Investigating a HTPC option

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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:48 pm

Set jumpers to reset the CMOS. Who knows what the "previous owner" did in the BIOS.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:04 pm

My previous living room PC used that same Asus motherboard with an A8-3850. The integrated graphics performed well enough for some gaming at 1920x1080 and they handled such nifty things as 24 Hz Blu-ray playback and 3D.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:59 pm

With that board, do you need to connect the 8-pin EATX connector? Would a 4 pin be enough? Just curious..
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:58 pm

8-pin, most likely 4 pin is not enough to run Llanos graphics processor.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:44 pm

Just to follow up..

After clearing the CMOS settings, and getting a a small enough PSU (Dang that Milo case is small). The board booted up :)

I also noticed after reading the manual, the paired DIMM slots are not the same color as I had expected. I had originally populated the DIMM slots based on the color. Turns out that's not supposed to be the case.. :P

I also had to slap Win7 on because I couldn't get Media center to install :P

Anyway, thanks for all the help and suggestions.. this seems like it will work great!
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:31 pm

Good to see you got everything ironed out, that's a good system you've got.

The Milo case takes standard ATX PSU's, not sure what the problem is there unless you're trying to stuff one of those extra long high wattage units in there.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:11 pm

It needed a Standard ATX PSU that is at most 140mm.. Most of the standard ATX PSUs are 150mm. At 140mm, there is literally no space after installing the Blu-ray player. (If I didn't have the Blu-ray player, any ATX PSU would have been fine).
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:54 pm

DPete27 wrote:8-pin, most likely 4 pin is not enough to run Llanos graphics processor.

Not true. The 4 pin connector will deliver in excess of 150 watts on its own...
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:12 am

Waco wrote:Not true. The 4 pin connector will deliver in excess of 150 watts on its own...


Hmm, good to know. With 4/8-pin CPU and 6-pin PCIe power inputs, I always assume that the number of plugs are there for a reason. If you can hook something up to them, that's always the best option in terms of stability.

That being said, lower end motherboards will oftentimes only have a 4-pin CPU power header, but whos to say that the VRM isn't specially designed for either scenario. I have also found a few 65W(ish) TDP processors without an IGP when no CPU aux power is necessary for stable operation on boards with a 4-pin header... Just plug 'em in.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:07 pm

DPete27 wrote:I have a Logitech DiNovo mini for my HTPC keyboard/mouse and I'm pretty satisfied with it. I would definetly recommend an actual keyboard with mouse trackpad insead of the DiNovo if you plan on doing any decent amount of typing though. For me, the DiNovo mini serves well as it is about the size of your hand, is bluetooth for longer range, and has a mouse trackpad that you can switch over to "media center mode" to get the up/down/left/right arrow keys function.

More fun additions could include an IR remote power switch that you can easily program to work with any remote. You literally just push a small red button on the back of the switch and then push whatever remote button you want to turn the PC on or off and that's it. I don't even have to get off my couch to turn on or use my computer with this and the DiNovo mini... ultimate lazyness!! (I know there are probably better solutions for modern systems but my current HTPC is an Athlon 64 Socket 939 from around 2003 so I don't have those luxuries yet...upgrading soon)


Finally got my TV fixed.. (don't ask).. so now my wife is thinking the setup is too hard :P She wants to go back to a PS3... I don't quite want to give up on the HTPC, so I'm asking for a little help. I got the Logitech DiNovo mini (it was a steal on a Newegg shell shocker). Is there anyway to use this to turn on the PC, or is the IR switch the only way? What other options are there for wirelessly turning on (or at least waking from sleep) the PC? Second question, is there a way to get Win7 to log in directly to the HTPC user account? I've got an admin account which I don't want to use for general usage, and the HTPC account which is a standard account, and stricter settings on the UAC. Everytime Windows boots up, I have to select one account. If it could go straight to the HTPC account, I've got the WMC to start up as soon as the account is logged in.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:52 pm

WinKey+R > control userpasswords2

The rest should be pretty self explanatory. ( I haven't tried this on a setup with multiple user accounts )

http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/coolstuf ... er-Account
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:21 pm

Regarding your first question, most BIOS's/UEFI's have an option to "wake from keyboard" that you can enable to get your computer to wake from hibernate. (obviously it will wake from sleep normally by just pressing the space bar) The reason I chose the IR sensor is because my HTPC is quite old and does not wake from sleep/hibernate or restart properly so I have to shut it down when I'm done with it.

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but the Logitech K400 for $30 on sale now is a more traditional keyboard/trackpad setup than the diNovo mini. At least with the K400 you can type with more than just your thumbs. I don't do much typing on my HTPC so the diNovo mini's size was what tipped the scale for me.

You can also do what Hallucin8 mentioned in the "Power Options" => "Advanced Power Settings"
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:08 pm

Back to this machine again..

I've got a weird problem, and I'm not sure how to resolve it :P

Every time the machine goes to sleep and I wake it up, the screen resolution is wonky. It appears as if everything was zoomed in by about an inch on each border. Fortunately I know how to get to the desktop and use keyboard commands to bring up the AMD Catalyst control center, so I can go into Desktop Management. I switch the resolution from 1080p to anything else, then back to 1080p, and everything is displayed correctly.

Any ideas on what's wrong and how to fix it? My google-fu wasn't up to describing the issue correctly.

Thanks!
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:29 pm

When I had that issue pop up with the Llano system, I just turned my TV off and on again and it fixed itself.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:43 pm

Hmm.. I'll try that.. but I'm pretty sure it didn't work (I woke the computer from sleep, then turned on the TV).

