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Discussion Starter #1
My spiffy new AccessDTV card came, and I installed it tonight. My config:

AMD XP2000+

Leadtek nForce2 Mobo

256MB PC2100

IOMagic PVR Vidcap/Tuner card (I feed my DirecTV into this for DScaler)

AccessDTV card

Radeon 9000


This is feeding a Panasonic LC75u projector - that's equivalent to a 1024x768 monitor. I'm NOT running Powerstrip because I don't seem to need it.


The install went ok (gotta say the docs are a bit sparse), and the little antenna works a LOT better than I had expected it would. I haven't upgraded the software off the web; the latest version up there without that scary "Beta" word in front of it is 2.4, which is what came with the card.


But - I've got some weird problems:


1) You know how you can pick 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1440i (no overlay) and 1080p (no overlay)? Well, all of them except 720p work. But - all of them except 480p "blink". That means the screen goes black for a second or two before coming back. I've got good signal (about 6-7 pips below "good" on the meter), so not sure what's going on here.


2) 720p works with no "blink", and I'd like to run in this ALL the time, but for some reason the colors screw up when I switch to this mode in full screen - for a split second, full screen comes up, but then it immediately "blinks" and turns this wild psychedelic pink color. Um...this might be recent - I could SWEAR it wasn't doing this the first hour I was messing with the card setting it up (?). When I flip back to overlay mode, THAT comes up (desktop to) for a split second in that weird pink color before "blinking" and returning to normal.


3) Can somebody explain that "Source" and "Destination" setting to me (Fullscreen, Curtain, Letterbox)? It doesn't seem to change anything in overlay or fullscreen mode! Frequently, I'll have a black border all the way around the screen (top/bottom AND sides) in fullscreen mode. ER came on tonight, and I know that's broadcast in HiDef mode, and I assumed it was 16:9. This means I figured I'd get a letterboxed image on the screen in fullscreen. Instead, I get a full 4:3. I flipped back and forth between full and overlay - overlay IS in 16:9 mode. But I don't think the sides of the picture are getting cut off when I go fullscreen 4:3...


4) This one I think I know the answer to - is there anyway to get AC3 from this card via my motherboard's SPDIF out? Otherwise, I'm sort of hosed - my Denon 1082 only has a single Coax input, and since I play DVD's through my HTPC also, I'll have to get some sort of Coax switchbox, or else one of those pricey Coax-to-Optical gizmos (my 1082 DOES have 3 optical inputs). I'm betting the answer is "No", though.


What it boils down to - I was hoping to get a 1024x576 picture on the 16:9 stuff, and the full 1024x768 for 4:3 stuff. I figure I should never see vertical black bars on my screen - just letterboxing for non 4:3 material. Should I get the Beta (RC2) of v2003.6?


One last note - the picture (between blinks, anyway) in everything but 480p is FANTASTIC! It's going to be REALLY tough going back to watching DirecTV through my old IOMagic card and DScaler. 480p looks great too; just a bit too blocky.


--KS
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by KlingonScum
My spiffy new AccessDTV card came, and I installed it tonight. My config:

AMD XP2000+

Leadtek nForce2 Mobo

256MB PC2100

IOMagic PVR Vidcap/Tuner card (I feed my DirecTV into this for DScaler)

AccessDTV card

Radeon 9000


This is feeding a Panasonic LC75u projector - that's equivalent to a 1024x768 monitor. I'm NOT running Powerstrip because I don't seem to need it.


The install went ok (gotta say the docs are a bit sparse), and the little antenna works a LOT better than I had expected it would. I haven't upgraded the software off the web; the latest version up there without that scary "Beta" word in front of it is 2.4, which is what came with the card.
Do yourself a HUGE favor and upgrade to the latest Beta software on the site. A new version will be posted in the next few days that will add a lot of new features.

Quote:
1) You know how you can pick 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1440i (no overlay) and 1080p (no overlay)? Well, all of them except 720p work. But - all of them except 480p "blink". That means the screen goes black for a second or two before coming back. I've got good signal (about 6-7 pips below "good" on the meter), so not sure what's going on here.


