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Sony VGX-XL3 - Page 118

post #3511 of 3844
Yes, I'm currently using the 'Diamond' MB theme too.
No, I haven't felt the need to write scripts to setup as scheduled tasks.
As you're probably aware, but to clarify for the benefit of other readers, the IE 'Allow META REFRESH' option has nothing to do with movie/music metadata, but is all about automatic web page refreshing. I'm not sure why you have mentioned this, unless you have heard that 'Media Browser' uses this in some way?
I'd be very surprised if they use a browser-specific setting in this way, but then animals and coders do the strangest things sometimes - speaking as one of both.
I suspect you are correct that our UK cards also run hot whether in use or not, and I will definitely look at swapping these out. I don't have a need for a better video card - I already have some dedicated gaming rigs - but am tempted to invest in a DVB-S2 card for HD satellite reception. We have 'FreesatHD' over here which seems to offer a good range of content, and I should just be able to plug my old Sky cables into my XL and be good to go. It would let me evaluate whether I was happy to leave pay-TV behind, or let us watch a fourth or fifth channel while the cable tivo was recording 3 others smile.gif
No, we don't have actually have a local 'Craig's List', although we see that mentioned in American movies and TV a lot. There are equivalents tho, most people just use eBay, Gumtree, or even Amazon.
Cheers,
Tony.
post #3512 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyWombat View Post

>>> Yes, I'm currently using the 'Diamond' MB theme too. No, I haven't felt the need to write scripts to setup as scheduled tasks. As you're probably aware, but to clarify for the benefit of other readers, the IE 'Allow META REFRESH' option has nothing to do with movie/music metadata, but is all about automatic web page refreshing. I'm not sure why you have mentioned this, unless you have heard that 'Media Browser' uses this in some way? I'd be very surprised if they use a browser-specific setting in this way, but then animals and coders do the strangest things sometimes - speaking as one of both. <<<
No, Tony, I wasn't aware that 'Enable META REFRESH' has nothing to do with refreshing Meta-data (in Windows Media Center and Media Browser, etc.) A few months ago I was having some trouble with both applications (not refreshing without manual intervention). So I went looking for a fix, and among other things I tried I found a blurb in the "How-To-Geek" newsletter describing the problem and giving the path and instruction for that setting in Internet Options. The problem got resolved, but was no doubt coincidental to other changes. So, ... I learned something. thanks.
Say, if you are an occasional "coder", and inasmuch as you have a later model XL* model which is capable of running 8GB of the correct RAM (if you are so inclined), either with a 64-bit OS or with the PAE kernel patch in 32-bit described in post #3499, ... we need to recruit you to help us resolve the long simmering frustration of the missing (or incompatible) optical drive eject button driver in 64-bit Windows. I suspect, that much like the fix for the i.Link / "Fire-wire" boot freeze, the fix will come from upgrading (or rather substituting) an old (Legacy) Windows driver for the driver installed by 64-bit Windows 7.
Because of something I have noticed during Windows boot phase, I think the solution to this optical drive eject button enigma is to get a copy of the base / most fundamental Windows driver used for boot phase for the eject function, and copy it into the 'SysWOW64' directory in Windows where it can be used as the system driver AFTER Windows 7 64-bit has fully booted. Well, that's my supposition anyway.
What I noticed, during booting in 64-bit, is that the front panel optical drive eject button DOES WORK ... until Windows boots. So long as the system is just using the base windows drivers in boot phase, the button works.  So there's the clue for anyone who understands Windows coding well enough to know where that boot phase eject button driver resides, and copy it for the button to work with Windows 64-bit fully booted and running.
I'm just a "theorist" ( meaning:  It's beyond my skill set! ...sigh frown.gif )

