• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Problems with Sweetspot MCE

JackOTrades

Standard Member
Hi All,

I got my Sweetspot MCE Freeview card some time ago from PluggedIn (you might remember my posts at the time).

Having discovered that this is a card that only works under windows MCE I bought MCE 2005 hoping that finally I will get my PVR going.

I made a clean install of MCE before getting the card in the PC. Then I slotted the card in, unzipped the driver file (WHQ517L.ZIP) and as windows asked me for the drivers, I told it to go and get them. They all installed except one. The Radio Tuner stays as a unknown device for some reason. :confused:

Unfortunately, Media Center does not recognise the card at all. After reboots, making sure the card is well slotted, changing PCI slots, etc, nothing helped. MCE keeps saying that the card is not there or is malfunctioning. :(

Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?
I know I can get a signal as I have had it installed on XP Professional with the WDM drivers and it worked, ie, the card tuned channels and displayed them on GDI's TV Tuner application.

So I must be missing something. Could it be that the card is really malfunctioning?! Any help really highly appreciated!

Thanks all!
Jack
 
D

DaveP

Guest
I just installed a card in a new PC and ISTR that you have to install the drivers first. I haven't got the instructions handy to check. Do you still have a copy?

I also seem to remember you could have to do a re-install of MCE if you don't!

Dave
 

JackOTrades

Standard Member
Hi Dave,

I never received a manual with the Sweetspot MCE. Only the card. No drivers.
I downloaded the drivers from the net, but never saw any manuals. Are they available for download?

So if I read you correctly, I have to take the Sweetspot card out of the PC, reinstall MCE from scratch and once finished the install, unzip the driver file, run the application and only after that finishes should I install the TV card in.

Please let me know if this is right. I would hate to do it all and realise I have to reinstall MCE all over again.

Thanks a lot for your help!!
Jack
 

nigelbb

Distinguished Member
JackOTrades said:
unzip the driver file, run the application and only after that finishes should I install the TV card in.
This is normally the correct way to install any hardware on Windows XP. First install the software & drivers & only then add the card so that when the hardware change is detected the drivers are already installed ready to load.
 

lewiswlawrence

Standard Member
I have two of these cards in my media center. I am delighted with them, and had no issues with the install. I too bought the OEM cards, and had to download the latest driver.

The following are the instructions that were included on my email receipt of order: -

Please use the following url http://www.pluggedin.tv/sweetspot/support/downloads/WHQL5.17.zip
to download the WHQL approved drivers for your SweetSpot MCE digital terrestrial card (which is 100% compatible with the GDI Black Gold range of cards) The drivers are designed to operate with Windows MCE 2004/2005 (single and dual configuration).
1] Unzip the Black Gold Signature Drivers file and save to a folder on your system. 2] Select the GDI Driver Installer icon; this will install the BDA drivers.
3] Shut down the PC system and install the SweetSpot MCE card. The drivers will load automatically when the system is restarted.

For support please email [email protected] Thankyou for choosing pluggedin.tv!


To update your drivers, it should be possible to disable the device in hardware manager, reboot the machine and remove the drivers the card is currently using (using the driver utility). Then install the correct drivers, reboot, and enable the device again. If you find you are unable to overwrite files then the O.S. must still be using them, and you might have to physically remove the card. I don’t think you will need to re-install media center.

As someone already said, you should always put the correct drivers in place before you install the new hardware. That way Windows will be using the correct software, not what it thinks it should use.
-----
Lewis
 

springtide

Distinguished Member
I've not had issues with the Sweetspot card either on Xp Pro and a friend wth MCE didn't have any issues either - we've both been very pleased with the stability and speed of the cards compared to our buggy Compro T200 cards.

One thing I did notice was that Black Gold/GDI seem to have a flashing utility to switch the card between XP and MCE, where as the Sweetspot cards worked on both XP and MCE without any changes. Anyone know why this is?
 
Should of Bought a Hauppauge Nova-T, simple to install, never had a problem with them, install the card, and when windows says it has a new piece of hardware just point it to the folder where the drivers are..,I don't know why people on here recommend the Black Gold and Sweet Swot freeview cards if they know they are a hassle to install for newbies, well maybe your just trying to sell oyur own product, but anyway if you want to buy a freeview card by a Hauppauge Nova-T...great card, great support..
 

springtide

Distinguished Member
meansizzler said:
Should of Bought a Hauppauge Nova-T, simple to install, never had a problem with them, install the card, and when windows says it has a new piece of hardware just point it to the folder where the drivers are..,I don't know why people on here recommend the Black Gold and Sweet Swot freeview cards if they know they are a hassle to install for newbies, well maybe your just trying to sell oyur own product, but anyway if you want to buy a freeview card by a Hauppauge Nova-T...great card, great support..

