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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased an AccessDTV card (actually from another forum member). I will receive the card tomorrow. I had a couple of questions to try and avoid any of the setup problems I've read about in the numerous threads about this card. The connection questions are the ones I'm most concerned with.


First, and most important is a question about the connection possibilities of this card. I will never use this card to watch HDTV on my monitor. In fact, I'm moving away from even having a monitor. I run my HTPC into an NEC LT240K projector (Resolution of 1024x768). The NEC also has a VGA input that accepts component. For the sake of looks and simplicity, I'd prefer to have all of my video run through my AV Receiver, which has two component inputs and one component out (which I hope to run to the projector with the proper adapter). Knowing that, do you guys think I should just hook the AccessDTV card directly to the receiver with no loopback cable under the receiver's HDTV component input and have a seperate component input from my 9600xt to my receiver in the DVD input (this way uses the ATI vga/component adapter)? Or, should I connect the loopback cable and just have one connection from my HTPC from my 9600xt to my receiver with the ATI adapter (I wasn't sure if this would limit the viewing to 480p)? Or, if either of these ways is a bad idea, and you have another suggestion, that would be great.


Second, for sound, my receiver has ample digital coax and optical digital inputs. Should I connect the card directly to the receiver (I think this would be required if I connected the video directly to the receiver), or should I just use the onboard spdif out on my HTPC?


Third, which version of the software and driver should I install (is the least bug free with the most features) - the beta linked on this board or the ones on the website?


Fourth, I have a Hauppage PVRd-250MCE for recording SDTV. Can both cards be recording shows at the same time?


Sorry for the complete noob questions. I have read most of the AccessDTV threads (hence the decision to buy one), and I was having trouble extrapolating answers to these questions. Any help is greatly appreciated.


Wad
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by wad06
First, and most important is a question about the connection possibilities of this card. I will never use this card to watch HDTV on my monitor. In fact, I'm moving away from even having a monitor. I run my HTPC into an NEC LT240K projector (Resolution of 1024x768). The NEC also has a VGA input that accepts component. For the sake of looks and simplicity, I'd prefer to have all of my video run through my AV Receiver, which has two component inputs and one component out (which I hope to run to the projector with the proper adapter). Knowing that, do you guys think I should just hook the AccessDTV card directly to the receiver with no loopback cable under the receiver's HDTV component input and have a seperate component input from my 9600xt to my receiver in the DVD input (this way uses the ATI vga/component adapter)? Or, should I connect the loopback cable and just have one connection from my HTPC from my 9600xt to my receiver with the ATI adapter (I wasn't sure if this would limit the viewing to 480p)? Or, if either of these ways is a bad idea, and you have another suggestion, that would be great.
I don't think you can use the ATI dongle after the accessDTV card and using it before the card in conjunction with the loopback cable would be difficult because you would need to convert the 3 RCA outputs from the dongle into a DB15 connector to plug into the loopback cable.


Your (reasonable) options are:


1) VGA from your video card to the loopback connector on the accessDTV card. VGA (RGBHV) from the accessDTV card to a RGBHV input on your display device. If your display only accepts component, use a RGBHV to component transcoder to convert the RGBHV output from the accessDTV card into component video. Assuming you're currently connecting the VGA output of your video card directly to your display, this is the easiest configuration to use and doesn't require any additional cables beyond the loopback cable that comes with the accessDTV card.


2) Leave your video card connected as it is today. Connect the VGA output from the accessDTV card to the other VGA input on your display. IMO, this should give the best image quality.


3) Convert your video card output to component and connect it to a component input on your receiver. Setup the accessDTV output to be component and connect that to another input on your receiver. Connect the component output from the receiver to your display. This is suboptimal as it adds in the ATI dongle, the video switcher in your receiver (which may or may not be good enough to handle HD content without degrading it), and extra cabling. The only potential advantage is that it makes the video switching easier as your receiver will switch the audio and video together in 1 stop.


FWIW, I use option 2 in my system with a Mitsubishi RPTV.

Quote:
Second, for sound, my receiver has ample digital coax and optical digital inputs. Should I connect the card directly to the receiver (I think this would be required if I connected the video directly to the receiver), or should I just use the onboard spdif out on my HTPC?
You can choose whichever option is most convenient for you. The onboard SPDIF works very well unless you have blips in your reception in which case you're likely to lose sound for a longer stretch than when using onboard SPDIF output as the accessDTV card SPDIF output will drop sync with the receiver when audio is lost. I hope to fix this problem eventually, but if your reception is good you may never see this happen.