>>> I suspect you are correct that our UK cards also run hot whether in use or not, and I will definitely look at swapping these out. I don't have a need for a better video card - I already have some dedicated gaming rigs - but am tempted to invest in a DVB-S2 card for HD satellite reception. We have 'FreesatHD' over here which seems to offer a good range of content, and I should just be able to plug my old Sky cables into my XL and be good to go. It would let me evaluate whether I was happy to leave pay-TV behind, or let us watch a fourth or fifth channel while the cable tivo was recording 3 others smile.gif
No, we don't have actually have a local 'Craig's List', although we see that mentioned in American movies and TV a lot. There are equivalents tho, most people just use eBay, Gumtree, or even Amazon.
Cheers, Tony.<<<
Yes, my Aver-MEDIA tuner card runs so hot it nearly burns the fingertips to touch it. Why the bloody thing doesn't melt is beyond me to understand?
I feel blessed. I have never paid one single penny for television (cable, satellite, Fiber). And since our shift to digital ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the US I have been able to receive 29 digital OTA broadcast channels in the Portland, OR area with nothing more than a $6 (USD) flat antenna attached to the back side of my television (including two PBS - public broadcasting - television and three PBS FM radio channels).
That $100.00-plus I save each month that my friends and family members are all spending for their cable and satellite services has paid for most of my PCs and my various electronic toys and upgrades.  That said, free satellite would be nice. Is that paid for with UK tax subsidies, similar to your National Health-care, etc.? Our politics in the US is so completely screwed up. The US is becoming more backward-thinking with every passing year.
Frankly, you're better off without Craigslist in the UK. It has basically become a haven for advertising all sort of services in the sex trades, selling stolen property and other criminal activities (AKA: "commerce"), but some people still use it for selling old computers and parts. "Nerds!" HA!  biggrin.gif
Say, Tony, after my previous post it dawned on me that you might even find an interested buyer for those unneeded tuner cards through this discussion thread.  At least 50% of the readers and occasional contributors to this thread are in the UK, Ireland and Western Europe. I don't know how far your UK broadcast standard reaches, but if you posted the availability of your tuners, here and had those interested 'PM' you, at least they would know they were getting cards with which they were already familiar, and/or which will work in their model XL* systems. Just a thought.
Cheers!  Robert.
post #3513 of 3844
Actually I'm a full-time coder - technically an "IT Consultant" but thats too grand, just a contract code-monkey really. Unfortunately its with corporate databases rather than windows drivers, the wrong end of the coding spectrum.
I remember the eject feature - I seem to recall that from powered-off you can start up the XLs just by holding down the eject button, and it will eject any disk during bootup, which came in handy one time I was having trouble ejecting a disk.
I have to say tho that I wouldnt expect an easy solution for 64-bit sorry - you wouldnt just be able to copy a boot-level driver and have it function in a 64-bit security context.
I dont have any requirement for 64-bit, I've never had any memory-related issues - apart from the fact I cant even recall whether I have 2 or 4GB installed off the top of my head. I dont run a lot of apps simultaneously and never had any performance issues. I have upgraded other desktop PCs to 64-bit so I have a pretty good idea of the practical differences. Any benefit would be totally negligible for my use of the XL.
Congratulations on staying away from the siren call of Pay TV - I resisted it until about 4 years ago, but will continue to look at getting off that treadmill soon. Freesat, and its OTA sibling 'Freeview', are free for the user, but I'm not sure how much the government and broadcasters put in. Probably not a lot from the Government, as the BBC channels are already supported by a TV licensing fee and the other channels are ad-supported.
Thanks for the suggestions, but as a bit of a hoarder I think I'll hang on to the existing cards - I like to keep all the original parts.
Cheers,
Tony.
Edited by BoyWombat - 1/14/13 at 2:16am
post #3514 of 3844

Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

 

Hello all. 

 

For any of our VAIO VGX-XL* owner clan wishing to explore still more plug-ins, tips and tricks for personalizing and making your Media Center better, "Hacking Windows 7 Media Center" is a fun website and forum:  http://www.hack7mc.com/

 

And for those who have not already discovered "Media Center Master" by Peter Souza,... it's a treat (and it's free). The latest stable release & current version 2.04.36612.54 / was released December 31, 2012 (now we know what Pete was up to on New Year's Eve; the mark of a tried & true tech geek  cool.gif)

 

Media Center Master is a meta-data and media organization solution for Windows Media Center including support for MediaBrowser, XBMC, Boxee, Netgear NeoTV, pyTiVo and more. Here's the download pagehttp://forums.mediacentermaster.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6348

 

 

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 1/15/13 at 12:00pm
post #3515 of 3844
I've been playing with some BIOS tweaks, i'm happy working with AMI BIOS but I've never done much in the way of mods on AWARD but I thought it was worth a go. So far I have just been looking at CPU support, see below for a quick before and after:

Microcode Before:


Microcode After:


CPU microcode was taken from a donor BIOS that is used on a motherboard with the same chipset, I'm gonna try and grab a cheap Q6600 on eBay soon to test this.

If anyone is feeling brave and wants to try this BIOS, PM me and i'll send you a copy of the BIOS. This would be for VGX-XL302, I can have a look at previous model BIOS but I would be unable to test.
Edited by jwaiv - 1/19/13 at 6:28am
post #3516 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyWombat View Post

>>>   I had picked up the 302 model from eBay a couple of years ago, migrating my video card and extra memory and that became my living-room HTPC - its been working well until the last few weeks, when intermittent lockups have been occurring. It looked like a heat-related CPU or MB issue, which suspicion I partially firmed up by swapping out the memory, hard drives and video card and reproducing the issue.
A contributing factor may have been the new video card - the HIS 5570, which had a heat-sink that hooked over the top of the card and stuck out a little to far on the back to fit (this hadnt been apparent from the online photos and box art).
I had sorted this out with a trusty hacksaw, taking off nearly half the heatsink - this shouldnt have increased the overall heat output, but will obviously have reduced the heat conduction away from the card, shortening its life. A year later the card still seems fine, but the rest of the system is not so happy.
I decided to take the 302 into the local PC repair shop to check out the MB, but wasnt comfortable asking them to look for a potentially heat-related issue while there was a card with half the heat-sink sawed-off, so I've replaced the 5570 with the VTX3D 7750, my first fan-cooled gpu in one of these machines - it is very quiet, but I'm not yet sure that its quiet _enough_ - silence is golden wink.gif.
The repair shop claim to have identified some overheating issues around the BGA MB chipset, and removed, cleaned and resoldered some of these components, but a week later the lockups started again.
I was wondering if complete MB replacement was an option, but the posts of Robert and others make that look unlikely - expensive to find a like-for-like replacement and too complicated to retro fit a more modern board.
Then I read DickeFix's post about capacitors, which sounds like a likely culprit - thanks DickeFix, I'll get those checked out. I'll also get the CMOS battery changed while I'm about it - I understand things can get flakey when these start to run down, which must be sometime soon.<<<

 

Hello Tony,

 

I saw this today and thought it might be helpful for you in diagnosing your XL302 system problem? You would pull one of your tuner cards and insert it into one of the slots on your PCI Riser card, or pull the riser card and insert it directly into the PCI slot on the motherboard.

