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How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off?
On Jan 8, 2008 1:25 PM, Mitch Gore <mitchell.gore@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On Jan 8, 2008 11:23 AM, Daniel Arfsten <darfsten@hotmail.com> wrote:

thanks, the info/display thingy will be usefull to me as well. I will
throw a cron job in tonight.

What if there was a small power disruption? My backend machine would
boot back all the way up, I wonder what stage would the STB be? Is
there a way one can ensure that the STB stays powered on, rather than
finding out from recordings with blank/black display? thanks.

> Just an idea you could have a cron job that runs at the top of the hour to
> send the display/info key. This would keep it alive and would give minimum
> impact on recordings. The info screen would only be in the very beginning or
> end of the recording.
>
> You might even be able to get by with more time as it should stay on for
> atleast 3hrs (to watch a 2hr movie on a commercial station. If it turns off
> more frequently than that complain to the provider.
>
> Mitchell
>
>
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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
On Jan 8, 2008, at 11:07 AM, Evuraan::ഏവൂരാന്‍ wrote:
> What if there was a small power disruption? My backend machine would
> boot back all the way up, I wonder what stage would the STB be? Is
> there a way one can ensure that the STB stays powered on, rather than
> finding out from recordings with blank/black display? thanks.

You could plug it into a UPS. That would help with short outages, at
least.

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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
On Jan 8, 2008 1:07 PM, Evuraan::ഏവൂരാന് <evuraan@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Jan 8, 2008 1:25 PM, Mitch Gore <mitchell.gore@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > On Jan 8, 2008 11:23 AM, Daniel Arfsten <darfsten@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> thanks, the info/display thingy will be usefull to me as well. I will
> throw a cron job in tonight.
>
> What if there was a small power disruption? My backend machine would
> boot back all the way up, I wonder what stage would the STB be? Is
> there a way one can ensure that the STB stays powered on, rather than
> finding out from recordings with blank/black display? thanks.
>
> > Just an idea you could have a cron job that runs at the top of the hour
> to
> > send the display/info key. This would keep it alive and would give
> minimum
> > impact on recordings. The info screen would only be in the very
> beginning or
> > end of the recording.
> >
> > You might even be able to get by with more time as it should stay on for
> > atleast 3hrs (to watch a 2hr movie on a commercial station. If it turns
> off
> > more frequently than that complain to the provider.
> >
> > Mitchell
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users@mythtv.org
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>




Im not positive but i think when you first power on a STB it goes through
the 15-20 min setup time. then it goes to watching your first channel
available. So then keeping it alive with info button should work. This pry
changes with each box tho. I used to have a SA4250HDC but have since
canceled cable as OTA is good enough and 'free'.

yes you could use the UPS. i just purchased a UPS and then returned it. i
paid a $100 for a "70min" UPS. come to find out it would only power my
mythbox for 11mins. if i added a STB on that maybe i would get 8mins. If
you ask me its not really worth it when my power only flickers in bad ice
storms ~2-3 times/year but if you are in a country were the power worse,
maybe its worth spending $200+ on something that will last longer.

Mitchell
Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
> yes you could use the UPS. i just purchased a UPS and then returned it. i
> paid a $100 for a "70min" UPS. come to find out it would only power my
> mythbox for 11mins. if i added a STB on that maybe i would get 8mins. If
> you ask me its not really worth it when my power only flickers in bad ice
> storms ~2-3 times/year but if you are in a country were the power worse,
> maybe its worth spending $200+ on something that will last longer.
>
My 1000VA PCM King Pro (less than $100US online) will keep my dual
core AMD Opteron 285 Mythtv system with 4 hard drives, 2 tuners and
4GB of memory running for over 30 minutes during a power outage.

John
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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
> My 1000VA PCM King Pro (less than $100US online) will keep my dual
> core AMD Opteron 285 Mythtv system with 4 hard drives, 2 tuners and
> 4GB of memory running for over 30 minutes during a power outage.
>
I forgot to mention that you do have to replace the batteries every 3
to 4 years but the good thing is you can get 2 TR9-12 batteries for
less than $40 shipped. BTW, these batteries work in a lot of different
UPSs including APC models.

John
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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
On Jan 8, 2008, at 11:30 AM, Mitch Gore wrote:
> yes you could use the UPS. i just purchased a UPS and then returned
> it. i paid a $100 for a "70min" UPS. come to find out it would
> only power my mythbox for 11mins. if i added a STB on that maybe i
> would get 8mins. If you ask me its not really worth it when my
> power only flickers in bad ice storms ~2-3 times/year but if you are
> in a country were the power worse, maybe its worth spending $200+ on
> something that will last longer.

