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Old 01-21-2014, 06:50 AM   #121
mr.unnatural
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I'm familiar with both the Colossus and the earlier HD-PVR. It does appear to limit you to a single device per PC since it uses the IR blaster to control a cable box. That severely limits the ability to record multiple shows simultaneously so I see why you have such concerns about conflicts. Unfortunately, I don't see where you have much choice for recording HD programs if you can't use a cablecard tuner or a Tivo.

The only other available option I see is if you have multiple PCs with a Colossus or HD-PVR in each one, which can tend to get expensive in a hurry, not to mention all the extra boxes. Newegg has refurbs on sale all the time so maybe you could pick up an inexpensive dual core 2.0GHz or better unit on the cheap. It's not the perfect solution, but something you might want to consider.

I did see mention in an article on the missing remote site that you could possibly use two Colossus' in SageTV since it will work with capture cards. Windows 7 doesn't recognize capture cards and requires the installation of a separate utility in order to see the Colossus as a digital cable tuner. There was also a hint that you could get two of them working with Win 7 with a little help from Hauppauge. Here's a link to the article:

http://missingremote.com/review/hauppauge-colossus
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:45 PM   #122
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Some guy built a triple tuner DirecTV-fed system using HD-PVRs. It took up like half a rack. Definitely not ideal, that's for sure. Do the satellite companies up there have decent DVRs?
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:14 AM   #123
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Well I started this thread a month ago and today I have to report that I'm giving up on using a PC for a PVR.

What I wanted:
1) Reliability (Roamio has very poor reliability for me)
2) Retire the Blu Ray player and Apple TV
3) Be able to do other things like play games

What I invested:
A) I assembled a great new PC with InfiniTV PCI
B) I have experience building IT servers so felt qualified to do this
C) Lots of time. I anticipated lots of time, I figured this would be a fun project

What I've experienced: Abysmal reliability...
. The InfiniTV is a network-based tuner (despite it's PCI connectivity) and the PC software just occasionally can't find any of the 6 tuners. Reboot fixes it.
. Windows Media Center occasionally locks trying to play live or recorded TV. Reboot fixes it.
. Numerous issues with a PC connected through a receiver via HDMI. If you boot it while watching another source-- display won't sync. Sometimes WMC complains there is no audio device. Reboot fixes it. Doing unnatural things to the display driver INF seem to get around this.
. I bought an infrared remote control with intention of making it work, then programming my Harmony with the right codes. IR remote just doesn't work for me at all; WMC doesn't see the keypresses.
. I also bought a 2.5Ghz Logitech cordless keyboard as a 10-foot device but it's range is really more like 3 inches.
. ...so even controlling WMC is annoying
. Oddly, the tuning adapter has been rock solid. The main problem with my Roamio has to do with TA issues, but for WMC I have not had to reboot the TA even once.
. Windows doesn't natively play Blu Ray discs. So I'd have to spend some money on software for that -- the software is of a similar price as a dedicated BD player. (My BD player locks up on some discs so it needs to be replaced one way or another)

So I tried XBMC instead...
o Gorgeous UI, really good at playing lots of non-live media, but:
o New capability in XBMC to play Live TV never really worked for me. There are SO many things to download and install and configure to get this working. At one point I actually got a picture through WMCserver but it's not reliable. I spent hours reading forums and wikis and don't really enjoy this sort of tinkering. Audio capabilities of the TV vs. the 7.1 receiver confuse it, for example.
o Tried a different live TV engine (npvr) for XBMC which never quite worked.
o Tried yet another live TV engine for XBMC which also never worked.

So I tried MediaPortal...
o Ditto on the ability to play non-live media, but
o Ditto on live TV

So to recap, what I was willing to invest was time but a month later, I've lost interest in goofing around with what feels to me like half-baked downloaded software.

So please don't start a flame war over this. I've been careful to say "this was my experience" and I've already read that some of you have rock-solid WMC deployments. Thoughtful comments on the technology (rather than my obviously feeble PC skills) are welcome of course.

Should I load Linux on this PC and try mythTV?
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:19 AM   #124
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Another thing I noticed is that WMC doesn't seem to do a great job of organizing lots of recordings. I put a huge disk drive in this PC and with six tuners, fantasized about just recording everything on the major networks. But WMC doesn't organize recorded shows in the UI nearly as well as Tivo; I think with hundreds of recordings I'd have a tough time browsing the list for something fun to watch.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:41 PM   #125
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Should I load Linux on this PC and try mythTV?
If you can't get WMC to work reliably with the Ceton? Sure it's worth a shot, but Myth is an order of magnitude more complex than WMC.

