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180 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 25271 17-Aug-2008 10:01
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After reading about this new board arriving this year, I delayed my new build for a while. I was surprised to find this board released and available here late last week so I jumped straight in and ordered one. My existing HTPC was simply a Compaq SR5160 that I had purchased for testing Vista installs and realised that it was just capable of Freeview HD with the addition of an HVR-2200 so I have been using that for the last couple of months. I wanted a 'nice' HTPC for my theatre so I have built this...

Case - Antec Fusion V2
MB - Intel DG45ID
CPU - Intel Q9300
RAM - 2G Corsair
HDD - 1TB Seagate
Blu-Ray ROM - LiteOn DH-401S
HVR-2200

If you want to use this board be aware that there are no PS2 ports and no IDE connector - so it's SATA optical and HDD's only and USB everything else. It only has optical SPDIF out (no coax) if you need to use it.

The build went smoothly. The only problem I ran into was that I needed to move a SATA power connector on the only double SATA feed from the power supply to make it reach both the BD and HDD. Apart from that pretty much everything else is plug and play. There are a couple of technical wiring connections with the Antec case due to the built in VFD and IR reciever, but they are not a problem with the help from google (or me if you wish).

I am using the supplied CPU cooler. The noise level from the box with the power supply plus two side exhaust fans set a low speed is about the same noise level as the fan on my PTAE-1000 projector. I have no problem with this level and don't see any reason to upgrade the CPU cooler.

There are two current HD issues with this board. The first is a 'repeater' issue if you feed the HDMI into an AVR (and particularly if you have a Denon AMP like me) and the other is 24p. I won't go into them here because the current thread on the AVS forum about this motherboard will give you all the information you need. I am not too concerned about these issues because I think they will be solved in the future and there are work arounds for the repeater problem.

OK, does it work ?

Blu-ray = Good. The optical drive came with PowerDVD 7.x BD 2channel software which had to be upgraded to Ultra 8 to make it useful in my situation. I now have a workable multi-zone BD player plus my existing PS3.

(EDIT - EVR does work with this board - see third post for details)

Freeview HD = OK. I have installed my trusty DVBViewer on the new kit and cranked it up last night. I'm not fully up with the play on renderers but I can tell you that Vista EVR does not work on this board. It will display a picture but it's mostly bright yellow. I can get good output at this stage using 'Overlay Mixer' but it comes with a bit of 'ghosting like disturbance' on panning shots. More tweaking needs to be done here to see what improvements can be made here.

The normal decoders are currently installed (Cyberlink, AC3Filter, Monogram AAC). I have the onboard sound feeding via the Intel HDMI driver and there are no problems with AAC or AC3 into my AMP via this connection.

Current CPU usage: 3-4% @ 720 and 16-18% @ 1080i or Blu-ray


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1976 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 157551 17-Aug-2008 18:24
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Nice looking board.

Appears there is also a Mini-itx variant - DG45FC.

Keep us informed how well it performs over time.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.



180 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 157556 17-Aug-2008 18:57
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Big News ! - Vista EVR does in fact work great with this board - CPU usage now only 2.5% with TV3 1080i

If you have the same problem I had with wild technicolor output via DVBViewer you need to do this...

Open the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver control window.
Click 'Video Settings' button
Go to Color Control Tab
Tick 'Enable Application Settings Override'

Problem solved - This is now a fantastic board !

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  Reply # 157871 19-Aug-2008 01:30
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i have one of these sitting in a box still, no time for play right now - good to hear you got the onboard working ok with vista, it makes for a decent media PC solution without having to go for an extra nvidia 8400+ gpu on top of the mobo.

I did notice that there are "consumer infrared receiver" and  "consumer infrared transmitter" headers on the board - i wonder where you can get the emitters/receivers from and how easy they are to use with the various media center products




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180 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 157896 19-Aug-2008 08:19
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Regs: ...I did notice that there are "consumer infrared receiver" and  "consumer infrared transmitter" headers on the board - i wonder where you can get the emitters/receivers from and how easy they are to use with the various media center products


I did wonder the same until I decided to go back to the empty box and read the additional documents inside it. There is a card with info and and url for the CIR stuff - www.easy-cir.com

I was pleased to find that the VFD display in the Antec Fusion case I used does have a built in MS compatible IR receiver in it and works fine with my MCE keyboard and remote.

I had not played with the HDMI sound much until last night. After setting it up fully, my AMP lit up last night with a full 7.1 channel in display. I will spend some more time experimenting with this today.

