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18 posts

Geek
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# 39581 17-Aug-2009 16:16
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Hi,

I recently put together an HTPC with the following components:

Case: Antec NSK2480 380W M-ATX HTPC Case Black
MB: ASUS P5N7A-VM mATX 9300 LGA775
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 2.8GHZ 3MB 1066MHz
RAM: Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5 2x2GB DDR2-800
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 32MB Cache SATAII
Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV HVR3000 Triple mode free-to-air
DVD: Sony BR-5100S-0B SATA 2X Blu-ray BD-ROM

HDMI out to Onkyo TX-SR606, and into Sony Bravia LCD.

I've made slow but steady progress in getting everything set up in Windows 7 Media Center.  Have DVB-T Freeview working perfectly (surprisingly straight forward to set up) which is great.  Really impressed with the scope off what can be done with an HTPC these days.  Still plenty to sort out i.e. BSE EPG was working, but then stopped and a couple of ACPI matters, but am sure I can work these out with a bit of time.  However, there is one hardware problem that has me a bit stuck. 

After getting Freeview working, I decided to input my Sky TV (Digital Subscription) into the HTPC via the S-Video input on the HVR-3000.  This was quite simple to set up too, however the reception has some obvious rf-like interference (diagonal fine lines, almost appearing every few seconds for a short while, then going away).  I thought no worries, it must be the cable quality and/or power conditioning, so I upgraded the power box to a surge protection, emi, ground fault detection type, and purchased a more up-market SCART to S-video adaptor and S-Video cable.  Result: no real change to reception interference. 
Below is a list of other steps I've taken:
 - Read common reports on this forum about VGA/Chipset inteference and have moved the PCI tuner card to the end/other slot (only a m-atx board so not many to choose from), no change
 - Tried removing fans, adding fans etc to see if it was an inteference or heat issues from other power drawing components in the box, but no change
 - Tried a more powerful (Enermax) PSU with emi shielded cables etc, no change
 - Tidied up my cabling behind TV, Amp, Sky Box etc (what a mission) to try and isolate interference from other cables as a cause, but still no improvement
 - Quite confident it's not the old Motorola Sky box at fault as the same S-Video output into a Panasonic DVD/HDD Recorder does not show this problem (have tried S-Video direct from Sky Box and via DVD Recorder - no difference).

Now that I've started down this road of having Sky going through the HTPC, I'm determined to try and get it sorted.  I'm not sure whether I'm going to have any luck with this Tuner card for this task, so thought I'd ask for help here.  I understand that the HVR-3000 using software mpeg encoding and am not sure if this could be contributing to the problem.  If so I would be keen to buy another Hauppauge card with hardware mpeg encoding, use that for the S-Video input and continue using the HVR-3000 for Freeview if they co-exist happily.

Do you think an alternative tuner card (i.e. hardware mpeg encoding or perhaps one known for its good quality S-Video input) would offer better results for Sky through S-Video?  If so, which card - HVR-1700 perhaps?  Or would I just have the same result with a new card incurring that same problem?

Hope the above is enough info for those who may be able to offer some insight (just let me know if you need more detail).  Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

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2584 posts

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  # 247828 17-Aug-2009 18:36
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As you already realise the 3000 has a software encoder for analogue. My experiance was that it really was not worth bothering with it.

I went for a 2200 which gave me a tuner for DVB-T too or if you can pickup a 150 that will do the job well as well.

Edit I should mention that I still find it inferior to the siganl direct to the TV with quite a bit of softness but compaired to the 3000 is is miles ahead.







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

96 posts

Master Geek
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  # 247858 17-Aug-2009 19:33
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I have a similar problem - my output via the component to s-video adapter (HVR3000) is black and white video...

I used to have a MCE150 - which works ok, but it uses composite connectors, and the quality is pretty average. (Especially compared to the component output, direct to the TV)


 
 
 
 


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  # 247894 17-Aug-2009 20:28
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The best way to solve the problem is to kick analog as far away as you can boot it.

Even if you buy the best analog card around, your still going to have widescreen issues, missed channel changes, interference, missed recordings due to missed channel changes etc etc etc.

It is well worth the effort to do some reading on the digital way to get Sky into your media center.

If your using Windows 7, this means using DVBLink, DVBViewer/DVBDream and a Jaycar reader, along with a couple of other bits and pieces. Plenty of info in the forums on it. Note you still need your Skycard - this doesn't hack/pirate Sky in any way.

