How to get Foxtel HD on Media Center

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nigeltec

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How to get Foxtel HD on Media Center

#1

Post by nigeltec » Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:45 am

Big thanks to Scott Kingery for his info here http://techlifeweb.com/how-to-use-the-h ... ia-center/ which got me started however it doesn’t show how to make an XML “Digital Cable” card channel file.
This is required since no channel data is created when you have your region set for Australia. I’ve included how to do this plus consolidated all required setup notes in this single post.

GET A FOXTEL "HD" SET TOP BOX
If you’re currently only subscribed to Foxtel Standard definition you’ll need to upgrade your subscription to Foxtel “HD” which costs and extra $10pm (as at Sept 2015).
So if you have a STD def box you will need to get a HD box – ring Foxtel – I got them to waive the box fee and only paid the installer fee of $75.
IMPORTANT:
Try to get the older Pace 850 model as this allows HD (720p or 1080i) output from the component outputs.
If you get the newer 851 model your component outputs are limited to standard definition (576p) so you will have to use the HDMI output which means you will have to buy a HDMI to Component converter such as this one available from Jaycar (Cat# AC1721) for ~$150 which I have tested and does work well though I don’t need to use it because I have the 850.
Note: I found that even if you end up using the STD def (576p) output from the HD box the picture quality was a marked improvement over the picture quality I was getting from the SCART-Component outputs on my old STD def box.

SETUP HAUPPAUGE HD PVR V1 OR COLOSSUS V1
IMPORTANT:
I’ve only verified this using the following setup:
• The external HD PVR v1 box NOT the internal Colossus v1 card but you should be able to use the latter.
(Note you MUST get v1 hardware since there is no media center software for the v2 models).
• Windows 7 32bit.
• I also have 1 x Hauppauge HVR-2200 & 1 x HVR-2215 internal cards installed and now setup as ANTENNA input devices (only) in the 7MC TV Signal wizard so they are used exclusively for recording DVB-T (FTA) TV only.

1. Download the latest Windows drivers & Media Center software (click “Media Center” tab) by selecting your HD capture device from Hauppauge’s Support page here http://www.hauppauge.com/site/support/support.html.
Do NOT download or install the IR blaster software as we’ll be using IR Server Suite as per my instructions at end.
2. Run the component cables and ideally optical audio from you set-top to the HD-PVR input jacks.
(Can use the standard RCA stereo outputs for audio but optical is already digital (doesn’t require analogue to digital conversion) plus will enable Dolby Digital if your sound hardware supports this)
3. Ideally you should make sure your HD-PVR is completely isolated from your other USB devices (I didn’t bother checking this).
1Geek1Tool provides great instructions on How isolate the HDPVR from other USB devices here http://1geek1tool.com/2009/08/17/how-ca ... b-devices/
4. Install HDPVR windows drivers & MCE software (but NOT any of the IR software) using Hauppauge install instructions. My MCE settings are Audio: Optical, Video: Component, Source: Cable.
(We’ll deal with the commands to enter on the “Use External Blaster command line latter).
5. Run 7MC TV Signal wizard to add HDPVR using these options:
(Note: The HD-PVR should be detected as Cable (Digital))
a. Answers: Type=Cable, STB=No, Cable Type=Digital Cable.
6. If you have other cards like me (2 x internal Hauppauge HVR22xx for FTA Tuners) then select: More sources=Yes
a. Answers: Type=Antenna, Type=DVB-T, Select all your Tuners.
7. Run the channel Scan.
(Note that because your region is AU the XML channel file generated for the HDPVR is useless however you need it for the unique GUID file name that it will be given).
8. You’ve now finished you hardware install. Now it’s time to customise the HDPVR XML channel file.

