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Topic # 11216 10-Jan-2007 08:55
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Hiya.

I'm checking out my options for home theatre setup in the next couple of years and have a questions about the Program Guide and PVR functionality in Windows Media Centre.  I know you can set your Program Guide using XMLTVNZ (as per another thread) and you can control your Sky box with an IR Blaster, but how does the Program Guide change Sky channels by itself (e.g. where you set MCE to record a series)?  Does this work through the IR Blaster as well?




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  Reply # 57435 10-Jan-2007 09:41
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All issue with the lack of official EPG aside... MCE uses IRBlaster to change channel while viewing in realtime or when recording is scheduled. As long as you set your MCE to sleep and not hibernation, it will wake up at the right time to change channel (if not already set at the right channel) and record.

Important thing though, if you only use MCE to change channel or viewing pleasure, it will remember which channel it is current on. However if you have use both MCE as well as Sky's remote to change channel, then MCE is no longer in sync with the Sky decoder. For example, you may have MCE changed to 21, it sends signal to Sky decoder to change to 21. Then you turn off MCE or sleep it, then later you use Sky's remote to change to 50. This is when MCE and Sky become "de-sync". The work around is that, when you scheduling a recording, make sure you are viewing the right channel (while in MCE) either by physically changing Sky's channel, or use MCE to change channel to any channel, so they both now stay in-sync.

Hope this make sense.




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  Reply # 57437 10-Jan-2007 09:47
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So the best thing to do is set the whiole thing up then stow the Sky remote away?  Sounds easy enough.

When connecting the Sky box (not sure which I have but it uses analog connections) to the PC, do you go through a video capture interface or do you need a TV card?




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  Reply # 57443 10-Jan-2007 10:06
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If you have a preconfigure MCE, you just follow the hardware setup set by the guide, and follow the MCE wizard to tune to the right input.

One advice, don't play games using MCE, as it caches first then display, so you'll lose those precious few micro-seconds which may be critical in real-time gaming.

Personally, MCE is still lack of official support in NZ, and with lack of official EPG data, it makes MCE pretty useless... but there are way to get around it.

I use my MCE as PVR on demand and not realtime these days... I only record the program I want, and set "program reminder" on my TCL Saturn digital decoder, so it switches to the right channel at the right time, and MCE just wakes up and record, it will try changing channel but i don't have IR Blaster pointing its IR emitter on the decoder. This way, it just record what is being feed through the input.

I will wait until there's official support for EPG in NZ. If there's none available for another year or so, I may give up on MCE for PVR feature and hoping TCL will bring out PVR unit.




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  Reply # 57450 10-Jan-2007 10:32
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chiefie: All issue with the lack of official EPG aside... MCE uses IRBlaster to change channel while viewing in realtime or when recording is scheduled. As long as you set your MCE to sleep and not hibernation, it will wake up at the right time to change channel (if not already set at the right channel) and record.



Important thing though, if you only use MCE to change channel or viewing pleasure, it will remember which channel it is current on. However if you have use both MCE as well as Sky's remote to change channel, then MCE is no longer in sync with the Sky decoder. For example, you may have MCE changed to 21, it sends signal to Sky decoder to change to 21. Then you turn off MCE or sleep it, then later you use Sky's remote to change to 50. This is when MCE and Sky become "de-sync". The work around is that, when you scheduling a recording, make sure you are viewing the right channel (while in MCE) either by physically changing Sky's channel, or use MCE to change channel to any channel, so they both now stay in-sync.



Hope this make sense.


This is the one of the advantages gbpvr has. With an IR emitter device (I use the USB-UIRT) gbpvr will always send the codes to change the channel to the one you want to record, even if the STB is already on that channel. So there will never be any sync issues between what you are currently watching and what you want to record.




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  Reply # 57452 10-Jan-2007 10:47
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MCE might do that but I haven't really pay much attention on our MCE for a while so can't recall. It does make sense to send the IR signal, to be sure. Mmm worth an experiment :-)




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  Reply # 57458 10-Jan-2007 11:01
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My thoughts are around using Vista (or Home Server - need to see how that specs out) on my custom-PC in my study with an extender like the 360 in the lounge.  I guess that means I'd really need another PC for work and gaming so that I'm not taking resource away from the MCE component of Vista.  Saying that, this is a longterm "project" and I want to see how the various options check out (e.e.g DRM issues, etc.)




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  Reply # 57541 10-Jan-2007 23:11
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I havn't tried MCE but I do use MediaPortal. http://team-mediaportal.com/
OpenSource and very customizeable :D I use xmltvnz for EPG and and I use a DVB-S card for FTA satellite and an analog haupauge PVR-150 mpeg2 card(SVHS in) for my settop box (sky). I would still reccomend a MS MCE remote. you can use the ir blasters for changing channel on the settop box. all in all i find it to be pretty much the perfect PVR! It took me a little bit to set up but it's really worth it. recoridng programs while I watching others, pausing and re-winding TV, fast fordwarding ads. I could never go back to standard TV. For what it's worth I also tried mythtv (linux based) a bit more of a mission to get going, I did in the end but then ditched it for media portal since MP is really polished and tidy ( I imagine MS MCE is too tho)

Either way a PVR is something that you just to have! Once you start using it you'll be kicking your self for not doing it sooner!

 just my 2 cents worh. :-)

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  Reply # 58067 16-Jan-2007 13:21
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  Reply # 58278 18-Jan-2007 15:52
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Does anyone know how to setup xmltvnz to work with MCE, what exactly do I need to do so when I choose guide on remote it shows the data?

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  Reply # 58449 21-Jan-2007 17:46
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I'd recommend a MCE utility called BladeRunner Pro 3.5.

This forum thread has instructions for getting it working with XMLTVNZ:
http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/australian-tv-guide/15998-bladerunner-new-zealand.html

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