 

PTI9 Diagnostic Post Test Card Debug Card for Desktop & Laptop

http://www.meritline.com/pti9-diagnostic-post-test-card-debug-card---p-86434.aspx?strcoup=&dealid=51390

$9.99 (USD) with free shipping

(ships from Hong Kong; about two weeks delivery time)

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 1/23/13 at 2:10pm
post #3517 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwaiv View Post

>>> I've been playing with some BIOS tweaks, i'm happy working with AMI BIOS but I've never done much in the way of mods on AWARD but I thought it was worth a go. So far I have just been looking at CPU support....<<<<

>>> CPU microcode was taken from a donor BIOS that is used on a motherboard with the same chipset, I'm gonna try and grab a cheap Q6600 on eBay soon to test this.

If anyone is feeling brave and wants to try this BIOS, PM me and i'll send you a copy of the BIOS. This would be for VGX-XL302, I can have a look at previous model BIOS but I would be unable to test. <<<

Hi 'jwaiv'.  Will you be somehow retaining a backup copy of the original BIOS?  If not, what is your "Plan B" if the update attempt buggers the BIOS?

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3518 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

Hi 'jwaiv'.  Will you be somehow retaining a backup copy of the original BIOS?  If not, what is your "Plan B" if the update attempt buggers the BIOS?

Cheers!
Robert.

I have a copy of the original but if the flash fails then that will not help, should the board get bricked I would have to flash with an external programmer.
post #3519 of 3844
Hi Robert,
Quote:
PTI9 Diagnostic Post Test Card Debug Card for Desktop & Laptop

http://www.meritline.com/pti9-diagnostic-post-test-card-debug-card---p-86434.aspx?strcoup=&dealid=51390

$9.99 (USD) with free shipping

(ships from Hong Kong; about two weeks delivery time)

That does look interesting, and I'm sure the engrish manual would be hirarious smile.gif
I've just dropped my 302 off at the repair shop to let them have a bash at resoldering the capacitors - we'll see how that goes.

Thanks for the thought,
Tony.

P.S. While my 302s in the shop I might see if I can find a blu-ray drive like yours (UJ-225S) to pop in my 201, so its a proper backup machine - I'm not ready to go cold turkey yet smile.gif
Edited by BoyWombat - 1/26/13 at 2:58pm
post #3520 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyWombat View Post

Hi Robert,
" ....While my 302s in the shop I might see if I can find a blu-ray drive like yours (UJ-225S) to pop in my 201, so its a proper backup machine - I'm not ready to go cold turkey yet"

 

Hi Tony.

 

Be sure to double-check the optical drive interface for your VGX-XL201 (i.e., IDE/ATAPI interface or SATA interface)

 

The Matshita - Panasonic UJ-225 Blu-ray writer uses IDE/ATAPI interface. The VGX-XL* models equipped with IDE/ATAPI optical drives have a tiny plastic flip-up clip connection on the front of the motherboard (directly to the left of the similar size iLink connection) and on the small circuit board on the rear of the optical drive. A flat folded-paper ribbon cable connects the drive to the front of the motherboard for data & power.  That IDE/ATAPI connection is not present on the later VGX-XL* model motherboards (it's blanked off), and those boards instead use SATA interface optical drives

 

There are limited choices for slot-load slimline IDE/ATAPI interface Blu-ray writers (which is why most of us with older model XL* systems upgrade with the UJ-225, or the derivative/relabeled versions made for Dell, HP, etc.) 

 

To use an IDE/ATAPI optical drive with a SATA interface, you would need to also buy an IDE/ATAPI to SATA adapter circuit board and a SATA/Power/Audio combination cable.

 

You will find several different slot-load slimline Blu-ray writers available with SATA interface, and most are faster and more capable drives than the UJ-225. The maximum Blu-ray read/write speed is 2x.  If your VGX-XL201 uses the SATA interface, one SATA interface drive I'm familiar with is the Matshita - Panasonic UJ-265 or UJ-265A. It's a Slim Blu-ray Super Multi Burner Slot Load with "BD-R XL Support" (for high capacity 100GB and 128GB Recordable Blu-ray discs). It writes BD-R recordable media at 6X speed, BD-RE rewritable media at 4X speed..You can find them new on EBAY UK for as little as 70 GBP;  or less than that mail-order from suppliers in Hong Kong.

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 1/27/13 at 11:37am
post #3521 of 3844
Hello Boys, I'm back.

Seems like some of you are trying to break the record for longest post smile.gif

Here's the deal, I have the original graphics card that came with the VGX-XL301. (Sony branded nVidia?).

If anyone wants it, let me know.


Francis
post #3522 of 3844
Quote:
Be sure to double-check the optical drive interface for your VGX-XL201
Thanks for the warning Robert.
I didnt double-check the actual drive in my 302 before dropping it off, but it should an Matshita UJ-215.
The 201 is fitted with an Matshita UJ-846-B.
These are both IDE drives but the 201 (and 302 from memory) actually use SATA to talk to the drive - there is a little daughter board plugged into the slimline IDE port on back of the drive that accepts a SATA plug and non-standard (of course) power connector.
Well, I suppose it conforms to some kind of standard, but its neither a normal IDE nor SATA drive power connector.
So I guess I could go with either SATA or IDE - not sure of the impact on the Sony eject drivers though...
post #3523 of 3844
I've got 8GB of Ram 4x 2GB Corsair XMS 800Mhz (Paired) to go in my VAIO VGX XL 302 UK. If I do a fresh install of Windows 7 it will show that I can use the full 4GB.
If I use Ebooster on the other 4GB, my PC should work up to 50x faster, having the full 8GB to play with in 32bit mode. I will run a comparison and report back.
I still haven't played with the bios yet. But want too....
post #3524 of 3844
Hello to everyone.