CUSTOMISE THE HDPVR XML CHANNEL FILE
Note: Channel data for Idx value 0 was NOT added to my channel list after the scan so I added it again to the end of the file (used the next Idx value) and upon a rescanned the channel was added. I suspect the Idx0 value is omitted so perhaps put dummy data in Idx 0 OR to play it safe do what I did and just repeat this channel at the end using the next Idx number.
1. You will find your HDPVR channel file here:
C:\program data\Hauppauge\MediaCenterService\{xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx}.XML
The {xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx}. above is going to be a random series of characters on your PC (a GUID) but there will only be on XML file in that folder – that is the one to choose)
Make a backup copy for safety then copy to Desktop and edit with notepad or I found it easier to use XML Notepad available here.
2. Add all you Foxtel channels by changing these three fields ChannelID, channel & matchname to match your Foxtel channel numbers and name. Delete all other superfluous channels that may have been in the file.
3. Save and copy this file back to C:\program data\Hauppauge\MediaCenterService\ and change its properties to Read only so subsequent channel scan won’t overwrite it.
4. Now go run another Media Center channel scan: Settings –> TV –> TV Signal-> Scan for more channels & click Start Scan.
(In future if you ever need to add more channels just add to this file and run another scan).
5. You will need to run a guide data update and assign your guide data to each channel however a nice benefit of using this XML file is that your channels will now be named correctly eg channel 502 will be named “Foxtel Sports 2” so you just need to assign “Foxtel Sports 2” guide data to its matching channel name.
IMPORTANT: I recommend you wait and do this step at the very end ie after setting up the IR software etc in case you have a problem and have to rerun a channel scan as you may lose your guide data assignments. So for now proceed to IR Server Suite Setup and come back to this step when everything is working.

IR SERVER SUITE SETUP
NC: Use this and you do NOT have to install either of the two Hauppauge IR software nor use their IR Blaster cable instead the IR commands are received and blasted by your MS IR receiver.
IR Server Suite (IRSS) version I installed:
• Version: 1.5.0.62
• Website: Homepage: wiki.team-mediaportal.com/IRServerSuite
(Sorry this forum won't let me include more than 3 URLs so copy n paste the above URL)

How to set up the IR Server Suite
1. Download IR Server Suite from here
2. Run setup
3. Under tools, leave everything selected and ALSO check IR File Tool and CommandLine Tools
4. Click Next
5. Leave IR Server as Service selected
6. Click Next
7. Click Install
8. Leave ‘Run IR Server Configuration’ checked and click Finish
9. Deselect everything except Microsoft MCE (you should see both boxes checked next to the Configure button)
10. Click the Configure button next Microsoft MCE
11. On the Basic tab, deselect ‘Disable Windows Media Center services’
12. Click OK to close the config dialog
13. Click OK
14. Click OK to restart the IR Server
15. Go to C:\ProgramData\IR Server Suite
16. Look in the Set Top Boxes folder and see if one of the boxes is the one you have.
If not goto step 20 which is what I had to do.
o If there IS one, open its folder and copy all the *.ir files to C:\ProgramData\IR Server Suite\IR Commands
o Then right-click on the IR Server icon in your task tray and click Configuration
o Then click OK and OK again to restart the IR Server
17. If your Set Top Box is NOT one of the ones listed, you’ll need to have Server Suite Learn the commands (I did this):
o Click the Windows Start orb and go to IR Server Suite
o Find the IR File tool and click it to run
o Under Server at the top, click Connect
o You should then be connected to the server
o Get your Set Top Remote and get it positioned near (maybe an inch or 2 away) and pointed at your IR receiver device
o Click File – New
o Click Learn IR and press the button on your remote (start with the 1 button). Press the button but don’t hold it down.
o You’ll see a bunch of numbers and at the bottom ‘Learned IR Successfully’. If you don’t get it right away, try holding your remote a little closer or a little further away.
o Then click File – Save As and save it to C:\ProgramData\IR Server Suite\IR Commands as the key.IR. So, if you just programmed the 1 key it would be 1.IR
o Continue with the steps above for all the numbers 0 to 9 and the Select button (label it SEL.IR) I created one called E.IR that is just a duplicate of SEL.IR.
o Close the IR File Tool
o Then right-click on the IR Server icon in your task tray and click Configuration
o Then click OK and OK again to restart the IR Server
18. Run the Hauppauge MCE PVR config program and enter these lines:
Important: Must use parameters in this ORDER:-host {server} [-port x] [-pad x] [-channel] [-delay x]
o C:\Program Files\IR Server Suite\IRBlast-NoWindow.exe
o -host localhost -channel %c
(IMPORTANT: MUST have a single space BEFORE the hyphen in above line)
o DeviceId: 0
o Tuner Lock Delay: 3000 (Default) 6000 (my current) (Increasing this value stops you getting “No Signal” msg and/or problems when changing channels)

