Advice on best set-up for HDR-FOX T2 and FOXSAT-HDR

#1
I've enjoyed using my HDR-FOX T2 for the last few years (thanks for all the help on the forum and particularly for the custom firmware), but I've added a FOXSAT-HDR to our stable, as there's some issue with the HDR-FOX's aerial reception in our location which caused a lot of scrambling on major channels during the high pressure in the summer, but is still unwatchable on several channels now. My testing shows that the aerial may the problem, but as we're in a rental property, I can't upgrade it and there's good reception from the satellite dish.

I had planned to use the FOXSAT as our main box, and have bought a 2TB drive to ensure it had enough space, while watching backlog of recordings on the HDR-FOX (or even transferring them, but probably not due to the time taken) before maybe moving it to the guest bedroom. However, the user interface on the FOXSAT seems less polished than the HDR-FOX and while it's a lifesaver that it has custom firmware, it's lacking packages that I use like detectads, sweeper and undelete.

We generally only record in HD by accident, so I think there should be fewer issues in sharing or moving content between the two boxes.

Do any of the experienced users have any advice on the best set-up for a household with one mildly technical person (happy to swap out drives, do a bit of command line if necessary) and one who just wants it to work when they press the control?

I think my main options are:
1. Install the 2TB drive in the FOXSAT, use it as the daily driver, learn to love the UI and manage without the packages (which in large part I use to manage the 'limited' storage on the 1TB HDR-FOX)
2. Use the HDR-FOX as the main box and the FOXSAT for the channels that are bad on the HDR-FOX and deal with having two boxes (possibly installing the 2TB in the HDR-FOX, which would be more heavily used, and copying across the content from the 1TB before wiping it and putting it in the FOXSAT)
3. Use the HDR-FOX as the main box, and access the FOXSAT's content through the network to watch it on the HDR-FOX (they are currently adjacent with ethernet cables to the same WiFi hub)
- Possibly using an external drive to store the content (as per https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/foxsat-hdr-and-hdr-fox-t2-shared-external-hard-drive.3566/)
- It isn't clear to me from that post, but I assume it needs to be a NAS, otherwise we'll be swapping USB connections all the time. I've never used a NAS and can't afford to spend much money on one - a £50 one on eBay seems like the most affordable option
 
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JeremyT

New Member
#2
PS I have a universal remote (Inteset INT422) which should be able to cope with two Humax boxes on different remote frequencies, so having two boxes in use wouldn't be terrible. In my initial attempt last night, I couldn't persuade it to control the FOXSAT when it was on remote frequency 2, but I'll try the other frequencies and can resort to making it learn from the Humax remote if I have to

I can definitely recommend the remote, though I think you have to buy it from the US; I originally bought it along with their USB to IR adapter to control an Amazon Fire TV stick, but have carried on using the remote after moving on from the Fire TV stick.
 
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JeremyT

New Member
#5
4. Get the landlord to fix the aerial/feed
Thanks, but unfortunately I don't think it's that simple. My TV seemed to get quite a bit better reception than my HDR-FOX during the high pressure in the summer, so it could well be a fault on the HDR-FOX's input, which will mean I could well waste my landlord's time and money on a new aerial without resolving the problem. I've tried numerous aerial leads, so I don't that's the problem.

I just did an automatic retune on both my HDR-FOX and TV to see the scale of the problem (switching the aerial lead between the two, as passthrough gave the same result on both devices); the TV picked up the additional 33 channels below (most of no interest, but some useful; NB almost all of these stopped working on the TV when I went back to passthrough, with the HDR-FOX turned on). As I was able to find a FOXSAT relatively cheaply on eBay (cheaper than a replacement HDR-FOX T2), I figured that was a safer route to reliable recording, rather than trying to chase the terrestrial reception problem.

QVC
Drama
5 USA
Create & Craft
ITVBe
ITV2 +1
5STAR
ITV3+1
QVC Beauty
QVC Style
QUEST
Gems TV
Channel 5+1
TJC
5SELECT
Paramount Network
ITVBe+1
ITV4+1
True Entertainment
Blaze
CBS Reality
Horror Channel
Sewing Quarter
Jewellery Maker
TCC
Blaze
QUEST+1
Hochanda
The Store
CITV
Ketchup TV
BBC Red Button
365 Travel
(etc)
 
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JeremyT

New Member
#6
Foxsat recordings are not directly compatible with HDR-FOX (and vice versa).
Thanks. In the post https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/foxsat-hdr-and-hdr-fox-t2-shared-external-hard-drive.3566/post-42411, there was a comment that .ts files from the Foxsat play ok on the HDR-FOX, and as I'd not be making any HD recordings, I thought I might be able to take advantage of that and put the recordings on a NAS to play back on the HDR-FOX only.

