Using PC TV card and Windows media center with Comcast digital tv converter box

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  • Updated 3 years ago
Can I use a computer tv card with the comcast digital converter box? I seem to no longer be able to change channels on the computer, only with the converter remote control.
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Posted 6 years ago

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alanfederman

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I used to get channels 2-82 - now I only get 2-12 on Windows media center - this is a recent development. My stand-alone set-top box gets all channels in low def - but can't get pay-per view - says box not set up.

On my directly connected HDTV - the channels seem to change every week.

Not a happy customer.
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Brent

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alanfederman, Sounds like you are missing the set top box or DTA for your Windows Media Center PC. Once Comcast only has local channels in your area on analog, a DTA or set top box is needed for your Media Center PC to get the upper channels. A HDTV connected directly to cable without a set top box or DTA will use QAM and it is known that the channels can change on a daily basis. Also, if Comcast turns on encryption in the near future you will loose most of the channels that your HDTV is currently getting if you don't have a set top box, DTA, or cable card. However, a DTA cannot get a HDTV 720P, 1080P, or 1080i signal.
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Kevin Cerruti

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I am having the same problem as Gary. I am only able to change channels with the pace DTA remote and I am only able to record channel 3. I seemed to have gotten lost on all of the responses. Has there been a solution to this problem? Thank you.
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Brent

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Kevin,
Go to http://digitalmediaphile.com/index.ph...
If that doesn't work for you then try Comcast C1982 IR code (which is what I am using) instead of having Windows Media Center learn the remote. I am able to to use the Windows Vista remote to change the channels and can record on any channel via selecting a show to record from the Guide.
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Kevin Cerruti

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Brent,

I already tried that link. How do I put in the IR code? Also, I have Windows XP.
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Jon

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Last night Comcast finally shut all of my analog stations off. Since they gave (how nice of them) Three (well actually 2 DTA's and 1 conv) boxes I hooked two of them up. I then called Comcast to activate them. After two+ hours of "Live Chat" I was told they SHOULD work. Today when I got home the DTA was still missing several channels. Anyway, enough of my complaining about that. I too have a computer with Windows Media/TV coax tuner card. It USED to work great with my wall coax cable. IT would go online and get the programming info and thenI could use it just like a DVR. Now however, since Comcast has FORCED me to convert to ALL digital I can only receive channels 2-28. Supposedly, this too will change within the next three years when even those channels will require a converter adapter/box. What ever happened to customer choice? Comcast consistantly raises their rates 5+% every year and then shoves it down our throats. If the technology is soooo sophisticated then WHY can't Comcast KEEP the customers who want analog, analog and the one's digital, digital. Oh, that's right they can!! However, they can make more money screwing over their customers!!!!!Heaven help ALL of us if Comcast aquires NBC Universal. Then WE all will be paying more for CBS, NBC< ABC, Fox if it comes via your cable. MORE $$$$ for Comcast
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Catalin N Filip

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Quick question ....if I have the dual TV Tuner on my media center how do i suppose to record one channel when I am watching different channel with this stupid DTA box from comcast ... This is something what comcast trying to put monopole on DVR systems .
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Brent

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Kevin,
I do not have Windows XP Media Center Edition and have Windows Vista instead. Windows XP does not have support unless it is the Media Center Edition is my understanding. But Windows XP Media Center Edition should have screens just like Windows Vista to select first select the brand of cable box (ie Comcast) and then another screen to select the the specific cable box (ie C1982). Windows Vista makes you select the C1982 from a menu and will not let you manually type in the C1982.
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Tom

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Just to be clear. Do I need additional equipment besides what came in the DTA box? I have my TV card in the PC and I normally point the media center remote at the front of my PC. Do I need anything else? Thanks. Tom
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Brent

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Tom,
You also need the PC IR out cable which connects to the PC and goes on the front glass of the DTA. My PC IR out cable connects to a circular headphone style jack on the back of my HP PC, while others may connect to a USB connector.
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torgo.434

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I have this problem as well, But may have found a solution.

I Just ordered an official WMC remote from an e-tailer that comes with the "IR BLASTER". Connecting the external blasters to the ITS tuner should do the trick, but I am not sure as it's still in the mail. I will reply back with status when I get it set up.. Probably tomorrow.

