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ChristianHJW
1st March 2004, 13:17
Hi guys,

i just odered one of those

http://www.msi.com.tw/images/product_img/slm_img/mega.jpg

I plan to include a Digital DVB-S Sat card ( it has one PCI and once AGP slot ) and a nice ATI video card with a suitable TV Out, thus making it

- a CD/MP3/Ogg/MPC/FLAC/etc. music player
- a DVD Player
- a DivX/MPEG4 Player
- a matroska/OGM player
- a RealMedia/addanysupportedvideoformathere Player
- a Digital Sat Receiver
- a HDD Recoder
- a DVD Recoder
- a TV internet browser
etc. pp

and all in one single unit :) !!

The best thing is :

My Wife liked its design and has no objections !!

I do have a network cable coming from my server upstaris in the living room already, giving me access to about 240 GB of movies and music ( all legal copies of stuff i own ), without the need to fiddle with CDs/DVDs, just by selecting a movie via network, and even from the remote control coming with it.

Total cost :

MSI Barebone for P IV/Celeron 250,-
Celeron 2,4 GHz 70,-
60 GB HDD ( max 160 GB ) 80,-
Digital Sat Card 100,-
DVD/CDRW drive 80,-
Video card with decent TV out 80,-

Total : 660,-

A lot of money, i know, but just think about all the extra functionalities if offers compared to a normal DivX player, like

- HDD recording with timeshift
- Direct MPEG2 recording from TV ( DVD or SVCD resolutions )
etc. ...

What you think :) ?

avih
1st March 2004, 13:34
:)
yo chris.
i've recently read a review about one of these new mini-pcs, sounds good, and looks really cool (nice 'livingroom' case) ;)

was just wondering, what os r u gonna use?


i REALLY like the case...

ChristianHJW
1st March 2004, 13:47
Originally posted by avih
was just wondering, what os r u gonna use?

XP home i guess ..... after all, my wife should be able to do some internet browsing with it, same goes for SAT receiver card recording, i dont know about good Linux software for the current DVB-S SAT cards ..... if it was only for movie/audio playback, i probably could go for Linux also ...

SeeMoreDigital
1st March 2004, 13:56
Yea,

I had a look at one of these just before Xmas. The one I saw had a built in FM/AM radio tuner, 6Ch audio, optical audio in/out too.

From what I remember you could even listen to audio CD's or the radio without having to switch the PC on!

Having a front panel display is a nice touch, however I'm not sure how much info it can provide.

I was thinking of putting my Xcard in it and using a USB2.0 digital satellite receiver...

Go for it I say. And don't forget to let us know how you get on.

Cheers

stax76
1st March 2004, 19:03
I think PC based entertainment systems are the future, I'm using a old PC as entertainment system because I bought a faster one but if I had to buy something new I would take a very close look at these systems. I'm wondering how good is the audio quality and how good is the video quality, without a doubt this is the most important thing for a entertainment system, having all the features of course too

SeeMoreDigital
1st March 2004, 19:33
Originally posted by Dolemite
...I'm wondering how good is the audio quality and how good is the video quality, without a doubt this is the most important thing for a entertainment system, having all the features of course too You've hit the nail on the head with this question!

This is the reason why I'm sticking with my Xcard and JovePlayer configuration as both the audio and video quality is top notch.

Currently I pump all the audio to an DSS amp and all the video to an 42" plasma screen via component connection.

As JovePlayers GUI appears on the TV screen, there's hardly any need to use a PC monitor and with the correct codecs installed I can view and listen to just about every modern file format going in just about any container!

It really is the dogs nads!

Ogig
1st March 2004, 20:33
If this machine is going to sit right in the living room my most important concern would actually be the noise it produces. Nothing is more annoying then listening to the fan/hdd spinning if all you want is to hear music or movie sound.

So you better be careful, as those cubes tend to be more noisy then normal systems.

SeeMoreDigital
1st March 2004, 20:54
Originally posted by Ogig
If this machine is going to sit right in the living room my most important concern would actually be the noise it produces. Nothing is more annoying then listening to the fan/hdd spinning if all you want is to hear music or movie sound.

