[mythtv-users] USB IR Blaster: close but no cigar

Greg Woods greg at gregandeva.net
Wed Apr 21 17:12:40 UTC 2010

On Sun, 2010-04-18 at 20:26 -0700, Yeechang Lee wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 18, 2010 at 10:10 AM, Greg Woods <greg at gregandeva.net> wrote:
> > I do know one way: rent another "real" STB from Comcast and get
> > another HD-PVR (then I get the deal with the fun of trying to keep
> > multiple firewire devices straight for channel changing).
> Despite the up-front and monthly cost this is indeed your best
> bet:

I have thought about this and decided that a second HD-PVR is the way to
go, freeing me from the need for an IR blaster and giving me a second
tuner for all of my HD channels, not just the former-analog ones that I
have recently lost Myth access to. I already have a second STB which is
a Comcast DVR box, so I'll hook that up to the new HD-PVR. No additional
monthly cost, but I will have to be careful not to schedule more than
one recording at a time on the Comcast DVR, and be careful when I use it
for playback, so that there is always one tuner free when Myth wants to
use it. The potential for this kind of screw up leading to failed
recordings is the major down side to going this route (along with the
$200 for another HD-PVR, but at least there is some added benefit as
well). At some point I may decide this is just too much trouble and turn
in the DVR box for a regular STB. But having the Comcast DVR as a backup
when my Myth box went south for whatever reason has been a life saver
more than once, along with the extra two tuners it provides during
football season :-)

> * It is 100% future-proof, no matter what cable or satellite provider
>   you switch to in the future

Not entirely of course. The MPAA and their cable company stooges are
still wanting to close "the analog hole". The conversion of analog to
encrypted digital is only the first step, I do not expect them to give
up working on the component output. Right now I can't think of a way
they can close this off without also rendering some customer TV's
incapable of HD, but that doesn't mean they won't still come up with
something or that they won't eventually get their puppets the FCC to
approve letting them close it off anyway. Nothing is ever 100% future

> * You're already familiar with the HD-PVR

True, another point in favor of this.

> * FireWire channel switching is 100% reliable unlike IR blasters, and
>   uses GUID so the two boxes would always be distinct

What's a GUID? Is this documented somewhere I can go read about? I'm
going to have to deal with it soon.

> * Writing a udev rule to give the two HD-PVRs distinct /dev node
>   labels is easy (took me about 15 seconds to figure out how to do so
>   for the first time)

I'm sure I can manage that part, but if you want to let me see the ones
you have, it would help :-)

> * You get HD-quality access to every channel you pay for already

...and I can free up a PCI slot also by removing the PVR-500 brick, er,
card. May be useful in the future.

Comcast sucks.


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