Author Topic: I'm Overwhelmed, please help!  (Read 2102 times)

Pnuts

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Re: I'm Overwhelmed, please help!
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2009, 12:22:06 am »

My Chi is being re-centered.  Thanks for that little nugget of goodness Pnut.

EDIT ADD:  Another thing that has bothered/concerned me.  What about the EPG that comcast gives out.  Does that carry over to the HDHomerun?  do i have to pay for a service like that ServiceDirect or whatever it is?

Ok so added my new revised list:

1 - GBE NIC
2-3 HDHomeruns (to power 5 "TV's" and 1 record)
DO NOT NEED added TV Tuner or PVR Cards (Right??)

ps.  thanks for the website Pnuts.  But i have no idea wtf that is.  :-[

PPS.  Thanks again to everyone that is posting.  You are a salvation in my world and using your info has helped me greatly.  (didn't even know about that HDHomerun thingy.  PROPS)

The website is basically a listing of channels that are detected when performing a channel scan with a digital tuner, like the HDHomerun. Using someones entry for my area (http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Bay_Area%2C_CA#San_Francisco.2C_CA_94118_-_Comcast) and based off of the updated date of April 2009, I could expect to pick up the channels listed there at the minimum.

slight off topic blurb:
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I say minimum because by default mythtv channel scans will ignore encrypted frequencies when scanning. Mythtv only checks the initial channel in the frequency and moves on to the next frequency if encrypted. If you have it scan everything, it will find additional channels on frequencies that start with an encrypted channel. an example would be like this:

say frequency 112 has 5 channels and the the first 2 are encrypted but the last 3 are not.

112.1 - Encrypted
112.2 - Encrypted
112.3 - Unknown channel
112.4 - Unknown channel
112.5 - Unknown channel

Myth will ignore the last 3 as if they do not exist even though they do and are available.

Also, i believe (someone please correct me if im wrong here. My LMCE system bit the dust and my new hardware is not 710 complient, so i cant confirm this) if you are watching or recording 2+ channels on the same frequency, you are only using 1 tuner. So you may not need to buy as many HDHomeruns as you think depending on channel grouping in your area.

an example is FOX and CBS are on the same frequancy in my area, so i can record a show on both channels at the same time and only use 1 tuner. Additionally, multiple rooms could be viewing this channel and still only use that 1 tuner. Someone else is free to watch something else and use the other tuner of my HDHomerun. So you might not need 3 of them, but i guess it couldnt hurt.

I have an excel sheet of my local channels and such, ill post it as an example to reference once I get home.

totallymaxed

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Re: I'm Overwhelmed, please help!
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2009, 01:00:20 am »
Hi There,

You might want to consider an alternate approach for your installation...see this thread http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=7332.msg46423#msg46423 to get a flavour of what I am talking about. The approach suggested by me in this earlier thread revolves around using HDMI to CAT5/6 converters to distribute the output of any sources like HD Cable boxes etc to any screen in your house. Using HDMI switchers (eg say 6 HDMI inputs to 1 HDMI output...all selectable by rs232 control) and HDMI 1 to N splitters (N being say 8-12 outputs carrying whatever you inject into the input) all hooked up to HDMI->Cat5/6 converters means that you can route full quality HDMI signal to any screen in your house without any digitising or quality loss. The downside is two fold (as pointed out in the other thread) more hardware for HDMI signla switching and more CAT5/6 cables. The upside is full HD 'without compromise' picture quality everywhere you need it. Have a think about what your needs are and what your priorities are and then see how those two requirements fit with the various approaches proposed here - none are wrong or right...all have merits and would give you a good system. But only you can really be the judge of which fits best for you and your family.

Ask more questions if you need to.

All the best

Andrew
I just read through that thread, curiosity mostly.  Unless I missed something, that approach would work well for controlling a STB and piping video directly to various places, but would not be able to capture/record any of that video.  Am I reading that right?
Well the whole point of this approach is to avoid capturing/recording the video out of the STB and retain all video in full HD right to the screen.
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I also didn't see how it would fit into the OPs goal:

"The ultimate goal here is to have the kids bedroom, guest bedroom, and office to not have a TV, but to use their computers for everything, like watching movies, music, doing computer stuff, and watching TV. "
Well this approach allows you to do all of those to without limitation...its just that you dont capture the video from the STB but instead use LinuxMCE to control/route the video at full quality to any of your screens. You can have your MD's centrally located alongside the Core and totally hidden away...or have them local to each screen in a more traditional LinuxMCE configuration. The only consideration is that decision affects the topology of the cabling you need to run.
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An interesting approach though, I'd like to hear more about functionality if it fits the OPs setup and goals (very similar to mine) without getting caught up in techy details that make it a bit hard for a non-A/V expert like myself to follow.

I'm happy to answer any questions you have...fire away ;-)

All the best

Andrew
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skeptic

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Re: I'm Overwhelmed, please help!
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2009, 04:40:32 am »

Well the whole point of this approach is to avoid capturing/recording the video out of the STB and retain all video in full HD right to the screen.

