New Years Conversion game plan

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BroadcastHouse

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New Years Conversion game plan

#1

Post by BroadcastHouse » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:01 am

I had planned to test the setup of EPG123 on my Windows 7 based WMC install way before I needed it to function, but then life and the holidays ate up my testing time. I noticed just after Christmas I started getting warnings to update the guide because it had less than x number of days. I fast forwarded the guide and saw midnight January 1 as the no information available threshold and started to look at updated information here and on the web as to integrated EPG solutions. I downloaded the current version installer of EPG123 and dusted off my tool box thinking I wanted to backup the existing setup. I wanted to clone the drive but haven't a spare drive around. So here is what I have and plan. Any issues I should be prepared for?

DELL XPS8700 PC running service pack 1 OER version of Windows 7 professional.
One Hauppauge HVR2250 card and connected via coax cable.
Comcast older Motorola set-top box with IR receive/blast.
Everything is/was working just fine.
I have been a WMC user since Windows XP and still think it is a great program.
I survived the the guide not updating issues under XP and the 2015 EPG outage issues with MS migrating from Zap2it to Rovi, which I have to say has been stable on Windows 7 for me at least and I do plan on surviving this planned EPG outage ripple.

I really love the look and feel of what I have seen of EPG123 on the website so hoping for the smoothest roll out possible, and then using for many years to come.

Game plan:
I created my SD login account last night, so I have six more days to run this.
Create a restoration point in MS backup that I can restore to in case of trouble.
Backup existing WMC configuration including channel lineup either manually or using my old MCBackup utility to a thumb-drive for security and peace of mind, but maybe as I understand it I may be able to use the built-in backup feature in EPG123 by hitting Save first before starting the install of the client?
Install then run EPG123 set-up as per instructions for a clean install of WMC - However It appears as of today maybe I SHOULD/COULD accept the MS EPG agreement and then select my station setup that way? Or should I still decline and then hope the MC installation program allows me to select my Comcast system based on Zipcode?

As I see it this last step is the tricky part that most people are having issues with - the channel setup in WMC right?

Any other words of encouragement for us set-top cable box users?

Thanks in advance
Brian

Space

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#2

Post by Space » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:25 am

You don't need to clone the drive, you can image it. This is just like cloning but it writes it to a file instead of copying the raw image to another drive. You should still save that image file to a drive other than the imaged one of course (although not absolutely necessary if it is on a separate partition of that drive, but of course this image would be useless if the drive has a total failure).

I use the free version of Macrium Reflect (make sure you image all partitions needed to boot from a restored image).

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garyan2

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#3

Post by garyan2 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:30 am

Yah, the set-top-box/IR blaster setup is new to me... I thought everything was fine until last night/this morning. My suggestion would be to accept the Program Guide Terms of Service (for STB/IR Blaster users only!) so that you can actually have channels in your guide.

I'm going to download the software and see if I can see how it works... may even have to buy one off ebay like I did the Hauppauge HD PVR. To give me a headstart, could you describe to me what you see in the C:\ProgramData\Hauppauge\MediaCenterService folder? The folder might be named differently, I don't know.

The client has a [Backup] button which does a backup of your tuner configuration, custom call signs, custom channel number, favorite lineups, recording requests, ... pretty much everything except for your recording history. You can click the [Backup] button before you start if you want to inspect it, but the [Client Setup] routine does a backup as a first step before deleting the current database.

If you use all the default settings in the EPG Configuration GUI, when the 3-step process is complete your guide will be ready. You will just need to create your scheduled task at that point.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

BroadcastHouse

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#4

Post by BroadcastHouse » Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:31 pm

Gary - I'll take a look for the folder when I get home tonight. Not sure as I rarely use the native software - only when updating the drivers, you need to run it once in wintv for some reason to get WMC to recognize the card again.

Space - I wanted to take the opportunity to move the OS to a SSD that's why I really wanted to clone the drive.

Thanks
Brian

dkrom

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#5

Post by dkrom » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:19 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:30 am
Yah, the set-top-box/IR blaster setup is new to me... I thought everything was fine until last night/this morning. My suggestion would be to accept the Program Guide Terms of Service (for STB/IR Blaster users only!) so that you can actually have channels in your guide.

I'm going to download the software and see if I can see how it works... may even have to buy one off ebay like I did the Hauppauge HD PVR. To give me a headstart, could you describe to me what you see in the C:\ProgramData\Hauppauge\MediaCenterService folder? The folder might be named differently, I don't know.

The client has a [Backup] button which does a backup of your tuner configuration, custom call signs, custom channel number, favorite lineups, recording requests, ... pretty much everything except for your recording history. You can click the [Backup] button before you start if you want to inspect it, but the [Client Setup] routine does a backup as a first step before deleting the current database.

