[mythtv-users] using an IR Blaster

R rawgarlic at gmail.com
Wed Jan 10 01:31:38 UTC 2007

| >
| > 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.

Serial it is.

| >
| > I did not see any mention of Coolsat on mytvstore.com.
| Nor do I (of course not, we looked at the same site :-))

I sent them an email  support at my.tv
No response in 12 hours.

| >
| > 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.

LIRC has a config file for the Coolsat 4000:
It should work with Coolsat 5000, I've read that they have a lot
of similarities.

| 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.

Which blaster are you referring to?

My PVR-350 came with a remote control
and its IR eye which goes into the bottom "IR" port of the PCI card
That's all.

I have been reading various posts at the MythDora forums.
One response from Dennis kind of sums it up:

It looks like LIRC will work but it takes some effort, people have
stability issues.

| >
| > 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.

Dish, and after reviewing the DataDirect / Zaptoit choices it looks
like Dish Network USA Satellite is it.

| >
| > 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:

Took care of that - above.

| 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).

I agree 100%
I have been looking for a direct serial connection for changing
Coolsat channels.  Have not found one so far.
As far as I can tell, the serial port is used for doing updates to
the STB itself (like updating the BIOS).

| 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".

Kudos to William Munson!

My concern about LIRC is that I am not a coder.  So I can easily
get myself in trouble.  Compiling, etc.  Plus, I don't have a spare
machine to experiment with.  Without MythTV under our roof, I'll
become very unpopular very quickly.

But I don't mind making config/setting changes.  I can always
makes notes and work my way back.

Given all of the above, what do you suggest?

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