billbillw

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billbillw
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  • Re: Internet Connection Problems - Help!

    Sounds like a Comcast issue. Keep bugging them until you get bumped up to Tier 3 support. Tier 3 is where you need to be. I would also recommend posting on the Comcast Tech Support forums and keep posting/bumping the thread that the problem still exists.
    Find the appropriate sub-forum here:
    http://forums.xfinity.com/

    I had a problem last Fall with a sudden loss of 5-channels on my cable feed. I use Tivo+cablecard so troubleshooting was harder than normal. Lots of calls to Tivo/Comcast, new cablecard, etc....still no fix.

    Finally posted in forum and bumped it a few times. Several days later I got a call from Tier 3 support. Believe it or not, they can actually see your modem and/or cable box diagnostics, channel strength, interference, etc and create a log that shows dropouts or other issues.

    For me, he could clearly see a signal issue (even though my signal strength was high.) He detected an interference that was causing the channel loss. Also said my modem was resetting a lot (I didn't notice a problem but they saw it).

    Sent a Tech out and after a couple hours, they finally found a pair of really old (90s era) filters that were installed at the head feed for my line. They never caused a problem until Comcast moved the 5-channels to the frequency that matched the filters.

    Filters removed, problem solved and now everything works better than ever.
  • Re: FS: A couple Zotac Zbox mini/nano PCs, for Kodi, Netflix, Plex etc.

    MrBuhl wrote: »
    Dumb question - half of what is written in this thread I have no idea what it means...
    But... do these require hard wire or can they run off WiFi and still run Kodi? Interested in the movie services for hotel living.

    They all have wireless capability, but work better when connected to wired network, especially if viewing high quality 1080p video with HD audio.

    I will send you more info by PM.

  • Re: I have been ripping all of my CD's on an old PC it is a DVD drive but

    Audio ripping hasn't improved at all since the early 2000s. Pretty much any dvd drive will rip audio perfect if you have the correct settings. EAC has some settings that aren't set by default. It will slow it down big time, but it will guarantee perfect rips (as long as the disc isn't flawed).

    If you want, this website has a guide on making truly perfect rips with EAC.
    http://xunside.info/eac/
  • Re: Intel NUC vs ITX Mini PC vs Chromebox Hacks

    msg wrote: »
    msg wrote: »
    I can see this getting pretty deep. I did have a thought a while back that I'd like to mount a 32" tv above the the computer desk, and build in shelving around it. I'd probably want to integrate a tuner card at some point, for HTPC or Tivo Mini, these tuner cards something I learn'ded from Billbill.
    Tuner cards can be a PITA TBH..... I used a Hauppauge 2250 which I still have in a box. It recorded decent but ANY issue with signal and it resulted in issues with the picture on the recording, which could sometimes be a PAIN when your streaming and then half a show is all blurry and pixelated due to signal issues with OTA HDTV....
    my cable does that sometimes, too. I want to get rid of my cable boxes, that's another reason I wanted to try tuner cards. Really tired of getting nickeled and dimed. again, who knows, I may end up begging for my cable boxes back. I just want to try something different for a while to see how it works. I've never had the experience.

    Yeah but here's the thing about using your computer as a DVR.

    1. Your cable company compresses the video signal to make it smaller file size wise. This means a one hour show on your cable DVR may be quite smaller than the same show recorded using a tuner direct to your computer.
    2. ANY NON BASIC CHANNEL your getting now you wont get. Think just NBC/CBS/Fox type stations. You will lose a large chunk of your channels which may or may not be a big deal to you. If you like Sports, forget ESPN or any of those channels unless you have a ESPN account separate that you pay for, and those will likely not be able to be recorded with a tuner.
    3. Signal issues are a much bigger deal. I would have times where an entire recording was bad due to a storm in the area. With Uverse/cable I've never had that be an issue unless power was out entirely.
    4. Streaming those recordings to another device can be a pain if your network isnt up to speed. Want to stream a 1080p OTA recording to another room, you better be hardwired. I used Windows Media Center to record and then to try and play it back with my Xbox 360. It worked, but it would CONSTANTLY freeze up, and I was hardwired for that.

