[mythtv-users] using an IR Blaster

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Mon Jan 8 17:01:55 UTC 2007

On Jan 8, 2007, at 5:36 AM, R wrote:

> Some details ...
> I am running mythbackend version: 0.19.20060121-2

I'm running that exact version, installed via MythDora 2.0 (Saleen).

So far so good.
> Yes, I am in Comcast land.  San Francisco, Bay Area.
> My only PVR-350 is directly connected to a Comcast
> coxial cable, no Comcast box.
> Yes, I am using DataDirect and the Comcast channel
> lineups work just fine.
> I have an external satellite TV Set Top Box:
> Coolsat Digital Satellite 5000 platinum
> http://www.coolsatusa.com/5000plat.htm
> The svideo out from Coolsat goes to the svideo
> on the PVR-350 and the audio to the Line-In.
> (I know, I need another PVR card.)
> Thanks for suggesting the MyBlaster device.
> This confirms what I've read on gossamer-threads.
> Do you have any preferences on the model:
> http://www.mytvstore.com/cat_ir_blasters.html
> I have serial and USB ports available.

I'm using a serial unit. According to the web site there is no Linux  
driver for the USB unit so they suggest using a serial unit with a  
USB adapter if you are running Myth. Since you have a serial port I  
see no reason to pay for a USB adapter.

> I did not see any mention of Coolsat on mytvstore.com.

Nor do I (of course not, we looked at the same site :-))

> The Coolsat manual does have a listing of remote (hex) keys on page  
> 36:
> http://www.coolsatusa.com/software/Coolsat_4000_pro.pdf
> The manual for the model 5000 and 4000 is the same.
> Any idea, how difficult it might be to make MyBlaster learn this?

I think the MyBlaster has some learning capacity, but I've never had  
to play with it. I bought the unit because I knew it would work with  
a DISH receiver. You may well find that a "traditional" LIRC-type  
blaster is a better solution for you.

You might also be able to use the blaster that comes with the newer  
PVR cards. The last I heard this took a patched LIRC but that is  
pretty old information now. Sorry I can't give you any more specific  
info on that.

> I'll look into DataDirect to get channel lineups for Coolsat.

Who is the actual provider for the Coolsat? The web site doesn't make  
that clear.

> One of my main goals is the merge the Comcast and Coolsat
> channels into a unified MythTV lineup.  You've done
> just about the same thing.
> So where/how exactly in Myth do you do the mapping of the
> satellite channel numbers to your preferred MythTV
> channel numbers?

There is no "mapping" per se. I just set up two different lineups  
with DataDirect, one for analog cable and another for DISH. I then  
just specified the appropriate lineup for each PVR card.

I actually have four lineups from datadirect, analog cable, DISH,  
digital cable and off-air. I'm only using the first two at the  
moment. I'm trying to build a new machine that will do HD from O/A or  
QAM, but that one of those "on the list" projects.

So I see two potential problems:

Getting a lineup for the Coolsat service, whatever that really is, and:

Getting some sort of IR blaster that either knows or can learn the  
control codes for the Coolsat receiver. The receiver does apparently  
have a serial port but I don't know if you can control it that way  
(as you can with some DirectTV receivers). A copper wire is always  
more reliable than an IR blaster (though I've never had a control  
failure with the MyBlaster).

In case I haven't said it recently, thanks again to William Munson  
for the very nice script for running the MyBlaster device. It's the  
hidden "fiddly bits" like that which help turn Myth from a  
developer's hobby into a usable "appliance".

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