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Can XP media center, show shift NTL: ?

Discussion in 'Cable TV & Virgin Media TV' started by NaTT, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. NaTT

    NaTT
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    MESH computers say it can, but nice lass had know idea how and I'm not sure how it could. but hey "they've had Micro$oft in and everything"

    So I've got NTL: digitial cable outputting RGB over scart to the TV. I'd like to put a HTPC in between and have it change the channels and control the STB interative bits. is that possible?
     
  2. tonyb

    tonyb
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    Hi NaTT,

    There is a device called the redeye that will allow an NTL stb to be controlled from other IR remotes, including a pc running windows media centre edition. So I guess that the control aspect is taken care of. Take a look at the redeye site for more details of configuring this.

    There is also a thread
    here that discusses the possibility of a serial-port controlled version of the red eye remote.

    With the right capture card in your HTPC, cables and a bit of fiddling around with the software, I would think that you might be able to acheive what you want. I'm not certain if it is definitely possible, but you may be able to use something like digiguide to 'talk' to showshifer or some other sort of pvr software so you can setup timer recordings, with the pc changing to the correct channel on the stb when required.

    So, in theory, I would say yes it is possible, though you will need to do some configuration to get the best results - anyone on here who already has some sort of capture card should be able to help you out.

    Keep us posted on what you find out/buy.

    Tony
     
  3. NaTT

    NaTT
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    thanks tony,

    I've got the redeye already so that my Pronto can work the STB. Excellent.

    But from what you're saying I'll need to have an external remote to change channels on STB, a HTPC won't be able to control your STB. Obvious really, 'cause where's the connectivity to do it?

    Shame because I was at Micro$oft in Reading yesterday and saw a demo. of XP MC 2004.
    You could browze around TV listing, select a show and ask it to record all of the new episodes in the coming months (and ignore repeats) good for Simpsons fan.

    But if that only works on free to air channels what's the point? all of the good shows in the UK are on satelite or cable pay systems...

    Getting closer to a purchase (have my shopping list nearly done) just want to hold fire till I'm sure about this and how best to feed a 32inch wide screen 50Hz CRT, with RGB SCART.
     
  4. Spacecat

    Spacecat
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    You need a REDRAT 3 IRDA transmitter, I have one and am doing exactly what you want to do i.e. controlling my telewest cable box via my HTPC and setting up recordings directly in SHowshifter via DIGIGUIDE! instead of coughing up £2k for a media XP computer , this cost me about £110 (including the redrat) on top of my bog standard Pc
     
  5. tonyb

    tonyb
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    NaTT,

    Think i might have missed some detail in my first post, so I shall expand on it here....

    The redeye site has an article on there about using windows mce with cable boxes. It would appear that windows mce machines should be shipped (or have as an option) a ir dongle and a remote control. You use the remote to control the pc, and the pc can drive other kit via the ir dongle. So you control the pc, which controls other devices - looks like the pc acts as a middleman.

    There's a link on there too to a dedicated windows mce forum, and that makes interesting reading too.

    Onto digiguide. This is a tv listings utility that runs on your pc. You can print listings off in many different formats and set reminders for programmes you want to watch. It costs £9 per year. there are addins available for dg that will let you work with showshifter (DGShow), and it looks like it will do exactly what you want. Take a look....

    From what I've read on these forums, ATI cards have a better reputation for tv out than their nvidia counterparts. There was also a thread discussing making a cable that plugs into the vga d-sub on the card, with a scart plug on the other end to give you a vga- rgb scart cable. Search on here for that....

    Using something like dscaler (or another utility whose name I've forgotten) i think it's possible to create a custom screen resolution that will display on a tv better than one of the standard pc resolutions. Don't quote me on this though!!

    So the question is - if a windows pc with these tools running on it can do all this, do you really need to have windows mce? I'm gonna do some more reading on this subject to try and find an answer for this.

    Let us know what route you go down, i'm really interested in doing something similar. Check out Evesham for windows mce pc's too.

    Tony
     
  6. NaTT

    NaTT
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    don't get me wrong I'm unlikely to use XPMC unless I can get hold of it myself to install. Can't see myself buying anything more than a bare bones system like a Shuttle :D

    I liked the simplicity and integration of this OS add-on provides perticularly with the IR controller, but if I can get this through a DIY I will.

    At the mo I've got an XBOX running the homebrew Media Player, which can have files on my PC streamed to it.
    It's fairly good (great picture to the TV) but there's obviously no TV, Radio, DVD and CD options.
    Some testing has revealed though that my old Pioneer dv717 dvd player, produces a worse picture than the x-box, but much better quality sound (both digital outs).
    Have you guys retire your CD / DVD players?
     
  7. Loafer316

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    :eek: i still have my pioneer 717...and you say the pic on the xbox was better??:( ...i'm mght invest in one...if just to play project gotham city 2:zonked:
     
  8. plop211

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    D
    Doh just wrote a nice long reply only for my internet connection to drop :confused:

    Anyway the cruz of it was NTL works fine with XP MCE, you just place the provided IR blaster/reciever in front of the STB and it uses the blaster to change channels.

    if ya want any more info drop me an email.

    Colin.
     
  9. tonyb

    tonyb
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    Well, I've done some more reading and I'm now giving serious consideration to building a pvr machine. Here's what I'm thinking of doing...

    Buy a shuttle system and put in a cpu, ram and hard disc. Will probably go for an AMD 2000XP and 256mb. Hard drive will be samsung, as they are renowned for being quiet, and seem to be the drive of choice for the sky + mod. The machine will be used only for pvr work, nothing else.

    Will purchase the redeye serial. Install o/s (probably xp), showshifter and digiguide.

    The only point I'm stuck on at the moment is the video capture side of things. I'm considering something from the leadtek range like this. Includes a remote for controlling the pc, and appears to be supported by showshifter.

    I'm wondering if I might be better off going for a capture card with a hardware encoder. Anyone have any knowledge of cards around the £100 mark that have this facility?

    Any other comments and pointers on this project are welcome....
    Tony
     
  10. plop211

    plop211
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    if you have access to MCE XP then if i were you i would seriously go for using that.

    It presents such a nicer looking interface(in my opinion) and would work fine on the hardware you have mentioned.

    For the capture card i would go for a PVR250, which is around the £100 mark and is excellent.

    I have been down the avenue you mention and while it is satisfying to tinker and integrate everything it just didn't have that polished looked that MCE does, also MCE is a lot more reliable when performing recordings on a regular basis, i have yet to miss a recording.

    Colin.
     
  11. NaTT

    NaTT
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    do you think it will always be OEM? What are they trying to avoid?
     

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