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My latest daft project.

Started by: dtuxcomp
On: 10/05/2016 | 15:26
Replies: 5264

by: dtuxcomp
on: 25/11/2018 | 01:19

@dolly247 wrote:

Do what I do. Choke on it until it goes down. Can't waste good beer. x
Some people post pics that are too small on a phone @andyslc, of course helpful tips to view them are allowed on giffgaff. It's the giffgaff way 😇 x

@dolly247 Can't help it sis, it's an involuntary reaction, do you really think I'd waste beer otherwise Smiley Wink Smiley Happy


Sharing helpful advice, that's what we do "innit" Smiley Happy Smiley Happy Smiley Happy

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Message 3221 of 5,265
by: themzbiker
on: 25/11/2018 | 01:27

Sharing helpful advice you do it so well
Message 3222 of 5,265
by: andyslc
on: 25/11/2018 | 07:57

And he didn’t even put down his beer @dolly247. Truly special. Smiley LOL

Veni vidi dormivi
Message 3223 of 5,265
by: tuneintestaccount
on: 25/11/2018 | 15:38
Nice stuff there @dtuxcomp, seems like you had to go through quite a lot of effort to get it working, but great that it is all good. Yeah I agree, there's not actually that many new channels to be had by going to HD, but it'll be future proofed in case some channels decide to no longer broadcast in SD, and switch entirely to HD (like Gold has done on Virgin TV).
I heard that Freeview tuners via Linux were a bit of a pain... also I know that the standard ones can be had very cheaply, are the HD ones also at a reasonable price, or are they ridiculously expensive still?

yeah, having two tuners in the same space / area won;t work very well, they interfere with each other. I saw this once when I was in Azams of Hunstanton; this was at least 5-6 years ago, but they had a couple of Freeview TVs (the small portable 10 inch ones that you take with you on your travels) in the same location with the sticky magnetic aerials situated right next to each other. Hunstanton is in a very strong signal area (line of sight across The Wash to Belmont) but the placement of the aerials meant that as soon as the second TV latched onto a signal, it completely wiped out the 1st one (and then the 2nd one) - then that allowed the 1st one to recover, and the cycle kept looping. When they moved the aerials, both TVs worked fine.

Not often that you see that one happening but hey ho!
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Message 3224 of 5,265
by: dtuxcomp
on: 25/11/2018 | 16:25

@tuneintestaccount  you hit the nail on the head, all ranting and joking aside this is a small step towards future proofing the PVR. At the moment it runs just fine with 6 SD freeview tuners but if suddenly they drop the SD multiplexes that's 6 useless USB bricks, most likely it'll be a slow transition with more and more channels moving over to the HD multiplexes but either way I need to know I've at least got a couple of reliable HD tuners because replacing the lot in one go would be stupidly expensive. The issue with the two white tuners isn't about their proximity to each other, all the tuners have a boosted feed coming off the roof aerial so that signal is clean. I've used identical tuners side by side and as long as they have the firmwares it works. These two aren't actually indentical but stupidly have the same "unique" id code, so when you plug the second one in it steals the driver from the first one, there's probably a work around but as this is a test rig and not being put onto the actually PVR it's not a top priority. Price wise they are not cheap, the two white ones were about £13 each, and the silver one was £20 down from £30. I've managed to source the SD ones from about £6.



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Message 3225 of 5,265
by: tuneintestaccount
on: 25/11/2018 | 21:02
I thought it was a bit of future proofing, because I have heard before about potential plans to get everything switched across from the Freeview SD multiplex standard, and onto the HD multiplex standard. As of current, our TVs have Freeview tuners, and although are HD ready, don't have HD tuners, so won't get the HD channels. Though there are an awful lot of TVs out there that will need external HD boxes / tuners if the current Freeview multiplexes get discontinued in favor of HD ones.
At least with 2 or 3 HD tuners, you're OK for the meantime if the powers that be decided to discontinue SD TV in the immediate future.

Oh okay that would explain everything, the system recognises the tuners as one, rather than two, which therefore shuts down the system. If you're able to get that sorted out, then excellent - if not, you could always keep one as a spare, I suppose.
You're right, you'd have to use an amplifier with those tuners, because the signal would be quite weak if split 6 ways (unless you are in a strong signal area), and the supplied little desk aerials that come with those tuners often won't work unless in a strong signal area. Also, the cheaper tuners end up having a proprietary connection (often Micro Coax or similar) which means you need an adapter to get a standard downlead into it. Though the standard tuners aren't that expensive; in fact I got a couple in a job lot a while back. Those have since been sold on, as I didn't need one, but I could try experimenting with another tuner again, especially if they are only £6 for the standard definition ones. Where I work, there are a couple of taller buildings, so I could do some experiments regarding signal strength and exactly how much you need in order for the inbuilt aerial to work.