I'm following (silently) this thread for a long time, as I have an XL-201 (default hardware + 2GB RAM) and always wanted "more", because I LOVE this PC!

I just bought a XL-202 in great conditions, seems almost new, with a "spare" XL-202 for free!

The problem of the spare XL is - from saler words - that mainboard has "some kind of electrical problem, and "fry" the graphic card..."
At first, the original GTL-7600 was burnt, then a new ATI card (don't know which one) lasted for some minutes before smoke comes out of the cabinet!

This spare XL turns on, and no error beep is audible. Some brief HD LED flashing... that's all.

So, my question is: could be a motherboard problem? A PSU problem? A PCI-E problem?!? Someone here was in the same situation?

I could test the PSU using the one from the working XL, and place the working GTL-7600 on the spare one - but I'm a bit afraid to fry something which is working now (the PSU and/or the GC) if the problem is in the mainboard...

Any suggestion? I cleaned the cabinet interiors from dust, I detached the battery for few minutes (maybe a longer time is needed if the problems stands in BIOS?)...

I also thought to buy a used, dirty cheap graphic card to see what's going on!
If the problem lies in the PCI-E slot, I'm aware of the existence of quite good PCI (not PCI-E) graphic cards... maybe I could buy one of them, an put it in the unused PCI slot, on top of the capture card - also if this kind of card is not super performant, if it will work I will use this PC only for light applications.

Last solution: do nothing of the former things; just pull out the spare's BD drive, Intel E6400, HDD, and transplant them to my XL-201 - turning it an an XL-202 at the end... then put apart what's remained for spare - or sell some of the parts...

Plus, another question: I read that, apart the microcode error which could be avoided pressing F1 when booting the system, an Intel QX6800 works with the XL; will this CPU works into my XL-201 or XL-202? Or should avoid it, and chose the X6800 instead? I do a lot of avisynth+virtualdub processing, and a faster processor will be so useful!

Any help will be appreciated; thanks in advance!
post #3525 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSebire View Post

I've got 8GB of Ram 4x 2GB Corsair XMS 800Mhz (Paired) to go in my VAIO VGX XL 302 UK. If I do a fresh install of Windows 7 it will show that I can use the full 4GB.
If I use Ebooster on the other 4GB, my PC should work up to 50x faster, having the full 8GB to play with in 32bit mode. I will run a comparison and report back.
I still haven't played with the bios yet. But want too....

Hello Richard.

 

I will be interested in reading your result. I think what you are going to find, however, is that your limitation using 800 MHz DIMMS is 4 GB (even with a 64-bit OS).

 

Intel issued a white-paper about the chip-set used on the VGX-XL3 and VGX-XL301/302 main boards. (I posted the summary, and the link to that white-paper some months back on this thread).

 

The white-paper noted the chip-set memory limitations, using various speed memory DIMMS. While the chip-set will support 8 GB maximum using DDR2-533 MHz (PC2 4200) DIMMS, and 8 GB maximum using DDR2-667 MHz (PC2 5300) DIMMS, it only supports 4GB maximum using DDR2-800 MHz (PC2 6400) DIMMS .

 

It will be interesting to see if your experiment confirms this. 

 

Cheers!

Robert.

 

 

PS. Richard, you may want to also review my post #3499 on this thread, as a cheaper and pure addressable RAM alternative.

 

If you can exchange those four 2 GB 800 MHz DIMMS for a matched set of 2 GB DDR2-667 MHz (PC2 5300) DIMMS, you will be able to realize your desired 8 GB of usable, addressable memory with 32-bit Windows 7 by using the physical address extension kernel patch. But with those 800 MHz DIMMS, that kernel patch won't bypass the main-board chip-set limitation.


Edited by REnninga - 1/28/13 at 9:31pm
post #3526 of 3844
Latest / Last microcode mod. You might see some support in there for E8xxx CPU's etc but I doubt these would ever work, the main reason for this is Q6600 support without the system giving an error/being unstable.



Theres some room left in there so I think the next thing to look at will be the Intel RAID option rom.

Quick question before I pull my system apart to find some info on the BIOS chip (just in case my mod bricks the board), does anyone have some good high res pics of the P5BW-MB motherboard used in the 302 etc?

Thanks
John
post #3527 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwaiv View Post



>>> Quick question before I pull my system apart to find some info on the BIOS chip (just in case my mod bricks the board), does anyone have some good high res pics of the P5BW-MB motherboard used in the 302 etc?

Thanks
John
<<<

Hello John.  I don't have Hi-res photos, but I do have a boxed replacement P5BW-MB motherboard, I will be happy to send you any info from the board I can (printed numbers, codes, stickers, etc) if that will help you?  You can either reply here, or send me a 'PM'.  Check your 'messages' in-box.

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3528 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.laserdisc.ws View Post

Hello to everyone.

I'm following (silently) this thread for a long time, as I have an XL-201 (default hardware + 2GB RAM) and always wanted "more", because I LOVE this PC!

I just bought a XL-202 in great conditions, seems almost new, with a "spare" XL-202 for free!

The problem of the spare XL is - from saler words - that mainboard has "some kind of electrical problem, and "fry" the graphic card..."
At first, the original GTL-7600 was burnt, then a new ATI card (don't know which one) lasted for some minutes before smoke comes out of the cabinet!