I've found information on setting it up here:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-SG/wi...

and here:

http://www.microsoft.com/hk/windowsxp...
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Robert Siciliano

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did this work?
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torgo.434

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Yeah it did..

Post back here if you have any technical questions. See my reply to your main post.
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Robert Siciliano

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Problem:
I can no longer use the WMCE guide to schedule and record a show with comcast DTA installed.

1. I have WMCE 2005 on XP. I do not have a WMCE remote IR.
2. Comcast DTA set up and WMCE receives the signal perfectly.
3. WMC software needs to stay on channel 3 or 4. Clicking channels though the WMC guide gets fuzz.
4. However Comcast DTA remote control is fully functional for accessing every channel in WMCE. This all works great. Whatever channel Im on via the DTA remote I can record.
5. I can no longer use the WMCE guide to schedule and record a show. I have to be infront of the PC when the show is on and hit the red button

Is there a way to set this up to gain control over the WMCE guide again?
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torgo.434

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Get a WMCE IR remote.. I've solved this for myself using this:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicatio...

there are some slight hoops, when you install this on your computer, you have to tell your computer the device is an "eHome IR blaster" when your computer tells you it can't find a driver.

After getting the remote, and it's associated Hardware, take the little IR Repeater, Stick it to the front of the DTA box, Once you have it there go though the TV setup again, Say you don't have a remote, and pick the manufacturer of the DTA box. (Mine was Motorola, there have been others that report "Pace" as the manufacturer.) Once you have the box set up it should change the channels normally.
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Robert Siciliano

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To confirm:

Setting up an MCE remote allows the "MCE quide" to work as it did prior to the installation of the DTA? Yes or no?

At this point all I care about is the functionality of the MCE guide.

And if it does work, do you know if the Pinnacle works with XP? Or will the OEM MCE remote do the trick?
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torgo.434

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Yes. It allows you to use the MCE guide, and yes it works under XP, And yes you could go with an OEM MCE remote + blaster, if the blaster has hook ups for the little IR blaster repeaters.

Yes, the Pinnacle works with XP, but you need to force it to use the built in drivers for an "eHome IR Blaster", which you'll find in the select drivers list under Microsoft.
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Robert Siciliano

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So Ive gotten as far as getting MCE to see the pinnacle remote. I can use the remote to scroll thru the menus with full control over the guide, however uit doesnt actually change the channels. The only way to change the channels is via the DTA remote. I have figured out this yet "Yes, the Pinnacle works with XP, but you need to force it to use the built in drivers for an "eHome IR Blaster", which you'll find in the select drivers list under Microsoft."
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Robert Siciliano

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So Ive gotten as far as getting MCE to see the pinnacle remote. I can use the remote to scroll thru the menus with full control over the guide, however it doesnt actually change the channels. The only way to change the channels is via the DTA remote. The guide wont change them. I havent figured out this yet "Yes, the Pinnacle works with XP, but you need to force it to use the built in drivers for an "eHome IR Blaster", which you'll find in the select drivers list under Microsoft."

This is the driver I used to get the remorte to see the PC http://www.ironclad.net/pinnacle_remo... this got it to recognize everything. I just cant change channels with the guide.
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Robert Siciliano

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Ya dude. You the man. I'm buying today. I may ping you back if I cant figure the drivers, but I should be good. I think you solved the problem for everyone.

"but you need to force it to use the built in drivers for an "eHome IR Blaster", which you'll find in the select drivers list under Microsoft."
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Penn Pier

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Yes I too have fell victim to Comcast. I have used the MCE for years in bliss and then came the box! I have an HP all-in-one Touchsmart. After panic and going back to the box I found I have a built in IR Emitter. I connect as manual instructed no luck, played with some of your instructions above and was finally able to use my MCE guide and keyboard to change channels it was very slow and not always accurate, but still could not record. After one day when I returned to my computer I could no longer change channels again either. Sigh....I'm devastated this was the only way I watched TV. I wonder if verizon requires the box. I just don't know how to fix it. Good luck all I hope they fix this someday, cuz it really wipes out the reason to have a MCE!!!
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torgo.434

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Yeah.. I had that problem too.. That's why when you set up the TV signal in MCE, when it asks if you have a remote Say NO, and select your DTA box from the manufacturer list (Motorola or Pace). Once I did that, I could change the channel without any problems.
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torgo.434

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Yeah.. I had that problem too.. That's why when you set up the TV signal in MCE, when it asks if you have a remote Say NO, and select your DTA box from the manufacturer list (Motorola or Pace). Once I did that, I could change the channel without any problems.
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Coz

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I want to be clear here before I make my decision...

