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Wireless1

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#20117 13-Mar-2008 20:06
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I've recently moved over from the UK to New Zealand (kiwi returning home!).

I brought back my HTPC which I used with DVB-T and MCE 2005. It was great to use over there - everything just worked. It has a Nebula DigiTV tuner card (DVB-T only). I'm not right up with all the drivers / codecs etc, but reading through a number of websites, I figure that my MCE won't work in NZ. So, I installed Powercinema (trial version from their website) which instantly recognised my DVB-T card and found about 15 stations (I'm in Dunedin) - all good, but I only got a blank screen and no sound. It's like it knows the station is there (I can change channels) but nothing on any channel. I went to Nebula's site, and updated my tuner card BDA drivers, which seemed to work. I downloaded ffdshow from http://www.free-codecs.com/FFDShow_download.htm and installed an h.264 codec from afreecodec.com - still no change. Is there fundamentally anything I'm doing wrong?? Any tips would be appreciated, it would be nice if I didn't have to buy a new tuner card! Thanks in advance...

Danny

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sbiddle
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  #116459 13-Mar-2008 20:19
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I'm guessing that PowerCinema doesn't actually work with H.264 transmissions. It's not just a simple is installing an H.264 codec, the software needs to be written to interface with it.

GB-PVR, DVBViewer and Media Portal all work with the New Zealand H.264 DVB-T transmissions. You will need an appropiate H.264 codec installed as well and the CyberLink PowerDVD7 one is the best currently available. You will also need to download the Monogram AAC decoder to handle the AAC-LATM audio used in New Zealand. If you don't have a video card that does H.264 hardware acceleration to handle the playback you'll also need a minimum of a dual core processor and even then you'll be getting close to running at 100% CPU utilisation. A video card such as an NVidia 8500 which does H.264 acceleration is almost a necessity for viewing these trnamissions.





 


 
 
 

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Wireless1

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  #117657 19-Mar-2008 22:07
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Hi again,

Thanks for your reply!  With that information, and checking through the forums I managed to get my picture and sound running.  I installed PowerDVD and the audio patch, and have managed to run the TV using GB-PVR.  It's not running very well though.  It's very patchy and stops / starts every second or so.  It seems to me that something in my system is stuggling!

When I was in the UK using Media Center and their DVB-T transmission my system worked perfectly.

My HTPC setup is:
P4 3.0Ghz
1Gb Ram
Nebula DigiTV tuner
PNY NVidia FX5500 Video Card
DVine HTPC Case

Do you think that the problems may be solved by upgrading my video card?  And if so what would be good options?  I really only use this PC for home theatre, so don't want to go over the top!

Thanks in advance,
Danny

grant_k
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  #117671 19-Mar-2008 22:43
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Wireless1: Do you think that the problems may be solved by upgrading my video card?  And if so what would be good options?

My video card recently died so I had to buy a new one today.  I don't have time to play any games, but wanted to get something with a bit of future-proofing to handle Blu-Ray playback so HDMI with HDCP is a must.

The card I settled on is an Nvidia 9600GT which cost me $299 + GST with 512MB of RAM.  I thought that was a pretty good price for a recently released card of the latest generation with plenty of grunt for what I will be using it for.  You can pay 4 or 5 times that much for the very best cards like 8800GTX, 8800ULTRA or 9800X2 and yet they probably wouldn't be any better for Blu-Ray playback or DVB-T / H.264 acceleration.



sbiddle
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  #117718 20-Mar-2008 07:49
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Wireless1: Hi again,

Thanks for your reply!  With that information, and checking through the forums I managed to get my picture and sound running.  I installed PowerDVD and the audio patch, and have managed to run the TV using GB-PVR.  It's not running very well though.  It's very patchy and stops / starts every second or so.  It seems to me that something in my system is stuggling!

When I was in the UK using Media Center and their DVB-T transmission my system worked perfectly.

