HTPC Overhaul

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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:47 am

frumper15 wrote:I imagine the IR receiver has more to do with reliability of the sleep/on functionality and I've always used the MS one, but I've built a few HTPCs for friends/family and I can't say I've had any trouble. I do recall on some of my older machines I had to do something in the BIOS and the hardware properties to allow USB to wake from sleep, but I don't think I've had to do that on any recent builds.
I was poking around in the BIOS on my new 'board but I cannot find a setting for wake-on-USB for love or money. Time to hit the Google and see what I can find.

Edited to add: I forgot to answer the question! I'm using a Logitech Harmony 600.
Last edited by Darkmage on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:59 am

Airmantharp wrote:
druidcent wrote:What remote are you using? The one I've got doesn't wake from sleep/standby easily...


I'd like to know too, as I'm about to get my 'HTPC' reassembled for full duty again.


I don't know about remotes, but the Logitech K400 works pretty well for me and $34 with free shipping is a great price. Only thing I'd recommend is a USB extension cable to get the little receiver module thingy up and away from the HTPC for better reception. One of these should work just fine.
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:58 pm

Darkmage wrote:Edited to add: I forgot to answer the question! I'm using a Logitech Harmony 600.


What IR receiver are you using? Try to see what the power management settings are for that device and whether or not "Allow this device to wake the computer" is checked. I seem to remember back in the MCE2005 days there was a registry hack I had to use to get that tab to show up for the IR receiver, but I imagine it's there under W7. I'll see if mine has that at home. Maybe it's as simple as checking a box.

FWIW, I have an ASUS P8Z77-V LK motherboard and didn't have to make any adjustments (that I can remember) to get the remote wakeup working - I would imagine the BIOS can't be that different from the board you've got.
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:32 pm

frumper15 wrote:What IR receiver are you using? Try to see what the power management settings are for that device and whether or not "Allow this device to wake the computer" is checked. I seem to remember back in the MCE2005 days there was a registry hack I had to use to get that tab to show up for the IR receiver, but I imagine it's there under W7. I'll see if mine has that at home. Maybe it's as simple as checking a box.
Hmm. Any idea on where I can find the power management settings? Is that accessible through the Device Manager or somewhere in the Power section of the Control Panel? Fie on me for swinging by the Tech Report after I am done fiddling with it for the evening. As for the IR receiver, it came with my original MCE Remote that I purchased along with my ATI HDTV Wonder (which I recently learned I replaced some time ago with a Hauppage WinTV capture card)

On the positive side, I have some readouts from the Kill-a-Watt.
Idle: 53W
HDTV: 69W
Blu-Ray: 68W
Steam Big Picture: 54W
Downloading Arkham City via Ethernet: 54W

I'll try to get some sleep/hibernate readings later. But for right now I am pleasantly surprised.

frumper15 wrote:FWIW, I have an ASUS P8Z77-V LK motherboard and didn't have to make any adjustments (that I can remember) to get the remote wakeup working - I would imagine the BIOS can't be that different from the board you've got.
One would hope. From what you're telling me, it sounds like a Win7 configuration issue and not a BIOS issue, which is encouraging.
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:56 am

Darkmage wrote:Hmm. Any idea on where I can find the power management settings? Is that accessible through the Device Manager or somewhere in the Power section of the Control Panel?


Control Panel > Power Options > Change Advanced Power Settings

This will give you a list of all kinds of power settings. I'm pretty sure I have the same IR receiver as you and it could wake Windows by default.
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:57 am

Darkmage wrote:(snip)... From what you're telling me, it sounds like a Win7 configuration issue and not a BIOS issue, which is encouraging.

It may be - I went on my W8 HTPC last night to look to see what my setting was and... it didn't even have that tab. Now, that may be a difference in W8 and W7, but maybe I'm just lucky that it's just working for me. What I was referring to looks like this (I realize it's mouse properties, but it should be similar) found under device manager like this:
Image

Does your receiver look like this:
Image
I think it was under Human Interface Devices for me - eHome something or other.

