ATI 650 Problems - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 461 Old 08-20-2006, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I bought a new ATI TV Wonder 650 yesterday (surprised Best Buy had them). Installs fine (after some glitches), but doesn't find ANY OTA channels.

I unplug the antenna from my Dvico Fusion 5 USB, where I am receiving a half dozen HD channels and plug the same antenna into the 650.

Nothing. Not one channel.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Tom
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post #2 of 461 Old 08-20-2006, 07:55 PM
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the atsc digital tuner doesnt work with media center or xp it only works with the ati media center program.
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post #3 of 461 Old 08-21-2006, 06:00 AM
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Correct, MCE does not recognize the digital tuner on ATI's latest top of the line Analog/DTV tuner card. Also mentioned in this review:

http://hothardware.com/viewarticle.a...leid=851&cid=2

The real question is whether a driver update from ATI or a MCE update from Microsoft will correct the problem. I'd also like to mention that there's only one decoder on the board for both tuners. This is important because only one tuner at a time can be active. In other words you can't be recording a digital channel and watching an analog channel at the same time. Seems kinda shortsighted to me.

Oh well, looks like I'm sticking with my HDTV Wonder / ATI 550 Elite for a little longer.
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post #4 of 461 Old 08-21-2006, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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But I'm not trying to get it to work with MCE. I'm trying to get it to work with either ATI's program or with Snapstream BeyondTV, which DOES support it.
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post #5 of 461 Old 08-21-2006, 07:59 AM
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Sorry, didn't want to hijack the thread. I don't have the 650 yet so I don't know why it's not working. The card was just released. It may be a while before someone here can help you.
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post #6 of 461 Old 08-21-2006, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdisker View Post

I'd also like to mention that there's only one decoder on the board for both tuners.

There is only one tuner; Samsung.
Quote:
This is important because only one tuner at a time can be active. In other words you can't be recording a digital channel and watching an analog channel at the same time. Seems kinda shortsighted to me.

Simultaneous acquisition of multiple streams is a typical feature of modern A/V Decoders. It is highly unlikely that the Theater650 forgoes that capability. However, to function as you illustrated above, the board would require two seperate tuners.
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post #7 of 461 Old 08-21-2006, 05:38 PM
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This thread will answer your questions. ATI messed up, big time, with the digital support; the analog and digital tuners cannot be used concurrently. If you read one of the hardware reviews, ATI could have shipped it with a QAM tuner/decoder, but chose not to. I'll bet MCE never supports the digital capabilities of this card, because it expects concurrent analog and digital tuner availability. I'd like to see a version of this card with dual analog tuners and no digital tuners.
http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=77340
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post #8 of 461 Old 08-24-2006, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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According to the manual, there is MCE support for the HD Tuner. Alas, the problem is that the card is a piece of junk. It cannot find any OTA channels, even though my Dvico finds every network. I've had an open trouble ticket with ATI since Monday, called them and talked to Level 1 and Level 2 and all I get is "we'll get back to you".

They never do. My impression is that there are MAJOR problems with this card. I strongly suggest no one waste their money.

Tom
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post #9 of 461 Old 08-25-2006, 06:02 AM
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ATI? Driver Issues? Nah.

I installed the drivers from the CD. It read only 1 of 8 local channels, the other's had no signal at all. This was the case in both MCE and ATI's program. After updating with the drivers on the website, now I get 6 of 8 channels.

So, I am going to cross my fingers and wait a little bit. I think it is not the hardware, but rather the drivers. The hardware and its promise is great. I remeber the HD Wonder wasn't great out of the gate either.

However, I am disapointed that a product would be released with major driver related problems. I can understand a few bugs, but not working at all is really not acceptable.