Is that not possible / does it carry too much risk of corrupting the recordings?
 
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JeremyT

New Member
#7
I just did an automatic retune on both my HDR-FOX and TV to see the scale of the problem (switching the aerial lead between the two, as passthrough gave the same result on both devices); the TV picked up the additional 33 channels below (most of no interest, but some useful; NB almost all of these stopped working on the TV when I went back to passthrough, with the HDR-FOX turned on).
Having just tried to squeeze the centre of the female aerial in port on the HDR-FOX with a pair of needle nose pliers to make sure the contact with the aerial lead was good, I discovered that touching the pliers to the port with no cable there gave pretty good reception on Channel 5+1 while plugging in the actual aerial cable (the same one that worked well when directly connected to the TV) gave no picture or sound at all. (PS, this was Channel 5+1 on the TV, fed by a cable connecting the HDR-FOX's aerial out to the TV's aerial in, but I expect that a similar result would have been seen on the HDR-FOX, if I'd had that channel tuned in)

Any idea what's happening and how to fix it?
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
#8
I discovered that touching the pliers to the port with no cable there gave pretty good reception on Channel 5+1 while plugging in the actual aerial cable gave no picture or sound at all.
And you still think the latter isn't broken then?
You're missing COM4 for whatever reason.
How about putting some numbers on signal strength/quality readings?
 
#9
... touching the pliers to the port with no cable there gave pretty good reception on Channel 5+1 while plugging in the actual aerial cable (the same one that worked well when directly connected to the TV) gave no picture or sound at all. ...

Any idea what's happening and how to fix it?
What happens to the TV signal if you connect the aerial directly to the pass-through cable?
 
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JeremyT

New Member
#10
And you still think the latter isn't broken then?
You're missing COM4 for whatever reason.
How about putting some numbers on signal strength/quality readings?
No, I agree with you that something's broken, thanks for prompting me into checking

Since the aerial lead works fine on the TV, my assumption is that it's the HDR-FOX itself. Could you let me know what COM4 is?

Which signal strength/ quality ratings would be useful - the numbers from TV for those channels that are missing or other channels?

Thanks for your help
 
#12
Thanks. In the post https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/foxsat-hdr-and-hdr-fox-t2-shared-external-hard-drive.3566/post-42411, there was a comment that .ts files from the Foxsat play ok on the HDR-FOX, and as I'd not be making any HD recordings, I thought I might be able to take advantage of that and put the recordings on a NAS to play back on the HDR-FOX only.

Is that not possible / does it carry too much risk of corrupting the recordings?
Based on Raydon's post in that thread, it seems that you should set up a folder hierarchy for Foxsat and a parallel one for T2. Copy decrypted T2 files (.ts + sidecar) to the appropriate location in the T2 hierarchy and link each (non-HD) .ts file to the matching location in the Foxsat hierarchy, where you can generate its Foxsat-specific sidecar files. And vice versa.

The T2 custom firmware provides all you need to make a NAS for this scenario (ie NFS or SMB file sharing) using an external USB disk. You might want to connect your "NAS" disk via a USB2 hub if the rear socket is used for WiFi, so as to leave the front one free for ad hoc use.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#13
(.ts + sidecar)
My recollection is that it is the sidecar files that are the problem - so wouldn't you duplicate just the decrypted .ts and then regenerate the sidecars? I don't know the Foxsat well enough, but you can manage on a HDR-FOX with naked .ts files (no sidecars) as long as you forego trick play.

as I'd not be making any HD recordings
I'm not sure HiDef has anything to do with this. You need Nowster's Patch on the Foxsat to ensure recordings are not encrypted, and you need to run decryption on the HDR-FOX recordings.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
#14
An unencrypted *.ts from a Foxsat will play just fine and dandy on a T2. I have loads that I copied across.
They play, but IIRC the stuff that relies on the sidecar files don't work unless you convert the *.ts and generate the sidecars. (I haven't bothered)
 
#15
My recollection is that it is the sidecar files that are the problem - so wouldn't you duplicate just the decrypted .ts and then regenerate the sidecars? ....
So my proposal to JeremyT was to not duplicate the .ts files but to have the same file linked in a T2 and a Foxsat directory together with the device-specific sidecar files in each directory. Depending on which was the originating device, the other set of sidecar files would have to be generated using AV2HDR from a PC or the sidecar CF package as appropriate, if desired.
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
#16
Could you let me know what COM4 is?
It's one of the multiplexes, containing the channels you listed.
Which signal strength/ quality ratings would be useful - the numbers from TV for those channels that are missing or other channels?
Go to Menu, Settings, System, Signal Detection on the Humax and report RF channel, signal strength and quality for all tuned multiplexes. How many there are depends on which transmitter you are receiving from (which you haven't told us).
Then post the equivalent figures from the TV for say BBC1 and one that's missing from the Humax e.g. 5USA
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#17
Could you let me know what COM4 is?
Each service (what you probably incorrectly think of as a "channel", eg BBC1, BBC2, ITV, etc - identified by a Logical Channel Number 1, 2, 3, etc) is carried simultaneously with several other services in one data stream transmitted on one UHF broadcast channel - which used to carry just one TV service before digital TV came along. Because the channel carries several services multiplexed together, it is known as a multiplex or "mux".