So you better be careful, as those cubes tend to be more noisy then normal systems. Well I don't know about this particular unit but similar looking ones by Shuttle don't make any noise at all!

Cheers

ChristianHJW
1st March 2004, 22:03
Originally posted by Ogig So you better be careful, as those cubes tend to be more noisy then normal systems. ... they promise these units are extremely silent, i'll tell you as soon i have it here ;) ....

Ogig
2nd March 2004, 10:02
In c't 3/2004 they have tested 25 of those barebone systems, including the MSI Mega 651. They say it is quite ok, but it becomes noisy under load. I would be interested to hear about your experience when it arrives.

Personally I'd go for the Mappit A4F (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article141-page1.html), which comes completely without fans. But there are drawbacks (as always): it doesn't have so much CPU power nor a dvd drive and can't be extended. For a multimedia server as backend that's perfect, but no dvd really hurts.

ChristianHJW
5th March 2004, 14:12
Short update :

I guess i made a mistake :( ....

It seems the Mega 180 would have been the better choice, even if it is about 200,- higher in price, because

- it has a S-Video TV out connector, from the built in video card ( 651 : only VGA

- it ship with a WLAN module ( 11 mbps )

- AMD CPUs are still much easier to get for a reasonable price, compared to Intel stuff ( surprise, surprise )

- it can handle HDDs up to 300 GB ( 651 : 160 GB, dont ask me why :eek: )

- nicer looks and better display panel

I am currently struggling with getting a nice socket 478 CPU for the 651 i have now, same time i am ebaying like crazy for some nice DDR Ram and a good DVB-S Sat card. I do have a spare 60 GB, so thats the one i will use for the start now ..... more updates to follow later ....

SeeMoreDigital
5th March 2004, 14:21
I..... thank you!

ChristianHJW
3rd April 2004, 16:56
Update :

So, after noticing my mistake with the 651, i sold it again on ebay and got myself a nice Mega 180. I got all the necessary parts already ( XP 2500+, 512 MB DDR 333, 160 GB HDD ) and its working already, XP Pro is installed.

I stressed it a big with a video encoding and 100% CPU load, the noise is quite acceptable ( unit is standing in the sideboard in the living room ), especially because i never expect to come anyhwere near to a 100% CPU load under normal playback conditions.

Nice thing is, the built in WLAN module in the 180 worked fine from the very second i activated it, and i am using my laptop and VNC now as 'remote control', as long as i dont have a wireless keyboard/mouse assembly connected to it.

My biggest annoyance, for the time being, is my old TV :(

Of course, it doesnt understand a real RGB signal on its EuroAV ( SCART , it has only one also ), so for the time being i have only a B/W picture with the on-board video card, via the S-Video out. It seems i have the following choices :

1. Getting a S-Video to composite converter. There are cheapo plugs for about 3,- , but i am uncertain about the video quality they will provide. There are better converters also, but for this price you can also consider

2. installing an old AGP video card with a real composite out

3. Getting a good, active VGA-to-Composite converter

I let you know how i am coming along, after i can see colour picture on my old TV, next step is the programming of the remote control coming with the unit, and then the DVB-S satellite card for TV recording, time-shifting, etc ....

Zhnujm
3rd April 2004, 18:03
Originally posted by ChristianHJW
3. Getting a good, active VGA-to-Composite converter


Dont do it. At least not if you want to use PAL.
As there is no way to use 50Hz with a normal VGA card the converter needs to change from 60 or 75 or whatever your vga card uses and then your movies wont play smooth anymore.
VERY annoying effect.

SeeMoreDigital
3rd April 2004, 18:29
Originally posted by ChristianHJW
..My biggest annoyance, for the time being, is my old TV :(

Of course, it doesnt understand a real RGB signal on its EuroAV ( SCART , it has only one also ), so for the time being i have only a B/W picture with the on-board video card, via the S-Video out. It seems i have the following choices : So, are you saying your TV does have a scart input but it's not RGB compatible?

