This is my first post here so please forgive any mistakes and the length. First let me thanks to many of you as its been post here that have largely got me to where I am so far with my HTPC. For the record my HTPC specs are:
MB - ASUS P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP
CPU - INTEL C2D E4300
GFX - XFX GF7950GT
OPT - PLEXTOR PX-755SA
HDD - WD5000AAKS
CASE - Silverstone LC20M
PSU - Corsair 520HX
TV - AVerMedia Duo Hybrid DVB-T
Screen - Panasonic 32PX800
Windows XP MCE sp3
So far this is the story. I installed the new Aver duo card and loaded up the out of the box software. Everything worked perfectly and I had no trouble tuning in all the Freeviw channels and analogue channels and FM on both cards. I tested recording a bit and it seemed fine. Tho as expected, the picture wasn't great in digital, especially during motion on TV3 and the CPUs are working at about 40-50%. Also the synchronisation with the speech wasn't good and it crashed often enough to make it a no go.
As I said I expected this having read posts on this site about it earliler so I had GB-PVR ready to install. I had less luck with this tho as it took a fair amount of reading get it set up for the digital right and I needed to get the Cyberlink H.264 codecs before they displayed. Now they're working though I'm still battling to get the analogue tuners to work. Also the buttons on the screen during live TV don't work which obviously is going to need more work to try to sort it out.
While battling with GB-PVR I downloaded Mediaportal and after installing the Cyberlink codecs got the digital tuners working though it had the same problem as GB-PVR with analogue. As the buttons all seem to work on mediaportal I thought I'd try to sort it out first. And after a lot more reading I realised that it needed some software encoders if it was going to have a chance of working and that I needed to download and install WinDVR3. After doing that and rebooting, I's able to scan my analogue tuners in mediaportal and it found all the channels here in Auckland. Hooray!!
This has all taken a week or two and during that time Aver have released newer version of their software which I installed last night. It seems much better on a stability front and the picture quality is better but still not nearly up to the mediaportal or GB-PVR with Cyberlink level. also the audio synchronisation is much much better.
Now that the analogue is working on mediaportal with a bit more customisation i think its going to be the go. however the analogue TV audio isn't perfect. it jitters a bit which is annoying. I suspect this is because its using software encoding. Tho the CPU is only running around 30-40% during analogue TV which is less than it runs for TV3 digital and it manages perfect audio then.
Also, the AVer MediaCenter app manages to do analogue with almost no CPU usage and perfect audio.
So these are my questions:
1. If this card doesn't do hardware mpeg2 encoding, then how is Aver MediaCenter doing it with so little CPU?
2. I notice there are now about a dozen Aver codecs on my pc. Could i somehow tell mediaportal to use the Aver codec for mpeg2 software encoding? As they appear to be less CPU intensive and the audio is perfect.
3. Though if thats the case why couldn't mediaportal find those codecs as they were there before installing WinDVR3?
4. I've tried switching audio codecs a bit but could I solve the jitters just by trying other codecs for analogue TV audio?
5. Despite being a bit rubbish Aver MediaCenter does do everything I need and with the new release seems ok stability wise. Does anyone think it would be possible to tell it to use the cyberlink codecs? I've tried pushing Cyberlink to the top of the priorty list using a free app (if forget its name and I'm at work now). I've also tried unregistering the Aver H.264 codecs but that just lead to a blank screen with audio only. I've also tried using graphedit to connect to AverMedia center remotely to see exactly what codecs its using but it doesn't even show up in the list of possible remote graphs.
6. Finally, does anyone know how to get FM radio working under mediaportal for Aver duo cards? I've read one post about doing it manually which looked good but I get an error about no analogue tuner being available. Is this related to the sotware vs hardware encoding issue?
I know the obvious solution is to use mediaportal for digital and aver MediaCenter for analogue and radio though I'm trying to make this HTPC as girlfriend friendly as possible and its a hard sell.
Once I've sorted out, then I've just got the remote to sort out, the dvd playback, a good skin for foobar2000 and work if its at all possible to get 1:1 pixel-mapping with no overscan going into my px800 on either VGA or HDMI... no worries...
Lastly let me say that I realise my graphics card isn't doing the hardware H.264 encoding but it works pretty well on the cpu and i'll upgrade it later once all the software set up is done.
Obviously I'm super keen to share my settings in mediaportal with anyone with the aver A177 tho I'm still a newbie so it may take me a little bit to get what people need.