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HP Pavilion Slimline s3330f, is it a good prebuilt htpc? - Page 6

post #151 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsdon View Post

Nope, tried it tonight with PowerDVD Ultra 7.3 ...

Did you pay for a full commercial version PowerDVD Ultra 7.3? I went to Cyberlink and downloaded this upgrade for existing users, and received an error when I tried to install. I'm guessing the OEM version we get with the S3330f can't be upgradeable unless you outright buy the commercial version?
post #152 of 336
I have the S3330t instead of the S3330f but I did want to mention for those who don't know the 8500GT won't fully pass the Film Resolution section of the HQV benchmarks. You definitely get some strobing. I don't think it a big deal but I would be interested in hearing of any successful video upgrades to one of these slimlines with an inexpensive card with better deinterlacing.
post #153 of 336
I am using the HP OEM version of "DVD Play BD/HD-DVD" and it pretty much plays back from the optical drive perfectly. I'd like to be able to also play back DVDs backed up to the internal hard drive. Unfortunately, when I click the little "Select Source" icon in the "DVD Play" control panel the only choice it gives me is the Optical Drive.

Is there a way around this? Am I missing something obvious? Is there some setting in the registry or .ini file that will allow for selection from the "C:" drive? Thanks.
post #154 of 336
I've found the s3330f for 925 at circuit city. Is this the best price going right now? Has anybody found it for any less in the last few days? I was planning on waiting a month or 2. What is the best way to find the best deal, other than googling it everyday?
post #155 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC View Post

I'd like to be able to also play back DVDs backed up to the internal hard drive. Unfortunately, when I click the little "Select Source" icon in the "DVD Play" control panel the only choice it gives me is the Optical Drive.

Is there a way around this? Am I missing something obvious? Is there some setting in the registry or .ini file that will allow for selection from the "C:" drive? Thanks.

I suppose it depends upon how you've backed it up to the hard drive. There are a lot of options, but if you've actually backed it up to constituent files (.vob, VIDEO_TS, etc.) you should be able to double-click on the file from the menu, windows explorer, even Media Center.

Kensington
post #156 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by KensingtonPark View Post

I suppose it depends upon how you've backed it up to the hard drive. There are a lot of options, but if you've actually backed it up to constituent files (.vob, VIDEO_TS, etc.) you should be able to double-click on the file from the menu, windows explorer, even Media Center.

Kensington

Thanks for the reply.

They are in VIDEO_TS ripped with DVDShrink. They play fine from Media Center. I happen to use MyMovies. The problem is I'd like to play them in HPs DVD Play BD/HD-DVD as I think the picture quality is better. Brining up HPs DVD Play doesn't seem to have an option to access the C: drive. It just seems crazy there is an option for that within HPs DVD Play so I figure I must be missing something obvious.
post #157 of 336
I have not seen this mentioned so I thought I'd share. Since the HP s3330f came with a Blu-Ray/HD DVD drive, I was curious if this PC would be able to play AVCHD video. I had read where the Sony PS3 can play back in HD, raw AVCHD video that was copied over to a regular DVD. Using the HD Writer application that came with a Panasonic HDC-SD5 HD camcorder, I copied some unedited AVCHD video on to a regular DVD-R and loaded it to the s3330f BR/HD DVD drive. After a few seconds, the included OEM BD/HD player started up and I was pleasantly surprised to see it play back the AVCHD video in HD. I'm not sure how to do this yet but if I can then edit the video clips, keep it in the AVCHD format and get it to play back in HD with this PC, that would be just perfect.
post #158 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC View Post

They are in VIDEO_TS ripped with DVDShrink. They play fine from Media Center. I happen to use MyMovies. The problem is I'd like to play them in HPs DVD Play BD/HD-DVD as I think the picture quality is better. Brining up HPs DVD Play doesn't seem to have an option to access the C: drive. It just seems crazy there is an option for that within HPs DVD Play so I figure I must be missing something obvious.

When I play the files from "inside" Media Center, HP DVD Play is the application that actually plays the files. What's the application that plays the files in your case? Windows Media Player?
post #159 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by KensingtonPark View Post

When I play the files from "inside" Media Center, HP DVD Play is the application that actually plays the files. What's the application that plays the files in your case? Windows Media Player?

I believe Media Center is using Media Player to play the files. The interface is different than what comes up with HP DVD Play.

