HiPix DTV-200 / HDTV PVR Questions? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 01-22-2002, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going to build a system specifically and only for recording and time shifting OTA HDTV programs. I have decided on using the HiPix DTV-200 card for the tuner and decoding. I have read that the minimum requirements for this card is a meager P2 333MHz cpu based system. In reality, what is the sweet spot for processor type and speed in a system using this card for this function only?
PS - I have already decided on 256Mb of cas2 PC133 Ram and the WD 120Gb HD w/8Mb buffer.
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post #2 of 27 Old 01-22-2002, 02:39 PM
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I would not doubt that 333 mhz is correct. The card does all the
work, not the CPU.

Might I say this is somewhat pointless when 1.6 mhz Althalons
with motherboard run for $200 ? As in less than the Hipix ?
If you spend as much for the motherboard as you do for the
card, you are way ahead.

I want HDTV 'cause I'm nearsighted !
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post #3 of 27 Old 01-22-2002, 09:17 PM
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I suggest staying with Intel chipset and CPU.
Less chance of a problem that way.

One of my HiPix cards runs just fine on a
400MHz system. There really isn't any time
when I am waiting for the HiPix app to do anything.

All it is doing is sending commands to the
HiPix card which runs just as fast regardless
of the system.
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post #4 of 27 Old 01-23-2002, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by PVR
I suggest staying with Intel chipset and CPU.
Less chance of a problem that way.

One of my HiPix cards runs just fine on a
400MHz system. There really isn't any time
when I am waiting for the HiPix app to do anything.

All it is doing is sending commands to the
HiPix card which runs just as fast regardless
of the system.
I second PVR suggestion of using a Intel chipset and CPU. I tried using several AMD based boards without a great deal of success. They all seemed to be plagued with stutter and pixelation. I put together a Celeron based system with HiPix last night and it worked flawlessly with Win2K using a $60 CPU.

Mike
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post #5 of 27 Old 01-23-2002, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys for the suggestions!
I am an Intel guy from way back(used to solder traces to make old Celerons multiprocessor capable), and have no experience with AMD, so I always intended on using an Intel processor. It sounds like I might be able to use one of the systems I currently have in my office, and test the HiPix system to see if I like it before I buy anything other than the HiPix and a new big HD.

Will I have a problem or see any performance problems if I use a MB which only supports Ultra DMA 66, not 100 performance?
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post #6 of 27 Old 01-23-2002, 10:12 AM
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I don't think UDMA66 would be any kind of problem. I would think that even BX motherboard (UDMA 33) should work fine. I would not be surprised if that was what the board was designed around. The BX was a standard for a long time and worked very well. A HiPix is very non-CPU intensive, most of the work is done buy the board HW and the hard drive. BTW 5400 rpm drives work just fine.

Mike
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post #7 of 27 Old 01-23-2002, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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One more question on the DTV-200. How about connections? Once this system is set up, I'd like to use this system only for timeshifting HD OTA broadcasts, without an attached computer monitor. My new Pioneer HDTV has a VGA connection and a pair of component inputs. Do I need to buy an additional cable other than the ones that the HiPix comes with??? What would be the best way to hook up the HiPix with my HDTV?
Thanks!
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post #8 of 27 Old 01-23-2002, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by merc
One more question on the DTV-200. How about connections? Once this system is set up, I'd like to use this system only for timeshifting HD OTA broadcasts, without an attached computer monitor. My new Pioneer HDTV has a VGA connection and a pair of component inputs. Do I need to buy an additional cable other than the ones that the HiPix comes with??? What would be the best way to hook up the HiPix with my HDTV?
Thanks!
I don't think there is really much of a choice for HDTV hookup,
you need to drive the computer with a monitor, then hook the
component output of the card to the HDTV. This setup leaves
all the controls and PC operation still active while viewing the
movie. Otherwise, to get them on the same screen involves
using a SVGA to component converter (unless your HDTV is
one of the rare ones that directly accepts computer SVGA
like the RCAs do), then using the bypass to see it all together.
That presumes your HDTV will do computer resolutions.

