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  1. Hi. I am looking to purchase a Hauppuage Colossus to record my Comcast/ Directv. I have a few questions before I make the purchase. First, what is the difference between the Colossus, and the Colossus 2? Is the 2nd one worth the extra $10? Second, can I use the IR blaster to auto change the channel, for the recording? Third, does it work with WMC, or Next PVR? Which is better?
    Finally, is the Colossus even worth purchasing?

    Sorry for all of the questions, but there aren't many topics on this.
    Thank you in advance, and I appreciate any help!
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    At one time (2014) I used a Colossus for recording from a Comcast cable box. I never owned a Colossus 2 and have never subscribed to DirecTV.

    The Colossus II reportedly has the same encoder chip as the HD-PVR 2 and an HDMI-out (pass-through). The Colossus has a different encoder chip and a TBC for SD analog recording. (The TBC can be enabled via a hack, but I never tried to use it.) Either way, you'll still need a ViewHD VHD-1X2MN3D HDMI splitter or another splitter that removes HDCP. The splitter will also let you watch TV with the PC shut off. Both devices work with WMC and NextPVR. I mainly used NexPVR. I never used the Colossus' own remote and IR receiver/IR blaster. I already owned an MCE remote + IR receiver/IR blaster. I used the MCE IR reciever/IR blaster or Firewire (my HTPC has a Firewire port) to change channels on my cable box. One annoyance with the Hauppauge HD capture devices is the need to power cycle them every few days. If that isn't done, they don't operate correctly. Honestly, if you want to use a capture device to make recordings that do not require your provider's equipment to watch, you are still better off if you rent a PVR from your service provider, and re-record. It may take more than one try to get a good capture from a capture device.

    In 2015 I returned cable box and uninstalled the Colossus. I currently use a Silicondust HDHomerun Prime CableCARD tuner for recording from Comcast. I rent an M-Card CableCARD from Comcast instead of a cable box. (Obviously this is not a solution for DirecTV.) The Silicondust HDHomerun Prime CableCARD tuner works with WMC and NextPVR. Fewer recordings fail than with the Colossus, and since I'm capturing original broadcast stream the quality couldn't be better. NextPVR works for everything other than copy-once channels, of which I have found only one in my package so far (MPLEX). Comcast tends to use copy-once mainly for premium channels like ShowTime and HBO. NextPVR does a better job handling consecutive recordings on the same channel than WMC. Tuning with WMC may be a little more reliable, and WMC is needed for recording copy-once, although recordings from copy-once channels are not portable. Silicondust is working on its own solution for recording copy-once channels on Windows 10 (requires a yearly subscription). I have tried Silicondust's free Windows 10 app for viewing copy-once channels. The app works well.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th Apr 2017 at 12:46. Reason: spelling
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  3. Thanks for that info. It was a lot for me to understand, but I get idea.

    I can't use a Silicondust, so I will have to use a capture card. From what I understood, the Colossus 1 and 2 are the same? Is any one preferable? What is the best solution for the IR blaster? Finally, in Nect pvr, is there a channel guide that you can use?

    Sorry for all of my questions, and thanks for responding!
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    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    I can't use a Silicondust, so I will have to use a capture card.
    Based on personal experience, I think you will probably find your chosen solution somewhat disappointing if you plan on doing a lot of unattended, scheduled recording with it. Don't say nobody warned you.

    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    From what I understood, the Colossus 1 and 2 are the same? Is any one preferable?
    No, the Colossus 1 and 2 are not the same since they have different encoder chips. The Colossus 1 allows using a higher bit rate for recording, but higher bit rate alone is not the entire story. Some encoder chips can produce acceptable picture quality using a lower bit rate than others. Since I never used the Colossus 2, I can't tell you which is better. Hopefully someone who has used the Colossus 2 or the HD-PVR-2 will comment before you commit to a device.

