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post #1 of 11 Old 01-13-2012, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I figured I should post this in the appropriate section:

I'm trying everything possible to make my HTPC work right with my Denon and Sony TV. When using Windows Media Center I get: screen going black every few seconds, HDCP errors, sound getting stuck in 1 second loops after fast forwarding, permanent black screen, media center crashes when going to sleep.

It's the absolute worst experience I've had trying to watch TV, but I've already dropped almost $300 on the Ceton quad tuner card. I just spend another $90 on a Gefen HDMI Detective, which seemed like it might fix some of the issues, except it creates one major issue: HDCP doesn't work anymore! Apparently even with dip switch #4 on (HDCP passthrough enabled), my computer is NOT HDCP compliant once the HDMI Detective is in line... very disappointed and getting tired of the money pit/stress machine this HTPC has turned into while trying to watch TV.

If anyone can share any help that may save my sanity (and stop my girlfriend from slapping me), I'd really appreciate it. My HTPC is using an EVGA GTX 580 with the latest beta drivers (I've tried the latest WHLQ and other recent betas as well). It seems that this issue only happens with the Denon on. If I turn the Denon off and go into pass-through, things seems to run smoother (except the Gefen still doesn't work).

I've also already tried a proper power on sequence: TV turns on, 2-3 seconds later Denon turns on, 12 seconds later HTPC turns on.

Thanks for any help!
J
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-13-2012, 03:13 PM
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What's your CPU?

Can you try the integrated graphics if you have them?
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-13-2012, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

What's your CPU?

Can you try the integrated graphics if you have them?

Thanks for the suggestion.

CPU is an intel 2500K (not overclocked).

I actually did try the integrated graphics when my other nvidia card was giving me TDRs. I don't remember if I got all of the same errors, but I did get the "Display Driver Error - The video playback device does not support playback of protected content." every now and then after waking from sleep. Going into window mode and then out of it would fix it. It's an annoying issue that plagues both the nvidia and integrated. I'm waiting to see if the error comes back after changing my harmony's power on sequence.

Now that I have a weekend that I can work on this, I can experiment some more.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-14-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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So I'm trying a mix of things out right new that might be helping:

Good power on sequence, running the HDMIon ap after waking from sleep, waiting a little bit and then starting media center. I also close media center every time before going to sleep.

One issue that is easy to replicate is the fast forward audio drop out. After I do 1.5x fast forward and then hit play, the audio doesn't come back until about 10 seconds. This only happens at 1.5x when media center plays audio sped up. If I do a faster fast forward, it seems to work fine. Also, skip forward works fine. I would say just use skip forward, but my girlfriend continuously uses fast forward because she likes to see what she's skipping.

Does anyone have any idea on how to fix that? Also, if I could somehow disable audio playback at 1.5x fast forward, maybe that would help.

Edit: going into my sound card properties->advanced and setting the quality to 16 bit 48khz seems to fix it (temporarily?). I set it back to 24 bit 48khz and it's still working. I'll report back if it breaks again.

Thanks
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-17-2012, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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All right,

So things looked a lot better this weekend after doing a lot of tweaking. I want to list the things I did, so if someone else runs into similar issues, maybe this will help. I'm not 100% convinced yet that everything is working perfect, but it's a noticeable difference.

My system is running Windows 7 x64 SP1, a gigabyte micro atx z68 motherboard, intel core i5 2500k, EVGA GTX 580 (Nvidia beta driver 290.53), ceton infiniTV quad PCI-express. This is hooked up via HDMI to my Denon 2112ci which runs to my Sony 46XBR909. I'm also using a Harmony One to control all of this.


Screen going blank intermittently and also "Display Driver Error - the video playback device does not support playback of protected content"

-Adjust the follow Nvidia Control Panel item

Go into Nvidia control panel, adjust deskop color settings, apply the following enhancements, content type reported to the display, set this to Full Screen Video

-Proper power on sequence.

This required my calling up Logitech extended support, since power on delays cannot be programmed by users (not to be confused with the other delays). So my TV turns on first, and then my Denon has a 2-3 second delay before it turns on, and then my HTPC has a 12 second delay before waking from sleep, and finally a 7 second power-on delay for the HTPC (the one users can program that tells the remote how long before it can send commands to the device).

Then I have an Event Ghost macro that runs HDMIon (http://thydzik.com/hdmion-a-solution...nal-on-hd-tvs/), and then waits 50 seconds to run:

%windir%\\ehome\\ehshell.exe “/mcesuperbar://tv?live=true”

That's Media Center, starting in Live TV mode. The reason I wait 50 seconds is because that's how long it takes the Cable Card/Ceton to start up and be available (in combination with all the other timings).

-Using Event Ghost, when the Power Off signal is received, I have a macro that closes ehshell.exe, then another macro that waits 3 seconds and looks for the Media Center crash window (which happens every now and then), and then finally another macro that waits 7 seconds and puts the computer to sleep.

Why do I have 3 separate macros for that? Because I have each macro set to stop if the windows isn't found, that way it doesn't close the wrong thing.


-EDID override.

Not sure if this was needed, but I did it anyways. Check out this link: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1227161



No Audio

-Turn off Media Center sounds. I believe this is only needed if you have your Windows Speaker Configuration set to anything but stereo.


Audio Stuttering or drop out after doing 1.5x fast forward

-This happens when your Speaker Configuration is set to anything but stereo. The reason Media Center freaks out is because it has to decode the signal and send it out as PCM, so it can play the audio at 1.5x speed. So it switched from Dolby Digital (what the channel is using), to Multi Channel PCM and then back to dolby digital once you hit play. This will create around 10 seconds of audio stutter or total audio drop out, where afterwards it will kick back in.

