Newbie - Moving from Snapstream BTV to MP

rkstant

Portal Member
September 13, 2014
13
3


Hi All - This is my first post. I am new to MP and having some issues. I would appreciate some help from some happy users and experts.

I was happily using BeyondTV until I made the mistake of upgrading to Windows 8.1. That ended my BTV experience. I then paid the extra bucks for Windows Media Player...that was a mess. So I was looking for a new app to watch and record TV on my PC and saw good things about MP.

I have a cable box from Comcast, a Happauge WinTV HVR-1800 tv card, a USB IRT device to change the stations on my cable box and I've installed MP. With my old setup, BTV could be told about the USB IRT and which cable service (Comcast) I use and it would download the tv station and program guide and allow the application to change the station when I used my keyboard and the onscreen guide to select a show to watch. If I told BVT the shows I would like to schedule to record, it would change the station at the appropriate time and record the show.

I'm nowhere near there with MP. I've installed MP, the IRSS and plugins for WebEPG and XmlTv. I only see channel 3. What I expected was a way to tell the system which cable system I had a fetch the appropriate guide and then load it. I also expected MP to be able to cycle through the channels that were availabe from the guide, if necessary. I have been doing a lot of reading in the Wiki, but I'm no expert in this stuff. Can anyone help me out with getting things going? I don't need radio or music managed by this app. I just want to watch and record TV.

Thanks,
Rick
 

mm1352000

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  • September 1, 2008
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    Hello and welcome Rick :)

    MP can be forced to do what you want but it won't be as smooth a setup as what you've described for BTV, because MP was not designed with blaster/STB setups in mind.

    The normal MP setup process is to configure your tuner, scan for channels, organise the channels, sort out a guide data source, then setup your schedules. However, you can't scan for channels with a blaster/STB setup such as yours. That means you need another way to create your channels. Aside from scanning, the only other way to create channels in MP is to do it manually. That is doable... but extremely time consuming.

    People in your position usually sign up for a SchedulesDirect guide service trial and install the SchedulesDirect TV Server plugin. Reason: you can feed the SD plugin with your zip code; in turn the plugin can create all your channels as required. That saves having to create those channels manually.

    The problem for you is that it sounds like your cable box is connected to the HVR-1800 via an RF/coax cable, and the SD plugin doesn't support that configuration. So, do you have any other connection options?

    Regards,
    mm
     

    rkstant

    Portal Member
    September 13, 2014
    13
    3
    mm -

    Thanks for the reply. I don't really have any other connection options. Comcast cable company requires a cable box and that only uses the RF/Coax connector. I'm ok with the manual means to add the channels, at least for the ones I watch the most. But I don't see how to get MP to change the station if I select a channel. It doesn't seem to be sending the signal out to the IR blaster.

    -Rick
     

    mm1352000

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    I'm ok with the manual means to add the channels, at least for the ones I watch the most.
    Okay, well then what you need to do is:
    1. Open TV Server configuration.
    2. Go to the TV Channels section.
    3. Click "add" to add a channel.
    4. Tick visible in guide.
    5. Enter the name and number for the channel. These can be anything you like. The channel number does not have to match the cable box.
    6. Click "add" to add a tuning detail.
    7. Select analog and click OK.
    8. Enter the channel number for the channel in the cable box.
    9. Enter the frequency of channel 3 (I believe this is 61.25 MHz).
    10. Input type can be anything, but I'd select cable.
    11. Country can be anything, but I'd select USA.
    12. VCR signal should be unticked.
    13. Video and audio source should be tuner.
    14. Click OK and OK again.
    15. Repeat instructions 3 to 14 for all channels you want to add.
    16. Go to the mapping subsection under TV Channels (in the left pane).
    17. Select your HVR-1800 analog tuner up the top.
    18. Select all channels on the left and click ">".

    But I don't see how to get MP to change the station if I select a channel. It doesn't seem to be sending the signal out to the IR blaster.
    That is responsibility of the IRSS TVE blaster plugin. Right now since you've only got one channel the most you could get working would be to switch to that one channel (which is channel 3).
    Here are the instructions for configuring blasting:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_MEDIAPORTAL_1/17_Extensions/3_Plugins/IRSS_(IR_Server_Suite)/Set_Top_Box_Blasting#Configuring_TV3_Blaster_Plugin

    Regards,
    mm
     

    rkstant

    Portal Member
    September 13, 2014
    13
    3
    mm,

    Thanks. The posts were helpful but I'm still falling short.
    I'll start just by adding a couple of channels, as I think I can go back and add more later. So I'll start with channels 2 and 55.
    I've also gone into the blaster plugin docs and went through those instructions. For each of the TV tuner cards that popped up in the list, I've added the settings for my Motorola cable box. The light on my IR blaster does "blink" when I test it via the GUI dialog.

    Now, what I expect to happen is that I go to MP and see those two channel (albeit without guide information). I do. Both channels 2 and 55 are there.
    Now, I select one of those channels. I expect that the MP software will work through the plugin and leverage the IRSS to tell the blaster to change the cable box to the selected channel. It does not. I have left the cable box on a different channel (channel 4) and that is still shown on the cable box.

    What is particularly disheartening at this point is that I would have expected the feed from channel 4 to show up in MP (since it didn't change the box). But nothing shows up in the TV video display section of MP. I did validate the input signal as part of the installation process and that was successful.

