[mythtv-users] got my Prime!

Don Lewis dl-mythtv at catspoiler.org
Fri Aug 5 05:28:27 UTC 2011

On  1 Aug, To: mythtv-users at mythtv.org wrote:
> On  1 Aug, To: Discussion about MythTV wrote:
>> hdhomerun_config_gui detects the encrypted channels that I should be
>> able to see with the CableCard, but I get errors when I try to view them
>> with vlc.
> I think it was tuning in QAM mode and passing the encrypted data stream
> to vlc.

Actually this was a symptom of the CableCard not working.  If the
CableCard doesn't decrypt the stream, it just gets passed on through. If
the channel is clear QAM, then we can view it, otherwise we get useless

> My copies of libhdhomerun and hdhomerun_config_gui were pretty old.  I
> upgraded both to the latest from SiliconDust and now
> hdhomerun_config_gui doesn't detect any programs from the device with
> the CableCard.  It doesn't seem to have any way of tuning the virtual
> channels.
> The channel scanner in the new version of hdhomerun_config doesn't
> detect any programs, not even the clear QAM ones on the device with the
> CableCard.

As near as I can tell, something caused the Prime to freak out.  It went
back to the old behavior after I power cycled it.

I figured out that it is possible to tune a virtual channel by doing
something like
	hdhomerun_config id set /tuner#/vchannel channel#
while hdhomerun_config_gui is up and running.  Hdhomerun_config_gui will
detect the frequency change and then it's possible to select the desired
program number to view.

For some reason, even though my CableCard was paired and activated on
Monday, it didn't seem to know what channels I subscribed to.  When I
tuned to any of the encrypted channels that I am subscribed to, it would
report authorization as "unknown".

On Tuesday I asked for help over on the SiliconDust forum.  After much
debugging the consensus was that it was Comcast problem.  I called
Comcast on Wednesday and they poked at the CableCard remotely.  They
tried several different things and eventually they made things worse by
causing the CableCard to deactivate.  At that point they decided they
needed to send a tech.

The tech came by this afternoon.  He had his meter out and was going to
check the signal strength until I showed him the tuner status web page
that showed the signal strength and SNR were well within spec and I also
showed him that I could get good video from the clear QAM channels.

After I pointed out that the CableCard status page said that the card
was deactivated, he called in the pairing info.  At this point we
noticed that the Data ID Number had changed from what I had originally
used on Monday.  Something that Comcast had done remotedly on Wednesday
must have changed this value and that is what deactivated the card.

It took quite a while for the card to activate, and even after it did, I
still wasn't able to view any encrypted channels.  I think this time
they were showing up as unsubscribed.  After playing with things for a
while, he called in again to verify the pairing info and to report the
symptoms.  He told me that he heard a lot of typing at the other end.  A
short while later I started being able to view the encrypted channels. I
don't know if we just hadn't waited long enough or if a step had been
missed during the first call.

Before he left, he told me that he was kind of freaked out by all the
command line stuff I was doing with hdhomerun_config and all the
switching back and forth between the terminal window,
hdhomerun_config_gui, and the web browser.

After he left I reconfigured myth to use the first two tuners on the
Prime in place of the firewire connection to one of my STBs.  My version
of myth is slightly too old to be able to use all three.  I'm also using
two tuners on the non-CableCard side for clear QAM.  So far it seems to
be working great.  I'll probably upgrade this weekend when I have more
free time.

I also wrote a little script to tune each of the virtual channels and
report their subscription and CCI status.  I discovered that some of the
channels that I had previously been able to record using firewire when I
first set that up are unrestricted and can be recorded using the Prime.

It's been a long wait, but I'm really glad that I'll be able to ditch
firewire recording which has periodically caused me great pain.  Being
able to record more encrypted channels at the same time is also a big

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