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reebokman

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December 2, 2005
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So I was a proud owner of a TiVo a week ago, until it died on me. Now I'm pissed. Yeah, I'm sure it was probably a HD failure and things happen and yeah, it lasted me one year, but I'm still pissed. I also don't like the fact that they are implementing an AD system as well as charge a butt load of cash every month. So I started looking for alternatives and here goes:

I own a Gateway computer with:
- P4 2.27 GHz
- 512 MB RAM
- 60 GB HD
- nVidia GeForce4 MX440 128 MB
- Decent audio card
- Win XP Home
- etc.

It's a family room computer, but is barely used so I was wondering how I would go about making it a MC as well as let some of my family members use it to surf the net from time to time. I got the TV Out working so that's done.

What I'm thinking of adding:
- 1 WinTV PCI 250 (now)
- 1 WinTV PCI 500 or 250 (later)
- 120 GB HD that I used for a TiVo HD upgrade
- IR Blaster, remote, etc.

The way cable is directed now is:
1) Cable comes out of the wall and gets split.
2) One cable goes to the converter box the other straight to the TV.
3) The converter box then goes to TiVo
4) Then my VCR (in case I want to watch a VHS)
5) Then my 4 slot a/v selector and then the TV.

I'm not worried about hooking all this up, but I have a few questions and open to suggestions:

1) Will this PC setup work?
2) The specs for WinTV says that it only does 125 channels, how would I fit the Cable Converter box into the mix? How will channels change on the converter box?
3) How would the IR Blaster/Remote come into play? What are good combos for all this? I was reading about the MCE Remotes and they come with one IR that controls the PC and another that controls the box.
4) Eventually I want to add another 1 or 2 tuners, how will that play out? I don't mind running a split of basic cable into the tuner.
5) Will MP and WinTV be able to handle all this?

Obviously, if I'm going to make a system I want to make sure I have everything and don't waste time and energy and end up finding out that something will not work or is not compatible.

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance.
 

reebokman

Portal Member
December 2, 2005
6
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Okay, well, I got the PC set up with a WinTv PVR-150-MCE Kit and MP 0.1.3.0. The kit came with a MCE 2005 remote, receiver and blaster. The thing is though, this remote looks similar to the 2K5 remote but has four extra buttons (my dvd, my pics, etc.) and is a little different in shape on the bottom of the remote. Couple of issues:

1) MP runs really really slow while I'm using it. Just in general. Then, while using it to watch live TV it functions, but it freezes when I try to pause/timeshift. After extended problems with this I download Beyond TV trial to just see if this is a PC issue and BTV4 works seamlessly. Then again, I know MP is still new and I definitely love the way it looks and functions, only if it wasn't slow. Should I download 0.2?

2) The MCE remote and receiver works well together with the original drivers, but the IR blaster doesn't. I spoke to Hauppauge and they said that MCE has the configuration for the IR blaster so it won't work without it. I tried HIP and followed the instructions at http://www.byremote.com.au/Hip/mce_remote_faq.htm. The remote functionality stops working and on top of that I can't send out IR Blasts to my STB either. It learned the IR codes from my STB remote though. I'm on XP home, could that be the problem? Any help from people who've had this problem?

3) Because of the blaster problems, I was thinking of returning the kit and getting a sole WinTV 150 card and an alternative remote/blaster. What do you guys use for this? I was thinking FireFly and UIRT?

Thanks for your help.
 

Taipan

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  • February 23, 2005
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    reebokman said:
    MP runs really really slow while I'm using it..
    This is odd - I have been using MP for nearly 12 months and have not observed this. Could you be more specific about what you mean by "really slow" - it sounds like a problem with your setup. Posting the support template would help, too.

    reebokman said:
    I'm on XP home, could that be the problem?
    Yes, most probably. AFAIK, the genuine MCE remote will only work "out of the box" with XP Professional and MCE. For XP Home you need to install the MCE remote drivers - do a search here and you will find some posts with information on what is required.
     

    reebokman

    Portal Member
    December 2, 2005
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    Taipan said:
    This is odd - I have been using MP for nearly 12 months and have not observed this. Could you be more specific about what you mean by "really slow" - it sounds like a problem with your setup. Posting the support template would help, too.

    What I mean by slow is that switching through videos, guide, tv, etc. takes a while to do. Also when watching TV and pausing, the application freezes. When it's on play and is uninterrupted, it runs smoothly.

    Now in comparison to BTV4, that app is really compared to MP. Though MP looks a lot better and is more expandable. Write now I'm just trying to get all the pieces to work. The goal is to have a good replacement for Tivo which I can watch on TV. MP suits me best in terms of expandibility, but those slow down issues don't help. I'm going to keep playing with it to figure it out, I was just curious if anyone experienced those problems. Otherwise I will surely post a support question.

    Taipan said:
    Yes, most probably. AFAIK, the genuine MCE remote will only work "out of the box" with XP Professional and MCE. For XP Home you need to install the MCE remote drivers - do a search here and you will find some posts with information on what is required.

    Well, I installed drivers for the remote and the remote works fine when using MP or other applications. However, the IR Blaster is the problem. I'm going to keep trying HIP and see what happens. Otherwise I will probably try other remote/blaster combos and decide which to keep.

    Hopefully, I'll find more closure on these last few things. Thanks for your help.
     

    FlipGer

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  • April 27, 2004
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    Hi,

    1) you should add a DX9 card to your PC. The GeForce 440 is way underpowered. MP renders its GUI like a 3D game. Go for:
    ATi 9550 or above
    nVidia 5200 or above

    Flip
     

    reebokman

    Portal Member
    December 2, 2005
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    FlipGer said:
    1) you should add a DX9 card to your PC. The GeForce 440 is way underpowered. MP renders its GUI like a 3D game. Go for:
    ATi 9550 or above
    nVidia 5200 or above

    It could be that, but DX9 is installed and functioning properly. I did download MP 0.2.0 and it was running a lot smoother than before. I want to keep costs for parts as minimal as possible. I'll keep looking into it and post anything that I come across. Thanks.

    P.s. I've alread order a WinTv 150 w/ IR Blaster, along w/ a FireFly remote. Hopefully this will help w/ my STB.
     

    tomtom21000

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  • April 22, 2004
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    reebokman said:
    It could be that, but DX9 is installed and functioning properly. I did download MP

    With a card like yours, it is dx9 compatible, but that means all the dx9 stuff will be done by your cpu and slow it down.
    With a dx9 capable card, the 3D stuff will be done by the graphics card.
    The ones Flip mentioned are cheap to get.

    tomtom
     

    Paranoid Delusion

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  • June 13, 2005
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    Hi Reebokman

    Yep need DX9 compatible graphics card £40 sterling will buy quite a good one with DVI, SVHS, ANALOGUE should get nvidia 5500 for that money if you look rest of system looks up to specs ok.

    RayUK 8)
     

    reebokman

    Portal Member
    December 2, 2005
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    I wanted to choose between nVidia 5500 or 6200. Both are 128MB. Which one do you guys think would work best? I'm assuming 6200, but what are your thoughts? Also, is 128MB enough? Thanks for all your help.
     

    jdiffend

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    January 9, 2005
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    The GForce 440MX is definately a problem. However, ANY hardware DirectX 9 card should be fast enough to run Media Portal.
    Remember... video doesn't need to update the screen more than 60 times per second and film is what? 50fps? Something like that. It's not like 3D games.

    If you go a step above the low end NVidea you do gain a few extra features.
     

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