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5 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 125180 20-Apr-2008 23:14 Send private message

Thanks so much for your help! Ordered the card this afternoon, will let you know how it goes.

166 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 125199 21-Apr-2008 08:18 Send private message

sbiddle:
smbunn: I am getting a ATI Radeon 2400 HD AGP card.  $115 will be well spent if it works, which according to the specifications it should do.  A few US reviews of it decoding H.264 said it was identical in speed to the HD 3850 and twice as fast as the Nvidia 8800GTS.  It also said the noise reduction and de-interlacing were far superior to Nvidia.
I will let you know if this card does the trick.


You're wasting your money.

ATI chipsets have known reported issues with DVB-T in New Zealand when it comes to decoding interlaced H.264 video and I've personally verifed the issues with 2400, 2600 and 3850 video cards in several different systems.

There also appear to be issues with hardware acceleration of H.264 content using AGP with varying reports on whether this does work succesfully or not.


For the record, I've spent quite a bit of time trying to get an HD3870 top end heatpiped & o/c card decoding HDTV - I've finally given up and am going to chip in a 9600GT this week.

The ATI card gave a great picture, is fantastic with blu-ray, but craps out when either changing channel or fast-forwarding HDTV live or recorded. I'm running GBPVR on vista, when tuned in the picture is fine, but changing channel can bring the blocky/green kiss of death as it has difficulty recovering from this. I also tried playing a recorded TS file on PDVD8, and I got the blocky/green thing when I tried to fast forward.
I've spent a lot of time on setup/drivers/troubleshooting but now I've just had enough as the prime use of the HTPC is DVB-T, so I'm cutting my losses. It's a bit sad as the card is an otherwise fantastic performer, fast quite & stunning picture quality. I suspect some future revision of drivers might fix the issue, but with me trying to win WAF and FAF, I haven't got time up my sleeve.

90 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 125293 21-Apr-2008 13:17 Send private message

I find PowerDVD 8 works really well on fast forward and rewind.  TV on Media Portal is a bit more temperamental.  Your push fast forward, the frame freezes, the timeline appears, the words "2x" appears and then eventually you might see another frame, maybe from 1 second ahead or maybe 1 minute ahead.  pause, maybe another frame etc until you release the fast forward button by pressing play and realise you have jumped forward 10 minutes just in time to see "who done it" in the mystery thriller you have been watching, without unfortunately seeing the lead up.

My kids prefer I let the TV play in real-time, even through the ads, as this avoids problems. Channel change is a little slow, about 1 second.  I have an TheatrePro 550 analog card as well which I use for Prime and Juice, this takes about 15 seconds to fire up the first time. 

I suspect this is a media portal issue as it was the same with my 8600 GTS.  I will try com-skip as this is a great add in, but of course only works with recorded shows, not paused TV. 

So I haven't thrashed my graphics card as much as you and may of course see similar problems.  It seesm to me that some of these problems though are related to the quality of the input signal, a stronger signal reduces the green blocks issue.

166 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 125319 21-Apr-2008 14:40 Send private message

I have eliminated signal quality as an issue, along with the monogram aac decoder. I have another (XPC SG33G5 Q6600 8600GTS 22" LG Flatron wide) machine running as the family PC in another room. It does not have the same issues as the HTPC, the only real variable being the ATI vs Nvidia GPU's. I can swap them around and find no difference in the signal quality. I spent the weekend (and lots of money) cleaning up the signal path, just to eliminate this as a cause, along with playing with aac decoders and swapping the memory modules.
Like I said, I'm a big fan of the ATI 3870 card, but it does seem to have HDTV stability issues, so on to trademe it goes !!
The one really cool thing about this card was its ability to send both Audio & Video along the HDMI path, without any links to mainboard.  

90 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 125528 22-Apr-2008 11:54 Send private message

I tried the different de-interlacing modes and all work, with the one I prefer just referred to by a registry key code rather than a name.

I tried fast forwarding, rewinding and pausing live TV, all worked fine. I noticed on fast forward you get block artifacts, but being a digital video camera owner (Canon HV20 HD 1080i camera) I am used to seeing this in fast forward or rewind modes.

