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SOLVED: Problems with HD channels (2nd HD HomeRun Prime) and Media Center

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,183
815
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The long and the short of it on this.

It is useful to isolate a 2nd HDHR' from being shared by a previously-configured system using the 1st HDHR': You want to be sure that the three tuners, cablecard etc. are configured -- activated properly, with successful display of encrypted HD channels. Easier to test without mixing up the tuners with those of the other box.

When you activate the cablecard with the provider, I suggest power-cycling the HDHR' and running HDHR Setup again. Scan for HDHR' devices again, re-scan the channels.

Once you can verify on one computer system that all three of those tuners work with encrypted HD programming, you can re-enable the other tuner for use with either or several PCs. You also avoid fouling up a perfect configuration with the first HDHR'.

SO from the GIT-GO .. . you'd use the HDHR software to "disable" one of the tuners for a particular PC, and do the same with the 2nd tuner on the other PC. Test the new HDHR' with Media Center -- verify all your channels.

Media Center "TV Signal" Setup will show all six tuners, but you de-select the checkboxes for the tuner you want to isolate from that particular computer, and for two computers you'd do this both ways.

Once confirmed the 2nd HDHR' working properly, as I said -- you can simply share all six tuners among the two computers or several computers.

============
I've had my first HD HomeRun Prime for maybe four years. Even during all that time, I hadn't noticed that the Card Validation status in the tuner's web-page showed "none" instead of "success," and I'd simply dealt with the problem through resets of the tuning adapter and HDHRP. I STILL got MOST of my premium or encrypted channels.

Now that I've installed my second HDHRPrime, I managed to clean up this issue with my cable provider. Both devices show Card Authentication "success," OOB Lock "success," Card Validation "Success," and Tuning Resolver "ready."

In this recent effort, I also added a $25 coax-cable signal amplifier with the highest quality 3-way splitter. "3-way," because I have the provider's STB and two HDHR Primes. This only improved things: two of the three devices (1st HDHRP and the STB) have much better signals.

And I have reconfigured the first HDHRPrime with total success. I have installed the software on two computers, and excluded the new HDHRPrime from use by the original computer while excluding the old unit from use on the second computer.

On the second computer with the new HDHRPrime, the SiliconDust "HDHomeRun VIEW" application displays any HD channel in our subscription. It does this without sound, however. Troubleshooting at the SD website suggests that this can be solved by using audio through HDMI. However, for the time being, I'm using the onboard RealTek High Def Audio. The problem I'm about to describe is no different when connecting my DVI graphics port to HDMI with a DVI/HDMI cable. This happens to be the only 25 foot cable I have at the moment.

The first computer is connected to my AVR/HDTV with an HDMI-HDMI cable. I can switch between a 5.1 "mini-plug" analog speaker set (onboard audio) and my AVR with the "Audio Renderer Updater" MC plug-in.

Both computers are connected to a desktop HD monitor through an (old) Belkin KVM, with the ubiquitious DVI-to-VGA plug and the cable fitting the KVM.

I can access all the digital SD stations on the second computer, but none of the HD stations. MC hesitates -- "seems" to lock up with the spinning circle, and then presents the "Weak signal" message.

I remember some time ago -- and also when installing the first HDHRPrime -- that video and audio drivers will either make you or break you.

The second computer is configured with two GTX 970 cards in SLI. When I attempt without success to access HD channels on this computer, the power-saving feature of the 970's stops "working" --- or the cards are operating at high core and memory clocks (912/3,000), even if less than maximum "on demand." Disabling and then re-enabling SLI for the cards returns them to their low-power 135Mhz/324Mhz setting.

I've gone through "digital cable advisor," "Activate CableCard" and everything else to configure Media Center, but -- no cigar. Several times! I am also quite sure that my cable provider has done everything possible, and that tuner-adapter and HD HomeRunPrime (and cableCard) is working properly.

Any thoughts about this?
 
