View Full Version : Can't get both Colossus cards changing channel properly

2013-01-04, 02:05 AM
I've had two Colossus cards in my NPVR system for some time, but since I only ever recorded from one channel, I'd never tried to set up the IR blasters.

Well, today I tried, and I failed big-time.

First, the successes: I've got both cards recognized. Both are using component and S/PDIF in. Both are set to "HD-PVR IR Blaster". I can record on both (started manually with Quick Record on two separate channels), and the recordings come out fine -- even in XBMC.

Now for the weirdness: When I start a recording, I see the blaster change the channel on the first (top) tuner. If I start another recording, NPVR records from the correct (second, bottom) tuner, but the blaster changes the channel on the wrong (first, top) tuner!

I know some of you Colossus users must have this sorted. Could you give me a hand figuring this out, please?

2013-01-04, 02:15 AM
You're using the colussus internal blasters? If so, that's why. Hauppauge didn't build anything into the cards to uniquely identify each card so only one card will actually use it's blaster. I asked Hauppauge about that myself.

If not, then you might be hitting the same problem as I just wrote about.

2013-01-04, 02:17 AM
The last time I checked you couldn't use more than one of the Hauppauge IR Blasters because of a limitation in their software. That was a couple of years ago, but it might still be the case.

2013-01-04, 02:40 AM
Yikes. I did NOT know that about the Hauppauge IR blasters! And yes, of course I'm trying to use two of them to control two external tuners.

If this is not how you guys are doing it, how ARE you doing it?

(PatM, from your other thread I see you're using some USB IRT/EventGhost solution. Sounds like I need to buy some more hardware and fiddle with some more software.... Perhaps needless to say, I'd appreciate as much detail as you can manage!)

2013-01-04, 02:57 AM
I use DirecTV and their receivers support changing channels over the network using a built-in web site. I noticed that you are from Canada so I'm guessing you're not using DirecTV. I'd be glad to help if I'm wrong about that.

2013-01-04, 03:01 AM
Nope, you're right: I'm in Canada, with no DirecTV. Which I don't think is (legally) available in Canada. Thanks for the offer, though!

2013-01-04, 01:56 PM
I can only help a little.:)

If your cable box has firewire, and it works like boxes in the US, you can use firewire channel changing for one of the boxes and the Colossus for the other. Here's the info on the firewire drivers.


You need to be using 32 bit Windows for this, there are no 64 bit drivers, and in Win7 you need to set the firewire back to the legacy drivers in device manager. You can use SageChanger.exe for the channel changer; I like it better than the channel.exe that comes in the firewire driver package.

Or, you can use an MCE remote receiver and blasters. I have not used this, so cannot help, but others can, I'm sure. I use this receiver and remote, but not the blaster. It comes with two blasters, however.


2013-01-06, 01:53 AM
I use DirecTV and their receivers support changing channels over the network using a built-in web site.

Please tell me how you are doing this with NextPvr.

2013-01-08, 03:55 AM
I use a program named dtvtune.exe which I found while using SageTV. I don't have access to my server right at the moment. If you search for dtvtune at http://forums.sagetv.com it will be there. You will need to make sure your DTV receiver is configured with a static IP.

2013-01-08, 05:02 AM
I suppose the other option may be to use Network Recorder, which has been on my list of things to try. Monoprice 6-pin Firewire cables ordered!

2013-01-08, 05:16 AM
You might want to check out the digitahome.ca forums about 5C but this looks promising



2013-01-12, 07:37 PM
[I]n Win7 you need to set the firewire back to the legacy drivers in device manager.

Hmm... I don't see that I have the option to just pick "legacy drivers," so I must be missing a step or two. Could you elaborate, please?

You can use SageChanger.exe for the channel changer; I like it better than the channel.exe that comes in the firewire driver package.

How and why do you like it better? (I'll assume for the moment I'll be able to find the file itself when the time comes....)

Thanks for your help -- and for your several previous posts about Network Recorder. I'm definitely leaning in that direction, and it was one of the reasons I figured NPVR was worth sticking with!

2013-01-12, 07:47 PM
D'oh! I feel pretty dumb. If changing the FireWire/1394 driver can be shown in real time in a 16-second YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4JfbDW6AtI), it must have been a pretty stupid question.

