CableCARD tuner support for MediaPortal 1

Discussion in 'Area 51 - Testing Area' started by mm1352000, September 18, 2012.

  1. mm1352000
    • Team MediaPortal

    mm1352000 Development Group

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    UPDATE: 6 August 2014
    Hello everyone

    CableCARD support has been officially included in MediaPortal for 3 "final" releases now! As a result, the original patch posted here is considered obsolete and has been removed.

    Although the patch itself is obsolete, the information in this post is not. Today I've checked it for correctness to ensure anybody that finds there way here in future does not get confused. I note that all of the relevant info below should also have been copied into the wiki. I figure there's no harm having the information in more than one place as it might make it easier to find. Please feel free to update the wiki via the usual process (create an account, submit your changes) if you think it lacks detail or misses anything you think is important.

    There is also a new patch available -->here<-- which at time of writing has not been included into any MediaPortal releases. You should install it because it fixes a significant issue. Further, it is compatible with all releases of MediaPortal (including the previous patches) so there's no excuse to not to install it.

    I reiterate my thanks to the people who helped make this happen, listed below. This couldn't have happened without you!

    Best regards,
    mm
    :)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ORIGINAL POST



    Hello everyone

    This thread is a focussed attempt to add support for CableCARD tuners to MediaPortal's TV Server. CableCARD tuners can be used to receive cable TV on a PC in the United States of America. See here for more information.

    Requirements

    Please refer to the MediaPortal requirements for further details.

    Supported Tuners

    The following CableCARD tuners have been tested and are compatible:
    • SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME*
    • Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe
    • Ceton InfiniTV 6 ETH
    • Hauppauge DCR-2650**
    *Beta firmware 20130708 or newer required. Stable firmware (eg. 20140121) recommended.
    ** Driver 2.4_20140121_32028 or newer required.


    Other Ceton, SiliconDust and Hauppauge tuners with the latest firmware should also be compatible.
    Support for ATI CableCARD Tuners is completely unknown.

    About Me

    I don't have a CableCARD tuner, I don't live in the US (or even Canada), I work full time, and I'm busy with other things. I'm also not paid in any way to spend my time working on MediaPortal... but I do it anyway. Please go easy on me if things don't work right first time for you. I'll do my best to help sort out any problems you have.

    DRM And Limitations

    These days almost all cable TV is encrypted to control access to the content. Some cable providers even encrypt local channels that have traditionally not been encrypted. All encrypted content is labelled with information describing the restrictions. Please see here for more information.

    MediaPortal will almost certainly only support "copy freely" content. This is mainly due to two reasons:
    1. The expense of licensing DRM technology or having MediaPortal certified by CableLabs.
    2. The conflict between the closed and restrictive nature of DRM and the open and free nature of MediaPortal and our community.
    In practical terms that means you may not be able to view or record content from some channels. Exactly which content and channels are accessible depends on your cable provider and how they choose to label their channels. You can expect the same limitations in MediaPortal as found in MythTV, N-PVR, SageTV and other Windows Media Center alternatives.

    Acknowledgements

    This patch would not have been possible without help from the following people:
    • ijourneaux - for persistent encouragement and ideas
    • bc0508 - for on-demand access to your HDHomeRun Prime
    • lehighbri - for on-demand access to your Ceton InfiniTV 4
    • babgvant - for advice when I was really stuck
    • Jason Ludka from Silicondust - for technical support
    • Michael Welter from Ceton - for technical support
    • FreakyJ and Lyfesaver74 - for never ending encouragement and support
    • morpheus_xx - for help integrating the MediaPortal 2 UPnP library
    • georgius - for your awesome DVB-IP/IPTV filter
    • breese - for in-depth testing and feedback on ATSC and clear QAM scanning changes
    Thank you!

    My sincere thanks also goes to everyone who continues to test and provide feedback.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Installing And Using This Patch

    Update 25 July 2013, 8:15pm NZST: add patch v2.2, fixed tuning and recording with hybrid tuners. Thanks breese!
    Update 20 July 2013, 1:10pm NZST: clarify instruction for location of MPIPTVSource.ini. Thanks twemperor!
    Update 14 July 2013, 11:25am NZST: add patch v2.1, various bugs with ATSC and clear QAM scanning fixed. Thanks breese!
    Update 9 July 2013, 11:00pm NZST: rewrite post, add patch v2.0 with native UPnP/DRI and 64 bit support, rewritten ATSC and clear QAM scan code


    I'm very proud to announce this second more comprehensive patch for CableCARD tuner support in MediaPortal.