Advertised UPS runtimes are sort of misleading, because they're
usually calculated for half load. If you're only looking to ride out
short power flickers, though, 8 minutes should be plenty. You can
usually set things up so the system will shut down in an orderly way
when the battery gets low, if the power stays off.
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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
> Advertised UPS runtimes are sort of misleading, because they're
> usually calculated for half load.

This is why I make sure I try to keep the load on a UPS of less than
1/4 of its rated output at home and at work.


John M. Drescher
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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
Will this (or something like this?) work?

vid="/dev/video0"
cat $vid > /tmp/out1 ; sleep 10; cat $vid > /tmp/out2
diff /tmp/out1 /tmp/out2 1>/dev/null 2>/dev/null && echo "STB is powered off?"

That is, out1, out2 will not differ if the STB is dead as it is
grabbing blank frames.( and blank grab files /hopefully/ are exactly
identical?) ;)

out1,out2 will be differing it STB is sending stuff over to grab.

That being said, I am miles away from my machine to test.

Thanks..!


On Jan 8, 2008 2:30 PM, Mitch Gore <mitchell.gore@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On Jan 8, 2008 1:07 PM, Evuraan::ഏവൂരാന് <evuraan@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jan 8, 2008 1:25 PM, Mitch Gore <mitchell.gore@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > On Jan 8, 2008 11:23 AM, Daniel Arfsten <darfsten@hotmail.com > wrote:
> >
> > thanks, the info/display thingy will be usefull to me as well. I will
> > throw a cron job in tonight.
> >
> > What if there was a small power disruption? My backend machine would
> > boot back all the way up, I wonder what stage would the STB be? Is
> > there a way one can ensure that the STB stays powered on, rather than
> > finding out from recordings with blank/black display? thanks.
> >
> > > Just an idea you could have a cron job that runs at the top of the hour
> to
> > > send the display/info key. This would keep it alive and would give
> minimum
> > > impact on recordings. The info screen would only be in the very
> beginning or
> > > end of the recording.
> > >
> > > You might even be able to get by with more time as it should stay on for
> > > atleast 3hrs (to watch a 2hr movie on a commercial station. If it turns
> off
> > > more frequently than that complain to the provider.
> > >
> > > Mitchell
> > >
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > mythtv-users mailing list
> > mythtv-users@mythtv.org
> > http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
> >
>
>
>
>
> Im not positive but i think when you first power on a STB it goes through
> the 15-20 min setup time. then it goes to watching your first channel
> available. So then keeping it alive with info button should work. This pry
> changes with each box tho. I used to have a SA4250HDC but have since
> canceled cable as OTA is good enough and 'free'.
>
> yes you could use the UPS. i just purchased a UPS and then returned it. i
> paid a $100 for a "70min" UPS. come to find out it would only power my
> mythbox for 11mins. if i added a STB on that maybe i would get 8mins. If
> you ask me its not really worth it when my power only flickers in bad ice
> storms ~2-3 times/year but if you are in a country were the power worse,
> maybe its worth spending $200+ on something that will last longer.
>
> Mitchell
>

>
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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
On Jan 8, 2008, at 11:53 AM, John Drescher wrote:

>> Advertised UPS runtimes are sort of misleading, because they're
>> usually calculated for half load.
>
> This is why I make sure I try to keep the load on a UPS of less than
> 1/4 of its rated output at home and at work.

You'll get loads of runtime, then. :) I've seen up to an hour on a
900 VA UPS I have, but that one is just running a single server, a
router, and a network switch. There isn't even a monitor connected.

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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
> What if there was a small power disruption? My backend machine would
> boot back all the way up, I wonder what stage would the STB be? Is
> there a way one can ensure that the STB stays powered on, rather than
> finding out from recordings with blank/black display? thanks.

Does it have to use the power key to power up? A lot of STBs will power up
on any channel change selection key (as my TV does) in which case use the
channel change to power up and the power key to power down.

I'm not clear on whether you are using an IR blaster to talk to the STB or
not
but a few experiments with the original remote may be useful...