But I use an HDHR Prime and it just works so can't say one way or the other how well the Infini will work with Myth.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:45 PM   #126
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Well, all I can say is that WMC isn't for everyone. I must say that the issues you're having are somewhat surprising so I have a few questions.

1. Did you purchase the InfiniTV 6 PCIe version or the ETH? The ETH is reported to have some issues for some people, which is why I went with the PCIe version. The InfiniTV tuners show up under network devices in Windows Device Manager so they are, by definition, network devices. Unless you're setting them up to be shared across your network there shouldn't be an issue with them being recognized on the PC they're installed in.

2. Did you run the Digital Cable Advisor prior to setting up WMC for a cablecard tuner? I'm not even sure you could run the setup with a cablecard tuner without running DCA first.

3. Did you check the diagnistics utility for the Ceton tuners and make sure you have the latest firmware and drivers? If not, give it a try (it's accessed from the Start menu in Windows). The first window tab tells you if there's a newer version of either. The last tab allows you to perform the update. Note that you'll have to rerun WMC setup if you update either one. Make sure you release the tuners and then rediscover them after rebooting (I forget which tab it's on, but possibly the first one).

4. Loss of video when switching inputs on your AV receiver or switcher is an EDID issue. You can perform a simple hack to correct it or invest in a Gefen HDMI Detective to fix it. Cost is about $100, although I recently picked up a used one on ebay for $50 plus shipping. I believe monoprice.com offers a similar device that's less expensive. These threads may be of some assistance, depending on what graphics card you're using:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1227161/ed...-for-ati-5xxxs

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1091403/edid-override-thread

5. What hardware are you using? Is it all new or recycled? Please list your motherboard and CPU and any other devices. Make sure you have all of the latest drivers and BIOS updates.

6. XBMC won't work for live or recorded TV until you get the issues resolved in WMC. ServerWMC and pvr.wmc use the services from Media Center for live TV, recording, and the electronic program guide. I'm on the verge of trying this myself to see if I like it. I currently use XBMC for playing Blu-Rays and DVDs ripped to mkv files and it's really sweet.

7. You need a compatible IR receiver to use with the PC. Any receiver that comes with an inexpensive WMC remote should work. I personally prefer the HP WMC IR receiver (about $10-15 on ebay). It should be plug and play. I use a Harmony One and it works beautifully with WMC and XBMC. Check this link: http://superuser.com/questions/28680...ony-one-remote

8. Download a copy of MakeMKV for free. Go to the MakeMKV forum and look in the announcements section to get the latest registration codes. You can rip your Blu-Rays to mkv files and retain the main movie with HD audio and whatever subtitles you want. Just check the options to keep and let 'er rip. No need to buy expensive software for Blu-Ray playback.

9. If your provider encrypts any channels that you receive, Windows Media Center is your only PC option for recording them. There are other options for using a cablecard tuner, but WMC is by far the easiest to set up.

My suggestion is this - Wipe the hard drive and start over with a clean install of Windows 7 (you didn't mention if you were using WMC with Win 7 or Win 8/8.1) with just the basic hardware. When asked how you want to receive updates, indicate that you'll select it later and finish the install. Install the latest drivers for the chipset, LAN, graphics card, and any other hardware, but do not install the tuners or associated drivers yet. Update Windows to the latest version. There will be approximately 150 required updates so it will take a while. There is one update that's listed but unchecked (I believe it's something like KB971033). Leave it unchecked, right click on it, and hide it. You do not want this update as it causes WMC to do weird things on occasion. Start the update and then go grab a sandwich and a beer and watch some TV. Check back in an hour or two to see if it's finished. Repeat the update process until it says you're up to date.

NOTE: I usually have a mouse and keyboard connected for the initial Windows installation and then use the WMC/Harmony remote to navigate WMC after opening it from the Start menu.

