Looking for something better than WMC on Verizon FIOS and Ceton InfiniTV 6 ETH

Discussion in 'Newcomers Forum' started by EvanWasHere, March 20, 2014.

  1. EvanWasHere

    EvanWasHere Portal Member

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    Hey guys, before I begin, I want to say I appreciate any help you can offer.

    Basically, I have been using Windows Media Center for many years, but it's getting a little long in the tooth.. I upgraded from Windows 7 to 8 and was hoping for changes... But there were none. But WMC worked and I lived with it.. Then I upgraded to 8.1.. which then caused issues where I need to reboot once a week cause WMC can no longer see the signal (sigh)



    I customized WMC with things like the commercial plugin Recorded TV HD (which looks soo much better than the Recordings tab of WMC) but is sometimes slow and can glitch out and My Channel Logos got me better logos, but I feel that kinda should have been included in WMC in the first place...

    But I am looking for something new.. something.. sleeker.. and hopefully faster.

    My gear can be seen here: http://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/1zawal/custom_built_24_port_array_made_out_of_ducatti/ but I'll list the specs quickly:
    • Moneual 320B HTPC case
    • Intel i5 3.33ghz (HDMI video/sound integrated)
    • 8GB Ram
    • Windows 8.1 Pro x64
    • Ceton InfiniTV 6 (capable of 6 concurrent TV feeds)
    • LSI MegaRAID 8888ELP SAS w/ BBU
    • 49TB External RAID 6 Array
    • OCZ RevoDrive x2 480GB PCI-E (Boot Drive)
    • Verizon FIOS
    • Panasonic 50” Plasma via HDMI
    • Secondary Windows 7 x64 machines with 32' LCD on a cart
    So my current setup basically has me recording my TV shows via WMC and using XBMC to watch 1080p MKV movies. I have also collected some 720p MKV TV shows of stuff that WMC had failed to record that I use XBMC to index and watch.

    I have spent about 5 hours researching MediaPortal last night and reading older reviews and even some install guides.

    My plan is to install MediaPortal 1.7.0 Pre on this machine over the weekend and test it out.

    My questions are basic, but I haven't found a solid answer (or everything gathered in one guide.. have about a dozen tabs open for research while doing the install this weekend) and would love to know before I install (and hopefully help the next guy as well)

    • 1.) What are the advantages of MediaPortal 1.7 over WMC (besides it looking sleeker)? Is it faster, changes channels faster, more info in the guide, any cool tricks it does with "recorded content" and "downloaded content", etc?
    • 2.) For Verizon FIOS (in NYC), what is the best way for me to get my EPG (with new episodes alert)? USA is literally not listed here http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/Country_Specific_Informations I've seen options of mx2xml and Webgrab+ but is there any easier or automated way (Like if FIOS offers EPG Data)? Also since I purchased My Channel Logos XL.. is there any way to use their HD logos (or do I need to)?
    • 3.) Will my system have any issues with recording 6 concurrent TV streams via my Ceton Ethernet adapter w/ multistream cablecard (WMC sometimes chokes for a second or 2)?
    • 4.) While researching, I found this amazing video of MediaPortal iViewer Preview Eve (see below) but then I saw they have been posting about this since 2011.. so what is the best way to control the TV with my Samsung Note III (Android) and/or my iPad 3 (IOS)?
    • 5.) In the same regard, what is the easiest and best method for streaming a show to these devices over wifi and/or LTE?
    • 6.) Is there an import method for the WTV recordings I made with WMC that will catalog the shows? (linked below)
    • 7.) Is there an easy import method for the scheduled recordings I have in WMC?
    • 8.) Will there be any issues with ATSC encrypted content that I record via FIOS that will either not record or play?
    • 9.) I have seen some people have used MediaPortal as a backend and XBMC as a front end. As I watch more TV than I do movies, is there any plus side for me doing this method?
    • 10.) Finally, is there any advice you may have regarding a FIOS/Ceton install? Any cool plugins I should definitely try?

    Again, I know there are a lot of questions above, but I appreciate any help you guys can offer. I am really excited to try something new and sleek to show off my system (as well as use on a daily basis).

