Theydon's Perpetual HTPC Build

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by Theydon Bois, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. steelman1991

    steelman1991
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    Theydon - love the build and software update.

    First post so be gentle - I'm new to all this and technically (or should that be technologically) challenged - but willing to learn

    I, like you have succumbed to the charms of Media Portal - Monochrome skin. I notice you are using MP-TV Series as a front-end to play your ripped DVD's. I am desperate to use the MP-TV Series plug-in, but can't get the damn thing to work. I have my files ripped to .TS format (these rips are from DVD's that I own), but no matter what I try, can't get the programme configured - parsing test constantly fails. Could you point me in the right direction. Its driving me nuts :suicide:.

    Thanks
     
  2. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    Just having a beer and chilling while trying my bestest to conquer Robotron. man its hard, and I remember caning a lot of money into my schools chip shop on this one. I could get to wave 6+ (whenever the brain things came in) if I was having a good day, but even with infinite credits, its hard to get to wave 5...I blame the keyboard myself. Which means I know I will get a wireless xbox controller now :thumbsup:

    Anyway, to answer your question (and please remember, I was a newb once, and only got my answers by trawling this board) - sorry, but I dont use .ts files at all. All my TV rips are converted avi files, and my DVDs are ISO rips of original disks. I have not started on mkv or files ripped from any of the hi def formats yet, prefering to wait until somwthing like CloneDVD hits the market. Then all my rips can be 'compressed' and I can fit more on.

    Put it this way, at the moment, my config will play a ripped ISO, better than it plays the original disks - I had a hell of a time getting my copy of Bourne Identity to run (ebay bought with the ability to multibid untill I got it for the price I wanted) as it kept playing bloody chinese subs, even when I ticked no subs from the menu. Its a UK disk, and I am sure it played ok when I tested it when it arrived in the post.

    If you have any questions about Media Portal though, please ask - I have spent alot of time mucking about with various settings, so I may know the answer to something you need. Else, please check Phils Project HTPC pages and the forums at Media Portal itself, they are all more than willing to help.

    Its a hard slog, but I love it. Sure my Zalman case LCD appears to be worthless as it does not support MP, and only their own software and Vista Media Software, thus meaning I spent £60 extra for nothing, but I am sure it will work properly one day.

    My sound is still a little flakey, and no where near loud enough in PowerDVD, but that is all the fun of the build....:rolleyes:

    I am just happy that my missus thinks that the internet on our TV is something special, and has not really questioned my £900 equivalent spend on a massive silver box. :smashin:

    So read this board, especially pay attention to the links I listed in my main thread, and feel free to ask any questions that you wish, and welcome to the world of HTPCs......
     
  3. steelman1991

    steelman1991
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    Thanks for the welcome - it really is the proverbial minefield out there in HTPC Land.

    I don't know if it is a parsing, or ripping problem - I don't have any problems playing my DVD movie rips (from DVD's that I own - in .ts format) through Media Portal and I don't know if the rips will play through My TV series as I can't get it to configure.

    Are all your TV show rips in .avi or have you successfully ripped a TV series from DVD to ISO and been able to access it via My TV Series? If the latter could you detail your file naming convention and parsing expressions to allow me to check against mine.

    If you have successfully ripped a DVD of a TV series (in ISO format) - do you rip the files as individual episodes, or as full disc copies (including menu structure etc.)?

    In the meantime I'm going to attemt an ISO rip to see if that solves the problem.

    Thanks for your help - I appreciate it.
     
  4. steelman1991

    steelman1991
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    Cracked it - the problem surrounded my file naming convention and parse expressions. It really is a great add-on to have. Not particularly easy to set-up, but worth the perseverence.:clap:

    Now to embark on that HTPC build I've been promising myself for a while. Thanks again and no doubt will be back in the near future to pick your brains.
     
  5. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    Yep, the parsing stuff got me a little as well (I think the plug-ins auther is a non english speaker - who reads and understands english better than I could read his native tounge) but some of the instructions didnt seem quite crystal clear.

    Although that could just be me - I normally write instructions and little guides for people that hand hold you all the way through, where he is giving instructions to people that should know what he is talking about :rotfl:

    I have recently started using another program on my TV files - Natbars TVRenamer so its possible that running the files through Natbur may help with any parsing problems.
     