    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    What is the best solution for the IR blaster?
    Stick-on IR blaster emitters (what comes with the Hauppauge Colossus capture cards) are somewhat unreliable. The IR window on cable boxes are invariably worn/scratched and the emitters are not hard to dislodge unintentionally. Sometimes they just fall off on their own. I used a special hand-made cable that plugged into the IR blaster port of my RNG110 cable box and the matching port of my USB MCE IR-receiver/ir blaster, but the maker of that cable isn't in business anymore. I don't know where to get one now. Maybe this? http://www.ebay.com/itm/TiVo-to-DTA-Cable-Box-Infrared-IR-Direct-Connect-Cable-Replace...QAAOSw7aBVJGPl Also, they won't work with Hauppauge IR blaster/IR receiver port. You will need a USB MCE IR blaster/IR-blaster, and an MCE remote for it and an MCE remote. As I recall, the remotes that Hauppauge bundles with their products are incompatible with MCE receivers. This kit seems OK: https://www.amazon.com/HP-Infrared-Receiver-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B00KDNIRYA/r

    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    Finally, in Nect pvr, is there a channel guide that you can use?
    I advise you to get a $25/year Schedules Direct subscription for NextPVR's guide data. Currently the guide data for WMC is free, but its long-term availability is uncertain, given that Microsoft is very serious about getting users off of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, and onto Windows 10. There is a third-party plug-in for WMC which can use Schedules Direct.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th Apr 2017 at 16:12.
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  5. Is this set-up even worth it, then? If I can't use it for program scheduling? Is there a more simple setup? Why would I be disappointed about unattended recordings?
    How long (in wiring) afre the IR blasters?
    Last edited by planesguy2004; 17th Apr 2017 at 17:12.
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    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    Is this set-up even worth it, then? If I can't use it for program scheduling? Is there a more simple setup? Why would I be disappointed about unattended recordings?
    Because they will fail about 10% of the time, maybe more if you are not conscientious about power-cycling the device. By fail I mean, you get nothing, or a partial recording, or a stuttering video. (However, channel changing (especially with Firewire) was very reliable.) I didn't move on to a CableCARD tuner for no reason.

    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    How long (in wiring) afre the IR blasters?
    I never took the cable that came with the Colossus out of the bag, so I don't know how long it is. The blaster emitter cables for third-party devices are about 6 feet long.
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  7. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    conscientious about power-cycling the device. By fail I mean, you get nothing, or a partial recording, or a stuttering video. (However, channel changing (especially with Firewire) was very reliable.) I didn't move on to a CableCARD tuner for no reason.
    How often would I have to power-cycle the pc? Also, I never heard of channel changing with a firewire.
    Is there any other kind of setup that would work better for reliably scheduling recordings? Again, I would use cable card, but I'm switching to Directv.

    Thanks!
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    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    How often would I have to power-cycle the pc?
    Every few days is all I know. I shut my PC down, pulled the PSU power cord, and then pressed the power button on the case to discharge any residual electrical power from the PC. After about 30 seconds or so I plugged in the PC's PSU, and booted the PC. This is supposed to be Hauppauge's first step when troubleshooting the Colossus.

    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    Also, I never heard of channel changing with a firewire.
    For a few years the FCC required all new digital cable boxes to have an active Firewire connection. Satellite receivers were exempt. The plan was to use the Firewire port for connecting cable boxes to a D-VHS recorder for the purpose of recording cable TV programming, and provide the D-VHS recorder with the ability to change channels on the cable box. Eventually someone wrote what is known as the ExDeus STB Firewire Driver packages to allow PCs running Windows to change channels and record using Firewire. There are Windows 7 32-bit (but not 64-bit), and Windows 8.1 32-bit (but not 64-bit) ExDeus drivers for a number of Firewire equipped cable boxes. D-VHS never really caught on, and eventually the FCC dropped the requirement for an active Firewire port. For the most part, Firewire recording on a PC no longer works with the Firewire equipped cable boxes, but channel changing does. Driver installation is somewhat tricky, but when it is successful, Firewire channel changing works well.

    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    ...I'm switching to Directv. Is there any other kind of setup that would work better for reliably scheduling recordings?
    As I already told you, what works best is to record with DirecTV's equipment and re-record later with a capture device. Otherwise, be prepared for a percentage of your scheduled recordings to fail. Channel changing using a stick-on IR-blaster is not completely reliable, and sometimes the capture device will fail to lock on properly and record even when channel changing succeeds.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th Apr 2017 at 21:55.
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  9. Yes, I do understand that Directvs equipment would be better, but I would prefer this route. Here are my final (for now, ) questions.
    Should I get the Colossus 1 or 2?
    Will WinTv, WMC, or Next PVR be able to detect my DTV, Comcast tv channels, without any subscription? (Ex. Schedules direct)
    How is the Hauppauge PVR 2 compared to the Colossus?