I don't have the hipix in the living room, thats a long term plan
that took a setback when one of the kids decided my deticated
HTPC in there looked good in her room :)
I do have a projector that takes both SVGA and component
directly, so I would tend to have both a monitor AND the HDTV
hooked up. Why quibble over a $200 monitor ?

I want HDTV 'cause I'm nearsighted !
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-23-2002, 03:28 PM
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Even UDMA/33 works fine for recording and
playing back HD.

I just suggest having a dedicated (hopefully in
a removable tray) HD just for the recordings.

Recoring to your system disk could have
a problem because of contention with windows
swapping and such.
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post #10 of 27 Old 01-23-2002, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all very much for the continuing advice on my project. I just bought a WD 100Gb HD with an 8Mb buffer as my first disc. I plan on using it only for recording and installing it next to an old 8Gb disk which I plan on using as my C drive with the OS and apps on it. All disk swapping will also be confined to the 8Gb disk leaving the 100Gb all for the shows. Eventually, I'll get a few more 100Gb (or 120Gb disks) and install a removeable cage for them so I can swap in and out... but that is down the road for now. The HiPix arrives on Friday and the system will be all ready to simply install the card and software when it arrives. All I still need to buy is the VGA to component cable. I'm looking at the BetterCables version, but it costs $149 including overnight shipping.
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post #11 of 27 Old 01-24-2002, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am guessing the answer is no to this because it only has one tuner... correct?
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post #12 of 27 Old 01-24-2002, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeEby


I second PVR suggestion of using a Intel chipset and CPU. I tried using several AMD based boards without a great deal of success. They all seemed to be plagued with stutter and pixelation. I put together a Celeron based system with HiPix last night and it worked flawlessly with Win2K using a $60 CPU.

Mike
I use AMD, no problem.

I want HDTV 'cause I'm nearsighted !
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-24-2002, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by samiam95124


I use AMD, no problem.
What OS/Chipset & Board Mfg. are you using. I am open minded about this, I just didn't have a lot of luck getting stable results.

Mike
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-24-2002, 08:20 PM
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My system has an Intel Celeron on an ASUS motherboard with the VIA Apollo 133A chipset. I've had very few stability problems.
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-25-2002, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I found out that my HiPix works great but for some reason to use it with my HDTV, I need to push the Full Screen button on the HiPix software controller. With this engaged, I cannot directly change channels, but must disengage the Full Screen button and then change channels and then re-engage the Full Screen button in order to see any image on my HDTV. I am using the RGB/VGA output into a RGB/VGA input on my Pioneer HDTV and am using the 1080i output mode on the HiPix.
What am I doing wrong? How can I change this?
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-25-2002, 02:32 PM
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merc,
just hit the full screen button, then hit alt-tab to switch to another app and then switch back. You'll be able to use the mouse and keyboard, and still have video displayed out the hipix. I have 2 vga monitors, one hooked to my video card and one to the hipix and so I do this all the time.
Working while watching HDTV ;)
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-25-2002, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Foundation: thanks for the tip, but that doesn't solve what I want to do. I want to watch my HDTV and change channels as I am doing so using the HiPix IR remote control. Are you saying that the only way for me to change channels on the HiPix is to do it at the computer then hit the full screen button, then run into my HT to check out the HDTV, and then run back to the computer to disengage the full screen button, change channels and then run back into my HT room? Why can't I change channels on the HiPix with the Full Screen button engaged? Is there any other way to set this up so that I can use my HiPix just like another STB with HD PVR capability, from my HT seating position?
Thanks!
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-25-2002, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by merc
Foundation: thanks for the tip, but that doesn't solve what I want to do. I want to watch my HDTV and change channels as I am doing so using the HiPix IR remote control. Are you saying that the only way for me to change channels on the HiPix is to do it at the computer then hit the full screen button, then run into my HT to check out the HDTV, and then run back to the computer to disengage the full screen button, change channels and then run back into my HT room? Why can't I change channels on the HiPix with the Full Screen button engaged? Is there any other way to set this up so that I can use my HiPix just like another STB with HD PVR capability, from my HT seating position?
Thanks!
I have found the interface to be somewhat cumbersome. If you do a channel scan you should be able to change channels with the remote. You might consider an remote repeater of some kind. Or locate the receiver in the room where your at. If that not what you want to do I am sorry I didn’t understand. Very soon the software will be released to a team of HT developers to help improve the software and make it more HT friendly. This could make an already good product great.

