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HTPC Tweaks and Fixes - Page 2

post #31 of 56
Thread Starter 
EDID Emulators - HDMI Detective, ConnectPro or Dr. HDMI?


I have so far been able to get around needing the HDMI detective due to proper power on sequence with my devices. However, trying to perfect things, I wanted to get a device like the HDMI Detective that would work for me. I tried 3 devices:

Gefen HDMI Detective
This was my first choice, it was able to be powered by HDMI, was built nice and able to be ordered with Amazon Prime (so I could return easy it if it didn't work).

This device had issues with HDCP passthrough with my Nvidia GTX 680 (and my 580 when I had it). Nvidia control panel would show that everything is HDCP compliant, but the moment I'd go to watch HBO, I'd get an HDCP error. Everything else seemed to work right. I worked with Gefen on this for a few days and we were not able to get it to work. They told me they would research it more and then call me back once the fix it--I haven't heard back from them yet.

ConnectPro HDMI EDID/DDC Video Ghosting Emulator TMDS-EDID-1
I bought this device right through the company. This device worked with HDCP, but had other issues. Power of HDMI did not work. Sometimes when I would start everything up, my sound would work on the computer, but my receiver would not output the sound--I had to turn the receiver off and turn it back on.

When using this device, my receiver always reported it was receiving YCbCr 4:4:4 and not RGB--no matter what I set my Nvidia control panel to. Without the device, the receiver reports everything properly. However, colors seemed to look identical even though my receiver was getting the wrong information.

The device would my my Nvidia driver think that the HDMI was DVI (it would show DVI in Nvidia control panel) and sound would no longer work. I would have to restart the device and/or my computer to fix this.

I sent the device back.

HDFury Dr. HDMI
Finally... a device that works. HDCP works, my receiver shows RGB 4:4:4, power over HDMI works. This device is the most expensive--hence the reason I tried it last.

The only issue I have with this (and it happens without the device too), is Windows 8 loses my audio sometimes. Restarting the Audio Services does NOT fix the problem. I have to reboot to fix it. I thought this device would fix that issue as my computer should never lose its connection to the receiver (at least it doesn't think so). Maybe this is happening because the power over HDMI only works while my computer is on, so when waking from sleep, the device takes a couple seconds to start up. I'm wondering if sometimes my computer looks for the EDID information before the device has started up completely. I will try keeping the device always powered via USB if it happens again. It only happens like once out of every 10 wakes.

Anyways, my vote goes toward the Dr. HDMI so far. Although, it'll be upsetting if it can't fix Windows losing its audio after wake sometimes. I'm still using it, so time will tell.

I hope this helps anyone considering these devices. It took a bit to try all three--especially since two of them ship from Taiwan.
post #32 of 56
Thread Starter 
HDCP error in WMC after reboot

I have a strange problem the popped up (coincidentally after installing my new IR receiver). Basically, after a reboot, WMC will give me an HDCP error. If I minimize and maximize, it goes away until I close and reopen Media Center. The problem seems to fix itself after a few minutes. I'm not sure if it's a problem with my Dr. HDMI or if Media Center is choking on something, but I noticed that opening Nvidia Control Panel up and going to the HDCP Status section fixes it... weird. Maybe it's a driver issue--I have done a couple fresh installs of the driver.

I'm sure I'll figure out the proper fix in time, but this method may fix other issues for people, so no harm in posting.

Like I said earlier, just open Nvidia Control Panel and go to HDCP Status, then close the control panel.

Since I like to automate everything, I created the following powershell script. It required a bit of experimenting to figure out the command line parameters for nvcplui.exe, since I couldn't find them properly documented anywhere. Here is the script:

#Open to HDCP Page
Start-Process -WindowStyle Minimized -FilePath "C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\Control Panel Client\nvcplui.exe" -ArgumentList "/page:{EEF5290C-7F3D-4640-93F2-F189DC616510}"

#Wait a 1000 milliseconds
Start-Sleep -Milliseconds 1000

#Close Nvidia Control Panel
Stop-Process -Name nvcplui


I also created a link to the powershell script:
C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe /WindowStyle Minimized -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -file "Fix Nvidia HDCP after Reboot.ps1"
set the start in folder to the folder that has the ps1 powershell file, set the link to open minimized, and then have a scheduled task that runs it 25 seconds after log in: cmd.exe /C "link file.lnk"

With the link file and the way I set start-process, everything will run minimized and be unobtrusive. I have to way at least 20-25 seconds for it to work. Also, you might have to adjust the sleep time in the powershell file to be higher if it isn't working.