Well this approach allows you to do all of those to without limitation...its just that you dont capture the video from the STB but instead use LinuxMCE to control/route the video at full quality to any of your screens. You can have your MD's centrally located alongside the Core and totally hidden away...or have them local to each screen in a more traditional LinuxMCE configuration. The only consideration is that decision affects the topology of the cabling you need to run.
Ah, ok.  So you would use something like this with the live TV option, not Myth.  I'm guessing you could even use the LMCE guide which would switch inputs to lmce for the on screen guide, then change to the STB input and change channels on the STB.
Quote
I'm happy to answer any questions you have...fire away ;-)

All the best

Andrew
Right now the only thing I can think of is related to switching from MD to STB.  I'm guessing in a setup like this you would need a screen capable of accepting multiple inputs and a way to switch them, basically a TV not a computer monitor.  There was also some stuff in the other thread about video/HDMI switches.  Would it be possible to have an HDMI switch with both MD and STB inputs, controlled via MD, and only one HDMI output to the TV?  A switch like that for a decent price that is plug and play with LMCE would REALLY solve a lot of TV specific headaches.  Or am I being dense and this is what you are talking about?

totallymaxed

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Re: I'm Overwhelmed, please help!
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2009, 12:29:42 pm »

Well the whole point of this approach is to avoid capturing/recording the video out of the STB and retain all video in full HD right to the screen.

Well this approach allows you to do all of those to without limitation...its just that you dont capture the video from the STB but instead use LinuxMCE to control/route the video at full quality to any of your screens. You can have your MD's centrally located alongside the Core and totally hidden away...or have them local to each screen in a more traditional LinuxMCE configuration. The only consideration is that decision affects the topology of the cabling you need to run.
Ah, ok.  So you would use something like this with the live TV option, not Myth.  I'm guessing you could even use the LinuxMCE guide which would switch inputs to lmce for the on screen guide, then change to the STB input and change channels on the STB.
Exactly you use your MCE remote to control the STB/PVR using either a control port (if you have one) or IR blasting and you see the STB/PVR's UI on the screen and not LinuxMCE.
Quote
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I'm happy to answer any questions you have...fire away ;-)

All the best

Andrew
Right now the only thing I can think of is related to switching from MD to STB.  I'm guessing in a setup like this you would need a screen capable of accepting multiple inputs and a way to switch them, basically a TV not a computer monitor.  There was also some stuff in the other thread about video/HDMI switches.  Would it be possible to have an HDMI switch with both MD and STB inputs, controlled via MD, and only one HDMI output to the TV?  A switch like that for a decent price that is plug and play with LinuxMCE would REALLY solve a lot of TV specific headaches.  Or am I being dense and this is what you are talking about?
You could have a centrally located BluRay player (alongside your STB/PVR's) and you could make that available anywhere in the house too. Yes you can use TV's...with HDMI inputs (not computer monitors) then you can use the TV to switch sources ie BlueRay or STB/PV etc. Alternatively you can use an external HDMI switcher with IR or rs232 control to do the switching (we do either depending on the installation) and then just use a single HDMI input on the TV. If you use an HDMI-switch that is rs232 controlled then you can have template for that and auto-detect/configure it.

The trick with this type of installation is running enough CAT5 cable. Older HDMI->CAT5 converters needed 2 x CAT5's for each HD signal...their are new units now available that do the same with a single CAT5 cable. We regularly run HDMI over CAT5 for 45-60m by the way. The other requirement for CAT5 is if you want to centrally locate you MD's - then you will need to extend your USB connection over a single CAT5 from the central rack to each room where the display is located ie USB IR receiver, Keyboard etc. Same goes for stereo audio or S/PDIF each of these will need a single CAT5 too if you want to send these independently ie not as part of the HDMI signal.

No...your not being dense at all...you've got it 100% :-)

All the best

Andrew
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skeptic

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Re: I'm Overwhelmed, please help!
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2009, 04:17:22 pm »
That's really cool.  Too late for it to be practical for me to run more wires, but I'm going to keep the HDMI switches in the back of my mind.  I gave up on letting mythtv control my TV inputs because of a 7 second pause between the time you hit a button and the time it starts changing inputs...  I may rethink my setup with this cool bit of info.

USMCStitch

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Re: I'm Overwhelmed, please help!
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2009, 04:41:13 pm »


Holy crap that's a lot of info!!!

I couldn't get in the fourms last night, so i'm having to read all that was posted to catch up.  Since these storms took out one of my sites, i have to travel there and fix $20k worth of network equipment and pcs.  Good times.
once i finish catching up, i'll put something in.

skeptic

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Re: I'm Overwhelmed, please help!
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2009, 07:08:16 pm »
Just a quick observation/comment.  The wife took our HD STBs back today with the intention of dropping us back to the Digital Starter package, or whatever they are calling the cheapest digital service.  Apparently with their screwed up package system, it's cheaper for us if they give us a replacement STB (DCH70) at $0 monthly fees than for us to not have a STB at all????  This box appears to accept digital signals but only has RCA (analog) video and stereo output. 

totallymaxed

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Re: I'm Overwhelmed, please help!
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2009, 01:46:28 pm »


Holy crap that's a lot of info!!!

I couldn't get in the fourms last night, so i'm having to read all that was posted to catch up.  Since these storms took out one of my sites, i have to travel there and fix $20k worth of network equipment and pcs.  Good times.
once i finish catching up, i'll put something in.

Hope the repairs go well...thats a lot of hardware!

All the best

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
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