2013-01-12, 07:53 PM
Ooh! Some success! Just made a recording from my cable box using CapDVHS, via FireWire. Next step: channel changing. Step after that: Network Recorder.

2013-01-12, 09:58 PM
If you can capture with CapDVHS (which is a great little program) you're 95% of the way there. You'll need SageGraphrecorder to capture to NPVR via Network Recorder. To use that, you'll need to create a graph using GraphEdit or Graphstudio. The graph should contain the firewire panel or tuner device (can't remember which), the NPVR TS writer and a "dump" filter to be the recorded file. NPVR will provide the filename for the dump. Unfortunately, I can't remember what I used for that. If you got the legacy driver, you can probably figure it out. :)

You'll need to use a batch file that is called by SageGraphRecorder to run the channel changer, whether it's channelw.exe or sagechanger.exe. I like sagechanger because it will turn on the cable box upon a channel change, which is handy in case someone turned it off. I think it also has an additional set of options for how to send the channel digits. That said, I used channelw.exe for a number of years before coming across Sagechanger. BTW, just google on SageChanger.exe to find it.

If you need more info on the graph, let us know and I'll grab a picture of what I have.

Attached is my graph (somewhat different than what I said above, the graph rules). Also, the channel changing batch file and the sagegraphrecorder config file. Lots of that was used for intial setup and testing is commented out. I have pretty long delays (5 secs in SGR and 2 secs in Network Recorder) to start a graph. Probably could be shorter, I thought I was having trouble getting the stream established from the STB after channel change.

2013-01-15, 04:46 AM
OK, I've fired up GraphEdit for the first time, and I've been able to add the first box (Motorola AV/C Tuner Device). But I can't find either of the other two (NPVR TS Mon and nprvwri.ts) in the filter list. And when I choose "DirectShow Filters" -- a likely place to look, I'd have thought -- GraphEdit crashes.

Any hints for a total GraphEdit n00b?

2013-01-15, 04:50 AM
From one noob to another. You have to unregister LAV Video temporarily to use GraphEdit, I found this out tonight

regsvr32 LAVVideo.ax /U

after editing you graph same command without the /U to reregister it.


2013-01-15, 05:17 AM
Interesting. I ended up finding an app -- Filmerit -- that showed I had all the DirectShow filters I needed, but had a couple of broken ones (I think from a legacy PCI card that is physically installed, but doesn't work under Windows 7). Luckily, it wrote a Restore Point, because I then broke something big-time, and ended up with just a handful of mostly generic, nearly-useless filters.

After Restoring, I tried GraphStudio instead, and that seems to not have a problem with anything, including LAV (I guess; they're in the list)! So I was able to insert the 'Motorola AV/C Tuner Device' and 'NPVR TS Mon', and tack on a dump file, which I named 'npvrwri.ts' by myself. (Doing so seems to have put a file of the same name on my Desktop.) Saved this .GRF.

Just on a hunch, I then "played" the graph in GraphStudio for a few seconds, and stopped it. Dropped the npvrwri.ts file into MPC-HC, and... surprise! HD video from my Motorola box!

Time for bed (early day tomorrow), but I feel like I'm on the cusp.

2013-01-15, 03:53 PM
I don't know it it makes any difference, but I used the dump.ax filter that comes with SageGraphRecorder for my dump file. Network Recorder and NPVR take over when you run the graph and give the file the correct name and put it in the right place.

Directshow filters is where you find the stuff you need. I should have mentioned that.

You're in good shape, it's all downhill from here. It will be interesting to see how many and which channels you can access via firewire. Hopefully, you can change channels even if you can't get the channels you want. The Colossus should do the trick for those. You can set up the tuners so that you can get some channels via firewire, and some via Colossus, but use firewire channel changing for both.

2013-01-16, 04:25 AM
I think I'm going to try my filter graph without changes first, just to see what happens. Then, if it doesn't work, I'll know to change it by adding 'dump.ax' from SageGraphRecorder. But since it's working from the Desktop, I'm hoping my way also works!

