[mythtv-users] MythTV and DISH - a great solution

Michael J. Sherman msherman at dsbox.com
Thu Sep 23 09:03:05 EDT 2004

Hi all,

I've been using Myth for over a year and a half, and I use it with my 
Dish network receiver.  This forces me to use one of those external 
channel-changing devices to transmit IR signals and get the box to 
change channels.  First I bought an ActiSys, and that didn't work well 
at all.  Then I made my own, and after fighting with lirc, it seemed 
to work.  But it only worked most of the time.  One out of ten channel 
changes it would just miss a digit.  And I must say that not having 
the confidence that what you want recorded is actually going to be 
recorded somewhat takes away from the PVR experience.

So if any of you are in the situation I was in, read on.  I have 
discovered the fool-proof way of integrating a Dish network box with 
MythTV and I just want to get this written up so it'll live on in the 
archives.  Big thanks go out to Bill Munson and his excellent Perl 
scripts!  He's the man.

1) Buy a MyBlaster IR transmitter.  I bought mine here:
It cost me $37.95 + shipping.  I bought the serial version.  It was 
delivered in three days.

2) Grab Bill's Perl scripts.  Email him (search for his posts on this 
lists for contact info), or you can download the exact zip he sent me 
from my server here:

3) Plug the MyBlaster into serial port 1 (COM1, aka ttyS0).  Hook up 
its power supply, too.

4) Install the Time::HiRes Perl package through the magic of CPAN.
("perl -MCPAN -e shell", then "install Time::HiRes").

5) Unzip the MyBlaster14.zip file.   Edit the MyBlaster.pl file.  For 
a Dish network box, leave the remote_code set at 775, and change the 
Device_Type to 3 (for satellite).  Also change ttyS1 to ttyS0 if 
you're using COM1 instead of the default COM2.  I also changed the 
inter_key_delay to 0.1 instead of 1.0 second so it would switch 
channels faster.

6) Put the edited MyBlaster.pl in /usr/local/bin/, and make sure it is 
executable (chmod +x MyBlaster.pl).

7) Make a channel_change script that MythTV can use (and put this in 
your setup where it asks for the external channel change command). 
Make sure it's executable.  I suppose you could leave this out and 
just use MyBlaster.pl as what Myth calls directly, but whatever.  For 
testing and whatnot I liked the ability to leave the Myth setting the 
same and just change this little script if I had to.

      /usr/local/bin/MyBlaster.pl $1

To test it, just try running "channel_change 183" or some other 
channel number.

8) That's it!  No messing with lirc, no building your own transmitter 
to work with the picky Dish box.

Hope this helps,

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