[mythtv-users] Adding an hd5500

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Fri Jan 19 22:57:08 UTC 2007

Paul cnudde wrote:
> Greetings,
> I'm currently running Mythtv 0.20 on  debian etch with a 2.6.18 kernel.  I 
> have a pvr500 tuner card using ivtv 0.81 drivers.  I am considering getting 
> digital cable and adding an hd5500 card.  I have a few very basic (apologies 
> in advance) questions and I am hoping someone can anwer them.
> 1.  Will a pvr500 pickup standard cable channels from digital cable? 
> (provider is Rogers Cable in Toronto if that helps)

Both digital and analog channels are pushed down the same cable feed to 
your house. The only real difference is that unless you have the 
'Extended Basic' package, there is a bandpass filter which cuts off the 
higher frequencies, where the digital streams are.
The digital streams include the encrypted HighDef digital channels for 
which you need a set top box.
With the HD5500 you will get about 450 digital streams, of which about 
30 are unencrypted (but QAM256 encoded) video streams, and about 75 
unencrypted audio streams.

> 2. Or will I have to ditch the PVR500 altogether and get a second hd5500 for 
> a dual tuner setup?

No they work perfectly well together. The PVR500 tunes only the analog 
channels, the HD5500 tunes the digital streams (with the proviso that 
you can use the HD5500 like the HD3000 which I have, to tune analog 
channels. The board does not have any on-board encoding capability, so 
it uses your CPU to encode the analog stream to digital. And it does not 
do a great job of this. I strongly suggest that you use your HD5500 for 
what it does best: digitial streams.

> 3. How does splitting digital cable affect signal?

It is NOT a 'digital cable'. It is just 'cable'. You will need at least 
one splitter which will decrease your signal. But if you cannot get a 
reasonable level on both the PVR500 and the HD5500, call Rogers, as your 
cable signal level is way too low.

> 4. Are there any known compatability issues with these two cards?

No. It does help to blacklist the cx8800 module, so that the analog side 
of the HD5500 is not recognized by the kernel and given the hardware 
address of /dev/video0. The cx88_dvb module will be loaded by the kernel 
before the modprobe.conf modules are loaded and you want the latter to 
end up at /dev/video0 and /dev/video1.

And at present, you may find that mythtv's channel scanning only works 
if you clear the box marked 'Unencrypted channels only'. This will give 
you every digital stream and you will have to test to find the good ones.

But this has been discussed and is available on gossamer-threads


> Thanks in advance
> s
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