I do think there might be some USB settings under advanced power settings like kumori referenced - worth a check too. I hope you get it figured out, that definitely increases the WAF of an HTPC.

Good news on the power usage too - I think that's around where mine is hovering too with 2 hdds and an SSD, but integrated graphics.
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:29 pm

frumper15 wrote:Does your receiver look like this:
Image
I think it was under Human Interface Devices for me - eHome something or other.
Yep. That's the one. I can't get to it tonight, but I'll see your instructions pan out for me this weekend and report back. Also on the list: seeing what settings for Arkham City result in playable framerates and power draw reports for same.

Okay, the latest wrinkle: When resuming from sleep (via keyboard), the HDMI link between the receiver and the HTPC won't sync up and the image never makes it to the projector. I have to hard boot the HTPC in order to get an image to show up. This was not a problem with the same video card prior to the upgrade.

Tires and wires. :-?
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:19 am

I sometimes had problems with overscan on my previous HTPC build when waking from sleep. Cycling the power on the TV would fix it.
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:58 am

So, I decided to try digging into this a little further on my W7 pro workstation. I wasn't going to mess with the HTPC because, well, it's working fine right now. So, I grabbed another IR receiver I had (from this horrible remote http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6880101002 ) and plugged it into the front USB port on the machine in my sig (same mobo as my HTPC). I let it do its thing with installing drivers, etc. and then pushed the power button on the remote. As expected, it went to sleep without issue. I pushed the power button again... nothing. Hit the spacebar on my computer, powered up. I went digging in device manager and the Microsoft eHome transceiver listed there had no Power management tab exposed. I also found it under the Universal Serial Bus Controllers section listed as "eHome Infrared Transceiver (USBCIR)" and it did have a power management tab and "Allow this device to wake the computer" was already checked. So, I knew my USB could wake the computer (keyboard is usb) and I already had a checked tab, but no dice on wakeup via remote.

A little googling around and somehow I ended up on a dutch site and someone has taken the pains to make a tool appropriately named "MCE Standby Tool". So, I made sure my backup from last night was successful, then I downloaded and installed (for science!!). There was a somewhat confusing option at the beginning of the install about installing all the features or just configuring this machine.. I said Yes. After that I was greeted with an overwhelming number of options, some of which may affect my setup, but I just wanted to see if it fixed the issue at hand. I'm happy to report that it did!!

So, if you too have a current backup, have an issue with your MCE remote not waking your sleeping HTPC and want to experience some lovely Dutch programming, download it here: http://www.degroeneknop.nl/forum/index. ... l#msg36286 and report back. I hope it fixes it for you like it did for me. Now to go look more closely at those options I said "yes" to...

EDIT: That link goes to the version I had success with. Apparently that's a bit out of date, there are updated stable and beta versions you can find here: http://slicksolutions.eu/downloads.shtml#MST
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:13 am

I tried downloading the Realtek AMD HDMI drivers and the Realtek motherboard drivers. All that accomplished was to kill my sound on my HTPC.

Once the Realtek motherboard drivers are installed, Win7 no longer sees my HDMI connection through the video card in the sound devices panel. Well, it is listed, but it refuses to see that anything is plugged in. It sees two Realtek digital plugs, one that is S/PDIF and one that is RCA digital. Which is weird, because there isn't an RCA digital port on the back. Plugging in to the optical out isn't working as the receiver doesn't find any audio signal over that channel.

Interestingly, as soon as I install the Realtek drivers, the AMD Catalyst Control Panel tells me that there is no audio available for my display and I should choose another output. It then shows me the Realtek ports on the motherboard.

