Sony VGX-XL3 - Page 13 - AVS Forum
First ... 11  12  13 14  15  ... Last
Home Theater Computers > Sony VGX-XL3
JST200's Avatar JST200 04:03 AM 01-17-2008
Miss looking at this forum for a few days and pages and pages gets written - you guys must be up all night!

Things that I have discovered (XL302) whilst I have been away...

Getting Blu Ray discs to play
-----------------------------
It seems that Blu Ray discs (certainly not Pirates of the Caribbean 3 anyway) will not play without an update to the WinDVD software. DVD's will play fine without the update.

Unfortunately the onboard Sony Update Utility downloads an Update (ITAOTH1596002-UN.exe : V8.08.425_3) which wont execute. It gives the error: "This Upgrade can't apply to your version of WinDVD. Setup will now abort...". A really great start - not!

However, if you go to the Sony XL302 Support Website (http://support.vaio.eu/downloads/upd...GB_cons&m=2563) there is a different update available: InterVideo WinDVD BD 8.0.8.416_2. You can manually download and run this update (ITAOTH1596000-UN.exe : V8.08.416_2) and it will install no problem.

After this update Blu Ray discs will now play!

Whether it is worthwhile or not I don't know, but the original update (Update (ITAOTH1596002-UN.exe : V8.08.425_3) will now run to completion too. Better yet; WinDVD will still play Blu ray discs!

BTW: the only way to check which version of WinDVD is installed is to navigate to the WinDVD Program Directory and look at the "Detail" properties of the WinDVD.exe

For interest only purposes, these are the steps I went through before I noticed the update version differences mentioned above:

1) Attempt to apply the SONY WINDVD update which fails to run with the error "This Upgrade can't apply to your version of WinDVD". The manufacturer installed version is V8.08.67 and the update is V8.08.425_3.
2) Upgrade to Vista Ultimate - made no difference
3) Install Nero 8 including Blu Ray add-on - ShowTime will play the intro's. But only just and then only in the top left hand half of the screen. It wont play anything to do with the main title.
4) Re-install the whole system from scratch
5) Sony WINDVD update V8.08.425_3 still wont run
6) install SlySoft anyDVD - anyDVD could apparently read the DVD, but WinDVD still wouldn't play
7) Re-install the whole system from scratch
8) Sony WINDVD update V8.08.425_3 still wont run

Channels in the Guide that show "No Information"
-----------------------------------------------
Having a decent aerial makes a heck of a difference to signal reception! I now get such a good signal I am picking up the same channel from multiple transmitters! The problem with this is that the TV Guide seems to usually be configured for a single transmitter and doesn't recognise the channels from the other transmitter. The following wont mean much to those of you across the pond, or anywhere else not near Manchester (UK) for that matter, but the principles might be the same and therefore the resolution might be of interest.

In my particular case the transmitters concerned are Primary Transmitter Winter Hill A (http://www.ukfree.tv/txdetail.php?a=SD660144) and Secondary Transmitter Winter Hill B (http://www.ukfree.tv/txdetail.php?a=SD660145). With a good aerial the channel scan picks up channels from Winter Hill B first, because they have a lower transmit frequency than Winter Hill A (check out the URLs above to see which frequencies are used). Because they are good signals it makes them active in the Guide. When it eventually finds the same channels from Winter Hill A it registers them in the list, but not make them active. If you selected the Guide for Winter Hill A it doesn't know about the channels from Winter Hill B so provides no Guide information for them. There are two ways to fix this:
1) When selecting which Guide to use there is one marked as "not registered" (or similar). This seems to know about all the channels and provides Guide info for them.
2) if you select the Winter Hill A Guide, then after the scan, go to TV Setup > Edit Guide. The list will show you all the channels with their transmitted frequency. Deselect all the Winter Hill B low frequency (below 700) channels and select all the Winter Hill A high (above 700) channels.

Hope that all makes sense!

Multiple Tuners
---------------
This is an observation, rather than a problem to be fixed.

If two programs are set to record at the same time, one of them invariably fails with a "Bad Tuner" error (this can be seen by looking at the "History" list) and the other starts OK. However, a few seconds later the failed recording is re-started and then works fine. Usefully, the "History" list also shows which tuner is used to make the recording. With a bit of analysis its probably possible to work out what algorithm is being use to work out which tuner is used when. The answer would be of interest only 'cause you can't influence it in any way!