This spare XL turns on, and no error beep is audible. Some brief HD LED flashing... that's all.

So, my question is: could be a motherboard problem? A PSU problem? A PCI-E problem?!? Someone here was in the same situation?

I could test the PSU using the one from the working XL, and place the working GTL-7600 on the spare one - but I'm a bit afraid to fry something which is working now (the PSU and/or the GC) if the problem is in the mainboard...

Any suggestion? I cleaned the cabinet interiors from dust, I detached the battery for few minutes (maybe a longer time is needed if the problems stands in BIOS?)...

I also thought to buy a used, dirty cheap graphic card to see what's going on!
If the problem lies in the PCI-E slot, I'm aware of the existence of quite good PCI (not PCI-E) graphic cards... maybe I could buy one of them, an put it in the unused PCI slot, on top of the capture card - also if this kind of card is not super performant, if it will work I will use this PC only for light applications.

Last solution: do nothing of the former things; just pull out the spare's BD drive, Intel E6400, HDD, and transplant them to my XL-201 - turning it an an XL-202 at the end... then put apart what's remained for spare - or sell some of the parts...

To be honest, in 25 years of working with PCs I havn't had anything quite like this happen, but it does sound most likely to be a PCI-e hardware issue - in pulling any PC card in and out of tight slots there is a small risk that one of the contact pins can become detached thru wear, and one of these may have come loose and got jammed causing a physical short circuit. I wouldnt risk putting another card in there unless you were going to throw it out anyway. Have a good look in the slot if you can, to see if there is anything suspicious - with the power cable unplugged of course, its too easy to start poking around without thinking wink.gif
You could try a PCI graphics card - its been a few years since I last used one, but they were quite good at the time and should be fine for anything but demanding 3D stuff - but to be honest you are probably better hanging on to it for spares - personally I find it much more pleasurable working on a PC I have confidence in.
Quote:
Plus, another question: I read that, apart the microcode error which could be avoided pressing F1 when booting the system, an Intel QX6800 works with the XL; will this CPU works into my XL-201 or XL-202? Or should avoid it, and chose the X6800 instead? I do a lot of avisynth+virtualdub processing, and a faster processor will be so useful!

The QX6800 is the same family as the Q6600 which jwaiv is hoping to test soon on a 302 motherboard, the same as the 201 - I'm looking to test a Q6600 on my 201 MB after I get my 302 repaired - so there could be more news on this soon. But the X6800 is a known good performer without any errors apparently, so its a good choice if you can get one for a good price - draws less power than the quad-core chips, and should perform just as well for most apps.
post #3529 of 3844
BoyWombat has asked me which DVB-S2 I have installed and if I would recommend it. For the benefit of anyone else who might be interested, here is my reply...
Quote:
Sure mate,

I have installed a TS8920 PCI DVB-S2 TV Tuner Card

http://www.tbsdtv.com/products/tbs8920-dvb-s2-tv-tuner-pci-card.html

I bought it January last year on amazon for £45.99 delivered

I had a quick look through Amazon but the TBS8920 is no longer for sale through them

http://www.amazon.co.uk/TBS-8920-Satellite-Tuner-Card/dp/B003KCGXE2/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_t_3_T8CJ

Amazon only seem to sell TBS PCI-E cards now frown.gif so you may need to look for another make.

Anyhow my TBS8920 card is working great, ive had it in my machine since Jan 2012 and the reception is great, SD is a better picture than the DVBT card that comes with our XL301 and the HD channels are amazing.
I use the card with WMC (Windows 7) I have not tried any other software. I don't use the remote that came with the card, I just use the xl301 keyboard.

From what I remember, the card was easy enough to install. I think the driver was a little trickier, I remember I needed to download the latest driver from the TBS website and through trial and error I got it working fine within a few hours.
I did have a problem with C4hd (all the other HD channel worked fine) In the end to fix c4HD I have to remove all my previous graphic card drivers and reinstall the latest drivers for my HD5450 graphics card, which wasn't easy due to the XL301 being tricky to update graphic cards. But once completed I have never had any issues since and I well recommend this TV Tuner Card.

BTW I have a ATI HD5450 graphic card installed, not sure how the TBS would work with the original card? Probably not as good, I'd imagine the original card would struggle with HD.

I hope this helps,

Oliver smile.gif

I hope this helps others, btw I live in the UK and pick up all FREESAT channels and more

EDIT: If you cant find a TBS8920 then try the newer TBS8921 or TBS8922 probably very similar, maybe some minor improvements even
Edited by bigoliver - 2/1/13 at 5:43am
post #3530 of 3844
I have recently changed my graphic card in my XL100 from the standard card which failed to a SPARKLE GEFORCE GT610 - picture is now brilliant very sharp & great colour.

The card has a fan but I cant hear it.

The only downside is that most cards now days don't have special connections to the sound output so that the sound only goes down the HDMI cable, I am sure that you can swap it to use the other outputs but not both at the same time.

Simon
post #3531 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by spud72UK View Post

I have recently changed my graphic card in my XL100 from the standard card which failed to a SPARKLE GEFORCE GT610 - picture is now brilliant very sharp & great colour.

The card has a fan but I cant hear it.

The only downside is that most cards now days don't have special connections to the sound output so that the sound only goes down the HDMI cable, I am sure that you can swap it to use the other outputs but not both at the same time.

Simon

 

... So then would you say it now "SPARKLES"?  

 

Welcome, Simon. 