Is it a known issue? I can look for updated drivers, but I think I may have the latest already..
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:59 pm

Ok, tried this a couple times, and still no luck.. :(

It's annoying, only because the workaround is stupid.. (Alt+Tab to the desktop, bring up the desktop context menu, guess approximately where the Catalyst Control Center is, change the desktop properties, and revert the change)

Any other suggestions?
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:48 pm

Are you using the latest BIOS for your motherboard?
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:14 pm

I'll check that.. I thought so, but maybe not.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:41 pm

Not that it would necessarily solve your problem..but it might be an easier workaround to right click on the desktop, choose "screen resolution", then near where the TV icon is displayed, click the "Identify" button.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:19 pm

I have played with htpc for the past 8 years and can tell you they have come a long way since i built my first machine. I will warn you though, you must really be dedicated to spending days, yes days, trouble shooting your issues. And you may get the whole this working flawlessly and the one day, you start missing recordings one after the other. Currently myhtpc is off and has been off for more than 3 months because i just dont care enough to watch live tv anymore. It was primaraly for the sports ie nhl and the superbowl but those seasons are over...for now.

I use the ceton tuner which gets me 4 channels at once and the ability to tag one of thise or more cable imputs to be streamedto another networked machine. However wmc is not smart enough to scale the use of those lines between each htpc... so to get around that i use Xboxes to use as exenders to the man htpc. This actually works great but make surd your router is good enough to handle hd bandwidths. With two of my old 640gig westerns i get plent f recordings on the raid 0.

Graphics isnt essential but the crd has to support the htpc 'codecs' or whatever its called...you can look it up online. I bought a 75 graphics crd for thr htpc that i thought had the support but didnt... so i can even watch tv on the htpc at all, i get an error saying its not supportrd. So the htpc sits it the basement humming along by itself streaming tv to my xboxes, and one laptop.

The ceton tuner is great. When it works its flawless and i highly reccomend it. Ipayed 300 big ones for it when itcame out as i eagerly followed it through the production and testing cycles. You must be aware it takes a technical mind to setup right tho and will probably take you 2dys to get it right.

Bittom line IMO is, if you like to tinker, do it cause thd results will get you exactly what you want...but if your gf if wife is going to nag you until your ears bleed just cut you losses and pick up a roku for your netflix\amazon streaming needs.

Go cabke not satellite, the sat really cant be hooked directly into the htpc effectively due to the need to decod the signal, but getting the supplied HD card, yes yiu must ask for the HD card from your cable company, you can just pop it into the ceton card, its a tight fit so make sure it goes it right the,first time and be carefull with the tjny plug they use t connect the cabe, many have broken them when installing.

Best of luck, and get the xbox...better than the ps3 and if your htpc decides to give you issues you can still do netfkix and Amazon of the box.

Good luck and happy tinkering!!!
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:33 pm

icto0389 wrote:get the xbox...better than the ps3 and if your htpc decides to give you issues you can still do netfkix and Amazon of the box

Funny you would recommend buying a product now that was released in 2005, especially when the refresh of both the xbox and play station are due next year.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:59 am

druidcent wrote:Every time the machine goes to sleep and I wake it up, the screen resolution is wonky. It appears as if everything was zoomed in by about an inch on each border. Fortunately I know how to get to the desktop and use keyboard commands to bring up the AMD Catalyst control center, so I can go into Desktop Management. I switch the resolution from 1080p to anything else, then back to 1080p, and everything is displayed correctly.

Any ideas on what's wrong and how to fix it? My google-fu wasn't up to describing the issue correctly.
Yeah, this happens to my HTPC as well.

It's a problem with the AMD Radeon drivers. The Overscan settings aren't sticky and don't restore properly when you come back from hibernate. This issue gets fixed, gets broken and gets fixed again every so often. I've taken to not upgrading my drivers because I found one month where the settings save properly (December of '11 if you must know - you can download older Catalyst packages from AMD's website).
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:55 am

(Not to hijack) Can someone please explain why this should even be a problem? In my mind, 1920 x 1080 is a pixel grid and (as far as the GPU is concerned) is unrelated to the size of the screen. Is it an issue with the GPU not being able to detect the native resolution after coming out of hibernate? I find that hard to believe since a TV cannot output any resolution higher than 1920 x 1080, so it sounds like the GPU is trying to place a 2560 x 1440 (for example) screen render on a 1920 x 1080 display resolution...that sounds incredibly rediculous. Also, this overscan problem seems like it should happen to ANY screen, so why is it just happening on TV's (apparently)?
These aren't the sort of things I like to hear with my planned Trinity HTPC update in the works.
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:14 am

Anandtech has this Trinity review up re: HTPC's:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6335/amds ... spective/7
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Re: Investigating a HTPC option

Postposted on Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:14 pm

Thought I should update this thread, now that I finally got all the issues resolved :)

I upgraded the Catalyst drivers to the Oct '12 version.. at least I think it was an upgrade.. Tried the Dec'11 versions suggested earlier, but that didn't resolve, so I went to one before the main release.

As for the Netflix issue, turns out there was a MS Security update which screwed around with Silverlight.. If anyone wants, I'll find the exact number (it's on the GreenButton forums, easily Google searched). This may be a moot point, since I had to update to the latest Silverlight a couple days ago.

The only issue left is figuring out how to get the DiNovo to actually wake the machine from sleep (I need to still hit the power button to wake it up).
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