The different multiplexes are the responsibility of different authorities, and are given names to identify them: BBC A, BBC B, D3&4, ARQ A, etc.

The allocation of services to multiplexes can be found here (also linked from the main forum section listing): http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/channels/channel_listings

The UHF channel each multiplex is on depends on which transmitter you receive from, so although the multiplex name is invariant, the relevant UHF channel is not. The process of tuning a digital receiver is for it to search the UHF band and register which channels DTV data can be received on (the rest is done by decoding the data stream to see what services are in that particular multiplex).

You can find which transmitter you should be receiving from, and what the relevant channel numbers are, here: https://hummy.tv/forum/link-forums/digital-uk-coverage-checker.41/
 
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JeremyT

New Member
#18
It's one of the multiplexes, containing the channels you listed.

Go to Menu, Settings, System, Signal Detection on the Humax and report RF channel, signal strength and quality for all tuned multiplexes. How many there are depends on which transmitter you are receiving from (which you haven't told us).
Then post the equivalent figures from the TV for say BBC1 and one that's missing from the Humax e.g. 5USA
Thanks. I hadn't heard multiplexes referred to as COMs before.

Given that the TV received sufficient signal for each of those services on the COM4 multiplex, I assumed that the aerial, connection/wall plate and cable were all fine, and that the fault may lie with the connector on the HDR-FOX or something inside the box. However, to make sure it was that, I tried with a 10m cable that I knew was good and discovered that I could now access all of the COM4 channels that I listed above with decent signal quality (even though the old cable works fine directly with the TV and used to work fine with the HDR-FOX before I moved in May).

I've now bought a good quality 1.5m aerial cable and am receiving the services as I should. I'll check the signal strength and quality when I get chance, but the picture quality on all of the COM4 channels seemed fine, so I won't bother posting unless there's an issue.

Thanks for your help and I hope I haven't wasted your time with what turned out to be a simple problem.
 
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JeremyT

New Member
#19
Each service (what you probably incorrectly think of as a "channel", eg BBC1, BBC2, ITV, etc - identified by a Logical Channel Number 1, 2, 3, etc) is carried simultaneously with several other services in one data stream transmitted on one UHF broadcast channel - which used to carry just one TV service before digital TV came along. Because the channel carries several services multiplexed together, it is known as a multiplex or "mux".
...
...
You can find which transmitter you should be receiving from, and what the relevant channel numbers are, here: https://hummy.tv/forum/link-forums/digital-uk-coverage-checker.41/

Thanks for clarifying
 
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JeremyT

New Member
#20
My recollection is that it is the sidecar files that are the problem - so wouldn't you duplicate just the decrypted .ts and then regenerate the sidecars? I don't know the Foxsat well enough, but you can manage on a HDR-FOX with naked .ts files (no sidecars) as long as you forego trick play.

So my proposal to JeremyT was to not duplicate the .ts files but to have the same file linked in a T2 and a Foxsat directory together with the device-specific sidecar files in each directory. Depending on which was the originating device, the other set of sidecar files would have to be generated using AV2HDR from a PC or the sidecar CF package as appropriate, if desired.
An unencrypted *.ts from a Foxsat will play just fine and dandy on a T2. I have loads that I copied across.
They play, but IIRC the stuff that relies on the sidecar files don't work unless you convert the *.ts and generate the sidecars. (I haven't bothered)
I'm not sure HiDef has anything to do with this. You need Nowster's Patch on the Foxsat to ensure recordings are not encrypted, and you need to run decryption on the HDR-FOX recordings.
Thanks to all three of you for the advice on setting the system up. As I've now resolved the missing channels issue with the HDR-FOX, I'll use the FOXSAT in a different room and it can definitely be a secondary machine, which may help in the set-up. I'm going to look at the options and will probably sort it out when I have more time over Christmas.

PS. My repetition of the point on not recording in HiDef was because I read that the HDR-FOX uses the AAC audio codec, which the FOXSAT doesn't support and hence audio streams for HD recordings on HDR-FOX would need to converted.
 
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