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bradly1101

Diamond Member
May 5, 2013
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126
www.bradlygsmith.org
Are you watching the second system via the monitor? Have you tried it without the KVM? I wonder if some protection signal isn't making it through that, so you may not be getting proper handshaking with the monitor.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,183
815
126
Are you watching the second system via the monitor? Have you tried it without the KVM? I wonder if some protection signal isn't making it through that, so you may not be getting proper handshaking with the monitor.
Yes -- the monitor. Previous Media Center usage on PC #1 and the one that preceded it always had a second HD monitor or TV directly attached to the computer. One of the successful setups had this same monitor filling the latter role, but with a DVI-to-HDMI cable (the monitor is equipped with DVI, HDMI and VGA inputs).

I've approached this "2nd HomeRun" project cautiously. Did not want to foul anything up on PC#1 while working with PC #2 and the new HomeRun.

I had set up PC #2 with the DVI-to-HDMI (20 foot cable) to the HDTV as an "extension" monitor so that the desktop remained on the monitor connected via KVM. That is, the first "phase" of this project was to allow games to be played on the HDTV while I sat on the couch with either a wireless keyboard, joystick or game-controller. That was totally successful. I only had to switch the default audio "Playback" device from the onboard RealTek to the two-speaker HDTV.

When I began to see this problem with the HD channels on the HDTV, I deactivated the HDTV as a second monitor through NVidia Control Panel, reset the audio to RealTek, and attempted to configure for the desktop monitor.

But you may be right. I've been able to do almost anything through my 20-year-old Belkin KVM switch with monitor running at 1920x1080 resolution. But with HD content, we may be talking about a different ballgame -- going through the KVM.

It is also possible that the trouble I had with the HDTV and HD channels was due to the incorrect HomeRunPrime configuration before I finally got the cable company to configure the cablecard properly.

So I may need to go through the hoops to use the DVI-to-HDMI connection to the HDTV again. What I mean to say is that the symptoms were the same before and after I got it sorted out with the provider and cablecard, but the cause this time may be -- as you suggest -- the KVM-VGA connection. The earlier cause was more likely the misconfigured cablecard.

I always feel more confident about sorting something like this out when I meditate on the week or more I spent getting the first system configured some four years ago with the HDHR, the AVR and the HDTV. All trial and error, web-searches, experiments and frustration. I "endeavored to persevere," when a lot of folks would've given up and posted their bad review for the HDHR Prime at the Egg.

This is really not such a big problem. Push comes to shove -- I could simply download TunerSalad and configure the second HDHR to the first computer -- adding to the original HDHR and a Hauppauge 2250 card with OTA HD. Or I could simply make one or more of the tuners accessible to the fam-damn-ily on their computers upstairs.

OF course -- it could still be some other cause. I've reinitialized "PlayReady," and that didn't help.
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,183
815
126
It just occurs to me though . . . .

If this were a problem with the KVM switch between the PC and the HD monitor, then why does the HDHomeRun "VIEW" application show pristine video (without sound, but I explained that)? I must've tried five or ten encrypted channels on that application, and they all worked fine.

I'm thinking this has something to do with the encoding drivers Media Center is currently using. Or -- either the graphics driver or the audio driver. But again -- if it were the graphics driver, I wouldn't see good video for those channels with HDHR "VIEW," would I?

THERE'S MORE . . . . I'm able to play "Recorded TV" from non-premium HD channels (PBS, NBC, etc.) that had been recorded on the other computer from its connection to the older HDHR Prime. Flawlessly. But these channels either cause MC to freeze temporarily, stutter and freeze, and then throw up "Service unavailable" or "weak signal." these recordings are on my WHS server.

I put in a support ticket with Silly-Dust, but the problem is not their HDHR Prime hardware, the cablecard or the cable-tv provider. it has something to do with Media Center and the hardware or drivers of PC#2.
 
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Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,187
369
126
Can you summarize your issues? You've got a lot of text there, and it's not all that easy to quickly pull out what the problems are.