    The iViewer Preview Eve video I saw:


    I will update this post with guides for newbies like me with similar questions as well as recommended plugins:
    Ceton cable card install: http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...2_TV_Servers/7b_Scan_ATSC#Tuner_Configuration
    Setting up ATSC tuners: http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_.../TV-Server_Configuration/02_TV_Servers#Tuners
    Webgrab+ http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...tup/4_TV_Guide_Setup_(EPG)/XMLTV_WebGrab_Plus
    mx2xml: http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_..._TV_Setup/4_TV_Guide_Setup_(EPG)/XMLTV_mc2xml
    Trakt: https://github.com/Technicolour/Trakt-for-Mediaportal/wiki
    WTV Organizer: https://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/movies-videos/wtv-organizer
    Streamed MP Theme (includes MP-TVSeries and Moving Pictures plugins) https://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/widescreen/streamedmp
    Music Videos plugin: https://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/movies-videos/mvcentral
    Online Videos Plugin: https://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/movies-videos/onlinevideos
    TV Wish List Plugin: https://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/television/tvwishlist
    Extensions Plugin: https://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/system/extensions
    Backup Settings Plugin: https://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/system/backupsettings
    US TV Logos: https://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/tv-channels/u-s-tv-logos
    Milkdrop Visulization Workaround: https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/getting-winamp-viz-working-in-mp-1-2.96442/
    Using Lightpack: https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/lightpack-help.124568/ and http://www.ambibox.ru/en/index.php/Main_Page
    Setup Delay for pre and post recording: https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/otr-on-time-recording.124190/page-2
    Windows Media Center Services: http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_..._Configuration/97_Additional_3rd_Party_Checks
     
    Last edited: March 22, 2014
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  3. mm1352000
    • Team MediaPortal

    mm1352000 Development Group

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    Hello and welcome! :)

    I'll attempt to answer a few of the TV related questions... or at least add a little info.

    The general answer is that it is more customisable, which might mean you can do "things" you weren't able to do in WMC. It is hard to be more specific about "things" because people care about different things. For me I just hated how inflexible and frustrating WMC was with respect to channel management, and that it only allowed me to tune one channel per tuner. I don't know what the reasons will be for you...
    CableCARD tuner support in MP is still relatively new. It does have a few quirks, but anecdotal reports suggest that people think it is a bit faster than WMC at changing channels.
    The info in the guide aspect would entirely depend on what information you're able to grab (there is no "curated" guide like WMC gives you). You can get programmes highlighted by genre etc.

    For guide setup please take a look here:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_MEDIAPORTAL_1/13_Setup_Guides/2_TV_Setup/4_TV_Guide_Setup_(EPG)

    Here's a shortlist of your options with links to the best info/guide I could find:
    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/setup-help.124506/#post-1061869

    Sorry, I can't tell you the "best" way. It will vary by person, region and provider... so pick one of the options and give it a shot, and if you don't like it for whatever reason try another. :)

    All cable providers pump EPG data from their headends, but they do it with proprietary schemes that are not documented anywhere and that I was not able to figure out. So, the standard FIOS EPG data is not an option.

    Shouldn't do... but then as above: CableCARD support in MP is new and does have a few quirks, one of which is that sometimes there is an extended delay when changing channel. So, I can't make any guarantees... BUT, I'll be here to provide support if you do find problems.

    Not that I'm aware of, at least not into the TV recording database (video database would be another story). The problem with WMC recordings is WTV - proprietary, possibly encrypted, wraps all the metadata. That combination is not a good recipe for good transferability.

    Without meaning to be the standards police: ATSC is over the air TV, so the above sentence is a bit confusing... but I think I know what you mean. :)
    The answer is: yes, you won't be able to play recordings marked "copy-once". They'll be encrypted and unplayable outside WMC. With FIOS those tend to be the recordings from premium channels such as HBO, Showtime etc.
    For other recordings ("copy freely") I'm not actually sure. It might be a case of "suck it and see". :)

    Some people like XBMC's interface and ecosystem; other people swing more towards MediaPortal. It is whatever suits you. Apparently the TV support/integration in MediaPortal is better (not really surprising, all things considered).