2) 720p works with no "blink", and I'd like to run in this ALL the time, but for some reason the colors screw up when I switch to this mode in full screen - for a split second, full screen comes up, but then it immediately "blinks" and turns this wild psychedelic pink color. Um...this might be recent - I could SWEAR it wasn't doing this the first hour I was messing with the card setting it up (?). When I flip back to overlay mode, THAT comes up (desktop to) for a split second in that weird pink color before "blinking" and returning to normal.[
How do you have your projector, video card, and the accessDTV video outputs connected? Are you using the loopback cable? To you have accessDTV configured for single display mode? What colorspace are you using, RGB or component?

Quote:
3) Can somebody explain that "Source" and "Destination" setting to me (Fullscreen, Curtain, Letterbox)? It doesn't seem to change anything in overlay or fullscreen mode! Frequently, I'll have a black border all the way around the screen (top/bottom AND sides) in fullscreen mode. ER came on tonight, and I know that's broadcast in HiDef mode, and I assumed it was 16:9. This means I figured I'd get a letterboxed image on the screen in fullscreen. Instead, I get a full 4:3. I flipped back and forth between full and overlay - overlay IS in 16:9 mode. But I don't think the sides of the picture are getting cut off when I go fullscreen 4:3...
I think the help documentation actually does a pretty decent job explaining this.

Quote:
4) This one I think I know the answer to - is there anyway to get AC3 from this card via my motherboard's SPDIF out? Otherwise, I'm sort of hosed - my Denon 1082 only has a single Coax input, and since I play DVD's through my HTPC also, I'll have to get some sort of Coax switchbox, or else one of those pricey Coax-to-Optical gizmos (my 1082 DOES have 3 optical inputs). I'm betting the answer is "No", though.
You can do this (currently you have to edit the registry, in the next release, it will be an option in the setup dialog). However, I have found that motherboard sound tends to stutter (not just with an HD tuner card, but with software DVD playback too) so an add on soundcard may work better.

Quote:
What it boils down to - I was hoping to get a 1024x576 picture on the 16:9 stuff, and the full 1024x768 for 4:3 stuff. I figure I should never see vertical black bars on my screen - just letterboxing for non 4:3 material.
Neither of those resolutions is supported. Your best bet is probably 1080i and let your display scale it for you.
 

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What it boils down to - I was hoping to get a 1024x576 picture on the 16:9 stuff, and the full 1024x768 for 4:3 stuff. I figure I should never see vertical black bars on my screen - just letterboxing for non 4:3 material.



When watching an HD show, just set ADTV to output 1080i or 720p (CBS) and your projector will scale it to 1024X576 with black bars above and below. The only time you'll see vertical bars is during commercials.


When watching a 4:3 show, you can use ADTV set at 1024p and it will do the scaling for you to send your projector the 1024X768 signal. The 480p setting will also fill your screen, but I notice more artifacts this way.


I use the loop through cable since I like to use the small overlay window when I'm doing something else on my pc at the same time. Unfortunately, 1024p setting will show a black screen in the overlay window. No big deal, but just be aware your card isn't broken if this happens. If you want to watch 4:3 in an overlay window, just use the 480p setting.


AND BY ALL MEANS UPGRADE TO THE LATEST BETA
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice - I'll go ahead and upgrade to the latest Beta tonight (downloaded it last night). I still can't believe this card's dropped to $200.


Here's how everything is connected together - Radeon VGA output connected via included loopback cable to AccessDTV input (round port). AccessDTV VGA output (DB15) connected to Projector VGA input (DB15).


Not sure what you mean by "single display mode" - I DO have Loopback checked on the configuration screen, and it all seems to work - I can see the desktop, I can watch video in the overlay window, and when I click on "Full", it will switch to fullscreen mode.


I am using the RGB colorspace (because my Projector is set to VGA input)


I'll look through the docs again on the Source/Dest settings again, but it just puzzled me that when watching the windowed overlay, it would be in 16:9 aspect ratio, but when I switched to fullscreen, it fully filled the screen. Since the people didn't look "Cinemascopish" (or as I like to refer to it "late 80's Heart video mode"), I'm thinking it may have cut the left and right edges of the image off. So I changed Destination to "Letterbox" and it didn't make any difference.


