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HP Pavilion Slimline s3330f, is it a good prebuilt htpc? - Page 9

post #241 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloot310 View Post

Herve..I just powered up the machine w/o the DVI hooked up, waited 5 minutes and nothing. Once Vista tries to load, the computer basically goes idle and stops scanning the hard drive. I guess theres not much I can do except contact Nvdida for an explanation.

As far as the BDVD, when I put the disc in, no program automatically starts even though I have set the autostart for BDVD to HP DVD Play. Once I manually start HP DVD Play, "Loading...." appears and then "Insert BD / HD / DVD or Press Play Button" appears. Pressing play does nothing. After about a minute, "Can not read format" will appear. (ARRRRRRRRRG)

When clicking on the pop-up disc icon, "DVD RW (E" (not smiling) will appear. Clicking on that does nothing.

Normal DVDs work fine on the HP DVD Play.

Do you have any idea why it tells me my system does not meet the minimum requirements when I try to download these driver updates meant for this machine? Could this be the problem? The driver update for the DVD Play says rthe minimum reqs are to be logged on as an admin. and be running vista and I am both, and I still get this message.

Thanks

When you click on the HP DVD Play pop up and get the "DVD RW" message, does the name of the BD movie appear on the same line (as it must with an sd disk)? If it does not appear, what is the name of the BD movie you are trying to play? Is it a so-called BD+ disk?

Have you tried a HD-DVD disk in the machine and, if so, does it play? If you haven't tried an HD-DVD disk yet, I think you should - just to see if it plays. If it does, then try a different, perhaps older BD and see if it plays. Try Apocalypto, if you can. My machine played it on Day 1 after initial set-up without any software updates, so yours should, too.

Another possibility. I can't help but speculate that your problems are some kind of HDCP issue that was brought about by originally booting up from the "inaccessible" vga port. Maybe doing that is a big no-no and our great friend Vista raised some kind of red flag with respect to HDM playback and maybe even HDM software updating. Did you mention to HP that you used that unauthorized vga port on original boot-up?

Ask HP if, using system restore, you can possibly go back to the original disk image file and start again from Square 1 - this time with your montior connected to the vga/dvi adapter. It might just be that this is not possible, but with the problems you describe, I think it would be worth the effort to start over afresh.

The bios on this machine is already set to allow boot-up from the ROM, so if you cannot go back to square one as suggested above, ask HP to send you a new operating system/program files on disks. Then you can, if necessary, reformat the hard drive and re-load the OS and other programs from those disks.

Good luck.
post #242 of 336
The three HP agents I have spoke with sounded like normal people who just read a training pamphlet on repairing HP computers. They knew nothing and could not get someone who did.

I'll try the HD DVD idea. Do I really need to ask HP if I should run system restore or should I just try it if the HD DVD does not work? Thanks
post #243 of 336
Even if it does play an HD-DVD, and it even plays an older BD, the failure of the computer to download and install updates will require further attention. But first see how it goes with an HD-DVD.

Good luck.
post #244 of 336
I couldnt find a HDDVD so I picked up Terminator, which is one of the oldest Blu-Rays. It didn't work. I'm writing the restore discs and will start over again.

I'll be sure to have the DVI hooked up when I boot the machine.
post #245 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herve View Post

Even if it does play an HD-DVD, and it even plays an older BD, the failure of the computer to download and install updates will require further attention. But first see how it goes with an HD-DVD.

Good luck.

I spent 7 hours tonight working on this and it seems beyond my control. I did a full system recovery from disc with Factory Image Recovery. The problem with the HDMI not booting is exactly the same even though I booted the machine for the first time with ONLY the DVI.

The blu-ray problem has gotten worse. I did manage to get the driver update here and now HP DVD Play crashes everytime I try to play a Blu Ray - just freezes and I have to task manager to close it. The drive will not read either of my Blu's at all (T2 and Casino Royale).

Is it safe to say I have a severely defective machine?

Should I take it to get serviced or get my money back?

Is it still worth trying a HDDVD?
post #246 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloot310 View Post

I spent 7 hours tonight working on this and it seems beyond my control. I did a full system recovery from disc with Factory Image Recovery. The problem with the HDMI not booting is exactly the same even though I booted the machine for the first time with ONLY the DVI.

The blu-ray problem has gotten worse. I did manage to get the driver update here and now HP DVD Play crashes everytime I try to play a Blu Ray - just freezes and I have to task manager to close it. The drive will not read either of my Blu's at all (T2 and Casino Royale).

Is it safe to say I have a severely defective machine?

Should I take it to get serviced or get my money back?

Is it still worth trying a HDDVD?

Sorry about your trouble. My installation was a glitch-free dream compared to your nightmare.

