How do I setup to record premium cable that requires a set-top box

Discussion in 'Windows Media Center' started by Jeff, May 15, 2004.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    I've just received my new Sony Vaio MCE computer and find the set-up instructions a little lacking in explanation -- I can't figure out how to run my cables from the wall/set-top cable box/VCR/MCE when I want to have the ability to let the computer contol the set-top box and also be able to view videos through the VCR on the TV as well (we have dozens of Disney videos that our twins like to watch frequently). Ideally, I'd also like the VCR to route through the MCE, if possible, to allow me to transfer home videos from video tape to digital media. If anyone's out there now, please help, because I'm trying to route the cables as I type this..

    Thanks

    -Jeff
     
    Jeff, May 15, 2004
    #1
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  2. Jeff

    Bob [MVP] Guest

    Here's one option.

    Cable:
    WALL --> STB --> VCR --> PC --> TV

    IR Bug:
    PC --> STB

    This will give you all the features you want,
    with the following limitations:

    1. Can't watch a VCR tape & record simultaneously.
    2. Must use Media Center to watch TV or VHS tapes.

    You can work around #2 if you add a splitter
    after the VCR - one output to PC, the other to TV
    (assuming your TV has multiple inputs).

    --
    -Bob
    ____________________________
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows XP Media Center Edition
    www.microsoft.com/ehome


    figure out how to run my cables from the wall/set-top cable box/VCR/MCE when I want to have the ability to let the computer contol
    the set-top box and also be able to view videos through the VCR on the TV as well (we have dozens of Disney videos that our twins
    like to watch frequently). Ideally, I'd also like the VCR to route through the MCE, if possible, to allow me to transfer home
    videos from video tape to digital media. If anyone's out there now, please help, because I'm trying to route the cables as I type
    this...
     
    Bob [MVP], May 15, 2004
    #2
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  3. Jeff

    Bob [MVP] Guest

    Oh, one assumption I made is that your STB
    and VCR both broadcast on the same channel.

    If that's not the case, you can swap the
    STB & VCR in the diagram below. Then you'd
    need to tune your STB to the VCR's broadcast
    channel in order to watch the VCR through
    Media Center.

    --
    -Bob
    ____________________________
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows XP Media Center Edition
    www.microsoft.com/ehome
     
    Bob [MVP], May 15, 2004
    #3
  4. Thank you VERY much, Bob! Can you please clarify one or two points of confusion for me -- my computer setup has only one VHF/UHF port (input), so do I make the PC-to-TV connection using the S-video and audio cables?

    I'm also curious as to how the computer controls the set-top box in this configuration, with the PC connected downstream of the set-top-box? For example, if I'm away on a long weekend and want to tape a show on one channel (e.g. HBO) one day and record a show on another channel (e.g. Showtime) the next day, how does the computer change the channel on the set-top-box? This may be an ignorant question, but I'm stumped

    Thanks again

    -Jef


    ----- Bob [MVP] wrote: ----

    Here's one option

    Cable
    WALL --> STB --> VCR --> PC --> T

    IR Bug
    PC --> ST

    This will give you all the features you want
    with the following limitations

    1. Can't watch a VCR tape & record simultaneously
    2. Must use Media Center to watch TV or VHS tapes

    You can work around #2 if you add a splitte
    after the VCR - one output to PC, the other to T
    (assuming your TV has multiple inputs)

    --
    -Bo
    ___________________________
    Microsoft MV
    Windows XP Media Center Editio
    www.microsoft.com/ehom


    figure out how to run my cables from the wall/set-top cable box/VCR/MCE when I want to have the ability to let the computer conto
    the set-top box and also be able to view videos through the VCR on the TV as well (we have dozens of Disney videos that our twin
    like to watch frequently). Ideally, I'd also like the VCR to route through the MCE, if possible, to allow me to transfer hom
    videos from video tape to digital media. If anyone's out there now, please help, because I'm trying to route the cables as I typ
    this..
     
    Thanks, Bob! Please clarify one point., May 15, 2004
    #4
  5. Jeff

    Bob [MVP] Guest

    Jeff,

    You're very welcome. Yes, connect your PC-to-TV using s-video
    & audio cables. The computer controls the STB by sending
    signals through an IR emitter bug to your STB. The plug
    goes into your PC, and the emitter is placed in front of
    the IR receiver on your STB.

    After you get everything wired up, you will go through
    the MCE TV signal setup wizard. There you will be asked
    if you're using an STB, and will be guided through the
    setup procedure.

    Good luck, and enjoy your new PC! :)

    --
    -Bob
    ____________________________
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows XP Media Center Edition
    www.microsoft.com/ehome


    port (input), so do I make the PC-to-TV connection using the S-video and audio cables?
    set-top-box? For example, if I'm away on a long weekend and want to tape a show on one channel (e.g. HBO) one day and record a show
    on another channel (e.g. Showtime) the next day, how does the computer change the channel on the set-top-box? This may be an
    ignorant question, but I'm stumped.
     
    Bob [MVP], May 15, 2004
    #5
  6. Jeff

    Thanks again Guest

    Thanks, again, Bob. I think I"ve got it set up okay, and it seems terrific, as anticipated. I'm still studying up on how to maximize the use of the system, but look forward to learning all about it. Your reply was a huge help - thanks

    -Jeff
     
    Thanks again, May 16, 2004
    #6
  7. Jeff

    John Guest

    Hey Bob:

    Can you clarify the line below: "The computer controls the STB by sending
    Does the IR receiver plug into the set top box?

    John.
     
    John, Jun 22, 2004
    #7
  8. Jeff

    Bob [MVP] Guest

    John,

    There are two IR components involved. One is an IR
    reciever, which is connected to the PC (or built in
    to some PCs), and receives the signals from the Media
    Center Remote Control.

    The other component is an IR emitter. This also plugs
    into the PC, but it sends IR signals to the STB.

    --
    -Bob
    ____________________________
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows XP Media Center Edition
    www.microsoft.com/ehome
     
    Bob [MVP], Jun 23, 2004
    #8
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