Comcast has made a decision NOT to provide a signal via their cable that can be decoded by a analog OR digital card in a Windows Media Center PC?

The only option is to dumb down my system to a channel 3 output set top box?

If this is the case you can say good bye to Comcast for our family.
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Brent

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Comcast does support cable cards (at a monthly fee unless you don't have a big non-DTA cable box already). However, you cannot add hardware to an existing PC that will take a cable card. To get hardware on a Windows Media Center PC that supports a cable card, you have to buy a new PC and get the digital card (cable card) support at the same time. Then, you call Comcast to order the cable card. Comcast also supports analog (for now, likely will change in future years) if you only want the local channels and not cable channels.
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torgo.434

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Brent,
You are incorrect.

If you have windows 7, you can add any CableCard tuner you can purchase, as long as your PC passes the Digital Cable Advisor app found in Media Center extras gallery.
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Brent

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Then, Microsoft must have changed it for Windows 7. On Windows Vista and Windows XP, Microsoft did not let you add the Cable Card support after the fact. However, many people may not have Windows 7 on their PCs. I see people in this discussion that even have Windows XP Media Center version.
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Brent

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I did a search on the web and found pages talking about Windows 7 allowing cable card tuners to be added to an existing PC. Being that many people in this discussion may have Windows XP or Windows Vista operating system, that doesn't do any good for cable card support if we didn't buy the PC with a cable card tuner. So that leaves people who want to add a cable card tuner now to their PC if the PC is not from late 2009 or didn't come with Windows 7 the requirement to either upgrade the operating system to Windows 7 (the cheaper solution) or to buy a new PC (which is what I put above).
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Penn Pier

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I'm so confused, I made sure before I bought my PC that I wouldn't have this problem when the switch came to digital. I asked again and again many different reps for PC. Guess that was a waste. I would like to say good bye to Comcast also but don't see any option besides paying another fee for a DVR.
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Brent

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You do not have to buy a new PC or upgrade to Windows 7 if you use your PC's IR output (if it has one) or add a IR blaster to your existing Windows Vista or Windows XP Media Center PC.
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Jon

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I am wondering if the following will work. I called Dell and told them I had a 2005 model Dell purchased with Windows Media and a tuner card. I told the sales rep Comcast converted to Digital, and she said A Pinnacle tuner card would work with the digital signal. I bought the Pinnacle card and installed it so it would work with Windows Media Center. However, it still only grabs the lower analog channels and not the many digital channels... My question, I have a Samsung TOC 26" Monitor/TV tuner. I hooked the coax directly to the monitor and told it to look for all channels. It scanned for twenty minutes and came back with about 100 stations. All of the regular channels came back (without a Comcast converter box). However, the channel numbers are very odd. Instead of TBS or ESPN being channels 29 or 34 they are now 101-35 and 85-1. With this new info I don't understand why the computer card can't do the same. Any thoughts?
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Brent

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Jon,
The Pinnacle tuner card may be for over the air digital and not a cable card tuner (which would be required if you don't want to use a cable box or DTA). A cable card tuner also requires a cable card from Comcast. Unless your PC is upgraded to Windows 7 first or the cable card tuner was purchased at the same time as your PC, you cannot add a cable card tuner to your existing PC. 101-35 and 85-1 are to be expected with QAM tuner on your Monitor/TV. The issue there is the channel numbers can change at times and if Comcast in the future turns on encryption, you will no longer be able to directly connect your monitor/TV to the cable. Comcast cannot turn on encryption yet on channels since the DTA's method of encryption is a violation of the FCC rules. If Comcast were to get an exception from the FCC, they propably would turn on encryption instantly. With Windows 7 or a new PC, a cable card tuner, and a cable card from Comcast for the cable card tuner, then the computer could get the digital channels now and even if encryption was turned on in the future. Note that Comcast charges a monthly fee for cable cards unless you do not have a non-DTA cable box. A cable card will not allow you to use the Comcast Guide (not really needed since you can use the version in Windows Media Center) or to watch on demand shows.
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Brent