I hope ATI will come through for us. They are helping to create a very competitive market and that benefits the comsumer....


dew.
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post #10 of 461 Old 08-25-2006, 06:11 AM
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I will add that the image quality of this card is quite good. It is noticably better than the Kworld card it replaced. When it works of course

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post #11 of 461 Old 08-25-2006, 10:37 AM
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I'm having the same problem as Tom. Even with the latest (8/18) v6.14.10.186 drivers I have no HD channels found by ATI application and BeyondTV reports 0% signal on all my HD channels.

SD signals are clear (in Phoenix the SD and HD transmission towers are all in one place for all channels)

I'm using a ChannelMaster roof mounted antenna and ChannelMaster amplifier, so this isn't a "rabbit ears" problem.

Composite input from a DirecTV STB is clear and with better color than the PVR-250 this card is replacing.

BTW while not officially supported SageTV does recognise the analog BDA driver and successfully tunes analog and accepts composite input. It recognises a "digital tuner" within the analog BDA but tries to tune the wrong RF input if you attempt to use that option as a video source.

I have not tried using the S-Video input at all.

Mike
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post #12 of 461 Old 08-25-2006, 12:51 PM
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I've got the same problem.

I currenlty have a X800 XL All-in-wonder (or something like that) and just bought the 650 for HD.

The All-In-Wonder still picks up analog fine, but I get no HD OTA channels. My TV (integrated tuner) picks up HD OTA on the same feed with very high signal strength.

Has anyone been successful picking up a HD signal on this card?????

My S-Video input looks great.
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post #13 of 461 Old 08-25-2006, 02:53 PM
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ATI Level 2 support told me to exchange the card for a new one. We'll see, I probably won't be able to get to it till Monday. I'll let you know.
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post #14 of 461 Old 08-25-2006, 06:40 PM
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I was at Best Buy today(Santana Row) and asked about Tuner cards..The salesdude said.."wait a minute, I just got a message about Tuners"
I said, ATI 650?
He says" Yep, I am going to pull them off the shelf right now...they say they are defective"
He grabbed the last 3 off the shelf and headed to the back room..

So either, BestBuy is pissed with everyone complaining/returning, or ATI realised they blew it and asked to have them pulled.

HD DVD:38
BR: 51+ 23 from the WB Red2Blu promo
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post #15 of 461 Old 08-25-2006, 07:21 PM
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I just picked up the card this afternoon. My findings are consistent with everyone else. SD content via analog cable looks better than the theater 550pro it replaced but I'm not able to tune any of my OTA HD channels in MCE. This card is going back to best buy.
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post #16 of 461 Old 08-26-2006, 01:56 PM
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Ya, I picked my card up from Best Buy (Santana Row) on Wednesday took some tinkering to get the analog channels through windows media center, and ya 0 signal for OTA HDTV with rabbit ears... not even snow just complete darkness. I just submitted a ticket today, we'll see if they tell me to throw it in a bonfire or return it or something, but ya.. analog is beautiful.

On a side note, does anyone know if we, once HDTA is functional, can just use our cable lines to tune HDTV, cuz I get free cable in my dorm bwhaha.. and I'm sure we at least get local channels in HD over the cable so I was hopeing to do that instead of having to hang an antenna out of my window.
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post #17 of 461 Old 08-26-2006, 08:23 PM
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Diablo

Your HD experience is typical, with a digital signal the tuner either has a signal it can lock onto or it doesn't so there are no "snow"/ fuzzy picture options. You either have a picture or a black screen.

Most, if not all, cable HD is transmitted using "QAM"encoding, which the 650 does not support so you may not be able to get HD on your cable using this card. ATI is not alone here, MCE doesn't support QAM niether does Sage or BeyondTV. There are a few ways to view QAM on a Windows PC but all involve proprietary software. Search for "QAM FAQ" in the Home Theater Computers section for more information.