    Thank you for all of your help, I really appreciate it.
    Again, sorry for all of my questions!
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    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    Should I get the Colossus 1 or 2?
    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    How is the Hauppauge PVR 2 compared to the Colossus?
    You need to decide for yourself.

    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    Will WinTv, WMC, or Next PVR be able to detect my DTV, Comcast tv channels, without any subscription? (Ex. Schedules direct)
    WinTV 8 uses TitanTV as its program guide, which is free. ...and before you ask, I don't know how well WinTV works with a capture device for scheduled recordings. I have only experimented with a Hauppauge digital TV tuner. It worked for that, but I haven't used it more than a few times.

    I never tried WMC or NextPVR with a capture device and no guide data whatsoever. Assuming it is possible to do this, the set-up process will probably be inconvenient and quite tedious.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 18th Apr 2017 at 12:33. Reason: clarity. I left out "set-up" last night.
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  11. In my experience with HD-PVR 2 I think your better option is Colossus 1 for a couple of reasons. It has better variable bitrate rate control and much higher max rate. I think it goes to 20 mbit. For Colossus 2 they clame on their site it's now limited to 12 which is even less than HD-PVR 2 that can go up to 14 Mbit max. Second I was disappointed with colors it reproduced compared to original video. Maybe this isn't much of a problem for you but for me it was. I couldn't fix this with it's proc-amp controls so I kinda gave up using it for every day usage. I still use it for less important captures.
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  12. Originally Posted by badyu17 View Post
    In my experience with HD-PVR 2 I think your better option is Colossus 1 for a couple of reasons. It has better variable bitrate rate control and much higher max rate. I think it goes to 20 mbit. For Colossus 2 they clame on their site it's now limited to 12 which is even less than HD-PVR 2 that can go up to 14 Mbit max. Second I was disappointed with colors it reproduced compared to original video. Maybe this isn't much of a problem for you but for me it was. I couldn't fix this with it's proc-amp controls
    I contacted Hauppuage support about my questions, and they recommended me the Colossus 2,(of coarse) because it has 1080p support, and HDMI passthrough. The company also said that the PVR 2 have the same hardware as the Colossus 2, and that they no longer make the Colossus 1. The HDMI passthorugh doesn't effect me, but I'm concerned about the 1080p. What is the quality of the Colossus 1?


    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    I never used the Colossus' own remote and IR receiver/IR blaster. I already owned an MCE remote + IR receiver/IR blaster.
    Hauppuage also told me that the Colossus 2 and the PVR 2 don't come with remotes, so I'm not sure what usually_quiet was talking about.


    This whole topic is getting me confused, and I just would like to have a solution.
    Does anyone have their opinion on what I should get? I know badyu17 suggested the Colossus 1.

    Sorry, but I'm still very confused. Hope you guys to help.
    Last edited by planesguy2004; 18th Apr 2017 at 15:52.
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    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    I never used the Colossus' own remote and IR receiver/IR blaster. I already owned an MCE remote + IR receiver/IR blaster.
    Hauppuage also told me that the Colossus 2 and the PVR 2 don't come with remotes, so I'm not sure what usually_quiet was talking about.
    I used the original Colossus and have never owned the Colossus II, as I have told you. There was a Hauppauge remote and a cable for the IR Blaster port with an attached IR Receiver/IR blaster included inside the box with the card. I still have the complete product in my closet.

    Learn to do your own research. You don't have to depend on Hauppauge's staff for answers in every case, which is probably a good thing because they aren't always well informed. Read the information the overview tab on the Colossus 2's product page at Hauppauge's website. It says "Includes IR blaster cable. Colossus 2 can automatically change the channel on your set top box."

    [Edit] The HD-PVR 2 1512 with the blue lighting includes an IR Receiver/IR Blaster Cable. The "Gaming Edition" version with the green lighting does not. The cable is shown in one of the pictures in on the gallery tab on its product page at the Hauppauge website along with the other stuff in the box.

    My guess is there is a remote in the box as well for both the HD-PVR 2 1512 and the Colossus 2, for use with WinTV. If not, then maybe you can get along without it.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 19th Apr 2017 at 11:30. Reason: grammar
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  14. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    I never used the Colossus' own remote and IR receiver/IR blaster. I already owned an MCE remote + IR receiver/IR blaster.
    Is the link you are providing me supposed to be a Media Center download?