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Jon,
Also, Windows 7 should support a QAM tuner if you purchase a QAM tuner. I think that only certain special versions of Windows Vista (and not Windows XP) supported QAM tuners, but not positive. The version of Windows Vista I have believe does not natively support QAM tuners. However, just like for your Monitor/TV, if Concast turns on encryption in the future, the QAM tuner for the PC is useless. If channels change from time to time, you may have issues if you use Windows Media Guide to record the shows using a QAM tuner and mark the shows to record days in advance.
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Brent

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Jon,
From http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/wi...
"QAM. Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) is the digital cable standard in the United States. Windows Media Center supports QAM signals with a Digital Cable Tuner in the United States.

If your computer is running the Windows Media Center TV Pack, other types of QAM-compatible tuners are supported as well. (To learn more about the TV pack, or to find out if you have the TV pack installed, see the Windows Media Center TV Pack Help and Support article.)"

So sounds like Windows Media Center TV Pack may not be required as an add on in some cases for Windows Vista to be able to use a QAM tuner.
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Robert Siciliano

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Got the DTA to see comcast and MCE. The Comcast remote can access every channel. Installed the pinnacle because for some in the thread it allowed the MCE interface to work like it originally did. I got the pinnacle to see MCE and it manipulates the MCE interface.
But the MCE interface will not change channels. Only the comcast remote will. This also means I cant set a program to record unless im on that channel at that time.

Any ideas as to how to get the MCE interface to select channels?
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Brent

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Robert,
In Media Center, if you have a Pace DTA, try to select the cable box as Comcast (not Pace!) and then select the specific cable box as C1982. Also, make sure that your PC's IR blaster cable is connected to the front of the DTA.
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Brent

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Robert,
In Media Center, if you have a Pace DTA, try to select the cable box as Comcast (not Pace!) and then select the specific cable box as C1982. Also, make sure that your PC's IR blaster cable is connected to the front of the DTA.
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torgo.434

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You need to do the TV setup again.. Once you do that, it will find the cable box. It will either set up the cable box as teh Pace/ comcast or the motorola box.
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torgo.434

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You need to do the TV setup again.. Once you do that, it will find the cable box. It will either set up the cable box as teh Pace/ comcast or the motorola box.
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Robert Siciliano

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Gents, I tired to select comcast c1982 but it doesnt exist. Any more ideas? Im close, I just cant get the guide to change channels.
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Brent

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Robert, Are there any options for either Comcast or Pace cable boxes? Did you get to the screen where it asked you to select the cable box vendor? Believe you are using Windows XP MCE, which may not have as much newer cable box support as Windows Vista or Windows 7.
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Robert Siciliano

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only Pace boxes. I tried all of them They wouldnt change the channell during set up.

Windows XP MCE yes. Im stuck, but close.
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Brent

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I do not have Windows XP MCE. I have Windows Vista, but in Vista I had no luck with selecting any of the Pace cable boxes (many were listed) and had to use Comcast C1982 instead. Does Windows XP MCE give any option to download newer cable box support? Microsoft may not have not added support for the Comcast/Pace DTA selection to Windows XP MCE and Microsoft may have no plans to do so.
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torgo.434

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Are you sure you Have a pace box? Try Motorola.
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torgo.434

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Are you sure you Have a pace box? Try Motorola.
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Kevin Cerruti

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I am having the same problem as Robert. I keep wasting money buying new equipment and nothing is working. I am so mad it is not even funny.
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Kevin Cerruti

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I am having the same problem as Robert. I keep wasting money buying new equipment and nothing is working. I am so mad it is not even funny.
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Robert Siciliano

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I solved this problem by spending money. I did everything possible to get my MCE 2005 and XP to work and it AINT happening. MCE 2005 WILL NOT WORK with the new signal in a way that the GUIDE changes the channel. Old video cards may support the video signals, but the old cards may not be compatible with Windows 7. The way I fixed this was to buy a PC with Windows 7 WHICH I LOVE, and a new tuner. I chose the Hauppauge 1950 external. You HAVE TO set the system up with Comcasts DTA for this to work. One other caveat was my 1950 didnt not come with a Media Center Remote, so I had to buy one. http://registration.hauppauge.com/web... bug them to send you a real MEDIA CENTER REMOTE. MAKE SURE YOU GET A MEDIA CENTER REMOTE. The remote that comes with this is not a media center remote. Contact this guy