Once you've installed all of the basic Windows components, drivers, and updates, download and install Microsoft Security Essentials and run a scan when completed. Shut down and install the tuners. Fire it up and install the drivers and then check the diagnostics page. If everything looks good (it should show the tuners and indicate that WMC is not configured to use them yet) open up WMC and run the initial setup. When that's done, go to the main WMC menu and you should see a listing marked Extras (scroll up or down to see it. See if the Digital Cable Advisor is listed (the Ceton software installation should download it automatically). If it is, run it and let it complete without disturbance. If it's not shown, do a google search and download and install it manually and then run it.

Go to the main WMC menu and navigate to the Tasks -> Settings option. Select TV and then select TV Signal Setup. Follow the prompts and it will discover all tuners and configure them for use with Media Center and then download the latest guide listings. You can look through the other setup options for configuring the audio, TV monitor type, etc. Make sure you have the tuner connected to your cable or antenna and see if you can get live TV. You should be able to watch live TV channels at this point.

If you have any additional software you'd like to install, now's as good a time as any to do it. I like to install the Shark007 codec pack to provide playback support for all types of audio and video that WMC may not handle by default. If you're running 64-bit Windows (which you should), you'll need both the standard codec pack plus the 64-bit add-on. After installing them, run the setup from the Start menu by right clicking the setup option and select Run as Administrator. Check the default settings on the main page and then close the window. Do this for both the standard and 64-bit options. Aside from that, I would keep any other software installation to a bare minimum. In fact, the less, the better.

Let me know if I can be of any assistance if you wish to pursue it further. Good Luck!

BTW, there are other options available for the way you want recordings to be listed in the Recorded TV list. If you don't like the way WMC does it, there are other apps you can install to improve your user experience.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 01-28-2014 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:44 PM   #127
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Well I started this thread a month ago and today I have to report that I'm giving up on using a PC for a PVR.

. I bought an infrared remote control with intention of making it work, then programming my Harmony with the right codes. IR remote just doesn't work for me at all; WMC doesn't see the keypresses.
. I also bought a 2.5Ghz Logitech cordless keyboard as a 10-foot device but it's range is really more like 3 inches.

Should I load Linux on this PC and try mythTV?
MCE is the only software I know of that can handle flagged CableCard content. Since HBO requires flagging, that pretty much cuts anything else out, even if you have a reasonable provider like Verizon or Comcast that doesn't over-flag.

I have the same issues with my wireless stuff. I just got a bluetooth adapter to use an old Apple Bluetooth board with my MCE machine (I don't use MCE anymore, just as an HTPC, my TiVo has the CableCard), and after installing the 235MB driver package for the adapter, I find out it has range issues, as does my little Lenovo trackpad/keyboard thingy. The only thing, ironically that doesn't have serious range issues is the cheap no-name wireless mouse, so the Lenovo and Bluetooth receivers are now in plain view on USB extension cables at the edge of my TV stand, where they seem to work pretty well at around 9-10' away. I get the Bluetooth thing, as it wasn't made for an HTPC... but the Lenovo one is just totally unacceptable. It should do at least 20-30 feet...
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:38 PM   #128
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Hi mr.unnatural, my hunch the last couple days was indeed to wipe the system and start over. I think npvr and some of the other solutions are starting to step on each other.

To your questions:
1) I did buy the PCIe version. With what it does to the network config in the OS, I figure I probably should have bought the ETH version to keep things simpler but it's interesting to hear about reliability issues with that. I bought a HD Homerun Prime in the woot sale a couple weeks ago but it's still in the box... once I saw TV on a PC I wanted more without sharing the PCIe tuners.

2-3) Yes to both, and I did get to the point of recording 6 things at once in WMC, so I got over the hump for the Ceton-specific configuration. I have all checkmarks on the Ceton diags; if any of them show issues I know that nothing else will work. But the whole tech stack has shown to be very fragile for me.

4) I have the INF hack but if I ever plug a different monitor on this PC, it will need to be able to take the same resolution as my TV.

5) All-new hardware. Briefly: GA-Z87X-UD3H, i3-4130T, ST4000DX001, 2x8GB KHX16C10B1K2/16X, SSR-360GP, CNPS9500AT, LG WH14NS40, SST-LC10B-E-USB3.0, PCE-N53 (connected via RT-N66U), K400 keyboard. Existing receiver is a RX-V667, TV is a Samsung C8000. So, trying to stay low power and hoping to use the GPU on the i3. So far, system performance has been excellent; task manager and resource monitor show low usage. I'll get a dedicated GPU if I have to but doesn't seem necessary so far. I dedicated 1GB RAM to the i3 GPU. Windows 7 Professional, patched.