    I appreciate your helpful responses. Any chance you have more thoughts on how I can get this working?

    - Rick
     

    mm1352000

    Development Group
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    Hello again Rick

    I'll start just by adding a couple of channels, as I think I can go back and add more later. So I'll start with channels 2 and 55.
    Yep, that is fine.

    I've also gone into the blaster plugin docs and went through those instructions. For each of the TV tuner cards that popped up in the list, I've added the settings for my Motorola cable box. The light on my IR blaster does "blink" when I test it via the GUI dialog.
    The blinking is a good sign. :)
    Some screenshots and log files would really help at this point. It is hard to be sure the rest of your configuration is correct without that.

    Now, what I expect to happen is that I go to MP and see those two channel (albeit without guide information). I do. Both channels 2 and 55 are there.
    Good.

    Now, I select one of those channels. I expect that the MP software will work through the plugin and leverage the IRSS to tell the blaster to change the cable box to the selected channel. It does not. I have left the cable box on a different channel (channel 4) and that is still shown on the cable box.
    Okay. Your expectation is reasonable, and this is something that we'll need to work through with the aid of screenshots and log files, however...

    What is particularly disheartening at this point is that I would have expected the feed from channel 4 to show up in MP (since it didn't change the box). But nothing shows up in the TV video display section of MP. I did validate the input signal as part of the installation process and that was successful.
    This is more important. Even if the blaster were not working you should be able to see the video and audio from channel 4. I really need log files to check what is going on. Please follow these instructions and post the resulting zip file:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_MEDIAPORTAL_1/16_Support/3_Forums/2_Log_Files

    Regards,
    mm
     

    rkstant

    Portal Member
    September 13, 2014
    13
    3
    Thanks mm,
    Here is the log zipfile (attached). I brought up the debug mode, went to the TV section and then into channels (2 and 55).
    I also went into Plugins at the end, but I forgot it was just games and stuff in there.
    Let me know what screen shots would be helpful and I will be happy to upload.
    -Rick
     

    mm1352000

    Development Group
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  • September 1, 2008
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    Hello again Rick

    The log files tell me you should have been seeing a "no signal" message when you tried to tune those channels. If the tuner isn't able to lock on signal then there is no way you'll see video or audio.

    Interestingly, the reason the tuner is not able to lock onto signal is shown here:
    [2014-09-14 11:09:41,728] [Log ] [15 ] [INFO ] - analog: Tune:tv:USA Freq:61250000 Channel:55 Country:United States Tuner:Cable Video:Tuner Audio:Tuner
    [2014-09-14 11:09:41,730] [Log ] [15 ] [INFO ] - analog:GetNewSubChannel:0 #0
    [2014-09-14 11:09:41,803] [Log ] [15 ] [INFO ] - analog subch:0 OnBeforeTune
    [2014-09-14 11:09:43,730] [Log ] [15 ] [INFO ] - Analog: Tuned to country:1 video:409250000 Hz audio:413750000 Hz locked:False
    TV Server thinks it is telling the tuner to tune to 61250000 Hz (= 61.25 MHz = channel 3 = the cable box RF output channel), but the tuner actually tunes to channel 55 (409.25 MHz) which is the channel number for the blaster. Same deal with channel 2.
    I think I've seen this before:
    https://issues.team-mediaportal.com/browse/MP1-2959

    To work around this you will need to modify the channel-to-frequency lookup table in the Windows registry. Attached is a registry update script that makes the required modifications, according to the details provided by Microsoft -->here<--. The script creates overrides for channels 1 through 999 that will cause the tuner to tune to 61.25 MHz (ie. channel 3, which is the output channel for the cable box) instead of the normal frequency.

    To apply the registry script: unzip it, then right click on the "Fix Frequency Overrides.reg" file and click "merge". You'll need to do that with administrative privileges, so expect a user account control dialog to popup and ask your permission to run the script.

    Note: I always recommend extreme caution when applying registry changes. This script should only make the change described above, however despite my best intentions it is always possible that I have made mistakes (...because I'm human!). For that reason I encourage you to check the script for yourself (*.reg files can be opened in any text editor - notepad, wordpad etc.). Ultimately it is your choice as to whether you decide to run the script or not. I will not take responsibility for the possible consequences of that choice, but I will be here to assist if something goes wrong.

    Don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions. :)

    Regards,
    mm
     

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    rkstant

    Portal Member
    September 13, 2014
    13
    3
    Wow! That worked! Now, when I go into TV->Channels, it actually works with my IR Blaster to change the channel and gets the right program on the screen!
    You rock!

    I have to travel for business this week, but I'll get back to trying to get this working more when I get home. I think that all I'll need is to add the stations and then subscribe to some EPG service for the guide data. You already told me how to get the channels in. If you have a preferred way to keep updated EPG data, I'd love to hear it.

    Best regards,
    Rick (your new biggest fan)
     

    rkstant

    Portal Member
    September 13, 2014
    13
    3
    MM -
    Do you have any suggestions around EPG data?
    I was trying to setup WebGrab++, WebEPG and XMLTV between by business travel, but can't seem to get things to work.
    I've manually created a number of channels based on the way that you described.
    Now, I need to get the EPG data into the system. I could use some more pointers, if you have some time.
    Thanks,
    Rick
     
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