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7 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 21321 23-Apr-2008 00:05
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  - Finally got the FreeView Terrestrial going on my HomeBrew Media Centre … it took about three weeks of stop-start progress. Nothing was straight forward, and I seemed to get one milestone per evening.

 

Started with a reasonable ASUS M/B, 2GHz Dual Core Intel, 1Gb RAM and NVidia 8600?? Graphics card … connected to a Samsung 32” LCD, and cheap Phillips Home Theatre system (using AMP and speakers). Miscellaneous cables between these devices and others (VGA, not HDMI to the TV, digital over copper to the Phillips receiver. Aerial has good line of sight to Waitairua (Auckland) transmitter.

 

General progress:

 

Installed Hauppauge HVR3000 card, and got Analog TV going via WinTV – quality not as good as basic TV. Digital wouldn’t register any TV station, but found the two radio stations. However the digital signal strength and quality were registering at maximum (that’s good!)

 

Next up I tried Cyberlink’s Power Cinema – EPG worked, but sign of digital video or sound.

 

I purchased Cyberlink PowerDVD8Ultra for the H.264 codec – still no image.

 

About this time I was driven to the internet, and ended up trawling through geekzone looking for specific details on how to match everything together.

 

Tried DVBDream and something else to as the TV display software – various levels of failure. On hindsight probably my lack of understanding was biggest problem.

 

Decided to cough up more money and puchased the Cyberlink H.264 codec pack (Cyberlink has been good to me over the years) – No joy, and wondering if everything is just a nightmare

 

Downloaded GB-PVR, cleared everything else to do with the TV from the computer, and reloaded in the order suggested/implied by other users – which included adding the H264 codec and adding a significant line to the BG-PVR config.xml file (Ha! I got a picture – told you I could do it! I’m the greatest! Bow down oh lowly incapable ones … but wait … be quiet … oh noooo … where’s the sound gone???)

 

A couple of days spent trying various combinations of fiddles using theGB-PVR config program and manual editing of the config.xml file – no progress. Back to GeekZone and saw that “sub” often requested the log files – LOG FILES, how could I miss that!!! And there it was in Technicolor – error messages saying GB-PVR could find the AAC decoder.

 

More Googling and I knew I had nailed the sucker. I downloaded a small handful of AAC decoders and set to adding them “one at a time” into the GB-PVR config file, and in about 10 minutes sound was working just fine. FreeView Terrestrial has arrived on a computer near me … I can switch from station to station with ease, there is no video stutter or any artefacts on the proper channels (FreeView test channel stutters a little but generally OK).

 

For those of you starting out, the biggest challenge is to understand what goes right and wrong, and build on the successes. The knowledge that something happened (or didn’t happen) is extremely valuable. Also, sometimes when you loose the plot it’s great to be able to tear down the entire pack of cards and rebuild from scratch.

 

And the bottom line – assuming you have a suitable computer and TV or monitor – you need to spend another $350 max. You can pay less than that for a set top box on special, but the computer also records to disk, and does other cool things. And for the married geeks – it could get you a second computer!!!!


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170 posts

Master Geek


  # 125750 23-Apr-2008 08:02
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Nice work - I think we have all had similar experiences. That's the value in sharing ideas, adds a lot of value. My advice for someone looking at a project like this is to spend the first week trawling this forum which has a wealth of info. That way a chunk of trial and error can be avoided. Of course if you are like me or silverstack, you just jump right in there and get your hands dirty. Either way - I like the inventiveness of people around here. I now have a piece of technology in the house that the family are actually warming to.

324 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 125783 23-Apr-2008 09:02
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I have found GB PVR is the most plug-and-play of the PVR solutions on the market.  Even better it's author is based in Welly so he knows too well the nuances of the local DTT setup in NZ.  Basic configuration is a breeze, its the tweaking and ironing out of minor issues that chews up the hours, days, weeks.  Then again, thats part of the fun of the hobby too.  It would be pretty boring if it never evolved, theres always something new to try around the corner, and as long as any changes dont bring the whole thing to a screaming halt, then theres no harm done.


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