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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all I would like to thank all the members in the forum for their detailed information. I live in Athens Greece and beleive me a lot of efford has been made in order to build this HTPC........

I would like to add my experience to the HTPC obtained the last week!!!

My HTPC consists of the following WITH a short description that might help others save precious time


HS10 16:9 PROJECTOR: Excellent unit with a tricky 1368*768 56Hz widescreen mode. From the users suggestions in the forum one is clear: STICK to WINDOWS XP if you want to have this resolution. I tried it in Windows ME AND IS NOT WORKING. Most probably WIN ME do a lot of plug and play and recognize the projector as a 1024*768 creating in all other resolutions (no matter what driver you use) A VIRTUAL DESKTOP.... In WIN XP Create a custom timing with powerstrip 45Khz, 56Hz setting (available elsewhere in the forum) and after the driver accepts the resolution you can even FORGET POWERSTRIP..... The projector came with a single blue pixel stuck open which is only viewable from a 0.5 meter distance. I saw it one month after I bought it. NOT A PROBLEM. Sometimes a lamp fan led flashes and the projector refuses to start. This is described elesewhere but up to the time it doesn't bother me. I wait for thePJ to turn off it's fan and then

I power it on again....


DALITE matte 1.0 gain 16:9 wall screen. The HS10 is producing a lot of light so you don't need any higher gain..... if you want a good contrast ratio and BLACK BLACK....I can even use my PC with some lights on. HS10 definitely is not a presentation projector but with cinema off you get some extra light.....


DVI CONNECTION WORKING with a rather cheap DVI 5m Dual Link cable bought from Cablewholesale.com. For greater lengths you SHOULD BUY THE MORE EXPENSIVE ONES. Up to 5m every cable should work ok!!


ATI AIW 8500DV CATALYST 3.2 MMC 8: I made a clean installation with the new ati 3.2 drivers and beleive me they work fine (for both video and audio). In the full screen mode the TV picture is acceptable and equal to the one provided by the HS10 being fed by a direct S video input from a Panasonic Video! I couldn't notice any flicker... Both images are comparable which I beleive means that both the Hardware line doubler of HS10 and that of MMC 8 work fine....


ATI TV REMOTE WONDER included with ATI but you need to download the 1.4 version which works with MMC 8 (You don't need any other remote control...)


GIGABYTE P4 TITAN GA -IGMK 845G with SPDIF out via REALTEC ALC650 PENTIUM 4 1.7 GHZ in a black mini desktop case 200W (CASPER bought form Directron.com): More GHZ could mean more power for the CPU and so I preferred the 1.7 CPU. This micro ATX motherboard is a dream as it also has lan and of course SPDIF out via ALC650 which works fine for both DD 5.1 and DTS WITH THE LATEST DRIVERS FROM REALTEC 48KHZ. IT ACTUALLY NOT ONLY OUTPUTS AC3 DTS WITH DVD BUT ALSO THE CUSTOM WINDOW'S SOUNDS AS PCM OF COURSE BUT DEFINETELY PURE DIGITAL!!!!

NO LAG BETWEEN DVD SCREEN AND SOUND as described below!!!1

I HAVE SEARCHED THE FORUM AND OTHER USERS HAVE A TIME DIFFERENCE WITH SPDIF OUTPUT.

POWERDVD XP 2417 /WINDVD PLATINUM ALC 650 WORK FINE...... BUT BEWARE THE TRICK IS THAT THE RF COAXIAL CABLE HAS TO BE LESS THAN 7 FEET (LESS THAN 1,5 METERS ALTOGETHER) if you don't have the extra circuit which takes the spdif out from the MB to the back of the case...OTHERWISE YOU NEED AN AMPLIFIER (OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT) WITH A SPECIAL IC!!!!!!! YOU CAN FIND MORE INFO IN THE REALTEC SITE AND DOWNLOAD THE SPEC PDF FILE!!!!!!

FOR OTHER USERS: SPDIF IS NOT THE SAME for ALL AC97 CODECS! THIS MEANS THAT OTHERS CHIPS OUTPUT DIRECT COAXIAL SPDIF OUT(LIKE 650) BUT OTHERS WANT A SMALL CIRCUIT WITH CAPACITORS AND RESISTORS TO DO SO.

IF YOU HAVE SPDIF OUT AND CAN'T MAKE IT WORK TAKE A BREAK AND

TRY TO FIND THE SPECS FOR YOUR CHIP AND MAKE THE CIRCUIT... if you don't have the usually extra daughter board ....bought with your motherboard. Here in Greece I couldn't find one for the GA IGMK board...