Don’t get me started with Hauppauge ….

I've owned several Hauppauge cards/boxes. I’ve owned an old analogue card that was rubbish and two DVB-T DEC2000-T boxes. The first box had more bugs than features, then after 10 months of emails I finally got a German beta release. Finally after 13months it just stopped working. At the time there were no other options for an external DVB-T so I ended up getting another one (oh, that hurt sooooo much to give more money to Hauppauge.) So, what happened to my second DEC2000-T? Well, Hauppauge changed/updated the hardware to get it to work with MCE – and the long and short of it, is that the original will never work with MCE.

You should feel very lucky your card worked first time as you'd be pulling your hair out with Hauppauge by now and ordering yourself a Black Gold/Sweetspot.

Hauppauge support is pretty non existent.
 
springtide said:
Don’t get me started with Hauppauge ….

You should feel very lucky your card worked first time as you'd be pulling your hair out with Hauppauge by now and ordering yourself a Black Gold/Sweetspot.

Hauppauge support is pretty non existent.

Well No actually, I did alot of research before i got my card, I knew the older ones would not work with MCE, so i'm well aware of it, and there forums are pretty helpfull, it's not my fault you bought your card with out any knowledge/research, so it's your own fault you had problems, I found there forums usefull, and they have a good moderater CHRIS, he's friendly always active and yes he tests everything he has most of hauppauge's products and MCE, so he can usually help you with anything...I admit there software is crap, I don't use it, I just use there hardware and drivers, and MCE as my frontend, they only suffer on software side...but they do make great products....
 

springtide

Distinguished Member
It wasn't meant to be a personal dig. I was just pointing out that there are happy customers as well as unhappy customers for both products.
The reason why people recommend the Black Gold/Sweetspot cards is because they ARE generally easy to install. i.e. install the hardware. load the software, reboot and that's it. And to update the drivers - run the setup. reboot etc.
I did lots of reasearch when I got my 2000-T. It was the only external unit at the time - for both purchases. Their Forum may be ok now but it didn't exist when I got my boxes. All I had was email which I assume went to [email protected] becase I had one reply in the 15 or so emails I sent - all of them very polite (you can't expect to get support if you are not polite).

Back to the subject.... I'd say that if the card doesn't work pretty much out of the box then you've proobably got a dead card. Have you spoken to PluggedIn TV?
I'm running their Sweetsot MCE card on XP pro without any issues. I bought a pair with a friend, both identical - he's running his without any issue with MCE and I'm on XP Pro. It also worked first time on XP Pro with Mediaportal, Showshifter and their own software. If you check out their EBay listing you'll notice they say that the card is supported with both XP Pro (with MediaPortal) as well as MCE. See below:-

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Black-Gold-Fr...oryZ3761QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
 

JackOTrades

Standard Member
well keeping well away from the nova-t vs. blackgold argument, i have to thank everyone for the help.

sweetspot is working and the picture quaility is pretty good.
i tried the reinstall (there isn't a device to disable, the card installs a series of codecs) but even after the proper driver install followed by putting the card in and rebooting, mce was still not happy. it wouldn't recognise the card.

as it happens, the trick was in the utility that comes with the drivers for XP Pro. it changes the card mode from WDM to BDA. I didn't initially think that it would actually change the way the card works, ie, changes the hardware, and in a permanent way.

so regardless of me having the right drivers for MCE installed in the proper way, the card was still working in WDM so MCE wouldn't have any of it.

once i ran the utility and swapped the card back to BDA it all started working fine.

so thanks everyone for the help.
the only issue i have now is with the guide, which works well for the most part but there are some channels without listings (E4+1 and More4 the main ones, ABC1 doesn't seem to work either). Perhaps I am missing a trick here but I will do some more research.

Thanks to everyone that has helped. It was invaluable, as always!
Jack
 

The latest video from AVForums

Spielberg, Shyamalan, Aronofsky, Chazelle, Eddie Murphy and Mel Gibson - all the latest movies
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom