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Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 506

post #15151 of 15900
After playing around with it, it appears my issue above all boils down to the fact my .mkv files have multiple audio streams, and the HD stream is always set as the "default" stream in the .mkv container. So whatever player plays these files, it plays the audio stream that is flagged as "default", which in this case is the HD stream.

For whatever reason, even though it is playing the DTS-HD track and my receiver is fed audio via Toslink (which isn't compatible with HD), it is still bitstreaming 5.1 channel audio to my receiver. Likely because there is 1 codec for DTS. If I do the same thing for True HD, it downmixes to PCM 2 channel to my receiver.

I can use MKVToolnix to edit my .mkv files and flag the lossy channels as "default", however that would mean I'd have to encode each file twice (once to rip from disc, again to change default audio track), and that would only work until I upgrade my receiver to HD, at which point I'd have to do it all over again for every file.

Not sure if splitters can determine which audio track is played? If so, I need a splitter that allows you to set a priority for audio tracks. Where it starts with the first priority and if a track in that format is present, use it, otherwise it goes down the list.

1. DTS (Lossy)
2. Dolby Digital (Lossy)
3. DTS-HD (Lossless)
4. Dolby Digital True HD (Lossless)

Is there a splitter that allows for this type of functionality?
post #15152 of 15900
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby2478 View Post

After playing around with it, it appears my issue above all boils down to the fact my .mkv files have multiple audio streams, and the HD stream is always set as the "default" stream in the .mkv container. So whatever player plays these files, it plays the audio stream that is flagged as "default", which in this case is the HD stream.

For whatever reason, even though it is playing the DTS-HD track and my receiver is fed audio via Toslink (which isn't compatible with HD), it is still bitstreaming 5.1 channel audio to my receiver. Likely because there is 1 codec for DTS. If I do the same thing for True HD, it downmixes to PCM 2 channel to my receiver.

I can use MKVToolnix to edit my .mkv files and flag the lossy channels as "default", however that would mean I'd have to encode each file twice (once to rip from disc, again to change default audio track), and that would only work until I upgrade my receiver to HD, at which point I'd have to do it all over again for every file.

Not sure if splitters can determine which audio track is played? If so, I need a splitter that allows you to set a priority for audio tracks. Where it starts with the first priority and if a track in that format is present, use it, otherwise it goes down the list.

1. DTS (Lossy)
2. Dolby Digital (Lossy)
3. DTS-HD (Lossless)
4. Dolby Digital True HD (Lossless)

Is there a splitter that allows for this type of functionality?

Use XBMC. WMC has pretty poor control and flexibility comparatively.
post #15153 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Use XBMC. WMC has pretty poor control and flexibility comparatively.

That might be my only option, however even then I'll still have to manually select the lossy audio track every time I play a HD movie. I was hoping there was someway I could set a "preference" somewhere, either in a player or splitter, to play the lossy track instead of the track flagged as "default" in the .mkv container, which is always the HD track. If this isn't possible then I guess I'll have to live with having to remember to change audio tracks manually every time until I upgrade my receiver frown.gif I'd like to think my situation isn't that unique, I can't be the only one who still has a receiver that doesn't have HDMI, so am forced to use Toslink for my audio, and that plays HD .mkv movies? If it is a DVD movie I rip to .mkv, there is no problem because it only has the lossy tracks, and they bitstream just fine according to the LAV settings.

In WMC, there is the Audio Render Updater extra, that allows you to painlessly change the audio output with the click of a couple buttons. Is there a similar add-on for XBMC? I've found that to change output device in XBMC I have to go into Settings->System, then under Audio I have to not only change device, but change it from 5.1 to 2 channel (if sending directly to my TV over HDMI), as well as uncheck the boxes below for bitstreaming AC3 and DTS 5.1. It would be helpful even if there was a way to setup a "macro" and link it to a button on your remote. So whenever you push that button, it executes the "macro" you recorded, which would essentially be a series of commands. Like 1. Open LAV Splitter Audio Settings, 2. Deselect bitstreaming for AC3 and DTS, 3. Click ok.
post #15154 of 15900
Thread Starter 
I had a few minutes today and updated some of the hardware guide. Also updated the FlexRaid guide (thanks bomberjim).