    First Steps
    1. Install the latest drivers and firmware for your tuner. HDHomeRun Prime owners should make sure that you've configured your tuners for CableCARD in HDHomeRun Setup (set the "Source Type" on the "Tuners" tab to "CableCARD"), and set the "Main Application" on the "Application" tab to "MediaPortal".
    2. Install the latest version of MediaPortal 1.
      • CableCARD support for MediaPortal 2 is coming... but it isn't available quite yet, so you have to stick with MediaPortal 1.
      • Be sure to select "Yes - I will use MediaPortal to watch TV" during the installation even if you intend to use XBMC/Kodi, otherwise the TV Server component which you need won't be installed.
      • I recommend that you install the LAV filters as part of this process (watch out for the option, or install them afterwards using the MP Extension Manager via the shortcut on your desktop).
    3. Install the patch -->here<--.

    Configuring

    At this point you should be able to open TV Server configuration and see one or more CableCARD tuners listed as type "ATSC" under the "TV Servers" section. If you don't see any tuners listed this indicates TV Server has not yet successfully detected your tuners. Close TV Server configuration, wait 30 seconds, then reopen. Repeat until your tuners are detected. If TV Server has not detected your tuners after 10 minutes please follow the instructions below for reporting a problem.

    Note that you may see more tuners than you expect for two reasons:
    • SiliconDust created a "wrapper" for the PRIME that allows software like MP to use it for clear QAM (ie. unencrypted digital cable) only. The tuners named like "HDHomeRun Prime Tuner" are the tuners you want to use; the other tuners named like "Silicondust HDHomeRun Tuner" are the same tuners but only capable of clear QAM. I recommend you disable (untick) the clear QAM wrapper tuners to avoid confusion.
    • On a 32 bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 you may see each tuner listed twice. This is because there are two ways or interfaces for controlling each tuner. Tuners with device path starting "@device:sw" use a PBDA interface; tuners with device path starting "uuid:" use the native UPnP/DRI interface. Only one interface should be used to control each tuner. The PBDA interface used by Windows Media Center may be more reliable but will certainly be significantly slower than the native interface. I recommend you disable (untick) the PBDA tuners unless troubleshooting.

    1. Edit the settings for each CableCARD tuner (select, click "edit"...) - tick "CAM enabled and present for this card" and set "this card can decode..." to 1, then click save. For more information see -->here<--.
    2. Go to the "scan" tab in the "general" section of TV Server configuration.
    3. Change the SDT/VCT setting to roughly 120 seconds. You may need to increase this time if you find channels are missing or don't have proper names.
    4. Go to the "DVB EPG" section in TV Server configuration.
    5. Untick the the two "enabled" checkboxes for the timeshifting/recording and idle EPG grabbers. This EPG grabber will not help you to get EPG. If enabled it will use your tuners pretty much continuously, which is unnecessary power use, wear and tear.

    Scanning (Adding Channels)
    1. Go to the scanning section for one of the CableCARD tuners. Each tuner is listed under the "TV Servers" ==> <your server name> section in the left hand pane of TV Server configuration.
    2. Select "digital cable" as the tuning mode.
    3. Click "scan for channels".
    You should see a message: out-of-band service information. For the few minutes it will appear like nothing is happening... but this is absolutely normal. TV Server is gathering channel information from the CableCARD in the background, and just needs some time to pull it all in.

    Once the scan completes you should see a message telling you the number of new and updated channels that TV Server found. If TV Server does not find any new or updated channels that means it is having problems getting information from the CableCARD. This is almost always due to firewall configurate. Ensure TV Server has full access to your network.

    Channel Configuration

    Channels should be assigned their correct names and virtual channel numbers automatically. If some channels or names are missing (ie. some channels are named like "Unknown...") then you should delete all channels and rescan with a higher SDT/VCT timeout setting.
    You can group channels in the "TV Channels" section of TV Server configuration, as described in our wiki.

