Satellite receiver cards supported in MCE 2005?

Discussion in 'Windows Media Center' started by kuebler, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. kuebler

    kuebler Guest

    I'd got a PC with MCE, which I upgraded to MCE 2004, but did not really use
    the MCE features. Instead I used it just as a normal HTPC. Now with MCE 2005
    it looks more attractive, because digital TV seems supported.

    However I read that only "OTA" is supported. Does this mean no digital
    satellite receiver cards are supported? If they are supported, how can I find
    out which ones?
    kuebler, Oct 22, 2004
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  2. Windows XP MCE 2005 does *NOT* support direct digital satellite or digital
    cable reception. Only digital terrestrial (antenna) reception is supported,
    and that has already been supported in MCE 2004 for Europe.

    Robert Schlabbach, Oct 22, 2004
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  3. kuebler

    kuebler Guest

    Thanks. That's bad news, but helps for clarification. At my place DVB-T (I
    assume you are meaning this) is not yet fully supported. So I may have to
    wait another year - and possibly switch to MCE 2006 - before I can start to
    enjoy MCE.

    I assume there are also no bypasses to include digital satellite into MCE?
    So I simply have to go back to the XP desktop.
    kuebler, Oct 22, 2004
  4. There is: You can use an _external_ receiver (DVB-S, DVB-C, DVB-T, whatever
    you like) with MCE and use an _analog_ TV card in the PC to [re]encode the
    signal from the external receiver. MCE will then control the external
    receiver through the "IR blaster".

    Of course the digital->analog->digital path will not improve the image
    quality, and direct digital reception would be favorable, but nonetheless
    you can watch and record digital television channels with Windows XP Media
    Center Edition this way.

    Robert Schlabbach, Oct 22, 2004
  5. kuebler

    kuebler Guest

    I assume that the receiver would have to generate sort of an antenna signal
    for the analog TV-card. Interesting thought, but as you wrote then the goal
    of quality would be lost.

    But I find interesting also that MCE could even in this chain control the
    sat receiver. How can it do it, how does it know? Is there a place (MCE
    knowledge base or so) where I could read deeper into the matter?

    Actually my "MCE-installed" HTPC works with a dbox II with SDI, which feeds
    into a Holo3DGraph II card, which outputs via the SDI port of a Radeon 9800.
    My ideal dream would be to use this combo somehow under MCE, at least some
    virtues of it. I guess this is totally impossible, but because you provided
    already helpful insights, I dare to ask again ;-)
    kuebler, Oct 22, 2004
  6. Whatever the receiver outputs and the analog TV tuner card in your MCE PC
    can accept as input. Most favorable solution is S-Video, of course, but you
    can also use composite or even an RF signal. Audio is connected via two
    cinch connectors in the first two cases, or part of the RF signal in the
    last case.
    With the "IR blaster". That's a little IR emitter device which you glue to
    the front of your receiver box, right above its IR sensor. You then no
    longer use the receiver's remote control, but rather only the MCE remote
    control. All control of the receiver goes through the MCE PC.

    Robert Schlabbach, Oct 23, 2004
  7. kuebler

    kuebler Guest

    Thanks. I'm reasonably aware of how the various hardware components can be
    made work together. My total unawareness is with regard to how far goes the
    MCE software integration of those components. For example:
    a) if I go out of my satellite receiver via S-video into a TV card, how can
    I configure the control of the receiver via MCE? How does the MCE software
    control switching to a TV station via the IR emitter, not hardware wise, but
    software wise? It does not know the codes, isn't it?
    b) if there exists a satisfying answer for the above (which would be a big
    positive surprise for me), could I use for S-video input also soe other
    hardware in my HTPC, but still keep this under administration of MCE?

    Falk Kuebler

    kuebler, Oct 23, 2004
  8. I have never used this function myself, but from what I understand, MCE
    comes with a database of "known" receivers, and it could well be that the
    dbox-2 is already in there. There is also a "learning mode" in which you
    have to press all the buttons MCE will need on your receiver remote.
    Not sure what you mean here. If the PVR card driver is written correctly
    (which doesn't seem to be the case e.g. for the Hauppauge PVR250MCE yet),
    other applications can use the card while MCE is not using it. But I don't
    understand what you mean by "under administraton of MCE".

