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Discussion Starter #1
About 48 hours ago I received an engineering drop from the folks at AccessDTV (and with the help of Cliff Watson) that addresses a number of bugs. The most significant of the fixes (well to me anyway) was the fix for use with a Dish 5000+modulator. Well, after 2 days of testing on both WinME & 2000 I am pleased to say I think they finally have this fixed. I only say finally because I believe the cause is what made living with the Hi-Pix, and even the Panasonic DST50/DVHS before that, very difficult to live with. The AccessDTV crew took only 2 weeks to bring about the fix that I have waited for for nearly 16 months now.


The major problem with most of these setups have been audio dropouts, audio stuttering, and video frame dropping/stuttering. On the Panny setup the problem was largely limited to audio problems and that was mitigated by using a SHAC500 DD/DTS decoder. On the Hi-Pix and AccessDTV the problem extended to the video side as well. All in all it made recording/viewing HDTV somewhat frustrating at times since there is nothing worse than an audio glitch or video frames dropping when you are immersed in a good movie. For me, so much as one glitch can destroy the whole experience.


Well, on to my point. AccessDTV has made it work flawlessly. I've tested live playback, recorded file playback, and PVR functionality and it all works wonderfully.


There are some other bugs that will need to be addressed down the road. One such bug is really just a nuisance bug - when you change channels on the 5000 you may lose the audio for a moment or until you change channels on the AccessDTV (and back) to reacquire the audio. My hunch is that the card is designed to change the channels and may just need some tweaking to better handle changing audio formats while tuned to the same channel (channel 3 or 4). This problem is more prevalent on Win2k for some reason than WinME. I have not tested Win98SE yet.


So, for those of you that have been waiting for the 5000 fix for AccessDTV...go for it! And now that you can schedule recordings without a subscription I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want the AccessDTV card over the Hi-Pix or Hauppauge. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Tom
 

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>> I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want the AccessDTV card over the Hi-Pix... <<


...except the locked up recorded file structure!...

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good point Gary. If you want to piss off the MPAA and swap 20GB movies with your friends, then the AccessDTV is not for you. If you just want to time shift, NOT ARCHIVE OR SWAP FILES, then the card works perfectly with the 5000.


Tom
 

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I think you are reaching a conclusion. I, personally, have no intention of archiving OR swapping 20gig files with friends. I only appreciate the ability to play back files (mostly standard definition) created by the WinTV-D on the HiPix.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, I'll bite...why do you want to record on the Hauppauge and playback on the Hi-Pix? And do you mean to say that the "locked up recorded file structure" is a deal breaker because you can't playback Hauppauge recorded material on the AccessDTV or you can't playback AccessDTV recorded material on the Hauppuage or Hi-Pix?


My post was intended to be good news for MOST 5000 owners. Obviously by not qualifying my very general statement regarding one product over another I've managed to somehow disenfranchise you and your unique use of HDTV recording cards. I'll try harder next time not to do that.


Tom
 

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Did the beta software you received just fix the 5000 issues, or were there other enhancements and bugfixes?


Jeff
 

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Tom,

Lighten up... no disenfranchising felt. You are absolutely correct. The AccessTV card is fine for a TiVo like time-shifting recorder, if that is what you want and your post of the Dish5000 fix IS good news for people with that system. I was only responding to your comment that you saw no reason to consider the HiPix over the AccessTV. I was just trying to state one possible reason.


Another reason (for me) is the AccessTV uses a SAA7146 chip, which conflicted with the same type chip on my WinTV-DVBs card. Both cards would not work in the same computer. The HiPix DOES work in conjunction with the DVBs card and so does the WinTV-D.


...and another reason is that the WinTV-D allows you to filter the datastream so only the desired program is recorded, greatly reducing the hard drive space required to store the program. The AccessTV (and the HiPix) record the entire transport stream with the result that a standard definition movie will require the same storage space as a high definition program. That is why you may want to record on the WinTV-D and play back on the HiPix.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gary, fair enough. Sorry if I was testy. I just took your post to mean that it was some sort of shortcoming and didn't understand the reason for the post given the average user would only use one card in their PC.


