Sky MCE Integration Successes

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by julianmclean, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. julianmclean

    julianmclean
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    Would be good to build a list of successful Sky/MCE implementations as a reference for people to ask questions of, and to see what routes people are taking. I'll start:

    PC Hardware: Asus A8V MB, Athlon 64 CPU, 1Gb RAM, Geforce 6800 (running primarily as server for extenders, although directly serves office)
    OS: Vista Ultimate
    Tuner Hardware: FloppyDTV (soon to be x2)
    Sky Package: Full, plus multi-room
    Extenders: Xbox360 (x2)
    Guide Source: XMLTV/Bladerunner
    Media Storage: Internal disk, NAS (soon to be direct attached USB drives)
     
  2. ChrisOH

    ChrisOH
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    Hi Julian,

    I look forward to seeing how this and your guide develops but have a couple of questions in the mean time.

    I currently use DScaler and an SDI set up for Sky +. Picture quality is great and on a par with my Freeview picture on the PC.

    How would you characterise the quality you are achieving via the PC and the X Boxes?

    Are you able to use the PC a la Sky + or is that another story?

    Regards

    Chris
     
  3. julianmclean

    julianmclean
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    Picture quality IMO is better that direct feed from Sky+ (RGB Scart, converted to Component) to TV. I have it dual running so I can flick between inputs and see same channel straight from Sky box and then from media center. Latter is better I think.

    In reality, the only quality issue here is in rendering the MPEG-2 stream, and you either have the xbox graphics card doing it, or the Sky box internal decoder hardwre doing it. After that everything is just wiring, and before it its the MPEG-2 stream which hasn't been altered (FloppyDTV -> PC -> ethernet -> xbox is still raw MPEG data AFAIK).

    I think the xbox does a better job than the Sky+ box - it should really considering that graphics are its strong point.

    Re: Sky+, yes media center gives you this for free, however bear in mind that at the moment you need one vireing card per tuner, whereas Sky+ has 2 tuners for one viewing card. Therefore you can't watch tv and record another channel without having 2 viewing cards (i.e. multiroom). However, you can watch as many recorded programs on as many extenders as you like which you can't do with Sky+. There are many pros and cons - I'l try to post a list if I get chance.
     
  4. ChrisOH

    ChrisOH
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    Hi Julian,

    There is also the issue of deinterlacing which is where DScaler comes in. In my system the mpeg stream is taken from the modified v1 Sky+ box and captured using a Sweetspot SDI capture card. The deinterlacing and 2:2 pulldown etc is then done by DScaler.

    The picture is really very good and its still convenient to have a 250G drive separate from the rest of the system.

    I suppose what I like is the ability to send the content to another TV using an X Box, which given the paucity of PCI slots left in my PC is probably a good thing!

    Look forward to seeing your guide, perhaps there is a best of both worlds solution somewhere

    Regards

    Chris
     
  5. oscilx

    oscilx
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    No problems what so ever except EPG, being very annoying.
    Been fighting this thing for so long now. :)

    PC Hardware: Elonex Artisan, 1.5gb ram
    OS: Vista Ultimate
    Tuner Hardware:1x FireDTV-S and very soon to be 2
    Sky Package: Freesat with discovery channels Nat Geo, Bravo
    Extenders: Xbox360 (x2)
    Guide Source: XMLTV/Bladerunner
    Media Storage: Windows home server CTP 1.5tb
    Also used as a Orb server for PPC over HSDPA around london. Awesome
     
  6. peskywinnets

    peskywinnets
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    Agreed, mine is very good *except* for the native Vista MCE EPG (headend modified to reflect Sky EPG for london). Having spent ages sorting channels then aligning the ones I want with the EPG, I have a quirk or two with one or two channels not being matched (they were once!)...& not matter what I do I can't rectify.

    At the minute my Vista MCE guide - Nick Jr. is somehow showing the actual listings for Nickleodeon (the channel for older kids), therefore I'm now having to use Nick Jr 2 for the kids (which is essentially Nick Jr time slipped an hour) as at least that EPG matches with the channel!
     
  7. Davehorne

    Davehorne
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    I have had to live with MCE XP2005 edition for a long time (I can only receive DVB-S as there's no DVB-T freeview where I live) - as the Hauppauge NOVA-S+ cards weren't supported under Vista for MCE use, only for their own WINTV2000 app. The opportunistic scanning "feature" in MCE XP2005 was driving me mad, but at least I could get reliable TV.

    I am only interested in the mainstream free to air satellite channels, so don't need SKY decryption. (Though it would be nice to have the so-called "free to view" channel 5, channel 4 etc).

    I am happy to say that for the last 3 days I have been running Vista Premium with new drivers and it's working reliably AND the EPG is stable (unlike MCE XP2005):D :D :D

    If anyone else has been in the same position as me, then go to:

    http://hauppauge.lightpath.net/software/mce/cd-vista-mce-2.exe

    and download.

    Uopdate the drivers for each of your Hauppauge cards in VISTA, do the "DVB-S to DVB-T" masquerading registry hack, (and the multi-tuner hack if you have more than 2 tuners) - then sit back and enjoy:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    Looks like these drivers for the NOVA-S+ are the real baby - working BDA drivers!

    So Hauppauge deserves a great big THANK YOU :clap: :clap: :clap:

    My config:

    ASUS Digital Home P5W-DH motherboard, Dual core pentium 2.8GHz, Geoforce 6600 fanless into plasma screen, 3xNOVA-S+, 2Gb RAM, 1000Gb RAID-10 and 1000Gb non-RAID (6xSeagate 500Gb drives in total), Zalman HD-160 case with IRTrans VFD & IR
     

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