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Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 511

post #15301 of 15907
Thanks Sammy2 and Dark_Slayer


I set my HTPC to 1080i. Since I won't be watching Blurays...
post #15302 of 15907
What input resolution works best for a particular TV and or display chain is something that requires testing.

I have an unusual case, kind of the exception proved the rule. My display is a Panny Plasma. It is a 58' about 2006 or 2007. It is 1366x768 but will not accept native resolution through. It will accept 1080P or 1080i or 1280x720. The internal scaler in the display appears to be highly optimized to downscale 1080i.

I use a DVDO DUO in front of it. The difference between sending a 1080i and 1080P is night and day. The progressive is simply bad. My main source for that TV is an HP x280n Windows Media Extender and it looks lovely sending 1080i to the 720P native panel Panasonic. Not your run of the mill display chain but it illustrates the point.

The only real way to know what is going to work best is to put some test patterns up and try the various combinations.
post #15303 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by victor M View Post

Thanks Sammy2 and Dark_Slayer


I set my HTPC to 1080i. Since I won't be watching Blurays...

Keep in mind that your PC makes 1080i from 1080P.
post #15304 of 15907
I'm considering the Intel DH77EB and ASUS P8H77-M/CSM motherboards for a fan-less HTPC build in a Streacom FC5 Evo case and am looking for some advice from an audio / video perspective.

This computer will be used to play NAS stored audio (up to 24/192) and video (up to full Blu-ray, no 3D), plus streamed services such as Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and Spotify. I'll be running audio through USB to an external DAC, video through HDMI, and data through Ethernet. All other nonessential onboard devices will be turned off as the BIOS will allow.

The Intel board is known for being very low-power (plus Intel NIC), while ASUS claims to have low EMI with their Protect 3.0 technology. Though I'm not sure how much of that is marketing vs real-world performance.

I'd prefer whichever board will produce the highest quality / lowest distortion output, with low power consumption being the second priority.


Case: Streacom FC5WS Evo
CPU: Intel i3-3225
RAM: Samsung DDR3 1600 1.35V 2x4GB
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 128GB
PSU: Winmate 130W + AC/DC converter (either Mean Well or Traco Power)
post #15305 of 15907
What DVD-player style case incl. PSU would you guys recommend for a AMD A6-3670K build? Possibly incl remote control. <=43cm width and < 12 cm height.
post #15306 of 15907
I had been using the recommended i3 assassin build (Intel DH77EB mo-board w. H77 chipset, g.skill ripjaws memory, seasonic PSU) for a few months with no problems. All of a sudden I am getting blue screens. It typically allows me to fully boot but will crash within a minute or so of any actual use. I booted off of a CD thinking it may be a virus but that crashed as well (so it's a hardware problem). I have run memtest86 from a USB stick and it passed 7 times and then locked up with no errors (screen frozen, no movement). Bios details:

- no overclocking or overvolting
- XMP NOT enabled
- No adjustments to RAM timing
- Legacy USB support IS enabled. Doing some searches it seems that this could cause problems?

Any thoughts on my next steps? Is this definitely a memory issue or could I still be having a motherboard or PSU problem? I have some RAM in another machine that I could try but I want to make sure that I won't damage it if it's a PSU or motherboard issue.

Thanks for any help or suggestions!
post #15307 of 15907
Like many others, I'm hoping that form and Haswell chip work out.
post #15308 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post

I had been using the recommended i3 assassin build (Intel DH77EB mo-board w. H77 chipset, g.skill ripjaws memory, seasonic PSU) for a few months with no problems. All of a sudden I am getting blue screens. It typically allows me to fully boot but will crash within a minute or so of any actual use. I booted off of a CD thinking it may be a virus but that crashed as well (so it's a hardware problem). I have run memtest86 from a USB stick and it passed 7 times and then locked up with no errors (screen frozen, no movement). Bios details:

- no overclocking or overvolting
- XMP NOT enabled
- No adjustments to RAM timing
- Legacy USB support IS enabled. Doing some searches it seems that this could cause problems?

Any thoughts on my next steps? Is this definitely a memory issue or could I still be having a motherboard or PSU problem? I have some RAM in another machine that I could try but I want to make sure that I won't damage it if it's a PSU or motherboard issue.