I'm hoping no one will need this over-complicated solution... but enjoy!
post #33 of 56
Thread Starter 
Preventing Media Center from Sleeping when TV/Video/Music is Paused

I've run into an issue where my HTPC will go to sleep if I pause Live TV in Media Center for long. I guess I should be happy that my system actually goes to sleep (knock on wood), but it's not good when Media Center allows my computer to go to sleep, and then I lose my Live TV buffer.

I looked all over to find a fix for this, hoping for an easy registry change--not going to happen. Herman's Standby Tool (MST) has an option for this, however, since my computer seems to be working well with sleep, I just wanted a very small, lightweight option. Also, I read that MST prevents sleep no matter what type of content is being paused (Live TV, DVR, Video).

To fix this, I learned how to make a Media Center background app in C# and created my own little addin. It will poll media center every so many seconds (configurable) and see if certain content is paused (also configurable). If it detects that one of the configured content types is paused, it will prevent your computer from going to sleep.

It's lightweight and takes around 9-12 megs of memory. I made a MSI installer that will make installation easy. In the program's folder, there is a config subfolder that contains a configuration XML file. It's formatted to be very easy to edit, and I included comments to explain the couple options.

I use this on my Windows 8 Media Center, and developed it with Windows 8 Media Center. It will require .Net 4.0, the install should prompt about that if it's missing. EDIT: I compiled a version for Windows 7 as well, see below for the .NET 2.0 version.

Let me know if you have any issues. Enjoy and hope it helps!

Also, I must throw in: USE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE CAUSED. However, you shouldn't have any issues, and the uninstall should clean everything up if you do happen to have any issues.





Windows 8 Version (.NET 4.0):
WILL NOT WORK ON WINDOWS 7. Doesn't require .NET 2.0, which Windows 8 doesn't have by default

Link for any lurkers that do not have an AVSForum account:
http://speedy.sh/adpmR/PreventSleepOnPause.msi
MD5 Checksum for the MSI file is: d6c9c426ae582078854fc5aa34fbfbad

PreventSleepOnPause.zip 394k .zip file


Windows 7/8 Version (.NET 2.0):
Link for any lurkers that do not have an AVSForum account:
http://speedy.sh/xTNMF/PreventSleepOnPause.NET-2.0.msi
MD5 Checksum for the MSI file is: 501ce637e34bd1026ea8fc14de909a39

PreventSleepOnPause .NET 2.0.zip 398k .zip file
Edited by assplats - 1/11/13 at 7:13am
post #34 of 56
Hey assplats, if you are using the AVSForum dark skin, your index comes up as yellow text on a white background, which is almost impossible to read.
post #35 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Hey assplats, if you are using the AVSForum dark skin, your index comes up as yellow text on a white background, which is almost impossible to read.

Thank you for letting me know! Should be good now--after a refresh.

J
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by assplats View Post

Thank you for letting me know! Should be good now--after a refresh.
J

Looks great! Thanks for putting all of this together. Just yesterday I used the Harmony remote discrete on/off tweak.
post #37 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Looks great! Thanks for putting all of this together. Just yesterday I used the Harmony remote discrete on/off tweak.

Awesome! I'm glad to hear the thread is helping out.
post #38 of 56
Thread Starter 
Removing Stale Icons from the Tray/Notification Areas and Running Tasks on Computer Wake


Running a script when the computer wakes
Some apps on my HTPC do not act properly after waking from sleep (Logitech Gaming Software). In order to fix this, I have a scheduled task that triggers based on a windows event. The event details are:

Log Name: System
Source: Power-Troubleshooter
Event ID: 1

You can set up a task in Task Scheduler that runs a powershell script or batch when that event is thrown. A quick example of a powershell script to do this is:

Stop-Process -Name setpoint
Start-Process 'C:\Program Files\Logitech\SetPointP\SetPoint.exe'



Cleaning the notification areas
The problem with terminating an app if it is in the Tray/Notification area is that it leaves a ghost icon behind. This icon doesn't go away until you mouse over it. I created a small c# console program that will send the mouse over message to the Notification Area automatically. It doesn't actually move your mouse cursor, it just tells Windows that the mouse is moving over the tray, which then cleans it up.

