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Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-18-2010

Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

I have a Windows 7 Media Center setup that worked like a charm with a Hauppauge 2250. Until recenty, before Comcast encrypted the channels, I could watch and record 2 different shows (the Hauppauge card has 2 tuners) at the same time.

Two days ago the channels were encrypted so I've been trying to setup the DTA box to work  with my Media Center setup.

 

According to this site and other posts in Windows Media Center message boards the 2250 can be configured to work with Comcast DTA box.  This site  illustrates the process:

http://digitalmediaphile.com/index.php/2009/04/17/setup-a-comcast-dta-with-mce/

 

It is supposed to work: cable from the wall to DTA, from DTA (coax) to HTPC (TV Tuner) and together with the IR Blaster which changes channel on the DTA and MCE together.

I have been trying to do this without success.  Windows Media Center doesn't seem to find the right channel and after repeated attempts now it won't even recognize the remote during setup. Have anybody else been thru this in the forum?

Bronze Star Contributor
demomanMLS
Posts: 337
Registered: ‎04-06-2008

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

The whole digital transition has screwed HTPC users big time. The only way as of right now to get the encrypted channels to work with an HTPC post-transition is to have a CableCard tuner/capture card. While those are a bit expensive and harder to find the good news is that the CableCard solutions will let you watch and record pretty much any channel outside of PPV channels.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

I feel your pain.  I have the same card and I'm having the exact same problem with Media Center 2005.  Personally, I would trade the extra channels that this "upgrade" enabled just to be able to use my own, working PVR system again.  At first all I complained about was the customer service, now I have to start complaining about the service in general.  I think the monthly rates are high enough that these types of problems shouldn't be happening with a so called "upgrade" which actually degrades your service.  People with VCRs are having similar problems.  What fun... :manmad:

Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-18-2010

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Ultimately I was able to move the IR blaster to  position in the comcast DTA where it communicates with it and taped it. At least I can change the channels again and Media Center can schedule recordings.  Still they crippled my Media Center DVR, now I have only one tuner instead of the two I used to have available.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Glad to hear that other people were able to cobble together a semi-working system too.  It's sad to think that we can't use the full capacity of the 2250 because of this "upgrade." 

 

Has anyone gotten so frustrated that they just purchased Comcast's cablecard so as not to need to twiddle around with DTR's, IR Blasters and upgrading from XP to Win-7 just to get Media Center to record from a schedule again?

 

Does anyone have flashbacks of the days of "Ma Bell?" :smileyangry:

 

New Visitor
realdieu
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-21-2011

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Same madness in 2011.

 

Switched from Wowway to Comcast and everything stopped working. My original Hauppauge 2250 setup worked great. Had my Sling Player Pro HD set up with my iPhone and IPad and everything worked great including remote viewing on my iPhone and iPad!  Now, nothing works.

 

The enclosed setup guide is useless.  Connecting the Internet cable to the "Cable In" and another cable from the "To TV" of the DTA to the Hauppauge 2250 results in a loss of Internet connectivity. Thus, trying to configure the DTA within Windows 7 Media Center is a moot issue.

 

The bottom line is Comcast is well aware that these garbage DTA's do not operate. I truly believe Comcast has no idea how the DTA is connected, how it works, or really cares. It is my understanding that they are required to offer the DTA as well as the Multi-Stream cable card.  Anyway, I was clear and specific with Comcast and they were quick to recommend the DTA as the cure-all.

 

Because I was stupid enough to switch to Comcast, I now have a list of useless hardware:

 

$175 Hauppauge 2250

$399 Sling Media Pro HD

$30 iPhone Sling Media software

$30 iPad Sling Media software

 

As a result, I am cancelling my service with Comcast!  

Visitor
mrnaturl
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-09-2010

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

[ Edited ]

Have the same issues all the way around.

Except I never had the Slingbox. I debated that purchase long enough, because I wasn't sure how Comcast's changes would affect it, that never made the purchase

The MC remote for the Hauppauge 2250 is useless.

[edited]  me off that Comcast doesn't give a [edited] about us. All they want is money, collect and control our viewing habits.

