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634 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 99570 22-Mar-2012 08:56 Send private message

Hi,

I've been going through a series of small issues trying to get sky decoded using my sky card on my HTPC.

The system is an Intel Core2Duo @ 2.16Ghz, 2Gb of DDR2 ram, 500GB HDD, Radeon HD5450 and Windows 7 x86.  Media client is Mediaportal and TV server.

The system was fine decoding SD channels without ACAMD but after getting sky working finally it appears that the cpu/gpu combo might simply be underpowered for my needs due to the overheads of HD and ACAMD.  If I could do the sky card bit in hardware that would be great but I think that is a lot

Now, my needs are quite simple really.  TV Server will be used to server tv around my house.  At the moment, I'm simply talking about the lounge and the office PC.  The office pc can decode the HD stream fine (I found that out last night) with minimal dropped frames HOWEVER the HTPC which is the streamer/client failed miserably on the same channel.  Ultimately I want to emulate the sky box so that would be 4 tuners with the ability to record 3 HD channels at once and watch the 4th.

I could easily spec a new PC with an intel core i5/i7 etc but really at this stage I want the best upgrade I can for the cheapest price... For example, would simply adding an LGA775 quad core in place of the dual provide better performance for HD channels?  Would I need to upgrade to a 6450 or perhaps more of a desktop card rather than HTPC style card?

Any help at this stage would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Chris

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298 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 7


  Reply # 598524 22-Mar-2012 09:59 Send private message

A Vu+Duo? That will certainly do your decoding, it's a brilliant PVR, and it will meet your streaming needs.




Things are LookingUp....  A photo from my back yard :-)
http://www.astrophotogallery.org/u141-rodm.html 



634 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 52


  Reply # 598537 22-Mar-2012 10:17 Send private message

LookingUp: A Vu+Duo? That will certainly do your decoding, it's a brilliant PVR, and it will meet your streaming needs.


Thanks.  I am however looking for a Windows powered system that I can use for other PC uses (Girlfriend knows only windows and its better to use something she knows if I am to keep such a system).  Also, the output is only 1080i and I would want 1080p for movies stored on the server.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 598555 22-Mar-2012 10:28 Send private message

Well I am using an Asus Eee Box PC as my main HTPC in the lounge and it plays the Sky HD channels fine in MediaPortal.
It is the Eee Box with the Nvidia ION graphics card and HDMI output so can handle 1080p video.





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  Reply # 598556 22-Mar-2012 10:29 Send private message

I think the best single thing you can do is get a Nvidia card. That CPU should be OK. Little on the low side but certainly capable. Ram same. Little low but will work.
As for video though although it is apparently possible to get a ATI card working nicely with our HD services it seems to be very hit and miss where as Nvidia just works. Again and again we have threads where people have issues, spend vast amounts of time on it and in the end a switch from ATI to Nvidia is what fixes the issues.
You don't need anything flash just anything from a 220 and up.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 606385 7-Apr-2012 13:40 Send private message

Before you upgrade you need to diagnose the problem, im suspecting that you arn't getting hardware acceleration on the htpc.

Run mediaportal in windows mode
Press ctrl+alt+del and get task manager running
Watch the CPU usage graph
See what your cpu usage is while you decode HDTV

If you gpu is doing the decoding then cpu usage should be less than 50% (I'm thinking around 10-20%)

My HTPC (currently broken mobo/cpu) - Athlon X2 4600+ / HD4670 / 4GB RAM -> around 5% cpu usage when watching 1080i live TV stream in mediaportal

I suspect your CPU usage is high because you have a problem with your setup, not your hardware.

PS. I assume your tv server not the HTPC is the one with the tv cards so is doing the de-encryption work.




HTPC - Intel i3-2100 / 12GB DDR3 / GA-Z77X-UD5H / HD4670 1GB / HVR2200 / 750GB + 4 x 3TB / Win 7 x64 / MediaPortal 1.5
PC - Intel e8500 / 8GB DDR2 / HD5830 1GB / Win7 x64



634 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 52


  Reply # 606386 7-Apr-2012 13:45 Send private message

kiwijunglist: Before you upgrade you need to diagnose the problem, im suspecting that you arn't getting hardware acceleration on the htpc.

Run mediaportal in windows mode
Press ctrl+alt+del and get task manager running
Watch the CPU usage graph
See what your cpu usage is while you decode HDTV

If you gpu is doing the decoding then cpu usage should be less than 50% (I'm thinking around 10-20%)

My HTPC (currently broken mobo/cpu) - Athlon X2 4600+ / HD4670 / 4GB RAM -> around 5% cpu usage when watching 1080i live TV stream in mediaportal

I suspect your CPU usage is high because you have a problem with your setup, not your hardware.


Hi Kiwijunglist,

The cpu graph is not quite good enough as I'm also decoding SKY HD channels through Acamd/Mdapi so it always shows a much higher usage than it would if I was say decoding just SBS HD.  Standard HD playback of ripped files is fine and is decoding content on GPU, it is only when decoding the 1080i HD channels from Sky that it causes an issue.  For example, ESPN HD is fluid with only a small number of dropped frames yet Sky Sports 1 HD is mainly dropped frames and bad interlacing.  As a contrast, streamed through the MP TV server to the gaming PC is fluid on all channels as it has a more powerful card.

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  Reply # 606389 7-Apr-2012 13:49 Send private message

EDIT I just realised your tvserver + mediaportal on the same PC

What you need to do is

1. Stream TV from HTPC -> Office PC with mediaportal running on the HTPC but not viewing anything -> Check CPU usage

2. Then watch TV on the HTPC and check CPU useage.

Check how much increased cpu usage 1 vs 2, the increase should only be 10-20%.

If large increase in CPU then dxva (hardware acceleartion) is probably not working
If small increase and total CPU usage in sitatuion 2 is < 30% then I'm not sure what the problem is
If small increase and total CPU usage in sitatuion 2 is ~ 50-60% then it maybe CPU bottleneck
If small increase and total CPU useage in situation 2 is >60-70% then CPU is the problem




HTPC - Intel i3-2100 / 12GB DDR3 / GA-Z77X-UD5H / HD4670 1GB / HVR2200 / 750GB + 4 x 3TB / Win 7 x64 / MediaPortal 1.5
PC - Intel e8500 / 8GB DDR2 / HD5830 1GB / Win7 x64

2150 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 19


  Reply # 606390 7-Apr-2012 13:50 Send private message

Oh I just realised probably the best test

Record the problematic 1080i from sky for 2 mins, then stop recording.

Play the tv recording in mp , cpu useage should be very very low. If it is not very low, then you have problem with software setup as DXVA is not working as it should. and it's not a hardware problem at all.




HTPC - Intel i3-2100 / 12GB DDR3 / GA-Z77X-UD5H / HD4670 1GB / HVR2200 / 750GB + 4 x 3TB / Win 7 x64 / MediaPortal 1.5
PC - Intel e8500 / 8GB DDR2 / HD5830 1GB / Win7 x64

2150 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 19


  Reply # 606391 7-Apr-2012 13:58 Send private message

btw - with regards to the video cards, I know that the low end htpc spec HD4550 was too slow for 1080i in mediaportal, but not sure how that compares to the 5450




HTPC - Intel i3-2100 / 12GB DDR3 / GA-Z77X-UD5H / HD4670 1GB / HVR2200 / 750GB + 4 x 3TB / Win 7 x64 / MediaPortal 1.5
PC - Intel e8500 / 8GB DDR2 / HD5830 1GB / Win7 x64

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