  6. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    And finally the sound for my DVDs is working correctly - I had changed things as someone told me to SPDIF within PowerDVD, but it decided to change everything back to 8 speaker, without me realising, meaning that I watched Batman Begins with my HTK showing 40 volume, rather than a more respectable 15.

    I look again, reset everything without any disk in the drawer, and close PD. Open it again, select play, and lovely sound pours out (well lovely quiet sound as the missus is a sleep) at volume 7.

    Still to do:

    Test Sleep mode - Even though the HTPC boots quickly, a more instant response time would be good.

    Equaliser- Badger Soundgraph more to get a response.

    Emulator - Change the icon, and get more screenshots to fill the last few black boxes. Also, remove some of the extra roms, I only want a few. Also will need the wireless xbox controller.

    Music - start adding some of my rather large music collection (thankfully already ripped to my main PC) and test that for sound and MP layout.

    Remote - Thinking about the Harmony 1000....:confused:

    Extra Drive - Slowly but surely filling the drive...another Sammy 750 should do the trick.:smashin:
     
  7. steelman1991

    steelman1991
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    Couldn't agree more on the subject of the instruction given - writer assumes a certain level of knowledege with his target audience (one which I obviously didn't have), but got there in the end.

    Note your considering a remote - I recently purchased a Harmony One and both myself and wife love it - again like MyTV Series, takes a bit of time to set-up but once complete, is great - works all my equipment, including Media Portal.
     
  8. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    The DB has this info - North & South, its just the TVSeries plugin not picking it up. Terry Pratchets Colour of Magic does this to me - on the site, but not picking up within the parse (where it pauses for a period of time trying to work it out.)

    Looks like you can amend things by reading this - a wiki about their program. The forums may also reveal more info as well.

    I will try and use Natburs on my Pratchett (oo-er missus) and see if that helps me (as they may parse differently, although from the same DB).
     
  9. steelman1991

    steelman1991
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    Yes aware of that particular series, it initially picked it up, but it is a completely different programme. I have added the show, that I require and it is now showing as North and South - Book One (Book Two still to be added) - careful with that Natburs and your Pratchett :).
     
  10. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    PC Info

    I still have update problems after my Windows repair, and thankfully found this article, indicating that Windows have introduced a change that prevented Windows Repairs from July. Seeing as how I had completed hundreds of repairs in my old job that I left in August last year, no wonder I couldnt fathom what I had 'done wrong' and even done the whole repair sequence again because of update and IE problems.

    ---------begin clip-------------

    Manually registering files solves the problem

    If you find that Windows Update refuses to install most patches, you can register its missing DLLs yourself. This can be accomplished by manually entering seven commands (shown in Step 2, below) at a command prompt. If you need to run the fix on multiple machines, it's easiest to use a batch file, as Steps 1 through 5 explain:

    Step 1. Open Notepad (or any text editor).

    Step 2. Copy and paste the following command lines into the Notepad window (the /s switch runs the commands silently, freeing you from having to press Enter after each line):

    regsvr32 /s wuapi.dll
    regsvr32 /s wuaueng1.dll
    regsvr32 /s wuaueng.dll
    regsvr32 /s wucltui.dll
    regsvr32 /s wups2.dll
    regsvr32 /s wups.dll
    regsvr32 /s wuweb.dll

    Step 3. Save the file to your desktop, using a .bat or .cmd extension.

    Step 4. Double-click the icon of the .bat or .cmd file.

    Step 5. A command window will open, run the commands, and then close.

    The next time you visit the Windows Update site, you should not have any problem installing the latest patches.


    --------------------end clip-----------------

    Bloody VNC not allowing me to dial home at the mo, so will have to wait :mad: - on better news, the nice couriers from Sammy have dropped off my replacement TFT :thumbsup:
     
  11. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    ....and all is calm in the Bois household once more.

    My Sammy replacement arrived yesterday, and settled back into place with my new rig with no lines to annoy me, and the batch file I created from the post I linked above worked like a dream. Now my PC breathes freely as it basks in its own self updatingness of glory. Or something.