6) ServerWMC was promising but XBMC playback performance was broken until I configured it down to 2.0 stereo audio vs. 5.1. I'd like to keep multichannel afterall.

7) I bought a SANOXY remote but none of the keys have effect in WMC other than the joystick mouse. I did find the WMC option in the Harmony config ("find devices similar to Windows"). There was no software to go with the IR receiver unfortunately to test or remap keypresses.

8) I'm set up with BD ripping tools already... tons of mkv's and iso's of my BD collection awaiting this HTPC! Slysoft works great for me. My family, oddly, expects to come home with a Redbox BD and watch it immediately (pfft).

9) I know that everything but network TV has Copy Once set. Not sure if they are encrypted. Tons of SDV around here too (Time-Warner North County San Diego, former Adelphia territory so we have Motorola equipment).

So yeah, a reinstall might be worth a try.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:29 AM   #129
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My rig is set up somewhat special.

I have two monitors - the case has one and the other one is HDMI to my receiver. All the time I can switch to HDMI via the receiver and video will come out. Sometimes I need to minimize and maximize WMC as it initializes it to 1024x768, but once you minimize it, it goes back to 1080p and works fine. About half the time when I turn off the receiver, it switches to the built-in display (which when it does, I like because I can navigate WMC without having to turn on the TV and receiver - useful to see if I need to reboot it). In an ideal world, I would have them set to mirror, but it doesn't like it.

The only really bad things I dislike about WMC are the lack of dates in the listings and on the recorded show list (+1 to TiVo to see what was recorded when), the odd limit to the number of shows it will show (I move NCIS around because the "new" episode is always on the timeshift channel and I have a conflict. But for some reason or other, "Other Showings" usually stops just short of the requisite showing, so I have to use the guide to set it up), and the inaccurate guide (a lot of "new" episodes get marked as "Repeat" - usually the very first showing of a new episode is New, but the "proper" showing (what I would get if I stuck an antenna on the roof), 3 hours later, is marked as Repeat. Technically correct, but damn I wish it could be handled better.

Oh yeah, one major nit I have is when I'm in the scheduled recordings view, and I delete a show to resolve a conflict. Half the time, WMC will then clear the list, spin, then re-display the list. Except now it starts at the top. Which is annoying because you have to scroll back down to where you were. PITA.

For me, the Collossus is nice (until it dies). The firmware sucks, but because my WMC goes into sleep mode quick and often, it ends up resetting the firmware so instead of having to reboot daily (as I have to with the HD-PVR), I can really just leave it for a LONG time. Single tuner works fine so far - my TV habits are such that network shows are high priority and I watch the cable channels on alternate timeslots.

Other than a bug with PowerDVD (stick in a blu-ray and it'll spawn another copy of PowerDVD even if it's already running. It'll work, but exiting the mess usually requires quitting WMC).
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:21 AM   #130
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dtivouser - Your configuration looks solid as far as your parts selection. It should make a fine HTPC when you work out the kinks.

4) I assume this is some sort of hack to change the resolution to match your specific TV monitor. You should be able to configure this in the TV monitor setup menu without resorting to a hack.

5) I assume you're using the HD audio and GPU in the Core i3 CPU for bitstreaming to your AV receiver. Make sure you have the Management Engine drivers installed or HD audio won't work. A lot of people miss this one.

6) You should be able to get 5.1 audio with no problem. There is a quirk that may require you to turn off the menu sounds in WMC. For some strange reason this can affect multi-channel audio output. You may also have to configure your speakers in Windows as stereo rather than multi-channel. I have a 7.1 surround setup and it works fine with WMC and XBMC.

7) I question this choice as I'm not really familiar with this remote. It appears to be a Windows remote, but it's not specifically for Media Center. If you go with something other than a Harmony remote I strongly advise you get one that specifically states that it is WMC compatible. If it's a compatible remote and IR receiver you shouldn't need any special software to use it or have to remap any key functions. I've got my Harmony One set up for a Windows Media Center PC and it performs all of the basic functions I need in every aspect of WMC and XBMC.