Quote:
Third, which version of the software and driver should I install (is the least bug free with the most features) - the beta linked on this board or the ones on the website?
Both of those options are on the web site. Version 2004.0.0.x (currently 2004.0.0.22, soon to be replaced with 2004.0.0.27) of the software and the matching drivers (4.12.0.7) are far better than 2.5 and earlier software versions.

Quote:
Fourth, I have a Hauppage PVRd-250MCE for recording SDTV. Can both cards be recording shows at the same time?
I believe some people are using this combo without any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
GSR,


Thank you for the very thorough reply. I'll have to decide between connection options 2 and 3. To be honest, while option 2 is probably the easiest, I'm trying to avoid it because of the wire runs. I've already got a 25 foot component cable running from my Receiver to my projector, and would like to try and avoid also running a 25 foot vga cable. I was able to tuck the component cable out of sight, but there isn't room for the VGA cable also.


As I understand the ATI DVI to Component Adapter restricts all material to 480p. But, if I am only using my HTPC for DVD playback and SDTV PVR playback, that shouldn't be that bad. So, I think hooking my HTPC to my receiver through a component input should be okay with the ATI adapter.


On to the AccessDTV card. Would I be loosing quality at all if I used an infocus RGB to component adapter from the HD card to my receiver? I'm pretty sure I read that there is a setting in AccessDTV to force the output to be RGB instead of VGA. My receiver will not degrade the signal, the component switching is actually very good on it.


If there is not much PQ loss between option 2 and 3, I'd prefer option 3.


Thanks again,


Wad
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by wad06
As I understand the ATI DVI to Component Adapter restricts all material to 480p. But, if I am only using my HTPC for DVD playback and SDTV PVR playback, that shouldn't be that bad. So, I think hooking my HTPC to my receiver through a component input should be okay with the ATI adapter.
I have no direct experience with ATI's dongle, but I don't think it restricts everything to 480p - there are plenty of threads in this forum on that topic to search through.

Quote:
On to the AccessDTV card. Would I be loosing quality at all if I used an infocus RGB to component adapter from the HD card to my receiver? I'm pretty sure I read that there is a setting in AccessDTV to force the output to be RGB instead of VGA.
The accessDTV software supports 2 color space modes: RGB and YPrPb. In this case, RGB is actually RGBHV and RGBHV and VGA are typically used pretty much interchangeably. YPrPb is component, so there's no need to add on a RGB to component adapter - you just need a breakout cable with a DB15 VGA connector on 1 end and 3 (or 5) RCA (or BNC - depends on what your receiver is expecting) plugs on the other end. These cables are available from numerous sources and are reasonably priced (~$20 or so depending on how good a cable you want - obviously much more if you're into high end cables).

Quote:
My receiver will not degrade the signal, the component switching is actually very good on it.
Without know what receiver you have, I had to insert the disclaimer as it is a frequent source of signal degradation.

Quote:
If there is not much PQ loss between option 2 and 3, I'd prefer option 3.
PQ loss for option 3 depends on how good the component video switching is in your receiver, how good the ATI dongle is, how good the cables are, and how long the cables are. Option 3 gives you a number of potential failure points that will make troubleshooting more difficult if something isn't working while option 2 is a simple 2 cable affair (one of which you already have working). But the choice is yours - you're the one who has to use the system and run the wires :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Let me start by thanking you for your help. I really would have had infinitely more trouble with this thing without your input.


I finally got the card yesterday and quickly hooked it up with a Silver Sensor antenna. I watched the ALCS on it (it took some time to find FOX HD with the antenna - I think I might need to look into getting a different one, I was considering the Radio Shack 15-1880). Anyway, while I can now receive HD channels on my computer, I can't seem to figure out the setup/program guide.


When I downloaded and installed the software, it never asked me my zip code or anything. Whenever I press the guide button, it asks which of four guides I want to set it to use. When I choose one (TitanTV), it goes to a screen that says it was successfully chosen. But, then when I hit guide again, it goes through the same process.


Also, one very strange thing happened. After watching for about an hour, my computer just rebooted for no apparent reason. Very strange.


