Switched to VMC and have some annoying issues - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-05-2008, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I have just replaced mce2005 with vista ultimate (x86) on my htpc. For the most part it works pretty well but I have a few very annoying issues I'd like to resolve. Windows update say it is completely up to date, and I have only installed the minimum stuff necessary.

1. CPU utilization for hdtv is WAY higher (90-100% with ms decoders) than with mce2005 (<10%). PowerDVD 8 decoders run ~50%. Video card is a 8600gt with 178.13 drivers. I really need this one fixed!

2. Volume level display pops up from time to time. Audio output is spdif to my receiver. Seems to happen most frequently when pressing the back button on remote. Also happens every time vmc starts.

3. Exiting or minimizing vmc sometimes causes a black screen. System is still working, but display is black. Only solution is to power cycle computer.

4. System fans run on high most of the time. On mce2005, the fans only sped up when ha wasn't working while playing back hd-dvds or bd movies. Probably related to 1. Can't find anyway to control fans in vista.

5. Too easy to quit/exit/change settings vmc from main menu. Is there any way to remove items from the main menu?

Any help is greatly appreciated, especially for #1!

Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-05-2008, 08:20 PM
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#1 is probably driver related; but you'd have to do your research

#2 is may be related to PowerDVD which insists on setting volume upon start/exit. I had a similar annoyance until I stopped using PowerDVD (7.3)
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response.

I looked at the nvidia release notes for the driver, but didn't see anything about hardware acceleration. I could try installing the driver on windows update instead of from nvidia's web site.

The volume display was popping up before I installed powerdvd 8. I haven't tried 7.3, but I'm not sure that is the culprit.

The black screen issue is quickly becoming a bigger problem. I turned the tv on last night and again this morning to find the black screen after media center had been running. I had to power cycle the computer both times to fix it. This needs to be fixed asap.

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 10:42 AM
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#1 - I didn't experience this when I used the HTPC for TV capture. My utilization was in the 15-20% area for 720p and 1080i OTA broadcasts.

#3 is a Vista problem. I have an ATi card with the same problem. I randomly get black screens as well and, like you, the only solution I could find was to do a hard reboot. I get the black screen with more frequency when resuming from standby.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek K. View Post

I have just replaced mce2005 with vista ultimate (x86) on my htpc. For the most part it works pretty well but I have a few very annoying issues I'd like to resolve. Windows update say it is completely up to date, and I have only installed the minimum stuff necessary.

1. CPU utilization for hdtv is WAY higher (90-100% with ms decoders) than with mce2005 (<10%). PowerDVD 8 decoders run ~50%. Video card is a 8600gt with 178.13 drivers. I really need this one fixed!

you can change the default decoders that VMC uses.
http://mediacenterexpert.blogspot.co...r-utility.html

you can use that to change decoders if you feel that its a decoder issue.

Quote:


2. Volume level display pops up from time to time. Audio output is spdif to my receiver. Seems to happen most frequently when pressing the back button on remote. Also happens every time vmc starts.

what remote are you using? are you using a programable remote, something not specifically designed for media center?

Quote:


3. Exiting or minimizing vmc sometimes causes a black screen. System is still working, but display is black. Only solution is to power cycle computer.

only time i've seen this is when a codec crashed while watching a video. ALT-CRTL-DLT got me out of that.

Quote:


4. System fans run on high most of the time. On mce2005, the fans only sped up when ha wasn't working while playing back hd-dvds or bd movies. Probably related to 1. Can't find anyway to control fans in vista.

that is an issue with the power features of the mobo and drivers for the mobo.


Quote:


5. Too easy to quit/exit/change settings vmc from main menu. Is there any way to remove items from the main menu?

http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archi...8/1578302.aspx

- Josh
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Leisle View Post

#1 - I didn't experience this when I used the HTPC for TV capture. My utilization was in the 15-20% area for 720p and 1080i OTA broadcasts.

#3 is a Vista problem. I have an ATi card with the same problem. I randomly get black screens as well and, like you, the only solution I could find was to do a hard reboot. I get the black screen with more frequency when resuming from standby.

Thanks! I don't know what else I can try to get hardware acceleration working.