It's impossible to tell if you have a hardware or software problem and HP has been unable to help you fix the thing, so, if I were you, I'd return it for a refund, if that is still possible.

(A friend of mine bought a 3330f a couple of weeks ago, but he has not tried it for HDM playback yet. As a result of hearing your experience, I will advise him to do that sooner rather than later.)

Whatever you decide, good luck to you.
post #247 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herve View Post

Sorry about your trouble. My installation was a glitch-free dream compared to your nightmare.

It's impossible to tell if you have a hardware or software problem and HP has been unable to help you fix the thing, so, if I were you, I'd return it for a refund, if that is still possible.

(A friend of mine bought a 3330f a couple of weeks ago, but he has not tried it for HDM playback yet. As a result of hearing your experience, I will advise him to do that sooner rather than later.)

Whatever you decide, good luck to you.

I ordered from a web site called electronic extreme via secure2u.....random web site I had never heard of. Bad idea. I've contacted them twice over the past week regarding the problems I have had and they won't get back to me.

HP agreed to take the machine. Hopefully their technicians have a clue. I'll update this for future reference once I get more info.
post #248 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloot310 View Post

I ordered from a web site called electronic extreme via secure2u.....random web site I had never heard of. Bad idea. I've contacted them twice over the past week regarding the problems I have had and they won't get back to me.

HP agreed to take the machine. Hopefully their technicians have a clue. I'll update this for future reference once I get more info.

You must be having a unit-specific problem because I was able to play 2 BD DVDs with beautiful results without doing anything except clicking on the HD-DVD shortcut. Of course, I can't seem to get the main menu to watch the special features.

Is there something I need to do to get the top menu and see the special features?

Thanks,

Rich N.
post #249 of 336
I only watch the movie and never those special features, but I think once HP DVD Play is in full-screen mode, try hitting the "DVD menu" button on the remote. I think two options appear for title and root menu. Selecting one or the other should get you to the special features, but, again, I'm not positive on this. Hopefully, other users will chime in with some advice.

(Also, use the direction and "enter" buttons on the remote to change selections within menus.)
post #250 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herve View Post

I only watch the movie and never those special features, but I think once HP DVD Play is in full-screen mode, try hitting the "DVD menu" button on the remote. I think two options appear for title and root menu. Selecting one or the other should get you to the special features, but, again, I'm not positive on this. Hopefully, other users will chime in with some advice.

(Also, use the direction and "enter" buttons on the remote to change selections within menus.)

Thanks, I'll try that. I'm not in media center and I thought the remote was for that.

Rich N.
post #251 of 336
i have an s3330 as well but did not get it with the tv tuner. In retrospect i would really have liked to be able to control it with my harmony one remote. I have the msi 256mb video card with hdmi and it blocks my pci port so i cant get an internal tv tuner. Can anyone recommend a good usb tv tuner? If i go the usb tuner route, will i be able to turn off my computer that way and have full control using my remote?
post #252 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsteady06 View Post

i have an s3330 as well but did not get it with the tv tuner. In retrospect i would really have liked to be able to control it with my harmony one remote. I have the msi 256mb video card with hdmi and it blocks my pci port so i cant get an internal tv tuner. Can anyone recommend a good usb tv tuner? If i go the usb tuner route, will i be able to turn off my computer that way and have full control using my remote?

If you get the remote and IR receiver it's Media Center that will listen for your suspend and shut down commands. You'll still probably want a wireless mouse and keyboard too though - just in case you need to fill out info online, or minimize the MCE interface. The USB tuner will just give you the MyTV PVR experience.

SF
post #253 of 336
Thanks a lot for the input, do you recommend one product over another as far as both tv tuners and ir receivers go?

Also, I use synergy, which allows me to use my laptop as a wireless keyboard and mouse. It is a great FREE program and easy to set up, i highly recommend it if you have a laptop sitting around.
post #254 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsteady06 View Post

Thanks a lot for the input, do you recommend one product over another as far as both tv tuners and ir receivers go?

Also, I use synergy, which allows me to use my laptop as a wireless keyboard and mouse. It is a great FREE program and easy to set up, i highly recommend it if you have a laptop sitting around.

I received my remote bundled with a new HP Z555 DEC, but I'm sure you can find a remote/receiver bundle on eBay, or via NewEgg.

Do you have a URL for synergy? Sounds very promising!

JR
post #255 of 336
As this thread seems to bounce around a bit for all the HP slimline models.

Just posting this as a heads up.

Referb slimlines are showing up on ubid.com.
The Models are s3200t, s3200z, and s3300z (you need to search by the model #, and not for slimline).

They have been going for under $200 to a little over $300.
(someone posted in a different forum about getting a s3200t with the HD/BD combo drive and 8500gt hdmi video card for a little over $300)

I was able to pick up a s3300z w/ an AMD x2 BE-2300, 2gb ram, 500gb HD for under $200. Now I'm just waiting for the low profile bracket for the MSI NX8500GT-MTD256EH video card I got from newegg, to arrive.