Forgetting Media Center for a minute, if you just bring up HP DVD Play is there a way to select a source to play from on your PC? When I click the little "Select Source" icon within HP DVD Play I only get the option of selecting the E: (optical) drive, not the HDD.
post #160 of 336
FYI... Last night the HP Update program popped up and asked if I want to check HP for any new updates on my PC... it came back and had three updates:

- Basic security update
- Updated a new driver for the BD/HD DVD Player
- Complete update of the OEM BD/HD DVD program (85 mB download).
post #161 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkhobbit View Post

FYI... Last night the HP Update program popped up and asked if I want to check HP for any new updates on my PC... it came back and had three updates:

- Basic security update
- Updated a new driver for the BD/HD DVD Player
- Complete update of the OEM BD/HD DVD program (85 mB download).

With those last two updates, is there any noticeable change in playback, or options for playback?

Thanks.
post #162 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varnadoe View Post

I've found the s3330f for 925 at circuit city. Is this the best price going right now? Has anybody found it for any less in the last few days? I was planning on waiting a month or 2. What is the best way to find the best deal, other than googling it everyday?

Varnadoe - If you're anywhere near a Fry's store, the s3330f was on sale last week and looks like into this week for 799. No need to wait a month or 2.
post #163 of 336
Quote:


Varnadoe - If you're anywhere near a Fry's store, the s3330f was on sale last week and looks like into this week for 799. No need to wait a month or 2.

There isn't one. I hadn't even heard of Fry's before I saw a reference to it on this thread. Their website is listing it for 950, so I guess I am out of luck on that one.
post #164 of 336
It's advertised in-store again today through Tuesday for $799. Send an e-mail to Frys.com to see if they'll price match their BM stores - can't hurt!
post #165 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herve View Post

With those last two updates, is there any noticeable change in playback, or options for playback?

Thanks.

Sorry, but I don't have this PC installed in my Media Room yet to check out Blu-Ray performance before or after the upgrade... been programming it with Cinemar Media management software to control the media room via a touchscreen monitor.
post #166 of 336
Hi, I just bought an s3330f but I am unable to get it to "see" my tv. I have a Sony KV-34XBR800. The nvidia control panel will not recognize that the tv is connected when either the DVI or HDMI ports are used, only the s-video. I know the DVI port on the tv and the cable are good as I normally use them attached to my DVD player. Another option is to use a component connection, but the s3330f doesn't seem to have one. So, will a DVI to component conversion cable work with this system? Does anybody have advice regarding getting my tv to be recognized when connected to the DVI port? I have loaded the most recent nvidia drivers. HP didn't know why this was happening. Thanks.
post #167 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgarner View Post

Hi, I just bought an s3330f but I am unable to get it to "see" my tv. I have a Sony KV-34XBR800. The nvidia control panel will not recognize that the tv is connected when either the DVI or HDMI ports are used, only the s-video. I know the DVI port on the tv and the cable are good as I normally use them attached to my DVD player. Another option is to use a component connection, but the s3330f doesn't seem to have one. So, will a DVI to component conversion cable work with this system? Does anybody have advice regarding getting my tv to be recognized when connected to the DVI port? I have loaded the most recent nvidia drivers. HP didn't know why this was happening. Thanks.

Please read post #94 on this thread. That is how I got the slimline to connect to my TV by HDMI.
post #168 of 336
Just me with my problems again.

I have to go through the following steps to watch a BluRay on my plasma:

1. Switch my HDMI switch to my plasma (only one HDMI port) to PC
2. Go to Control Panel - Sound and show disabled devices.
Enable HDMI and disable PC speakers
3. Go to Realtek HD Audio and select HD Audio
4. Go to nVidia Control Panel and configure the Plasma (Panasonic) as either a dual device or sole console.
5. Select HD DVD player and then I can watch.

However, when finished and after I've changed everything to go back to PC using my VGA monitor, I can no longer get the nVidia to recognize my plasma the next time I go through the above process. The only way is to reboot the PC and then nVidia finds the plasma and I can watch HD DVDs.

Is there an easier way? I'm not familiar with HP Media player, so would that be an easier path?

Thanks,

Rich N.
post #169 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkslim View Post

Please read post #94 on this thread. That is how I got the slimline to connect to my TV by HDMI.

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried the steps you used in post #94 but in my case I got stuck on the one to chose to clone the display. I never got that option. Nvidia just doesn't realize I've connected the tv no matter what I try using the latest drivers. I spent a lot of time trying different combinations and got the tv to display once but not that well. Here's what I did...

1. Restore nvidia drivers that came with the machine.
2. Connect pc monitor to dvi port using vga converter
3. Connect tv to hdmi port using hdmi->dvi converter on tv side
4. Turn on tv, then boot computer, login, turn tv off/on
5. Start nvidia control panel, choose multiple displays running seperately
6. Set tv (digital monitor now) resolution to 480p (only resolution available) under tv modes

This allows me to see an extension of my desktop on the tv. I tried making the tv the primary display but nvidia wouldn't let this happen, after blanking the displays briefly the pc monitor would return but the tv goes blank and I have to start the process over again to get it to display. If I restart the system all settings are lost and I have to go through all this again. I tried running media center on the tv, I was able to see the menus but all video display was black.

Conclusion... The problem is not with the pc, probably not even the video card. I believe it's my tv not responding to a software request from the video card to either identify itself or its capablities. Too bad the nvidia drivers don't allow manual override and just output signals of our choosing. Lesson learned: Just because an hdtv has dvi input and works perfectly with a dvd player or atsc hd tuner doesn't mean it will work with a computer.

Sadly I may have to return this nice little computer unless there's some way to get this to work on my tv since that was the main reason I bought it. Does anybody know if the s3330f can be connected to the component input on the tv? This is how I got my old computer with an nvidia xfx 7600gt and a special component dongle to connect with this tv.
post #170 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgarner View Post

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried the steps you used in post #94 but in my case I got stuck on the one to chose to clone the display. I never got that option. Nvidia just doesn't realize I've connected the tv no matter what I try using the latest drivers. I spent a lot of time trying different combinations and got the tv to display once but not that well. Here's what I did...

1. Restore nvidia drivers that came with the machine.
2. Connect pc monitor to dvi port using vga converter
3. Connect tv to hdmi port using hdmi->dvi converter on tv side
4. Turn on tv, then boot computer, login, turn tv off/on
5. Start nvidia control panel, choose multiple displays running seperately
6. Set tv (digital monitor now) resolution to 480p (only resolution available) under tv modes

This allows me to see an extension of my desktop on the tv. I tried making the tv the primary display but nvidia wouldn't let this happen, after blanking the displays briefly the pc monitor would return but the tv goes blank and I have to start the process over again to get it to display. If I restart the system all settings are lost and I have to go through all this again. I tried running media center on the tv, I was able to see the menus but all video display was black.

Conclusion... The problem is not with the pc, probably not even the video card. I believe it's my tv not responding to a software request from the video card to either identify itself or its capablities. Too bad the nvidia drivers don't allow manual override and just output signals of our choosing. Lesson learned: Just because an hdtv has dvi input and works perfectly with a dvd player or atsc hd tuner doesn't mean it will work with a computer.

Sadly I may have to return this nice little computer unless there's some way to get this to work on my tv since that was the main reason I bought it. Does anybody know if the s3330f can be connected to the component input on the tv? This is how I got my old computer with an nvidia xfx 7600gt and a special component dongle to connect with this tv.

I think this is an HDCP issue. The fact that the card will output only 480p to the TV I think reinforces this theory.

Does your dvd player output 1080i to the TV via dvi, or 480p? Does your hd tuner have HDCP enabled?

Have you tried connecting the card to the TV via the supplied DVI-VGA converter? If you haven't, that's the easiest thing to try first.

If necessary, there are devices availible that convert DVI to component or VGA. A simple cable alone will not do the job.

Here's a link to an HDCP-compatible, DVI-to-VGA converter that I use to get our Starchoice dvi output to our CRT front projector (part of the chain, anyway):
http://www.hdfury.com/
In your case, you would connect the HDFury directly to your Sony TV's VGA input, then the DVI cable to the HDFury's input. It will make the TV look to the computer like a more modern, HDCP-compatible TV.

Good luck.
post #171 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by raidbuck View Post

Just me with my problems again.

I have to go through the following steps to watch a BluRay on my plasma:

1. Switch my HDMI switch to my plasma (only one HDMI port) to PC
2. Go to Control Panel - Sound and show disabled devices.
Enable HDMI and disable PC speakers
3. Go to Realtek HD Audio and select HD Audio
4. Go to nVidia Control Panel and configure the Plasma (Panasonic) as either a dual device or sole console.
5. Select HD DVD player and then I can watch.

However, when finished and after I've changed everything to go back to PC using my VGA monitor, I can no longer get the nVidia to recognize my plasma the next time I go through the above process. The only way is to reboot the PC and then nVidia finds the plasma and I can watch HD DVDs.

Is there an easier way? I'm not familiar with HP Media player, so would that be an easier path?

Thanks,

Rich N.

Rich, is there a single resolution that is compatible to both of your displays - say 1280x720 @ 60? If so, here's a suggestion that just may work.

Set up multiple dislplays using that common, compatible resolution in "clone" mode. Then set the plasma as the leftmost of the two displays in the drop-down list of two-display combinations. Then, whenever you go from using one display to using the other, in the drop-down combinations, select the one you are going to use next as the leftmost of the two displays.

The important thing is that whenever you leave either display to use the other, before leaving the current display, reset the resolution to one that is compatible with both displays.

Of course the ideal thing is to have two monitors either the same model, or at least both capable of the same resolutions. I'm not in that situation, so when I want to have a clone display set-up, I have to change resolutions and display hierarchy. Whenever we want to watch movies on our RS1 at 1080p 24, I have to first make the projector the leftmost display, then select single display mode, then change the resolution to 1080p 24. No way can I do that while in multiple-display, clone mode. The Nvidia control panel will not allow it. But I can make the changes in just a few seconds now, though, so I don't mind doing the manipulations.
post #172 of 336
I ultimately chose to move my S3300t to a large LCD PC monitor as I could never get the 8500GT at1080P 60hz to sync to my 65" HP DLP. I could get it to sync at 30 and 50 but never at 60. It syncs fine to the Hanns-G 28" LCD at 1920x1080P so in the end it all is fine. I bought the S3330t in the first place because the HTPC I had driving the HP DLP would not sync to HP DLP at all once I installed an HD3650 in it. Fortunately with ATI CC 8.3, the HD3650 is syncing fine to the big HP DLP.

It has been musical HTPCs around here but now I am looking for ATI graphics solution that will fit into the S3330t because the 8500GT will not pass the Film Resolution test on the HQV benchmark HD DVD. Tiger Direct has a refurbed Gateway Quad 6600 with an 8500GT and other goodies for $599, wow that is an attractive PC for the money. It may not be a slimline but with the LC combo drive available around $200 a powerfull HTPC can be put together today for one heck of a price.
post #173 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herve View Post

I think this is an HDCP issue. The fact that the card will output only 480p to the TV I think reinforces this theory.

Does your dvd player output 1080i to the TV via dvi, or 480p? Does your hd tuner have HDCP enabled?

Have you tried connecting the card to the TV via the supplied DVI-VGA converter? If you haven't, that's the easiest thing to try first.

If necessary, there are devices availible that convert DVI to component or VGA. A simple cable alone will not do the job.

Here's a link to an HDCP-compatible, DVI-to-VGA converter that I use to get our Starchoice dvi output to our CRT front projector (part of the chain, anyway):

In your case, you would connect the HDFury directly to your Sony TV's VGA input, then the DVI cable to the HDFury's input. It will make the TV look to the computer like a more modern, HDCP-compatible TV.

Good luck.


Thanks for your reply and suggestions. I also thought about the HDCP issue but wasn't sure how to confirm it.

To answer your questions... Yes I was able to connect the tvi throught the DVI port to my dvd player at 1080i successfully, and the hd tuner set to 1080i as well.

The Sony documentation for the DVI port on the tv specifies that it "Can accomodate a copy protected digital connection to devices that have compatible interfaces. The HDTV input terminal is compliant with the EIA-861 standard" and here's the interesting part "not intended for use with personal computers." Guess it pays to read the fine print! Upon reading about DVI in wikipedia I wonder if the tv doesn't support the Display Data Channel (DDC) or the Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) protocols which would let the nvidia card know what capabilities the monitor has to prevent sending damaging signals.

Regarding the use of VGA, the tv doesn't have a VGA input - thanks for the suggestion about the hdfury product though.

In researching this topic I came across a product called powerstrip. Is it possible to use this to force the video card to output a specific signal regardless of lack of communication with the tv (assuming copy protection is not the issue)?
post #174 of 336
Thanks, Herve, I think I can set up my PC Monitor for 1024x768 to match the Plasma (720p). I'll see if that helps.