Mike
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post #19 of 27 Old 01-25-2002, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mike: Here is my dilemna. I can only get an image on my HDTV when I engage "Full Screen" button on the HiPix's software. Engaging that button does not allow you to move the mouse off of that button, so you cannot change channels with the button engaged and therefore, I cannot sit in front of my HDTV and flip throught the channels at all because to do this I need to engage Full Screen, look at HDTV, disengage FS, change channels, engage Full Screen, and then look at HDTV again. Using the Full Screen button on the HiPix software panel will not allow you to change channels yet, I cannot see an image on my HDTV without engaging that control.
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post #20 of 27 Old 01-25-2002, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by merc
Hi Mike: Here is my dilemna. I can only get an image on my HDTV when I engage "Full Screen" button on the HiPix's software. Engaging that button does not allow you to move the mouse off of that button, so you cannot change channels with the button engaged and therefore, I cannot sit in front of my HDTV and flip throught the channels at all because to do this I need to engage Full Screen, look at HDTV, disengage FS, change channels, engage Full Screen, and then look at HDTV again. Using the Full Screen button on the HiPix software panel will not allow you to change channels yet, I cannot see an image on my HDTV without engaging that control.
Hit "-" and "+" on the keyboard to change channels in full
screen mode. Plus, the hipix remote can do that. Its in the
manual. There are mucho other keys as well, a lot of them
undocumented.

I want HDTV 'cause I'm nearsighted !
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post #21 of 27 Old 01-25-2002, 08:34 PM
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While building my new HTPC, I ran the HiPix card in an old Gateway PII 300 without any performance problems. It wouldn't do PowerDVD even with a GeForce3 Ti 500 and hardware acceleration (at least, wouldn't do so without some dropped frames), but for HiPix only, 300mhz was plenty.
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post #22 of 27 Old 01-26-2002, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your help!
Samiam: My HiPix did not come with a manual but I was able to download one and I plan on printing it out today sometime to read. I should know better... RTFM!
In the meantime, I recorded a few hours of CBS HD last night and WOW! playback of this looks perfect! Now, how do I do a commercial skip from my remote...? :D
My final tweak to this system is gotta be taming the noise. I've been running this system without case while I brought it up to speed, but even with the case on, the fan noise will probably still be slightly louder than the Pani STBs. I am considering using the loop back cable so that I can put the HiPix control panel screen on top of my HDTV image, put the system in my laundry room(next to my HT room), and control it all from my seating area with a keyboard, mouse, or the remote control.
Guess the manual will tell me how to do that too! ;)
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post #23 of 27 Old 01-26-2002, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by merc
I found out that my HiPix works great but for some reason to use it with my HDTV, I need to push the Full Screen button on the HiPix software controller. With this engaged, I cannot directly change channels, but must disengage the Full Screen button and then change channels and then re-engage the Full Screen button in order to see any image on my HDTV. I am using the RGB/VGA output into a RGB/VGA input on my Pioneer HDTV and am using the 1080i output mode on the HiPix.
What am I doing wrong? How can I change this?
If you have a computer monitor connected to your video card and an HDTV connected to the HiPix simultaneously, then you are not using the loop-back cable. Turn off that option in the menu.
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post #24 of 27 Old 01-26-2002, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Samiam and Balazer: Thanks for the help!
Most problems/tweaks solved. Unit is now almost totally silent due to lining the case with dynamat(I use it in the doors of my cars). Now, my HTPC is quieter than my Sony STB. Next, and hopefully final, Q's.

How can I get my unit to use the D Drive to store recordings? Do I need to remove and reinstall the core application on the D drive?