It requires that you specify and argument. The arguments tell which Notification Areas you want to clean (arguments are stackable):

/CleanOverflow - When you click the up arrow by the clock, this area is called the Overflow. This is what most people will be working with. If you use this parameter, it will clean that area.
/CleanUser - will clean the user promoted notification area. When you drag an drop an icon from the Overflow to the taskbar, so you can always see it, this is the user promoted notification area.
/CleanSystem - will clean the system promoted notification area. When you see an icon pop up on the task bar (or if there is a balloon), this is the system promoted notification area. Typically icons will only stay in this area for a short time before going back into the Overflow.
/CleanAll - quick argument for cleaning all three areas

Here is the program:

http://speedy.sh/ghyjE/RefreshNotificationAreas.exe
MD5 Hash: eb681fb8fce8d5f611ffc3d9800d5a8d

RefreshNotificationAreas.zip 3k .zip file

For those of you who don't want a console window popping up when you run the app, I made a gui/headless version (if you run the app without arguments, it pops up a windows dialog):
http://speedy.sh/egfnT/RefreshNotificationAreas.exe
MD5 Hash: fd72e919f726c1fce41466c5d4ec04cb

RefreshNotificationAreas.zip 3k .zip file
Edited by assplats - 1/11/13 at 1:46pm
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by assplats View Post

Nvidia Full RGB over HDMI Fix Utility

All right, so in an earlier post, I linked to a forum where Ian K. tells you a trick for enabling full RGB over HDMI. By default, Nvidia does full RGB over DVI, but not HDMI. The fix on that thread takes a decent amount of time and causes the driver to show as potentially unsafe (since it was modified)--which also causes it to fail in Windows 8 (unless you boot without driver enforcement).

So, I went ahead and wrote a small little .net 2.0 C# program that will search the registry for an Nvidia key that I know exists, and then add the Full RGB key.

USE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE CAUSED. However, I've ran it tons of times in many different ways, and it works great with the latest driver 306.23.

You'll most likely need to reboot for the change to take effect, or do some video changes like changing the resolution (not sure if that will do it).

Hope it helps. Enjoy!

Edit: By default, my program was searching for the registry value Nv_MultimonState. That value only exists on computers with multiple displays. I have changed it to look for NV_Modes by default now. I've reattached the new version below:

SetFullRGB.zip 94k .zip file


Here is a link:.

http://speedy.sh/Vx7F4/SetFullRGB.zip


And here is the MD5:

MD5: 3a144de9053e322d985dcad924aef127

Thanks once again! Ran the exe, set my Panasonic ST50 to full range, and everything is looking great so far!
post #40 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Thanks once again! Ran the exe, set my Panasonic ST50 to full range, and everything is looking great so far!

Awesome. Glad to hear it helped!

By the way, here is a test pattern I like to use to check my RGB range (as well as chroma subsampling):

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1381724/official-4-4-4-chroma-subsampling-thread/60#post_21477025

I also like to use this pattern to test out my contrast and brightness levels:
http://www.spearsandmunsil.com/articles/images/700x420_Contrast.png
post #41 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by assplats View Post

Awesome. Glad to hear it helped!

By the way, here is a test pattern I like to use to check my RGB range (as well as chroma subsampling):

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1381724/official-4-4-4-chroma-subsampling-thread/60#post_21477025

I also like to use this pattern to test out my contrast and brightness levels:
http://www.spearsandmunsil.com/articles/images/700x420_Contrast.png

Thanks! I'll just add these to my Plex Server.
Edited by lockdown571 - 2/11/13 at 9:16am
post #42 of 56
You sir, are the man. Thanks assplats, my htpc with gt630 is now behaving itself with a denon 1912 thanks to your recommendation in this thread for the Dr. HDMI.

My biggest complaint I had with my htpc was that when using madvr and mpc and turning off the tv or avr it would crash, and only a keyboard and mouse could click alt tab my way out of it. The kb and mouse are now packed away in the cupboard, and I live in bliss. That problem, and a few more, are solved.
post #43 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjezza View Post

You sir, are the man. Thanks assplats, my htpc with gt630 is now behaving itself with a denon 1912 thanks to your recommendation in this thread for the Dr. HDMI.