Enjoy.
post #15155 of 15900
Thank you for your persistent effort to keep things up to date given you do have a day job too!
post #15156 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Thank you for your persistent effort to keep things up to date given you do have a day job too!

+1, I also very much appreciate all the work that goes into helping others as they wade into the HTPC world!
post #15157 of 15900

Just when you thought Windows couldn't get any weirder:

Just for fun, I have the upgrade to Win 8 on its way from Newegg ($30) and a code for Media Center Pack (free). I discovered the code expires 2/1, so I'm getting ready to install 8. I made a system backup and a System Repair Disc today as per the guide and common sense. Unusual for me, I decided to test the backup before doing anything serious. The repair disc (the one I just made today and the one I have from my original install on 1/24/12) give me the following message:

"This version of System Recovery Options is not compatible with the version of Windows you are trying to repair. Try using a recovery disc that is compatible with this version of Windows."

WTF?

confused.gifeek.gif

post #15158 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post

Just when you thought Windows couldn't get any weirder:
Just for fun, I have the upgrade to Win 8 on its way from Newegg ($30) and a code for Media Center Pack (free). I discovered the code expires 2/1, so I'm getting ready to install 8. I made a system backup and a System Repair Disc today as per the guide and common sense. Unusual for me, I decided to test the backup before doing anything serious. The repair disc (the one I just made today and the one I have from my original install on 1/24/12) give me the following message:
"This version of System Recovery Options is not compatible with the version of Windows you are trying to repair. Try using a recovery disc that is compatible with this version of Windows."
WTF?
confused.gifeek.gif

Lol, I have seen that one before and found that shutting everything all the way down and retrying causes the bogus error to go away... But your righ WTF..
post #15159 of 15900
If you have more than 1 Hard Drive in your system, sometimes it is necessary to disable the non-boot drive.
post #15160 of 15900

Right now, I'm making another Recovery Disc, but I will try that (and other suggestions that may crop up) throughout the evening. Until it works, Win 8 stays in the box!

Thanks.

Michael

post #15161 of 15900

Booting up from shut down didn't help. Neither did unplugging the USB drive I used for backup. 

So much for peace of mind, eh. 

Other hard drives don't show up as boot options, so I don't know what you mean by "disable."

post #15162 of 15900
What was updates on Flexraid section ?
post #15163 of 15900

No, no raids. Just the SSD boot drive, two data drives internal. Backup was (is? maybe?) on an external via USB.

"Windows is loading files...." mad.gif

I've watched cars assembled faster than that.

 

Any other guesses? (Further experiments will probably wait until tomorrow, though).

 

Thanks for the suggestions.

BTW, anyone try to restore an update lately?

biggrin.gif

post #15164 of 15900
Disconnect all drives internal and external
post #15165 of 15900

Way more trouble than it's worth. If I wanted to rebuild the HTPC, that's what I would have started out doing.

The solution to my short-term problem (registering Win 8) will be to install it on my Mac, register it, update it, and delete it (some would say that's probably the BEST thing to do with Win 8 biggrin.gif).

The long-term problem (are our backups really any good for anything?) will be addressed by continuing to have multiple backups and hope that they're never needed.

post #15166 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post

The long-term problem (are our backups really any good for anything?) will be addressed by continuing to have multiple backups and hope that they're never needed.

I don't keep any

I do keep an apps folder with the latest copy of all msi or exe files I install

I also keep a text file with the few license codes that I keep track of

Everything else I have no use for clinging to, if it breaks I'll just re-install. MS is totally fine reactivating the same license code on the same hardware
post #15167 of 15900
I haven't had any luck with Windows 7 Restore. I created a system image using Windows 7, and stored this on my 2nd internal HD (using my SSD for OS and Programs, my 2nd HD for media and this is where I saved my image). Whenever I use restore, whether from within Windows or via the System Recovery Disk, it can NEVER find the image I created. I tried this about 5 times and it can never find it. Even if I point it directly to the folder where the image is, it STILL can't find it.

So I don't have any faith in the MS backup solution. I'll always rely on an external program.