Thanks for any help or suggestions!
Hmmm... now BIOS is not posting. Any thoughts on how to differentiate between a motherboard, CPU, and PSU problem?
post #15309 of 15907
Anyone using comskip to mark commercial segments but not remove them in WMC? (specifically mkv's)

I use MCEBuddy to convert my recorded wtv files to mkv. I was using comskip to remove the commercials completely from the final mkv file. I have 4 different comskip.ini's for different channels and I'd say it is +95% accurate. However, that less than 5% still gets to me. The newest version of MCEBuddy allows you to move the edl and/or xml file created by comskip during the conversion to destination folder. All my shows are saved as D:\TV Shows\Showname\Season #\showname - S##E## - episodename.mkv. I told MCEBuddy to scan for commercials now but NOT remove them in the transcode. Now I also get an edl and xml file with the same exact name as the mkv in the output directory. I ran an episode in WMC and can see the result. As you can see from the attached image the commercial segments are shown in red in the progress bar, but hitting skip forward still only skips 30 seconds, and not the whole commercial break.



Do I have to install DTB Addin (and therefore DVRMSToolbox) to get WMC to skip the whole commercial break, not just 30 seconds?
post #15310 of 15907
Hi,

Anyone using a laptop as an HTPC? Just bought a new I5 lenovo w/windows 7 and was wondering about the practicality of using this instead of building or buying a dedicated htpc. Would mainly be using it for playing hires multichannel music files such as flac files and maybe even DSD native using foobar and jriver.

I am assuming I could simply connect HDMI out on the laptop to my pre/pro just like it was any other connected device? Streaming via wireless is not an option since my pre/pro cannot handle hires music files nor dsd wireless either.

Since Jriver and foobar are both freeware, I can play around with it before investing in a dedicated htpc to see if I can get the dsd native playback to work. I already can stream hires flac with my Oppo (although the interface leaves a lot to be desired) so my main goal is the dsd native. I already have a NAS which is using Twonky.

Can anyone share thoughts, suggestions, pitfalls?

Thanks.
post #15311 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyJ View Post


Since Jriver and foobar are both freeware, I can play around with it before investing in a dedicated htpc to see if I can get the dsd native playback to work.

J.River is only free for 30 days.
post #15312 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post

Hmmm... now BIOS is not posting. Any thoughts on how to differentiate between a motherboard, CPU, and PSU problem?

Not really. You'd need some spare parts to troubleshoot something like that. I guess you ruled overheating out? It's rare, but I've seen a few times a failing HD preventing boot, or making it very slow.
Did you try disconnecting all you can (including USB devices) and try booting? Also, if you have two sticks of RAM, try tacking one out. Worth a try. smile.gif
post #15313 of 15907
Just rebuilt my HTPC using the guide and having some trouble with an MKV I recently ripped.

My machine:

CPU: i3-3225
Motherboard: Biostar H77MU3
RAM: 8GB DDR3-1333 (Not sure the brand, but it was one of the major ones)
SSD: 120GB Samsung 840

My media is all on a server, attached by gigabit lan.

Setup:

Running 7MC, using latest MediaBrowser and LAV filters, all set up per the guide.

The movie in question is Amelie. My wife was watching the blu-ray rip I made and said it was stuttering (using TMT5). I've been moving to MKV , so I ripped it to MKV thinking maybe it was a TMT5 thing. No luck, still stutters.

The file for the movie clocks in about 39GB. Looking at it in MB, it shows the bit rate at 35660kps, which is higher than anything else I've seen in my media (granted, I only look at a few of my full quality MKV rips, and most were in the 20000kps to 30000kps). I have had no stuttering issues with any other media.

I'd say maybe its too much for the lan, but my desktop (E8400 with a Radeon HD 6870) plays it fine, at least in VLC (my codecs got messed up, so I can't test it directly until I rebuild the stupid thing).

So, is the i3 with its Intel 4000 just not enough to handle a video file with that high of a bit rate? I've tried to keep my HTPC as simple as possible to eliminate any possible problems with other programs running at the same time. Any ideas?
post #15314 of 15907
Thread Starter 
Finally had a few minutes to start setting up the NUC.

From left to right (pardon the dust)...

Apple TV2 (Jailbroken), Roku, Intel NUC

post #15315 of 15907
I have xbmc installed and configured the settings according to Assassins Frodo guide. But I can't play any files. I ripped two movies via makemkv. On was saved to desktop other saved on unRaid. Both videos stutter and act like its buffering. It doesn't clear up at all either. I was able to view the trailer via YouTube plug in and that buffered right to 100%. I am running hdmi to avr to tv.

I've checked the files and they play perfectly fine though total theater player. Hd audio and all, not sure if there is a setting I'm missing or something I need to disable in windows. Any help would be great because been trying o fix for days. Thanks.
post #15316 of 15907
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyJS02 View Post

I have xbmc installed and configured the settings according to Assassins Frodo guide. But I can't play any files. I ripped two movies via makemkv. On was saved to desktop other saved on unRaid. Both videos stutter and act like its buffering. It doesn't clear up at all either. I was able to view the trailer via YouTube plug in and that buffered right to 100%. I am running hdmi to avr to tv.