My biggest complaint I had with my htpc was that when using madvr and mpc and turning off the tv or avr it would crash, and only a keyboard and mouse could click alt tab my way out of it. The kb and mouse are now packed away in the cupboard, and I live in bliss. That problem, and a few more, are solved.

I'm glad it helped out! Make sure you use the latest Nvidia drivers, as they seem to help with the missing audio when you wake your computer from sleep.
post #44 of 56
Thanks for the list. This is helpful cause I keep on forgetting what tweaks I need to do when I do a fresh install on my htpc.
post #45 of 56
This list is fantastic.

I used it to cure two things that have been bugging the effing crap out of me since I upgraded from XP with Wn7 -- my projector losing sync for 5-10 seconds every time I played a 1080p video and all my windows resizing whenever I turned my denon receiver on or off.

Thanks man.
post #46 of 56
Has anyone here had their Win7 64 bit randomly freeze? I'm asking here because none of my other (5) computers are doing this, just my almost new HTPC. One at a time, I've removed the Juli@ XTE sound card, each stick (2) of 4mg ram separately and swapped their location, swapped HDMI cables, tried a VGA cable, tried a 24" monitor with DVI and on and on.......!!!!
The original ASUS MB died and was replaced with an upgrade to a P8 Z77 M PRO. After I got it back it started freezing in the first 20 minutes. It will freeze anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours.
If anyone has pinpointed a Win7 freeze problem cause, I'm dying to hear what it was.
post #47 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Collins View Post

Has anyone here had their Win7 64 bit randomly freeze? I'm asking here because none of my other (5) computers are doing this, just my almost new HTPC. One at a time, I've removed the Juli@ XTE sound card, each stick (2) of 4mg ram separately and swapped their location, swapped HDMI cables, tried a VGA cable, tried a 24" monitor with DVI and on and on.......!!!!
The original ASUS MB died and was replaced with an upgrade to a P8 Z77 M PRO. After I got it back it started freezing in the first 20 minutes. It will freeze anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours.
If anyone has pinpointed a Win7 freeze problem cause, I'm dying to hear what it was.

I'll shoot you a PM so we keep the thread clean. If you end up solving it, please post what the problem and fix was. You may want to open a new thread as well.
post #48 of 56
Thread Starter 
General Computer Troubleshooting Tips

One thing I do want to post up here is possible troubleshooting (in reply of post #46 above).

If it is just hard locking and you are not getting a blue screen, you might have a hardware issue. I would recommend downloading Memtest http://www.memtest86.com/ and make sure that your memory is not bad. Also, this'll somewhat provide a check of your processor and motherboard. If it runs all right for a while, you might have something messed up with your windows install. You can try booting off a live linux CD and see if it freezes, as well as run some more diagnostic tools. If it doesn't lock up, trying reinstalling windows. This also helps you start with fresh drivers.

If you get errors reinstalling windows, make sure you have report S.M.A.R.T. errors on in the BIOS and possible try a different hard drive.

If you can get windows running stable for a while, you could try tools like AIDA64 or Sandra

If memtest gives you trouble, you need to start diagnosing your hardware. Try new ram or processor if possible. Try your processor on another computer's motherboard if possible. I've had motherboards go bad and give strange problems or hard freezes. Also, if you're using a discrete video card, try using the one built into the processor if you can--see if that makes a difference.

For people getting bluescreens, you can use BlueScreenView to help diagnose the issue. A lot of the time it may be a bad driver.

Hope this helps. If anyone has other suggestions, please comment.
Edited by assplats - 7/20/13 at 2:59pm
post #49 of 56
Great Thread! Thanks for all of the tips!

I have one issue left after moving from Wireless HDMI to doing a 50 foot cable run, when I switch between LiveTV and Recorded TV I get a "Display Driver Error" all Ihave to do to clear it is toggle the screen mode (full/windowed) and then I can flip back. Very occaisionally will do it going from one recorded show to another. I went into this knowing I would likely need something to deal with the 50 foot distance but had no idea what a challange this would turn out to be, now it is more of a mission than a need.

