Author Topic: SlingBox  (Read 6142 times)

totallymaxed

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2009, 10:54:23 pm »
it can use either a dedicated RF2 control interface or IR Blasting.
Sorry to appear stupid here - I was under the impression that there wasn't a method of controlling a Sky box other than IR Blasting. Could you explain RF2?

All Sky boxes support control commands sent to the RF2 port at the rear of the STB (this is a one-way interface with no command ack's). The Sky box RF2 port also emits EPG data continuously while the STB box is powered up but support for grabbing the EPG data from this port is still in development and is not currently supported.

All the best

Andrew
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wierdbeard65

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2009, 11:27:44 pm »
All Sky boxes support control commands sent to the RF2 port at the rear of the STB (this is a one-way interface with no command ack's). The Sky box RF2 port also emits EPG data continuously while the STB box is powered up but support for grabbing the EPG data from this port is still in development and is not currently supported.

Cool, that's gotta beat using an IR blaster :)

How would I interface to this port (I believe it's intended to be the second RF output and I assume this feature is how the commands from the remote in the second room get there?) Then I guess it's just a case of waiting for SkyBoxPlayer  ;D
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massabuntu

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2009, 09:09:06 am »

wierdbeard65

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2009, 09:18:51 am »
Take a look of this.

http://www.dusky-control.com/serial.shtml
WOW!

Spot-on what I'm after (although I'd probably use the USB version, if it's compatible).

I'm still in the process of building my MCE box, so have no experience (yet) of adding devices and/or writing my own templates. Is this unit already working, or will I have my work cut out?

Now, if only I hadn't ordered a dual-output IR Blaster  ;D
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massabuntu

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2009, 10:06:56 am »
Well, i think you'll need anyway a I/R blaster, to control the other device in your home or office.

What have you ordered?

wierdbeard65

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2009, 10:36:59 am »
Well, i think you'll need anyway a I/R blaster, to control the other device in your home or office.

True, however in my living room (where my STB is) I only have 2 devices. The TV and the STB. If I can control the STB without IR, then I only need one IR output (the TV). Unfortunately, when the new TV arrived (I wasn't around when the old unit blew up and so wasn't involved in the decision) it didn't have a serial control. I may save up and get an LG unit with one and then I won't need a blaster in there at all. Other rooms will have (at most) a television, so again a single blaster is all that is needed.
What have you ordered?
The kit was ordered from HighTechPad.com. The blaster is http://www.hightechpad.com/?q=content/usb-uirt-56k-enchanced-version and the dual emitter is http://www.hightechpad.com/?q=node/34

The other reason I would have preferred a single emitter (http://www.hightechpad.com/?q=node/37) is that it doesn't have an LED that blinks when in use.

Never mind, you live and learn!

Thanks again for your help. I fear w've not only hijacked the thread, but also wandered somewhat off-topic. I'll post a new thread if I have any further questions  ;D
Paul
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totallymaxed

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2009, 10:52:13 am »
Take a look of this.

http://www.dusky-control.com/serial.shtml
WOW!

Spot-on what I'm after (although I'd probably use the USB version, if it's compatible).

I'm still in the process of building my MCE box, so have no experience (yet) of adding devices and/or writing my own templates. Is this unit already working, or will I have my work cut out?

Now, if only I hadn't ordered a dual-output IR Blaster  ;D

As massabuntu says the Dusky interface is the one we use (search the Forum for earlier threads where this is discussed) and yes it attaches to RF2 as I mentioned earlier. However I would 'walk slowly along' this path...if you have not even built your Core yet! Jumping in and trying to integrate a Sky box as you first step in learning LinuxMCE is probably not the best idea... take your time to learn the basics and then move onto more advanced stuff like external device control.

You'll still need an IR receiver on your Core/MD's so thats not wasted (and you might want to IR blast other devices too).

All the best

Andrew

PS we use the USB based Dusky
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 10:54:22 am by totallymaxed »
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totallymaxed

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2009, 11:01:24 am »
Well, i think you'll need anyway a I/R blaster, to control the other device in your home or office.

True, however in my living room (where my STB is) I only have 2 devices. The TV and the STB. If I can control the STB without IR, then I only need one IR output (the TV). Unfortunately, when the new TV arrived (I wasn't around when the old unit blew up and so wasn't involved in the decision) it didn't have a serial control. I may save up and get an LG unit with one and then I won't need a blaster in there at all. Other rooms will have (at most) a television, so again a single blaster is all that is needed.
What have you ordered?
The kit was ordered from HighTechPad.com. The blaster is http://www.hightechpad.com/?q=content/usb-uirt-56k-enchanced-version and the dual emitter is http://www.hightechpad.com/?q=node/34

The other reason I would have preferred a single emitter (http://www.hightechpad.com/?q=node/37) is that it doesn't have an LED that blinks when in use.

