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Topic # 23101 18-Jun-2008 10:17
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Hi there

I spent Sunday afternoon setting up Freeview DVB-S on my Vista HTPC.  We have a Sky dish on the roof on which a splitter has been installed.  One length of coax goes to my flatmate's bedroom in the lower level of the house, another length goes to the middle level where the lounge is.  It's going into a jackpoint in the wall, which in turn has another cable going from there to my HTPC.  There's no issues with the Freeview signal at all - I'm very happy with the increased quality over Saturn.  However an odd byproduct of this is that when my flatmate turns his decoder off, I get a black screen on my HTPC and then a message saying the signal has been lost.

Anyone know what is causing this?  It wouldn't be so much of an issue if my flatmate didn't have a workshop in Upper Hutt that he spends most weekends at.  He takes his decoder with him to watch the sports channel while he is working on his cars out there.  So unless I get this resolved we will have no television on the HTPC on the weekends :)  Funny situation to be in but oh well...there's always something weird when playing with HTPC's!

If anyone can give me some advice that'd be great.

Cheers
G.

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  Reply # 138922 18-Jun-2008 10:25
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The decoder is providing the "power" through the splitter - It should say something like "power in" on one of the inputs. I had the same issue when I was tryng to get mine working and I hadnt plugged my Sky decoder in. Dont know how to fix it to work without a decoder sorry.




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  Reply # 138923 18-Jun-2008 10:30
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Hi there,

I figure your computer DVB-S card must be able to power up the dish LNB itself.  If there are any options to turn the LNB power on and off in your settings then start there and make sure the PC card is actually sending out the power the LNB needs.

Next look at your splitter.  You want one that says "all ports power pass" which means that power can pass up through any of the splitter ports.  Some older or some styles of splitter only allow power to pass up through one of the ports, which means that only the signal from the sky box is powering up the LNB, even if your PC card is actually powered up.

Good luck! 

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 138941 18-Jun-2008 11:37
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Thanks guys, I'll check it out over the weekend. 

Jaxson:  any idea where I would check for the LNB power setting?  Would that be in the WinTV application perhaps?  I'm not sure where else I can look into the settings of the card unless it's in the device manager?  I'm certain there is no setting like this in Windows Media Center itself.

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  Reply # 138944 18-Jun-2008 11:56
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I'm fairly sure that you do not need to do anything extra to get the card to power the lnb. I have a HVR4000 and it powers the splitter fine when sky is turned off. All you need is an all ports power pass splitter whereas you must have a single port power pass splitter at the moment.

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  Reply # 138945 18-Jun-2008 12:02
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Yeah honestly think a PC card will always be sending out the power via the sat input, so this is probably not your problem.  Replace your splitter with one like the one below.  I have used this exact same one and it can confirm it achieves what you're after.

http://www.freeviewshop.co.nz/satellite-terrestrial-splitter-p-55.html



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  Reply # 138949 18-Jun-2008 12:17
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Awesome guys, thanks again!

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  Reply # 138954 18-Jun-2008 13:03
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Jaxson: Yeah honestly think a PC card will always be sending out the power via the sat input, so this is probably not your problem.  Replace your splitter with one like the one below.

I don't know if this is true for all cards. I had a Hauppauge Nova-S card and an Avermedia dvb-s card. They were connected to a splitter and I had to have the Avermedia card connected to the "power pass thru" connector on the splitter... otherwise the Avermedia card (connected to the non-power passthru) would not work unless the Nova-S card was being used. To me this means that the Nova-S card does not supply power unless actively being used to record or view a program.



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  Reply # 138957 18-Jun-2008 13:25
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Thinking on this more, I should be able to just swap the cables around at the splitter, so the power pass thru connects to the HTPC, and the non-power pass thru connects to the physical decoder which can power itself, correct?

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  Reply # 138959 18-Jun-2008 13:32
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hasso - In standby mode most cards/set top receiver boxes will not power up the LNB. 

Switching the cables around will reverse the situation if the splitter only has one port that can power pass.  Change it around as it stands and you will always be able to watch satellite tv when you want, but your flatmate will have your problem.  He'll need you to turn on your htpc before his sky box can work!

To use the sat signal, something has to power up the lnb.  If all ports power pass then every device will be able to power the lnb independently.  If only one port is power passing, then power from all other ports will not be allowed past the splitter and up to the sat lnb.  For $10, buy an all ports power pass splitter.

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  Reply # 139011 18-Jun-2008 17:22
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You need to get something like this

http://www.freeviewshop.co.nz/satellite-terrestrial-splitter-p-55.html


As already said this will pass the power from either the media centre of the stb







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  Reply # 139013 18-Jun-2008 17:41
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Word of warning if combining PCI cards and STBs, especially Sky ones.

I've seen a number of issues where a Sky STB and a PCI DVB-S card are both powering a Sky LNB and the LNB overloads and doesn't provide a signal.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.

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  Reply # 139016 18-Jun-2008 17:53
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Jaxson and Nety... yeah, I understand how these splitters work re: power passthru... just my experience with the Hauppauge Nova-S card seems to indicate that it doesn't seem to supply power at all unless it is actually in use (i.e PC is powered up (not in standby/hibernate) and you are actually using the card for viewing or recording)).



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  Reply # 139022 18-Jun-2008 18:25
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I don't have a Sky STB. We have one HTPC (mine) and one Freeview decoder (flatmates).  My HTPC is always powered up if only in standby when not in use so I can't see an issue with reversing the cables.  And hey, if it doesn't work I'll fork out the 10 bucks to get a dual splitter.

Thanks again everyone.

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  Reply # 139023 18-Jun-2008 18:29
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openmedia: Word of warning if combining PCI cards and STBs, especially Sky ones.

I've seen a number of issues where a Sky STB and a PCI DVB-S card are both powering a Sky LNB and the LNB overloads and doesn't provide a signal.


Really?

I have two DVB-S cards and a SKY STB running off the same dish using two splitters - All power pass - and have had no problems.




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  Reply # 139026 18-Jun-2008 18:43
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What make/model DVB-S cards are you using, and do you have a dual focus Sky LNB or single focus.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.

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