R5000-HD FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):



Future upgrades & features:



If my receiver were to die, could I send it to Nextcom with the new STB and have the R5000-HD unit removed from my broken STB and put in the new one?  
Yes, $100 (s/h extra) would cover our cost to remove and re-install the modification. back>


If I was to switch to a different satellite provider or cable, could I send the satellite box back to you and have the R5000-HD unit installed in the new box?
Yes and No. Receivers using similar type hardware can be swapped out for $100 (s/h extra) to cover our costs. Newer mods like the Dish 211/411 and all Motorola types use different hardware than the original R5000-HD modifcations. Please check with us first.  back>


I am interested in self-install... I've had 20+ years doing component level electronic repairs, SMT, etc. I have access to SMT rework tools and routinely work with parts as small as 0603 and 10mil pin spacings...
We now offer DIY installation kits for the most popular receivers. Please see are on-line store (sales page) for details. Please contact us first to obtain installation instructions so you can see exactly what it entails. back>

Will there be new hardware upgrades?
There are no hardware upgrades planned. Functionality and additional features are all controlled via software upgrades. The exception maybe if additional receiver models are added which have different interfacing requirements. If you are upgrading to one of these receivers, then new hardware maybe required. back>

How about interfacing with some of the existing HTPC (Home Theater PC) apps or a web interface?
The popular SageTV Media Center is supported using a special version of our DVR software. In this case the R5000-HD becomes a "Networked Encoder."  Web-based control is possible by creating a driver around the command line interface of the R5000-HD. back>

Will you be supporting additional STBs or Cable boxes?
Support has been added to cover Motorola set top boxes for StarChoice, 4DTV and Cable. We have also looked into the possibility of capturing MPEG4 broadcasts from new DirecTV receivers and have determined that a modification will not be possible. Check the R5000-HD product page for any changes or additions in this area. back>


Will the R5000-HD software support multi-STB setups?
Yes. Multi-tuner configurations are supported with the standard DVR software. A special version of the DVR allows for simultaneous captures from up to 4 receivers on a single PC. back>


I get a good transfer rate, no failures but my files won't play...
Some USB controllers have trouble streaming data in real-time and there ends up being missing chunks of data in the stream delivered to the R5000-HD. The user can troubleshoot this situation by making an "av" type recording (Options->Preferences->"Record As: *.av"). Examine* the file in a hex editor and scan through it. It should have continuous, random-looking data patterns. If there are long chunks of all 1's (0xFF) interspersed, then chances are the USB controller is not delivering. The easiest solution is to use a different USB card.
*You can also contact Nextcom to make arrangements to have the file uploaded to them for examination. back>


Recording starts off OK, but then quickly the buffer meter maxes out and/or failed transfers occur and recording stalls. What gets recorded is playable...
This typically is an indication of a lack of system resources or resources that are being maxed out. System memory should be at least 512MB. Make sure that there are no other USB devices (external drives, etc) that can hog bandwidth. If recording to a networked drive, make sure the network is able to operate at 100Mb/s and that there is not a significant amount of other traffic. back>

There is a possibility that your USB port is not running in 2.0 mode. There is a known bug causing Windows XP to use the wrong driver with Via chipset motherboards. The easiest fix is to install an inexpensive USB PCI card. Read the AVS Forum posts about this. back>


My Embedded USB controller isn't working properly with the R5000-HD. What can be done about this?
Most embedded controllers provide the best possible results but occasionally there are problems. Make sure it is operating in USB 2.0 or "enhanced" mode. A driver update maybe required. A simple, inexpensive solution is to add a USB 2.0 PCI card to your system. back>


I can't install the R5000-HD driver. Windows insists on installing something called "USB HDTV" device every time I plug in the R5000-HD USB connection to my PC.
Certain HDTV tuner cards are known to ship with a driver by Sasem that incorrectly uses the VID & PID values of the USB chip itself. These values are unique to each vendor and should under no circumstances be re-used. A good explanation and the fix are found in this AVS Forum post, or see below.


What STB's or Service Providers are recommended?
We do not recommend any particular brand or service provider over another. All of the supported STBs provide identical quality results with the R5000-HD. There are many websites and forums that provide feedback about the quality and features of the various STB models. Try the AVS Forum HDTV Hardware thread for starters. 