In any case you could try one of these scart connectors, as it allows direct s-video input (on composite), as well as audio input. There's even a switch on the top that selects between input or output: -

http://82.2.167.24/Uploaded_Files/Doom9_Forum_files/Scart+S-video.gif

Cheers

ChristianHJW
4th April 2004, 03:59
Originally posted by SeeMoreDigital
[B]So, are you saying your TV does have a scart input but it's not RGB compatible?

In any case you could try one of these scart connectors, as it allows direct s-video input (on composite), as well as audio input. There's even a switch on the top that selects between input or output:

Thats exactly the one i am using, but as i said it will only give me a b/w picture on my TV, and i now even know the reason why.

The SCART adapter has separate inputs for R-G-B, but not every TV or VCR with a SCART adapter actually can make use of them, most sets still expect the old chrominance signal on one pin, combined with the luminance ( = composite ).

What i need is one of those it seems :

http://tvtool.info/jpgs/cableguide/adapter_bt869.jpg

You may read more about this all here (http://tvtool.info/english/cablefaq3_e.htm)( big thanks to Toff for pointing me there ) there is even some Guide on how to solder one myself ;) .... i am just afraid this may not be the technically best solution, but as its quite cheap and i want to have colour soon ( :D ), i will simply buy one ( 3,- ) and make a test. If i dont like the quality, i may consider getting a nice video card with integrated composite out, or buy a new TV with DVI input :) .....

SeeMoreDigital
4th April 2004, 09:04
Originally posted by ChristianHJW
Thats exactly the one i am using, but as i said it will only give me a b/w picture on my TV, and i now even know the reason why.

The SCART adapter has separate inputs for R-G-B, but not every TV or VCR with a SCART adapter actually can make use of them, most sets still expect the old chrominance signal on one pin, combined with the luminance ( = composite ). I see what you mean.

I too had an scart adaptor that would not work correctly. As the 'chroma' was connected to pins 13 and 15 of the scart. But there are some out there that will do what you want. Or you could adapt it to work your self!

The little s-video to composite connectors work pretty well (I have some of these too) but you may find that the colour becomes a little 'metalic' looking!

Cheers

ChristianHJW
13th April 2004, 14:29
Time for another update. Sadly, this update is more like a general rant about the MSI Mega, than a success report :( ... but here we go :

After some toying around with it, i am pretty much back on the floor about the wonderful 'multimedia PC' hysteria, and i guess its mainly some specific features of the MSI Mega barebone that are responsible for that. The idea behind this unit is correct, no doubt, but the design behind it is pretty much dilettantic to call in best case, maybe because it was made by MSI's PC specialists, and not by professional multimedia unit developers from SONY or PANSONIC or god knows who could have made a better job.

Here my rant list :

1. The built in radio receiver is shit. It cant even store radio stations, at least i couldnt find out how this can be done, as the manual of the unit seems to be hidden somewhere where normal people cant find it, even on the CD coming with it.

2. Most buttons on the remote control are not working for the built in CD player, like direct track access by pressing '5' for track nr. 5, etc.

3. It activates a strange sound processor called 'SRS' everytime you switch it on, sounds like complete shit ( voices move to the background, percussion gets over-hyped, all sounds super-echoic extra wide ), and you cant deactivate it by default, so you have to switch that off manually each time you power the unit up. Maybe the option to permanently disable that is hidden in the BIOS setup ?? :lol: ....

4. The built in S-video out seems to be of poor quality ( see my other thread (http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=74202) about video cards with better TV out ). This is very disappointing IMO for an expensive multimedia barebone, a proper TV out chip should be a must !

5. most modern AGP video cards dont fit in the slot ( not enough space ), especially for the coolers. Also they have invented a strange facility to fix the card properly in the slot, you have to fiddle around like crazy to get your cards in.

6. If you switch on the HiFi part ( without the PC ), it always starts with CD, it doesnt remember my last choice ( i have radio playing most of the evening )

7. The volume control doesnt have a big enough dynamic range, and the steps are not big enough also, plus in pure HiFi mode the output voltage is quite low, so you have to use an amplifier with quite high sensitivity on its input.