Aluminium Tube
--------------
Finally a question...

To install my XL302 I need to re-arrange the heights of the shelves for my TV Stand. To do so, I need brushed Aluminium (Aluminum ) tube of OD2.5in (63.72mm) Wall Thickness 0.066in (16swg, 1.67mm) ideally cut to lengths of 4x 5.5in (140mm) and 4x 9.5in (240mm).

I have found a website in the US that will supply for about $30, but the shipping costs are over 80$ (I might as well buy a new table! ).

I can't find any suppliers in the UK. The nearest I get is for Aluminium Downpipes for Gutters!

Any suggestions gratefully recieved.

Thanks, Jim

rjeffb's Avatar rjeffb 07:34 AM 01-17-2008
Thanks for the update, Jim. I missed in your earlier post that your XL302 has dual DBT tuners. Are those cards that both came with the unit, sticks you added, or what? It occurs to me that I could answer my own dual-tuner questions by simply transferring my Hauppauge external NTSC tuner from my HushPC to the XL3 and running some experiments, but it's more fun to hear reports from you and (hopefully in the near future) Tech!

I'm not sure exactly what assistance you are requesting regarding the al-yu-MIN-um? I suppose I could hack into the International Space Station's controls and try to eject some spare trusses on a trajectory for Manchester, but short of that, what are you asking for?
techieg's Avatar techieg 08:14 AM 01-17-2008
The thing we need to know is that it makes sense for Vista to require the same cable source so as not to have any errors. Take the HD dual tuner set top box from the cable company for example, their system has two tuners inside of it, on the outside they have one coax connector input which essentially connects to an internal splitter which in turn connects to both internal tuners. So they both essentially also need the same cable tv source or they will generate an error. The only reason it is more obvious in Vista or PCs in general is that because you end up having two coax connector inputs on the outside (as opposed to one outer coax connector and an internal splitter) and the possibility of people putting one digital and one analog tuner into the same system , which is a wrong thing to do and will definitely generate errors...if set top boxes were done this way they too will go into errors. That is why set top boxes will also either have two internal digital tuners or two internal analog tuners...both tuners are always the same with the same cable source well implemented with the internal splitter.

I think digital cable ready PC OEMs can also use the cable set top box concept by essentially having an internal splitter with a spare connection for an extra tuner so that side of the splitter already connects to the tuner that comes with the system and the other side of the splitter can be used for an additional splitter to eliminate the possibility of two different cable sources coming into the system and creating error...another one of my bright ideas, uhn.

JST200, since your XL3 has two internal OCUR tuners how are you able to switch between tuners just to see what the other tuner is showing? And do you have a media center page where you can see both tuners and their statuses and perhaps be able to switch/choose tuners to watch from there? I see on your VAIO EU website there is the XL301 an XL302, what is the difference? I must say you guys have a better instruction manual than we do,; ftp://ftp.vaio-link.com/pub/Manuals/...3/XL3_H_EN.pdf , on page 38 of the manual it clearly explains that your system may have two tuners and how using analog and digital sources at the same time is not supported. I wonder why none of the US version ever shipped with dual OCUR tuners...that sucks.

Why I think one of two recordings scheduled to start at the same time may fail is that they both tried to use the tuner primary recording tuner and only one can get it. So that a few seconds later when the failed recording restarts the primary recording tuner is already in use and the system now knows this and instead automatically uses the secondary record tuner. How I think this may be solved is if each tuner recording preferences are set differently so that on the primary record tuner you can set it to start recording 3 minutes before while the secondary can be set to start recording 2 minutes before the show starts, this will make it such that in the event where both tuners have to record different shows that start at same time the primary record tuner starts recording its own show a minute before the secondary starts recording its own show thereby eliminating an error. The resulting question now is; are you able to set the Start and End time for each tuner separately or they both use the same recording setsings?

FYI, you can order an extra OCUR tuner with the part number 178971811 at; http://servicesales.sel.sony.com/eco.../web/index.jsp , I wonder if they also provide tiny y cables for those connectors that only connect to the single tuner currently in the XL3 so that they can both share power, audio/video I/O, etc. And 1GB memory sticks for $23.99 at; http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...BECEE3A5CA7304 .