Just got SageChange up and running. I've written batch files for two separate Motorola tuners, and both work (i.e. will turn on and change channel on the appropriate box). Seems like I'm about two steps away: get SageGraphRecording going, and then (finally) get NetworkRecorder working.

2013-01-16, 08:55 PM
I think I'm going to try my filter graph without changes first, just to see what happens. Then, if it doesn't work, I'll know to change it by adding 'dump.ax' from SageGraphRecorder. But since it's working from the Desktop, I'm hoping my way also works!

Well, it didn't work -- going to have to add the dump.ax filter from SGR. No big deal -- but this would have been a major pain to troubleshoot without your comments! Thanks.

2013-01-16, 10:02 PM
I am not totally confused by what you are trying to achieve. You are active in this thread with NetworkRecorder http://forums.gbpvr.com/showthread.php?50565-Network-Recorder-Experience and then you talk about dump.ax etc Here. You can use firewire tuning totally independently from NetworkRecorder and SGraphRecorder. If you are going to use SGraphRecorder I would expect you would use sub's NPVR TS writer2 not dump.ax in your graph.


2013-01-16, 11:07 PM
I'm still partly confused myself, Martin! I think my final aim is to use Network Recorder (with the third-party Sage 1394 tuning) with two DCT-6200s. As a backup/alternate -- for the hopefully few channels that I can't get via FireWire? -- I'd like to make sure I've at least got FireWire tuning set up so that I can change the channels on the boxes as they feed a pair of Colossus cards.

Perhaps foolishly, I've also added guidePlus into the mix before tackling tuning and Network Recorder, so I find I'm active in three threads pretty much simultaneously.

In my graph (which looks identical to mikeh49's shown earlier in this thread), I've got the Motorola box linked to NPVR TS Mon, and from there to "npvrwri.ts". Is that sub's NPVR TS writer2? I thought npvrwri.ts was just a filename that dump.ax would write to!

I'm not in front of my TV Server machine at the moment, so I can't poke around in GraphStudio to see what's what.

2013-01-16, 11:44 PM
I mispoke earlier. I use the NPVRTSwriter filter. I just checked and I could not see it in the list of directshow filters using Graphedit. I forgot to check using GraphStudio. Also, my firewire box is still on NPVR 2.4.3, so I may not have TSwriter2. In any event, you should use the NPVR writer, not the dump.ax simple-minded filter that comes with SGraphrecorder. That's OK for testing, but for NPVR production, you want to use Sub's writer.

I would recommend simplifying your life by doing this in stages (it will also simplify support from us):

Get firewire tuning working with your two colossus cards.
After this works, get Network recorder working for firewire capture. You'll need to setup the guide and channels for this tuner separately from the Colossus.
After all the above are working, then try TV listings. In the meantime, use Schedules Direct.

I can post my Sgraphrecorder and Networkrecorder configs after you report that number 1 above is complete. :)

2013-01-17, 09:05 PM
That all seems pretty reasonable NOW, but it wasn't until there was more detail available about how all these things work together (or don't) that it became clear I was biting off quite a lot at once.

I'm pretty much finished Step 1. Batch files are written for both boxes, and at least one works in NPVR. I have to do some testing (probably by enabling/disabling each DCT in turn) and confirm both boxes are changing channels correctly. NPVR does not seem to allow one to give a "friendly name" to each Colossus card, and it's also possible to "reverse priority on record", so it's tricky to keep track which box is which.

I'll get that sorted tonight, this thread can slowly age, and I'll post on-topic in the other threads.

2013-01-21, 12:01 AM
Got everything sorted: two Motorola DCT-6200 tuners feeding component video and S/PDIF audio to two Colossus capture cards, with channel-changing on both tuners via SageChanger over FireWire. Step 1 complete!

Now, mikeh49, where are those config files?? :) I think the only thing I'm not too sure about is how to run more than one tuner with Network Recorder, so I'm hoping your config files shed some light...

Does it make sense to move the Network Recorder part of this discussion to either http://forums.gbpvr.com/showthread.php?52391-Network-Recorder-Thanks-and-a-Question or http://forums.gbpvr.com/showthread.php?50565-Network-Recorder-Experience?