I've uninstalled the Realtek drivers for now. The next step is to reinstall the ATI drivers with the custom option and make sure the HDMI Audio drivers are included in the installation. After that, I try the Xonar and see if that gives me what I need.
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:01 pm

Any luck on the wake-up issue?
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:12 pm

Negative. I downloaded the app you linked and installed it. Before I had a chance to test it, I hit the HDMI audio issue and ended up doing a system roll back in order to watch GoT with the wife. It's on the list of things to do. I might be able to get to it tomorrow night. Tonight is a no-go due to other commitments.
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:00 pm

I'm fiddling with the MCE Standby tool right now. Interestingly, Windows reports the eHome IR Receiver can wake the computer by default. The tab on the MST reports the same data. It just doesn't actually work. What level of sleep are you giving it? S3? S4 / Hibernate?

I did discover that Hibernate causes the problem I was encountering with the graphics card not syncing up with the receiver to deliver video over HDMI. Switching to S3 resolved that problem, but waking from IR still eludes me. IR receiver won't even light up when the machine is sleeping and the remote sends signals. It seems like the eHome isn't receiving power, which is weird as the USB wireless keyboard works just fine.

On the positive side, uninstalling the CCC and reinstalling with the custom option appears to have fixed something in the AMD HDMI drivers. It now correctly detects that the HDMI cable is plugged in and I can configure the drivers to say I have 5.1 sound. It's currently sending PCM, but the next step is to try Arkham City and see what happens.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:42 am

I believe I've got S3 sleep for my standby configuration and I don't have Hibernate turned on. I think the machine uses about 3 watts on standby, so I wasn't going to add that complication to the puzzle. Have you tried different USB ports for the receiver? Maybe the one you know works for the wireless keyboard? I can't recall if you said you had or not.

I also got a 15 foot hdmi last week so I am planning on testing the 5.1 over HDMI option as well - I won't really have much use for it yet (I have a separate 5.1 logitech system on the gaming machine) but I'm really very interested to see how it behaves.
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:49 am

I'm still having issues with S3 standby. Further research on the AVS Forum indicates that various IR receivers have trouble with discreet on/off codes from Harmony remotes. The next step is to update the configuration of the Harmony and include on, off and Power Toggle codes into the remote. There also appears to be a device configuration issue in the Harmony software. Something about how the remote may think the HTPC is always on and not send the IR signal despite what the remote says its doing. [shrug] we'll see.

What concerns me right now is that going through the Device Manager, the eHome IR Receiver does not have a tab for "allow this device to wake the computer". However, in the MCE Standby Tool, the receiver shows up and is already checked.

The solution may be to replace the IR receiver. I'd like that to be a last resort, but it may be necessary. The one I have is a Gateway receiver and more than one person has reported problems with waking from standby with it.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
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Re: HTPC Overhaul

Postposted on Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:33 pm

All right, this is probably the final update. I am able to get DTS/Dolby when playing DVDs, but everything else seems to be decoded and transmitted in PCM. Even MP4s which I know are 5.1 via Handbrake seem to be converted to 2.1 PCM. I installed the Xonar card and got it working... sort of. The drivers installed without a hitch and I can play videos and see the Xonar drivers outputting sound via the bar graph on the Sound Devices page. I can even look at the end of the SPDIF connector and see it lighting up with digital signal. So far, so good!

The problem now appears to be my receiver. I couldn't get sound out of the SPDIF inputs and I ended up resorting to reading the manual (shudder). There is a non-configurable override of the HDMI port. Because it has the bandwidth to transmit everything, the receiver assumes that you're sending everything over the port. You can set up a secondary digital input, but that's intended for when you're watching content on your television and sending the audio from the TV into the receiver so you can listen to your TV with real speakers without having to switch to an audio-only input. If you send video over the HDMI, the receiver will use the sound from the HDMI connection - no exceptions.

So now I need to figure out how to get the 5.1 sound from a video file to make it across the discrete card's HDMI connection. DVDs and Blu-Ray transmit 5.1 just fine. I'm keeping the sound card. It will go in my desktop system when I finish the basement and move my office down there.
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