WIDOWS XP: Ok don't try anything else. With Win ME you cannot have the 1368*768 resolution on the HS10....DIRECT 9 of course with media encoder 9


POWERDVD XP 2417: Nice program even with Greek menus which worked fine in my first installation with WIN ME WITH FULL HARDWARE ACCELERATION AND FULL SPDIF OUTPUT but of course the HS10 couldn't sync in 16:9 so it was useless! In the WIN XP installation I came across with the VIDEO ACCELERATION PROBLEM AS THERE WAS FLICKER IN THE DVD PLAYBACK when it was on!!! SPDIF was ok. With Video ACC off everything was ok BUT I agree with the rest of the users that it's PICTURE QUALITY IS SUBOPTIMAL. SO IN MY OPINIOM FORGET IT!!!


ATI DVD PLAYER: Never installed as IT DEFINITELY ACCORDING TO ATI CANNOT DO DTS THROUGH THE ALREADY EXISTING SPIDIF OUT OF THE AIW 8500!!! I THINK IT EVEN CANNOT SEE MY OTHER SPDIF OUT FROM THE REALTEC ALC 650....


WIN DVD PLATINUM WORKING FINE: I was afraid that it wouldn't work based on the forum reports of VIDEO and AUDIO SPDIF problems! THIS WAS TRUE as the video Hardware problem appeared soon after. Tremor with Hardware ACC ON although it worked fine with HARDWARE COLOR ACC ON but there was still some out of sync problems with the SPDIF output in both cases...... THE SOLUTION FOR ALL OF YOU HAVING EITHER THE VIDEO OR THE SPDIF PROBLEM IS TO ACCELARATE 1.HARDWARE 2 COLOR AND 3. DIRECTX (DXVA)ACCELERATION (of course missing from the Windvd panel....).YOU CAN DO IT using the WinDVD Tweaker Pro v4.1 at http://3dgamer.tripod.com AFTERWARDS HARDWARE AND COLOR ACC STAY ON ON YOUR WINDVD WITH NO SPDIF LAG OR VIDEO FLICKER AND THE PICTURE IS WONDERFUL, sure better from POWERDVD... Intervideo has forgot this option and many otherw which the tweaker offers AND I don't know any other way to turn it on in WINDVD PLATINUM.... Probably the tweaker changes something in the registry of the WINDVD but any help from the rest of the forum would be good....


I take for granted that THEATER TEC should even have a better PQ than WINDVD. I cannot find it here in GREECE so I haven't used it......


TECHNISAT Skystar 1 /TECHNOTREND/HAUPAUGE DVB SATELITE CARD: OK here in Europe we have the DVB Sat broadcasting system(MPEG 2 DVD quality) and I included this PCI card in my HTPC in order to have as a digital Sat tuner. In the roof I installed a 1.5m dish with two LNB feeds for both ASTRA 19 and HOTBIRD 13!!!! This card provides even S video output which can be connected to a AV receiver while it also has a SPDIF output of DVB DD AC3 sound..... This is transformed to optical spdif and goes directly to the optical input of my SONY STR DB 1080 AV RECEIVER. The transmissions of course are digital and the PQ is excellent!!! A definitely add on card for any european trying to build a HTPC!!! This card is old! The newer ones are not so well equiped. They do not have spdif output not even SVIDEO output....... So try to find the older ones: www.dvbforum.com/ubbthreads/ mostlu in German of course... I can provide to you the scemmatics for the connection if anyone wants....


WINDVBLIVE program: THE BEST SAT tuner program for this card........Many options and in te latest a version it includes a deinterlacing software for big screens......


SONY STR DB 1080s: A medium cost AV radio-receiver with DTS EX/DTS/DD/24/96/NEO support. HS10 is connected to a S Video VCR Panasonic which is also connected to the receiver. Svideo output of ATI is connected to the receiver and the output is viewed by a 4:3 Philips MATCLINE 29 inch TV 100HZ. The S video output of ATI is good (anyway good enough for a 29 inc TV..). Europe STRDB 1080 is different from the USA model because it has less Svideo inputs/outputs AND NO COMPONENT INPUTS/OUTPUTS. Definitely a stupid attitude from SONY......(Maybe in CHINA sell it only with the tuner.....???????). That's why I was obliged to connect the hs 10 to the video and not the Sony receiver.


That's the end ......I hope I can help some of you save some time....
 

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Hi


I'm interested in your HTPC satelite system as I'm considering it also at the moment.


Do you have a CAM module and card installed for encrypted services or do you only view free channels?