As a good practice if you've never restored your system before and are just getting started, after you do a fresh install of Windows I'd try to create an image and then try to restore this image just to see if it works. You want to be sure the process you plan on using for a backup and to restore from this backup actually works BEFORE you find yourself in a situation where you desperately need it. It's easier to go a different route if you find out Method A doesn't work after a fresh install, instead of after you installed all your programs and tweaked all the settings only to find out you can't recover the backup you successfully created.
post #15168 of 15900
Anytime I do a fresh install of Windows on a new PC I'll install Windows, all necessary drivers, and Windows updates until it's current. At that point I like to create a back of the OS drive and clone it to another drive. I then swap out the drives and make sure it's bootable. If something happens to corrupt the Windows installation I can simply swap out the drives again and finish installing the softyware. If I get the urge, I may also create a 2nd backup after getting all of the extraneous hardware, softyware, and drivers installed as well as performing any tweaks or setups that are required for a final configuration. I usually like to wait for a week or two to make sure the system is stable and that there are no surprises before making the 2nd backup.

In either case, I can simply clone the original backup and take it from there instead of starting over from scratch. So far I've never had to use one of my backups to restore my system, mainly because I usually upgrade the hardware before there's a problem and end up doing a fresh install.
post #15169 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post
I can simply clone the original backup...."

Using?

post #15170 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

What was updates on Flexraid section ?

Assassin, I saw that you now recommend to stop Windows from using the Recycle bin on the FlexRAID drives and instead enable the recycle bin inside of FlexRAID. Is there a reason for this new change?
post #15171 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilky13 View Post

Assassin, I saw that you now recommend to stop Windows from using the Recycle bin on the FlexRAID drives and instead enable the recycle bin inside of FlexRAID. Is there a reason for this new change?

Can't speak for assassin, but I'd venture to guess he's passing along recommendations from the developers tutorial on the flex raid wiki
post #15172 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilky13 View Post

Assassin, I saw that you now recommend to stop Windows from using the Recycle bin on the FlexRAID drives and instead enable the recycle bin inside of FlexRAID. Is there a reason for this new change?

FWIW, Assassin's server guide had a procedure to disable the drive's recycle bin from the first released version.
post #15173 of 15900
Disable Windows recycle bin on the individual drives before adding to the pool, also disable it on the pool itself. If you're running a snapshot (not real time) raid configuration, enable Flexraid's internal recycle bin. This is per the developers comments in the Flexraid forum.
post #15174 of 15900
I did the individual drives before I made my pool. But I did not disable it on the storage pool once it was configured. I guess I should!
post #15175 of 15900
Quick question here about flexraid on WHS 2012.
I have the flexraid setup on WHS 2012, installed and running fine with 3TB of 5 disk's of HDD's installed with 1 disk of a 3 TB for parity drive. Used Assassins guide, and everything was at ease.

This server is connected to my HTPC. At times after a windows update the server requires a reboot, do i need to stop flexraid service before rebooting? Or if i just initiate a shutdown/restart of the server using the conventional way flexraid takes care of everything? Are there specific steps i need to follow before i reboot... just dont want to curropt the drives.
post #15176 of 15900
Hi Guys i'm going to start building a HTPC over the next few days and have read though Assassins brilliant guide but just wanted to get a heads-up on weather I've chosen the suitable parts.

What i want is to run XBMC so its nice and fast/smooth and I'll only be using this for HD films with HD sound, (maybe 3D so its future proof, but that doest matter), music and probably a bit of streaming all through XBMC, also there's no need for a bluray as i have that on my standalone PC for ripping so here's what I've come up with from Assassins guide.

I don't know if what i have chosen is a bit overkill for what i need and i can save some money on parts somewhere but on the other hand i want it to last a while so will gladly cut costs on stuff if its not needed if i can keep it future-proof.

My list for parts is from the Intel Ivy Bridge Build, I've put the price in dollars as well if that helps.

I already have a 1tb drive but am looking to put that in as well as a new one.

CPU Ivy Bridge i3-3220 3.3 GHz Dual Core £87 ($136)

Motherboard ASRock H77M £60 ($94)

Memory G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL 4GB £20 ($31)

Hard Drive Western Digital 2TB Green WD20EARX £75 ($118) or a Western Digital 2TB WD20EADS Green £73 ($114) or a Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM001 £67 ($105) If the cheapest is good enough ill go for that smile.gif

I'd even get a 3TB drive if anyone has any recommendations for around £100 ($157) as that may save money in the long run?.