Mike

P.S. College has changed, I couldn't run a kettle in my dorm room now there's free cable
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post #18 of 461 Old 08-26-2006, 08:29 PM
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FWIW, I'm able to get most (but not quite all) of my OTA ATSC channels. As the documentation says, I definitely had to use an amplified antenna (e.g., the one that came with the HDTV Wonder didn't cut it).
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post #19 of 461 Old 08-26-2006, 11:06 PM
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Well Mike, if it's that tedious of a task at this point in time to get QAM tuned on MCE, I suppose I'd might as well 'downgrade' to a T550 chip or something since I'll basically just be watching analog channels anyway. Is the quality or featureset significantly different on those? Or perhaps I should even go to a different brand if ATi hasn't been delivering good products.
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post #20 of 461 Old 08-27-2006, 12:16 AM
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I bought one at BB Friday evening and returned it Saturday morning when they opened. It might get better with new drivers or something but for OTA DTV at the moment its a big (POS) waste of time and money. Not ready for primetime! I have 5 towers within 2-3 miles and could not get anything using the Silver Sensor. I don't want to have to use an expensive amplified rooftop setup. I shouldn't have to.

To answer the last poster's question, there's not a great deal of difference in the 550/650 SD quality. The 650 definitely looked better, though. I am very happy with my 550's but the Cyberlink DVR software was a joke. I don't use MCE2K5, I use GBPVR (free!) and the 550's work like a charm with that.

I'm gonna hold on now for either a good USB external atsc tuner or try to get my hands on one of the Vbox 164e pcie x1 dual atsc cards. And don't hold your breath waiting for ATI to fix the 650........it may be awhile.

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post #21 of 461 Old 08-27-2006, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappcatt View Post

I was at Best Buy today(Santana Row) and asked about Tuner cards..The salesdude said.."wait a minute, I just got a message about Tuners"
I said, ATI 650?
He says" Yep, I am going to pull them off the shelf right now...they say they are defective"
He grabbed the last 3 off the shelf and headed to the back room..

So either, BestBuy is pissed with everyone complaining/returning, or ATI realised they blew it and asked to have them pulled.

That's news to me - I work in the biggest Best Buy store in the land.

dew.
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post #22 of 461 Old 08-27-2006, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnporter View Post

I don't want to have to use an expensive amplified rooftop setup.

Today I took the simple passive indoor antenna that came with the HDTV Wonder (which worked fine for me with the HDTV Wonder), added a 10dB inline amplifier from Radio Shack, and was able to get most of my OTA channels (same ones I could get with a 45dB amplified indoor antenna).
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post #23 of 461 Old 08-27-2006, 01:55 PM
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I tried 2 different ATI 650s from Best Buy today. Both locked up my processor at the POST screen. I tried 3 different PCI slots/reassigned other devices. NO GO. It is not like I have an old computer - MB is an ABIT IS-10 with a P4 2.8/800. I take out the 650 and everything works perfect, like before.

Anybody with any ideas, except take it back and get a refund.
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post #24 of 461 Old 08-27-2006, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabloazul126 View Post

...I suppose I'd might as well 'downgrade' to a T550 chip or something since I'll basically just be watching analog channels anyway. Is the quality or featureset significantly different on those?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnporter View Post

...there's not a great deal of difference in the 550/650 SD quality. The 650 definitely looked better, though.

The 650 is more expensive, but definitely has the best analog section of any of the available cards. The 550 had very good video quality to begin with, but had other problems. The 650 has the best comb filter of any of the typical tuner boards (Hauppauge, nVidia, ATI), and may have the best MPEG-2 encoder (I haven't seen any reviews specifically on its MPEG-2 encoder; it is capable of 15 Mbps). Its digital section clearly sucks.
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post #25 of 461 Old 08-27-2006, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dew042 View Post

That's news to me - I work in the biggest Best Buy store in the land.

dew.

He went over to the POS/Computer thingy and read something..then walked with me and grabbed them off the shelf..taking them into the back room.
My guess is either:
1) He got a message telling him to pull them.
or
2) His buddy emailed him telling him that they were the best card out there and asked him to grab everything they had in stock....


Just telling you what I saw...

