Originally Posted by Cavalry99
New guy here, please be gentle!!
I followed all of the directions in the original OP in regards to setting everything up with MediaPortal and all of the associated codec's. After 2 hours of fighting with the graphics card (Nvidia GT220), I did finally get everything resolved and was streaming audio out and the receiver was reading MPCM, which I believe indiciates that the HTPC was doing the decoding (which is fine).
MediaPortal looked stunning on my Samsung 55inch 720P DLP TV. Even my wife was like "wow!". Dropped a bunch of my music on the hard drive and it sounded great over the receiver. No complaints there.
The standard DVD however looked less than stellar. I have a Samsung blu-ray player that I play standard DVD's and they look alot better than what I am seeing from my HTPC. I did run some streaming video from ABC and Netflix and it looked great as well.
As someone mentioned earlier, should I be using a different set of codec's as maybe the OP is a bit outdated? Can anyone suggest some tweaks?
One more question, what is the best way to store copies of your DVD's/Blu Ray's on the hard drive to watch at any time? I tried the MKV format using MakeMKV and it turned out pretty poorly. Should I use ISO's and an emulator like Dameon Tools?
System - Dell XP 400, 2.8GHZ Pentium D, 4 GB RAM, NVidia GT220 running HDMI to Pioneer Receiver. Receiver sending via HDMI to Samsung TV.
Any suggestions/hints would be sincerely apprecaited.
Glad you like MediaPortal - it can be taxing to install although with Win 7 it is easier since MS has their codecs installed on your machine as a part of the OS. You didn't mention your OS...
Personally I use the MPC-HC codec
for .264 under TV, Video and DVD. They have both a self-contained player and stand-alone filters - having both installed on your system makes playback easy... install & register (which you may have already done if you followed the guide) the SAF for the MP internal
player and install their player on your desktop so you can drag files onto it when you're just in Windows. I do not use the Shark therefore have no comment... although as I understand it, there are post-processing settings you can implement to enhance video quality. You mention your 720p DLP -- you should have your GT220 set to send 1280x720p without any video processing by your Pioneer... also, check the cards settings so you have no scaling, and the necessary video enhancement features active. One more thing: Samsung TVs are picky about which input you're using and oddly enough how you label it - check your TV's manual, you may not be configured correctly for a PC input. You said you have MPCM audio (Do you want 5.1 or 7.1 format audio?) which would make your PC do all bass management for your speakers - personally I have an Onkyo 803 (which doesn't do the HD audio) so for 5.1 audio (DD & DTS) I pass the digital stream via HDMI Audio device and let the AVR decode, and utilize all of the functionality (e.g. room setup, equilization, speaker gain, bass management, etc) I paid for in it. I do not have BR, just DVD so how you want to store BR, especially its audio is outside my knowledge... as far as DVDs I rip then convert to .264 using HandBrake and "universal" settings. The result is 1,400 MB files on average with full quality video & AC3 soundtrack. I have kept .ISO files (typically 6~8 GB storage) when I want to retain the DVD features like soundtracks, extra footage, interviews... but if you want only the main movie there's not much need to keep the .ISO... run it through Handbrake and save the space! YES, I use Daemon-Tools inside
MP to mount the .iso files and they just play! I like the StreamedMP plug-in as it brings in a nice skin, MyMovies which is a really cool movie handler to grab synopsis, coverart, and when you point to .264 files, .iso, .avi, .mkv, .m4v file directories (in its configuration) it handles where they are in its database - all you see is a cascade of movie covers, click and they play! You can add OnlineVideo plug-in and it will allow you to watch previews of the movies! There's some really cool stuff available... Oh, and welcome to the AVSforum! Don't forgat there's a forum on the MP site as well...