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Hi,


I have just put together an HTPC running an Athlon X2 5600, 2GB RAM, with 780G motherboard (ATI HD 3200 integrated graphics, Catalyst 8.12 driver). This machine is intended only for video playback (no games!). Content is both local video (avi, divx, xvid) and web streaming (e.g. Hulu, Netflix).


Output display is a tube TV, and I do NOT need resolution higher than 1280x720 -- possibly will even go lower. Very little of the viewed content will be HD, or even higher than DVD quality.


HTPC is running Vista Ultimate. Aero works perfectly fine, but I need to access/control HTPC via some kind of remote desktop solution from laptop.


Microsoft RDP seems to be out because it does not actually mirror the display -- it creates a new console session, and also swaps out the "real" video driver, so controlling software like XBMC or VMC is right out.


The various flavors of VNC kinda work, but with caveats:


With Aero enabled, any VNC without a mirror driver (such as free edition RealVNC) is slow as molasses with screen updates. Changing Vista to "Classic" theme solves this problem, BUT -- does this disable hardware acceleration for video rendering? My eyes suggest maybe so. Streaming Hulu/Netflix with Classic theme enabled is herky jerky; switching back to Aero theme seems to kick HW acceleration on, and streaming smooth.


UltraVNC includes a Vista-compatible mirror driver. This improves remote performance, but causes Vista to downgrade to Vista Basic rather than Aero. Will this affect HW acceleration?


To clarify, I am not trying to WATCH video through the remote desktop window. The video is being watched on the display connected to the HTPC. I just want to control the HTPC via the remote desktop, without disabling HW acceleration.


Am I missing something or can anyone provide clarity?


thanks!
 

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If i playback a hardware accelerated H264 movie through Media Player Classic Home Cinema, and open a VNC window, the movie keeps playing, but if I pay carefull attention to the image on the plasma, I can see tearing. If I close the VNC window, I again get proper image display.


It's not enough to bother me, but I would just close the window when the movie's playing.
 

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I found a working solution for this. It is supposedly not supported for Vista x64--you didn't specify I don't think. But it has worked on my Vista Premium x64 machine. I think a few of the buttons are not working properly but I can access my music without turning on the projector--which is all I wanted to do for right now. Anyway take a look and try it out!


It is called ngRC. There is a thread on Green Button

http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/thread/251541.aspx


The SourceForge site where you can download RC 2.0

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ngrc


And the author's blog where you can also get some information.

http://www.olphro.de/wordpress/proje...remote-control


It installs a service on your vista box that then provides a web based remote control--it was really written for an Iphone/Ipod Touch and PSP, but also works with any sort of browser enabled device. An excellent piece of work and I hope for more development!
 
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