Two ways to fix this, that I've found:

Set your speaker config to stereo, so 1.5x fast forwarding only switches to regular stereo, and then switches back to dolby digital properly. I personally didn't want to use this method

Or you can go into your audio device properties, advanced and then uncheck "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device." This will force media center to decode the dolby signal and use Multi Channel PCM for everything. So, when you watch TV, it's PCM, when you fast forward, it's PCM. Everything works well now. You won't get the pretty Dobly sign on your receiver though...


Driver crash with video drivers while browsing the net or doing other simple things

-This is called a Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR).

The newer Nvidia drivers (280 and up) have this issue. Here is Nvidia's sticky thread on this: http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=215256

For me, it was a hardware issue with my EVGA GTX 570 SC. I figured this out because driver 275 was still crashing on me, which is Nvidia's recommendation for seeing if it's a hardware issue or not. I'm assuming my factory overclock was bad. So I went with a GTX 580 instead.


Issue with HDMI Detective not passing through HDCP

-When I tried an HDMI Detective (which I'm not using, but just tried out for a day), I found that it doesn't work with my GTX 580. My Nvidia control panel would say that my display is HDCP compliant, but then as soon as I tried to watch TV or a Bluray, it would switch to saying my display is NOT HDCP compliant. I was unable to watch any copy protected material.

This did not happen with my Intel graphics... so I'm sending it back as it doesn't function properly or as I need it. I tried using longer HDMI cables, which has been said to fix some HDCP issues.


Quick switching between 5.1/7.1 and Stereo in Windows speaker config, so your receiver can upmix.

-I wanted to have a quick way to switch my speaker config to Stereo when listening to music, so my Denon could upmix it.

There is a little AutoIT script someone wrote to do this: http://blog.contriving.net/2009/05/0...s-soundswitch/

I would recommend getting the beta 3.0 version, as the stable version didn't work the way I needed it. Customize the config file to your needs. I believe there is another app called Sound Switch as well, but that one didn't work for me--use the link I provided above for the proper script.

I have a Logitech K800 keyboard and it has a calculator macro key that I mapped to trigger sound switch (which is something like ctrl-alt-F12). Now I just press one button and my computer switches.


Issues with Event Ghost (in windows 7) and automatically starting SoundSwitch.


-Event Ghost has a special plugin that installs a service in Windows 7 for use with MCE remotes. I do not use this as it breaks Windows remote functionality for me once I restart my computer.

Instead, I use the normal plugin for MCE remote (the one that does NOT say for Windows 7/Vista). However, this doesn't work by default, you have to run Event Ghost as Administrator for this to work.

So, go into Scheduled Tasks and create a new task for Event Ghost. Check the box that says Run with Highest Privileges and set the task to trigger whenever anyone logs in. This will auto start it for you, so no need to use the Start with Windows checkbox in Event Ghost.

This also solved the issue with SoundSwitch (which also requires admin privileges). Just add another task with "Run with Highest Privleges," that triggers whenever anyone logs in.


All right, hopefully I didn't miss anything, as I don't have my home computer near me to verify everything.

I just wanted to dump out all the issues and fixes I've had trying to use an HTPC, and I hope this might help others.

J
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-17-2012, 03:52 PM
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Does your video card have dvi and hdmi outputs? If it does, try connecting the video's dvi to the tv's hdmi, turn on the tv and set the resolution to 1920x1080. Connecting the video card's hdmi directly to the Denon. Turn on the Denon, set the tv as display 1, set display 2 as the Denon, and extend the desktop from display 1 (tv) to display 2 (Denon).
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-17-2012, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

Does your video card have dvi and hdmi outputs? If it does, try connecting the video's dvi to the tv's hdmi, turn on the tv and set the resolution to 1920x1080. Connecting the video card's hdmi directly to the Denon. Turn on the Denon, set the tv as display 1, set display 2 as the Denon, and extend the desktop from display 1 (tv) to display 2 (Denon).

That's clever. Basically the card would get the HDCP from both sources directly? Right now, things seems to be running smooth (knock on wood), but I'll have this in mind if the situation takes a turn. This info would be nice to add to the HTPC Tweaks and Fixes thread I created: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1387832


Thanks for the suggestion!
J
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-17-2012, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assplats View Post

That's clever. Basically the card would get the HDCP from both sources directly? Right now, things seems to be running smooth (knock on wood), but I'll have this in mind if the situation takes a turn. This info would be nice to add to the HTPC Tweaks and Fixes thread I created: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1387832


Thanks for the suggestion!
J

If I'm not mistaken, the HDCP would be provided via the connection to the tv and the PAP would come from the connection to the Denon.

I can't take credit for the possible solution. It was suggested to me by Davinleeds.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-17-2012, 04:54 PM
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Not that I was having any problems but I just switched over my audio to PCM only. Wow! Channel changes are quicker and fast forward and rewind are overall more responsive.

Thanks for the tips assplats.

Samsung PN60F8500, Panasonic TH-42PD25U/P, Pioneer VSX-1018TXH-K, Oppo BDP-93, Aperion Audio 5T&5C, HSU STF-2, PS3, Wii, HTPC, SD Homerun Prime, Ceton Echo
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-19-2012, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by caeguy View Post

Not that I was having any problems but I just switched over my audio to PCM only. Wow! Channel changes are quicker and fast forward and rewind are overall more responsive.

Thanks for the tips assplats.

You're welcome. Glad to hear that they helped someone.
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-19-2012, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audit13 View Post

If I'm not mistaken, the HDCP would be provided via the connection to the tv and the PAP would come from the connection to the Denon.

I can't take credit for the possible solution. It was suggested to me by Davinleeds.

Thanks again, I'm going to go ahead and add this to the other thread.
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