[mythtv-users] Hauppauge HVR-1600: Composite Input and Red Screen in Mythtv recordings

Larry J on Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop larry at foxgulch.com
Sun Jan 30 17:10:23 UTC 2011

My Hauppauge HD-PVR died and is consequently is out of service for repair at the factory.  In the mean time, I wanted to use the mpeg encoder in my HVR-1600 to capture the composite output from my Disnetwork ViP 222k receiver.  Not HD but at least a minimal quality recording.

1.  The  RCA female  to  5 pin Svideo (VHS) male adapter that came with my HVR-1600 resulted in  only a black and white video picture  when the ViP222 yellow composite video signal was plugged into the adapter and the adapter into the HVR-1600s S-Video jack.  However,  this device available from Monoprice supplies a color signal which results in a surprisingly good picture when viewed within mythtv.   It's monoprice's PID 4119 S-Video (VHS) Male to RCA Female Adapter which I recently paid $0.92 (USD) each.

2.   I kept seeing a blank red screen out of /dev/video0 instead of the composite out from the channel which my dish receiver was tuned to.   I finally determined that I needed to manually run the  sequence below  in order to properly initialize the HVR-1600 mpeg encoder.  I keep this in a text file (named RestartBackEnd.txt) on the mythtv desktop.   I click on the text file icon,  and select "open in terminal".  After giving the mythtv password,  the sequence below runs,  the red screen problem is gone and /dev/video0 shows the  Vip222k receiver composite output.

echo "sudo killall vlc: ..."
sudo killall vlc
echo "sudo service mythtv-backend stop: ..."
sudo service mythtv-backend stop
echo "modprobe -r cx18: ..."
sudo modprobe -r cx18
echo "sudo modprobe cx18: ..."
sudo modprobe cx18
echo "sudo service  mythtv-backend start: ..."
sudo service  mythtv-backend start
echo " "
echo RestartBackEnd.txt sequence  ran...
sleep 20

3.  I have been casting about for a way to make use of the second tuner in the Vip222k receiver.  This outputs to three RCA jacks, (a yellow RCA jack Composite  and R + L stereo RCA jacks)  and is controllable ONLY by  the UHF dishnetwork remote.   As near as I can tell,  there isn't a way to have your mythtv IR blaster tune this second tuner, only the HD tuner is controllable by IR.   My latest idea is simply to  tune up the second tuner with the UHF remote to  say  CNN and leave the tuner on CNN.   Then I would use the composite 1 input of the HVR-1600 encoder to record the many programs that I record off CNN. High enough quality for my purposes.    In the mean time, once my HD-PVR component in the encoder returns from repair,  I would use this for recording for all but CNN.    And yes,  I've considered an IR input to UHF converters but not implemented one yet.

4.  When you are trouble shooting an encoder like this,  remember you can use VLC to check your  encoder output.   In VLC, select Media, OpenFile, navigate in your filesystem to /dev/Video0.  VLC will play what ever video your /dev/Video0 is streaming.  Make sure you have exited the mythfrontend.   Note that your HVR-1600 encoder (IVTV mpeg encoder which mythbackend probe reads as HVR-1600) may show up as /dev/Video1 or /dev/Video2.   Just  ls -al /dev/video*  to see what shows up after the encoder is entered into the mythbackend and the initialization sequence above is run.

FYI,  HTH someone,


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