I've checked the files and they play perfectly fine though total theater player. Hd audio and all, not sure if there is a setting I'm missing or something I need to disable in windows. Any help would be great because been trying o fix for days. Thanks.

Try turning on and off dxva. If you are using an intel igpu turn it off.

Also, if you are bitstreaming make sure the device you are bitstreaming to can accept whatever you are sending to it (DTS-HD for example)

Finally, try to change the HDMI settings in the Audio tab. My test display did not like WASAPI. My A/V receiver did like it.
post #15317 of 15907
Sounds good will try tomorrow. I know the dxva was on and yes I'm using the igpu i3-3225. Reciever can def get it no problem, shows dts hd ma during playback through TMT6. I will check hdmi settings tomorrow also. Thanks.
post #15318 of 15907
FYI, in the guide it makes no mention of changing any settings on the LAV Splitter for subtitles. The current version of LAV seems use defaults that are just fine, but when I installed LAV a few weeks ago, the version I got had the defaults blank and I never checked them. After messing around trying to get subtitles to work on Amelie (French audio w/ Eng subtitle), I discovered the settings. Here is what I am using and it seems to work great:

post #15319 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Finally had a few minutes to start setting up the NUC.

From left to right (pardon the dust)...

Apple TV2 (Jailbroken), Roku, Intel NUC


Patiently waiting....

Having a unit that is essentialy noiseless, and runs within a few degrees of ambient...perfection.
Usage is not so much for HTPC as it is remote robot control....
post #15320 of 15907
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomandbeth View Post

Patiently waiting....

Having a unit that is essentialy noiseless, and runs within a few degrees of ambient...perfection.
Usage is not so much for HTPC as it is remote robot control....

Absolutely slammed at my regular job. Hope to test it really soon.
post #15321 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Absolutely slammed at my regular job. Hope to test it really soon.

No hurry.
post #15322 of 15907
Any one tried installing the Zinc.TV WMC plugin lately per Assassin's guide?

Looks like Zinc.TV has dropped their PC based service.
If I understand Assassin's guide.
post #15323 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracudaDelGato View Post

Not really. You'd need some spare parts to troubleshoot something like that. I guess you ruled overheating out? It's rare, but I've seen a few times a failing HD preventing boot, or making it very slow.
Did you try disconnecting all you can (including USB devices) and try booting? Also, if you have two sticks of RAM, try tacking one out. Worth a try. smile.gif

If you had to try only one it would be the mainboard, sadly.

always remove everything you can, and always clear CMOS.
Edited by gtgray - 2/24/13 at 6:16pm
post #15324 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterBoyz View Post

Any one tried installing the Zinc.TV WMC plugin lately per Assassin's guide?

Looks like Zinc.TV has dropped their PC based service.
If I understand Assassin's guide.

It was dropped last year. Haven't found a good replacement for it's rss feed functionality.
post #15325 of 15907
What BluRay drive are people buying? Seems like my current one is having issues - LITE-ON Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Internal 12X Blu-ray Combo Model ihes112-04 - OEM.

My last five BR Rips have had video artifact issues throughout the movies. I have ripped one of the same BRs to a different Harddrive, used different software, etc so therefore I believe the BR drive is the issue. If anyone has any other suggestions let me know.
post #15326 of 15907
asus works well for cheap. I have about 10.... lol
post #15327 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo90017 View Post

It was dropped last year. Haven't found a good replacement for it's rss feed functionality.
Thanks for the update.
post #15328 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

asus works well for cheap. I have about 10.... lol

How can a dvd burner work for over 8 years no problem but this will be my 3rd/4th br drive that has died on me. Each I used probably for less than 9months.
post #15329 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


Absolutely slammed at my regular job. Hope to test it really soon.

Also awaiting your initial impression of the Intel NUC, I'm really interested in buying one. Right now I'm using a laptop for media duties and it has an intel 2330 which should be similar in cpu performance to the i3 3217u. Would be nice to replace the laptop with something much smaller, quieter, and similar/better performance.

post #15330 of 15907
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrkazador View Post

Also awaiting your initial impression of the Intel NUC, I'm really interested in buying one. Right now I'm using a laptop for media duties and it has an intel 2330 which should be similar in cpu performance to the i3 3217u. Would be nice to replace the laptop with something much smaller, quieter, and similar/better performance.

Struggling to find time. Bear with me.
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