Techworxs, Inc. - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions.™
JST200's Avatar JST200 09:04 AM 01-17-2008
Hi rjeffb,

They come as standard, presumably replacing your cable tuners. I believe they are AverMedia (Hybrid DVB-T/PAL-Secam) A16E. They seem to do the job.

If anyone knows of any software that shows their status, such as Signal Strength, I would be very interested.


I was hoping that some kind, more observant than I, UK bod might be able to enlighten me as to where I can find some Aluminium Tube - because search as I might I can't find anything suitable!



BTW: I was reading the other day why you spell it "Aluminum" and we spell it "Aluminium". Vis: "In 1807 Davy proposed the name alumium for this undiscovered metal, but it wasn't until 1827 that Wohler actually isolated aluminum, though an impure form was isolated by Oersted two years earlier. The new metal was called aluminum. Two years later it was changed to aluminium to conform with the "ium" in most other elements. American Chemical Society changed the spelling back to aluminum in 1925, which we still use. England and elsewhere in the world they still spell it aluminium. So if you hear someone say "al-u-min'-i-um foil" instead of aluminum foil, you'll know where it came from." (http://environmentalchemistry.com/yo.../Al.html#Names).

What it is to be seprated by a common language!
techieg's Avatar techieg 09:25 AM 01-17-2008
JST200, did see my questions directed at you. I would like to have answers to them if you have any.

Thanx.



Techworxs, Inc. - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions.™
JST200's Avatar JST200 09:25 AM 01-17-2008


oops - just seen the extra questions from techieg...

There is no direct control over the tuners. Media Centre seems to just select which ever tuner it thinks is appropriate at the time and uses it. If the tuners are being used to record, then you can't live view what they are recording.

Nor is ther any way to see the tuner status - bit of an oversight in Media Centre I think. Most TVs and SetTop Boxes seem to have some Engineering pages squirreled away somewhere.

Yes, I believe you can select programs to record, according to a standard template of: start "m" mins before, finish "n" mins after. These can then be individually changed for each program (but I will have to check now when I get home! ).

I don't think it will make a difference though to the "Bad Tuner" message. as far as I can tell (but I have no way of proving it) which Tuner will be used to record is automatically set at the time of initial recording setup. Its only at the actual time of record does it know if its got it right (i.e the tuner isn't already in use). If it hasn't then it gives the "Bad Tuner" message and retries on the other tuner. So setting different start times doesn't necessarily help.

This does seem logical, since the Record setup process doesn't sctually know whether the tuner might be being used for Live TV at the time it wants to start recording anyway. So just dealing with the error when it occurs is a successful strategy.

On your dicsussion about multiple tuner inputs. The XL302 tuners are two discreet interfaces, each with their own Aerial connection. To use both you have to supply an aerial connection to both. There is no internal connection.

Cheers, Jim
JST200's Avatar JST200 09:36 AM 01-17-2008
and...

the XL302 has:
faster processor (Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor E6400 rather than E6300)
Bigger disk (500MB (Raided 2*250) rather than 250MB disk)
Blu Ray rather than DVD

Cheers, Jim


the spec for the XL301:

http://vaio.sony.co.uk/view/ShowProd...y=VD+XL+Series

and the 302:

http://vaio.sony.co.uk/view/ShowProd...y=VD+XL+Series
techieg's Avatar techieg 09:52 AM 01-17-2008
Quote JST200; Yes, I believe you can select programs to record, according to a standard template of: start "m" mins before, finish "n" mins after. These can then be individually changed for each program (but I will have to check now when I get home! ). END QUOTE

Sorry, I meant if you can configure the start and end time per tuner (not per program as you mentioned above) so one can have a minute interval of start time between both tuners to bypass any possible recording start errors.

QUOTE JST200; I don't think it will make a difference though to the "Bad Tuner" message. as far as I can tell (but I have no way of proving it) which Tuner will be used to record is automatically set at the time of initial recording setup. Its only at the actual time of record does it know if its got it right (i.e the tuner isn't already in use). If it hasn't then it gives the "Bad Tuner" message and retries on the other tuner. So setting different start times doesn't necessarily help.

This does seem logical, since the Record setup process doesn't sctually know whether the tuner might be being used for Live TV at the time it wants to start recording anyway. So just dealing with the error when it occurs is a successful strategy. END QUOTE.