Unfortunately having now set up a stable system I made the mistake last night of seeing Media Portal RC1 has finally been released.  I couldn't help downloading it and installing (after a complete uniinstall of all previous versions).  I thought this might resolve an issue I have seen with Media Portal jumping back one minute every so often.

Big mistake, it's totally unstable.  Now I have to go back to re-installing my older SVN versions.  Damn!



912 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 125538 22-Apr-2008 12:31 Send private message

Smbunn lucky you backed up your old settings though, right?




CPU: Intel 3770k| RAM: F3-2400C10D-16GTX G.Skill Trident X |MB:  Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB | GFX: GV-N660OC-2GD gv-n660oc-2gd GeForce GTX 660 | Monitor: Qnix 27" 2560x1440

90 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 125582 22-Apr-2008 15:28 Send private message

Of course that would ahve been a good idea.  RC1 does not have the "back-up" option of the normal SVN installs.  In fact it asks you to completely remove all previous versions.  To be honest it does not take that long to remove a verison, and clean install a prevous one and set it up.  Scanning the DVB-T channels and analog channels is the slowest step in the whole process.
This will keep me busy tonight.

75 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 125895 23-Apr-2008 14:30 Send private message

I'm pretty sure i've read every ones post and hopefully what i'm asking hasn't already been asked :-) I'm being offered an insane deal from a friend for a bunch of computer stuff. Any how hes offering me the Sapphire HD2900XT 512MB PCI-E as part of the deal. I'm pretty sure it does h.264 decoding as on this page: http://www.cpu3d.com/content/view/1742/53/1/1/ it says "Integrated HD audio controller with multi-channel (5.1) AC3 support"..."Integrated AMD Xilleon™ HDTV encoder, Provides high quality analog TV output (component/S-video/composite), Supports SDTV and HDTV resolutions"..."HD decode for H.264/AVC, VC-1, DivX and MPEG-2 video formats, Flawless DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray™ playback"..."HD video processing"..."MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding" It should work with freeview NZ alright shouldn't it? After I've bought that all I'd need is a cheap USB DVB-T tuner without Hardware encoding wouldn't I?

Thanks!

Matt

18516 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 721

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Biddle Corp
Subscriber

  Reply # 125901 23-Apr-2008 14:50 Send private message

mattie47: I'm pretty sure i've read every ones post and hopefully what i'm asking hasn't already been asked :-) I'm being offered an insane deal from a friend for a bunch of computer stuff. Any how hes offering me the Sapphire HD2900XT 512MB PCI-E as part of the deal. I'm pretty sure it does h.264 decoding as on this page: http://www.cpu3d.com/content/view/1742/53/1/1/ it says "Integrated HD audio controller with multi-channel (5.1) AC3 support"..."Integrated AMD Xilleon™ HDTV encoder, Provides high quality analog TV output (component/S-video/composite), Supports SDTV and HDTV resolutions"..."HD decode for H.264/AVC, VC-1, DivX and MPEG-2 video formats, Flawless DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray™ playback"..."HD video processing"..."MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding" It should work with freeview NZ alright shouldn't it? After I've bought that all I'd need is a cheap USB DVB-T tuner without Hardware encoding wouldn't I?

Thanks!

Matt


Numerous people (including myself) have encountered issues with ATI cards and H.264 acceleration. In a nutshell it doesn't work properly! Smile

It's very much a case of buyer beware. An NVidia card along the lines of 8500/8600 or series 9 is guaranteed to work.

166 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 126066 24-Apr-2008 10:31 Send private message

I think I've found the perfect HTPC card - gigabyte o/c & silent heat pipe 9600GT, I'll poost a report sometime in the weekend.

123 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 126077 24-Apr-2008 11:17 Send private message

ajst2duk: I think I've found the perfect HTPC card - gigabyte o/c & silent heat pipe 9600GT, I'll poost a report sometime in the weekend.


Am finding this thread a little depressing as it took me a while to get good output from my GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard with its integrated HD3200 only to find that channel-changing sometimes caused problems. I have been putting that down to poor reception/USB DVB-T stick but there's obviously more to it than that!