    In order to ensure that TV Server knows it can use all of your tuners, you'll need to link your channels to each tuner. This is done in the "TV Mapping" sub-section under "TV Channels":
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...Server_Configuration/03_TV_Channels/2_Mapping
    1. Select a CableCARD tuner up the top.
    2. Select the first channel on the left, then press [shift] + [end] to select all channels.
    3. Click ">" to link the channels to the tuner.
    4. Repeat 1..3 for your other CableCard tuners.
    Testing Channels

    It is very tempting to use the "preview" button in the "TV Channels" section of TV Server configuration. In many cases preview will work, but on some systems you may find that channels don't seem to work at all, won't play video, or won't play audio. If this happens to you, don't panic - it does not mean that your channels aren't working.
    I recommend you use the "manual control" section of TV Server configuration as it is a more robust method of testing. This method allows you to timeshift and/or record specific channels and check the signal and stream quality.
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...ion/TV-Server_Configuration/11_Manual_Control

    EPG

    You will need to use one of the following methods to get EPG for your channels:
    1. mc2xml
    2. SchedulesDirect
    3. WebGrab

    For any other general questions, I recommend that you consult our wiki:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com
    ...or search this forum. If you can't find an answer to your question, don't be afraid to ask. :)

    Reporting Problems

    Although CableCARD support has been tested and used by a lot of people now, there may still be a few issues here and there. We need your help to find and eliminate these issues. If you encounter a problem or something doesn't work as you'd like please provide a full description of the problem. Always include all log files and be sure to note times, dates and channel names where relevant.

    The watchdog is an incredibly useful tool. It makes gathering the log files we need a breeze:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_MEDIAPORTAL_1/16_Support/3_Forums/2_Log_Files

    On a multi-seat system, please use the watchdog to grab logs from the client(s). You'll need to grab the server logs manually:
    1. Open TV Server configuration.
    2. Click "open log directory" in the top left.
    3. Zip up all the files you find there and post the zip file here.

    All the best with MediaPortal! :D
    mm
     
    Last edited: August 6, 2014
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  3. lehighbri

    lehighbri Portal Member

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    I have a Ceton so I'll try to help. See attached for my log file following the directions you stated.
     
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  4. mm1352000
    • Team MediaPortal

    mm1352000 Development Group

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    Thanks lehighbri (y)
    So far so good - it looks like we can initialise the Ceton tuners. That is *way* more than what could be done before. :D
    There is a ton of valuable information in your log files that I'm going to analyse today.
    This will hopefully tell me about how I will be able to submit tune requests and scan for channels.

    Just one quick question: are you using W7 32 or 64 bit?

    Thanks again! :)
     
    Last edited: September 18, 2012
  5. lehighbri

    lehighbri Portal Member

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    Sure thing. And I'm using W7 32 bit.
     
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  6. Lyfesaver74
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    Show System Specs
    I will buy a Ceton or HDHomeRun Prime.... whichever u feel is best for me to test with, mm.
     
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  7. mm1352000
    • Team MediaPortal

    mm1352000 Development Group

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    Small update:
    I analysed the log files as promised, and I'm preparing a new test patch. Should be available in the next 24 - 48 hours, or by the end of the weekend at the latest.

    The information that I've been able to get from lehighbri's log files is really great, but I'm also hoping for some results from somebody with a Prime and somebody with a Hauppauge DCR-2650. Otherwise we run the risk of developing something that only works for Ceton hardware.
     
  8. mm1352000
    • Team MediaPortal

    mm1352000 Development Group

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    Well, hopefully lehighbri has the Ceton base covered. Right now I need some Prime test results, but in the longer term you should get the option that you like the best. :)
     
  9. bc0508
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    bc0508 MP Donator

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    I should test with my prime this weekend.
     
  10. bc0508
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    I had some time this morning so i loaded 1.3 up and this fix. Attached are the logs. I didnt see my prime listed as tuners should I ?
     
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  11. bc0508
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    bc0508 MP Donator

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    Figured out I forgot to change the hdhomerun software to mediaportal
     
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