Help with TV setup (1 Viewer)

Old school Bob

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August 13, 2020
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I’ve looked around and this MediaPortal seems like the perfect thing for me. I just can’t seem to get it setup correctly.

Background: I have Windows 7, AMD A8-5500 with radeon HD graphics processor. Also Hauppauge Win TV – DCR-2650 with cable TV card. It’s connected to Charter (Spectrum) cable TV. I am not a computer person. I am also not familiar with all these abbreviations you guy use – DVB-IP, ATSC, etc. So please explain to me in novice terms.

I’ve used this setup for years to watch and record TV. It still works but Windows 7 is no longer supported and I can’t get TV guide listings. I would like to use MediaPortal just for TV – I don’t need radio, pictures, videos, etc.

The way I understand this is I must setup a server then the client (which in my case is both on my computer). I don’t intend to use my network to watch TV anywhere else. Under server I get “Bob-PC” - under that I get “DVB-IP” (don’t know what that is) and “ATSC Hauppauge OpenCable Receiver 20118162-0” and “ATSC Hauppauge OpenCable Receiver 20118162-1”.

First question – what is DVB-IP? Do I need to use it? When I scan for channels, I get nothing.

Next question – is the ATSC Hauppauge the cable box? Is that the correct box? Why is it listed twice? (I can record one channel and watch another with my Hauppauge box). Under tuning mode I get three listings ATSC Digital terrestrial, Clear QAM Cable, and Digital Cable. I assume I should be using Digital Cable but when I scan for channels I get “out of band services information…new - 0 updated – 799”

Could someone please tell me where I’m going wrong?

Sorry to be such a dummy but I’m really lost.

Thanks

Bob
 

CyberSimian

Test Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • June 10, 2013
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    I’ve used this setup for years to watch and record TV. It still works but Windows 7 is no longer supported and I can’t get TV guide listings.
    If you are happy with the way that your current setup using Windows Media Center (WMC) has performed in the past, you should give some serious thought to not changing what works. Some points:

    (1) Although Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft, it will continue to work indefinitely with your existing equipment.

    If your system is used only as a Home Theatre PC (HTPC), and you rarely access the internet using it, you don't need to do anything. If you are paranoid, you could install free or paid-for anti-virus and anti-malware software (there are many available).

    If your system is a general-purpose system, I can understand that you might be reluctant to stay with Windows 7, and want the assurance of using Windows 10 that is fully supported by Microsoft with updates.

    So this point may be the deciding factor whether to stay with Windows 7 or move to Windows 10. (I am continuing to use Windows 7 on my dedicated HTPC.)

    (2) Although Microsoft are no longer providing an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) for WMC, there is an excellent internet EPG available from "Schedules Direct" for a modest annual fee (around $25 per year, I think). You need to combine this with a tool called "EPG123" that converts the downloaded EPG into the form that WMC needs, and then loads it into WMC. EPG123 may also do the downloading for you (I have not used it myself, so I am not sure about that). EPG123 is discussed in detail in the following forum:


    I believe that EPG123 is freeware, but it is excellently supported by its author, so I would encourage you to make a donation to the author if you decide to use it.

    (3) As far as I know, the USA is the only country in the world that uses cable-card tuners that support Digital Rights Management (DRM). If you receive content that is copy protected, WMC is the only system that will allow you to watch and record such content. MP cannot do this.

    (4) The current MP team does not have anyone who resides in the USA, and so has no one with experience or knowledge of using cable-card tuners. So I regret that no specific advice is likely to be available regarding the setup of your system to use MP.

    If you are lucky, an MP user who resides in the USA and uses a cable-card tuner may view this thread and offer some advice, but you might be in for a long wait. :(

    (5) So overall my recommendation would be to stay with WMC. You might think that it is odd that an MP team member should suggest not using MP, but the objective for you is surely to obtain a system that will allow you to watch and record TV, with the minimum amount of setup, and I feel that WMC with Schedules Direct and EPG123 will offer you that.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    Old school Bob

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    August 13, 2020
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    Thanks CyberSimian,

    Here’s the problems I have now that Windows 7 is no longer supported and I can’t get TV guide listings – when I surf through the channels I get “No Data Available” so I don’t know what’s playing. (Especially if it’s during a commercial). Also when I record something it’s listed as “Manual Recording” and the channel. So I end up with a folder full of recordings that I don’t know what they are.

    My current system is general purpose and Windows 7 does everything I need (internet, E-mail, anti-virus, everything). I had Windows 10 and hated it. I went back to 7. When I purchased a laptop for my shop I told them I would only buy it if it had Windows 7. That cost me extra but it’s worth it.