    Looks like PC upgrade = job done! :thumbsup:
     
  12. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    Found a new niggle - if you fast forward a tvshow (avi file) with the the remote is 5 sec jumps repeatidly, the sound goes off by about 2 secs, and nothing seems to reset it other than a complete reboot.

    I tried stopping the show, killing KVMPlayer and exiting MP and restarting, and theat did nothing, and then I exited out of KVMPlayer and MP, and opened KVMP on its own in another file, which also was off in sound.

    A complete reboot, and all is fine. Anyone know a solution, or simply dont pres the button as often as I did?
     
  13. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    I will get round to compiling all my info into one place, but until then, I will use my thread as a 'dumping ground'.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    KMPlayer

    For anyone that needs to know, KMPlayer is clever enough to remember where you are in a .avi file that you have stopped playing, even after a reboot. I am pretty sure (and will confirm later) that it will remember a couple of avi file positions (in seperate files natch).

    iMon Manager

    Equaliser problems. Aparently, the equaliser option does not work for 'All sound' in Vista when you are using software other than VMCE. See my thread on the Soundgraph forum for more info.

    Remote

    Gone for the Harmony 525. Why? The 1000 was hard enough to justify to me seeing as how I have spent nearly a grand in the last month (just bought a another mimo NIC for my daughters PC, and myself a WD Passport 250Gb), let alone the missus. The 525 at £41 from Ebuyer loooked a nice entry into the 'remote world' and can think about the jump to the big boys league at a later date.
     
  14. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    Remote

    Got the 525 today, and after a couple of hours of mucking about, trained it to use the PVR and switch between things ok. It still throws a spaz when I go from Watch DVD to Watch TV, not going to EXT2 - but I read something about the RGB scart switching, so will read more into that.

    But.....utterly amazing. Three remotes can go in the cupboard, and its just as simple as the other remotes (the missus uses the PVR the most) and the 525 has clear buttons for all the PVR functions. Not adding my Zalman remote yet - I am the only one that really uses that anyway.

    MKV

    Borrowed a mkv file from a friend (that has far more time to rip his HiDef to smaller filesizes) and it worked straight out of the box, seemlessly mixing in with my ISO's with no apparrent difference within the MyVideo folder, and gaining IMDB info as the others did. bit of a difference from 20-40Gb down to 4Gb....think I will be giving him my disks to do. :smashin:
     
  15. Zarch

    Zarch
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    Theydon,

    I had problems with my Harmony and my DVD player auto switching via scart when it turned itself on. Thus throwing the Harmony into a fit cos it can't remember what input should be on.

    Anyway, what i did was find a doc on the web that showed the pin outs for the scart lead and its pin 8 that controls auto switching. So i took the sheath off an old scart lead and snipped pin 8.

    Problem solved, works a treat, my DVD doesn't auto switch now.

    Here's the layout of the pins in a scart lead.
    http://diyautomation.co.uk/electronics/scart.html
     
  16. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    Cheers Mickwall, I am happy enough at the moment with it, and will look deeper into things later - I love mucking about with things and can get away with it for a period of time while the missus is about, but then spend the evenings when everyone is asleep to fine tune things.

    My missus likes it even more that I was looking at infra red dimmer switches..:smashin:
     
  17. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    I had a small brainwave on the way home on the tube (I am normally the one asleep, dribbling on myself) regarding KMPlayer and Media Portal.

    Normally, exiting from an avi (or mkv), pressing stop on my remote causes KMPlayer to 'break' - I get a small KMPlayer box, part of a black screen, and the windows desktop in the background, and it looks a mess. To return to Media Portals front end, I then press the exit app button on my remote, which sends a ALT+F4 command, kills KMPlayer, and I get returned to Media Portal.

    However, if at the 'broken screen', I press any of the other buttons, it removes KMPlayer from the foremost app, and the remote control loses which app its in and no commands work, exept Power off or Exit App. Messy, and you have to return to the keyboard to get back control (by bringing KMPlayer to the foreground and killing it.)

    So, I just mapped ALT+F4 to the stop button instead. Now when done with a avi, it just returns to Media Portal without the messy screen. Job done :smashin:
     
  18. Janusian

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    How do you map buttons to a remote. I have a Logitech Harmony 555 remote, and the software doesn't seem to allow me to map to individual key functions.
     
  19. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    I am using the iMon software and Zalman Remote that came with my case.

