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Sky Digital EPG with MCE

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by Simon99, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Simon99

    Simon99
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    Hi,

    First of all, many thanks to everyone here for the advice I've got from reading this forum over the last couple of weeks - it's been invaluable in helping me set up my MCE PC.

    I've got a Mesh Media T1 machine, and have removed the pre-installed digital TV Card and replaced it with a Hauppage 150 analogue card, and hooked up Sky Digital through a standard composite TV cable stretched from one room to another - TV picture not perfect but certainly watchable. I was only able to tune it in by using the Scan for Services page, however - Set up TV Signal returned no signals.

    The only problem I have is that in trying to transport the Sky Digital EPG into the MCE Guide, I can only find the channel which the Sky Digibox is currently tuned to - ie if the box is on channel 440, the only channel which shows up on the Guide is MTV. Strangely, when going through the MCE Set-up and selecting yes to "Do you want to use the Guide?", the Scan for Services option does not appear on the next page, and Sky Digital does not appear on Live TV.

    Has anyone else found this, and if so how did you get round it? I need the Sky EPG to set up recordings of shows and at the moment it seems that I can either have a Guide OR Sky TV, not both at the same time!

    Many thanks in advance,

    Simon
     
  2. tdodd

    tdodd
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    To use Sky with an MCE PC you ignore the Sky EPG completely and do everything through the MCE EPG. The MCE IR receiver has sockets to plug in an IR blaster flying lead that should be attached to the front of your digibox. Then MCE will control channel changing of the digibox, just as a TIVO would. You can forget the Sky remote and programming Sky altogether. MCE takes care of everything.

    If your digibox and MCE PC are so far apart that the IR blaster lead won't reach then I'm not sure what to suggest. To pursue things the way you appear to be attempting to, without MCE controlling the digibox, you will need to set up your recording both on Sky (to change channel at the right time) and also on MCE to start and stop the recordings. The fact that MCE won't be changing the channels is neither heare nor there, as Sky will have to do that for itself. But it seems far from ideal.

    I dare say there is a "proper" solution to your scenario but the obvious answer is to locate your digibox, TV and your MCE PC close to each other, just as you would with a regular VCR, DVD etc.. If you want to watch your media in another room altogether then get a media extender or use another PC to access the media over a wireless network.
     
  3. Simon99

    Simon99
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    Thanks for the reply.

    I've not got round to attached the IR blaster to the front of the Digibox yet - I just assumed that that was used only for remotely changing channels on the Digibox, and I'm concentrating on getting everything working through the MCE before doing that last step.

    I want to control everything through MCE, so I will be using the IR blaster, I'm just wondering how to get all the Sky channels to show up on the MCE Guide - currently only one is showing, the channel I'm tuned in to on the Digibox.

    Thanks again

    Simon
     
  4. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    I'm not totally clear how you are connected. RF (aerial) lead or SCART to composite+audio leads? You should have the latter & be telling MCE in setup that you have an external set top box & satellite.
     
  5. Simon99

    Simon99
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    Nigel,

    It's via RF composite as my PC is in a different room to the Sky Digibox and I need a long rf cable extension to make it reach. Is that why I can't see all the channels in Guide?

    Thanks

    Simon
     
  6. tdodd

    tdodd
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    To my knowledge there is no such thing as "RF composite". "RF" is radio frequency just like the signal a TV aerial picks up, while composite is a video signal as might be output from a camcorder (or a set top box).

    It sounds like you are telling MCE to use the RF connection and it is trying to tune in as though searching for BBC1, BBC2, ITV etc.. But you have connected a Sky digibox and that only outputs one RF channel - probably channel 37 or something. The RF channel from your digibox is completely different to the Sky channel that are are tuned to, be it 440, 101 or anything else.

    You need to set up MCE and tell it you are using a Set Top Box (STB). And you need to clearly tell it that your STB is a satellite box in the UK (set, I think, from your regional settings in Windows) and then pick Sky digital as the choice of satellite. Even if the STB is connected by RF this should still be enough to tell MCE that it has to change channels by sending the IR signals to the STB and getting it to change its channels, rather than retuning the TV tuner card to another RF frequency. I guess you will have to re-run the MCE wizard to set up your TV from scratch. But without installing the IR blaster kit you will not get far since teaching channel changing is a key part of the setup.
     
  7. Simon99

    Simon99
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    My apologies, it's an RF tv cable I'm using.

    Thanks for the tips - will try and see what happens!

    Thanks again

    Simon
     
  8. Simon99

    Simon99
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    I'm still not getting more than one channel at a time in the MCE Guide - any suggestions?

    Thanks

    Simon
     
  9. tdodd

    tdodd
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    This is very weird. The MCE guide should carry most (not quite all) of the Sky channels, including the radio stations. Have you definitely told MCE that you have Sky digital, during MCE setup, and is your MCE PC connected to the internet to actually allow it to download the full channel listings?

    You can force a download by going into Settings, TV, Guide, Get Latest Guide Listings. To set up the guide from scratch go into Settings, TV, TV Signal and start from the beginning to tell MCE that you have Sky. Before you do that make sure your computer's regional settings are all for the UK so that MCE has a fighting chance of knowing what satellites/sources it is likely to be receiving.
     
  10. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    One thing I don't get, when changing channels on media center with a sky box attached do you still get the SKY "Now and Next" BOX as well as the media center version? so do they overlap?, is there a way to turn off the SKY one?...
     
  11. Simon99

    Simon99
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    Tdodd,

    Yes, when setting up MCE originally, I went through the tv signal process and said the region was UK, and that the signal will be coming through satellite (I've not been able to find any page which lets you select Sky or Sky Digital, though.)

    However, when it looks for a signal, it comes back - on both automatic and manual signal search - saying that no signal was found. I've only been able to get a picture through Sky by going to the Scan for Services page. After 98% of the search there, it comes up with only one channel - MTV UK every time, even though the Digibox isn't always set to MTV - but manually changing channel on the digibox means I can get all channels through MCE.

    However, when you go to set up the MCE Guide, clicking Yes to "Do you want to use the Guide" means that the "Scan for Services" option does not appear on the next page, and therefore I get no picture whatsoever. Even then, it only comes up with terrestrial listings - I guess I need to find the page where you can specify Sky or Sky Digital.

    I'm going to get a Scart - composite video/audio cable that's long enough to stretch from one room to the other and I'm hoping this will solve the problem.

    Thanks again for all your help - we'll get there in the end!

    Simon
     
  12. Simon99

    Simon99
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    Could the problem be that the system is looking for a satellite signal, and is not seeing it as it's coming from an rf cable? If so, would this be fixed with a composite cable?

    When I set up the guide, I enter my postcode and it gives me three options:

    Analogue terrestrial unmapped line-up
    Analogue terrestrial - all channels
    Analogue terrestrial - recommended

    No sign of Sky or Sky Digital at all.

    Simon
     
  13. Simon99

    Simon99
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    A big thanks to everyone who helped - I got a long scart - composite cable from eBay and the MCE virtually set itself up! Now got all channels and in the guide as well!

    Thanks again - much appreciated.

    Simon
     
  14. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    You have correctly diagnosed your problem.
     
  15. Simon99

    Simon99
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    Thanks again.

    Now I've got that working, I'm having a slight problem with the IR blaster!

    As I've said in previous posts, my PC and Sky Digibox are in different rooms, and so I'm trying to hook the IR blaster up to a "Magic Eye" remote sensor, which wirelessly sends the pulse that changes channels on the Sky Digibox from another room. I've been using this for a couple of years to change satellite channels from upstairs, and it's always worked fine. I know this is complicating things, but it's the only way I can think of to change channels through MCE.

    After going through the set-up process, the IR blaster worked ok, except for putting in two zeroes instead of one in some channel changes eg I'd tap in 401 on the MCE remote and 4001 would be sent to the digibox. Not a huge problem, and the IR blaster was lighting up and sending the signal OK.

    Now it's stopped lighting up and I can't get it to work at all. I've gone through the set-up twice again, and once I get to the remote control set-up page, I can't get it to change channel. I've tried teaching and re-teaching the remote codes but to no avail. I've unplugged the IR blaster from the back of the receiver, tried the other cable that came with the PC and nothing. I just can't get the thing to light up anymore - what have I done wrong?

    Again, any ideas gratefully received!

    Simon
     
  16. evolution400

    evolution400
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    Try plugging the IR blaster into port 2 on the IR reciever.
     
  17. Simon99

    Simon99
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    It was plugged into port 2 when it was working - I've tried all combinations of both cables in both slots.

    Simon
     
  18. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    You will have to confirm that it is working correctly without your Magic Eye gizmo by connecting directly.
     
  19. Simon99

    Simon99
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    Good idea - does anyone know if a headphone extension cable would work to make the blaster reach the Digibox?

    Oh why do I have to have my PC so far away from my TV?!
     

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