 

Unfortunately I can't even cancel Comcast as I'm on a bulk contract with my home owners association. Even if I don't use their service, I'm stuck paying for it!!!

That's money I can't even put towards a DirecTV or Dish solution. Not that those are all that attractive.

 

So to combat this issue, my only real option is to purchase a $400 CableCard adapter, the Ceton InfiniTV 4. But they're on a 3 month backorder also.

 

Hopefully, my association and their lawyers will find a way out of our contract with Comcast and we can tell them to kiss our @..............

Regular Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Anyone know if any Comcast technical support personnel or customer service managers actually read their customer forums?  Oh wait, their called "customer forums" for a reason.  Nevermind....

Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,676
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Retired Administrator
CC_Dete
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎07-01-2010

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

New Visitor
Nebular
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-11-2011

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Back in the "good 'ol days" I was an Adelphia cable customer. Then Comcast bought them and I've been screwed ever since. Now I'm FORCED to use DTA devices due to their "upgrade" of service. Now I'm in the same boat where my Windows 7 MCE is completely worthless, thanks to Comcast.

I'm canceling Comcast. AT&T just got a new customer. Way to go Comcast!
Recognized Contributor
halfband
Posts: 227
Registered: ‎06-20-2011

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

[ Edited ]

Not sure how going to AT&T solves the issue, they do not even have cablecards, you are locked into their hardware.  DTAs and cableboxes will work with WMC.

 

The loss of features and usability of our hardware is very frustrating.  The entire industry is heading that direction however, so their is really no place you can hide from it.  I agree it is a good idea to cancel service when they no longer meet your needs, vote with your wallet as is where.  But short of persuading the FCC they are allowing the industry to abuse their customers, they are going squeeze us as much as they possibly can.

Contributor
bjgdal
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-12-2011

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

This is very frustrating. I just came here looking for a solution and it looks like there really isn't any.  I thought it would be possible to just connect my STB to the input on the Hauppage WinTV 1600 card I JUST bought and get the digital channels.  As of right now I can get just OTA channels.  I also upgraded my OS to Win 7 HP so I could get the Windows Media Center.  Are there any solutions open to me at this point that don't cost an arm and a leg?  I don't care about controlling the channels with a remote but would like to use my PC as a DVR and I mostly want the digital channels.  I don't have any red, yellow, white connectors on the STB or the computer. Thanks in advance. Oh and no, I really don't want to deal with a Comcast technician or a cable card.  I feel the same way about cable techs as I do the IT support techs at my work...they usually create more problems than they solve.

Recognized Contributor
halfband
Posts: 227
Registered: ‎06-20-2011

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

The RF out of the set top box would hook to the top analog input of the wintv card.  Win7 would record everything on channel 3 (or 4 if the box is set to output on 4) which it should determine during the setup wizard   The wintv card supports an ir blaster that can be used to control the set to pbox channel.

 

The downside is that the RF output on the set to box is Standard Def analog.  For a set top box with an s video outputs they can be routed to the s video input of the card, but audio has to be handled on the separate audio input.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Hate to tell you this but if you want to have any symblance of true functionality from WMC, a cablecard and either a device by SiliconDust or Centex are your only options.

Recognized Contributor
halfband
Posts: 227
Registered: ‎06-20-2011

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition


Francisco-dAn wrote:

Hate to tell you this but if you want to have any symblance of true functionality from WMC, a cablecard and either a device by SiliconDust or Centex are your only options.


True for HD.  For SD a DTA and WMC work fine.  I have that setup and it works out great.  WMC has no problem controlling the DTA and all features are functional.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Works just fine?  Really?  Using a DTA how do you record multiple channels simultaniously?  How do you watch one show while recording another?  How do you insure that the DTA stays in sync with WMC when it needs to change channels to record another station?

 

I'm not sure how you're using your media center, but these are some of the functions that the rest of us lost through Comcast's "upgrade."  No limitations, no external devices to manage and no hoops to jump through.  Just a fully functional MCPC without any hassles.

