New to MCE & Having a Few Issues

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by jja28, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. jja28

    jja28
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    Hi,

    I have recently got a new laptop with MCE installed and wanted to try the TV option. So I bought he Freecom DVB-T Hybrid USB adaptor.

    It is now that I am having trouble. The main issue is that although the picture quality is great every 15 seconds or so the image stutters briefly (but enough to be annoying). The Nvidia PureVideo decoder software shows that the bit rate drops to 0 when this happens. I've trawled various forums and tried various solutions but to no avail.

    As far as I can tell my CPU usage is not peaking in line with the stutters and runs at 10-20%. My freeview signal is fine on other tvs in the house. I have also tried the following:

    - Disabling write caching on the hard drive.

    - Other software but all have the same issues. However, I do have Ulead MovieFactory 5 which allows you to record directly to DVD from TV and this doesn't gives any stutters but the software has none of the features of MCE. The fact that it works on this software makes me think that there must be a software solution to this.

    - Running on another user profile (no other users logged on) with only essential programs running.

    - NVidia PureVideo decoders.

    - Disabling internal wireless card.


    My system setup is as follows:

    - Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 1.66ghz
    - 1024MB Ram
    - 120GB Hard Drive
    - ATI Mobility Radeon x1400 256MB graphics card
    - Freecom DVB-T Hybrid USB Tuner

    Does anybody have any suggestions of anything I can try?


    I also have any other questions about MCE:

    1. MCE will only set up with the digital signal from my tuner. When setting up the TV signal it does this automatically without giving me any options to choose the analogue signal instead (in other programs I can choose which one).

    2. I cannot find any options to change the recording quality in MCE but when I first installed the tuner I'm siure they were there.

    3. I have read about being able to control sky with the IR blaster but as I cannot select the analogue tuner (I have sky coming through the aerial from downstairs) I cannot even watch sky. But if I could how do you set this up (can you get the EPG to show all the sky channels and change them accordingly)?

    4. When I output to the TV in extended desktop mode MCE goes black with a flickering cursor when in full screen mode. On a different user profile this does not happen and it works perfectly. Why is this and is their a solution so it will work on all user profiles?

    I realise this is a lot of questions but if anybody's got any answers to any of the above they would be much appreciated. I've been tearing my hair out trying to get all of this to work.
     
  2. peskywinnets

    peskywinnets
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    Re your video judder - I've just had a similar problem - the cause?

    A bad aerial cable connection into my tuner card! It'd be useful if there was a way for MCE to show signal strength/quality (perhaps there is?!)
     
  3. 16to9

    16to9
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    It does sound like a weak signal. Does it happen on all the channels? Some might be stronger, for instance BBC1/2. And sometimes with a weak signal the video will stutter but the audio carries on.
     
  4. MacBurp

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    MCE only recognises 1 SD TV source - in your case, freeview or Sky, not both. Other PVR packages (Mediaportal, Sage) don't have this drawback.

    regards,
    Paul
     
  5. scrambler2

    scrambler2
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    For Number 2, you normally have recording quality options in settings / TV / Recorder / Recording default.

    Given Media center is always recording the TV signal and playing it back from disk (even in live TV mode), one thing that can cause the stuttering is disk speed / access. The faster the disk the better (do you have a 5400 or a 7200rpm?). Ideally having a second disk only dedicated to the TV recording is ideal.

    This being said one way to test if this is really the issue is to record in low quality (smallest bit rate) and play back the low quality recorded video. If it does not stutter on the low quality bit rate there is a chance the disk is causing the problem. If it still stutters then it probably is something else.

    The recording quality are in the registry in two places:
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Recording]
    "EncodingQuality" 2000000, 3000000, 4500000, 6000000

    Which represent the 4 quality choices in the recording quality options. If you cannot access the recording quality options through the MC interface, you could try putting them all at the lowest 2000000

    Also:
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Video\DVR
    DefAvgBitrate 2000000

    Which I believe must be the Live TV recording mode. Personally I increased that number to improve quality of live TV, you can try lowering it to test the above discussion.
     

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