Based on research (for discussion sake we will call the tuners tuner1 and tuner2), I know that Vista sets tuner1 as primary for live tv and tuner2 as secondary for live tv while it sets tuner2 as primary for recording tv and tuner2 as secondary for recording tv. This makes it such that when both tuners have to record shows that start at the same time they both gun for tuner2 being the primary tuner for recording tv. But as it turns out both recording schedule cannot go on that primary tuner at the same time it results in a bad tuner error then retries some seconds later automatically using tuner1 when it now already realizes that tuner2 being the primary recording tuner is currently in a recording task. In light of this operation, I was wondering if you can set recording start times for each tuner individually so they can be a minute apart so as to eliminate this error since Vista does not automatically set a default interval between them in such situations.

FYI: Plans for my XL3 include; 1.75TB HDD (3 HDDs - C: 250GB , D: 750GB (pictures, music, videos, libraries, etc), E: 750GB (recorded TV and backup for multimedia in D: ), add 2GB more RAM for total of 4GB installed RAM (I wonder why the spec sheet says "3GB max (tested)" when there are two vacant RAM slots that can each take 1GB), and add 1 more OCUR tuner for a total of two OCUR tuners (just spoke with Sony Parts and they said they can install additional tuner or I can order it with the Y cables for internal I/O connections and do it myself...nice) = Super-Duper XL3.



Techworxs, Inc. - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions.™
rjeffb's Avatar rjeffb 01:11 PM 01-17-2008
Tech, I don't think the XL302 uses OCUR tuners, they use Digital Broadband Tuners, which is a standard just about everywhere but here.

JST - you shouldn't need a separate program. Somewhere hidden deep within Vista I came across a troubleshooting utility that displayed gads of information about the signal coming from the tuner. I'll try to find it and post how to access it.
JST200's Avatar JST200 01:11 PM 01-17-2008
Hi techieg,

Beware of going to 4MB mem. There seems to be lots of notes about about 32 bit Vista having problems with more than 3GB. Check ou http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000811.html for one.

However, if you decide to go for it, it will be interesting to hear your results!

I don't believe there is anyway to change anything on a per tuner basis. The only recognistion you get that there are indeed two tunres is during the setup process when it asks if you want to set up both simultaneously. Thereafter there is nothing that allows visiblity of the tuners individually.

Cheers, jim
JST200's Avatar JST200 01:13 PM 01-17-2008
Thanks rjeffb - I wait with bated breath!
techieg's Avatar techieg 01:40 PM 01-17-2008
rjeffb, Yes, the XL 301 & 302 which are both non-US versions use DVB tuners, which means no digital cable support product product key and cablecard slot, which should equal to a much much affordable XL version.

JST200, I guess that is why they have that note on the 3GB max allowable RAM. I may still try it and return the extra 1GB RAM stick if I confirm that Vista on my XL3 will not allow 4GB. Or I may just leave it at 2 or 3GB max.



Techworxs, Inc. - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions.™
techieg's Avatar techieg 09:17 AM 01-18-2008
Hello All,

Since WebGuide comes with Cassini webserver that does not support SSL certificates, has anyone been able to successfully set up WebGuide with IIS and an SSL certificate on Vista with full access to all of media center?

Detailed instructions and screenshots would do a great deal. http://www.asciiexpress.com/webguide/default.aspx

Thanx.



Techworxs, Inc. - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions.™
oalmarzoqi's Avatar oalmarzoqi 01:01 PM 01-18-2008
Hi,

I wanted to change out the graphics card in my xl3. Would you guys be able recommend a good replacement that will still give me the HDMI out?

Thanks
techieg's Avatar techieg 03:13 PM 01-18-2008
Out of curiosity, why do you want to change it if I may ask?



Techworxs, Inc. - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions.™
rjeffb's Avatar rjeffb 05:41 PM 01-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by JST200 View Post

Thanks rjeffb - I wait with bated breath!