HD DVD:38
BR: 51+ 23 from the WB Red2Blu promo
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post #26 of 461 Old 08-27-2006, 09:08 PM
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Well I have been messing around with this thing for about 24 hours now and I can clearly say without a doubt it has the best SD qaulity tuner on the market. This thing made what once looked like a crappy cable feed, look completely digital. I was using the 550 Pro before and had tried the new nvidia card along with hauppage pvr 250 normaly my girlfriend could not tell the difference between them but this time she asked on her own if I had finally broken down and brought a digital cable box. She could not believe the difference. For some of you that had decent cable feeds to begin with going from the 550 to the 650 chipset may not have made that big of a difference but for me it did wonders. Personally I plan on keeping this card because If someone told me all I had to do was pay 129 plus tax to get Digital Like SD Quality, I would have done it in a heart beat.

Before I begin with the bad news let me tell you about my situation. These are the conditions:
1. I live in an apartment on the third floor In Orlando Fl
2. There are other apartments around me that are taller.
3. All the major networks in my area are broadcasting in HDTV (13+ stations)
4. Because of my location and the distance from stations, initially I was unable to effectively pull in mor than 2-3 of them on the HDTV Wonder (not the 650 Pro)
5. I run both the antenna that Came with the HDTV Wonder, and the amplified Terk antenna that follows it's design. By combining them with a splitter/combiner and pointing them to different directions, I was able to get all channels in my area from my apartment (most stations are 20+ miles away)). The signal is being amplified by 13db antenna that does wonders for the signal

Now for the bad news. I had the same experience with the digital tuner that have plagued many around here and in other forums. Believe it or not I was actually hoping the card was defective, because if that was the case all we had to do was waite a few months and we could buy the new revisions. But after fiddling around with it, removing the splitters that I had, and disconnecting the second HDTV antenna, I finally got the card to work. I can now get most the the channels that I got before in each direction that I pointed the individual antennas to.

Why do I say this is bad news you wonder. Well for starters when they say
an amplified antenna is required. It is a must. The tuner used in this card does not seem to do well without the amplifier. For me, I could not tune a single station without it. Considering that the guy from Hot Hardware review sample came with an updated Tuner that could also tune in QAM, I believe that issue may have been known by ATI and they may already have a revision to fix it. The reason that I Consider this to be bad news, is because that this does not seem to be a driver build error and that the tuner itself has the issue. Considering they mandated an amplified antenna, they new about the issue and may have no intention on fixing it for a while. Note: the specs for the HDTV Wonder does not mandate the amplified antenna. So if you are waiting for a software fix for this issue, don't hold your breath. Return the card and wait for the next revision. Based on what I seem when this thing is working, it will be worth it. For the people that still want to try I have left some instructions below to try and remedy the situation. Note: This is not a guaranteed fix, this is simply what I had to do to get it working for me. Good luck...

People with MCE
1. First of all for those with MCE get the latest drivers on ATI's web site.
2. Do not install the New Catalyst Media Center with MCE. At least for me, it made my system completely unstable, causing some pretty bad crashes. This is only my Personal experience, since system components can differ greatly from one user to the next, your mileage may vary.
3. Do not believe the signal strength indicator within windows MCE. On my HDTV Wonder I have to have the strength bars in the green before I could tune in a station without stutter blackouts or tearing or pixilated images (Digital Snow), but with this card, certain stations would show up even though the signal strength indicator in MCE displayed only one bar in the red. In fact, I could only have three bars up and still get a clean uninterrupted signal (I believe that this a driver issue)
4. Disconnect any splitters/Combiners that you may have. It seems that this thing needs a strait shot to the antenna and needs an unhindered amplified signal. Routing of any sort seems to degrade the signal to beyond tuner capable detection.
5. Switching to Gold Plated Coaxal cables seemed to help a little bit with signal strength. Not anything that could be seen on the MCE signal strength detector, but it help reduce stuttering on the week stations significantly.
6. If you have a second tuner card in your system (including analog) remove and see if it makes a difference. It did for me. Some times it worked with the second tuner in there, most of the times it did not (could be a systems resources issue for me so you could probably ignore this hint.)