Anyway, I assume the learning curve with this card is fairly steep and I just need to spend some more time with the software. If you have any input or suggestions, please feel free. You've been a huge help so far.


Wad
 

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Wad - You may have a problem using the switcher in your receiver if you use your htpc's SPDIF out for the ADTV. If your receiver/processor is like mine, each digital audio input must be tied to a single component video input.


Here is why you might want to use your htpc's SPDIF out for the ADTV:


The ADTV can output sound directly through its own SPDIF connector, or it can use the SPDIF or analog output of your soundcard. The disadvantage of using your sound card is a minor lip sync problem, but the advantage is that your soundcard will greatly improve audio dropout problems. Most sound cards can recover from a drop in audio signal in a matter of milliseconds. The ADTV card, on the other hand, will drop sound for a second or two every time there is a drop in audio signal. The difference is so significant, that I tolerate the minor lip sync problem in favor of the reduced dropouts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Chirs,


Thanks for the suggestion. As it is now, I have the card hooked directly to my receiver through component cables into the HD/Sat input. I also have the digital coax from the card connected directly to my receiver which has assignable digital audio inputs (I, of course, assigned that input to HD/Sat). I only experience two dropouts last night that lasted about a second each. To be honest, it was no big deal (especially not enough of one to deal with lip sync issues).


I noticed that under settings, you can set the resolution. Should I set mine to the native resolution of my projector (1024x768) or something different?


Wad
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by wad06
I noticed that under settings, you can set the resolution. Should I set mine to the native resolution of my projector (1024x768) or something different?
Try it both ways and stick with the option that looks better.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by wad06
When I downloaded and installed the software, it never asked me my zip code or anything. Whenever I press the guide button, it asks which of four guides I want to set it to use. When I choose one (TitanTV), it goes to a screen that says it was successfully chosen. But, then when I hit guide again, it goes through the same process.
I just cleaned this up for the next release (a new release has just been posted - this fix will not be in that one). For now, edit the registry key:


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\AccessDTV\\AppInit\\bPPGWeb


and set the value to 0. The process of configuring the GuideRemote data will do this for you, but this is one of the main things it does.
 

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I'm also looking into possibly getting the accessDTV card and am confused with the output options. I have a Sony HDTV with 3 RCA component input (yPrPb) that I would like to get HDTV on.


At first you say that you need an RGBHV to component transcoder to convert the RGBHV output into conponent video (I think these are expensive are they not?). Then you later say that all you need is a $20 DB15 VBA connector to 3 RCA component.


In what circumstances do you need the transcoder vs just the break-out cable?


Quote:
Originally posted by gsr
If your display only accepts component, use a RGBHV to component transcoder to convert the RGBHV output from the accessDTV card into component video
Quote:
Originally posted by gsr
The accessDTV software supports 2 color space modes: RGB and YPrPb. In this case, RGB is actually RGBHV and RGBHV and VGA are typically used pretty much interchangeably. YPrPb is component, so there's no need to add on a RGB to component adapter - you just need a breakout cable with a DB15 VGA connector on 1 end and 3 (or 5) RCA (or BNC - depends on what your receiver is expecting) plugs on the other end. These cables are available from numerous sources and are reasonably priced (~$20 or so depending on how good a cable you want - obviously much more if you're into high end cables).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by clowry
I'm also looking into possibly getting the accessDTV card and am confused with the output options. I have a Sony HDTV with 3 RCA component input (yPrPb) that I would like to get HDTV on.


At first you say that you need an RGBHV to component transcoder to convert the RGBHV output into conponent video (I think these are expensive are they not?). Then you later say that all you need is a $20 DB15 VBA connector to 3 RCA component.


In what circumstances do you need the transcoder vs just the break-out cable?
If you want to use the loopthrough cable and pass component to your display, you will most likely need a transcoder - the card will not convert RGBHV (VGA) from your video card into component via the passthrough connection. Or come up with a funky cable arrangement to convert your video card to component before sending it through the passthrough connection.


If you don't want to use the loopthrough cable and just pass the accessDTV HD output to your display in component mode, just use the inexpensive DB15 VGA to 3 RCA component breakout cable (a 5 RCA breakout cable will also work by using only the red, green, and blue cables and give you the option to switch to RGBHV at a later date if your display changes).
 
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