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  Reply # 157988 19-Aug-2008 13:41
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datahawk:I decided to go back to the empty box and read the additional documents inside it. There is a card with info and and url for the CIR stuff - www.easy-cir.com


ha! good spotting.  RTFM (i usually throw all that stuff to the side)




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Infrastructure Geek
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  Reply # 157990 19-Aug-2008 13:47
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Regs:
datahawk:I decided to go back to the empty box and read the additional documents inside it. There is a card with info and and url for the CIR stuff - www.easy-cir.com


ha! good spotting.  RTFM (i usually throw all that stuff to the side)


hmmm.   404 Page not found on both of the "retail" links on that page :(

the links were crafted wrong though:

http://www.meritline.com/front-panel-consumer-infrared-receiver1.html
or
http://www.versatek.com/products/ed-fpr100.htm

US$25 for the IR bit that takes a 3.5" external bay and another US$18 for an MCE remote




Technical Evangelist
Microsoft NZ
about.me/nzregs
Twitter: @nzregs




180 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 158273 20-Aug-2008 10:51
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I spent much of yesterday playing around with multi channel sound via HDMI on this board. It all appears to work fine. Setting up 7.1 in the sound panel activates all channels on my AMP and I can turn off S/PDIF passthrough on the likes of AC3Filter and get all the 5.1 channels through the HDMI. All DVD or Blu-ray PCM output via PowerDVD8 is fine.

Windows appears to 'lock' the Multi Channel output to what ever you specify in the sound panel. Other HDMI players such as the PS3 will change the multi channel output to match the audio format being played - i.e. If the game/movie is outputting PCM 5.1, then your AMP should display 5.1 multi channel input. This does not happen if you play PCM 5.1 format media via Windows. The 5.1 signal is fed through the 7.1 link but the channels remain locked at 7.1 - If you output AC3/DTS or activate S/PDIF with the HDMI connected this way, then there are no problems and my AMP simply detects and switches to the correct Dolby/DTS format.

There are still the ongoing issues about the lack of TrueHD sound output via PC because there is no secure 'Protected Audio/Video Path' from Windows but at least Intel have 'PAVP' built into this board. Here's hoping that they and the likes of Cyberlink and other software player producers will get their act together and solve this problem in the future with just driver changes.





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Master Geek
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  Reply # 159900 26-Aug-2008 14:52
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Hi,

I've been monitoring quite a few of the HTPC threads over the last month trying to come up with a config to build my own HTPC. This motherboard sounds like a great choice, but does it perform as well as a nVidia 8500GT (for viewing Freeview HD...not interested in gaming)?

Thanks



180 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 159911 26-Aug-2008 15:21
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I can't tell you if the H.264 performance is better, less or equal to a 8500GT but I have no problems with this integrated solution.

Freeview 1080i is smooth, no stutter and a pleasure to watch. It is better than my previous 8400GS based PC which did have a slight stutter during panning shots.

Even with a few hicups made by Intel with the initial release and a few outstanding issues, this board is regarded as one of the better HTPC solutions currently available by a lot of people.

296 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 160274 27-Aug-2008 20:57
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Where did you get the Intel DG45ID board from? How much was it?  I am interested..
Do you know if the DVi and HDMI can output simultaneously dual display?




My opinions and ideas expressed in posts are solely my own and do not reflect the views of my employer in any way..




180 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 160284 27-Aug-2008 21:44
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JaBZ: Where did you get the Intel DG45ID board from? How much was it?  I am interested..
Do you know if the DVi and HDMI can output simultaneously dual display?


Search for BOXDG45ID at pricespy.co.nz for suppliers. Most online dealers should be able to get them but you may have to ask if they are not yet listing them. Yes, it will output from both ports at the same time but you may have problems with HDCP with twin monitors. I did have some HDMI sound problems when my AVR+Projector and LCD were both connected.

296 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 160291 27-Aug-2008 22:00
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Thanks,
I'm planning on using the HDMI to main TV and the DVI to component to room TV.  I have Q9300 also, are you using the stock intel cooler?  I am looking for a passive which will fit the Antec Fusion V2 case.





My opinions and ideas expressed in posts are solely my own and do not reflect the views of my employer in any way..


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  Reply # 160303 27-Aug-2008 23:05
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Is it possible to run the same output to HDMI and DVI at the same time with this board?

Also does it support any analogue output over DVI. Ideally I want SVideo and Composite as well as component, but just component would be nice.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.



180 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 160345 28-Aug-2008 08:46
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JaBZ: Thanks,
I'm planning on using the HDMI to main TV and the DVI to component to room TV.  I have Q9300 also, are you using the stock intel cooler?  I am looking for a passive which will fit the Antec Fusion V2 case.


The stock cooler for the Q9300 is very quiet. With the cooler fan, power supply fan and twin case fans running on low the PC is quieter than the ticking hard drive on the MySky HDi !. I use Seagate HDD's and they are very quiet also. - If you use the Fusion case, you will be very pleased with the noise levels. Core temp readings on mine run approx 48, 38, 41, 36 degC. The highest I have seen is about 51-53 on a couple of processors.

The Antec Fusion V2 case is well designed and also has a baffle system to redirect the incoming airflow across the cpu cooler which will help.


296 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 160347 28-Aug-2008 08:53
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Cool thanks, I also asume the board directs audio over HDMI as well?  Would it simultanouesly direct audio over hdmi and through the rear analog connections?




My opinions and ideas expressed in posts are solely my own and do not reflect the views of my employer in any way..


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