You may abate your batement. Assuming that these selections exist in the European version of MCE, go to

Tasks > Settings > TV > TV Tuner > Digital Tuner Diagnostics > Digital Tuner Diagnostics [sic]. There are more widgets here than at a two-week cricket match (see attachment for just a few examples). One thing that I learned from this screen is that, unlike a video capture card, the TV Wonder has a MAC address - that would explain why it shows up as a NIC under Device Manager and is no doubt how CableLabs zeros in on it through the Digital Cable Tuner Product Code. On the previous "Digital Tuner Diagnostics" x 1 screen there are oodles (that's a technical term) of CableCard items that I suspect you won't have, but you may have DVB screens instead.

BTW I can't help but notice that the internal ATI TV Wonder card, plugged into a PCI bus riser and with its own separate power supply cord, is apparently delivering its signal through a USB port just like the external box available for/with the TP25. I wonder if the sole purpose of plugging it into the PCI bus is to give it a physical place to hang onto!
LL
rjeffb's Avatar rjeffb 05:47 PM 01-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by oalmarzoqi View Post

Hi,

I wanted to change out the graphics card in my xl3. Would you guys be able recommend a good replacement that will still give me the HDMI out?

Thanks

The NVidia 8400 would appear to be a good choice; higher performance than the NV7600 but with similarly low heat generation. Note that you must not use an ATI card in a passive heat-dissipation computer designed for NVida (and vice-versa) because they thoughtfully didn't standardize their circuit board hole patterns.

You of course have read through this entire thread and understand that you will almost all certainly lose your ability to record digital cable (the main reason for buying an XL3) either immediately or 30 days after the switch. The ability to watch Blu-Ray discs, and any digital cable television shows you already recorded, may similarly be affected. The good news is that if you make a system backup first (or at least have available the Sony system restore DVD and you've read my instructions for backing up your recorded TV hidden licenses), you could always get back to where you started so there's not a lot of risk in trying. Sony might disagree and say you voided your warranty, though, especially if you fry the GPU...which is suprisingly easy to do in passive-cooling systems (experience speaking here: shorted contacts due to sink not exactly parallel to die due to uneven distribution of heat sink compound = "Zap!"; not enough compound = "Snap Crackle Pop!"; accidentally using electrically conductive compound = "D'oah!"; and trying to get heat sink compound out of carpet = "Sh*t!").
techieg's Avatar techieg 07:33 PM 01-18-2008
rjeffb, I told your mum you were smart. Yes, the OCUR tuner only sits in the PCI slot as a stable place-holder. I realized this when mine was being replaced, even the tech brought my attention to it initially to his surprise. it has about three wires connected to it of which one of them is power supply and the others A/V I/O, etc.

I'm so pissed right now because Sony is acting confused with my system. They still tell me it has been assigned to a tech who is diagnosing it. Then they told me the tech said he found nothing wrong with it, so I asked them if he successfully viewed digital cable with cablecard on it and they said he did not say so but that it has been passed along to the engineering department. Last night I called the engineering guy who remotely diagnosed the system and he said they have layed hands on the system and will either replace the SMBIOS DRM or replace the board. Tonight I asked them about the diagnosis that was done remotely by the engineering guy who found that the SMBIOS DRM stuff was bad and how they should be following up with that and they act as though there is no mention of that in their notes. One department saying they have different notes and cannot view the notes from another department...what a load of crap. How can the left hand not know what the right hand is doing and expect to coordinate tasks?



Techworxs, Inc. - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions.™
ChrisL01's Avatar ChrisL01 08:14 PM 01-18-2008
Yeah, your getting the run around from people who don't know much about CableCARD. Had any of this information actually been stored in the System Management BIOS (SMBIOS), you might be getting somewhere.

But, considering it's stored in a ACPI table they must be getting confused (or I'm confused about BIOS tech, could be true too).

There is no "DRM" in the BIOS. There is a ACPI table that include vender specific information needed to activate use of the OCUR's. The OCUR table (actually called a OSFR table), is linked to an existing RSDT or XSDT ACPI table (both standard tables). That's it for the BIOS stuff, it's done.

As I said on the last page, generally it is either their is it's not. They either got it right or they didn't. If your system ever worked, there is a 99.99% chance they got it right.

Most of the time other issues with playback and recording are going to be driver or some other random hardware related. Since Microsoft and ATI have not released any troubleshooting information only the OEMs really know (and most of the time only 1 person in the company is going to know the answer, random support staff will have no clue).

Looking back at some of the previous posts, your confused on things like DFAST and Device Certificate's. That's from the document for developing a physical OCUR (the standalone tuner), it doesn't apply to a PC. If Sony is trying to look for stuff that like, they are in way over their heads.

