Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Thanks to all for checking out my reviews of Dell's customer service and my odd-yssey involving Adaptec. I got a couple of emails about trying to get the AVC-3610 TV tuner to work properly, and one canny emailer posited that the problem was likely through Windows Media Center edition, and not necessarily with Adaptec. Spurred by this cogent comment, I went into Microsoft's MCE site, and posted the following question into the applicable newsgroup:

I've got MCE 2005 with an Adaptec AVC-3610 dual tuner. I set it up originally with input 1 coming from set top box RCA out to AVC-3610 RCA in. The device saw the signal and set up for the remote. Then I set up Input 2 with direct cable, split at the wall, coming through a VCR, into Input 2 of the AVC-3610. MCE went through the setup for both inputs and saw the signal on both inputs. Even though I had no STB on Input 2, I allowed MCE setup to use the EPG that was also being used for input 1 [STB]. After all, the reference the same channels.

When I completed MCE setup, however, I could see and control only Input 2 -- the second input set up. It is as if the first set up -- through the STB -- doesn't exist. I have been able to find no way to toggle between input 1 and input 2. How can I record from both signal feeds if I can't toggle between the two to set the record commands for one, the other or both?

What am I missing? Right now, I;m running only one tuner setup, through the STB. I want to be able to record VHS tapes up to digital, and currently can't, without recabling and re-setting up.

Then, after a response which was nice but not too helpful, I got more specific:

OK, let's say I use 2 STBs on each input. How then do I toggle between the two feeds? Example: I start recording West Wing at 7:00 through input 1,
but I want to watch/record MSNBC on live TV through input 2. How do I go back and forth to set the timer for each input source and to watch one or the other?

Here is, I think [finally],the answer I have been looking for:

Since they're both the same, MCE treats each source as identical and
interchangeable, and it manages it for you.

In other words, if you're recording West Wing through the schedule, and you turn on MCE and go to watch Live TV and switch to MSNBC, it does so without question or hesitation. This is as opposed to the case where you only have one tuner. In that case, it will give an error saying that you will have to interrupt the recording if you want to watch Live TV.

Want to record two programs simultaneously? Just tell it to do it, and it manages it for you. If you try to record three, it will then give an error and ask you to pick which 2 of the 3 you want to record.

Does that help?

So here's the solution. First, I have to use the same signal sources on each input, although I don't know how the device senses the different signals. Second, apparently, I don't have to do anything to toggle between the two input sources -- MCE does it for me seamlessly.

Cool, if it actually works. Here's my next question, though. One of the reasons I sprang for the new computer and TV tuner was to be able to move my Tennessee football games [I've got most of the televised games since 1989] up to digital, and then move them to DVD. If I have to use the same input sources on each input, how do I get a VCR into the chain. Can I daisy chain the VCRin between the set top box and the AVC-3610? Any bright ideas out there?

1 comment:

RYounk007 said...

Have you solved this problem yet? Is there a solution available? I am trying to figure out the same thing in a slightly different situation. I would like to use both tuners one controlling a set-top box (so I can record Showtime) and the other the standard cable input. Is this possible?