HORAAY you're all finished - enjoy Foxtel HD on your Media Center!

nigeltec

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#2

Post by nigeltec » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:55 am

Wanted to add this to my original post but couldn't find a way to edit it - if anyone knows how pls let me know.

YOUR MEDIA CENTER & TV REFRESH RATE
Originally I had both set to 1080x1920 @ 60Hz however since Foxtel does 1080i @ 50Hz I changed both my Media Center & TV to 50Hz to match.
My understanding is that this will result in recordings that are 25fps ie output is not interlaced, instead the two interlaced frames are combined to produce a non-interlaced output at 25fps.
So I "think" leaving at 60Hz will just result in using more video card resources as it will have to duplicate and time frames to give the 60fps.
I cannot detect any difference in quality since I changed from 60->50Hz.
Note: I did this BEFORE I started any of the setup steps in my 1st post.

HOW TO CUSTOMISE HD PVR’S RECORDING SETTINGS
You need to use a program called GraphStudio to customise your HD PVR recording settings:
• Download GraphStudio from here http://blog.monogram.sk/janos/tools/mon ... aphstudio/
• Ensure your HD-PVR isn’t recording a show then shut down Media Center.
• Run GraphStudio.
• Click Graph – Insert Filter.
• In the left side filter dropdown scroll down and select WDM Streaming Encoder Devices.
• Select the Hauppauge HD-PVR Encoder in the left pane then click the Property Page button.
• Click the Hauppauge H264 Encoder tab
• Here you can change the bitrate (including Constant vs Variable bitrate) & disable the blue lights around the top the HD PVR via the “Disable bling LEDs” checkbox.
• Be sure to click the Apply button after any changes
• I left the bitrate at the default of 9.0 MBps however changed the type from Constant to Variable and checked the Disable bling LEDs to turn off the bright blue LEDs around to top of the box. My understanding is that VBR is almost always better than CBR as it results in reduced file sizes without any reduction in quality since it will increase bitrate (up to the max you have set) when needed for rapid movement scenes and use less bitrate for static scenes.

MY HD PVR CHANNEL FILE
Thought I'd upload to help get people started. Just change extension from .zip to .xml.
This includes all channels in the Foxtel Basic + Sports package as at Sept 2015 except the following since I don't use:
  • Foxtel Preview-2
    TVSN
    Foxtel Preview-1
    Fox Sports PLUS
    A-PAC
    Nickelodeon
    Foxtel Tunes (I don't include since when you change to the channel you can't exit from it unless using the Foxtel remote)
Attachments
MyHDPvrChannelFile.zip
My HDPVR Foxtel Channel file
(36.49 KiB) Downloaded 156 times

nigeltec

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#3

Post by nigeltec » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:40 am

How to download MyHDPvrChannel.zip
IMPORTANT: After downloading DO NOT TRY TO UNZIP as it will say its corrupt.
Instead you just need to rename the extension from .zip -> .XML (I had to change the extension to .zip else I couldn't upload it)

Nigel

nigeltec

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#4

Post by nigeltec » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:11 pm

How to fix Foxtel channel changes missing a digit
When I 1st set this up I only used Foxtel for Rugby World cup then suspended it soon after. I resumed it this week and encountered this problem where I could not change to channels starting with double ones i.e. 111, 11, 113.
Instead only TWO digits would be received by the Foxtel box i.e. 11, 12, 13 resulting in a failed channel change and 7MC recording the wrong program.
The cause of this problem is the IR Blaster sending digits too fast to the Foxtel box resulting in it not receiving the 2nd digit - don't know why this happens on channels starting with "11".
Here is the fix:

Run the Hauppauge MCE PVR config program and on enter these lines:
Important: Parameters must be entered in this order:
-host {server} [-port x] [-pad x] [-channel] [-delay x]
App Path:
C:\Program Files\IR Server Suite\IRBlast-NoWindow.exe
App Args:
-host localhost -channel –delay 500 %c

IMPORTANT:
* MUST have a single space before "-host" in the above line.
* I found I had to have a delay of at least 500 (milliseconds) else channel changes fail however I've only been testing for 1 day so if the problem re-occurs just increase your delay by say 100 till channel changes are reliable.
Click APPLY and exit the MCE PVR config program and although it says you must restart your system this is not required as the delay changes take effect immediately.

Now you don't have to waste 4hrs of your life like I did trying to fix this :(

mitchell.ross

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#5

Post by mitchell.ross » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:52 pm

I wish I had this post back when I first bought my colossus. I've been through a number of solutions - the 1geek1tool bridge, using npvr as a server to feed into dvblink iptv and mediaportal. While I could get all of these to work reasonably reliably, they're all paid solutions and are pretty resource intensive. To be honest, I'm a bit annoyed with myself that I couldn't find that XML file and work out it for myself.

So anyhow - many thanks for sharing. I can confirm these instructions work for colossus (v1). The property page in the graph studio is a bit different and the only change I made here was to make sure that SD content was being captured in 16:9, rather than the default 4:3.

I used a mail merge to create the XML insert - copying the channel details into a table from http://www.tvchannellists.com/List_of_Foxtel_Channels and then setting up a letter merge using fields from that table.

When paired with serverwmc (http://kodi.wiki/view/ServerWMC) - this is a great backend for Kodi around the house.

itprotj

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#6

Post by itprotj » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:49 am

mitchell.ross wrote:I wish I had this post back when I first bought my colossus. I've been through a number of solutions - the 1geek1tool bridge, using npvr as a server to feed into dvblink iptv and mediaportal. While I could get all of these to work reasonably reliably, they're all paid solutions and are pretty resource intensive. To be honest, I'm a bit annoyed with myself that I couldn't find that XML file and work out it for myself.

So anyhow - many thanks for sharing. I can confirm these instructions work for colossus (v1). The property page in the graph studio is a bit different and the only change I made here was to make sure that SD content was being captured in 16:9, rather than the default 4:3.

I used a mail merge to create the XML insert - copying the channel details into a table from http://www.tvchannellists.com/List_of_Foxtel_Channels and then setting up a letter merge using fields from that table.

When paired with serverwmc (http://kodi.wiki/view/ServerWMC) - this is a great backend for Kodi around the house.
I agree this looks like a perfect solution - Maybe I can once and for all escape the clunky woes of DVBlink. Just like you I've tried NPVR and even Kodi as recommended by the masses but at the end of the day I feel Windows Media Center is still far superior to the rest.

nigeltec wrote: SETUP HAUPPAUGE HD PVR V1 OR COLOSSUS V1
IMPORTANT:
I’ve only verified this using the following setup:
• The external HD PVR v1 box NOT the internal Colossus v1 card but you should be able to use the latter.
(Note you MUST get v1 hardware since there is no media center software for the v2 models).
• Windows 7 32bit.
• I also have 1 x Hauppauge HVR-2200 & 1 x HVR-2215 internal cards installed and now setup as ANTENNA input devices (only) in the 7MC TV Signal wizard so they are used exclusively for recording DVB-T (FTA) TV only.
My only concern is whether or not two Colossus V1 cards will work with this setup. I am aware of the registry edit hack that allows two colossus tuners to popup in WMC but admittedly last time I wasn't aware of these extra steps you've listed. I'll be able to have a closer look and fiddle later this week and will post back with my results. In the meantime if anyone has any enlightening information that could assist me with my dual colossus cards please feel free to chime in! :D

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#7

Post by itprotj » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:17 am

After having my media center offline for three days I have successfully got dual colossus tuners installed connected to Foxtel STBs. There was a couple of particular issues I came across when I was attempting to change channel. One was that it would take a ridiculous time to get to the next channel and the other was an annoying "No TV Signal" error would popup for a few moments every time you switched to another station. Luckily both of these were overcome by registry keys that Hauppauges MCE Plugin installed. Fiddling with the key values perfected channel change. If anyones interested I can go into it in a bit more detail.