Seems like a great way to pick one of these up to use as an HTPC, and keep the price down for it.
post #256 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly'n Brian View Post

As this thread seems to bounce around a bit for all the HP slimline models.

Just posting this as a heads up.

Referb slimlines are showing up on ubid.com.
The Models are s3200t, s3200z, and s3300z (you need to search by the model #, and not for slimline).

They have been going for under $200 to a little over $300.
(someone posted in a different forum about getting a s3200t with the HD/BD combo drive and 8500gt hdmi video card for a little over $300)

I was able to pick up a s3300z w/ an AMD x2 BE-2300, 2gb ram, 500gb HD for under $200. Now I'm just waiting for the low profile bracket for the MSI NX8500GT-MTD256EH video card I got from newegg, to arrive.

Seems like a great way to pick one of these up to use as an HTPC, and keep the price down for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandflea View Post

I received my remote bundled with a new HP Z555 DEC, but I'm sure you can find a remote/receiver bundle on eBay, or via NewEgg.

Do you have a URL for synergy? Sounds very promising!

JR

Looks sketchy but i guarantee its not...
http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...ease_id=406637
post #257 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloot310 View Post

Herve..I just powered up the machine w/o the DVI hooked up, waited 5 minutes and nothing. Once Vista tries to load, the computer basically goes idle and stops scanning the hard drive. I guess theres not much I can do except contact Nvdida for an explanation.

As far as the BDVD, when I put the disc in, no program automatically starts even though I have set the autostart for BDVD to HP DVD Play. Once I manually start HP DVD Play, "Loading...." appears and then "Insert BD / HD / DVD or Press Play Button" appears. Pressing play does nothing. After about a minute, "Can not read format" will appear. (ARRRRRRRRRG)

When clicking on the pop-up disc icon, "DVD RW (E" (not smiling) will appear. Clicking on that does nothing.

Normal DVDs work fine on the HP DVD Play.

Do you have any idea why it tells me my system does not meet the minimum requirements when I try to download these driver updates meant for this machine? Could this be the problem? The driver update for the DVD Play says rthe minimum reqs are to be logged on as an admin. and be running vista and I am both, and I still get this message.

Thanks

I had the same issues as you do as you described in your post. Herve's solution in post #208 worked for me. If you have multi displays setup, you must go to a single display setup with the HDMI connection. The setup might take some time but be patient. After following Herve's post #208, I can play Blu-ray movies. Thank you Herve for being such a great help!
post #258 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkslim View Post

I had the same issues as you do as you described in your post. Herve's solution in post #208 worked for me. If you have multi displays setup, you must go to a single display setup with the HDMI connection. The setup might take some time but be patient. After following Herve's post #208, I can play Blu-ray movies. Thank you Herve for being such a great help!

Yeah I tried that.

The NVidia recognized my TV as a a "Sony - XD", which it is not. This is the problem.

The box is away at HP right now. I printed up a very thorough explanation of the problems, so they better be able to fix it the first time.

I'll update this later.
post #259 of 336
I just got my low profile bracket kit for my msi nx8500gt today and it doesnt fit! The SATA plugs at the bottom of my motherboard seem to restrict it. My first inclination was to get a longer cable, for those of you that have the msi 8500 gt with the heat sink, how did you get it to fit!, i dont want to force anything!
post #260 of 336
I just got my box back from HP and they fixed the BDDVD drive but the machine still wont boot on the HDTV unless the DVI monitor is also plugged in. I guess the NVidia is not compatible with my TV on boot.
post #261 of 336
Can you play Bluray disks now - the ones that would not play before you sent it to HP?
post #262 of 336
Yeah, they work.

They never told me what was wrong- I assume it was a hardware problem.

ALSO.........this makes me feel alot better. Every indication I got (receipts, original transaction) said I payed a total of $979 for the machine. I just got my credit card statement and they charged me only $315. I tried to verify that I was getting a NEW machine, and they told me I was. Who knows, as long as it works.

I still wish I could get the thing to boot with only the HDTV hooked up.
post #263 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloot310 View Post

Yeah I tried that.

The NVidia recognized my TV as a a "Sony - XD", which it is not. This is the problem.

The box is away at HP right now. I printed up a very thorough explanation of the problems, so they better be able to fix it the first time.

I'll update this later.


I just had to send my s3200t back to HP due to a bad motherboard. I got a BIOS BAD CHECKSUM message at boot, and then it would just sit there. Couldn't boot to a bootable DVD or anything.

Tell me - how long did it take HP to turn around your machine? I'm just trying to estimate how long this might take...

