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DAC



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  Reply # 138535 16-Jun-2008 20:07
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Maybe Vista or MCE2005 is a good way to go ...
Currently I need to execute 'dxdiag.exe' and run the 'Display 1 | Test Direct3D' tests - at least partially before hardware accelleration will work within my apps (DVB Viewer and GBPVR). Until a Direct3D test is executed, the apps use a large amount of CPU and no hardware acceleration ... which is instantly fixed by running a test via dxdiag.exe ...
Of course this needs to be down after ever reboot - I have yet to investigate if there is an easier way to 'initialize' the hardware accelleration functionality. Maybe this is due to the DirectX 10 XP hack that I installed.
My other issue is, as suspected, the accelleration only appears to work on the primary display, and as i currently use my PC as a home PC as well as media center, and the ATI drivers do not allow configuration of what goes to which display, it could be quite awkward to get a nice working (wife friendly) solution.

At this stage I plan to go ahead with a fresh install of XP, to keep it separate from the current working setup, and experiment with getting the decoding working under that, and sorting out the best solution for a dual use PC.

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  Reply # 141195 29-Jun-2008 12:37
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This is interesting. Thanks for sharing your experiences...

I'm upgrading my office pc to a quad core, but will take the old parts out and I'm hoping to re-purpose them in a HTPC case. P IV 3.0, 1Gb PC3200, 478pin/875P mainboard with hyperthreading, AGP Pro/8x. If I grab a DVB-T card, throw the gfx card (FX5600) and replace it, what would you recommend as a safe bet for 720p (we only have a Bravia that can do 1366 x 768) and what might do 1080i ...

HD 2600 XT AGP

HD 3650 AGP (don't appear to be sold in NZ (yet), but has all the hardware acceleration of the below, though with a price closer to the 2600), or...

HD 3850 AGP (expensive at c$350) ???

 
 
 
 


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Reply # 141244 29-Jun-2008 15:28
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Hi, As mentioned in my previous post a simple and cheap Saphire HD2400 is fine for 1080i, with the right software of course.

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  Reply # 141280 29-Jun-2008 18:03
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How can I test to see if the hardware is being used?

DAC



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  Reply # 141354 30-Jun-2008 00:27
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RE: toaroa:
I am pretty sure if you want to watch TV3, then you need to be capable of decoding 1080i, as that is what the signal is, regardless of what resolution you want to display it as, you must decode the entire signal first.  Both the cheap nz$120 HD2400 and more expensive nz$200 HD2600 are reported as quite capable of decoding any h.264 signal, so I am not sure why you would want to spend any more. I myself have the HD2600, but knowing that the HD2400 works, I would have used that.

RE: hellonearthisman:
Check your CPU usage ... if you are software decoding you CPU will be running at 100% when viewing TV1, TV2 and TV3, and you will experience very poor playback of TV3. This is assuming you dont have a kick arse CPU that can handle the decoding itself, in which case it may be using only 50-80%, and the picture may playback fine ... in which case you are lucky.
If you are using an ATI card, then you can open Catalyst Control Center, and pick the 'ATI Overdrive' option, which will display a screen that will report the GPI activity, which will be typically 0% unless you are doing hardware decoding, which would then go up to around 30-60% ... an obvious sign that you are actually using the hardware (ie GPU).

Regards.
D

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  Reply # 141367 30-Jun-2008 08:54
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Thanks DAC - I may just go with the 2400. As everything else is a case of re-purposing, I see this as a stop-gap measure which will be replaced by new mobo/cpu/gfx in the future - hence, I don't want to spend too much. We've also got a DVB-S set top and don't watch too much TV3, so if 1080i fails... no biggie. Thanks for your help!

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  Reply # 141543 30-Jun-2008 15:46
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Thanks DAC, I didn't think of looking at the cat control center to see gpu usage.

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  Reply # 141555 30-Jun-2008 16:15
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Hi there.  Quick question.  Is DVB-T a lot easier in Vista?  Seems there's a lot of 'work arounds' as such to get this to work in XP.  I'm picking Vista is slower than XP for a given hardware setup, but is it worth the move to make DVB-T easier?  Cheers.


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  Reply # 141583 30-Jun-2008 17:04
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Jaxson:

Hi there.  Quick question.  Is DVB-T a lot easier in Vista?  Seems there's a lot of 'work arounds' as such to get this to work in XP.  I'm picking Vista is slower than XP for a given hardware setup, but is it worth the move to make DVB-T easier?  Cheers.



The only advantage that Vista offers is trhe EVR renderer. This (argueably) gives a better picture and does fix one of the issues that has plagued many users of XP which is video tearing under VMR renderers.