Never mind, you live and learn!

Thanks again for your help. I fear w've not only hijacked the thread, but also wandered somewhat off-topic. I'll post a new thread if I have any further questions  ;D

The USB-UIRT is plug-n-play and will work fine as an IR receiver and blaster in LinuxMCE. You'll need an IR receiver anyway so buying the USB-UIRT is not in anyway a bad choice.

Andrew
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wierdbeard65

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2009, 11:14:49 am »
Thanks again, Andrew, for you always valuable advice!

As massabuntu says the Dusky interface is the one we use (search the Forum for earlier threads where this is discussed) and yes it attaches to RF2 as I mentioned earlier. However I would 'walk slowly along' this path...if you have not even built your Core yet! Jumping in and trying to integrate a Sky box as you first step in learning LinuxMCE is probably not the best idea... take your time to learn the basics and then move onto more advanced stuff like external device control.

You'll still need an IR receiver on your Core/MD's so thats not wasted (and you might want to IR blast other devices too).
I'm having a dedicated core in a closet, so I don't think that's going to need a blaster. My wince wasn't actually at the blaster (which I will need on the MD's anyway for remote control input, right?) but at the dual emitter.

I'm a tad curious, though. You say to go slowly with the Sky integration. Without it, what use is my MCE system? I won't have any media input! (Yes, I can rip DVDs or download torrents, but my primary aim is to have a sort of networked Sky+ / Tivo type system). The project started seriously for two reasons:-

My living-room VHS/DVD player is bust and needs replacing anyway.
The family are all complaining that (at the moment) the only place they can watch TV is the living room (where the STB is). I don't have any terrestrial aerials and don't want to be running co-ax all around the house from the STB. The 4-year old had programs he "Must" watch which are often repeats anyway (How sick am I of Ben 10!) but this hogs the family TV and STB.

My plan is to get the first MD working in the living room, which solves issue 1. Then to add MDs in the bedrooms to deal with issue 2. Eventually, Home Automation and the other sexy stuff will probably follow, but that's down the road some way :) I hope to then have the system automagically collect the various series for family members meaning that more and more we will be watching recordings, not live TV (especially Ben 10!)

I have ordered a PVR150 card which I'll use to grab the Sky signal on the MD. I'm aware of HD and other quality issues being reported, but at this stage the family will just be happy if they get something as good as an old analogue aerial signal in their rooms! I'm sure the PVR / MD / MCE combination will manage that.
Paul
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massabuntu

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2009, 02:29:21 pm »
Maybe you want to take a look to MythTV.
Could be easier to install, but maybe this is not the place to discuss it.


BR,
Martino.

totallymaxed

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2009, 03:18:37 pm »
Thanks again, Andrew, for you always valuable advice!

As massabuntu says the Dusky interface is the one we use (search the Forum for earlier threads where this is discussed) and yes it attaches to RF2 as I mentioned earlier. However I would 'walk slowly along' this path...if you have not even built your Core yet! Jumping in and trying to integrate a Sky box as you first step in learning LinuxMCE is probably not the best idea... take your time to learn the basics and then move onto more advanced stuff like external device control.

You'll still need an IR receiver on your Core/MD's so thats not wasted (and you might want to IR blast other devices too).
I'm having a dedicated core in a closet, so I don't think that's going to need a blaster. My wince wasn't actually at the blaster (which I will need on the MD's anyway for remote control input, right?) but at the dual emitter.

I'm a tad curious, though. You say to go slowly with the Sky integration. Without it, what use is my MCE system? I won't have any media input! (Yes, I can rip DVDs or download torrents, but my primary aim is to have a sort of networked Sky+ / Tivo type system). The project started seriously for two reasons:-
I'm just trying to set your expectation levels...LinuxMCE can do all you want and more...but it is a powerful but complex system to understand/learn/configure/install. We do installations like yours every week for customers and so as with anything else in life if you do it often it becomes second nature. So just be aware that doing what you describe will have a pretty steep learning curve and you will hit problems. My approach would be to do your installation in stages so that you learn the system as you go and also gain the satisfaction and confidence of making the basics work smoothly before you try and do the more sophisticated things. This approach will be more rewarding and far less frustrating.
Quote
My living-room VHS/DVD player is bust and needs replacing anyway.
The family are all complaining that (at the moment) the only place they can watch TV is the living room (where the STB is). I don't have any terrestrial aerials and don't want to be running co-ax all around the house from the STB. The 4-year old had programs he "Must" watch which are often repeats anyway (How sick am I of Ben 10!) but this hogs the family TV and STB.

