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Windows 7: Multiple Inputs for Media Center

05 Aug 2009   #1

Win7
 
 
Multiple Inputs for Media Center

Is there a way in Windows 7 Media Center to switch between video inputs without going through the hassle of repeating the setup process?

I have an ATI TV Wonder 650 PCI Express card that can accept input from the following:

* OTA digital signals including High Def. I like the way Windows 7 Media Center integrates OTA channels with the cable channels.
* Cable input from a small STB provided by my cable company for use with older analog TVs not served directly by my main cable STB. I believe this is now the only way I'm able to get regular cable on my computer. Channel-changing is accomplished by the Media Center remote controlling the small STB.
* S-Video and audio input from my main cable STB. With this input, Media Center sees whatever the main STB is tuned to, including Hi-Def channels degraded to S-Video quality. I can even see DVR playback and record it in MC.

I can also record Hi-Def signals on my computer using CapDVHS and a firewire connection. This didn't work under Windows 7 at all until I downgraded the IEEE 1394 driver to the legacy driver. But right now this is a separate issue from my main question, which is:

Is there a way in Windows 7 Media Center to switch easily between the cable input and the S-Video input? I can do this with a few clicks in ATI's MultiMedia Center software under WinXP, but that software doesn't run under Vista or Windows 7. So I'm trying to get Media Center to do the same thing. Sometimes it's easier just to record a Hi-Def broadcast directly via S-Video to edit it for DVD than to capture via firewire and deal with conversion then.

Ideas, anyone?

Bill Anderson

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

06 Aug 2009   #2

Win7
 
 

FWIW I have discovered to my total astonishment that ATI's MultiMedia Center software is running fine under Windows 7, and with its TV application I can capture input from S-Video. So even though I can't do everything through Windows 7 Media Center, at least now I can easily record regular cable and OTA TV through MC, High Def through firewire, and S-Video input from my STB through MMC. Maybe not the most elegant solution, but I can do what I want to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2009   #3

Win7 Build 7600 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill Anderson View Post
Is there a way in Windows 7 Media Center to switch between video inputs without going through the hassle of repeating the setup process?

I have an ATI TV Wonder 650 PCI Express card that can accept input from the following:

* OTA digital signals including High Def. I like the way Windows 7 Media Center integrates OTA channels with the cable channels.
* Cable input from a small STB provided by my cable company for use with older analog TVs not served directly by my main cable STB. I believe this is now the only way I'm able to get regular cable on my computer. Channel-changing is accomplished by the Media Center remote controlling the small STB.
* S-Video and audio input from my main cable STB. With this input, Media Center sees whatever the main STB is tuned to, including Hi-Def channels degraded to S-Video quality. I can even see DVR playback and record it in MC.

I can also record Hi-Def signals on my computer using CapDVHS and a firewire connection. This didn't work under Windows 7 at all until I downgraded the IEEE 1394 driver to the legacy driver. But right now this is a separate issue from my main question, which is:

Is there a way in Windows 7 Media Center to switch easily between the cable input and the S-Video input? I can do this with a few clicks in ATI's MultiMedia Center software under WinXP, but that software doesn't run under Vista or Windows 7. So I'm trying to get Media Center to do the same thing. Sometimes it's easier just to record a Hi-Def broadcast directly via S-Video to edit it for DVD than to capture via firewire and deal with conversion then.

Ideas, anyone?

Bill Anderson

Hi Bill,

I am not familiar with that card, though I've heard about it.

I have Hauppauge PVR-150 that has the "red, white, yellow" audio/video input.

When I did the scan during setup, MCE automatically detected the regular cable channels.

After that I went to settings in MCE and added the video channel for the audio/video input manually.
I checked in the cards regular software what channel number it had to be.

Again I don't know your card, nor the software, but maybe you could check which channel numbers the different inputs have in your software, and then add them in MCE manually.


hope this was somewhat helpful.

greetz

.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 Aug 2009   #4

Win7
 
 
Thanks, but I'm still missing something

I appreciate the response very much, but I still haven't found the solution I'm looking for.

When television transmission in the USA switched to digital a few months ago, my cable company sent me a small set top box to be used with any televisions in my house that were connected to cable but not connected to my didital cable set top box. Prior to the switch to digital, our regular old televisions could receive numerous low-number channels directly from the cable that came out of the wall. And if we ran that cable through a digital cable box we could receive "higher tier" cable channels as well.

But now that all the channels are digital, we need that new small set top box to convert what comes out of the wall into something an old analog TV can see. So now for the old TVs, channel-changing is accomplished though the small cable box, not through the TV's internal tuner.

Now one would think -- and indeed I thought -- that my ATI TV Wonder 650 PCI-E card would be able to see the new digital signals the cable company had begun to provide. But no -- when plugged directly into the wall cable my ATI card saw only one or two channels -- a shopping channel and a channel designed to tell people they need a small set top box for this. Grrrrr.