    No, not really. It looks like you found the setup info in the wiki so as long as you stick to that you should at least be able to get up and running.
    I note that you can install and run MP in parallel with WMC. TV Server should detect when a tuner is in use in other software and avoid using it.
    To avoid random clashing with WMC (ie. WMC comes and tries to use a tuner while MP is using it):
    1. Disable the DVB EPG grabber (untick timeshifting and idle checkboxes):
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...figuration/TV-Server_Configuration/05_DVB_EPG

    It wouldn't get you EPG data anyway so this is no loss.

    2. Possibly disable tuners here to prevent TV Server ever using them (ie. allow WMC exclusive access to them):
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...uration/TV-Server_Configuration/02_TV_Servers
    ...or otherwise for complete peace of mind simply stop the MP TV service when not in use (note: it normally starts automatically on bootup).

    Welcome again. Hope to see you around. :)

    mm
     
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  4. EvanWasHere

    EvanWasHere Portal Member

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    Replied in RED
     
    Last edited: March 20, 2014
  5. whiteoutage

    whiteoutage Portal Member

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    Show System Specs
    mm[/quote]
    The software looks amazing. I just wish more Americans were using it (all the videos on Youtube are from Europeans.. lol). Hopefully I can get it working perfectly and upload my own videos and review to get more USA people on it.
    mm[/quote]

    100% red blooded American here! this is a great alternative to windows MC. for me it was a pretty simple install with only a few minor glitches, but i had it going in only a couple hours. I love the picture quality -it is as good as my old MyHD hardware tuner card, which is quite unbelievable. Support for this open source program is pretty dam good though those bloody blokes down under or across the pond are usually sawing logs when you post questions.:D I did not like paying $25 for the Schedule Direct sub for EPG data, but i know of no free alternative. there are many other plugins that i don't even know of. Someone just suggested "TV Server Plugin: TVWishList" that looks pretty cool. If you do the review please message me - i'd love to see it.


    Homer
     
    Last edited: March 21, 2014
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  6. mm1352000
    • Team MediaPortal

    mm1352000 Development Group

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    LOL :D
    Yeah, sleeping or at work.

    There are alternatives. Refer to the link that I posted for EvanWasHere:
    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/threads/setup-help.124506/#post-1061869

    mc2xml, WebGrab+ and IMDB are all free as far as I'm aware.

    No problem - happy to help! :)

    That is explained in our wiki here:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_..._Configuration/97_Additional_3rd_Party_Checks

    We don't auto-disable it.
     
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  7. EvanWasHere

    EvanWasHere Portal Member

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    Ok. A little growing pains.

    I installed 1.7 pre and opened TV Server Configuration right away. It found my ATSC Ceton InfinitiTV cards right away. I disabled all but 2 of them. I also enabled CAM in 2 the 2, then disabled "Grab EPG" in the same window. I also then went into DVB EPG and disabled "EPG Grabbing while idle". Last I set SDT/VCT timeout to 120.

    I then tried to go back into the 2 Ceton cards to scan, but they had both disappeared.

    [​IMG]

    So I restarted the configuration utility and they were back. This happened a few times that they disappeared in the configuration util. I had to reopen the config file a few times.

    I then scanned "Digital Cable" on both cards I had enabled:

    [​IMG]

    I then went into MediaPortal and tried tuning to a few channels.. And I DID get a live picture.. the issue... is that the TV channel mapping is all incorrect. For instance, my HD channels start at 502, but any channel I typed in that range didnt come up. What did come up were other channels in the 400 range (which some showed in HD, but again, those shouldnt be HD).

    I saw a patch over here: https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/...for-mediaportal-1.112585/page-63#post-1056643, but I didnt know if this patch is necessary for MediaPortal 1.7.

    I have attached a log so you can hopefully tell me what I am doing wrong.

    Thanks again,

    Evan
     
  8. mm1352000
    • Team MediaPortal

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    Hello again Evan

    Excellent, all sounds good. :)

    Right. So that is the problem that the patch you found is meant to solve.

