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# 106286 20-Jul-2012 20:05
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Just a bit of an FYI post and sharing my experiences building a new HTPC, I have had my current setup running for the last 2~3 years. It hasn’t been too bad just with a few niggles here and there (Channel change times, sluggish performance at times tec, etc.

Due to issues trying to get my HTPC working with dual DVBS-2 cards (Hauppauge HVR 4000 and 4400) I made the decision that it was time to start fresh and try and improve general performance whilst I am at it. So, online I go and order a bunch of fresh hardware and download the latest versions of the required software .....

Hardware:
  • Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H Motherboard;
  • Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4 GHz, Ivy Bridge;
  • Kingston HyperX, 2x4GB, DDR3-1600, DIMM;
  • Silverstone Lascala LC16 Home Theatre Case (I recycled my PSU as it is not that old);
  • Corsair Force Series 3 Solid State Drive, 120GB, SATA 6 Gb/s x 2;
    • 1 = Operating System;
    • 1 = TV Cache / Recording (Script to archive recordings to file server);
    • LiteOn iHES212 Blu-ray drive;
    • TBS6984 PCI-E DVB-S2 Quad TV card (Waiting on delivery, recycled my 4000 & 4400 in the interim);
    • Omnikey CardMan® 3121 (Waiting on delivery, recycled my Jaycar reader in the interim).
Software:
  • Windows 7 Professional;
  • Windows Media Center;
  • DVBLink v4.5, now downgraded to 3.2;
  • NewCS, Acamd etc (Will upgrade to Oscam with the new reader);
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD v12 (Drive came with 10 but upgraded).
First of all, full credit to Ascent, with the exception of the tuner and card reader I ordered all of my parts from them online on Wednesday afternoon. Woohoo, next morning the courier turns up with a bunch of boxes for me, everything was there that I ordered. I figure I will assemble it recycling my old card reader and tuner cards(s) until they turn up from Hong Kong.

My intention was to try and throw as much grunt at the HTPC as realistic to eliminate and performance issues. Anyway, to cut to the chase we will fast forward to a fully assembled HTPC with all the required software installed .....

The good:
  • The Silverstone case is a nice looking case, solidly build and has the iMon VFD and remote. Reasonable value for the price.
  • SSD drives are a blessing, boot times are very quick and hopefully dedicating one for TV caching and recording should improve performance. I have scripted to archive off recordings to our home file server due to the space available.
  • Both my Hauppauge cards play together nicely on this board (I could not get them both working together in the old setup).
The bad:
  • The SATA 6Gb connectors on the motherboard are forward facing on the front edge of the board, this required removing the 3.5 “ cages, plugging the cables then replacing them. A bit of a saga.
  • PowerDVD 10 which came with the Blu Ray drive doesn’t integrate with WMC7 very well and had issues with stuttering, an upgrade to v12 fixed this.
  • The front multifunction buttons on the case do not appear to work with Windows 7, I haven’t had a chance to find a fix. It does state in the cases manual XP/2000 only so I will note to Ascent that they probably want to note it with the product details. 
  • The PSU fits to the left of the case below the motherboard so the PSU fan points to the side of the case. I was hoping to rely on that to vent the case to reduce the number of fans.
The ugly:
  • DVBLink 4.5, I kept getting “Playready” errors with TV, multiple fixes including 2 complete OS re-installs and no joy .... last resort I reverted back to v3.2 and no more issues. There appears to be a lot of people encountering this looking at the DVBLogic forums.
  • Stuttering and pixelated pictures with Sky HD channels when they first switch for about 15 seconds or when skipping or rewinding, I held high hope for the Intel HD 4000 graphics, tried a few fixes and driver versions .... no joy. Banged in my trusty GT440, no more issues, so at the moment I will run with that until I can find a fix.
Currently those are my only 2 big grumbles, I still have a lot of tweaking to go and a few fixes ....

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  # 659348 20-Jul-2012 23:03
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When you new tV card arrives i would be interested in the hvr-4400 pcie card at the right price :)

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