Chris
oalmarzoqi's Avatar oalmarzoqi 12:15 AM 01-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by techieg View Post

Out of curiosity, why do you want to change it if I may ask?

The main reason is due to Blu-Ray and HD-DVD play back. I've used windvd, pdvd and arcsoft media theatre, with all of them I get jittery playback of hd media.
techieg's Avatar techieg 03:49 AM 01-19-2008
ChrisL01, the Sony engineering guy who remoted into my system and was able to do a DMICheck to find all those errors in the SMBIOS OEM Strings said he handles all XL3 issues. I did not have to tell him what to do, after he did all he could and still could not watch digital cable TV with cablecard showing him "restricted content" errors, he then imported his tools with which he did the DMICheck and found all these issues and errors in the OEM Strings in the SMBIOS, even my serial number had an error, he also pointed out the string that was for digital cable enablement and that also had an error. He further sent me an email summary of his findings. So now that I have this summary along with the images of the SMBIOS pages with erroneous OEM strings I am thinking to forward it to all Sony email addresses I have and to put them in the right direction and let them know what is going on and not expect random support staff to know jack about it.

oalmarzoqi, I think everyone ar at least most people had the same issues you have. Did you install both updates on the Sony CD that came with your system and those on their website especially; http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/swu...=3255&os_id=28
http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/swu...=3216&os_id=28
...and the Nvidia 163.75 driver for Vista 32-bit (the latest 169.x drivers are buggy (is this what you have installed?), see thread; http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=51927); , download 163.75 driver here; http://www.nvidia.com/object/winvista_x86_163.75.html

These did it for me anyway and it should work for you. What HD resolution do you have it on 720p, 1080i, 1080p or what? And how are you connected, directly to what TV or via what A/V system with HDMI or composite?



Techworxs, Inc. - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions.™
JST200's Avatar JST200 05:29 AM 01-19-2008
Thanks rjeffb,

but it looks like you have found another difference between the XL3 and 302.

There is no "TV Tuner" option on our "Tasks > Settings > TV" page. Shame all that information seems like heaven for a techno junky.

I think you have just put me off changing the Video card, even if I was thinking of doing so - which I wasn't really! But out of interest... did you put a new card in (which one?) and did this require you to remove its "normal" fan and apply the "interesting" cooling arrangement from the standed 7600 GTL offering (I mean the copper pipe leading to some fins (not sure what they are made of)?

Cheers, Jim
rjeffb's Avatar rjeffb 06:11 AM 01-19-2008
Oalmarzoqi, Tech is right about his suggestions BUT it would be helpful to first know what all modifications, including hardware and third-party drivers, you've installed. Since an unmodified XL3 is not capable of "HD-DVD playback" you've clearly got stuff on your machine in addition to what Sony sold it with - or that any of us have installed. Is this an external player or did you replace the internal unit (in which case I assume it's an LG, I don't think anyone else makes a combo unit)? Did you have this problem before you installed your HD-DVD player?
rjeffb's Avatar rjeffb 06:39 AM 01-19-2008
James, sordid story here. Eighteen months ago, my HushPC was hit by lightning. Now, I want to be clear on this: not "suffered a power surge," but "hit by lightning," as in the air inside my house turned pink and purple and my DirectTV dish partially melted; so yes, I had a surge protector and no, it didn't do anything other than blow up along with several printers and other computers and appliances. (That destroyed satellite dish led me to getting digital cable, which led me to buying an XL3, and thence to this thread for me to tell you about it.) Unfortunately, Hush had decided to no longer have a presence in the U.S. and required sending the unit back to Germany. Being over 30 kilos of aluminium, the shipping was more than the repair itself, which was not cheap to begin with.

Two months later, it returned, and they had tried to save me some money by deciding that the video card had suvived and therefore did not need replacement. Wrong decision - after six hours of play it would begin emitting a tiny human voice screaming that "a critical failure has been detected!" (boy that got my attention the first time it happened!). Hush was more than happy to replace the $70 card for free - provided I paid to ship the entire unit back to Germany. I balked, and decided to try fixing it myself. I removed the card and tried reseating it, blowing it up in the process by misaligning it by a fraction of a millimeter and shorting out the contacts surrounding the central die.