All in all, good project you got going on there Smiley Happy
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Message 3226 of 5,265
by: dtuxcomp
on: 25/11/2018 | 21:43

It started out about 4 years ago, I'd had one of the SD tuners for ages and just used it on the laptop when there was a conflict so we couldn't record something on the freeview box. Then we had a run of gear packing up, in 18 months we had 2 TV's, 2 VCR's , 3 STB's and a couple of HD PVR's all died. In the end I was using my laptop constantly to record stuff and running it back and forth on flashdrives to an even older laptop in the main room for playback. I got a second tuner just in case the old one suddenly died and then when I plugged it in to test it, it dawned on me I could use two and not just record two programmes, but two multiplexes as the recording software will happily grab the whole stream from the tuner and spit out recordings for any show on that multiplex. Then I got a cheap refurb'd desktop pc so I could have my laptop back and bought a 3rd tuner meaning to keep that one for spare. As you can imagine, I didn't leave it alone so in the end worked out at that time I needed 5 tuners, one for each SD multiplex at that point. Then they added another so wound up with 6 tuners.


As it has worked out so well we've decided not to bother replacing any TV gear that dies and instead use the PC setup as it's modular so if anything breaks it can be swapped out. I've ended up splitting the aerial feed a fair few times now Smiley Wink I've even canibalised an 8 way booster I got cheap online so I've now got, hang on need to count up, 14 to 15 potential feeds coming off the one aerial lead from the roof Smiley Wink Smiley Happy I've got some pics of the carnage I'll post where I hard soldered the cables straight into the booster to cut down on the amount of cables and plugs / sockets in the loop Smiley Happy


Ive got one of those cheap tuners with the MCX connector I think it's called, tiny little plug, I originally bought a pigy back adaptor but as the tuner comes with one of those useless aerials I cut the cable off of it and soldered that into the booster, no adaptor needed Smiley Happy I've binned all the aerials but kept the leads as they're a lot easier to solder and still carry the signal well Smiley Happy


Next time I see one of those cheap tuners I'll post a link for you.

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Message 3227 of 5,265
by: caro120
on: 26/11/2018 | 01:44

@dtuxcomp wrote:

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!!!


Finally got a Freeview HD tuner to work on my Linux PC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It's taken a stupid amount of time chasing down outdated tips, posts that turn out to be for Windows or Mac, and just rubbish suggestions that make no sense whatsoever, but finally last night by bodging together two different threads, crossing everything Smiley Surprised Smiley Surprised Smiley Surprised and just just taking a head first run at it on my laptop as a test machine ( as it's the easiest to roll back when things go wrong ) I got the latest of the 3 HD tuners I've bought to actually work Smiley Happy Smiley Happy Smiley Happy


I ended up having to install some non standard firmwares, download experimental software, type in a few voodoo-esque incantations that I'm pretty sure if read aloud would open a portal to the underworld ( which would probably mess with the TV signal Smiley Wink ) and re-compile "something" Smiley Wink ( so out of my depth here Smiley Happy ) I think it was the Kernel Smiley Wink Smiley Happy and then, just a few short hours later, when it had finished re-compiling the umm, wotsit Smiley Wink a quick reboot and . . . . . .


Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo  !!!!!!!!!!


I could plug in the HD dongle and it was recognised by the system !!!!!!!!


Could someone get @dolly247 a pillow, she's nodded off again, bless her Smiley Wink Smiley Happy


As a double bonus it also recognised the other two HD tuners I'd bought previously which I thought were scrap Smiley Wink Smiley Happy


So, job done right, tune it in, have a beer to celebrate and off to bed right ??


Well . . .


Did I mention the laptop's nowhere near an aerial outlet ???


Smiley Happy Smiley Happy Smiley Happy Smiley Happy


So, onto the home network, and I ran through the whole lot again using the laptop to control one of the PC's sat in the man cave were the dozen or so aerial outlets I've set up are Smiley Wink Smiley Happy


and . . . .


