All About Building An HTPC (MoBo, CPU, Cards, Other Gear, Software) - Page 2 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #16 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-08-11, 09:22 AM
 
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I haven't tested, but I think you're almost correct in that statement. Out of the box, MCE can mix ATSC signals with any one other signal type.

But, if you're looking to mix signals say from satellite and cable then yes Media Center is definately not the HTPC software for you.

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post #17 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-08-30, 07:50 PM
 
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LOL...nice to see im not the only media center junky with woes

I noticed that others are able to get SB Live! 24 bit cards to work with MCE 2005. I was able to install the drivers but when I try to install the EAX software it crashes. Right now sound is only coming from the front two channels. I had it working fine when I upgraded from XP to MCE but my system was getting sluggish so I did a clean install and would prefer not to do two installs to get it up again....any ideas?

system:

HP 2.4 ghz board and proccessor
Western digital 300 gig HD
1.25 gig ram
ATI all-in-wonder 9600
Sound Blaster Live! 24 bit
Windows MCE 2005 fully updated
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post #18 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-08-31, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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I had lots of "fun" with the Live 24 bit.

In the end, due to the HTPC going in the bedroom, the Live came out and I am using the onboard audio.

Whle messing with the Live 24, I had to fight to get it to work every time I reinstalled MCE (Lots of configuration testing that I wanted to do clean each time). One thing that I decided quickly was to NOT install anything more than the drivers. Where I am only using the HTPC for HT usage, all of the EAX stuff is unnecessary for me anyways.

Personally, my attitude about audio in my HTPC is that if you are not doing anything big, stereo from the onboard audio is fine. If you are doing anything more industrious, you should seriously be outputting the audio via SP/DIF or TOSLINK to an external amp or something like the Logitech Z-5500. The HTPC that gets built for the main HT in the basement will be based on a NForce2 Ultra with the full NVidia sound chip and will output via TOS or SP to my HT amplifier.
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post #19 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-08-31, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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I should also add that I am about to finally go to dual tuner cards and control two Rogers DCT2524 set top units.

The approaching TV season has too many frigging new shows that are interesting and I am not going to allow myself to run into the conflict problem, so I am going to be proactive about it.

And yes, MARCP, this is me eating my hat

Later on, I plan on having a bigger, faster box (The one for the HT) handle two 6200 HDTV units via firewire. That way, I can record everything on HD and watch it in HD from the bedroom or the HT. To which I should point out that I have replaced my 20" TV with an ACER 32" LCD. That REALLY cured the composite out issue I was having before .
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post #20 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-02, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I got it configured for dual tuner and it was a bit quirky at first. Trying to set up things the first time actually caused MCE to crash.

The second try was fine and has stuck. It has been running for over 24 hours and I had it record just about everything worth watching. No failures or hickups that I can see so far.

Also, all of the recordings were done directly to a server location and not the local drive.
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post #21 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-02, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by que3jxp
And yes, MARCP, this is me eating my hat
This is the kind of quote that gets my attention...

Quote:
The approaching TV season has too many frigging new shows that are interesting and I am not going to allow myself to run into the conflict problem, so I am going to be proactive about it.
I know the feeling and there are also lots of shows I want to give a try to see if I'll like. So I linked my PVR to my Google Calendar which has all the new and returning shows and their first air date. That way, my PVR will automatically set a schedule when a certain show enters the EPG. However, there are so many of them and so many that I want to sample that having two Hauppauge PVR500 is awesome (4 tuners total). So far, the most I had to record at the same time was 3 (my wife loves Canadian Idol and Big Brother that air several times a week at only one time - no time shifting).
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post #22 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-03, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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The one unexpected (And unrelated to MCE) issue I have run into is splitters!!!

I have Rogers:

Internet
Home Phone
1 x DCT 6208
2 x DCT 2500
1 x Analog TV converter

The SNR is a real pain in the butt to keep at respectable levels. It only got worse when I needed to put the second DCT2500 into place.

