HTPC Upgrade Part 2

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by indyjones, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Right been busy over the weekend upgrading the HTPC.

    So I have ended up with the following:

    HTPC 1 (main living room machine)

    Zalman HD160 Plus black case
    Zalman 9500 Cooler
    Tagan Modular PSU
    Gigabyte EP45-DS3 motherboard
    Intel E8200 CPU
    ATI Sapphire ultimate (passive heatsink) HD2600XT
    Black gold dual DVB-T tuner card
    2 gig Kingston 8500 DDR2 ram
    Phillips SRM 5100 remote control
    ASUS HDAV1.3 Deluxe - sound card
    LG hddvd/ bluray dvd drive
    Vista Ultimate X86 with TV Pack

    (Oh and 7.1 analouge speakers and a lovely 40" toshiba 1080P LCD)

    With the bits left over I have built an extender for the master bedroom which will update later (had to do some creative wiring to extend the ir receiver)

    So far almost so good the new cpu is great my case is still open but the heatsink fan has not span once yet! Its even cool to the touch.

    Unfortunately I have had nothing but grief from the new sound card.

    Firstly it has a HDMI/DVI pass though which it uses to enchance the image. Mow I am not sure if this is workign right, either that or I just can't tell the difference....
    The version of arcsofts TMT is a crappy OEM one and I get the choice of using the one of the dvd which will not play new fox bluray titles or the newly released version which has had the vista media centre functionality removed! :mad:
    Next problem the digital optical in is worthless I wanted to feed my XBOX360 in and upmix to 7.1. All I get is a horrible noise! I switched the xbox's output from DD to stereo and it did now for about 2 mins then back to distorted noise.
    Finally (the reason I got it) Bluray sound decoding - this will be tested tonight and we will compaire it against the crappy onboard chip. If we can't hear a drastic improvement with the ASUS card I will try to send it back.

    (LordofLA - if your around I know you have dealt with overclockers alot do you think I will be able to send my card back?)

    Of course the sound card is updated with latest firmware/drivers/software

    Will update the thread later with more news and pictures :)
     
  2. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    I told you the asus card didn't like the optical data from the xbox...

    You will hear a drastic improvement over onboard sound. By the way if you install the retail TMT over the OEM one the media centre stuff will stay put I believe.

    OcUK will take the card back, however as there is no fault there may be a restock fee and you will have to cover shipping as well.
     
  3. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Yeah I know, but I hoped it would be fixed on this later revision of the card.
    With TMT surely I need to install the oem one over the retail? otherwise it wont be registered?

    Got it all set up for the sound test :) and a friend is coming over for a second pair of ears.
     
  4. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    Install OEM, Install Retail to same place - should have full on retail with VMC functionality.
     
  5. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Installed the old version (off the cd and its working for now) so not gonna touch it yet.

    Right after hours of fiddling, I can report the following:

    TMT crashing stopped after I disabled DEP............
    Sound wise in Power DVD 8 the Asus card (to our ears) sounded no different to the onboard audio.
    In TMT wow the sound was night and day, The advantage was nothing was downsampled and it sounded great :)
     
  6. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    powerdvd will need anydvd to give you non-downsamped audio/video. For some reason it does not detect HDCP compliant hardware.
     
  7. Admiral Michael

    Admiral Michael Michaelsoft Systems CEO Folding Team

    Whats TMT?
     
  8. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    total media theatre
     
  9. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    I was running anydvd.

    It detected the audio streams differently somehow one asdoblby digit hd or what ever it was in TMT it came up as DD Lossless.

    The version of TMT is a special custom one programmed to the hardware. It would not work at all with the onboard solution.
     
  10. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    You will want to use the setup menus then. PowerDVD does have issues with the lossless audio streams though. It really eats up the power on my Q6600.
     
  11. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Hmmm I did check the menus oh well, I will leave it be for the moment what with the beta drivers and software for the ASUS card its a bit temperamental.

    On a positive note the "extender" PC is just about complete, and I was pleased that my little wiring project to extend the ir receiver works perfectly :)
     
  12. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    I meant on the film btw :) some of them default to lower quality audio - I had to choose DTS TrueHD on RE3 blueray for example. Promptly causing my machine to hang on the first build of powerdvd 8 as cpu usage went to 100% on all 4 cores :D
     
  13. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Ahhh right got you.
    Well currently my massive Bluray collection is Transformers, and Band of brothers.....
     
  14. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    mines a bit bigger :D

    I have wild hogs, resident evil 2 & 3 and st trinians on blue ray and cronicles of riddick, pitch black, serenity and scorpion king on hddvd :D
     
  15. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    Wild hogs is a good, saw it the other night not expecting anything and was pleasantly surprised. I have just been constantly disappointed with the resident evil films, but the are good action romps so should look good in HD. Not seen st trinians and it will most likely stay that way :p

    I picked up batman begins/dark knight bundle last night on bluray so should be good. Tempted to get shoot 'em up just because it has a true 7.1 sound track :)
     
  16. RonStarusnak

    RonStarusnak OSNN Addict

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    40inch. Are you serious?
     
  17. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    huh?

    just scanned the thread. 40" TV's are small these days. I've had a 50" for about 18 months now and am planning for 60+ in the next 12-24 months.
     
  18. indyjones

    indyjones OSNN.net Adventurer

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    all I heard was blah blah blah blah.........

    Its all down to room size, the 40" is perfect for the room size/ sitting position we have. Plus it took along while to convince the missus to get one that size, I only got away with as its a super slim bezel model.

    60" is nice though.......
     
  19. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    I saw a 60" Samsung plasma in currys on oxford street. they stood it on the floor and it came to my neck.

    £6000

    Awesome picutre from the other side of the road :D
     
    Mizzle likes this.
  20. Mizzle

    Mizzle Oh, now I know...!

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    lol it would be painful to have a TV that large :D Mine is a 32 inch Samsung, and I love it. Anything larger wouldn't fit my room, I'm afraid :(