If you use all the default settings in the EPG Configuration GUI, when the 3-step process is complete your guide will be ready. You will just need to create your scheduled task at that point.
Well I can confirm that you can use a STB/ir blaster without accepting the guide. I use a Dish STB and I have been using epg123 for over a year with no issues. I do remember taking pictures of all my channels with my phone, then enabling each channel in the guide through WMC. I still did the typical tv signal setup with the STB and learning of the ir codes.

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garyan2

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#6

Post by garyan2 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:33 pm

Please, give me any information you have on how to do it. I don't have the hardware to try the setup method... just found a YouTube video yesterday that at least lets me see some of the screens, but would to know how it is done.

So you performed a Modify or a Reconfigure for your IR remote and in the end everything was good? You had 9999 channels?
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

BroadcastHouse

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#7

Post by BroadcastHouse » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:46 am

So I had some family health issues that distracted me on this project end of last year, then I noticed it kept updating after January 1st so back burner-ed it, but now I haven't had a guide listing since the April 2nd, but maybe this weekend I can get down to getting this installed. Sorry I just dropped off the radar like that.

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garyan2

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#8

Post by garyan2 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:41 am

Not a problem and I hope everything is okay now.

As you can imagine, I was pretty busy from mid-December to beginning of February. I'm certainly still here and will help as I can.
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

BroadcastHouse

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#9

Post by BroadcastHouse » Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:16 am

Howdy - So just an update - Well it has been a strange year to say the least. I had tried a couple of times to finish this project but kept having SSD issues after cloning the OEM Dell HDD, I could not boot from it. Turned out to be something stupid simple I needed to change on the HHD then copy the drive. Still I made the copy a couple months back, but Saturday morning I tried to boot from it for the first time.

Once I nailed the new solid-state drive down in the case I downloaded the most recent build. Went and renewed my schedule subscription - it had expired in January - and followed the directions. I think the longest part was the MS-WMC set-up detecting stuff. But within 30 minutes or less I was amazed at having a real guide again. I had been limping along using the Comcast guide since I'm a set-top-box guy, but it wasn't convenient to say the least.

So far no issues at all, the schedule is correct, informative, and better looking for sure. EPG123 has resumed scheduled recordings without any intervention so I'm very happy, and maybe a bit sad I didn't tackle this project - easy as it turned out to be in January.

Thanks for the help getting to this point. And thanks Gary for a better than original replacement to the guide!
Brian

BroadcastHouse

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#10

Post by BroadcastHouse » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:33 am

Just some follow-up for those in the same situation using a set-top-cable box and installing EPG123. Even though MS no longer supports WMC most of the discovery in Windows7 is still working. While it found no new features for WMC that was expected but took the longest to "fail" and ask if I wanted to continue. It asked zip code and then listed my flavor of Comcast and then it asked questions about my cable box, then tested it, and correctly found my IR remote system. It tested fine.

The only "glitch" I had was that my tuner card has two tuners and it could only find one set-top box and IR remote system so I could not set-up the second tuner, and I don't remember if when I had installed it originally if I had the same issue. I assume if I hooked up an antenna to the card I could use its own native software to watch and record OTA programming but I'm satisfied with what I have.

Brian

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garyan2

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#11

Post by garyan2 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:53 am

BroadcastHouse wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:33 am
took the longest to "fail" and ask if I wanted to continue. It asked zip code and then listed my flavor of Comcast and then it asked questions about my cable box, then tested it, and correctly found my IR remote system. It tested fine.
This shouldn't have happened if you denied the Program Guide Terms of Service during Step 2. By accepting the WMC guide ToS, it used the last headend lineups it downloaded from MS which can be a problem in the future. On the next release, I am reverting back to deleting everything in the \ProgramData\Microsoft\ehome folder rather than just the database(s) during Step 1 to avoid this scenario.

As for the second tuner, I hope someone else can help out with that. I have no experience with STB/IR setup, but know it certainly worked on a single "tuner."
- Gary
Keeping WMC alive beyond January 2020. http://epg123.garyan2.net

BroadcastHouse

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#12

Post by BroadcastHouse » Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:07 pm

Thanks, not sure if the part that failed was looking for anything other than WMC updates and new features, as I can't remember the exact verbiage. Yes I denied the use guide service question but don't remember if that was before or after this portion. It had a gas gauge for progress in the middle of the screen. I should have taken a screenshot, sorry I didn't but once it was looking for TV services in the area based on zipcode it went pretty quick. If I ever for some reason need to run it again I'll document it all :) BUT your installation package went smoothly with no glitches or errors.

I think I could manually add the second tuner in WMC if I wanted to and set it as antenna or hook up cable direct without a set-top-box and get the "basic" channels but tuning might be an issue without IR. I didn't have it working with the old guide so I'm not missing anything. I'm not sure if I manually setup the card in WMC the first time years ago or if I just spaced over the second tuner question issue during setup. I could rent yet another box and buy a second remote IR system and set them up if I really wanted to complicate my setup. Most of the time it takes me weeks to watch the stuff I have already saved LOL twice as much would not be a good thing on that front.

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