You've had stuttering playback using MoBo based Coax SPDIF output with your SW DVD player? That's odd - I've been using PowerDVDxp for a year now like that (DD5.1 and DTS titles both) and haven't had a problem... In fact, I've had less problems doing that than I did with my Fortissimo III 7.1 sound card I originally had before I upgraded the motherboard (the Fortissimo required a reboot if you wanted to switch from DVD playback output to PC output - such as when I wanted to play an MP3).


Some further info: while 720p gives me that weird pink color, and both 1080i and 1080p "blink", 1440i seems to work very well. That's peculiar... Actually, the whole blink thing is odd - when the signal strength falls of, I expect to get pixellation, not a complete screen blank.


I'm still knocked out by the picture quality, and also by the fact that tiny little antenna works so well. I live a good 50 miles away from the HDTV towers in a steel frame house, and my theater has fully insulated walls, plus there's a layer of brick in the way, and it STILL pulls in all the Houston stations at about 75% meter strength. I'm going to mount the antenna in my attic this weekend to give it a little help - I had thought I was going to have to go out and buy one of those ugly rooftop UHF antennas.


--KS
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally posted by mn3kgtvr4
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When watching an HD show, just set ADTV to output 1080i or 720p (CBS) and your projector will scale it to 1024X576 with black bars above and below. The only time you'll see vertical bars is during commercials.
That's what I expected to have happen. Instead, I'll get "vignetting". For example, "Everybody Love Raymond" last night had a black border all the way around it. Since the projector is taking VGA input (not component), I figured my PC (specifically the AccessDTV card itself since in fullscreen mode it's not using my video card) is doing the scaling. Now, another show I was watching had a couple of Blue "wallpaper" type vertical bars on the sides; I'm guessing those got put in by the broadcaster for people watching on 16:9 RPTVs.

Quote:
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When watching a 4:3 show, you can use ADTV set at 1024p and it will do the scaling for you to send your projector the 1024X768 signal. The 480p setting will also fill your screen, but I notice more artifacts this way.
I don't think my current version of the SW supports 1024p. If I recall, I've got 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1440i (no overlay) and 1080i (no overlay) to choose from.

Quote:
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I use the loop through cable since I like to use the small overlay window when I'm doing something else on my pc at the same time. Unfortunately, 1024p setting will show a black screen in the overlay window. No big deal, but just be aware your card isn't broken if this happens. If you want to watch 4:3 in an overlay window, just use the 480p setting.


AND BY ALL MEANS UPGRADE TO THE LATEST BETA
I use the loop through cable because I watch DVDs on my HTPC as well. I'll go ahead and install the Beta tonight.


The thing is, the 720p setting seems to have given me the best picture and no blinking - and it wasn't until I'd been configuring stuff and trying different things for about an hour before I got the pschedelic pink problem with that setting. I figure if I can't fix that, I'll stick with 1440i (which looks pretty good too), or else risk what I've CURRENTLY got working, and uninstall/reinstall everything.


--KS
 

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I've got the exact same setting as you with htpc - vga loopthrough - vga from adtv to xga projector.


The beta version should solve all your problems since I've never had similar problems. I never used 2.4 since 2.5 was already out when I bought my card a long time ago. The new Beta is killer good though.


Hdtv Settings:


Source - "stretch"

Display - "fullscreen"


Resolution - whatever you want


Colorspace - RGB


Desktop Overlay Setting:


Uncheck "Lock Aspect Ratio"

-this may be what's giving you curtain issues with different sources




One thing to keep in mind is that when you use the loop through cable and switch to FULL, your ADTV card is sending a signal directly to your pj. Your video card and other pc settings only come into play when you are using the overlay window and even then you'll be adjusting contrast, etc in the adtv app.


Report back after you install the newest version and I'm sure everything will be fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by KlingonScum
Not sure what you mean by "single display mode" - I DO have Loopback checked on the configuration screen, and it all seems to work - I can see the desktop, I can watch video in the overlay window, and when I click on "Full", it will switch to fullscreen mode.
That's what I was getting at - you've got it set properly.