Here's a good WMC remote that's usually available on ebay for about $10-15 (don't let the Amazon price scare you) and is sometimes packaged with the HP IR receiver:

http://www.amazon.com/HP-Replacement...d_sim_sbs_e_12

Here's the HP IR receiver I use that is very popular among WMC users (shown with a mini HP remote, but can be purchased separately or with the above HP large remote):

http://www.amazon.com/Remote-Control...pd_sim_sbs_e_8

9) The copy once flag is set by your provider. Some providers flag all channels while others only flag a few, such as HBO and PPV. I'm lucky enough to be on FIOS so the only flagged channels are HBO and Cinemax, which I don't subscribe to. I really wanted to give SageTV a try when they came out with their DCT patch that allowed the use of cablecard tuners. Unfortunately, before I could purchase a license they were sold to Google and the SageTV store website shut down.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 01-29-2014 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:39 AM   #131
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Worf - I feel you pain regarding the list of shows to be recorded. Most of the time the list remains stable and allows me to delete shows with no problem. There have been a few occasions where it did exactly as you described and constantly kept refreshing the screen so I couldn't navigate the list. Exiting the screen and entering it again usually resolved it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:06 AM   #132
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9) I know that everything but network TV has Copy Once set. Not sure if they are encrypted. Tons of SDV around here too (Time-Warner North County San Diego, former Adelphia territory so we have Motorola equipment).

So yeah, a reinstall might be worth a try.
And you're stuck with WMC given that everything except the locals is flagged, Myth is not a good option for you.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:06 AM   #133
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And you're stuck with WMC given that everything except the locals is flagged, Myth is not a good option for you.
And that's the one reason so many people use WMC instead of third party media center front ends. It's the only game in town for a PC DVR if your provider flags any content. Otherwise, you need to go with Tivo or your provider's DVR. If you're lucky enough to have most of your channels flagged as copy freely then there are several other options available, such as Media Portal, SageTV (if you can find an available license), XBMC, and a few others.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:30 AM   #134
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dtivouser, if you do decide to give it another go, I highly recommend this: http://www.recordedtvhd.com/

It is a WMC add-on that organizes shows by folders and other options. Makes the viewing experience much more like a Tivo. In some ways better.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:19 PM   #135
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That's a great little add-on for WMC, especially if you tend to hoard a lot of TV shows. I tried it for a while and liked it a lot. The only thing I disliked is that I tend to watch everything I record within a few days so there was never more than one listing under each icon. Some shows would have no art associated with them so it would essentially be a blank placeholder, IIRC. OTOH, I believe you have the option to gather art from various sources automatically or do it manually. Definitely worth giving it a try since it has a 30-day free trial.

What's funny to me is that when you visit the link, most of the shows used as examples are either no longer on the air or were canceled for whatever reason. I think they need to update the web page with shows that are current.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:33 PM   #136
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OK I am re-installing Windows 7 right now with minimal hardware. I will let you know how it goes. It looks like the management engine gets installed with the Gigabyte MB driver kit. I bought the SANOXY remote mostly for the IR receiver (I think I paid $6 for both) figuring if nothing else I could train my Harmony One with codes from the SANOXY. That HP remote looks nice.

In this re-install I'm playing a hunch regarding that Seagate drive. A couple times I noticed weird hangs going into Disk Management. I wonder if there's a compatibility issue with the hybrid. I ran ST diags on the drive which came back clean. So this install I've left the Seagate powered off and I'm installing to a different disk drive.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:34 PM   #137
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dtivouser, if you do decide to give it another go, I highly recommend this: http://www.recordedtvhd.com/
Sweet, I will give that a try once WMC is stable!
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:50 PM   #138
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That's a great little add-on for WMC, especially if you tend to hoard a lot of TV shows. I tried it for a while and liked it a lot. The only thing I disliked is that I tend to watch everything I record within a few days so there was never more than one listing under each icon. Some shows would have no art associated with them so it would essentially be a blank placeholder, IIRC. OTOH, I believe you have the option to gather art from various sources automatically or do it manually. Definitely worth giving it a try since it has a 30-day free trial.

What's funny to me is that when you visit the link, most of the shows used as examples are either no longer on the air or were canceled for whatever reason. I think they need to update the web page with shows that are current.
I recently had a software update so he is actively improving it. I use my HTPC for archiving, and one neat thing about the program is not only does it organize by folder, but by season within the folder. I have a number of season passes set up for long time series and the season folders slowly get filled up as they air.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:58 PM   #139
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In this re-install I'm playing a hunch regarding that Seagate drive. A couple times I noticed weird hangs going into Disk Management. I wonder if there's a compatibility issue with the hybrid. I ran ST diags on the drive which came back clean. So this install I've left the Seagate powered off and I'm installing to a different disk drive.
Are you installing the operating system on a different drive totally than what you are saving your TV files to? Or are you putting everything all on one drive?
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:17 PM   #140
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Are you installing the operating system on a different drive totally than what you are saving your TV files to? Or are you putting everything all on one drive?
Good point. However, you can create separate partitions for the OS and the RecordedTV folder, which is probably the best option if using a single drive. Just create a small partition (50-60GB should be more than enough) for the OS and then create a new simple volume in the remaining space when Windows has finished installing. If you used the entire drive for installing the OS you can shrink the partition and then add the new one at the end. I generally prefer to install the OS on a SSD and then use a standard drive for files and recordings. It makes boot times a whole lot faster.

One additional tip - once you have Windows installed and updated and all drivers installed, make a backup iuso of the OS drive using Windows Backup. Create a Repair Disk while you're at it. That way, if things still aren't quite right, you don't have to do a complete reinstall with all of the drivers and updates. You just restore the OS drive image using the Repair Disk and point it to the backup image. It will wipe the OS partition and write the image to the drive. The restore process only takes about 10-15 minutes and is a whole lot faster than waiting for 150 updates to install, not to mention the OS and drivers.

As for the Management Engine drivers and anything else related to the Intel CPU, check the Intel and Gigabyte websites for the latest and greatest as they tend to be more current than what's on the installation disc that comes with any motherboard. The Intel website may have newer drivers for the CPU than the Gigabyte site.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 01-29-2014 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:08 PM   #141
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The reason I asked is that I was using a WD20EURS in the beginning for everything, and I had done just what you are saying with the separate partition, and I was getting a lot of errors. I read a lot of the threads over at The Green Button and everyone kept saying to put the OS on an SSD which would help, and so I did, and nearly every issue I had encountered disappeared after that. I picked up a small SSD off Newegg for around $50 and its been running like a champ since then
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:24 PM   #142
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Dallas, I've been considering that today. Without that Seagate hybrid drive, setting things up today has been much more smooth. My plan was to have the OS and recorded TV on the big hybrid drive. Now I'm thinking about returning it and getting an SSD and a 2-3tb conventional drive instead.

Good point, too, on getting an image backup. Today was yet another 850MB download of Windows 7 patches.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:08 PM   #143
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Newegg has the exact same SSD I purchased on sale right now for $49.99 until midnight tonight.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-20721106-L05A

I would just keep the hybrid drive and use as the 2nd recorded TV drive, and just add the SSD to the mix.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:05 PM   #144
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My WMC setup got a lot smoother once I resintalled Win7, regulated it to mostly just DVR-use/tv viewing - hooked to a 24" computer monitor in a back room, used 360 extenders in every room with an hdtv and installed a SSD boot drive.

Not sure the SSD boot drive corrected anything per se, but it does allow you to reboot in less than 30 seconds which is great if you get an error and also great to do occasionally as a preventative measure. Also I set logins to automatic and WMC to automatic startup so it goes right into WMC upon reboot. I can pretty much reboot in the middle of 4 recordings if I want to and miss very little of each recording (1-2 minutes max) as it will automatically start recording what is was recording before the reboot. I used to schedule reboots but stopped after I thought a few problems I had were because of those. Might be some voodoo science conclusion, but I just occasionally reboot the thing instead.

Oh and make sure your tuner temps are south of recommended 65 degrees. Check this in WMC under Ceton under the top menu option whose name escapes me right now. As part of my rehaul this past spring I also tried to improve the cooling with better fans and airflow and I think this also helped me though I can't be sure.


I didn't and don't have to deal with TAs. Thank goodness.

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Old 01-29-2014, 07:28 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyted View Post
There are a significant number of people that just want a CableCARD DVR with just two or three tuners without having to pay a service fee. It is possible, for those that like to or do not mind tinkering, to build a HTPC with DRV capabilities with the prices shown below. All functional parts are new except the hard drive.



I do not need six tuners. I paid $114.95 for a two tuner Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650. I could have paid $90 for a new three tuner HDHomerun Prime.



I paid less than zero dollars for a used TiVo Premiere, and I used the hard drive from it. I made a small profit from the sell of some of the Premiere components.



I paid $167.99 for a ZOTAC Mini-ITX Motherboard D2550ITXS-B-U.



$0 -- Included with the mb



I paid $37.68 for 4GB Crucial DDR3 2 2GB Memory Modules. I could have paid just half that with 2GB total.



I used a TiVo Premiere case. I paid less than $0 after I sold some of the Premiere components.



$0 -- Included with the mb



$0 -- I use open source software. It works for people that do not have copy-protected channels.
You forgot-

$200 -- 20 hrs spent finding deals and parts plus assembly/configuration at minimum wage of $10/hr

priceless -- Living somewhere that has no copy - protected channels
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:50 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
I only paid $229 for my InfiniTV 6 on Black Friday weekend. The new SiliconDust 6-tuner model is reportedly going to be sold for only $150, which is why the 3-tuner models are selling for less than $100 now. I fully expect to see a price drop in the Ceton models if they want to be competitive with SiliconDust.
Yes sales and price drops happen. But I fully expect Roamios to drop in price too. And even Tivos go on sale occasionally. Amazon was getting rid of Roamio Pros the other week for $423.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
Consider that most people have already invested in a desktop PC or laptop. If they're running Windows 7 or Windows 8 or 8.1 Pro they can add a tuner and use Windows Media Center for minimal investment. I've always recommended that anyone interested in trying Windows Media Center to start off with the economical approach to see if it might be something they'd like to use. If they like it then they can invest in a dedicated PC for Media Center. You can find all kinds of turnkey off-the-shelf PCs for $300 or even less if you shop around, although the more popular approach is to build it yourself with exactly the components you want.
All that goes in the fine print and asterisk section.

If you are buying a $300 turn-key pc and then a 6 tuner card which is $300 right now then you are looking at $600. A whole $150 over the price of a Roamio Plus today. And for what? For the headache of configuring the thing? For having a form factor you can't put in the cabinet in your living room? You wouldn't have a remote either. Your temps might be too high in that $300 pc. YOu won't have a real copy of Windows. You'll have to remove bloatware. A $300 pc is not likely to be living room quiet. Nor as efficient. ...this list goes on.

Next time you go buy a couch let me know. I will remind you that you can save money by building your own and that you probably already have materials in your garage that can help you further reduce your cost.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
Guide data can definitely change at the last minute, especially for sporting events. I always select them manually to record in WMC and I've never missed one that I wanted to record. If shows don't get recorded due to fluctuating guide data then that's not something you can blame on WMC. It only records what you tell it to. If the guide data changes then it's coming from an outside source that WMC has no control over. Tivos can easily suffer from the same guide data changes so it's unrelated to either platform.
Well I can blame it on WMC. What you say is like saying don't blame Apple your Macbook Pro failed. It actually was the chip they were using that failed.

It should be smart enough to record what I wanted. I don't recall having this problem with Tivo.

Last edited by trip1eX : 01-29-2014 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:48 AM   #147
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Worf - I feel you pain regarding the list of shows to be recorded. Most of the time the list remains stable and allows me to delete shows with no problem. There have been a few occasions where it did exactly as you described and constantly kept refreshing the screen so I couldn't navigate the list. Exiting the screen and entering it again usually resolved it.
Actually, if it continually refreshes, it means WMC just did a guide update and is reindexing and doing a bunch of scheduling. It's annoying, but give it a minute and it'll settle down.

But in my case, I delete a conflict, and it refreshes the entire list once. It's annoying because you lose your place in the list. And when I redo the scheduling weekly, I end up having to delete a lot of shows, so when it happens (always near the end of the list), scrolling back to the end, deleting, scrolling to the end, deleting gets old, fast.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:25 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by trip1eX View Post
All that goes in the fine print and asterisk section.
Yet it should be common sense when you think about it.

