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Meedio - DigiTV - Scart - Widescreen

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by cookeal, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. cookeal

    cookeal
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    Hi, sorry about the long post...

    Hoping someone can help with a couple of questions:

    My Setup consists of Meedio running Nebula DIgiTV as an application

    I have a Matrox G400 with a custom made scart lead feeding a Philips 28" CRT TV form the secondary output of the card (Set to clone mode). I have used powerstrip to successfully apply a resolution of 720x576 which gives a semi-acceptable result until it is compared to my STB, when it looks distinctly shoddy. Both are set to output RGB to the TV.

    I have been trying to get the G400 to accept 1024x576 without any success, in the hope that this will improve things. The other option is to use the DVDmax feature on the card which represents a significant improvement in picture quality BUT as this is an overlay only solution doesnt display the menus etc from the Nebula software, or the DVD OSD within Meedio. I dont know of a way to force these to be displayed in the overlay and have reluctantly given up using DVDmax.

    I am wondering whether to try to use the scart from the primary output of the matrox card in the hope I can apply higher resolutions - have done some quick experimentation without success - or abandon the matrox card and switch to a radeon + scart which seems to be the normal route for htpc?

    OR given that the Meedio DVD output is much better than the Nebula TV output place the blame on the Nebula de-interlacing algorithm and attack the problem from that front? - they are promising improvements in future software releases.

    Would really appreciate any advice and particularly would like to know if anyone has a good graphics card/scart/pal widescreen crt tv solution up and working.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. groovyclam

    groovyclam
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    I use a Radeon 9600 with a custom VGA-SCART. I also have Meedio calling Nebula DigiTV.

    At first I had a hard time trying to get 1024x576 but eventually did get it (with overscan) and also 960x540 (no overscan).

    What happens when you try to get 1024x576 ? =>
    a) no sync signal or
    b) a visible desktop that extends either side of the visible TV screen and scrolls when you move the mouse to the left or right off screen ?

    I had problem (b) but solved it with the help of a lot of help from this thread: http://www.avforums.com/frame.html?http://www.avforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=46

    The procedure was:

    Only have the S-Video connected to the TV (this is the 2nd output on the Radeon).
    Uninstalled all ATi software (i.e. the Radeon display driver and control panel software).
    Uninstalled PowerStrip
    Reboot
    Reinstall Catalyst 4.7 ( i.e. your display driver software )
    Reinstall PowerStrip
    Paste in the custom timings as provided by Stlic ( in that thread above )
    Shutdown the PC.
    Disconnect the S-Video TV-Out and connect the VGA to RGB Scart.
    Turn on the Computer.

    I would suggest you try the above but also you say you are using clone mode and 2nd output on your card. I suggest uncloning and use primary output ( which is what I do )

    Have you got DigiTV set to use BOB deinterlacing ? It's output looks crap if you do not. Unfortunately if you use BOB you have to use a vertical desktop resolution of 576 otherwise you get combing on the picture.

    I have struggled a lot with research and setup of my HTPC for the last two months - it has been a huge learning curve but am now approaching a very satisfied conclusion. Quality is damn good on my Panasonic 32 CRT via RGB SCART input.

    Some other issues that you may hit:

    Unless you get proper 16:9 ratio of pixels working ( e.g. 960x540 or 1074x575 ) then Meedio's inbuilt DVD player and still-picture viewer will not display 4:3 aspects correctly ( it will stretch them across the whole 16:9 screen )

    You should ditch the inbuilt Meedio viewer anyway. If you can afford it buy ZoomPlayer professional and the Sonic Cinemaster mpeg codecs. These ( in combination with freeware ffdshow and freeware ReClock ) give a vast improvement in quality of playback of DVD and Nebula file captures. ZoomPlayer Pro will integrate into Meedio fine.

    I don't actually call DigiTV now - it just continually sits minimised in the system tray doing timed recordings and I use ZoomPlayer to watch the files. I only open DigiTV from the tray if I want to use interactive text or watch something important live.

    I use DigiGuide which is far superior EPG software to poke recording settings into the Nebula timers. You can set up searches with DigiGuide and automatic recordings so if you make a search for e.g. "Grand Designs" it would automatically poke the Nebula to record any programme with "Grand Designs" in the title automatically forevermore ( very much like a Sky+ or TiVo ). DigiGuide is really cheap ( £8.99 a year ) and is well worth it. However I had to do a lot of work with Girder to get it working well with a remote control as it is really designed for use with a mouse. If you get that far I can help with the Girder setup for DigiGuide.
     
  3. wyerd

    wyerd
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    Sorry to hijack the thread, but how do you do that?
     
  4. cookeal

    cookeal
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    thanks very much for this - from looking at your set up I think that the first step for me is to ditch the matrox and make the switch to radeon. The matrox as I have it configured will not take 1024x576 unless I switch to the primary output and then I am worried that the scart (specifically a matrox assembly) is not the correct configuration. (1024x576 will not sync from primary output).

    I do use bob - definately gives the best output but still nowhere near as good as my netgem freeview box. This could be to do with the graphics card though so one step at a time.

    Again thanks for the info - I also have spent a lot (too much!) time configuring my htpc and your comments point me in the right direction. Will come back when ive advanced another step :~)
     
  5. groovyclam

    groovyclam
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    I wrote my own visual basic script to do it, which I then call from DigiGuide's video markers.