 

You have discovered why sometimes a failed video/graphics card is a GOOD thing? biggrin.gif  A review of the most recent 6 or 7 pages of this Sony VGX-XL3 discussion thread will reveal how far some of us have pushed the envelope with replacement video/graphics cards, for future reference. 

 

What additional upgrades (if any) have you made so far to your XL100 ( such as RAM?  HDD's / SSD's?  Tuners? ...etc. )

 

What OS are you running? 

 

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3532 of 3844
Hi Robert,
It wasn't good at the time mad.gif as I thought that the motherboard had gone as 2 other cards I tried that other people had used didn't work - the machine wouldn't boot but now all is great with a clean W7 build.

The worry thing is that the machine is now on the limits of the requirements for most components, the video card had a min requirement of 300w PSU & 2 GB of RAM - but it works very well.

I am running Windows 7 Pro 32bit, 2gb RAM, Sparkle GT610 Graphics card, 2 K-World PC160-2T tuners ( 4 tuners ), 3,250 tb of storage within the machine with an HP Media Smart Server with another 2tb of storage. I also have 2 Linksys extenders but I am frustrated that they can't play ripped videos.

W7 can be a bit slow sometimes so would like to upgrade RAM but most places say that 2G is the max you can have in an XL100 but for an old machine which I think are still some of the best looking HTPC's available it is running really well & reliable.

I am also thinking about switching to Windows 8, not a great fan of the interface but recent upgraded a desktop which was running Vista has been given a new lease of life - I also like the idea of having all your storage in a single pool rather than 3 separate drives.

All the best
Simon
Edited by spud72UK - 2/2/13 at 11:12pm
post #3533 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by spud72UK View Post

Hi Robert,
It wasn't good at the time mad.gif as I thought that the motherboard had gone as 2 other cards I tried that other people had used didn't work - the machine wouldn't boot but now all is great with a clean W7 build.

The worry thing is that the machine is now on the limits of the requirements for most components, the video card had a min requirement of 300w PSU & 2 GB of RAM - but it works very well.

I am running Windows 7 Pro 32bit, 2gb RAM, Sparkle GT610 Graphics card, 2 K-World PC160-2T tuners ( 4 tuners ), 3,250 tb of storage within the machine with an HP Media Smart Server with another 2tb of storage. I also have 2 Linksys extenders but I am frustrated that they can't play ripped videos.

W7 can be a bit slow sometimes so would like to upgrade RAM but most places say that 2G is the max you can have in an XL100 but for an old machine which I think are still some of the best looking HTPC's available it is running really well & reliable.

I am also thinking about switching to Windows 8, not a great fan of the interface but recent upgraded a desktop which was running Vista has been given a new lease of life - I also like the idea of having all your storage in a single pool rather than 3 separate drives.

All the best
Simon

 

Hi Simon,

 

Your UK spec. VGX-XL100 is nearly identical to the US spec. VGX-XL2 (which is the model I own). The only real difference was the OEM tuner card(s) due to the different UK vs. US broadcast standards. However both of our systems share the same Sony/ASUS TALAS2 motherboard, BIOS and 945P chipset architecture, and came from the factory with the Pentium D 920 2.8GHz dual-core processors (Note: the BIOS and CPU are not presently upgradeable).

 

Your system will accept a maximum 4 GB (4096 MB) "installed" memory (which is approx. 3.325 GB "usable/addressable" memory, with the other approx. .675 GB allocated for background services support). The four memory DIMM slots are in two banks, and the best, most efficient throughput configuration is two, dual-channel kit pairs of 1 GB DIMMS (4x 1 GB) populating all four slots.

 

The motherboard will accept PC2-4200 DDR2 533MHz, or PC2-5300 DDR2 667MHz or PC2-6400 DDR2 800Mhz DIMMS. The best running choice however (based on some bench testing) are: PC2-5300 DDR2 667MHz  • CL=5 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC  • 1.8V  DIMMS

 

You can currently get them from the major name brand memory suppliers such as Crucial, Corsair, Mushkin, G.SKILL, Kingston, PNY, Patriot, etc. for about $15 to $20 (USD) each. 4GB of memory wil give your system applications a noticeable performance boost. If you buy "dual-channel kit" pairs, they currently cost as little as $23 (USD) per pair of 1 GB DIMMS; = $11.50 each. ( Example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178134 )

 

Our 297-watt power supplies are more than adequate for most of the newer video/graphics cards which call for a 400-watt power supply in their specs. In some cases they actually pull less power than did our original Sony/Nvidia cards. I have tested my own system on a "Kill-A-Watt" device, running a Sapphire HD6670 LP DDR5 1GB video/graphics card, and it peaks in the 190 to 205 watts range while playing HD content or Blu-ray, and/or recording TV. (and I'm running a LOT of drives). 

 

The single best performance upgrade you can make for your system (after maxing-out the memory), is to use a SATA2 (SATA II) 3.0GB/s Solid State Drive for your System OS and Applications (with your data on your HDD's).  The price for SSD's has dropped dramatically over the past 6-months. If you go that route, be sure to buy SATA2 (SATA II) 3.0GB/s rather than SATA3 6.0GB/s.  The SATA bus on our motherboards cannot utilize the SATA3 speed, and the performance is degraded for the backward compatibility (in other words, SATA2 runs faster and performs better than SATA3 on our systems.  The 80 GB to 120-128 GB class SSD's are adequate capacity, if you don't also use the SSD for storage. 

 

 

Cheers!

Robert.