    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Learn to do your own research. You don't have to depend on Hauppauge's staff for answers in every case, which is probably a good thing.
    It's not a matter of me not doing my own research.
    It is that I'm being told different information about these products. The support email/phone tell me one thing , their website tells me another, and you guys tell me something different. I would like to believe everyone on this fourm, because you actually have experience with the product, and don't have a biased manufacturer opinion.

    I guess I have to choose now, but I'm still not sure.
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    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    I never used the Colossus' own remote and IR receiver/IR blaster. I already owned an MCE remote + IR receiver/IR blaster.
    Is the link you are providing me supposed to be a Media Center download?
    Not really. The VideoHelp forum software automatically inserted the link. If the first instance of a word that someone types corresponds to the name of a program listed in VideoHelp's software section, the forum software is configured to insert a link to the page for that program.

    [Edit]
    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post

    I guess I have to choose now, but I'm still not sure.
    The Colossus, Colossus 2, and HD-PVR 2 1512 can all work for what you want to do. If you can't bear the thought of being disappointed and feeling like you wasted your money then don't bother with this project. Using a capture device and PVR software is not a fool-proof, turnkey solution for time-shifting TV. It is possible you will be be disappointed no matter what you buy.

    What badyu17 told you about the maximum bitrate settings is true, but he's probably using capture software instead of using PVR software to make scheduled recordings. The PVR software you will be using doesn't provide the means to set precise/custom bitrates within the software. PVR software won't give you access to the proc amp controls either. It is possible to edit one of NextPVR's configuration files to change the bit rate settings, but I never found instructions to do the same for Windows Media Center or WinTV. There are no proc amp settings in NextPVR's configuration file.

    [Edit 2]I found a video showing what comes with the HD-PVR 2 1512. There was no remote, just the IR receiver/IR blaster cable. If you really want a remote for WinTV, you can buy the remote separately from Hauppauge's web store: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/webstore2/webstore_remote.html
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 19th Apr 2017 at 13:15.
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  16. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post

    The Colossus, Colossus 2, and HD-PVR 2 1512 can all work for what you want to do. If you can't bear the thought of being disappointed and feeling like you wasted your money then don't bother with this project. Using a capture device and PVR software is not a fool-proof, turnkey solution for time-shifting TV. It is possible you will be be disappointed no matter what you buy.
    Thanks for the link to the remote. I limited it down to the Colossus 2, and the PVR 2 1512. I know that this setup won't be fool proof, nor will it work perfect, but I think it should work fine for what I'm doing. I think I might go with the PVR 2 1512, only for it being external.

    I plan on purchasing this off of Amazon, so I am guessing that is a one month return policy. In your opinion, do you think it is necessary to add a $12 3 year protection plan?




    EDIT: The PVR was nearly $165 total on Amazon, and I found it on BHPhotovideo for $155 without tax or shipping. Not sure if there is a protection plan on BH. Should I use Amazon or BH?
    Last edited by planesguy2004; 19th Apr 2017 at 16:39.
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    Originally Posted by planesguy2004 View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post

    The Colossus, Colossus 2, and HD-PVR 2 1512 can all work for what you want to do. If you can't bear the thought of being disappointed and feeling like you wasted your money then don't bother with this project. Using a capture device and PVR software is not a fool-proof, turnkey solution for time-shifting TV. It is possible you will be be disappointed no matter what you buy.
    Thanks for the link to the remote. I limited it down to the Colossus 2, and the PVR 2 1512. I know that this setup won't be fool proof, nor will it work perfect, but I think it should work fine for what I'm doing. I think I might go with the PVR 2 1512, only for it being external.

    I plan on purchasing this off of Amazon, so I am guessing that is a one month return policy. In your opinion, do you think it is necessary to add a $12 3 year protection plan?




    EDIT: The PVR was nearly $165 total on Amazon, and I found it on BHPhotovideo for $155 without tax or shipping. Not sure if there is a protection plan on BH. Should I use Amazon or BH?
    I have bought items from B&H several times and never had a problem with my order. ...but since I never had to return anything or register a complaint I don't know what they are like to deal with when there is a problem. I don't often buy protection plan so I don't recall what sort B&H offers, if any.

    I decided to double-check the the Colossus 2 and HD-PVR 2 for compatibility with PVR software. It appears they work with WinTV and NextPVR, but not Windows Media Center. The Colossus (not the Colossus 2) works with Windows Media Center, Next-PVR, and WinTV.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 19th Apr 2017 at 17:39.
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