    Within iMon software, you can customise the remote based on the app currently being used, and map keys as you see fit. So I added the KMPlayer app to the list of programs the remote can use, which defaultly brought over commands such as stop, pause etc, and then I just remapped the stop button to ALT+F4 (to completely exit the app) instead of spacebar (or whatever it was) which would normally just stop the avi that was playing.

    Although I have a Harmony 525, I have not yet replaced it, prefering to get all my kit up and running with the original remote first, as otherwise, I am one of those that would end up chucking the Harmony into a wall if it did something that should have worked :rolleyes:
     
  20. davidegee

    davidegee
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    Hi,

    Your tvseries set up looks very nice. i can't seem to get any images/banners to show, in the setup or media portal itself. Any tips?

    Thanks
     
  21. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    You have the TVSeries plugin installed and activated? And most importantly, internet access to your HTPC?

    Open the Media Portal configuration, and at the boton of the options, go to the plug-in section. There on the right, you will see the TVSeries icon. Right click on that and select properties.

    This will open the TVSeries plugin.

    On the first tab, based on what you have said, your list will be empty. You need to go the the second? (sorry, doing this from memory, will add pics later if this does not help) which is called Parsing.

    You need to make sure the configuration is pointed at the folder in which your TV series is kept, and then hit the parse button. A series of boxes will pop up asking to either confirm the show name, or the order in which the show aired (for some reasons DVD releases can alter from Aired releases in some shows, though obviously not 24 :devil:)

    To confirm everything has been picked up, check the front page, and your list of programs should now have appeared.
     
  22. davidegee

    davidegee
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    Hi,

    Thanks for your response.

    I have the plugin working, just not the graphics. I'm using project mayhem skin and still have no luck. Guess i'll have to keep trying things!

    Thanks
     
  23. Alister Willis

    Alister Willis
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    Just wanted to chime in here with my thanks for this thread. :thumbsup:

    I've been following it carefully as I'm going to be embarking on my on HTPC build shortly and have been experimenting with Meda Portal and the TVSeries plug in along with the monochrome skin (which I think I prefer to the default).

    It's looking good so far. No doubt I'll have some questions once I finally embark on the build ;)
     
  24. davidegee

    davidegee
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    i think my banners problem may be related to Kapersky. I'm not at home to test now but fingers crossed!
     
  25. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    Yes, yes, still tinkering......:rolleyes: Its not my fault if the Monochrome skin gets an upgrade, and the TVseries plug-in goes up a notch! :smashin:

    Monochrome 1.7

    Not sure if it was me (and it probably was) but if you go back a few pages, my text did not line up properly - I kept reading that the orignal designer had made this skin for 1368x720, and so my 1080p screen was throwing things out slightly.

    The text after the colon now does not bunch up and overwrite the text prefixing the colon.

    TV Series Plug-in v2.00

    I had seen the fan art on some of the people showing off their TVSeries screenshots, but hadn't realised how stunning it looks until its on the big screen. Makes a world of difference from previous shots on earlier pages in my thread.

    It did however take me nigh on 2hrs? :suicide: to work out where to put the fan art (C:\ProgramData\Team Media Portal\MediaPortal\thumbs\fan art\) and make sure you dont rename the jpg's, just leave them as the number, as this relates to its tvdb reference.

    You can get the fan art for the shows here: (and thats where the pics below come from) www.thetvdb.com
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  26. Cha1ky

    Cha1ky
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    Loving this set up Theydon.:smashin:

    Why cant Media Centre look this good LOL
     
  27. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    Working on this now, hopefully will get to a point when I can list my specs and config without going through all my random thoughts :rolleyes:
     

    Attached Files:

  28. Cha1ky

    Cha1ky
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    Quick Question Theydon.
    Can you play a video_ts folder in media portal? Or do you have to delve deeper and click on the individual vob?


    Thanks

    Chalky.
     
  29. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    I personally dont, no. Not sure if PowerDVD 7.3730 can, or if it was removed.

    If you have the video_ts foldor structure though, you should be able to make an ISO from that, and I know PD plays Deamon tool mounted ISOs.
     
  30. dunks517

    dunks517
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    Chalky, Yes you can - you just click on the file from within 'My Videos'.

    Duncs
     

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