 

PS. A 2.5-inch SSD does not need to be installed in the drives rack. Mine rest on top of the optical drive, secured by two small spots of Velcro on diagonally opposite corners (just to keep it from wandering from system device vibrations). The three drive rack bays are occupied by storage HDD's.

 

 

 

 


Edited by REnninga - 2/3/13 at 1:28am
post #3534 of 3844
I have a VGX-XL3 and it's not starting anymore. No power, no lights, no nothing. I suspect the power supply. So, a couple related questions:

1) Are there any other likely candidates for this no power condition based on people's experience with these units?

2) A quick search shows these power supplies to be hard to find and very expensive. Has anyone found reasonable replacements that will fit? Sony proprietary connections?

Thanks in advance for any input.
post #3535 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by esjbh2 View Post

I have a VGX-XL3 and it's not starting anymore. No power, no lights, no nothing. I suspect the power supply. So, a couple related questions:

1) Are there any other likely candidates for this no power condition based on people's experience with these units?

2) A quick search shows these power supplies to be hard to find and very expensive. Has anyone found reasonable replacements that will fit? Sony proprietary connections?

Thanks in advance for any input.

 

Welcome 'esjbh2'

 

It could be as simple as a failed momentary switch on the front panel of the case.

 

The Delta 297-watt power supply is a proprietary 18-pin main motherboard configuration (vs. standard 20+4 or 24-pin ATX, Micro-ATX, Flex-ATX configurations).  Before heading down the road of replacement (most likely that means getting one from Sony or an on-line supplier) let me ask you a few questions, starting with the obvious process of elimination questions (sometimes it's the easy ones that trip us up):.

 

1).   When you have the lid of the case off, and the power cable connected to the Power Supply Unit (PSU) and plugged into a powered outlet, do you see a lighted, green LED on the motherboard near the button-cell battery? If that LED is lighted, you have continuity from the wall outlet through the PSU to the motherboard.

2).   Have you pulled the power cable from the wall outlet and plugged another electrical device into that outlet to verify you do not have a failed wall receptacle?

3).   Do you have your VGX-XL3 plugged into a surge-suppressor or other power strip; and if so have you checked to see if the circuit breaker has tripped on the surge suppressor or that the plug-strip has not failed.

4)   Had you made any alterations, upgrades, modifications just prior to the power issue?

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3536 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSebire View Post

I've got 8GB of Ram 4x 2GB Corsair XMS 800Mhz (Paired) to go in my VAIO VGX XL 302 UK. If I do a fresh install of Windows 7 it will show that I can use the full 4GB.
If I use Ebooster on the other 4GB, my PC should work up to 50x faster, having the full 8GB to play with in 32bit mode. I will run a comparison and report back.
I still haven't played with the bios yet. But want too....

smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifbiggrin.gif

I can confirm that with the 800Mhz Paired Dual Channel XMS. 8GB installed in the VAIO, it really makes a difference.
A 50GB HD Encode would normally takes 10 hours plus, can sometime now get done in under 2.

A Full defregmentation that would normally take a full day, again under two hours. eBooster really does work. It's like Superfetch, it puts everything in to memory.
I have also removed the top support frame to the chasis, which normally sits on the drive and the graphics card to aid ventalation. Had no problems there.
My next issue is that the VGX XL has three fans, I want to replace these, does anybody know there spec's?

smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifbiggrin.gif
post #3537 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSebire View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSebire View Post

I've got 8GB of Ram 4x 2GB Corsair XMS 800Mhz (Paired) to go in my VAIO VGX XL 302 UK. If I do a fresh install of Windows 7 it will show that I can use the full 4GB.
If I use Ebooster on the other 4GB, my PC should work up to 50x faster, having the full 8GB to play with in 32bit mode. I will run a comparison and report back.
I still haven't played with the bios yet. But want too....

smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifbiggrin.gif

I can confirm that with the 800Mhz Paired Dual Channel XMS. 8GB installed in the VAIO, it really makes a difference.
A 50GB HD Encode would normally takes 10 hours plus, can sometime now get done in under 2.

A Full defregmentation that would normally take a full day, again under two hours. eBooster really does work. It's like Superfetch, it puts everything in to memory.
I have also removed the top support frame to the chasis, which normally sits on the drive and the graphics card to aid ventalation. Had no problems there.
My next issue is that the VGX XL has three fans, I want to replace these, does anybody know there spec's?

smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifbiggrin.gif

 

Hello Richard,

 

Are you saying that you are successfully running 8GB of 800MHz "usable" memory (RAM), or that you have 8GB of "installed 800MHz memory (RAM) in your VGX-XL302 system?

 

[Note: I can even get my VGX-XL2 (which is hardware restricted to a maximum of 4GB memory) and  is running unmodified Windows 7 x86 (32-bit) to show 8GB of "installed" memory; but there is still only 3.325GB of "usable" physical memory.]

 

Don't get me wrong, I am VERY MUCH hoping that you are correct, and that you have 8GB of 800MHz "usable" physical memory in your system. It's just that this would conflict with the information that Intel published in their whitepaper about the Intel chip-set support limitations on the "P5BW-MB" motherboard (which states 8GB maximum usable memory support for 533MHz and 667MHz DIMMS; but only 4GB maximum usable memory support for 800MHz DIMMS).

 

Could you double-check for us your performance report, and confirm if you are seeing 8GB of "installed" memory (RAM), or if you are realizing 8GB of "usable" physical memory (RAM)?  