Quote:
If you are buying a $300 turn-key pc and then a 6 tuner card which is $300 right now then you are looking at $600. A whole $150 over the price of a Roamio Plus today. And for what? For the headache of configuring the thing? For having a form factor you can't put in the cabinet in your living room? You wouldn't have a remote either. Your temps might be too high in that $300 pc. YOu won't have a real copy of Windows. You'll have to remove bloatware. A $300 pc is not likely to be living room quiet. Nor as efficient. ...this list goes on.
The InfiniTV 6 has been going on sale for $250 quite often recently (in fact, it's on sale right now). I keep getting e-mails from Ceton about sales so I suspect you're going to see a permanent price drop on the horizon. You can buy a used InfiniTV 4 on ebay for less than $100 these days. The SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime was on sale for only $80 with free shipping a day or two ago from TigerDirect, IIRC. The new six-tuner HDHomeRun Prime is supposed to be selling for only $150 when it comes out so I suspect Ceton will drop their price even further to be competitive. Newegg has a huge inventory of refurbed PCs that would work as a basic HTPC and sell for under $100 on occasion.

You forgot to factor in the cost of lifetime service on your Roamio, which drives the cost up considerably higher.

FYI - there are lots of HTPC cabinets available that look like any other AV component. I've got a Silverstone case that looks right at home next to my Onkyo Pro preamp/processor. Here's a link to the same case with a silver finish (mine's all black):

http://www.silverstonetek.com/produc...=en&model=lc14

I don't recall ever having a temperature issue in my HTPC. The Cetons do run warm, but nothing too extreme that would cause any problems.

How is it not a real copy of Windows? Just because I'm not using it as a desktop PC doesn't change the OS. You only have to deal with bloatware if you buy a preconfigured PC from a major manufacturer. You can always wipe the drive and reinstall Windows without all of that crap. I usually remove it from any preconfigured PC.

Any PC can be made virtually dead silent with the right cooling devices.

Configuring Windows Media Center shouldn't be any more difficult than setting up a Tivo. I just load up the software, make a few settings and I'm good to go. It's a little more involved than that, but not all that complicated. Gremlins can creep into the situation on occasion and Murphy's Law is always present so there's no foolproof way to set up a HTPC, although it's been ages since I've personally had any HTPC issues.

I can't argue about the effeciency with respect to power usage. However, newer hardware is more efficient than ever before. My Intel NUCs probably use about the same power as your Roamio. You also have to factor in that a HTPC performs the same tasks as multiple individual components so the overall power usage is probably going to be a wash.

Quote:
Next time you go buy a couch let me know. I will remind you that you can save money by building your own and that you probably already have materials in your garage that can help you further reduce your cost.
I also dabble in woodworking on occasion, so what you're suggesting isn't as farfetched as you make it sound. Building a wood frame for a couch isn't all that difficult. I just don't have the upholstering skills to make it work, although I'm sure I could learn them if I had the time to invest.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 01-30-2014 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:33 AM   #149
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But in my case, I delete a conflict, and it refreshes the entire list once. It's annoying because you lose your place in the list. And when I redo the scheduling weekly, I end up having to delete a lot of shows, so when it happens (always near the end of the list), scrolling back to the end, deleting, scrolling to the end, deleting gets old, fast.
I don't have that issue, at least not with that frequency. I generally check my upcoming recording schedule and delete extraneous airings of shows that I know to be repeats but the guide data isn't fully updated yet. I click on the show, select delete, and I'm back in the same spot in the list. Occcasionally it will refresh following the deletion and take me back to the beginning of the list, but it doesn't happen all that often. In fact, I checked the list this morning and deleted at least a half dozen shows from the list without having to scroll back through it to find the next show to delete.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:24 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
You forgot to factor in the cost of lifetime service on your Roamio, which drives the cost up considerably higher.
TiVo is a bit more expensive now, as they are $1100 now, but back when they were $900 with Premiere, TiVo and an HTPC were very close in price. You could make the HTPC maybe a few $ less, but it could also be a bit more depending on how much stuff you put in it. And that's not even including teh $99 for Windows, as I had a license from school that I used.

Quote:
Any PC can be made virtually dead silent with the right cooling devices.
True.

Quote:
Configuring Windows Media Center shouldn't be any more difficult than setting up a Tivo.
Well, sort of. The initial set, maybe. Until it starts having problems and crashing all the time. Then it's DEFINITELY not the same.

Quote:
I can't argue about the effeciency with respect to power usage. However, newer hardware is more efficient than ever before.
You can get the power consumption way down with a 35W processor, high efficiency power supply, etc, although the TiVo Roamio has even those most efficient HTPC beat by a pretty good margin.
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