[mythtv-users] Advice Needed: Best Solution for Bell, 9241, HD PVR --> MythTV?

Matt White whitem at arts.usask.ca
Mon Dec 6 22:40:29 UTC 2010

On 12/06/10 15:38, Martin Lynch wrote:
> <snipped>
>> How are you going to change channels on the Bell box?  I use firewire
>> for that one a Shaw box in West Canada and it works well, though I have
>> been thinking about going with Bell too.
>> Are  you going IRBlaster to change channels?
> That's what I've been trying to figure out - with the firewire it was
> easy, as the firewire both changed the channels and carried the signal.
> From what I've been able to learn, I gather IRBlaster is the only way to
> go with this STB. I'm going to get an HD-PVR, run component cables from
> one STB to the HD-PVR, then run SVHS or AV from the other STB to the
> PVR-350. I'll have the PVR-350 limited to SD channels, such that any HD
> gets picked up via the HD-PVR. As I understand it, I should be able to
> use one IRBlaster to control both STBs, and I further understand the
> HD-PVR comes with an IRBlaster. Haven't tried IRBlasting before, and
> frankly I don't much care for the idea, predicated as it is on very
> accurate alignment of the blaster and the receiver (from what I've
> researched, some people have described the sweet spot as very hard to
> find). What happens when the IRBlaster needs to change both STBs
> simultaneously?  I don't suppose the STB's USB port can be used for
> channel changing, can it?

I'm currently using almost exactly the same setup you're describing,
except a PVR-150 instead of the 350.

It actually works very well - I don't remember the last time I had a
missed channel change.  That said, I don't know how stable the HD-PVR ir
blaster support is - my PVR-150 is the MCE edition, and it came with a
USB receiver/blaster, so I'm using that instead.  My blaster has two
plugs, so I have a IR emitter for each box - I also have tried it with a
single cable plugged in with 2 emitters on it, and that works fine as
well.  I don't know how much luck you'd have trying to run both boxes
off just one emitter...it's doable, but it would be more easily disturbed.

I believe I used the codes from the lircd.conf on this wiki page:


The US Dish Network stuff uses the same hardware as expressvu.

Of course, you need to set the STBs to different remote codes (can't
remember how to do it, but it's in your expressvu manual, and it's
pretty straightforward).

I have 2 scripts set up to do the actual channel changes - one for each
remote code.  Then just set them as the channel change scripts for each
of your capture devices - I've never had problems with simultaneous
changes.  lircd and irsend seem to deal well enough with arbitration.

If you would like more in-depth information on this setup, let me know,
and I'll send off some actual config files and scripts when I get home
and have access to my system.

Matt White
Arts and Science IT
University of Saskatchewan
whitem at artsandscience.usask.ca

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