Hauppauge products and Pace DTAs

While this is a bit off-topic for a Linux specific blog, I figured it might be of interest to those of you that have a Hauppauge product and for some time have been frustrated that it doesn’t work with your Pace DTA.

A known limitation of the onboard IR blaster found in many of these products is the inability to blast the XMP protocol which is becoming more and more common in the Digital Terminal Adapters (DTAs) that US based cable companies are giving away as they transition to all-digital networks. For example, it is very common for Comcast to provide these boxes at no charge to existing customers.

This basically means if you have one of the Hauppauge products that contain the Zilog, you have to go out and buy a separate MCE IR blaster in order for it to work with those devices.

After getting sufficiently frustrated with the situation, I sat down and hacked together a solution. If you are a Windows user, you can get the following hcwblast.ini file, which will allow the device to work with the Pace DTA.

http://devinheitmueller.com/HCWBlast.ini

Download the file, make a backup of the hcwblast.ini already in your c:\windows directory, then overwrite that file with the file I provided.

To test it out:

  1. Make sure the IR blasting cable is attached to the front of the DTA (see photo below)
  2. Run the “BlastCfg” tool that comes with the product
  3. Click the “Advanced Config…” button
  4. Click the “Learning…” button
  5. Click the “Send” radio button
  6. Then press the various buttons. As you press them, you should see the buttons being sent to the DTA. The 0-9 buttons should work, as well as the “Enter” button

This solution should work with the HVR-1600, HVR-1950, HD-PVR, PVR-150, PVR-250, and PVR-350. It’s tested against a Pace DCI105, but should also work with the DC50 or DC100 as well (they use the same codeset).

The usual disclaimers of “no warranty” applies. If it doesn’t work though, you can just restore the backup copy of hcwblast.ini that you made in Step #2 (be sure to close blastcfg first though).

Feedback (either positive or negative) always welcome in the comments section below.

Special thanks goes out to Andy Walls for his crucial role in understanding the format of the IR blobs.

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5 thoughts on “Hauppauge products and Pace DTAs

  1. This is a great achievement given what I have read about getting the DC50 and alike to work with IR blasters.

    How can this be applied in a Linux environment?

    • Devin Heitmueller

      Hi Charlie,

      It cannot currently be used under Linux, as the Linux Zilog driver doesn’t currently support blasting of learned codes. Hauppauge has provided a bunch of Linux driver code to Jarod Wilson under the GPL though that demonstrates how this can be done, but he hasn’t had a chance yet to incorporate it into the upstream driver. Once that happens then you should be able to blast the same learned codes as under Windows (which includes the codes I built for the DC50).

      Devin

  2. Props to Devin for coaxing the Z8 IR unit to blast a protocol that the IR data blob format shouldn’t have been able to support. Quite crafty. 🙂

  3. Thanks, your solution worked for my USB WinTV-HVR 1950 and 64bit Win7, The Comcast DTA is a DCI1011COM type.

    Now that it works for WinTV, how do I get it to work for Media Center?

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