The second computer is configured with two GTX 970 cards in SLI. When I attempt without success to access HD channels on this computer, the power-saving feature of the 970's stops "working" --- or the cards are operating at high core and memory clocks (912/3,000), even if less than maximum "on demand." Disabling and then re-enabling SLI for the cards returns them to their low-power 135Mhz/324Mhz setting.
Video decoding done through the GPU usually brings it out of a power saving state.

Are you watching the second system via the monitor? Have you tried it without the KVM? I wonder if some protection signal isn't making it through that, so you may not be getting proper handshaking with the monitor.
This would cause an HDCP error. It's the same issue I get if I try to use a DisplayPort monitor.
 

bradly1101

Diamond Member
May 5, 2013
4,690
292
126
www.bradlygsmith.org
This is really not such a big problem. Push comes to shove -- I could simply download TunerSalad and configure the second HDHR to the first computer -- adding to the original HDHR and a Hauppauge 2250 card with OTA HD. Or I could simply make one or more of the tuners accessible to the fam-damn-ily on their computers upstairs.

OF course -- it could still be some other cause. I've reinitialized "PlayReady," and that didn't help.
I use Tuner Salad with success for two HDHR's. They're shared between two computers but we're only a family of two, so it's mostly watched on the main system (HDMI direct - not through AVR and optical out from motherboard to AVR). Streaming to a tablet is all we use for a second TV.

What does HDHR say is your signal level when it errors out? (sorry if I missed that)?

I was going to suggest that you reset the DRM. So I guess you followed these steps:

a) no need to manually rename or delete files in the DRM folder
b) no need to use the Micrsoft DRM web page - it won't work with Windows 8 at all and is not required for Windows 7
c) ResetDRM must be extracted and run manually

1) under control panel / folder options / view note your current settings and then
a) enable show hidden files, folders or drives
b) disable hide protected operating systems

2) Apply control panel changes but leave window open to reset at the end

3) open control panel / administrative tools / services and select "Windows Media Center Receiver Service". Stop the service

4) with Windows explorer remove the following files / folders
a) C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\PlayReady\mspr.hds
b) C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\PlayReady\cache
c) C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\mcendindiv.hds
d) C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\cache

5) download ResetDRM.exe from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?LinkId=105000

6) use winrar or winzip to extract files from ResetDRM.exe (ADVPACK.DLL CleanDRM.exe resetdrm.inf) to a temp folder. ResetDRM will not run by itself on Windows 8 in any compatibility mode so you MUST extract it

7) use explorer to find cmd.exe at C:\Windows\System32

8 ) right click on cmd.exe and "run as administrator"

9) cd to the temp folder where you extracted ResetDRM.exe

10) run "CleanDRM.exe -v". A text window will open after a few seconds and verify that several files were removed. If there is an error that a resource could not be opened for exclusive access, you might need to reboot and try again after making sure that Media Center does not start automatically

11) exit cmd.exe

12) open Media Center

13) navigate to settings / TV / TV Signal / Update PlayReady

14) if Update PlayReady fails:
a) minimize Media Center without closing it
b) stop the Media Center Receiver service again
c) maximize Media Center
d) "try again" to update PlayReady

15) PlayReady should show a success page

16) go to TV Guide and attempt to watch a show

17) if everything went properly, you should be able to watch live TV

18 ) go back to control panel / folders and return the hidden/system file settings back to your original options

Please leave feedback if I missed anything or if you have suggestions to make this list more complete. There are countless posts about Windows DRM issues so hopefully this helps people out
http://www.thegreenbutton.tv/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3760
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,183
815
126
Can you summarize your issues? You've got a lot of text there, and it's not all that easy to quickly pull out what the problems are.
. . .

Video decoding done through the GPU usually brings it out of a power saving state.
Summary: Working with the Charter cable provider, and analysis of the HDHomeRun device status screens, indicates the second HDHR Prime is working properly. Video for HD channels through HDHR VIEW application shows pristine video.