I then tried installing a fanless NVidia I had and discovered that it used a different hole configuration (you can't just have a heat sink leaning up against a graphics chip, they need to be held tightly together by springs that load through those holes). After some debate Hush sent me a new card for me to install, an upgrade they said would fit and would be a big improvement in performance...it also had this newfangled connector option called HDMI, but I didn't see any use for that. However, they sent me a PCI Express, while my machine uses AGP. Since they sent it to me gratis, it wasn't even worth returning - if anyone wants a brand-new, original shrink-wrapped ATI Radeon 1300Pro PCI Express I've got one cheap (send me a PM).

I ordered a new 1300AGI card from NewEgg, and meantime to at least get my machine running so I could record TV - I'd now been without a DVR for nearly six months - I installed an ancient fanless ATI card I had but it kept overheating and shutting down because there wasn't enough compound to make a seal between the chip and the sink. At least it just beeped instead of talking like it was a component of Harry Potter's magicked MacIntosh. I picked up some heat sink compound at my local CompUSA.

Hint: the silver version conducts electricity.

Second hint: that's really bad.

This time, not only did I blow up that card (with a spectacular "Zap!") but I didn't know if I had damaged any other components. After fastidiously cleaning up every trace of the silver compound, and receiving the replacement 1300AGI, I removed the fan that came with it and, with reading glasses, a razor blade, a steady hand, WHITE heat sink compound, and a lot of Q-tips I finally got it working; fortunately, I had not damaged the AGP bus or the special silent power supply I'd just spent $300 (plus shipping) replacing.

Of course, by then I had purchased my first 1080p HDMI monitor, which introduced me to the brave new world of "underscanning" just as Advanced Micro acquired ATI and threw their product support into a tizzy...but that adventure, resolved just before I bought the XL3, is documented in a completely different thread on this web site.

- Jeff
techieg's Avatar techieg 07:39 AM 01-19-2008
rjeffb, Oh men, from reading your true life story, I say you have been through it all. Good thing you moved unto the XL3.

Yes, I must have overlooked the fact that oalmarzoqi mentioned he played HD-DVD" on the XL3. How did you do it (even though things are looking better for Blu-Ray than it is for HD-DVD); http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Gad...4095465&page=1



Techworxs, Inc. - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions.™
oalmarzoqi's Avatar oalmarzoqi 08:52 AM 01-19-2008
Thanks for all the help guys.

I'm using the xbox 360 HD-DVD hooked up to my XL3.
I have fddshow installed.
I'm using the 163.75 nvidia driver.
I've installed all the updates from sony.
oalmarzoqi's Avatar oalmarzoqi 09:08 AM 01-19-2008
oh and I'm 1080i via HDMI
rjeffb's Avatar rjeffb 09:27 AM 01-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by oalmarzoqi View Post

oh and I'm 1080i via HDMI

Right, but you're not answering all of Tech's questions, which is whether the HDMI is feeding directly into your monitor. Also, there are many reports of Blu-Ray problems on the XL3 running at 1080i; if you don't know how to do 1080p, you need to read the whole thread.

I read somewhere that WinDVD does not support both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD simultaneously and that PowerDVD HD was necessary (and even then, not the OEM version) to do both. In any event, did you verify that before you plugged in your XB360 HD-DVD that you had the problem? (Note that this is not the same thing as unplugging it and checking, because that won't undo registry changes.) Tech is right, if you're set for 1080P via HDMI and you've got the latest BRD disk update, your playback should be smooth as silk with the stock NV7600. My suspicion automatically falls on whatever software installed when - or registry changes happened as a result of - hooking up an HD-DVD. Offhand I would estimate your chances of fixing this problem by replacing your video card as something under one in a million. Better bet is to return the system back to its original state (even if that means wiping it out with a clean Vaio restore from the hidden partition or using the Vaio restore DVDs), downloading all the Sony updates and especially the video driver and BRD update, and then verifying that Blu-Rays play okay. If after restoring the system and updating you still have problems, then post an update. If everything is playing fine at that point, MAKE A BACKUP, and then install the HD-DVD and check if the problem has reappeared. Make a note of every driver and software version you install as a result of installing the HD-DVD because you are definitely traversing terra incognita.