It'll cost you about the same as a good analog input card ie about $100 bucks of hardware/software, and you will need to invest a bit of time in research. However the results are many times better than analog will ever be, and thats before you get around to using HD...



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Geek
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  # 248769 19-Aug-2009 19:58
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Wow - thanks for the advice and ideas Nety, zimbonz & RustyGonad - much appreciated!

Am quite keen to go down the card reader / DVB route for the obvious greater quality (and if set up right, usability). However my sky card is a gold NZ17XX type which I thought was tricky to get working (or working consistently) in this type of setup. Has the software situation improved for these particular cards?

Enough good thoughts for me to consider what to do/buy next - excellent!

Cheers :)

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Master Geek


  # 248934 20-Aug-2009 09:49
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Just remember to ensure the scart output on the sky box is configured correctly. It can be set to component or s-video and this may make a difference to what you are receiving. This is probably why zimbonz is getting black and white instead of full colour.

I have a similar setup with s-video going to a PVR150 on 7MC and the picture quality is very good. This card has the advantage of coming with a blaster to change the channels which, like a lot of things in 7MC, just works

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Geek


  # 249022 20-Aug-2009 13:41
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Just a quick question,
How did you get s-video to work on W7MC? I run the set-up tv siginal wizard and choose cable tv. It does the scan picks up the channel, but the next screen when it asks for the IR remote or something. It doesn't detect the remote and I have to cancel the whole set up wizard. Very annoying.

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Master Geek


  # 249034 20-Aug-2009 14:01
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All the channels that i have setup on the PVR150 are manually added because there is really only a single source. What are you trying to get analogue through? An analogue card is not cable TV.

I do remember that you have to set up all the cards at once and it will generally setup the satellite card first.

 
 
 
 




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Geek
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  # 249038 20-Aug-2009 14:13
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thecrippler; I think you need the IR blaster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_blaster) connected to get past that screen in the setup. I did read somewhere (on these forums) about a special driver/utility that tricks WMC to think there actually is an iR blaster attached.

If you do have an IR blaster already attached, maybe you need to install some drivers or do a restart to get WMC to pick it up.

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Geek


  # 249039 20-Aug-2009 14:13
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basically trying to get telstraclear cable tv going through the s-video port.
I got it to work on the WinTv program, but that is on my Vista install. I also have win7 installed too.

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Geek


  # 249045 20-Aug-2009 14:24
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cheers bwen , ill look into it now :)




ok i checked out the link, and had one of those blaster come with the HVR3000, so i just put infront of the TCL STB?  and plug into the HVR3000 Card ?

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  # 249059 20-Aug-2009 14:52
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The one that comes with the 3000 is a receiver not a blaster.

You need something like http://pcpacific.net/product_info.php?products_id=2545 which comes with two blasters. (there are other options too but that is what I have).

Yes it attaches to the from of the TC STB so that MC can change the channels.

As already mentioned if you do not want it to be able to change the channels then there is a app that will fool MC into thinking that a blaster is installed but in your case I would suggest using a blaster.







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

46 posts

Geek


  # 249067 20-Aug-2009 15:14
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Thanks Nety, very helpful.

But what is this app called? it does work with Win7 and Vista Home Premium 32bit?


Nety, do you have telstraclear cable tv as well? 

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Wannabe Geek


  # 252054 31-Aug-2009 20:56
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I have a PVR150 and when capturing S-Video through Windows 7 media centre I get a really bad picture quality, peoples faces look sort of washout and plasticine like.

I have done lots of research and found that the PVR150 has something?s called "spatial filter" and "temporal filter" which is used to clean up Analogue signals where the digital signals that SKY and other STB output don't require these filters.

I tried using the Hauppauge Tweak Tool to turn these features off but it doesn?t really work with Windows 7.

Has anyone else managed to get a good digital picture quality through the PVR150 using S-Video and Sky STB?

I am considering purchasing a Compro VIDEOMATE E850F that has a component input to get a better signal and Hardware MPEG-2/4 encoder

Can anyone tell me if Windows 7 now handles Component input as I can't find anything stating it does, as component input from a STB would be much better than S-Video.

Thanks

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Master Geek


  # 252097 1-Sep-2009 07:34
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I have really good picture quality with Win7, PVR150 & Sky STB. Have you checked that the STB is setup to output S-Video through the SCART connector you are using?

When i set mine up i did not have to tweak any settings to get things looking good. Do you get the same poor picture through composite?

GF

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