Last night I started a re-install of everything from the ground up as I'd installed numerous ATI drivers, virus software and MediaPortal SVNs before getting good pictures on all DVB-T channels.

I will be a bit more methodical by ghosting the base OS (XP) and trying various Catalyst drivers, MediaPortal/GB-PVR in turn. Will let you know what I find.

Note that Catalyst 8.4 has recently come out so fingers crossed that ATi have pulled finger or it's another trip to the shop!



2577 posts

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  Reply # 126084 24-Apr-2008 11:40 Send private message

askelon: nVidia has 3 generations of H.264 hardware acceleration. The 7x00 series, 8800GTS/X are all Gen 1. It doesnt support Freeview hardware playback. Gen 2 was the earlier 8x00 cards which support playback with no problems, Gen 3 is the current equipment which should include all the newer 8x00 cards and the 9x00 cards.

Gen 1 will more or less require decoding via the CPU (approx 30-40% CPU Usage), Gen 2 & 3 are decoded via the graphics cards (approx 3-5% CPU Usage).

Cards that will work with no problems are as follows:

8400GS (not suitable for games though)
8500Gx
8600Gx
8800GT (not GTS/GTX)
9600Gx
9800Gx


OK so currently I have a 7800GT. I want to get one of the current generation cards to take the load of the CPU (AMD X2 3800+)..

The media centre is purely a media centre I have different PC's that are used for gaming. I plan to get a Bluray drive in the medium term and switch to HD freeview.

My question is as I do not want to use it for gaming at all is there any reason not to get the 8400GS? Is getting the 8500 or 8600 GT going to give me any advantage at all?

Edit: my display is 720P and I dont see that changing in the life of this media centre.







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

166 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 126110 24-Apr-2008 13:07 Send private message

huckster:
ajst2duk: I think I've found the perfect HTPC card - gigabyte o/c & silent heat pipe 9600GT, I'll poost a report sometime in the weekend.


Am finding this thread a little depressing as it took me a while to get good output from my GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard with its integrated HD3200 only to find that channel-changing sometimes caused problems. I have been putting that down to poor reception/USB DVB-T stick but there's obviously more to it than that!

Last night I started a re-install of everything from the ground up as I'd installed numerous ATI drivers, virus software and MediaPortal SVNs before getting good pictures on all DVB-T channels.

I will be a bit more methodical by ghosting the base OS (XP) and trying various Catalyst drivers, MediaPortal/GB-PVR in turn. Will let you know what I find.

Note that Catalyst 8.4 has recently come out so fingers crossed that ATi have pulled finger or it's another trip to the shop!




I tried the latest catalyst, I didn't want to give up without a fight !!!! My picture is stable and very nice looking, but any channel changing upsets the apple cart. My other PC which had an 8600GTS in it has no such issues.
This new 9800GT is a nice looking card, fully silent heatpipe and enough performance if the kids want a play. I'll be interested to see how it copes in an HTPC case - I'll post a review in a new thread once I get a chance to have a good crack.
Here is the link: http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=VGAGBV0096
It looks like it really hits the sweet spot for our HDTV PVR's

123 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 126129 24-Apr-2008 13:58 Send private message

ajst2duk: I tried the latest catalyst, I didn't want to give up without a fight !!!!


Oh god. Another $279. Luckily the Mrs doesn't read the forums. I wonder how smbunn is getting on....?

It's so friggin annoying. Like most things technical in my house, it seems to work until I show the wife!

166 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 126134 24-Apr-2008 14:21 Send private message

huckster:
ajst2duk: I tried the latest catalyst, I didn't want to give up without a fight !!!!


Oh god. Another $279. Luckily the Mrs doesn't read the forums. I wonder how smbunn is getting on....?

It's so friggin annoying. Like most things technical in my house, it seems to work until I show the wife!


Classic !!!! I had the same - believe me 300 bucks is a small price to pay for full family acceptance, my wife is a crazy channel surfer with no fault tolerance, a challenging handful for me. Kids wax and wane from "hey this is sick dad" to " dad- this sucks"

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