So I installed my new small set top box (no DVR, no High Def) and plugged it into the ATI card. Success! Now my ATI card could see the feed (on one channel) from the little set top box and I could stick the WMC remote's little wire sensor on the front of the little set top box and use the WMC remote to change all the channels I could see.

But remember, I still can't see the High-Def channels through the little set top box. I can see their lower-tier counterparts, but the picture is fuzzier that way than it is if I take even an S-Video feed directly directly out of my big DVR set top box. And my ATI card has inputs to accommodate that. So I plugged it up.

Then I discovered that during the WMC setup process I could choose to accept the S-Video feed plus a feed from my Over the Air antenna, or I could choose to accept the little set top box feed plus OTA. But I couldn't choose all three at the same time. If I set up for STB feed and then I were to decide I wanted S-Video, I'd have to go through the entire setup process again.

Now the software that came with my ATI card could do this switching very nicely under Windows XP. It's called MultiMedia Center, or MMC. But for some reason I could never get MMC running under Vista. I thought it was impossible, that Vista didn't support it. In fact I swear I found a statement on the ATI site that MMC wouldn't run under Vista. But maybe I just dreamed that, because in the process of installing drivers for the ATI card in Windows 7, MMC installed perfectly. And now, if it weren't for the need to change channels via the WMC remote, I wouldn't need Windows 7's WMC at all -- I'd just use MMC exclusively. Using MMC, my ATI card can see the S-Video feed and the OTA feed, and using Windows Media Center my ATI card can see OTA and the small set top box.

So I'm all fixed up now. I just wish there were some way to get WMC to see all three inputs without going through the setup process. ATI's MMC can see all three and it gives me a drop-down menu to choose among them. Why can't Windows 7's Media Center do that?

Whew, I am long-winded this morning. Sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2010   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Hi Bill,

If you're still having a issue with this... If I'm understanding your questions correctly. You can modify what is the source of each channel simply by going into your guide and modifing the source.

Now if you want to record multiple channels at the same time you will need separate tuner for each recording, any tuner that has s-video and tuner built into it, can only capture one of these sources at a time. Many tuners say dual tuner but they are necessarily separate tuners. I.e. ATI 600 or 650 claim to be dual tuners and that is true if you want to record one analog channel and one digital channel.

On a tuner like ATI 650, when you go through the setup, select manual setup and choose one tuner for STB and one to receive your HD OTA channels. Once the setup is complete, you can go into the guide and select which channel should come through STB and which ones come through the S-video input from STB.

Another tip, if you're using cable signal and not fios, you can get many of the channels that are coming through your STB directly from the tuner, these are channels that have not been scrambled yet and are not encrypted. I forget the site name that provides the cross reference number for the guide. I am using SiliconDust HomeRun for the tuners and they provide the guide within there software. Look on there site, it's something lie Zip2XXXX. Goodluck

As for myself I'm trying to figure out how to get higer quality signal then s-video from my STB. I am hoping that firewire might be the answer and I will be testing that soon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2010   #6

Win7
 
 

Thanks, but no -- that doesn't answer my question. At least I think it doesn't. I'm not trying to view or record separate channels at once. I just want to be able to choose among different sources when I want to watch something -- over the air or big set top box or little set top box. WMC can't be set up to choose from three different sources as far as I can tell. When running the initial WMC setup, I can set it up to choose the little box and over the air, or I can set it up to choose from the big box and over the air. But I can't have it choose all three. My ATI Multimedia Center software will let me choose any of the three sources to watch.

I use Firewire to record high definition TV from my big set top box (DVR). If you want to know how I do it, let me know. It doesn't involve WMC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2010   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill Anderson View Post
I use Firewire to record high definition TV from my big set top box (DVR). If you want to know how I do it, let me know. It doesn't involve WMC.
I want to know. windows 7 firewire and SA explorer 4250HDC, thankyou!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #8

Win7
 
 

I believe this is the page that helped me do it. I have made it work in Windows 7 32-bit. I'm aware of no drivers for 64-bit. Making it work took a lot of trial and error.
How to record via IEEE 1394 (Firewire) to Windows XP - AVS Forum
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #9

Windows 7
 
 

thanks and ya I have read that article on how to do it. no success. my stb, sa 4250HDC diagnostic reports 1394 disabled. Is this false reporting? what does yours say?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2010   #10

Win7
 
 

I have remembered something. It wouldn't work until I changed my Windows 7 firewire driver back to "Legacy." Here are some instructions I just found on the web. Instruction 1- is simply a way to open Device Manager:

1- Click the Start Button, type devmgmt.msc in the “Start Search” box and press Enter.
2- Expand the "IEEE 1394 Bus Host Controllers" node in the device tree on the right hand pane

3- Right click the host controller node select "Update driver software ..."
4- Select "Browse my computer for driver software"
5- Select "let me pick from a list of device driver on my computer ..." and Check the box before “Show compatible hardware”.
6. Choose the second option---1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy), and click next to update the driver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Multiple Inputs for Media Center





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