My plan is to get the first MD working in the living room, which solves issue 1. Then to add MDs in the bedrooms to deal with issue 2. Eventually, Home Automation and the other sexy stuff will probably follow, but that's down the road some way :) I hope to then have the system automagically collect the various series for family members meaning that more and more we will be watching recordings, not live TV (especially Ben 10!)
well the above all seems reasonable and doable...apart from the part about 'automagically' recording TV shows...if you want this too happen via your Sky box then your expectations are set a little high as this is not currently possible via a capture card as LinuxMCE (whether you use vdr or MythTV) cannot pickup the real time EPG data from Sky.
Quote
I have ordered a PVR150 card which I'll use to grab the Sky signal on the MD. I'm aware of HD and other quality issues being reported, but at this stage the family will just be happy if they get something as good as an old analogue aerial signal in their rooms! I'm sure the PVR / MD / MCE combination will manage that.
See my note above about the issue of 'automagically' recording Sky shows.

All the best

Andrew
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wierdbeard65

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2009, 03:32:18 pm »
well the above all seems reasonable and doable...apart from the part about 'automagically' recording TV shows...if you want this too happen via your Sky box then your expectations are set a little high as this is not currently possible via a capture card as LinuxMCE (whether you use vdr or MythTV) cannot pickup the real time EPG data from Sky.

Oh  :(

I was under the impression that the EPG data was (or could be) downloaded over the web as an XML file? Is this not the case? Where does the EPG come from?

I appreciate your other comments. I am trying to be realistic and used to hacking around with systems. I know I need to get my core set up before I can get the MDs going. But I'm hoping to get the MDs going with the PVR card from day1 Is that unrealistic?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 12:15:40 am by wierdbeard65 »
Paul
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totallymaxed

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2009, 04:03:29 pm »
well the above all seems reasonable and doable...apart from the part about 'automagically' recording TV shows...if you want this too happen via your Sky box then your expectations are set a little high as this is not currently possible via a capture card as LinuxMCE (whether you use vdr or MythTV) cannot pickup the real time EPG data from Sky.

Oh  :(

I was under the impression that the EPG data was (or could be) downloaded over the web as an XML file? Is this not the case? Where does the EPG come from?

I appreciate your other comments. I am trying to be realistic and used to hacking around with systems. I know I need to get my core set up before I can get the MDs going. But I'm hoping to get the MDs going with the PVR card from day1 Is that unrealistic?

Well there are some attempts to capture the Sky EPG data and these work with varying degrees of success eg http://sourceforge.net/projects/tvgrabeit/ but none are currently integrated into LinuxMCE and none as far as I know support 'series link' or stacking etc. So you would have to work on intergrating this into LinuxMCE yourself or at least kick off the effort and get some other Forum members to assist. My point was this capability is just not there sitting waiting for you to 'turn it on'... and this is another aspect of the complexity and the learning curve I was hinting at in my last post - its all 'doable' but will need some effort on your part.

I would allow yourself a 'week end' to get your Core working and an MD added together with MythTV or vdr setup...but you will still have a lot more todo after that. But after that 'notional' weekend you should have a working Core, be able to rip audio/DVD discs and hopefully watch record some TV. But dont be surprised if it takes longer than expected...because it probably will!

But the sooner you start the sooner you will start to learn your way around this powerful, exciting (sometimes frustrating too!!) and unique HA system...there is nothing like actually getting your hands 'dirty' with LinuxMCE to get the learning processes moving ;-)

All the best

Andrew
« Last Edit: June 15, 2009, 03:22:56 pm by totallymaxed »
Andy Herron,
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massabuntu

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Re: SlingBox
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2009, 11:54:28 pm »
Here in Italy i use xmltv very well to download the EPG.
What Andrew said it's true and my advice remain the same.

With your needs,i would start with mythtv, the PVR-150 is fully supported (as in Lmce) has a great scheduling
system, ir blasting, variuos plugins.

I'm not triying to advise against LinuxMCE, but installing a mythtv system could gave you the right experiene to understand in a second time linuxmce.

Said that, LinuxMCE rocks!  ;D