Rich N.
post #175 of 336
I was hoping to connect my 3330f to two panasonic plasma televisions (one uses HDMI inputs, the other component)

a couple of questions:

1.) Can you connect this PC to a display via component outputs ?
2.) Can you play Blue-ray ir HD-DVDs at full resolution via component ?
3.) Can both the component and HDMI outputs be used simultaneously ?
4.) Dual outputs, while watching HD media ?

Thanks,

S
post #176 of 336
Oh man, I was excited reading the first few pages about this PC, but then found out it cannot output True HD! Oh well, I'll find something else.

Thanks,
post #177 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by southy1978 View Post

I was hoping to connect my 3330f to two panasonic plasma televisions (one uses HDMI inputs, the other component)

a couple of questions:

1.) Can you connect this PC to a display via component outputs ?
2.) Can you play Blue-ray ir HD-DVDs at full resolution via component ?
3.) Can both the component and HDMI outputs be used simultaneously ?
4.) Dual outputs, while watching HD media ?

Thanks,

S

The plasma with component-only input will be a problem, but one that can be solved with a suitable application of (surprise!) money.

To answer your questions:

1. There is no component out from the s3330f.
2. Not without something like this:
http://www.curtpalme.com/TC1500.shtm
and either this:
http://www.curtpalme.com/HDFury.shtm
or you can install this software -
http://www.slysoft.com/en/anydvdhd.html
-and you will then be able to get full-resolution from the DVI output, plus the included DVI\\VGA adapter, plus the vga-to-component transcoder, to your non-HDCP-compliant, component-input-only TV.
3. After the above additions, yes, but with some limitations.
4. If you mean watching the same HD movie on both displays, after the above additions, in "clone" mode, if both displays are receiving the same resolution (for example, 1280x720 @ 60 Hz), yes.
post #178 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsdon View Post

Nope, tried it tonight with PowerDVD Ultra 7.3, HDMI 1.3 cable and an Onkyo 605. No TrueHD at all, it simply dumbs it down to the worst possible sound - 2 channel PCM. I have updated everything I can think of and simply can not find a way for this thing to output decent sound, it just shouldn't be this hard!

The exact same is true ove SPDIF, I plugged in my Digital Coax cable and got the exact same experience as HDMI.

Perhaps a call to HP is in order. I believe the problem lies with the ALC888s HD Audio Chipset. When I look at the "Supported Formats" my only options are DTS, Dolby Digital, Microsoft Pro Audio WMA. If this card is supporting 7.1, and everything I've read about it says it does, then where are the 7.1 formats it supports?

BTW when it does play Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 it compresses it down to 640kbs, why? HDMI certainly has the capacity, I've bitstreamed TrueHD to my Onkyo from my Toshiba XA2. Seeing TreuHD light up on the display is pretty awesome

I think you're on the right track. My guess as to why the 8500GT is not bitstreaming the HD audio data is that the associated audio chipset is not HDMI-1.3 compliant which would be required among the other aforementioned software and hardware requirements.
post #179 of 336
I've been tracking this thread with great interest, as I have a s3300t on order with HP (though I plan to use it mainly for office productivity purposes, not as a HTPC). I do have a question for those who have routed audio via hdmi through a hdmi-equipped AV receiver. Is it possible to transcode common computer codecs such as WMA, mp3, and AAC to PCM for output via hdmi? I ask because I'd like to route audio commonly encountered on the web through an AV receiver and based on my research so far, no receiver can decode the pc audio types via hdmi input. Some mid-upper level models can decode pc audio types, but only via streaming to an ethernet jack or usb port. I can live with lowly stereo PCM (as practically all hdmi equipped receivers can process it), but if this transcoding is not possible, how else can I use hdmi for video and still get PC audio to the receiver?

Thanks.

Eric
post #180 of 336
I'm definitely interested in using a PC like this as a HTPC, but based on member comments I may hold off just a bit until streaming of the HD audio formats is fully supported. If the current audio chipset doesn't support hdmi v1.3 (not to mention software support included with the computer), I'm thinking the thing to do is to wait for the next major version of the Pavillion slimline series. Perhaps this version will provide the audio support we're looking for.

I think I'll make this suggestion to HP. It can't hurt...

Eric
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