Living Room TV Goodness

I’ve been MIA with regards to blogging for two weeks.  One week was because of a work trip to Russia (more on that later) but the second week was because I was haunted by an obsession of a different nature – electronics.

I started out last week with a trip to buy a new satellite receiver.  Once we arrived, the shopping list added a 40″ HDTV and what followed was a series of evening problem solving sessions complete with blueprints and web searches.

The first problem was how to actually fit the TV in the assigned space.  With only one trip to the hardware store, several broken drill bits and screws and a perfectly sized piece of cedar, the job was complete.

Now came the hard part – getting the Hauppauge IR blaster to recognize the Scientific Atlanta D9835 (AFN) receiver.  (If you don’t own one of these the rest of the post will be of little interest to you.  I’m posting it here because I solved the problem through five persistent days of trial and error – no help from the Internet on this one.  Maybe if someone has the same problem, they’ll find this post!)  At any rate, after going through the Vista Media Center setup menu about 100 times, I tried the option that said “I have no remote control for the set-top box.”  It gave me a list of 4 codes and the second in the list worked.  I literally ran into the kitchen jumping for joy.  My wife was amused and somewhat frightened.

Now, we can go to bed and the Media Center changes the satellite channel with no help from us.  We rest assured that the satellite receiver will switch to Austin City Limits on channel 9 at the right time and revert back to channel 2 in time for Sesame Street in the morning.

We’re all happy now and I’m glad to be rid of a haunting obsession.



  1. Welcome back to civilization (or what passes for it). Send pics of your new 40-inch setup.

    Strange that you noted that problem with your STB. Mine worked fine for the first few months, but then for some reason my cable box crapped out, and my replacement (though the same model number) STB lets Media Center change channels, but only for a day or two, and then it “forgets.”

    I’ll try the “no remote” option.

  2. Yeah, give that option a shot. It worked for me. I was about ready to give up. Media Center setup isn’t for the faint of heart.

    As for the new setup, it’s nothing but the computer, satellite, TV and Receiver. I rip all my DVD’s to the hard drive so it’s literally all within Media Center. And the new screen sure makes it look purty!

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