My HTPC setup is:
P4 3.0Ghz
1Gb Ram
Nebula DigiTV tuner
PNY NVidia FX5500 Video Card
DVine HTPC Case

Do you think that the problems may be solved by upgrading my video card?  And if so what would be good options?  I really only use this PC for home theatre, so don't want to go over the top!

Thanks in advance,
Danny



The system you have simply isn't powerful enough to decode the H.264 transmissions and if you look at the CPU usage you'll probably find it hovering around 100% continually.


A new video card with H.264 acceleration will probably be OK but it's hard to know the exact CPU requirements until more people start posting performance figures with various configurations.

You don't need an expensive card -I got a new NVidia 8500GT for my system as this will do H.264 acceleration and these are around $130 these days.

Wireless1

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  #117760 20-Mar-2008 13:09
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Great, I might give the 8500 a try...

Any tips as to retailers (online or otherwise) where I should start looking.  As I say, I've been in the UK for the last few years so I'd know where to start there, but don't know the best places to look in NZ!

Cheers,
Danny


ajst2duk
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  #117787 20-Mar-2008 16:22
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At risk of straying off topic...
www.pbtech.co.nz great range
www.compulink.co.nz also good range - not always cheapest but have great specials
www.xpcomputers.co.nz I pass them each night and find it hard to resist
www.i-focus.co.nz good for higher end gaming stuff
www.pricespy.co.nz for price-checking

There you go...
AJ

Wireless1

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  #117825 20-Mar-2008 22:24
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Hi again,

Thanks for those web addresses - I've had a bit of a look!!  Great help!

Now, my motherboard is a Asrock P4V88 - which only has an AGP slot, no PCI-e.

Are there any video cards which would support h.264 and help with my stuttering problems, or fundamentally would the card need to be PCI-e?  I'd rather not have to upgrade my motherboard to watch TV in NZ!!

Thanks,
Danny



Wireless1

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  #120601 2-Apr-2008 21:03
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Hi, once more!

I've been looking at video card options which I can use in my AGP motherboard.  After reading through numerous forums and posts, I though that the ATI HD2600 might be a good options - but then it seems that almost everyone who has tried this card has run into problems. 

So now, I am wondering about a NVidia 6600GT.  This seems to have the h.264 acceleration, and seems to be even cheaper than the HD2600.  But I want to make sure that this will solve my HD problems!!

Obviously, I'm keen not to upgrade my whole system if I can help it.  This is only used for HTPC purposes...

So, what are peoples opinions on the 6600GT?

Thanks in advance,
Danny

mentalinc
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  #120603 2-Apr-2008 21:13
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You are not going to be successful im sorry. you need 8 series from nvidia none of which are on AGP




CPU: AMD 5900x | RAM: GSKILL Trident Z Neo RGB F4-3600C16D-32GTZNC-32-GB | MB:  Asus X570-E | GFX: EVGA FTW3 Ultra RTX 3080Ti| Monitor: LG 27GL850-B 2560x1440

 

Quic: https://account.quic.nz/refer/473833 R473833EQKIBX 


ajst2duk
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  #120615 2-Apr-2008 22:03
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You could punt for the ATI 3850 AGP, in theory this should have more than enough grunt for you. There is some discussion as to whether AGP bus will support hardware h.264 DVB-T - my experience with an X1950 pro wasn't the best but with teh benefit of hindsight I beleive I could have got that to woirk now instead of scrapping my whole system and starting from scratch like I did.

Wireless1

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  #120882 3-Apr-2008 21:18
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Thanks for the replies!

That ATI 3850 card sounds pretty good, but I've had a look at prices on ebay.co.uk, and they seem to be around £150 - pretty pricey for my HTPC.  I'm still trying to understand why the NVidia AGP cards wouldn't be suitable.  The 6600 and 7800 at least are both listed as having h.264 hardware decoding.

I've seen that I could pick up a 7800 GS AGP for about $150.  I guess this has a later GPU engine than the 6xxx series, and since it does have hardware decoding, why would it not work in my system??

As you can see from my above post, I currently have an FX5500 card installed....

Any info appreciated!


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