8. The built-in WLAN has poor reception, probably because there is no real antenna connected to the mini-PCI device

9. The 'real-life' optical impression is not even half as worthy as the nice photos on the MSI homepage make you believe, my wife is generally pretty disappointed by its looks.

10. I got the impression in first tests, that the SNR of the onboard soundcard is not really good, seems to be less than 85 dB, comparable to low quality soundcards for 20,- .


Now the ( few ) good points of it :

1. Its interior quality looks and feels nice, actually its looking better inside than from outside :D

2. The 200 W PSU seems to be quite stable and silent, same for the special cooling device for the AMD CPU, but admittedly i didnt put it under heavy load so far.

3. There are two IEE 1394 front connectors integrated in it, and they work perfectly with a standard Windows XP installation, i could capture nicely from my DV cam already.

4. It has all together 4 USB connectors, 2 on the front panel and 2 on the rear, also 2 independant VGA monitor outputs and variuos memory slot card readers on the front, for direct JPEG/etc. import from digital cameras, and all worked pretty well in my tests.


All in all, much too much faults for a 370,- barebone, claiming to be the perfect basis for a multimedia machine IMO. I am actually not sure if i would invest the same amount of money again for this device, but maybe i will change my opinion when my Satellite card is installed and working nicely, and if i could finally improve the TV out quality with a better video card, using a proper TV out chip.

Again, the idea is perfect, these units will be a big success on the market IMHO, and every multimedia orientated company should hasten to launch such a unit quickly .... but pleasy, make it better than MSI did ;) .....

SeeMoreDigital
13th April 2004, 14:59
In hindsight I wonder if you would have been happier purchasing one of the bare-bones Shuttle (http://www.spacewalker.com/index7.html) units for your HTPC?

Cheers

ChristianHJW
13th April 2004, 23:22
Ok, we're getting closer to a usable device. I finally found out how MSI wants their users to install video cards, you have to change the internal wiring to make the necessary space, but then it finally works :) !

So after testing various old video cards with TV outs i have, i found that an old ELSA Gladiac 511 ( Geforce 2 MX 440 ) has the best TV out, and TVtool will even allow me to activate composite out for it, and .....

... yes, you guessed it : the picture is looking a lot nicer all of a sudden !!

So, i was right, the cheapo passive S-video to composite adapters wont work for most TVs, especially not elder TVs, but you really need a video card with a real composite out, or at least a chipset like my old ELSA Gladiac where you can use TVtool to activate the composite out on the S-Video connector.

I was watching my first DVD a couple of minutes ago, and i can finally say its starting to become fun, like it was ment to be from the start :). I will now search for a Geforce4 TI 420/440/460 with a CX 25871 chip for the TV out, and i guess i will be able to convert this baby into a nice DVD/DivX player replacement ..... finally :D .....

vinks
18th April 2004, 00:33
perhaps "knoppmyth" may be of interest to you, i dont know if it will handle a dvb card or not (might need some messing) but its nice and easy to get going, and has all that pvr stuff already setup. its quite nice from what i hear

ChristianHJW
11th June 2004, 20:21
You didnt hear from me for quite a while about this. Reason is, i am completely demoralized and demotivated about the whole project, and also extremely pissed at MSI.

This barebone cost a fortune, and it seems to be a complete waste of the money.

Since i have the Sat card installed, i can watch TV, but after a while i get desync problems. By chance i found out that this is mainly happening when the CPU temperature is exceeding 70 C. Now, this is my first AMD CPU since a couple of years, so i thought these temperatures are quite normal, until i told my friends in the #matroska channel, and they all went nuts when they heard about my CPU temperatures.

Finally it was Blacksun finding this in the MSI Mega Manual :

http://wiesneronline.net/diverse/msimega180manual.JPG

They are kidding me, right ? 600 MHz ???

If my attempts to downclock the bloody thing fail, to become master of the temperature problem, i will sell the bloody thing and never again touch a MSI product in my entire life, i swear .....