--
Robin Gilks


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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
On Jan 8, 2008 7:19 PM, Robin Gilks <g8ecj@gilks.org> wrote:
>
> > What if there was a small power disruption? My backend machine would
> > boot back all the way up, I wonder what stage would the STB be? Is
> > there a way one can ensure that the STB stays powered on, rather than
> > finding out from recordings with blank/black display? thanks.
>
> Does it have to use the power key to power up? A lot of STBs will power up
> on any channel change selection key (as my TV does) in which case use the
> channel change to power up and the power key to power down.
>
>

Yeah, it needs the power key to power up :(. . It is an Explorer 3100 (SD)

http://www.scientificatlanta.com/products/consumers/new_explorer2100.htm

> I'm not clear on whether you are using an IR blaster to talk to the STB or
> not
> but a few experiments with the original remote may be useful...
>
> --
> Robin Gilks
>
>
>
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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
On Jan 8, 2008 10:31 PM, Evuraan::ഏവൂരാന് <evuraan@gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> > > What if there was a small power disruption? My backend machine would
> > > boot back all the way up, I wonder what stage would the STB be? Is
> > > there a way one can ensure that the STB stays powered on, rather than
> > > finding out from recordings with blank/black display? thanks.
> >
>

Nailed it.

I've posted a detailed howto and the script to ensure that the STB is
Powered On, here:

http://evuraan.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-to-ensure-set-top-box-stb-is.html

Feedbacks welcome.


> > Does it have to use the power key to power up? A lot of STBs will power
> up
> > on any channel change selection key (as my TV does) in which case use
> the
> > channel change to power up and the power key to power down.
> >
> >
>
> Yeah, it needs the power key to power up :(. . It is an Explorer 3100 (SD)
>
> http://www.scientificatlanta.com/products/consumers/new_explorer2100.htm
>
> > I'm not clear on whether you are using an IR blaster to talk to the STB
> or
> > not
> > but a few experiments with the original remote may be useful...
> >
> > --
> > Robin Gilks
> >
> >
> >
>
Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
Evuraan (evuraan@gmail.com) wrote:

> Will this (or something like this?) work?

> vid="/dev/video0"
> cat $vid > /tmp/out1 ; sleep 10; cat $vid > /tmp/out2
> diff /tmp/out1 /tmp/out2 1>/dev/null 2>/dev/null && echo "STB is powered off?"

> That is, out1, out2 will not differ if the STB is dead as it is
> grabbing blank frames.( and blank grab files /hopefully/ are exactly
> identical?) ;)

> out1,out2 will be differing it STB is sending stuff over to grab.

The files will be slightly different, so diff won't help you... but I'll
tell you what will: gzip. 10 seconds of all-black video will compress down
to a very small file, while 10 seconds of actual running video with
changing images and sound will not. Someone smart on this list suggested
this solution to me a year ago, and it's worked a treat for me since then.

I'm attaching the quick hack I use to detect a blank screen from my
occasionally powered-off STB. It's kinda stupid, but it's working okay.
If anyone else uses it and it works, great -- send me any suggestions! If
it blows up your machine I don't know you and never have. :)

Adam

--
Your ego is like your liver. We evolved with egos because we need them
to survive. The problem is once you start letting your ego run the joint.
It's like letting your spleen be in charge. -- David Johansen
<adam@baz.org> Adam Hirsch <http://web.baz.org/~adam/>
Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
Adam Hirsch wrote:
> The files will be slightly different, so diff won't help you... but I'll
> tell you what will: gzip. 10 seconds of all-black video will compress down
> to a very small file, while 10 seconds of actual running video with
> changing images and sound will not. Someone smart on this list suggested
> this solution to me a year ago, and it's worked a treat for me since then.
>

(1) cat needs to be killed sometimes
(2) 10 seconds is too much time to wait.

check out the link
http://evuraan.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-to-ensure-set-top-box-stb-is.html,
it takes just 2 seconds to run.
Plus, it checks multiple frame to be very sure, before it sends a power
flick signal.

For optimal results, I made my channel change script call this, that way
read access to your video device is almost 100% guaranteed.

You can view the script here also:
http://malayalam.homelinux.net/evuraan/check_stb.txt

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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
At least for my SA4250HD, I was able to modify the mythtv code slightly in
order to turn on the STB when it begins capturing and turn it off when the
stream stops. For example, if I hit watch tv, myth will turn on my STB, and
tune the channel. Switching channels does not toggle power. When I quit
watching tv, myth will turn my STB off. However, this does require a
firewire connection to the box.

There are certain codes that you can send over firewire to turn on/off the
SA STBs and even query their on/off state. I think I found the codes from a
mailing list archive entry about the SA3250HD, but the same codes worked for
my SA4250HD (even though 4250HDs aren't even supposed to work at all in myth
right now, I believe).

I'm at work right now, so I don't have the details, but I can pass on the
relevant info once I get home.