Media Center, on the other hand, will only display SD digital channels and SD DRM channels [I can't be sure these are "SD" or 720p channels, but they are not the ones labeled "HD."] I am also able to reliably view HBO "premium" non-HD channels -- no problem.


More than once or "enough times," attempting to select HD encrypted channels, screen goes blank and Windows throws up an error message from the system tray: "graphics driver experienced an error and has recovered." This may also exhibit the failure to return to the power-saving state.

Disabling SLI, reconfiguring TV signal in Media Center etc. has uncertain effect. I was finally able to view a PBS "Democracy Now" HD broadcast in that state, but the other HD channels continued to throw up the same symptoms. Obviously, this PBS channel is HD but either "not encrypted" or "least encrypted."

I've gone through the reinitialize procedure with Media Center as well as simply reinitializing PlayReady. No cigar.

[your response to bradly1101]

This would cause an HDCP error. It's the same issue I get if I try to use a DisplayPort monitor.

This is not a problem of the KVM switch. I don't think there are any HDCP issues with the KVM switch. All the indications with the HDHR VIEW program would suggest that the KVM switch has nuthin' to do with it.

There are no indications involving HDCP. NVidia Control Panel shows HDCP as problem-free.

========

Previous experience with the first HDHR Prime would resolve itself using earlier NVidia drivers, or similar frustrating problems would arise when installing a new NVidia driver. So on that computer, I don't update the driver and everything remains just fine.

In this case and for these graphics cards, the 347.52 driver is so far the best for every other computer use and resolves other problems.

If this IS a problem with the NVidia drivers and/or SLI, it proves a downside to setting up "Home Theater" on a general purpose system or a system with new graphics cards or more than one graphics card. I'm willing to bet that a single, older graphics card might show Media Center without these problems. EDIT: I think I'll go upstairs and reinstall the HDHR software on my Mom's system to verify this. I had previously "decommissioned" HDHR access from her machine because she really wasn't using it -- WMC was confusing to her.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should (a) try an alternative to WMC such as Kodi (XBMC) or MythTV, or (b) allocate all but one of the three tuners of the new HDHR prime to the working computer and leave one tuner available for this one for non-HD/non-encrypted content.

I'm still open to your remarks, and if I seem too dismissive about the KVM/HDCP argument, it merely reflects my opinion based on the results I get with HDHR VIEW.
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,183
815
126
UPDATE: I should apologize for my insistence about "HDCP."

Looking more closely at the NV Ctrl Panel, the desktop 1920x1080 (through KVM) doesn't show up!!

Now that I've re-activated the HDTV as second monitor, I attempted to set up Media Center again.

I'm growing suspicious of the DVI-to-HDMI cable. One can't be sure to set up WMC Display connections as "DVI-VGA-DisplayPort" or "HDMI." I've tried both, but with still the same symptoms.

My short memory doesn't completely inform me as to why I didn't use the DVI-to-HDMI cable on the first system. I had MC working properly with my DESKTOP monitor (1080p), a shorter but similar cable, and an older system. I can't remember if I had THAT system configured as "DVI" or "HDMI." Forther, there are other indications in Windows that the connection is RECOGNIZED as HDMI, while WMC online instructions suggest "look on the back of your computer," in which case I'd see the DVI plug connected to the gfx card.

I'm going to get this sorted out soon. Hope I didn't drive anyone nuts with the thread and my posts. I could almost say I could "do without" the second HDHR Prime, but it is apparently working -- as indicated by its own software. On the other hand, if I hadn't decided to deploy a second HDHR Prime, I would not have discovered the "None" cable-card validation, which must have been causing me problems for the LAST THREE YEARS!!

I'll probably keep the Prime and the 2nd CableCard rental, though.

I could blame all this on Jack Valenti, the content-protection-HDCP Nazis. And -- the mix of HD with digital SD options. Or maybe it's the way I've explored and used these options over the years. For instance, anyone have a PVR-500 PCI card that they still use? I might still have the card; I don't use it . . . .

Planning! Don't do this at home unless you do some PLANNING!
 

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