I had this problem with the Wireless boxes also but it was rare, where with the cable it is 100% repeatable between LiveTV and Recorded TV. The Cable and HDMI Booster are the only new parts in the chain, nothing else changed on my system, my video and TV card drivers are the latest and were in before I tried the cable. My signal chain is the following:

HP Pavillion/nVidia GT440 ---> HDMI Switch (manual) ----> 50' 24AWG HDMI cable ---> Tripp Lite HDMI Booster ----> Gefen HDMI Detective ----> Sony STR-DA1800ES ----> Samsung 64F8500

PC Intel 6 Core / 24GB RAM / 2x500GB SSD / 2x2TB SATA / 16TB JBOD eSATA Array
nVidia GT440 - Driver Ver 331.58
Ceten PCIe with a Comcast CableCard / latest Ceton drivers
Gefen HDMI Detective (sw 4 on to support HDCP)
OS - Win7 64 Ultimate -- current everything at the system level
WMC is the center of the HTPC from a user perspective, w/CyberLink Blu-Ray plug-in

The cable came the day before the amp but I tried it anyway and it did not work at all. I added the amp without the Gefen thinking the EDID issue was related to the wireless boxes, it wasn't so the gefen went back in the chain and things were stable again, with this one exception.

I saw the one thing that came close to this issue but I looked in my Nvidia control panel it all looks good, what specific settings were changed, mine also did not have the same language as described in the fix.

We have been running for a week now and it is rock solid stable (no PC side issues or AV sside) and the picture from HD channels is great and from Blu-Ray outstanding so a big improvement over the wireless but it would be nice to nail this last issue. Any ideas would be appreaciated.
post #50 of 56
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Glad it's still helping people!

I'd keep the Gefen out of the chain while testing things. You need to find the simplest solution that works and then add things slowly.

Have you tried a short cable? I know it will be a pain to move things, but I really think you should give it a shot to see if it works. If it does fix it, go back to the 50 foot cable and focus on that and the booster--one of those is messing it up at that point.

I don't want to derail the thread too much to keep it clean with just fixes, so maybe it would be a good idea to open another thread and then post the final solution here. I'll help where I can!
post #51 of 56
If you are having scan issues with blue borders or improper placement of all the controls within WMC the margins need to be changed in the Win7 registry as follows. This typically happens when using "Television" as opposed to "Flat Screen Display" in the initial set up of WMC in order to not over scan Live/Recorded TV.


Run regedit and find HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\MCE.PerUserSettings. Change the Margin Saved value to 1 and set all the other margins (top, bottom, left and right) to 0.

Thanks to @pittsoccer33 for providing this fix in this post.

This is an example of what the screen looked like before applying this fix and while playing back an iso file using Total Media Theater 5 WMC plugin. This registry fix not only got this to play full screen but it fixed the blue border issue in Media Browser as well as all scan issues which really are improper border keys in the registry.


Edited by Sammy2 - 12/8/13 at 7:22am
post #52 of 56
Thread Starter 
^ Thanks for the tip! I updated the index.
post #53 of 56
I am just passing along what I've learned from another avsforum member, pittsoccer33. Gotta love this place!
post #54 of 56
Has anyone ever found a solution to this "WMC not outputting rightmost column of pixels"?

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1496274/help-wmc-not-outputting-rightmost-column-of-pixels
post #55 of 56
Thread Starter 
General Tip for Windows 8.1 Issue: TCP/IP Settings Won't Save in the Adapter GUI

Ok, I figured out a trick that may solve an issue in Windows 8.1 if your TCP/IP settings don't stick when you change them.

1. Open a command prompt as administrator. Type in the following commands:

netsh int ip reset
netsh winsock reset catalog

You may get an error towards the end of the output from the first command about 'Access is Denied' - don't worry about that.

2. Open the registry editor and go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Network\
3. Back up that registry key (network)
4. Delete the following value: config
5. Reboot


Hope it helps!
Edited by assplats - 1/31/14 at 6:18pm
post #56 of 56

Hi there

 

I have a Windows registry problem which is graphic card/HDMI related. I've tried to talk to Microsoft (they weren't helpful at all, they didn't even know how to restore Windows 8 back to an earlier date), talked to Nvidia customer service and to ASUS customer service (these guys knew what they were doing and were very helpful). I've also started threads with my problem in the Nvidia community and in www.tomshardware.co.uk/ but none have answered.

 

Would it be okay if I post my problem here? It seems very much in line of what is posted already.

 

Sincerely

 

Christian

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