Finally, how can I install the remote? It is hooked up to the com1/serial port 1, but nothing??? Hmmm, as I type this, maybe I disabled that port in the bios... gotta check that first. Nevermind on this Q.

I am so pleased with the performance of the HiPix unit that I may end up using one of my full tower cases, add another 100Gb HD, and add another HiPix card for a combo STB and STB/PVR unit!
My kids are already excited about gaming on the big screen... but only when I am in the room... worried about burn in! What new PC games are 16:9 capable? :D
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post #25 of 27 Old 01-27-2002, 06:19 PM
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Merc-

To make the HiPix use the D drive (or any other), you have to do a manual recording and pick it from the file selector box. Next time you do a timer recording, it will use the drive you last picked.

Chris

"It's [expletive] lame to watch Jaws, a film that uses the 2.40 ratio as well as any ever produced, in the wrong format on HBO." -Steven Soderbergh, Oscar-winning director

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post #26 of 27 Old 01-27-2002, 07:51 PM
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Hi. I am new to this forum but am very glad to have found it. I read through it and see that all questions have been answered - that is cool! Here's mine for the group:

I am having stability issues with my HiPix. I am running a Dell Workstation 530 with dual 2.0 GHz processors, 4 73-GB hard drives in RAID 0 and have an Audigy Platinum EX. My monitor is a Samsung SyncMaster 180T with the DVI input hooked to the nVidia Quadro2 and the analog input hooked to the DTV-200. I have turned off the loopback option and simply select between the two inputs on the monitor to either watch the TV or use the computer.

I do not have an HDTV-capable TV at this time. The computer is in my home office which is on the other side of the wall to the living room. I've run a simple composite cable to the Denon AVR-5800 in the living room. From there it goes to the older Sony Wega 36" (not HD capable). I have my audio optical out coming from my Audigy to the Denon for listening to music via Winamp (Monkey's Audio (.ape) lossless compression).

(whew, all that to get to my question). When I am watching the HiPix I get synchronization problems with the picture/audio. It seems the worst on NBC (I am in Chicagoland area, if that helps). It was really bad on any channel at first so I tried running a set of analog audio cables from the HiPix directly to the Denon - I bypassed the Audigy altogether. That significantly reduced my problems. However, NBC is still grossly off and it's worse when I Control-F or Alt-F through commercials. I did try pausing and then playing and that does help somewhat, but it's never quite right.

Does anyone else have this problem and has anyone heard whether something like the HiPix has a way to delay either the picture or the audio by entering a value in a config file somewhere?

Second question: I think it may be an IRQ problem, but pretty regularly, when I change options (like output in widescreen when watching ABC and then output 4:3 when watching NBC) the program will completely lock up. It locks up to the point that Win XP cannot even shut down. I try killing the process but to no avail. I have to press and hold my power button for four seconds so the computer will shut off. Any thoughts/experiences on this?

Final question: I posted this on an Audigy board and got a reply but reformatted my hard drive to do a clean XP install and lost it. The Audigy comes with a remote. I have opened the config file for the Audigy remote control program and see the numeric codes for other programs that the remote comes preconfigured to use. I would like to add the capability to control the HiPix. Once this step is done, I would program my Pronto remote to control the HiPix and run on IR repeater from the living room into my office. Has anyone else succeeded in doing this? If so, where is a program that I may use to convert the keyboard shortcuts to numeric codes for use with the Audigy?

Thank you for your patience (long message I bet) and help.
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post #27 of 27 Old 01-28-2002, 02:56 PM
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rasmussb,
I don't have a fix yet but I am seeing lip sync issues also from Dish 5000/modulator/HiPix combination. It may be my audio processor. I downloaded an upgrade for it and will see if it fixes the problem. I am not familiar with the model of LCD panel you have but to get my HiPix to work with the LCD panel I have I must select 1024X768 in the VGA setup tab. Before I went to HiPix I had a DTC100 and it also had lip sync issues with my local NBC-DT station with Jay Leno. You might post in the HDTV programming forum to see if other people are having problems in the Chicagoland area.

Mike
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