    How do I know (or how can I find out) if the content is copy protected.(I doubt it is). And why is Windows Media Center the only system that allows me to watch Cable TV? My Hauppauge box has a card in it from the cable company that I pay a monthly fee for. Similar to the cable box on our other TVs. So I wouldn’t expect it to be copy protected. Seems that if I’m paying for that signal from the cable company that any program on my computer should see and use that signal. The cable comes into the Hauppauge box then (via USB) goes to the computer. I just need MediaPortal to find that signal. Seems we are really close.

    Thanks for the lead on the Schedules Direct and EPG123 but that sounds much more complicated. I had really high hopes for this MediaPortal. Perhaps someone else may have the solution.

    Bob
     

    CyberSimian

    Test Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • June 10, 2013
    2,136
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    How do I know (or how can I find out) if the content is copy protected.
    From what I have read on other web sites (I have no personal experience of USA television), it is "premium" content that is copy protected. These are channels that you pay extra for, and would typically be recent movies, prestige sports events, and so on. However, apparently some cable providers encrypt all of the content apart from local free-to-air channels. If content is encrypted, MP will know that a channel is present, but will not be able to display a picture or sound for that channel.

    And why is Windows Media Center the only system that allows me to watch Cable TV?
    It is the only system that allows you to watch and record copy-protected content on cable TV. This is because any software that wants to decode the protected content needs to be certified by CableLabs to ensure that the software conforms to the digital rights management requirements. This certification costs big money (hundreds of thousands of dollars, I believe). MediaPortal has no money.

    Thanks for the lead on the Schedules Direct and EPG123 but that sounds much more complicated.
    In the UK, our terrestrial free-to-air TV broadcasts include as part of the TV datastream a 7-day EPG which MP can decode and display. As I understand it, the cable TV datastream in the USA does not have a built-in EPG, so you will still need to setup a system for obtaining the EPG from the internet. This is the same as you would have to do for WMC.

    I believe that there are USA users of MP who successfully use Schedules Direct to obtain the EPG for MP (here and here), but others have tried and failed (here).

    There is a large pool of expertise regarding Schedules Direct and EPG123 on the Green Button web site, because it is mostly USA users of WMC who frequent that site. In contrast, there is very little expertise on the MP web site with regard to using Schedules Direct to obtain the EPG, because few people in Europe use Schedules Direct with MP. You will get an indication of this by the lack of responses from anyone else.

    My view is that we all waste far too much of our lives trying to get software to work. In your case the simplest answer would be to buy or rent the DVR available from your cable provider, and forget about trying to use a PC to watch and record TV (you will still be able to use your PC to watch content that you have already recorded). Alternatively, the Hauppauge web site suggests using the Hauppauge WinTV application.

    I am sorry that this all seems so negative.

    -- from CyberSimian in the UK
     

    Old school Bob

    New Member
    August 13, 2020
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    Thanks TLD,
    Under " ATSC Hauppauge OpenCable Receiver 20118162-0 " ?
    I'll give it a try.

    Bob
     

    Old school Bob

    New Member
    August 13, 2020
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    Gee, that's been running for about two hours and still has 800 channels to go. I gotta go to bed - I'll try again tomorrow

    Thanks
     

    TLD

    Portal Pro
    October 26, 2007
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    Rainy Washington
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    I don't have a "cable TV card" But "Clear QAM Cable" is the standard for digital signal over analog cable in the USA.
    I'm not sure if fiber optics has a different standard or not as i have never had it.
    Did you setup for USA, cable etc. in the TV server setup.
     

    Old school Bob

    New Member
    August 13, 2020
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    United States of America United States of America
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    Did you setup for USA, cable etc. in the TV server setup.
    I don't know. How do I do that?

    "Clear QAM Cable" is the standard for digital signal over analog cable in the USA.

    Under Clear QAM Cable I have several QAM tuning frequencies:
    QAM HRC+3
    QAM HRC
    QAM IRC
    QAM standard
    QAM std alternative

    Which one do I use?

    Thanks
    Bob
     

    TLD

    Portal Pro
    October 26, 2007
    674
    107
    Rainy Washington
    United States of America United States of America
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    Check out these pics of the TV server setup, click your card (Hauppauge Win TV – DCR-2650, I'm guessing this TV card tunes the cable card you got from your cable provider) in the window on the left and you will see the TVServerSetup1 pic the Scan section will be selected select United States, etc. and so on. Then select settings and look at the TVServerSetup2 pic and select the correct settings.

    Click OK and you will exit.

    Start TV server setup again and click on the correct card on the left and select QAM standard then scan. After the scan look in the TV Channel section on the left if it is populated select one of the channels and click Prevue. give it a minute to load and a small window should pop up and show the channel.

    Your hardware is different than mine but this may work. It might help if you can give me a screen shot of your TV server setup.
     

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