Any ideas? Do those signal booster units that one can get actually work?
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post #23 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-03, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcP View Post
This is the kind of quote that gets my attention...
I figured you would appreciate my seeing the forrest for the trees
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post #24 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-03, 11:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by que3jxp View Post
The SNR is a real pain in the butt to keep at respectable levels. It only got worse when I needed to put the second DCT2500 into place.

Any ideas? Do those signal booster units that one can get actually work?
Since the line from the road to my house is 500', Shaw added an amplifier to boost the signal.

The configuration was:

line -> splitter -> cable modem & amplifier

amplifier -> splitter -> TV, cable box, vcr x2

I think the amplifer has to be bi-directional since the cable box has to communicate with the head end for PPV and all that.
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post #25 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-03, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip on the bi-directional part. I will keep that in mind when poking around.
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post #26 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-03, 12:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by que3jxp View Post
I have Rogers:

Internet
Home Phone
1 x DCT 6208
2 x DCT 2500
1 x Analog TV converter
I wouldn't get a signal booster. They can cause as many problems as they solve. If your signal is inadequate, get Rogers to fix the problem. It is usually free as well. Rogers has been known to run a second line in extreme cases like yours. There could also be other problems such as a bad or corroded connection somewhere on the line or a general problem in your area.
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post #27 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-03, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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I found one that is actually made by Motorola (All the NB hardware except Home Phone is Motorola. This includes our head ends.). It is fully compatible with a bidirectional cable infrastructure.

As for cabling, I doubt there is a problem in the area as all of the infrastructure in my area was replaced about 3-5 years ago when Rogers bought NB from Shaw.

Also, my house is new and wired totaly properly with ALL RG-6 throughout.
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post #28 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-04, 01:38 AM
 
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... all of the infrastructure in my area was replaced about 3-5 years ago when Rogers bought NB from Shaw.
5 years is probably the half life for cable systems these days. I have seen RG6 connections deteriorate in only a few months as well. Rogers rebuilt my neighborhood. Signal strength was good but it would only take a 6 dB loss before analog pictures became snowy and digital signals became marginal. That's only 4 connections. You have 6.

I would call Rogers and ask for a second line for the internet and phone. After all, they are getting the big bucks for those services which cannot tolerate an extra signal split and are making the TV signals weak. If Rogers cannot or will not support those services properly it is time to take your business elsewhere. That's what I did when they failed to fix my TV and internet problems.
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post #29 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-05, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Want_My_HDTV View Post
I would call Rogers and ask for a second line for the internet and phone.
I have considered this but after doing some serious juggling of where all of the splitters were and what number of splits were where, I was able to pretty much stabilize all of the TVs at no less than 30 Db snr and the Cable Modem was all the way to 35 Db snr. I even managed to get one of the DCT2500 units to push 38 Db snr.

The secret...

In all of the shuffling and reexamining, I found a factory end on one of the RG-6 runs that was basically one sneeze from falling off. My recently purchased compression tool and one pass stripper lept into action and I repaired it. It would not surprise me if all the bleed was coming from that alone. It also was the cable that is feeding the two DCT2500s that are hooked to my HTPC.

So when you said:
Quote:
There could also be other problems such as a bad or corroded connection somewhere on the line
, you were so right.

I plan on, very shortly, going through the house and eliminating any more factory ends that may exist and replace them with compression fittings. They are just so much better. I will probably make sure to preen all of the cable runs down to their actual required length as there is a ton of slack back at the splitter/dmark area and not on just one of the splits.
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post #30 of 340 (permalink) Old 2006-09-07, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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I just got my DVI-D cable from Monoprice.com (I Love them!!!).

I have got to say that if you are using a low end card like the GeForce 6200 that I have, then go DVI if you can. The difference in the viewing quality vs. the VGA connector is amazing!

With the VGA cable, there was always a slight (5-10 pixels to the right of an object, not unlike ghosting on an analog cable signal) shadowing effect on the LCD. Now, there is none. The image also seems to be a LOT crisper and DVD content seems to scale up a little better as well.
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