Control Virgin Cable box from MCE

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by GMC, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. GMC

    GMC
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    I am considering moving my current Windows XP MCE PC into the other room which has a standard Samsung Virgin cable box.

    Does anyone know if it is possible to connect the cable box to my PC and then to use the PC to change channels and record from the cable box?

    There is no ariel in the lounge so I can't pick up Freeview to record from as I do at the moment.

    Thanks

    Glenn
     
  2. Cafe Racer

    Cafe Racer
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    Yes, it is.

    You need an ANALOGUE TV Card (like the HAuppage 150MCE) and you take the 2nd scart output from the STB into the TV Card by S-Video* then the "blaster" that comes with the Standard MS MCE Remote has two "bugs" that come out of the blaster and can stick to the front of the STB (one per STB).

    When you setup MCE you tell it you have a stb and on mine it regonised which one from the NTL Remote (I have a Pace box).

    Then when you change channel on MCE, the blaster sends an IR signal to the STB and gets it to change channel. The result is that channel cahnging can be a little slow, and you know what channel changing on a stb can be like sometimes - sometimes it misses a number out and then gets in a tangle.

    *to get a MUCH better picture, you can set the output of the STB to RGB and use an RGB to S-Video converter from somewhere like Keene (I have one I keep meaning to sell). Also, it's an idea to switch the popup mini-guide off.

    My honest opinion is that while the MCE interface is loads better than the Virgin one, and with MCE you can schedule and record programs, and it has a better and faster guide, only having ONE source is a pain - MCE is a much, much better prospect if you have two sources, so I would seriously look at a dual freeview setup instead, or just go with a V+ box.
     
  3. GMC

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    Thanks; rather confirmed what I had thought.

    Possible but a real pain in the neck and not worth the trouble.
     
  4. Spacecat

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    I did it quite happily for over 2 years using a Svideo converter box. It was very reliable and worked well.

    In the end it was the picture quality that made me drop it.

    I went on to virgin plus box and havent looked back since.
    The difference in picture quality on SD material is night and day.

    The MCE interface is a lot nicer,quicker and has more info but the SD picture upscaled on V+ box is near HD and a the end of the day its the watching what counts
     

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