New HTPC, software confusion

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by lbphillips, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. lbphillips

    lbphillips
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    Okay, consolidating all the boxes under the TV in the living room.

    Building a shiny new HTPC to replace all this (well...eventually, I have to prove to the other half that it all works easily!) :

    popcornhour (avi and ISO streaming)
    Virgin TV (endless crap Australian/english/us soaps)
    dvd player (rarely used, but hey more space)

    Spec:


    ANTEC NSK 2480-UK DESKTOP CASE
    Asus M3N78-VM
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5050e
    2GB (2x1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800)
    500Gb Samsung drive
    Media drive TBD
    Hauppauge WinTV Nova S2-HD


    Now I have been playing with VMC and MediaBrowser and am quite happy with the way I have it working on another test box.

    The problem is how to integrate the satellite viewing.

    Been reading up and searching this and other forums and am now totally confused.

    If I go with Vista (x86 or x64??) and I want to watch dvb-s get the OEM pack (figi) that is buggy, and for HD I need a hacked dll...

    Or do I just go with Windows 7 RC? but does that have problems with MediaBrowser

    Or I could use a 3rd party app like DVBViewer, but will I then need a h.264 codec?

    And will I loose the integration with VMC and MediaBrowser.

    What aboutthe software that ships with the Hauppauge (winTV 7 I think) is that any good?

    Just when I think I have sorted it out in my mind, I read some more and get further confused.

    I understand that DVBViewer and Media Center have EPG info for what is Freesat, but what about all the other available channels? is program information available for them? is there anything actually worth watching? Is it easy to pick up this stuff?

    I think I need to stop researching :) AS soon as the case turns up I can put this machine together and then start experimenting, It just has to be simple to use and be 'wife friendly'

    Thanks for any help
     
  2. BiffBoy

    BiffBoy
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    If you want to get it all setup quickly and with the WAF I would recommend Vista Media Center and the TV Pack. Yes you need to get a hacked dll for BBCHD and ITVHD but there are plenty of guides on the net as to how to do that (it's easy).

    I use the above mentioned s/w with a Pinnacle 4000i DVB-S card and have no problems now I have it set up how I like it. I have dabbled a few times with MediaPortal but always seemed to come up against a major obstacle that stoped me using it full time. Being a PC nut I really like the "open source, tons of stuff to fiddle with" type of s/w like Linux, MediaPortal etc etc but for me VMC just (mostly) does what it says on the tin and works 90%.

    A few things I could never get working are the TV channels favourites (not really a problem in the UK as there are not that many channels anyway) and I did have a problem with stutter but I solved that today with help from another forum (I needed to change my HDD's from IDE to ACHI!!).

    Let us know how you get on.
     
  3. Presuming Ed

    Presuming Ed
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    Biffa,

    Please could you post a link to the AHCI thing? I could use that!

    As for software, I'm a DVBViewer man. Yes you'd need an h264 codec but I think you'd need one with Vista too.
     
  4. BiffBoy

    BiffBoy
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    can't post a link to avsforums from here but this was the advice:

    "I found I had set the hard drives to IDE mode in the BIOS. I did a google search for "change ahci vista registry setting" and found the place to change the hard drive type in the vista registry. I then rebooted the PC and entered the BIOS. I changed the hard drives to AHCI mode and restarted."

    When you restart Vista it will take ages to load up the satga drivers for each of your HDD's and CD's etc but after another reboot all is well.

    You may also need to ammend your boot priority if you have cd-rom setup as a boot option as after doing this it no longer worked, I had to actually pick the name of my Blu-Ray drive which was no actually showing up in the list along with HDD, FDD, USB-HDD etc etc.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. lbphillips

    lbphillips
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    Thanks Biffa.

    I read a lot about VMC being unstable once the TV pack is installed. Have you experienced any thing like this?

    Ed, are you using DVBViewer standalone or in conjunction with anything?

    Which codec are you using? what sort of channels do you get? I understand it now has a freesat EPG but what else?

    Case did not arrive today, so back to confusing myself with more 'research'
     
  6. BiffBoy

    BiffBoy
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    I did have some instability but that was down to my drivers in the end. I have TV Pack running aok at the mo, apart from when I installed TMT3 which seemed to mess up BBC HD...

    I like the integration of PDVD9 too and the addons like MediaBrowser a library for .avi/.mkv etc files.
     
  7. lbphillips

    lbphillips
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    Case arrived...woohoo.

    PC now built.

    So far installed vista ultimate x86 SP1

    TV Pack

    WinTV7 that came with the satellite card (bit crap, but not really had time to investigate)

    MediaBrowser (this is so cool, glad I set it up from my laptop earlier while playing, picked up setting straight away)

    First problem though, the stock CPU fan, it's noisy. Will the 5050e run with a passive cooler?

    Wife has shown signs of interest. sat down to watch something just before, but...doh.. forgot to install any codecs! avi just played sound.

    Was going to install KLite but anyone have a better suggestion.

    teach me trying to rush it through. stopped for the evening now, will play so more after work tomorrow.
     
  8. BiffBoy

    BiffBoy
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    2 things I can tell you in my experience:

    1) make a backup of you system NOW before youu fiddle anymore! This will save your bacon (and from problems with your wife) if you fiddle too much and break something. I use a program called Macrium Reflect, they have a free version. Just make a backup if your OS partition and keep it safe. It's quick enough to do this before any major change. If you mess things up, pop in the cd boot disk you make in the program and point it to your partition backup - voila.

    2) Just install FFDShow for now and that should take care of most codec type things and let us know how you get on.
     
  9. rwttm001

    rwttm001
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    Ditto, get FFDShow on there and you'll be fine. I had the same issue with a 4850e stock fan, I resolved it with a Scythe Mini Ninja and some arctic siiver thermal paste alongside a couple of case fans set to low. :thumbsup:
     
  10. lbphillips

    lbphillips
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    Backup - no problem, my windows home sever will image drive, and I'll just keep it as a baseline :)

    Yeah, always used ffdshow in the past, but since playing with video conversions and stuff I went full out on Klite.

    Thanks, I'll go pure again :)

    Going to install Daemon Tools Lite too, to get all my ISO rips playing nice with mediabrowser, unless there is an alternative?

    Also just got my details through for DvbViewer, so I will replace winTV7 which I don't like the look of. Anyone know about integrating this into VMC?

    Off to investigate cpu fans now...
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  11. rwttm001

    rwttm001
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    I use Virtual Clone Drive for ISOs in MediaBrowser, works a treat. Are your rips BluRay or SD DVD, as you'll need a seperate player if they are BluRay.

    Regarding DVBViewer, why do you need this if you have TV Pack installed?
     
  12. lbphillips

    lbphillips
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    just DVD rips now. All the kids stuff. they like to sand the floors with the originals. Now, as soon as a new film is bought, first thing is rip to server!

    My blurays are locked up in a cupboard :)

    I have the tv pack installed, but not yet played with the hacked dll. I am having issues with EPG and stuff.

    I have heard good things about DVBViewer, and it was only $19, thought worth a try.
     

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