Contributor
bjgdal
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-12-2011

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

It's ok. I only have SD anyway...my TV is too old to use HD...I'd want to use my cable box not a DTA is that ok? I don't care about watching another show while recording...all my recording willl be done when I am away anyway...I don't even care about being able to use my remote with WMC..if I have to use a mouse/keyboard so be it...I just want to be sure I get my digital stations...I'm not paying this much for cable to end up getting less than half the stations...so as long as I can get them I will be happy..

 

I understanding everyones distress though..but when you are used to having something and lose it..it's hard to deal with...for me..I haven't been using WMC yet so unless I lose my digital stations I will be gaining not losing...by going to WMC..I guess it's all relative

Regular Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Well, it's been about a year and at long last, I'm at the foothills of a [possible] solution.  My SiliconDust Homerun Prime is on its way.  After some hunting around, I found a local Comcast Service Center that had cablecards in stock and I picked one up without any hassle.  I was prepaired for the troubles I  heard from customers who had Tivo and their attempt to get a cablecard in order to install it themself.  I just gave them my telephone number and ID and they gave me a card along with installation instructions (nice).

 

Comcast's instructions are short and concise.  It looks as if the instructions were updated this past July so I'm actually fairly confident in its accuracy.  Now, the "pairing" activity which which is done with the assistance from a technician via the phone is another thing altogether.  We'll see what happens when the SiliconDust comes in.

 

More to come.... 

Recognized Contributor
halfband
Posts: 227
Registered: ‎06-20-2011

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

@Francisco-dAn

Yeah I pretty much agree with your point, the functionality is somewhat crippled.   I was just trying to make the point that a DTA itself works well with WMC not that it enables all the features of WMC.

My setup includes a mix of WMC with DTAs a regular cablebox, and older HDHomerun tuning over the air and the limited clearQAM we get.

I also configured a system for someone else that uses an SD box and two DTAs in an SD only configuration.  For SD the DTAs cover it pretty well, but you obviously get more flexability as you add more options.

 

Good luck with your prime setup, I am looking to add the same in the near future. 

 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Alright, I have been using the Homerun Prime 3CC for 3 days now and while I'm not 100% satisfied, I feel that I'm close to being back to the place I was before having to use a DTA with my PC.  After a couple of beta software upgrades and a bios flash of both the Prime and the cablecard, I'm recording/watching multiple channels again.  The only problems I'm having is getting the full functionality which SiloconDust advertises that the Homerun Prime will provide.

 

A couple of notes for anyone planning on adding Prime to their home setup.

 

- FIrst, go to the SIliconDust website and install the latest beta software and firmware and install.

- If you're using Windows Media Center, make sure you go through the COMPLETE update for digital card tuners

- Make note of every number listed on your cable card and on the Prime

- Prepare to stay on the phone with the Comcast tech support for a while during setup.

- When on the phone with Comcast, make sure that you have the Prime's setup program visable in addition to the web based status page.

- While the technician is attempting to "pair" process, watch the card status as it may download a bios upgrade of its own and you do not want to interrupt that process.

- There seems to be some "challenges" with Windows Media Center on subsequent systems attempting to tap into the tuners

- Finally, be patient.  It may take a while but there's not a ton of "trial and error" going on, it just takes a while and there is a definite order which things need to be completed.

 

New Visitor
ericabs
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-27-2012

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

Would you please just tell me how to get my media center to record. I have now just put my little Comcast box with the in from cable and the out into my computer. I had it activated. I am getting all channels (which is great since before I just hooked up the cable directly into my computer and only got 2-13). However, I need to keep the computer media center channel on 3 and change channels via the box. Otherwise I loose signal. I can’t record anything. Would you let me know what I need to do so I can change the channel on the media center and how I can record. I know everybody is far more advanced than me, but I really just want the basics and I am not technically skilled.

Recognized Contributor
halfband
Posts: 227
Registered: ‎06-20-2011

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

You need something called an IR blaster which is basically a lot like a remote control for the computer to allow media center to change the channel on the DTA.

You do not say what kind of tv tuner card you have, but many cards have a jack to plug the IR emitter for a media blaster into them.

 

What kind of card are you using?

Regular Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: Windows 7 Media Center screwed after digital transition

If you haven't done so, I suggest reading this entire thread before deciding on a specific direction.