Do you have aspect ratio control with the software you are using?


Can you please post or PM me some links (in English) to useful sites you have used.


Many Thanks

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Technisat Skystar 1 supports CI interface in a separate module that fits in a PCI slot (not electrically only mechanically for support) and provides on the back of the computer 2 PCMCIA slots so that two CAM modules can be connected! I think that Windvblive in it's latest version is the best DVB reproduction program available supporting these series of cards (NOT SKYSTAR 2 etc). The TECHNISAT Skystar 1 /TECHNOTREND/HAUPAUGE series 1.3 or 1.6 version have on board pins for S-video output which I USE TO FEED DIRECTLY my HS10 projector which HAS an aspect ratio control. I use the 16:9 and watch all broadcasts in wide-screen. For HTPC purposes the WINDVB live program HAS ratio aspect control and you can view either 4:3 or 16:9 WITH SOME MINOR COMPROMISES

1. The windvblive has a specific menu for selecting the full-screen resolution WHICH DOESN'T CONTAIN the 16:9 1368*768 wide mode of HS10 for unknown reasons.......

2.It doesn't support the clone monitor (TV) option of the ATI Catalyst drivers (video overlay outputed to TV without menus taskbar etc..)

3. BUT I CAN HAVE 16:9 full-screen in DESKTOP mode (with two or three icons (my computer/recycle bin etc) on the upper left corner WITH EXCELLENT PICTURE QUALITY

The DVB picture equals that of a DVD

AC3 IS supported if the DVB channel transmits it. It is directly send to spdif output of my motherboard but I can also take it from the pins on the board.....


I don't have the cams but I will buy one in a few months....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
6 months passed after my HTPC initiation. I think it would help to post some observations / fixes / Hints made up to now:

PROBLEMS SOLVED:

1.HS10: 500h with the lamp. The lamp seems to work fine not giving the last 3 months the lamp bug(hs10 not starting). Sony has issued a bulletin alert regarding this suggesting the REPLACEMENT OF THE LAMP COVER.. for all that have the failure frequently! HS10 works fine in VIDEO mode BUT IT HAS ONE MAJOR downfall in the HTPC section: WIDESCREEN 1366*768 only in 56HZ THIS MEANS MICRO-STUTTER for both NTSC60Hz/PAL 50Hz DVDs in long slow pans..... AND RECLOCK CAN'T BE USED..... If I knew it from the begging HS10 wouldn't have been my choice...

2.HTPC: I finally solved the stutter (macro stutter) caused by PowerDVD or WinDVD reported in my first post: Although I consider myself an experienced PC users it seems that I FAILED to notice that AGP hadn't the DMA mode ENABLED....... !!!!!! The drivers themselves REPORTED FULL acceleration and ONLY powerstrip in adapter information REPORTED this (NO DMA transfer..) THIS should have been caused by IRQ sharing by ACPI/APIC (ATI 8500 IRQ=16 among with other things....) and it was corrected AFTER I DISABLED both Serial ports (it released 1-2 irqs...), Onboard lan was disabled right from the start!!!! So Power/WIN DVD stuttered right from the begging and I now see that I managed to run WinDVD in a semi SW/HW mode with DVXA color ACC ON BUT HW Direct Navigation set to SW....with either registry interventions or WinDVD tweaker.

3. WinDVD Plat 4.5.104: I think this should be the best of all WinDVDs as in this version exist ALL the registry entries and PQ enhancements FOUND in 5.0/5.1 versions WITHOUT THE BUGS. I think that these drivers with or without minor changes were introduced as NEW 5.0 VS coinciding with the release of powerDVD 5. I just tried to use the 5.1 version: It seems to have a sluggish behavior a CHAPTER AUDIO STUTTER IN HW mode and DISABLES HW ACC if you choose SPDIF out...!!! I unistalled it RIGHT away...

4. WINDVBLIVE (SAT program) in it's latest version supports correctly full screen

THINGS TO DO: CATALYST UPGRADE TO 3.4. I see it a journey to unknown as I'll have to uninstall HALF of the programs already installed in order to make the drivers work as suggested by other members (MMC-Hydravision-Powersrtip-Remote Wonder-ATI Drivers-Control panel), erase registry entries AND manually erase from the system folders ALL ATI files.....

PROBLEMS UNSOLVED: Micro stuttering DUE TO HS10 strange refresh rate 56HZ. I find this extremely annoying DESPITE the excellent PQ of the DVI 1:1 mapping

OVERALL THOUGHTS: HTPC is a time consuming hobby with users facing constantly new... dangers on the road to perfection
 
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