The R5000-HD is currently fully compatible with the new Dish Network MPEG-4 HD offerings. This is not the case with DirecTV and it will not be possible to modify their newer generation of MPEG-4 receivers.  back>

Are there any problems activating used or modified receivers?
No. The R5000-HD modification adds a USB port to the device but does not change the way the receiver operates in any fashion. Nor does it change the receiver's firmware or interfere with its updating procedure. The receiver can be activated and used in exactly the same manner as before. The different service providers have their own set of rules for activating used receivers. DirecTV, for example, will not re-activate a card that has previously been in service and you will have to get a new one from them, possibly for a small fee. The CSRs may be trained to discourage the activation of older STB models and sell subscribers on the latest equipment but in the end it is your choice. back>


Can transport stream files be edited and converted to MPEG-2 or VOB files?
Yes. A freeware utility, "HDTVtoMPEG2" can be used to trim the beginning or end of a file as well as chop out sections from a transport stream. It will also save as an MPEG2 type file. A simple utility, "TSCutter", is also supplied as part of the R5000-HD software package. Transport streams can be converted to VOB files for easy DVD creation using the Replex32 utility found here. To create playable DVDs most applications require strict adherence to D1 (720 x 480) resolution. Since satellite broadcasts are rarely in this form, transcoding maybe required. In this case, an excellent freeware utility, "ffmpeg" is recommended. back>


What will happen If/when small dish services switch to MPEG-4 encoding?
Dish Network MPEG-4 is supported while DirecTV is not. Other providers like StarChoice have made their equipment compatible with the new format and it is fully expected that existing R5000 installations will work with the new format. back>

Hex Editor: A hex editor allows you to view the numerical value of each byte in a file. An easy to use freeware hex editor, XVI32 is available here.
The R5000-HD will create raw data dumps in ".av" type files. Normal files will have alternating data and flag bytes. The flag bytes usually appear as 0xFF or 0xFE values and the data can take on any value. If large chunks of all "0xFF" appear followed by normal looking areas then the USB controller is failing to transfer data in a consistent manner. Example of a bad file.


USB PCI Cards:
In general, USB PCI cards using NEC chipsets usually provide consistent results. Certain Asus motherboards using AMD processors have been reported as problematic. Intel motherboards with embedded USB controllers give consistently excellent results. These are some of PCI cards that have been reported to give good results:
  • Adaptec AUA-4000A (NEC chipset)
  • PPA 3-port, model 1073 (ALI chipset)
  • QPS 3-port, model QU2NPCI (ALI)
  • InTek 5-port, model TK-P5U212 (NEC)

This list is by no means complete and other cards may also provide good results. A certain amount of trial and error may be required. Also note that manufacturers have been known to substitute chipsets in the same model card depending on availablility.


Rogue Driver Fix:
  1. Unplug network connection (e.g Ethernet cable)
  2. Go to the Device manager and remove the "USB HDTV" (or other) device
  3. Search for *.inf in the Windows directory for a file that contains "USBHDTV" (e.g. oem20.inf) Use the search for "a word or phrase in the file" function.
  4. Remove the file found above, but first open using a text editor and look for a reference to file of type *.sys. For the USB-HDTV example it should be "usbhdtv.sys."
  5. Remove usbhdtv.sys from C:\windows\system32\drivers
  6. From the control panel, select "add hardware"
  7. The hardware wizard will find the Nextcom Generic USB Device.
  8. Choose "install from a specific location"
  9. Choose "don't search, I will choose the driver to install"
  10. Choose "Have disk" and browse to the R5000-hd\drivers directory.

After the above steps you'll get the usual "Nextcom" driver procedure to complete the driver install. Load the R5000 DVR app and it will start the installation of the second driver:

  1. The hardware wizard will find the "Nexcom HDTV DVR Device"
  2. Choose "install from a specific location"
  3. Choose "don't search, I will choose the driver to install"
  4. Choose "Have disk" and browse to the R5000-hd\drivers directory.

The DVR app will time out and fail while you are installing the second driver. Just restart the DVR app and everything should be fine from there. back>