BlackSun
11th June 2004, 20:34
I hope this is a typo :o

SeeMoreDigital
11th June 2004, 21:04
Hi Christian,

Well although this sounds like it's been a terrible experience for you, hopefully other forum members will be able to learn something positive from it.

I'm sure there are many people here on the forum wanting to build their own high performance 'micro sized' HTPC with the same kind of capabilities as yours.... I know I would!

May I ask, are you going to try again using something else. And if so, have you got anything in mind?


Cheers

vinks
12th June 2004, 07:38
Originally posted by ChristianHJW
You didnt hear from me for quite a while about this. Reason is, i am completely demoralized and demotivated about the whole project, and also extremely pissed at MSI.

This barebone cost a fortune, and it seems to be a complete waste of the money.

Since i have the Sat card installed, i can watch TV, but after a while i get desync problems. By chance i found out that this is mainly happening when the CPU temperature is exceeding 70 C. Now, this is my first AMD CPU since a couple of years, so i thought these temperatures are quite normal, until i told my friends in the #matroska channel, and they all went nuts when they heard about my CPU temperatures.

Finally it was Blacksun finding this in the MSI Mega Manual :

http://wiesneronline.net/diverse/msimega180manual.JPG

They are kidding me, right ? 600 MHz ???

If my attempts to downclock the bloody thing fail, to become master of the temperature problem, i will sell the bloody thing and never again touch a MSI product in my entire life, i swear .....

i know you've been burnt with "micro sized" pc's but might i suggest you have a look at the shuttle range of xpc'c they're a little pricey, but they work great as a htpc, i've two myself (sn41g2), as long as you get a video card for it (i recommend a cheap radeon 7500 or similar if you dont play games) and it does a great job, and it doesnt overheat.

ECY
13th June 2004, 14:48
Originally posted by ChristianHJW

Since i have the Sat card installed, i can watch TV, but after a while i get desync problems. By chance i found out that this is mainly happening when the CPU temperature is exceeding 70 C.
can i ask what kind of dvb-s card is it (budget or with Mpeg2 hardware decoding)?
i think the problem is Mpeg2 decoding and the heat generated by the tuner.
you could try to put a em8300 card (dxr3 or H+) inside for Mpeg2 decoding and see if the heat goes down
(as a side effect you can use the card also for s-video and sound output)


btw you might want to check out these pages, if you're planning to swap to linux
http://www.vdr-portal.de
http://linVdr.org

i can only recommend to anyone who is planning to build a htpc
to take a look at some Accent htpc cases, there are big but nice

Soulhunter
13th June 2004, 19:27
Originally posted by SeeMoreDigital
I'm sure there are many people here on the forum wanting to build their own high performance 'micro sized' HTPC with the same kind of capabilities as yours.... I know I would!Hehe, still @ work... (http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=396712) :D


Bye

ChristianHJW
18th June 2004, 11:35
Last Info :

I havent given up completely, but was lucky to get an AMD XP-M 1900 with only 35 Watts power consumption on ebay, and for 60,- only.

The CPU is on the way to me now, i hope to get my temperature problems solved with it. I made some improvements already by reducing the FSB from 166 MHz down to 100 MHz, but i guess i dont need to tell you that i have the CPU power of an old Athlon 1400 now :( .... of course, well enough for watching Sat TV.

Speaking of the DVB-S card, its an old, cheap SkyStar 2 ( rev. 2.3 c ), and for some strange reason i have to restart ProgDVB after about an hour of watching, and i am not sure if this can still be thermal problems of the PC, i am more and more convinced there might be a problem with the Technisat card, because it happened also with the software being shipped with the card ....

SeeMoreDigital
18th June 2004, 12:02
Originally posted by ChristianHJW
...Speaking of the DVB-S card, its an old, cheap SkyStar 2 ( rev. 2.3 c ), and for some strange reason i have to restart ProgDVB after about an hour of watching, and i am not sure if this can still be thermal problems of the PC, i am more and more convinced there might be a problem with the Technisat card, because it happened also with the software being shipped with the card .... I too use an SS2 card and ProgDVB... no shut down problems here!