Thanks!

SF
post #264 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandflea View Post

I just had to send my s3200t back to HP due to a bad motherboard. I got a BIOS BAD CHECKSUM message at boot, and then it would just sit there. Couldn't boot to a bootable DVD or anything.

Tell me - how long did it take HP to turn around your machine? I'm just trying to estimate how long this might take...

Thanks!

SF

It only a took a week from when I sent it in.
post #265 of 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herve View Post


I could not build a HTPC that has all of this one's features for anywhere near the cost of this standalone. It's not very loud. I cannot hear it from about 6 feet away - where we normally sit.

Yes, it has HDMI out. At present, our's is connected to an RS1 projector - 1080p 24 fps.


Using the OEM software (HP DVD Play BD & HD DVD), it plays back both format HD ISOs from a virtual drive as well as it plays back the original disks from the ROM drive - perfectly.

The same OEM software also plays all sd ISOs from DVD-r disks that I've tried, including split-to-2-disk movies. Some it plays as well as our Oppo, a very few, not as well.

BTW, the media center remote for this thing works great.

Hi Herve,

I just purchased the s3330f. I wonder if I have a defective unit because the fan is always on and it is very loud.

You said you could not hear it from 6 feet away. Is it really the case? If you are positive, I will have to return it and get another one because I can hear it from 10 feet away with the TV on.

Thank you,
Emerson
post #266 of 336
I can hear mine from 10' away with the TV off, but not with it on.
post #267 of 336
How much one notices the noise of the s3330f will likely be dependent on a combination of the following:
-Ambient noise while the PC, display device and audio system are all OFF.
-How close one sits to the PC.
-How close one sits to the speakers.
-The loundness of a fan or cooling device on the display.
-The loudness of sound on the particular scene of the movie or show being watched.

Regardless of that, though, if I could hear the PC while sitting 10 feet from it while a TV is playing a scene of a marching band, or the storm scene from the movie "The Perfect Storm", I'd be returning the PC to HP for a check-up.

As I said previously, we have an RS1 projector. If I do not turn on our RS1 before turning on the PC, I can barely hear the PC from where we sit on a high-back sofa. When I then turn on the projector (with no movie being played, of course), I can no longer hear the PC. I hear the fan on the RS1. Therefore, I also cannot hear the PC if there is a period of dead silence in a movie. Most times, even when there is no dialogue in a show, there is some soft "mood" music or sound effect.

(Fortunately, periods of dead silence in movies are rare, and the volume of the RS1 fan is miniscule compared to our NEC 9PG+ CRT projector - a device we used for 4 years prior to our acquiring the RS1 last summer.)
post #268 of 336
I've been using S3330F for about a week, I am actually pretty disappointed with it and thinking about selling it.

1. Noisy. It's actually louder than I expected, but to be frank, not that bad.
2. This is the part that I think nVidia should be mostly responsible:

Do you guys know that purevideo (nVidia's hardware accelation) currently can only be enabled by PowerDVD, WinDVD under Vista?

nVidia used to have a purevideo for sale, but that's for XP only. And it says, it won't develope the same thing for Vista.

For those who don't know the consequence, well...you have to open up PowerDVD to play those HD files instead of using remote control. And that makes the whole concept of Media Center PC meaningless.

Other than BD/HD, you guys will soon have some other hi-def files to play. For example, the AVCHD files from your camcorder. Without hardware acceleration, the video is jerky when it's 1920x1080 resolution. But now the HD acceleration can only be activated within certain software (PowerDVD, winDVD) and worst of all, there is no plugin to launch these software from Vista Mesia Center. This is real deal breaker.

I am thinking about moving to ATI Radeon HD. Does anyone know if ATI's Avivo technology (competitor of nVidia's PureVideo) have better support in Vista Media Center?

If yes, can anybody suggest a good low profile card that fits HP slimline?
post #269 of 336
You can just exit from media center, insert the blu-ray disc, and then the appropriate program opens. You have to get up anyway to insert the disc.

Not an issue for me since I use a mouse to control things. But I assume you can control the blu-ray software with a remote.
post #270 of 336
I have a s3200t that I've modded with a USB Wifi adapter and an 8400GS. The 8400GS was the lowest end card I could get that would do h.264 HW decoding - it's a low profile card, and it has a fan.

When the system comes under some load, both the CPU fan and the 8400GS fan cycle up, so yes, the system gets more noisy. I can definitely hear it from ~6ft away during quiet scenes. I also have an HPZ555 DEC which has a couple of rather large fans - but also has a passively cooled video card (MSI 8500GT). The Z555 seems quieter to me.

Still, all in all I really love my little s3200t - I got it on UBID for ~$200 shipped, and it's a nice upgrade from the P4 in the Z555.

SF
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