nigeltec

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#8

Post by nigeltec » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:36 am

RE Registry Key Tweaks for Hauppauges MCE Plugin:
Yes I would be interested to try these out on my HAUPPAUGE HD PVR V1 as I still get a brief "No TV Signal" msg when I change channels.
Thanks

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#9

Post by itprotj » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:28 pm

nigeltec wrote:RE Registry Key Tweaks for Hauppauges MCE Plugin:
Yes I would be interested to try these out on my HAUPPAUGE HD PVR V1 as I still get a brief "No TV Signal" msg when I change channels.
Thanks
No worries, I managed to remove it by changing the delay on a regedit.

You can find it by going to the registry and getting to this part:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Hauppauge\Devices\%GUID%\Application Data\HcwMCESvc\

%GUID% as in will be a few different ones depending on how many tuners you have. Your wanting to ultimately find the GUID directory of your card, not the virtual tuner it installed. In your case your looking for "Hauppauge HD-PVR". NOT the "Hauppauge HD PVR Software Tuner" one. To find this you'll have to click into each GUID and look in the right panel for your tuner name to verify your in the right one. Sorry if thats confusing, I can explain in more detail if you have troubles.

Once you get to the HcwMCESvc part for your card, find the value "TunerLockDelay" - Right click and modify this key, switch it to decimal and type in 500 then switch to hexadecimal and click save.
Reboot and give it a go in media center.

Ultimately I'm not an expert in registry changes and since we have different cards I'm not exactly sure if it'll have the same effect or not for you so as peace of mind backup that registry key just in case :).

Let me know how it goes!

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#10

Post by nigeltec » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:09 am

RE Tuner Lock Delay setting:
Don't know about the Colussus card however for my HD PVR box I can get to this setting by running HDPVR MC Setup (located in the Hauppauge program group) then click Advanced in the bottom right area to reveal the "Tuner Lock Delay" setting.
I have tried various values from 0,500, 1000->20000 but didn’t fix the channel change delay however lowering from default appears to introduce video stutter or noticeable audio lip sync issues so changed back to default of 3000.

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#11

Post by nigeltec » Sat May 04, 2019 2:41 am

Recently rebuilt my Media Center setup on new hardware and changed from Windows7 32Bit to 64Bit.
One thing that was driving me crazy was that I could not get the HD PVR's "Bling" LEDs to stay permanently turned off.
I would disable them in GraphStudio but every time I rebooted the PC they were re-enabled!
Despite looking under every "internet rock" I could NOT find a solution and noticed many others had the same problem, some even resorting to opening the box and physically disconnecting the LED lights' cable.

HOW TO DISABLE HD PVR BLING LEDs
So for all the Hauppauge HD PVR owners out there that would like to disable the Bling LEDs here is the solution.
Note: As GraphStudio is no longer available you can download an updated fork of it called GraphStudioNext from https://github.com/cplussharp/graph-stu ... /README.md.
Even if running 64bit windows get/use the 32bit version else you won't see the relevant settings.
  1. Run GraphStudio or GraphStudioNext 32bit.
  2. See my previous instruction above re how to bring up the HD PVR configuration tabs.
  3. On the relevant tab tick the “Disable Bling LEDs” option then APPLY, OK and exit GraphStudio.
  4. This is the IMPORTANT part - Now press the POWER button on the HD PVR to turn it off. This must have the effect of saving this setting to none volatile ram in the HD PVR since I’ve never been able to find anything re bling LEDS in the registry.
  5. Now when you reboot this setting (Disabled Bling LEDs) should be retained.
When setting up my Windows 32 bit Media Center I must have unwittingly done this at some stage which saved this setting however I had not done this in W7 64bit… I had always left the HD PVR ON and just rebooted.
I spent over 1 week trying to find a solution to this!
Hopefully my notes above will save someone a huge amount of time and anguish :crazy: .

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