On Jan 10, 2008 8:40 PM, Evuraan::ഏവൂരാന്‍ <evuraan@gmail.com> wrote:

> Adam Hirsch wrote:
> > The files will be slightly different, so diff won't help you... but I'll
> > tell you what will: gzip. 10 seconds of all-black video will compress
> down
> > to a very small file, while 10 seconds of actual running video with
> > changing images and sound will not. Someone smart on this list
> suggested
> > this solution to me a year ago, and it's worked a treat for me since
> then.
> >
>
> (1) cat needs to be killed sometimes
> (2) 10 seconds is too much time to wait.
>
> check out the link
> http://evuraan.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-to-ensure-set-top-box-stb-is.html,
> it takes just 2 seconds to run.
> Plus, it checks multiple frame to be very sure, before it sends a power
> flick signal.
>
> For optimal results, I made my channel change script call this, that way
> read access to your video device is almost 100% guaranteed.
>
> You can view the script here also:
> http://malayalam.homelinux.net/evuraan/check_stb.txt
>
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users@mythtv.org
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>
Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
On Jan 11, 2008, at 7:42 AM, Chris Weiland wrote:

> At least for my SA4250HD, I was able to modify the mythtv code
> slightly in order to turn on the STB when it begins capturing and
> turn it off when the stream stops.

Do you find your STB actually draws less power when off? I haven't
checked mine yet, but I did check my VCR once, and I found that "on"
and "off" resulted in exactly the same power use. I suspect that the
same may be true of a lot of STBs.

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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
Well, I can tell you that when I used my ultra accurate current meter, that
there was far less power consumption while in the off state. However, my
ultra accurate current meter is my hand feeling a difference in heat
generation when placed on top of the box. When on for a while, the top is
fairly hot, but after being off for a while, the top is nice and cool. I
would assume that putting it into standby (because let's face it, you can't
actually turn off electronics these days), it actually consumes far less
power. However, I do not have any scientific numbers to back that up.


On Jan 11, 2008 2:13 PM, David Brodbeck <gull@gull.us> wrote:

>
> On Jan 11, 2008, at 7:42 AM, Chris Weiland wrote:
>
> > At least for my SA4250HD, I was able to modify the mythtv code
> > slightly in order to turn on the STB when it begins capturing and
> > turn it off when the stream stops.
>
> Do you find your STB actually draws less power when off? I haven't
> checked mine yet, but I did check my VCR once, and I found that "on"
> and "off" resulted in exactly the same power use. I suspect that the
> same may be true of a lot of STBs.
>
> _______________________________________________
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> mythtv-users@mythtv.org
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>
Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
On Jan 11, 2008, at 1:02 PM, Chris Weiland wrote:

> Well, I can tell you that when I used my ultra accurate current
> meter, that there was far less power consumption while in the off
> state. However, my ultra accurate current meter is my hand feeling
> a difference in heat generation when placed on top of the box. When
> on for a while, the top is fairly hot, but after being off for a
> while, the top is nice and cool. I would assume that putting it
> into standby (because let's face it, you can't actually turn off
> electronics these days), it actually consumes far less power.
> However, I do not have any scientific numbers to back that up.

No, that pretty much settles it -- basically all the power that goes
into a piece of equipment like that comes out as heat, and there's
nowhere else the heat can come from, so it must be using less power. :)

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Re: How to ensure STB is powered ON? Re: SA3250HD is turning itself off? [ In reply to ]
Well, for those that are interested, these are the diffs to the files that I
modified. I also made a change that would send leading 0's for chanels that
do not have 3 digits. Without this change, mythtv would sometimes start
streaming video before the channel actually changed, which would sometimes
lead to corruption or failure to record.

Also, for some reason my STB will switch on whenever I start the backend.
I'm not positive that it's because of these changes, but it's worth
mentioning.

Please note: this has only been tested with my SA4350HDC. However, it
should work with all SA STBs.


On Jan 11, 2008 7:06 PM, David Brodbeck <gull@gull.us> wrote:

>
> On Jan 11, 2008, at 1:02 PM, Chris Weiland wrote:
>
> > Well, I can tell you that when I used my ultra accurate current
> > meter, that there was far less power consumption while in the off
> > state. However, my ultra accurate current meter is my hand feeling
> > a difference in heat generation when placed on top of the box. When
> > on for a while, the top is fairly hot, but after being off for a
> > while, the top is nice and cool. I would assume that putting it
> > into standby (because let's face it, you can't actually turn off
> > electronics these days), it actually consumes far less power.
> > However, I do not have any scientific numbers to back that up.
>
> No, that pretty much settles it -- basically all the power that goes
> into a piece of equipment like that comes out as heat, and there's
> nowhere else the heat can come from, so it must be using less power. :)
>
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>