    I've put my script here
    HTML:
    http://www.groovyclam.btinternet.co.uk/EeeZeeRecord.vbs
    to be downloaded if you want it. I make no apologies if it wrecks your registry ( but it has been running on my machine fine for four weeks now ). I suggest doing a system restore point before using it in case you have problems.

    Put the script in any directory you like then go into DigiGuide and choose

    Edit > Edit Marker Types > Video markers

    from the menu.

    Choose "Edit video marker defaults" at the bottom right.
    Choose the "Alert" tab.
    Tick "Enable alert" box.
    Set "Remind me" to be *5 minutes* before
    Make sure only "Run a program" is ticked and the other alert actions are unticked.
    Put the path to the script in the "program to run"
    In the arguments box type the following exactly ( don't mess up the spaces - I suggest you cut and paste it )

    "$ProgrammeName" $ChannelAssignment $TimeStart(%Y %m %d %H %M) $Duration

    Click "update default" - DigiGuide will ask if you want to update any existing video markers as well as future ones ( your choice )

    Close any remaining windows.

    From now on for any video marker you set, DigiGuide will poke a Nebula timer into the registry 5 minutes before the program is set to start. ( Note: if you add more than 2 minutes padding to the start of recordings in the Nebula settings you should probably change the DigiGuide default marker "before" to be more than 5 minutes )

    Nebula will pick up these timers and do recordings as if you had scheduled them via the Nebula GUI itself.

    BIG NOTE: Perversely, if you go into the Nebula PVR timer screen to look at timers that are set, then the Nebula will wipe out any DigiGuide timers!!! So you can't use that screen without screwing up DigiGuide video timers. I have no explanation for this behaviour as I poke the timers into the registry in exactly the same format as Nebula does. I have emailed them about this behaviour to see if they can fix it. I have since given up on the Nebula GUI anyway as I think it is pretty useless. As I said above I use DigiGuide as my EPG and the Nebula just stays minimised in the system tray being a recording workhorse. I only open it to look at interactive services or live news/sport. I use ZoomPlayer for playback of the Nebula recordings as I can use ffdshow and reclock to improve output quality.
     
  6. wyerd

    wyerd
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    Thanks for that Groovyclam. I've downloaded your VBS and I'll try it out.

    Cheers.
     
  7. cookeal

    cookeal
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    Groovyclam, ope you dont mind but seeing as your set up looks like where I am trying to get to thought you could save me some hair tearing - this is a post I have in the meedio forum, as yet no resonse...

    Hi,

    Have meedio running pretty sweetly along with a Nebula DigiTV card launched as an application. Also have configured the Nebula remote to control meedio which also works very well. My problem is that the Nebula remote(which is hard coded to control nebula when not controlling other apps) also affects my Philips TV in that it changes channels etc. I have written to Nebula and their advice was to change to a one for all remote which is apparantly supported by the Nebula software also.

    My question is would this remote be guaranteed not to interfere with other equipment and therefore provide the solution I am looking for? or given that I also have a STB and loads of remote handsets should my approach be to abandon the Nebula remote function and switch to something like a usb-uirt?

    In this case(usb-uirt) am I right in assuming that any remote can be used as a handset? and if so how do I then stop conflicts? or do I still require a new remote handset?

    The goal here is to throw away my collection of handsets and have one to control all boxes (meedio/pc, freeview stb and TV)

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Basically dont want to go down the wrong path...

    Thanks in advance
     
  8. groovyclam

    groovyclam
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    Cookeal

    The first thing to realise is that if a remote affects *any* of your devices then you can't use it, because when you are trying to use it for Meedio - it will be affecting the other device at the same time.

    I would dearly love to use a Sky remote as the main controller for my HTPC as I think it is a masterstroke of design - it fits in the hand really well and all the buttons are in perfect places ( whoever designed it should have won an award ). However, I can't use it in Meedio because it affects my Skybox ( obviously ) and would screw up whatever is happening on Sky whilst I am using Meedio. The same thing applies to you - if your Nebula remote affects your TV then you have to replace it. I think your approach to ask for a free replacement of the older One-For-All from Nebula is the best approach. That is what I am using. I found a code for it so that it affects none of my appliances ( TiVo, Sky, PanasonicTV ) and I can now use it to drive Meedio without it screwing up those other boxes ( actually it has a feature to keep volume and mute working for whatever TV brand you choose at all times so that is even better ). The downside is it is an ugly beast of a remote and the buttons are not in as ergonomic positions as the Sky remote.

    Once you have this remote you can then decide if you still want to carry on with the Nebula detector or decide if you want a more fully-featured IR receiver/transmitter like the USB_UIRT or RedRat3. I can't answer this final question fully as I didn't bother at all with the Nebula IR receiver but went straight for the RedRat since I need to transmit codes ( to SkyBox ) as well as receive them. Maybe the Nebula IR receiver will be enough for you.

    I am thinking of buying a Sky+ remote as I don't think they affect plain SkyBoxes and it would be the perfect "hand-feel" HTPC remote.

    However, if you decide to try something other than the One-For-All remote then I think you will certainly nave to buy an IR detector other than the one that comes with the Nebula and use Girder to detect/drive the Nebula ( because the Nebula only responds to either the remote you currently have or the One-For-All with a specific driver code )
     
  9. cookeal

    cookeal
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    once again many thanks for your words of wisdom !
     

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