Thursday, January 22, 2009

Virgin Media box - rubbish, and it killed my PVR's EPG!

For many months Virgin Media have been calling me to try and get me to take TV as part of my package - I had telephone and data. Eventually the pestering ground me down and I said they could send me the set-top box but I resolved not to install it - I was getting an upgrade to 20Mbits and fixed-cost calls (i.e. standing charge only) so that it seems I'll be saving.
Well - once the box had been delivered I had to unbox it just to have a look and I realised they sent one of the H.264-capable Samsung boxes (HDMI o/p at 1080!). Sarah then said " has a better quality version of iPlayer than gets delivered over the web - could we use it for that?" so I ran a co-ax under the floor and installed it.
Of course it didn't work and after much tinkering in engineering menus I discovered that the smart-card wasn't paired with the box! So back into the carboard and stored in the cellar!
Whilst I was tinkering I set MediaPortal to see the box on it's S-Video i/p and was going to run an extra IR blaster so I could PVR cable-channels (in much the same way that TiVO works with Sky boxes). Last night I noticed that MediaPortal had stopped making off-air recordings and when I looked it was clear that it wasn't getting any EPG data. After much head-scratching I realised that if you define an external cable or Sky box it assumes that the EPG ain't coming from DVB-T any more - d'oh!

So - that Virgin box is staying in the cellar and ain't coming anywhere near my good working setup!

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