    I get the nickle and dime thing. We have 2 Uverse boxes (master bedroom & HT) and just the regular standard lineup. What I found over and over and over after 6 years with them, call say your going to cancel and see what they will do for you price wise. We've had them drop the price for us year after year down to 20 bucks a month, which isn't SUPER CHEAP, but honestly for 20 bucks a month to have channels WE NEED (with Kids think Disney and all those cartoon channels) its worth it. The biggest part of our bill is the actual internet, which we'd still need even if we cut the TV portion because your still likely wanting to get online and potentially even stream movies/TV shows from Netflix/Hulu.

    At this point I've almost given up on trying to NOT do data plans. Everyone wised up and realized that making you pay for content is where its at. Doesnt matter if you dont have a cable contract for TV. If your a cord cutter your likely still paying for internet/Netflix/Hulu and data plans on your phone.

    At this point its about mitigating the cost as best you can with family plans with lower data, paying as little as you can for cable, etc.

    I've gotta disagree with some of what you have said here. You must have been using a in the clear QAM tuner for your recording. Things are quite different using a cable card tuner like the SiliconDust HDHR3-CC (or equivalent Ceton). The video recorded by an HTPC will be exactly the same size file as what you would record with a cable company DVR. They use the same encryption/compression and they are saved the same. That is not an issue.

    Also, the amount of channels you receive will be identical (not including OnDemand). With a cable card paired, you get all the channels you subscribe to. No exceptions.

    The only issue is what type of DRM the cable company puts on them. There is a copy flag that they can put on. It is referred to as Copy Freely, Copy Once, or Copy Never. If it is copy freely, you can record and watch on any device. If it is copy once, it will only record on a machine that has Play Ready implemented (ie a WMC device that is setup properly) and you can only watch it on that same machine (or through an extender device). Depending on your cable company, all the channels may be Copy Once, or it may be limited to premium (HBO/Showtime) channels. Comcast in my area only has Copy Once on Premium channels.

    Reliability wise, the HDHR3 tuners were not buggy or problematic at all. I never had any issues with the signal quality from them. If I had issues, it was usually a WMC issue that was solved by a quick restart.

    And the nickle and dime thing is a real issue with some cable companies like Comcast. 1st, they charge you an HD Technology fee if you have one of their HD boxes in the house. That is $10. 2nd, they charge you a DVR fee of $10 for one of their DVRs. Then they charge you $10 for each additional outlet. So, with an X1 system on 3 TVs, (single DVR/w extenders for two additional) you'd be looking at $40 extra over their base rate. This is usually true no matter what type of promotional rate you are under.

    With a single cable card and no Comcast boxes in the house, you wouldn't be charged any of those fees. Not one. You get the 1st cable card free and they actually give you back a $2.50 credit for "customer owned equipment".

    This is real monthly savings above and beyond what you can get from calling in and saying your going to cancel.
  • Re: Intel NUC vs ITX Mini PC vs Chromebox Hacks

    For me, it was driven by what I wanted to do with the setup. If you want to have optical disc capability, have large internal drive for DVR function, or add a gaming video card, then the NUC and other tiny form factor systems are not much good IMO.

    Nothing against NUC, but I think they are overpriced compared to what you can get from an ASUS Vivo or similar.

    Between ATX/mATX and the tiny NUC style, there are some small form factors like Mini ITX that allow you to build a full system (with video card, optical drive, and extra drives), but they can be pricey to build and have some tradeoffs.

    After I decided to go back to Tivo, it greatly reduced the need I had for a full PC system. I still needed Kodi to stream my media collection from the NAS though. Lots of options, but I was drawn to the hacked Chromebox idea because I like the idea of having full x86 hardware with solid integrated graphics to run Kodi and the legwork was already done for me. It was as simple as following a quick online guide. Within 1hr, I had OpenElec running with no issues. It was also one of the cheapest options too. I found the Chromeboxes on sale for $120 each.

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