It worked !!!!!!!!!!  ( bet you weren't expecting that, no nor was I by this point Smiley Wink Smiley Happy ). I've been tricked by tuners before that work for about 30 mins then get too hot and "fall over" so I've learned to stress test new ones by leaving it running on a live channel overnight so I left it on BBC ONE HD and checked it today to find it was still working Smiley Happy Smiley Happy So I gave it a fresh retune and the tuner could still pick up a signal Smiley Happy ( result !!! )


So I tuned it up and got loads of channels Smiley Happy Smiley Happy


I mean, not NEW channels, most of what it was tuning to are the same SD channels I can already get with the SD PVR Smiley Sad Smiley Sad


So, another re-tune Smiley Sad This time I excluded the normal SD channels so I could actually see what the HD multiplexes are providing. Still a fair amount of channels I couldn't get previously, so I left it there right ??


Well, I think by now you can guess the answer to that one Smiley Wink


I really want to know what I've actually gained ( except more grey hairs ) from all this agro, so I went over the list of "new" channels, literally on paper with a couple of highlighters ( ok cheap felt tips Smiley Wink ) comparing the new list to my crib list from the SD PVR, marked off all the HD versions of existing channels ( I don't give a stuff about recording the exact same thing but in HD as all that means for me is the recording will take up more space Smiley Sad )


That whittled the list down quite a bit Smiley Sad Did I leave it there ??


Nope, I went back over the list with a different colour pen Smiley Happy to rule out the "new" channels that are just +1's, the PVR can already record everything so I don't have clashes that mean I need to record something an hour later.


And, so children, how many channels do you think I've actually gained ??


Answers on a post card . . .


Go on, guess Smiley Wink Smiley Happy


@themzbiker  @andyslc  @tuneintestaccount  @sypamele   @frenchielove  @vickyjakesmum  @dolly247  @cass905  @magsiebee  @ceecee2110


EDIT:- Oh dear, went to edit this post to fix a couple of typos and accidentally hit "Mark as new", no idea what that does to a thread Smiley Wink Smiley Happy


Yes I've done that and never worked out what did...all seems to continue as before tho maybe someone somewhere is pulling their hair out?


Ah glad you're so pleased with progress, not got that excited about summat for so long!  Tho odd bits of research have been a revelation but not in a nice way...


When you say gets hot, is that very hot?  Do you put things on heat-proof surface just in case a problem?  We got asbestos tile for iron (not that it gets used v often these days).. hubs says fine so long as don't drill it and sniff it and probably more risk from a housefire I should think.


Been watching nick knowles original features, seen before but they still interesting, love the history of houses, one was toll house and yep there are loads around.. one like a thatched mushroom for sure passed that on way to dorset.  Be great to say that's mine but not good with busy roads either side. 


Another couple bought house in Bath, rolling in it and work for telly.  quite odd the 2 of them, he made me think punk bands mixed with a bit of yuppie and the 2 of them very odd body language, not sure what would cause that, sniff!  He was hacking at decent tiled floor with a hammer and screwdriver, didn't find flagstones underneath so had to replace the lot at cost of around £900... anybody normal would dig out a bit behind a cupboard but maybe they wanted new floor surface anyhow.. chose shelves from cheese factory, you could even pick out some marked with circles where the stiltons would sit!


They got the range fixed and a pair of shoes found embedded in the wall were about 150 years old?  Overall I didn't think the place looked any nicer than previous though, maybe a case of more money than decorating sense.. but I guess theirs to do with what they would eh?  Mix of a lot of different wood colours including a spotty one for table, just didn't work for me.


Quite eclectic here tho gradually evolved and maybe things mesh better with time and grime?

Message 3228 of 5,265
by: dtuxcomp
on: 26/11/2018 | 01:58
@caro120 No not catch fire hot, just as they warm up, and these tuners do feel a bit warm when they are in use, those particular ones were faulty, but as they'd only start to play up after being in use for 30 mins or so they passed the tests in the factory.

Yes your hubby's bang on, people get a bit panicky about asbestos but it's the airborne particles that are the dangerous bit, if it's in one piece then it's fine, our chalet had asbestos roof panels and walls Smiley HappySmiley HappySmiley Happy
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Message 3229 of 5,265
by: sypamele
on: 26/11/2018 | 05:02
23 new channels of double channels 😉😉 ? I got lost at HD.
Message 3230 of 5,265