Also, thanks for the clarification on the way you use the cards. I guess it would be neat to tape SD stuff and play it back through one of these cards. I presume it upconverts the playback then?


Regards,


Tom
 

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Thanks for the report!


Should I wait to get an Access-DTV card when these upgrades are done with and the new software included in shipping? Or are software upgrades with this card handled in a less painful way than I've been reading was the case say on the HiPix?


Also, is it still possible to archive HD for your own personal use, and not just be limited to ts? I'm thinking of an Onstream tape solution for this. Please clarify, as these are the only issues that stand between me and this card, now that advance recording is free of charge.


Thanks,


Luca
 

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yogaman...

No special tricks involved. When recording with the WinTV-D's DTVcap program... after you "Get Programs/PID's", just select the PAT/PMT tables and the desired program and un-select any other programs. On the Dish5000 modulator output, there will be only one program with a second listed as "unknown" that is just filler data to pad out the ATSC data stream (why record that?). For a good description of how the HDTV modulator works, see... http://www.coolstf.com/mpeg/HDTV/index.html The resulting file will still be a transport stream (*.trp) but will contain only one program. This file will then play directly with no modifications on the HiPix. It will also play using the Elecard 1.30 mpeg player... a very flexible setup.


Tom...

Yes, SD material will upconvert to the resolution you have selected for the AccessTV display. It won't, however, gain in any sharpness.



[This message has been edited by GaryHDTV (edited 04-26-2001).]
 

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Luca,


The updated software and drivers will be posted for download at www.accessdtv.com/support/downloads.htm

â€Also, is it still possible to archive HD for your own personal use, and not just be limited to ts? I'm thinking of an Onstream tape solution for this. Please clarify, as these are the only issues that stand between me and this card, now that advance recording is free of charge.â€


Yes you can archive recordings for you own use on the same card that was used to record.


AccessDTV also has a DEMO mode that will play an ATSC transport stream (TS) recorded on other systems.



------------------

Best Regards, Cliff

Digital Connection, LLC

[email protected]
 

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Cliff, my new HTPC does not have Net connection yet for some time. Will the next batch of AccessDTV cards include the latest driver and software in the retail packages?
 

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â€Cliff, my new HTPC does not have Net connection yet for some time. Will the next batch of AccessDTV cards include the latest driver and software in the retail packages?’


Yes, At some point in the pipeline. We may have to make arrangements to provide CDs to customers without internet connections.



------------------

Best Regards, Cliff

Digital Connection, LLC

[email protected]
 

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Great news! I bought an accessDTV card last week on faith that the Dish 5000 + modulator problems would be fixed (based on the good vibes from Cliff's postings), but I didn't expect it to happen so soon. (Incidentally, even without the fix I have been able to record non-movie material off the 5000, such as the Dish Demo and the Springsteen concert.)


Now I can justify getting a better PC to put the card in, so that I don't have to reinstall the card every time I boot up. I (and I assume others) would be interested in knowing what is the least expensive out-of-the-box PC that has produced a trouble-free installation.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think that HBOHD and SHOHD generally look better than the stuff I see on CBSHD out of Boston. I think you well like seeing the Sopranos in HDTV and quite often you will see movies that look really good as well. Conversely, there are plenty of shoes and flicks that are horribly upconverted and look worse than a really good DVD.


Tom

 

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â€Did the beta software you received just fix the 5000 issues, or were there other enhancements and bugfixes?â€


Jeff,


The 5000/CBS fix is part of the planned 30-day maintenance update. The update will have numerous bug fixes and several enhancements. This maintenance update should be finished QA testing and be posted by the end of next week.


AccessDTV also plans to release an upgrade version of the software with new features based on feedback from customers and beta testers. It was planned to be released 30-days after the maintenance update.



------------------

Best Regards, Cliff

Digital Connection, LLC

[email protected]


[This message has been edited by Cliff Watson (edited 04-26-2001).]
 

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Great news on the (impending) 5000 compatibility.


OT question for GaryHDTV:


Would you please detail the steps required to get the HiPix to play WinTV-D files? I have both cards, but I've never tried the experiment. Perhaps a separate thread would be appropriate for your reply.


Thanks,

-yogaman
 
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