If I think of anything else, I will update this post.

Update 08/28 1:30 PM:

I have good news and them some more bad.

The good news:
First of all use of splitters can still be done, but you have to use multiple amplifiers to get it to work. Amplifying once before the signal is split to stengthen the original signal that is coming in from the antena and then again after the splitter for each TV wonder 650 you intend on using (diagram shown below). Reamplification for the HDTV Wonder was not neccesary due to the fact that it does not have the issue that the 650 pro does with HDTV signal. It however did improve signal strength a tad (less digital noise on from weaker, more distant stations), so I did it anyways. The other bit of good news is that you can disregard number six with regards to removing the second or third tuner. It seems to work just fine for me after removing all tuner related drivers and reinstalling them I now have both the HDTV Wonder and the 650 Wonder recieving signals.

Now for the updated bad news. Using multiple cards in the same system works OK when recording 2 HDTV Programs, but if you start out by recording SD programing on the 650 Pro and then try to watch HDTV material with the HDTV Wonder, MCE will not allow you to. All you get is a message advising you that the second tuner (HDTV Wonder) needs to be redetected in the TV setup area or mce will simply crash. Not good at all. It is essentialy rendering the second tuner useless even though it is not being used. I am not sure if this is an issue with media center itself or can be rectified by ati changing the way that MCE detects it's tuners via driver a driver release. If it's an MCE issue, this is probably the straw that will break the camels back for most of you because I don't see microsoft putting any more resources into this operating system considering the deadline they are battling for Vista.

For those interested, I have attatched a simple diagram of how my setup is currently laid out. Again I am not saying that this will work for you, but it does work for me. To each his own.
LL
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post #27 of 461 Old 08-28-2006, 07:37 AM
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With all of the limitation with this card, I don't think it's worth to upgrade my 550 Pro card. First of all, we can't record both OTA and SD simultaneously. If we use it as either OTA or SD tuner, then it's more expensive than stand-alone tuner. Secondly, I think most of us have more than 1 tuner in our HTPC, we have to use splitter for the antena signal. It seems like we can't do it here. For me, I'll wait for the Vbox 164e dual HDTV tuner with PCIe. I am waiting for someone to review it. Fall TV season is almost here!!!
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post #28 of 461 Old 08-28-2006, 09:09 AM
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I got my second card from BB yesterday and still no signals for me. Based on Dimahnbloe's comments that makes sense. I've got my amped signal split 3 times! My HDTV doesn't have a problem with that, and neither does my All-In-Wonder SD tuner. I'm going to buy and inline amp today and see if I can't place after the 2nd or 3rd split to pick up the channels. I'll also try it without the 3rd split (which means no SD tuning on the All-In-Wonder, but oh well). Thanks for the input!
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post #29 of 461 Old 08-28-2006, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVfan View Post

I tried 2 different ATI 650s from Best Buy today. Both locked up my processor at the POST screen. I tried 3 different PCI slots/reassigned other devices. NO GO. It is not like I have an old computer - MB is an ABIT IS-10 with a P4 2.8/800. I take out the 650 and everything works perfect, like before.

Anybody with any ideas, except take it back and get a refund.

Got my refund.....

Could my problem and others be that I do not have an HDCP compliant monitor?

The specs on this site http://www.hothardware.com/viewartic...leid=851&cid=2 states - Hardware DRM engine so not being very knowledgable in that area ... makes me wonder if having non HDCP compliant display devices will even work.
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post #30 of 461 Old 08-28-2006, 02:25 PM
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Hardware DRM engine had do with encoding like HBO, etc, etc (CGMS-A) Content Generation Management System for Analog it shouldn't have any to do HDCP compliant monitor which is for the format know as Blu-Ray / HD-DVD movies.
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