 

Click the start button, and in the" Start Search" box type:    " MSinfo32.exe " (without the quotes) then press the "Enter" key. The System Information window will open and at the lower half of the right-hand side of the window you will see the following values reported : 

 

*  Installed Physical Memory (RAM)

*  Total Physical Memory

*  Available Physical Memory

*  Total Virtual Memory

*  Available Virtual M emory

 

Thanks (I've got my fingers crossed, for good luck).

 

Cheers,

Robert.

 

PS. Richard, are you running Windows 7 64-bit, or are you running Windows 7 x86 (32-bit) with the Physical Address Extensions (PAE) kernel patrch?


Edited by REnninga - 2/4/13 at 9:37pm
post #3538 of 3844
Hi Robert,
thanks for the information, it is good to know I can put more memory in as I had always been advised that 2gb was the max. Just upgraded my desktop PCs memory and now have 2 1gb 6400 DDR2 spare so I know where they will be going ( shame that it currently has 4 512k in it at the moment ) will order some more memory to replace them.

Good to know about the power supply as that did have me worried.

The graphics card problem may have been down to the drivers, they were both AMD cards but as I had no graphic card working it was very hard to see what the problem was or be able to fix it so I had no chance to uninstall anything. In the end the Sparkle one worked although Windows wouldn't boot properly but I could at least see what was going on - it was a real pain and ended up putting on a clean W7 windows build.

thanks again

Simon
post #3539 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by spud72UK View Post

Hi Robert,
thanks for the information, it is good to know I can put more memory in as I had always been advised that 2gb was the max. Just upgraded my desktop PCs memory and now have 2 1gb 6400 DDR2 spare so I know where they will be going ( shame that it currently has 4 512k in it at the moment ) will order some more memory to replace them.

Good to know about the power supply as that did have me worried.

The graphics card problem may have been down to the drivers, they were both AMD cards but as I had no graphic card working it was very hard to see what the problem was or be able to fix it so I had no chance to uninstall anything. In the end the Sparkle one worked although Windows wouldn't boot properly but I could at least see what was going on - it was a real pain and ended up putting on a clean W7 windows build.

thanks again

Simon

 

Hello Simon,  

 

Isn't it great when usable extra memory DIMMS drop into your lap?  Just be sure to verify that they are "Unbuffered" - "NON-ECC" - "1.8V" DIMMS.  

 

As a side-note, it IS possible to use mismatched memory speed DIMMS, if you can't presently have all four DIMMS matched.

 

Disconnect the power cable, then pull all four 512MB DIMMS. Then install the pair of 1GB DIMMS in both memory banks (populating slots XMM1 and XMM3 (the slots are marked on the motherboard) Then connect the power cable and boot the PC to make sure everything runs correctly. Then shut down, disconnect the power cable again and populate slots XMM2 and XMM4 with one of your old pair of 512MB DIMMS.  Most likely they are PC2-4200 533MHz DDR2 DIMMS.

 

Your system clock will step-down the PC2-6400 800MHz DDR2 DIMMS to the slower clock speed of the 512MB pair, but from your perspective you'll still have 3GB of RAM running at DDR2 533MHz, and the clock speed difference for the stepped-down 800MHz DIMMS will be imperceptible to you (you would need to bench test them to see any difference).  

 

Then when your budget allows you can step up to 4GB (4x 1GB). See if you can match the manufacturer and model; or if not be sure to buy a pair with matched specs.

 

Let us know how the pair of 1GB DIMMS work for you, and if you are able to also re-install a pair of your 512MB as well.

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3540 of 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

Welcome 'esjbh2'

It could be as simple as a failed momentary switch on the front panel of the case.

The Delta 297-watt power supply is a proprietary 18-pin main motherboard configuration (vs. standard 20+4 or 24-pin ATX, Micro-ATX, Flex-ATX configurations).  Before heading down the road of replacement (most likely that means getting one from Sony or an on-line supplier) let me ask you a few questions, starting with the obvious process of elimination questions (sometimes it's the easy ones that trip us up):.

1).   When you have the lid of the case off, and the power cable connected to the Power Supply Unit (PSU) and plugged into a powered outlet, do you see a lighted, green LED on the motherboard near the button-cell battery? If that LED is lighted, you have continuity from the wall outlet through the PSU to the motherboard.
2).   Have you pulled the power cable from the wall outlet and plugged another electrical device into that outlet to verify you do not have a failed wall receptacle?
3).   Do you have your VGX-XL3 plugged into a surge-suppressor or other power strip; and if so have you checked to see if the circuit breaker has tripped on the surge suppressor or that the plug-strip has not failed.
4)   Had you made any alterations, upgrades, modifications just prior to the power issue?

Cheers!
Robert.
Thanks for you reply Robert. Here are some answers:

1) No lighted LED. I see the LED you're referring to, but it's not lighting up.
2 & 3) Yes, I've confirmed power to the PSU using various reality checks.
4) No recent alterations, upgrades, or mods.

I looked around inside the case hoping to see a fuse to replace or similar, but saw nothing. So I assume there's nothing simple like a fuse or circuit breaker on this unit?

Additional information which may or may not be related???....For the last month or so, I had been getting a checksum error on restarts. It would keep auto restarts from being successful, but it would always start when I hit the F key to continue at the prompt, so it was seemingly just an annoyance. Some online research suggested either replacing the button-cell battery or flashing the BIOS could address issue. I was going to take action on this but found that the unit was powered off & DOA and here I am.

-Jack
Edited by esjbh2 - 2/4/13 at 10:25pm
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