobo doesnt have firewire anyway, and dont know if i'd go get a firewire addon card or not. my best bet might just be to make them network encoders and be done with it.. and i dont think my cable co carries anything other then sci-atl stb's.

i really, really, really, really.... dont want to deal with brighthouse tech support/customer service.. oh did i mention i REALLY dont want to? they'll probably give me one that doesnt have firewire activated (after a month of fussing with them) then tell me it'll take 2 weeks to get it activated, which will take another month.

anyway, thanks for your help i'll think about calling brighthouse, just lemme see what all my options are first. hopefully someone will chime in later so i can get a couple of those other questions answered.. thanks again
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:10 PM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NJ
Posts: 19,615
If the STBs can be configured to use different IR codes, you can use a single IR blaster, such as the USB-UIRT, to control the boxes. If they can't be set to use separate IR codes, then you can use the USB-UIRT's 3-zone support to control up to 3 boxes with the same IR codes, still using a single USB-UIRT. If you have more boxes, there is a post somewhere around here about using multiple USB-UIRT devices. The remote info sticky in this hardware forum has links for more info about using a USB-UIRT to control multiple boxes.

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