    So to be clear...
    Yes, that patch is highly recommended and applies for MP 1.5, 1.6, 1.7 and for the forseeable future. :)

    Okay.
    FYI scanning both cards was technically unnecessary - you can scan on one and link the channels to all the others without rescanning. That is what this section is for:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...Server_Configuration/03_TV_Channels/2_Mapping

    Don't worry - rescanning each tuner gives the same result as mapping/linking the channels. Mapping is just faster. :)

    Okay, so here when you say mapping I think you're talking about the "link" between the number that you enter on your remote (or keyboard) and the channel that you expect to come up.

    If you untick "select channel by index" here I think that problem will be solved:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...Configuration/22_TV/TV_Client#Channel_numbers

    If not, check that the channel numbers on the channels themselves (in TV Server configuration, TV Channels section, Channel Number column) are correct. They should be. If they're not, please let me know. :)

    Warm regards,
    mm
     
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  9. EvanWasHere

    EvanWasHere Portal Member

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    Ok. Installed the patch. And the unticked "select channel by Index" and that fixed the issue of channel #s not being correct.

    How do I use the mapping? I see the link you posted, but I don't understand how to pair everything together in there?

    Changing channels is a little slow.. But I am sure I haven't optimized everything yet.

    Also, is my signal quality supposed to be this low?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks again for answering my issues soooo quickly!
     
  10. mm1352000
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    Okay, so a mapping is basically a link between a tuner and a channel. When a channel is mapped to a tuner it tells TV Server "you can use that tuner to tune that channel". Without mappings, TV Server won't use a tuner at all.
    To create a mapping, select the target tuner up the top, select the channels that you want to map/link on the left, and then click ">>". That's all there is to it.
    Unmapping (the opposite of mapping - telling TV Server it can't use a tuner to receive a channel) is similar: select tuner up the top, select the channels that you want to unmap/unlink on the right, and then click "<<".

    From your previous log files (thanks for those :) ) it looks like TV Server is changing channels in around 1 second. I'm not sure whether that is what you're seeing or if you consider that slow. A little more info would be helpful.
    One tip I can give you up front is to consider tweaking the zap timeout setting:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...al_Configuration/13_GUI/6_On-Screen_Display_*

    Five seconds (default) can be a bit slow for some people.

    They look okay to me. :)
    The tricky thing with signal strength/quality readings in general is that different tuners use different reporting standards.
    I should say first that MediaPortal expects a 0-to-100% value.
    Most tuners give us what we expect; some seem to follow the Microsoft BDA specification which has a technical description of what the values should be; others do their own thing.
    When I wrote the CableCARD tuner code I wasn't really sure what value ranges we'd see, so I decided for a start that we should use raw values rather than trying to translate them into the 0..100 range.
    Unfortunately I didn't realise that a good signal strength reading should be round about 0 [dB]. To be clear, when you see your signal strength value is 0 that is actually a good thing.
    The signal quality comes from the signal-to-noise ratio. Thirty-something has turned out to be a reasonable value.

    In short: your signal strength/quality is absolutely fine. It is just the fact that it is shown on a 0..100 scale that makes it look bad.

    mm
     
  11. Charles F

    Charles F New Member

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    Hello Evanwashere, looks like you are only other person on these threads with Ceton Infinitv Eth and Verizon FIOS.

    I really need help in getting MP to work in my Win 8 system(still using WMC on Win 7, I have dual boot system, WIN 7 & Win 8 Pro

    Q1) At this point, am I better off installing MP2 vs MP1? Not really sure what the difference is, but I will go along with
    whatever you recommend

    Q2) Regarding my equipment, I have a Ceton InfinTV Ethernet box with cable card on Verizon FIOS provider.
    I also have 2 Ceton Echo extenders which are basically ethernet appliances that serve as clients, these are not PC's.
    To that point, do I need to install client/server configuration or standalone PC config? If client/server is required, how do I
    go about doing that?

    Q3) I need in the worst way to be able to get past this issue of my MP TV server configuration data not being saved.
    As previously stated, after spending the day on making config changes, when I reboot, all config data is wiped out.
    How do I get past this issue? It appears DB configuration data is not getting saved.

    Q4) Retrieving TV guide data - really no point in discussing until Q's 1-3 have been answered. but I do have schedule Direct
    w/EPG 123. My initial attempts haven't worked, but as you can see above, I need to get through the other problems

    Anything you can do to assist would be greatly appreciated, thank you
     
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