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  Reply # 141710 30-Jun-2008 22:03
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DAC: Maybe Vista or MCE2005 is a good way to go ...
Currently I need to execute 'dxdiag.exe' and run the 'Display 1 | Test Direct3D' tests - at least partially before hardware accelleration will work within my apps (DVB Viewer and GBPVR). Until a Direct3D test is executed, the apps use a large amount of CPU and no hardware acceleration ... which is instantly fixed by running a test via dxdiag.exe ...
Of course this needs to be down after ever reboot - I have yet to investigate if there is an easier way to 'initialize' the hardware accelleration functionality. Maybe this is due to the DirectX 10 XP hack that I installed.
My other issue is, as suspected, the accelleration only appears to work on the primary display, and as i currently use my PC as a home PC as well as media center, and the ATI drivers do not allow configuration of what goes to which display, it could be quite awkward to get a nice working (wife friendly) solution.

At this stage I plan to go ahead with a fresh install of XP, to keep it separate from the current working setup, and experiment with getting the decoding working under that, and sorting out the best solution for a dual use PC.


Hi DAC

Wasn't entirely clear from your post. Have you got this all working using gbpvr?  That is the scenario I was hoping to achieve. I have the Sapphire HD 2600 XT (AGP)  which I bought for the HD broadcasts. I bought the APG version since I have only recently built my PVR and I don't plan anytime soon to change it to PCIe.  But the card has been sitting in a box for the past 6 months while I procrastinate!

Procrastinating since I also have a Popcorn Hour and if they ever get the audio to work on the PCH then I don't really need a high end video card unless I want to watch in real time. I can record on the HTPC with any old video card and then playback on the PCH.

I have two displays (well they are actually the same display but with different inputs, one VGA and the other HDMI). I have both cables connected. When the PC boots up I see the Windows startup on the VGA input (which is only 1024x768) but when the video card drivers take over, the main display becomes the HDMI input (1280x720) and the VGA input is disabled. So I guess I am only really running one display at a time. This seemed to be an issue you were facing.

Thanks

Larry




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR running on Gigabyte Brix, Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Logitech Revue, Pioneer AVR, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player, Samsung 4K player

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 


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  Reply # 141731 30-Jun-2008 23:14
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I don;t know if my system counts as I have a PCIe HD2600xt, gpu usage is 2%, cpu usage is 30%  2.8ghz dualcore amd.

Does that sound excessive? It goes up to 40% cpu when I'm watching and recording at the same time,  great for pausing and going back a second and then fast forward for the adds.

DAC



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  Reply # 141748 1-Jul-2008 00:05
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lchiu7:
Yes I can get it working under GBPVR, however only If I have my GBPVR start on my Primary Display.
So the following works ... Primary Display set to my TV, running GBPVR decoding Freeview, and my Secondary display set to my LCD monitor able to run other apps etc. The problem with this setup is that the ATI drivers and MS WIndows does not really allow for ignoring the primary display and opening windows only on the second display, so the start menu is of course only on the TV, hidden behind fullscreen GBPVR, and when you open applications, they typically start on the primary monitor, also hidden by GB-PVR ... which is just really inconvenient - particularly if the missus is watching TV at the time :)
My current and prefered setup  is to set the primary display to the LCD, so that the PC is fully functional, and have the secondard display set to the TV, and GBPVR starting on the secondary display ... which works great, except it wont decode freeview, as my CPU is not grunty enough, and the hardware decoder only seems to work on the primary display, so I can drag GBPVR to the LCD screen and all is good, but that of course is not the point :(
I'm investigating ways to effectively use a secondary display for windows tasks, but doesnt look good, so I may need to resort to dedicating the PC to be a PVR, and use something else for day to day PC use.

Hellonearthisman:
In my experience a 2% usage of the GPU means you are not hardware decoding H.264 ... so your CPU must be doing it, however if it can manage with only 30-40% usage, then no worries !   Maybe dual-cores are good for something :)

One another note, I am hoping someone will fix the FreeView decoder firmware, so that recorded files can be played back using it via a portable USB harddrive or even via the Ethernet ... dreams are free ... (However got a 60" Sony LCD coming Friday, so I am Happy Smile)


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  Reply # 141755 1-Jul-2008 02:37
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DAC:  Thanks, Not sure what I can do to turn the hardware on.  Have you looked at getting a muti-monitor manager, like http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/

Was the other part of the question about transcoding of my TS files for better playback. I found playback is bad with smplayer and vlc.

Oh, and multitasking,  I've been playing Sacred while having TV1 on the 2nd monitor.

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  Reply # 141759 1-Jul-2008 07:43
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DAC: One another note, I am hoping someone will fix the FreeView decoder firmware, so that recorded files can be played back using it via a portable USB harddrive or even via the Ethernet ... dreams are free ... (However got a 60" Sony LCD coming Friday, so I am Happy Smile)



Due to the DRM restrictions being placed on broadcasters by content providers this is unfortunately never going to happen with an approved box. This is the reason why people are building their own PVR's!


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