You might be able to shortcut this by trying System Setpoint Restore to go back to before you made any changes to the XL3. It probably won't work, but there's no harm in trying. You can also see if the problem exists when running RBG component cables instead of HDMI (note that this will effectively eliminate your use of 1080p, but you're not running at that now anyway.)

The takeaway for everybody is that the XL3, and no doubt future Sony HDPCs, are intended to be used as provided, not tinkered with. Therefore, with each upgrade, improvement, or change, verify that the system is working properly first, make a backup, install ONE and ONLY ONE piece of hardware or software, verify that it works, make a backup, and interatively proceed. Otherwise, if something goes wrong, it is difficult to back to where you were and impossible to definitively know what caused it to go wrong.

Tech - the link you provided to the ABC story is a dead end, but my GF got an HD-DVD player for Christmas and we returned it - and paid an extra $150 - for a Blu-Ray player because at least in our area, neither Hollywood nor Blockbuster rent HD-DVDs. If we want to watch an HD-DVD, it's either buy them at Best Buy or go without. Never say never, but that sure seems like a sign 'o the times.
kevekev30's Avatar kevekev30 12:24 PM 01-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by techieg View Post

Quote JST200; Yes, I believe you can select programs to record, according to a standard template of: start "m" mins before, finish "n" mins after. These can then be individually changed for each program (but I will have to check now when I get home! ). END QUOTE

Sorry, I meant if you can configure the start and end time per tuner (not per program as you mentioned above) so one can have a minute interval of start time between both tuners to bypass any possible recording start errors.

QUOTE JST200; I don't think it will make a difference though to the "Bad Tuner" message. as far as I can tell (but I have no way of proving it) which Tuner will be used to record is automatically set at the time of initial recording setup. Its only at the actual time of record does it know if its got it right (i.e the tuner isn't already in use). If it hasn't then it gives the "Bad Tuner" message and retries on the other tuner. So setting different start times doesn't necessarily help.

This does seem logical, since the Record setup process doesn't sctually know whether the tuner might be being used for Live TV at the time it wants to start recording anyway. So just dealing with the error when it occurs is a successful strategy. END QUOTE.

Based on research (for discussion sake we will call the tuners tuner1 and tuner2), I know that Vista sets tuner1 as primary for live tv and tuner2 as secondary for live tv while it sets tuner2 as primary for recording tv and tuner2 as secondary for recording tv. This makes it such that when both tuners have to record shows that start at the same time they both gun for tuner2 being the primary tuner for recording tv. But as it turns out both recording schedule cannot go on that primary tuner at the same time it results in a bad tuner error then retries some seconds later automatically using tuner1 when it now already realizes that tuner2 being the primary recording tuner is currently in a recording task. In light of this operation, I was wondering if you can set recording start times for each tuner individually so they can be a minute apart so as to eliminate this error since Vista does not automatically set a default interval between them in such situations.

FYI: Plans for my XL3 include; 1.75TB HDD (3 HDDs - C: 250GB , D: 750GB (pictures, music, videos, libraries, etc), E: 750GB (recorded TV and backup for multimedia in D: ), add 2GB more RAM for total of 4GB installed RAM (I wonder why the spec sheet says "3GB max (tested)" when there are two vacant RAM slots that can each take 1GB), and add 1 more OCUR tuner for a total of two OCUR tuners (just spoke with Sony Parts and they said they can install additional tuner or I can order it with the Y cables for internal I/O connections and do it myself...nice) = Super-Duper XL3.

I doubt if you wil be able to fit 2 internal ocurs in your system even though you have a spare slot above it. the reason is the cable card tuner is pretty thick. report back on your findings
techieg's Avatar techieg 01:49 PM 01-19-2008
oalmarzoqi, here is the thread to setup 1080p on your XL3; http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hlight=vgx-xl3 . How are you connected, directly to what TV or via what A/V system with HDMI or composite?

Here is the HD-DVD news again; http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Gad...4095465&page=1 , I also updated the former link in my last post.

This is exactly what Sony needs to do to resolve my problem instead they are wasting my time; http://www.dellcommunity.com/support...ending&page=12



Techworxs, Inc. - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions.™
Tags: Sony , Blu Ray Players , Xbox 360 250gb Console With Kinect
First ... 11  12  13 14  15  ... Last

Up
Mobile  Desktop