Quote:
You've had stuttering playback using MoBo based Coax SPDIF output with your SW DVD player? That's odd - I've been using PowerDVDxp for a year now like that (DD5.1 and DTS titles both) and haven't had a problem... In fact, I've had less problems doing that than I did with my Fortissimo III 7.1 sound card I originally had before I upgraded the motherboard (the Fortissimo required a reboot if you wanted to switch from DVD playback output to PC output - such as when I wanted to play an MP3).
Thi s sort of thing will vary from motherboard to motherboard. But wait until the next release is posted (it should be any time now) and you won't have to hack the registry to try this feature out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, I uninstalled the old SW and installed the latest beta. Other than the new configuration options, I'm still getting the same behavior: 720p is flourescent pink, 1080i and 1024p "blink" to a black screen, 480p and 1440i work fine. I suspect if I uninstall the SW, yank the card, reboot a few times and start the install from scratch, I'd probably fix the 720p problem - however, 1440i looks and works GREAT, and since I've got a SuperBowl party coming up, I think I'll wait 'til after that to go through that ordeal. Thanks for all the suggestions - I still love this card; pausing live HDTV really makes my "conventional set top" HDTV buddies green (at least until the HDTV Tivos hit this year).


The "vignetting" problem? Bogus - I didn't realize that the channels showing 4:3 stuff show it "within" the 16:9 HDTV window, so you'll get black bars on the sides, or else, if the broadcaster is nice (like UPN), they'll put a little wallpaper up on the sides. Pity it's impossible to detect 4:3 material on the 16:9 signal and "overscan" it so that it fills up my projector's 4:3 screen, but I really don't mind.


Again, thanks for all your help, ya'll - I'm exceedingly happy with this gizmo and enthusiastically recommend it to anybody looking to get an HDTV card that's able to pause live TV.


BTW - if I had to offer a feature suggestion to the AccessDTV development team for the SW, I'd suggest this: add a "video position" setup item so that I could position the video in fullscreen at the bottom of the screen instead of centered vertically. Why? Because that way I'd only have to make a pulldown mask for the top of my screen instead of both that and a pull-up mask from the bottom...


--KS
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Quote:
Originally posted by gsr
This sort of thing will vary from motherboard to motherboard. But wait until the next release is posted (it should be any time now) and you won't have to hack the registry to try this feature out.
Exactly what IS the registry hack to enable this? I'd like to give it a shot; every time I move the coax cable from the AccessDTV card to my MoBo and back, I jostle the loopback cable and lose my desktop (grumble)...


--KS
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by KlingonScum
Exactly what IS the registry hack to enable this? I'd like to give it a shot; every time I move the coax cable from the AccessDTV card to my MoBo and back, I jostle the loopback cable and lose my desktop (grumble)...


--KS
In:


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\AccessDTV\\AppInit


There should be a key "EnableMMSPDIF" that is a DWORD. Set this to a value of 1 and make sure you select the PC Soundcard option in the setup dialog (the registry key "AudOutputMode" should be 0). The values for these settings will be changed slightly in the new release so that the EnableMMSPDIF value is never left at 1 when it shouldn't be.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As I said earlier, I was shocked at how good that little antenna that comes with the AccessDTV card was - I hooked it up in my theater room (no windows, metal frame house, fully insulated walls all the way around, and a brick layer on the outside) and I was STILL able to pull in nine channels. 6 of them were the ones I cared about - ABC, NBC, CBS, UPN, FOX, and WB.


But - signal strength was only about one half to three quarters, and walking around near the antenna affected the signal. So, I decided I'd move the antenna into my garage attic. I already have a coax run (6, actually) going from there to my theater. About 40-50 feet long run. Hooked it up last night, spent an hour and a half fiddling with it. Could NOT get a signal. Don't know why - maybe the coax run is too long for an unamplified antenna, maybe the "solarguard" foil back roof decking on the garage is causing problems, etc.


Finally gave up, brought the antenna back downstairs and hooked it back up where it was before. Now, I can only get 3 of those 6 stations I care about with it. If I fiddle with it, I can bring in each of the other three, but I lose some of the other ones when I do. And I mean, I put this sucker back EXACTLY the way it was before.


Oddly, moving the coax cable itself around the room (with the antenna in place) affects the signal significantly, as does my touching it. I wonder if I'm going to have to go back in time 30 years and hang strips of aluminum foil off the antenna to enhance reception. :)


One bright side: I can get within 5 pips of the top on the signal meter for CBS, which is the station broadcasting the SuperBowl this weekend.


*sigh*


--KS
 
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