2013-01-21, 04:19 AM
I'll get the files to you tomorrow. But, they are only for a single cable box. If you have 2 cable boxes and 2 Colossi, then you don't really need firewire capture, as far as i can tell. The same program appears on the firewire port as on the component out. The component has the advantage of presenting even copy once or copy never content. I use firewire capture because I don't have a Colossus, so that's how I get the "non-clear" QAM channels here in the US of A. I expect you can have 2 network recorders but Martin will probably have to explain how to configure.

Probably should move the discussion to a new thread under plug-ins.

2013-01-21, 04:29 AM
I've been holding back because with two STB's, two firewire ports and two Colossi I don't really know what he is trying to achieve. If it was me I'd skip NetworkRecorder altogether.


2013-01-21, 01:17 PM
Me too. This started as channel changing, and it sounds like that's sorted. Colossus and firewire channel changing sounds like a good setup. Not as good as firewire channel changing and NetworkRecorder, however. :)

2013-01-21, 11:08 PM
When I got a pair of Colossae, I didn't know about NetworkRecorder. (Actually, I didn't even know about NPVR -- I used one Colossus under MCE, then learned adding the second was sort of a hassle). Then, when I did know about NetworkRecorder, I didn't know about FireWire channel-changing being possible for Colossus. Now that I know about all these things (as in, they exist), it seems smartest to aim for a two-STBs-with-Network-Recorder system. It uses the least expensive equipment, works with stuff I already have, and it looks like my entire channel lineup might be free of 5C concerns. Doing things via NR, I could liberate one or both Colossae for other duties (or craigslist 'em).

My strategy would be to keep both Colossus cards operating (now with FireWire channel-changing) until the NR stuff was set up, so I don't have to interrupt my scheduled recordings.

I'm also just curious to see how it would all work, running dual STBs with NR! Reading between the lines a bit, it doesn't sound like using two STBs with NetworkRecorder is a very well-travelled path. I'd be interested in getting it going, and then writing it up for the wiki.

2013-01-21, 11:21 PM
Ok, I wasn't sure you goal was to remove a Collossus. If your graphs correctly call the correct firewire connection there shouldn't be an issue with Network recorder, just create a second <NetworkRecorder> block from the WIKI, without the id= etc, and follow the same steps for 1-6 that you took first time. Remember to create another SGraphRecorder session on another port too.


2013-01-22, 12:27 AM
As promised, here are my NR and SGrecorder config files. Plain vanilla. You need to put SGR or a shortcut to it in your startup folder so it starts when the computer does. I don't know how you do a second SGR session; put another port in the config? Let us know how it turns out. BTW, are you using a firewire card with multiple ports? Or does you MB have two ports?

2013-01-22, 12:31 AM
You'd need to run a second SGR from another folder.


2013-01-22, 12:35 AM
OK, with a different port, as you noted previously with the executable and the new ini file together but in a different folder than the initial instance. I get it now.

2013-01-22, 03:10 AM
Well, that was easy!

First, I made myself two SGR directories -- SGraphRecorderT and SGraphRecorderB -- for 'top' and 'bottom' STBs. I edited the SGraphRecorder.ini files in each directory accordingly: port 6969 and sagechg_top.bat for 'top'; port 7070 and sagechg_bot.bat for 'bottom'. Then I edited NetworkRecorder.xml to point to both ports. (I'd previously edited the file to add a second device, but incorrectly pointed both device config sections to the same port.) Next, I restarted the Recording Service. Finally, using the 'Devices' tab, I added a single channel to each NR instance, so I could check that things were working properly. Checked, and they were!

The whole process took less time than it took me to type this explanation. Although a lot of that is attributable to the fact that I'd already half-assedly done most of the work when I didn't really know what I was doing: I'd written the channel-changing batch files for Colossus channel changes via FireWire, and I'd also made an ill-informed stab at adding a second NR instance.

Last steps will be to get my channel lineups working nicely (I think I'll follow Martin's lead and use separate XML files, rather than a concatenated one) and get both instances of SGR to start with Windows.

Other than that, I think I'm pretty much golden! Thanks, gentlemen!

Forgot to answer the question: I'm using a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 ATX mobo that has two external 1394 ports on the back. No problems so far!

2013-01-22, 02:33 PM
Just put a shortcut to each SGR in the Startup folder, at least that works for me.