Jerry Fox
jfox@hauppauge.com
Technical Support
Hauppauge Computer Works
New York
http://www.hauppauge.com
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lpvlpv

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I did what you did and got a new Win7 mashine, have the same Hauppauge 1950 and got a separate WMC remote - but, can not change channels from the MC and during the setup of TV signal it gets stuck on the "IR Blaster not found" screen.
I am doing this on the "real"/big Comcast set top box - not the "small" one they sent out after change over to digital.

How did this go for you?
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lpvlpv

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I did what you did and got a new Win7 mashine, have the same Hauppauge 1950 and got a separate WMC remote - but, can not change channels from the MC and during the setup of TV signal it gets stuck on the "IR Blaster not found" screen.
I am doing this on the "real"/big Comcast set top box - not the "small" one they sent out after change over to digital.

How did this go for you?
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lpvlpv

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I did what you did and got a new Win7 mashine, have the same Hauppauge 1950 and got a separate WMC remote - but, can not change channels from the MC and during the setup of TV signal it gets stuck on the "IR Blaster not found" screen.
I am doing this on the "real"/big Comcast set top box - not the "small" one they sent out after change over to digital.

How did this go for you?
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jaydubem

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I finally bought a generic IR transmitter - about $12 with shipping. Plugged it into port 1 onthe MCE remote IR receiver that came with my HP Pavilion with Vista Home Premium. taped the output to the front of the DTA box from Comcast. I no longer have to use the DTA remote control to change its channels. All works as before, guide records ok, on-air channels work, only thing is a slight delay as the DTA interprets the MCE remotes signal - I see it changing the channel, so it is not quite as fast when I up or down channel. I can also just input the channel number and it selects it. Recording works fine.

Now if I could just get better reception of local HD broadcasts. Apparetly I am over a hill from the transit towers. If I tune my indoor rabbit ears to get channels 5-x, 6-x, 7-x then I do not get 4-x or 9-x to 13-x and vice versa. I tried two different amplified antennas - no affect at all. I can get the other channels, but only at the expense of losing the others.

I will try an attic placement of the rabbit ears later.

Any other ideas?
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kdwilson8

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just got my Comcast DTA's. Is anyone using X-BOX Media Center Extender? I have a Win7 with MC in another room with an Avermedia DUAL digital tuner and an 'Angel' External USB for analog (3 tuners total). I watch live and recorded over the LAN connection (gig from MC to switch and 100M from switch to XBOX and HDMI from XBOX to TV. Everything ROCKS now.. concerned about getting MC to record over the air and switch channels. Comcast is going to flip the switch March 15th and i dont know what to expect ????

Ideally the dual digital will work just fine and the DTA in front of the analog tuner is a concern.

Any ideas?
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kdwilson8

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just got my Comcast DTA's. Is anyone using X-BOX Media Center Extender? I have a Win7 with MC in another room with an Avermedia DUAL digital tuner and an 'Angel' External USB for analog (3 tuners total). I watch live and recorded over the LAN connection (gig from MC to switch and 100M from switch to XBOX and HDMI from XBOX to TV. Everything ROCKS now.. concerned about getting MC to record over the air and switch channels. Comcast is going to flip the switch March 15th and i dont know what to expect ????

Ideally the dual digital will work just fine and the DTA in front of the analog tuner is a concern.

Any ideas?
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Walter

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Try this antenna from Radio Shack.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/ind...

I use to live in a valley, blocked by rolling hills and trees but still it was able to pull in a great signal. Hope this helps.
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Walter

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Try this antenna from Radio Shack.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/ind...

I use to live in a valley, blocked by rolling hills and trees but still it was able to pull in a great signal. Hope this helps.
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mcaskey

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I have Windows 7 and a Digital Tuner card in my TV computer, and HDMI from the PC to the LCD TV.

The rabbit ears gave great, full-screen, HD signals for the local channels, BUT often times, I would lose reception.

