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The tab in the above screenshot shows the configured server. There will always be only one Server listed. Support for multiple "Slave Servers" was initially planned but this feature was disabled due to stability problems. In the left pane the server node for "bagga-server" has been expanded to show the TV tuners associated with the server.

Tuners

When you click on the server name in the left panel you'll be presented with the following view.

This section enables you to view and manage settings for the tuners that are installed in the server.

 

*Note: *changes to tuner availability, priority and settings require a TV Server restart, so it is not recommended to change these settings while a recording is in progress.

Enabled

When a tuner is not enabled TV Server will not use it. Tick or untick the enabled check box to control whether the tuner is enabled or not. This setting can be useful for testing or if you use some of your tuners with other software.

Priority

Use the up and down buttons to change the priority settings for your tuners.
TV Server uses a priority system to decide which tuner to use for timeshifting and recording. The tuner with the highest priority that is not in use on a different transponder or multiplex will be tried first. If the first tuner fails to tune the channel for any reason then TV Server will automatically try each other tuner that is also available and capable of tuning the channel in order of descending priority. The tuner with priority 1 is the tuner with the lowest priority; it will be the last tuner that TV Server will try to use.

Type
This column describes the broadcast standard(s) that the tuner supports.

Tuners that are listed with type "unknown" are tuners that TV Server knows about but cannot use. A tuner may be listed as "unknown" when it is:

  • not plugged in
  • disabled in Windows device manager
  • marked with a yellow exclamation mark in Windows device manager (meaning driver not installed or driver error)
  • not listed in Windows device manager (meaning tuner not installed or not detected during Windows startup)
  • not supported by TV Server

Before MediaPortal 1.5 TV Server only detected tuners on startup. TV Server usually starts automatically when Windows starts. Sometimes TV Server was able to start before tuner drivers finished loading. When this happened, tuners would be listed as "unknown" until TV Server was restarted. This problem may be resolved by increase the "delay before TV Server detects cards" setting as described here.

CAM
This setting shows whether the tuner may use a CAM for decrypting scrambled channels. If you use a CableCARD tuner or a DVB tuner with Common Interface (CI), CAM and smart card then you must enable the CAM (see the Edit Tuner Settings section below) in order to be able to watch Pay-TV.

CAM Limit
The CAM limit specifies how many encrypted channels the tuner can decrypt simultaneously.

Id

The internal identification number that TV Server assigns to the tuner. Each tuner has a unique identification number.

Name

The short name or description of the tuner. This is set by the tuner driver and cannot be changed.

Init

Indicates whether TV Server will use the tuner. This value will be "no" when a tuner is disabled or the tuner type is "unknown".

Grab EPG

Indicates whether TV Server will use the tuner to grab electronic programme guide information. See DVB EPG for more details. You can enable or disable this function in the tuner settings dialog as described below.

Device Path

This is the full path used by the operating system to uniquely identify a tuner. This includes what kind of device the tuner is (PCI, USB, software etc.), and details about the manufacturer, model, revision and instance number.

Virtual Tuners

Normally you'll see two additional tuners in the tuner list: a DVB-IP tuner "MediaPortal IPTV Source Filter" and a RadioWebStream tuner. These are virtual or software tuners that allow you to use TV Server to acces IPTV services from your internet service provider and music streams from popular internet sites like SHOUTcast. You can control the number of DVB-IP tuners that are available using the "number of IPTV cards" setting.

Edit Tuner Settings

To change the settings for a tuner, select the tuner and then click "edit" in the lower right corner. This will open a new window.

CAM Setup
Tick "CAM enabled and present for this card" if you have a CableCARD tuner or a DVB tuner with a CI slot, CAM and smartcard and you want to use the tuner to receive encrypted channels.

All CAMs have a limit on the number of channels that they are able to decrypt simultaneously. The limit depends on the manufacturer, CAM hardware design, firmware, and the encryption systems that the CAM supports. Further, only some tuners support decrypting multiple channels simultaneously (see supported TV cards) - this is a driver limitation.

Set the limit to 1 for CableCARD and Digital Devices DVB tuners.

Otherwise, please refer to your tuner and CAM manuals and enter the appropriate value. If you can't find the details then either set the value to zero to disable the limit, or attempt to find the correct setting by recording multiple channels and checking how many recordings are possible before the recording fails or the recording file is scrambled.

You should leave the CAM model setting as "default" unless you have an Astoncrypt 2 CAM.

Grab EPG
Use this setting to enable or prevent TV Server from using the tuner to grab EPG (electronic programme guide) data. This setting is not applicable for analog tuners.

Advanced Tuning Options

Allow this card to be preloaded
Preloading can help to reduce the time that you have to wait when a tuner is used for the first time. When enabled, TV Server will load the tuner and prepare it for use when TV Server starts up. This can cause problems for some tuners if the tuner driver takes a long time to initialise on Windows startup or resume from standby or hibernation. You may need to increase the "delay before TV Server detects cards" setting as described here. Note that you cannot use this setting for hybrid tuners because only one tuner may be active at any given time.

When card enters idle state do the following

The purpose of this setting is to reduce the time that is needed for the tuner to change between different channels. There are two options:

  • Pause card - using this option might reduce the time that your tuner takes to respond to your request to tune a channel.
  • Stop card (default) - this option is considered to be more compatible and "safe".

Using the "pause" option has three potential consequences that you need to be aware of:

1. Some tuner drivers do not support "pause" properly. If you experience stability issues or tuning problems with "pause" enabled then please use the "stop" option.

2. TV Server will prevent other software from using a tuner if "pause" is selected, even when TV Server is not actively using the tuner for timeshifting or recording.

3. The tuner may consume more power if "pause" is selected.

We strongly recommend that you only use the "pause" option if you experience long channel changing times.

Preferred Network Provider

Microsoft has changed and improved their Windows TV support over time. In Windows XP there were four specific network providers that were available. In Windows Vista, Microsoft created a new improved "generic" network provider that provides better performance and support for new broadcast standards. For this reason we usually recommend that you use the generic provider with TV Server on Windows Vista or newer. However, some older tuners do not function correctly with the generic network provider. If you experience stability or tuning problems on Windows Vista or newer with a tuner designed for Windows XP, please try using the specific network provider before reporting a problem in the forum.

Remove Tuner

It is possible to remove tuners that are marked as "unknown" from the tuner list. Simply select the tuner and click remove. All channel mappings will also be removed when you do this. It is not possible to remove tuners that are recognised by TV Server because removing a tuner that may be actively timeshifting or recording could cause unpredictable behaviour. If you wish to remove an active tuner for any reason - maybe in order to reset the tuner settings - first disable the tuner in Windows device manager and then restart TV Server. The tuner should then be marked as "unknown" and can be removed. Note that the tuner will be recognised again when you re-enable it in Windows device manager.

Channel scanning

The next step in TV Server setup is channel scanning:

   

 

2 Comments

  1. says:
    @genghiskhen - thx for the feedback. Definitions are in the glossary, and linked, usually to at least the first time the term appears on a page. I added a few more links to glossary. Hope that helps. I'm not sure what you mean by 'explain sections by referring to the section name." ??
    Posted Feb, 08 2011 05:22

  2. says:
    It would be nice to have definitions included with the instructions. For instance, what is CAM? I mostly got it from context. The Grab EPG section is not very useful if you don't know what EPG and DVB are. Like a dictionary, you should not explain sections by referring to the section name. Thanks for all the help and information.
    Posted Feb, 07 2011 22:46