For #3, how do you have your tv connected? I use the component outputs to my rptv, and it doesn't accept 720p. I'm thinking that vista is changing the resolution from 1080i to 720p. It did this to me when I first installed the video drivers. I'm going to borrow a 720p capable tv from work tonight to test this theory.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek K. View Post

...
5. Too easy to quit/exit/change settings vmc from main menu. Is there any way to remove items from the main menu?
...

Download MC Menu Mender (http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/comm...tml#post222057) and you can ad and delete menu items.

The rest seems like hardware-specific issues (I use an AOPEN MP45-DR with onboard video and don't have them.)
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 11:19 AM
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In regards to the black screen issue. I believe I was having a similar problem. I seem to have fixed it by going into my power management options and turning all settings off so that the computer always stays on and never goes into standby and also I turned the screen saver off because I only turn my tv on to watch my recorded shows so a screen saver is useless. Since then I've had no freezing issues.

Good Luck!
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

you can change the default decoders that VMC uses.
http://mediacenterexpert.blogspot.co...r-utility.html

you can use that to change decoders if you feel that its a decoder issue.

I've used vmcd to change from the ms decoders to the powerdvd 8 decoders. The pdvd 8 decoders work better, but still are not using ha. The cpu load is ~50%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

what remote are you using? are you using a programable remote, something not specifically designed for media center?

I'm using a htm mx-700, and I thought it could be the remote sending a funny code, but it never did it with mce2005 in the 3+ years before. However it also did it with my msft media center keyboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

only time i've seen this is when a codec crashed while watching a video. ALT-CRTL-DLT got me out of that.

I doubt it is the same issue I'm seeing. It does it if I just start vmc and let it sit overnight without ever playing a video or leaving the main menu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

that is an issue with the power features of the mobo and drivers for the mobo.

probably. I can't seem to find anywhere in vista to change the settings, though.

Quote:

thanks! it actually looks like mc menu mender is what I want.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbuddy21 View Post

In regards to the black screen issue. I believe I was having a similar problem. I seem to have fixed it by going into my power management options and turning all settings off so that the computer always stays on and never goes into standby and also I turned the screen saver off because I only turn my tv on to watch my recorded shows so a screen saver is useless. Since then I've had no freezing issues.

Good Luck!

I disabled all of the power stuff I could find this morning. Turning the screensaver off was one of the first things I did after the vista installer finished.
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

Download MC Menu Mender (http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/comm...tml#post222057) and you can ad and delete menu items.

The rest seems like hardware-specific issues (I use an AOPEN MP45-DR with onboard video and don't have them.)

thanks! you posted this as I was replying to josh.

The motherboard is an intel 925xcv. Vista had all of the drivers for it, and there are none on intel's web site. The bios is also up to date.
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, I have never been able to get hardware acceleration running on a test machine that I have. It has a nvidia 7600gs agp card and ota hd pegs the cpu at 100%. It still does it as of today with vista sp1, with all the updates and the latest nvidia driver.

It seems I'm somehow cursed with regards to ha and vista!
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-06-2008, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I discovered something interesting about my black screen issue. It is somehow related to extender use.

I got home from work and turned the tv on to check that that vmc was still visible - it was. I closed vmc and the screen went black. I had brought home a tv that can take 720p and 1080i over component and it reported no signal.

I turned on the extender to make sure nothing was being recorded so I could turn the computer off. When I got back to the computer, the desktop was visible again! It seems the extender somehow fixed the issue.

There is a thread about this issue with a reg change on tgb and msft seems to know about it. Maybe there is some hope...

http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/per...ad.aspx#153693
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-10-2008, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Update:

The black screen issue was becoming a big problem and vmc started crashing when I tried accessing recorded tv, so I reinstalled vista last night and didn't install the tv pack.

So far, I haven't seen the black screen issue. Also, I figured out why hardware acceleration wasn't working!

My vista performance index was 1.0 because it didn't have a driver for the 8600gt. Once I installed the nvidia driver and reran the test, aero turned on along with hardware acceleration! CPU utilization for ota hd is a little higher than it was with mce2005 (~10% vs. ~25%), but I can live with that. I may try the powerdvd8 decoders to see if they are a little better. Also, the picture is much better with ha enabled. There was a lot of noise in the sd recordings that weren't present in mce2005 or with vmc and ha enabled.

Additionally the fans have returned to their normal, slow and quiet speed.

I miss the easy qam setup with the tv pack, but it surely isn't worth it for me due to stability issues.

Thanks for your help!
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