So, I had Comcast cable ( xfinity ?) installed in my house yesterday, and plugged the cable right into my QAM-capable tuner card, to counteract reception issues.

It's not good.

The picture is horrible, and there are only a couple of decent-looking channels that go full-screen and are HD.

I don't get any of the local channels (the nice HD ones I can get through rabbit ears).

I can use the guide to browse shows, and schedule recordings via Windows Media Center, but I don't get all of the channels, and again... most of them have a horrible picture.

I'm thinking of canceling Comcast cable TV today unless I find out it was a misconfiguration.

Any ideas on this?
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Walter

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What level of service do you have through Comcast? Basic cable or a Digital Package?
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mcaskey

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Not sure what service I have. Can I find out on the website?
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Walter

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If you log into your Comcast website and view your account, check out you last billing PDF and it will tell you if you have Basic cable or a Digital package.
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Ryan

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What a nightmare. I've spent the last 48 hours reading and trying different things.This all worked fine and now I have to install this wonky box. I've tried everything in here and I'm still broken. I have a Thompson DTA from Comcast and basically there is no complete, comprehensive set of instructions for configuring the IR components. I have a custom built Media Center PC running Win 7 ultimate and The Media Center Remote. Some of the instructions say to cover up the built in IR sensor with the IR extender, some do not. Some instructions say to connect the IR extender to the USB interface via the 2 available mini-jacks. The instructions on digitalmediaphile.com are cryptic sentences with typo's and incomplete sentences. I'm stuck. Any help would be appreciated. It seems like I need the remote control code for the Thompson box. The built in options the media center gives me (all 10 of them) won't flip the channels. Thanks guys. Wow Comcast I can't believe you've done this to people. I haven't had TV for 3 days now. Tech support basically tells me I'm SOL...and they're right. Again, I would really appreciate any ideas or help. Thanks!!!
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Lisa Antonelli

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Well, I gave up on this. I caved in and bought a damn TV and got the high def dvr box. Now my computer is no longer my TV. What a freakin' WASTE!! of time energy and frustration! Thanks, Comcast!!!
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withcamera

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I have been working on this work months myself. I have Win 7 and I just got a Hauppauge Win-TV HVR 1250 after 2 other fairly new cards didn't work properly. This said it worked with Win 7 Media Center. It does. It found the remote...but any of my movie channels or anything else (THAT I PAY FOR) I get error messages that blink every 3 seconds saying I can't something about copyright laws and recording them blah blah blah....do I am still dead in the water even with a new card that specifically works with Win 7 and Media Center. It's COMCAST I guess!!! I give up!!!!
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
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torgo.434

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Not to be captian Obvious or anything, but you do know that even in the documentation of the DTA receiver, it says it does not support the decrypting of higher channels.. You actually need to hook your PC up to a full cablebox, or, since you have windows 7, find one of the ATI cable card tuners and use that with your system..
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torgo.434

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Not to be captian Obvious or anything, but you do know that even in the documentation of the DTA receiver, it says it does not support the decrypting of higher channels.. You actually need to hook your PC up to a full cablebox, or, since you have windows 7, find one of the ATI cable card tuners and use that with your system..
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torgo.434

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Not to be captian Obvious or anything, but you do know that even in the documentation of the DTA receiver, it says it does not support the decrypting of premium channels.. You actually need to hook your PC up to a full cablebox, or, since you have windows 7, find one of the ATI cable card tuners and use that with your system..
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TeresaRogers-Stump

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I had to redo my computer and I did an entire fresh install. I am actually using an older Hauppauge Win TV PVR II and when I did the clean install it set it up correctly this time and I have every cable channel. I can watch and record them. I am using the IR blaster too ( I think) it's the one that came with my Tivo that I no longer use. And I too use the Windows Media Center to change all channels. I am a very happy camper!
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TeresaRogers-Stump

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I had to redo my computer and I did an entire fresh install. I am actually using an older Hauppauge Win TV PVR II and when I did the clean install it set it up correctly this time and I have every cable channel. I can watch and record them. I am using the IR blaster too ( I think) it's the one that came with my Tivo that I no longer use. And I too use the Windows Media Center to change all channels. I am a very happy camper!
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j3tblk

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Yes even in the documentation it says you can't do the common sense things your TV should be able to do like it did before DTA boxes. Come on! What's wrong with you?