Case CiT S003B £40 ($63) or a CiT MTX-005B £30 ($47) (unsure on these as i may want to add more HDDs or a SSD in the future and the internal/external and size information of the bays has me confused)

Lastly maybe a SSD if it dramatically speeds up XBMC

SSD Crucial 64GB £45 ($70)

I don't know if i have forgotten anything and as i mentioned if i can pay less by downgrading parts that i don't need to be as good as I've chosen that would be brilliant.

Thanks guys
post #15177 of 15900
Just restart
post #15178 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCoopz View Post

Hi Guys i'm going to start building a HTPC over the next few days and have read though Assassins brilliant guide but just wanted to get a heads-up on weather I've chosen the suitable parts.

What i want is to run XBMC so its nice and fast/smooth and I'll only be using this for HD films with HD sound, (maybe 3D so its future proof, but that doest matter), music and probably a bit of streaming all through XBMC, also there's no need for a bluray as i have that on my standalone PC for ripping so here's what I've come up with from Assassins guide.

I don't know if what i have chosen is a bit overkill for what i need and i can save some money on parts somewhere but on the other hand i want it to last a while so will gladly cut costs on stuff if its not needed if i can keep it future-proof.

My list for parts is from the Intel Ivy Bridge Build, I've put the price in dollars as well if that helps.

I already have a 1tb drive but am looking to put that in as well as a new one.

CPU Ivy Bridge i3-3220 3.3 GHz Dual Core £87 ($136)

Motherboard ASRock H77M £60 ($94)

Memory G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL 4GB £20 ($31)

Hard Drive Western Digital 2TB Green WD20EARX £75 ($118) or a Western Digital 2TB WD20EADS Green £73 ($114) or a Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM001 £67 ($105) If the cheapest is good enough ill go for that smile.gif

I'd even get a 3TB drive if anyone has any recommendations for around £100 ($157) as that may save money in the long run?.

Case CiT S003B £40 ($63) or a CiT MTX-005B £30 ($47) (unsure on these as i may want to add more HDDs or a SSD in the future and the internal/external and size information of the bays has me confused)

Lastly maybe a SSD if it dramatically speeds up XBMC

SSD Crucial 64GB £45 ($70)

I don't know if i have forgotten anything and as i mentioned if i can pay less by downgrading parts that i don't need to be as good as I've chosen that would be brilliant.

Thanks guys

Only thing I'd possibly consider changing would be your SSD. I'd shoot for 128GB instead of only 64. Your drive will run faster and last longer with the more free space it has available.

For example, I have a 128GB drive split into 2 partitions: 112GB for my OS and programs (Win7 64), and an 8GB partition for Intel Rapid Start. I have no games installed and nothing crazy like a developer's suite or anything, and I only have 68GB free space.

If you plan on installing a lot of games (which chew up space), then I'd consider even going up to a 250GB or 500GB.
post #15179 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby2478 View Post

For example, I have a 128GB drive split into 2 partitions: 112GB for my OS and programs (Win7 64), and an 8GB partition for Intel Rapid Start. I have no games installed and nothing crazy like a developer's suite or anything, and I only have 68GB free space.
 

Only?! That's half the drive. wink.gif

post #15180 of 15900
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post



If its a compatibility issue though it is ASRocks issue. I have brought this up to them personally and there is even a thread here somewhere with some of my e-mails to them that I copied and pasted into the thread. I would lean on them first.

Not sure if you remember the problems I am having but I have gone through two RMA'd motherboards from ASRock, the latest of which I sent in my CPU and RAM for them to test with my board. They said it was working fine and my 300w PSU isn't strong enough. Although I know it is as there are plenty of examples here and from your guide proving it works....I plugged my 520W psu into the board and am having the same issues.

The first time they advised I buy a different CPU... so I did that and got the G850 (originally had the G620). Then they said my PSU is to weak... There is no way the 520w is.

H67M
G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB 1333
Hec case with 300w PSU
G620

I have since tried a G859 and 520w PSU.
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