    Robert Schlabbach, Oct 23, 2004
  9. kuebler

    Nigel Barker Guest

    It _does_ know the codes. Part of the setup process is to recognise the remote
    control used by your STB. Failing that MCE learns the codes for the digits,
    channel up/down etc so that it can control the box totally.
    Once you have set up control of a STB via IR by MCE that is all that you can use
    it for unless you reconfigure for another STB.
    Nigel Barker, Oct 23, 2004
  10. kuebler

    kuebler Guest

    b) if there exists a satisfying answer for the above (which would
    What I mean is: If possible I would not want a PVR card, because its basic
    function of receiving DVB-T is useless for me. Instead I have already the
    dbox II sat receiver. So the PVR card would provide me only the S-video input
    facility. But I have already a fairly sophisticated high quality input card
    for S-video, YUV etc. It is a Holo3DGraph II with Faroudja deinterlacing.

    If there would be a way to configure this input under the MCE GUI, then it
    would be perfect. But I guess it is not possible, because the S-video stream
    needs to be taken by a PVR card and its drivers. Am I correct?

    Just for experimenting I would go out today and try to buy a MCE compatible
    PVR card for taking in video. Which ones are available in Germany? Whcih ones
    are cheap but still good on their S-video input? Can you give me some hints?

    Falk Kuebler
    kuebler, Oct 23, 2004
  11. kuebler

    kuebler Guest

    I believe I start to understand a little bit more. If I find a satisfying
    solution for the signal input, then I will experiment with this all. In
    principal I like the MCE concept and GUI. But up to now I couldn't use it. Is
    there a place with indepth documentation on all this? I got an original MCE
    2002 PC, the documentation of which is useless (if I still have it at all
    :). I upgraded to MCE 2004, and now I upgraded to MCE 2005. But I purchased
    only the System Builder software version, so I have no documentation at all.
    I also hope that the original remote control and IR support hardware of the
    MCE 2002 is still valid.

    Falk Kuebler
    kuebler, Oct 23, 2004
  12. kuebler

    Nigel Barker Guest

    Wow! That's a fantastic card but rather akin to top end HiFi versus the all-in-1
    mini component market that Media Center is aimed at. The price is more than my
    whole MCE system cost to build!
    The Hauppauge WinTV PVR250 is a decent quality card for the price & widely
    available. There are plenty of applications outside of MCE that support it too &
    an active user base
    Nigel Barker, Oct 23, 2004
  13. kuebler

    Nigel Barker Guest

    MSDN is a good staring point for documentation

    The original remote & IR receiver still works OK with MCE 2005.
    Nigel Barker, Oct 23, 2004
  14. kuebler

    kuebler Guest

    kuebler, Oct 23, 2004
  15. kuebler

    kuebler Guest

    Yes, I like it a lot. Unfortunately it is complicated, no longer supported
    by the manufacturer, and in some sense an "island" solution. But still top
    video processing.
    I guessed it :-(
    I'll give it a consideration. it's 150 Euros possibly just only for
    experimenting... But we PC addicts seldom can resist :). Life is just so
    boring without serious PC configuration troubles ;-))

    Falk Kuebler
    kuebler, Oct 23, 2004
  16. kuebler

    Nigel Barker Guest

    It seems much more expensive in Germany. The cheapest I can find here in France
    on is just over 100 Euros & in the UK for the equivalent of 120
    Euros. Of course you probably want to play with it this weekend so will have to
    pay top price at a local computer store:)
    Nigel Barker, Oct 23, 2004
  17. kuebler

    kuebler Guest

    I was lucky: The old MCE 2002 installation had been transferred from the
    original Siemens-Fujitsu to a new Dell Dimension 8300 PC (where I upgraded to
    MCE 2004 and 2005), but the old Siemens PC still existed for other purposes.
    Today I remembered that it should have a TV tuner card. I looked - et voilà -
    found a card with S-video input. Ideal for playing without fruitless cost.
    Tomorrow I will try the thing out :)

    Falk Kuebler
    kuebler, Oct 23, 2004
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