What Mpeg2 decoder are you using?

Eventually, I'm hoping to use my Sigma Xcard to process the Mpeg2 stream in hardware but as yet I can't get the two devices to talk to each other :(


Cheers

ECY
21st June 2004, 16:20
Originally posted by ChristianHJW
Speaking of the DVB-S card, its an old, cheap SkyStar 2 ( rev. 2.3 c ),

the SS2 v2.3 does have some heat problems,
My one has a slot exhauser fitted next to it, to keep it running.
You may want to replace the litte black heatsink next to the tuner,
because it much to undersized and does not work well, it should help.

btw you should try out ProDVB or newer program,
because they disable the card if it is not in use.

@Seemoredigital
try this guide, helped me to run SS2 with H+
http://free.pages.at/flo37/html/xact-ss2_xcard.html

Phobos
26th June 2004, 18:03
Originally posted by ChristianHJW
Last Info :

I havent given up completely, but was lucky to get an AMD XP-M 1900 with only 35 Watts power consumption on ebay, and for 60,- only.

The CPU is on the way to me now, i hope to get my temperature problems solved with it. I made some improvements already by reducing the FSB from 166 MHz down to 100 MHz, but i guess i dont need to tell you that i have the CPU power of an old Athlon 1400 now :( .... of course, well enough for watching Sat TV.


ohh my god, i ordered my stuff for the msi mega 180 a couple of months ago (from the us, so it does take a while to get here, will be in a couple of weeks) and you scared me the hell outta the project.

Im and overclocking freak so i know about cooling, and yes, those msi morons should at least suggest a bigger heatsink to run ANY athlonxp to its stock or even underclocked speeds...

i have a tough question for ya christian, is there the option in the bios or a physical dip-switch in the motherboard to change the cpu multiplier??? that can make you keep a good fsb for memory speed and still downclock the cpu, hope you can sort it out.

t

Hobojobo
26th June 2004, 23:14
I would like to build a media player on the base of the upcoming Epia SP motherboard (http://www.via.com.tw/en/c-series/cn400.jsp).


+ 800 Mhz C3 CPU fanless
+ memory bandwidth of DDR266/333/400 SDRAM
+ hardware-based MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 acceleration
+ integrating the S3 Graphics UniChrome™ Pro IGP graphics core
+ USB 2.0, Firewire, LAN onboard
+ support for 5.1 surround sound
+ one PCI-slot for expandability options :) for my sat receiver card.

What do you think.
Sounds promising, doesn't it?

SeeMoreDigital
28th June 2004, 11:01
Originally posted by ECY
Seemoredigital
try this guide, helped me to run SS2 with H+
http://free.pages.at/flo37/html/xact-ss2_xcard.html Thanks ECY, your link was very useful.

Also, the guys at JovePlayer yesterday released another beta (beta5) which seems to have got my SS2 DVB-S card (and hopefull other types of cards) working now. Just the PVR functionallity to tweak and sort out now!

But having the Xcard (instead of your PC or graphics card) carry out all the Mpeg2 decoding is a real bonus. The video quality is amazing via either, composite, S-video or RGB (my prefered option) output and the audio is spot on too!

Shame I don't live in a land where there are some Mpeg4 broadcasts to test.

This set-up works well and might help some of you guys with overheating problems as you don't need a speedy PC to run an Xcard.


Cheers

ChristianHJW
29th June 2004, 20:39
Originally posted by Phobos ohh my god, i ordered my stuff for the msi mega 180 a couple of months ago (from the us, so it does take a while to get here, will be in a couple of weeks) and you scared me the hell outta the project. ... did you order the CPU already ? If not, i definitely recommend a XP-M, my first tests with it are VERY promising !

Im and overclocking freak so i know about cooling, and yes, those msi morons should at least suggest a bigger heatsink to run ANY athlonxp to its stock or even underclocked speeds... ... from what i understand now, after a lot fo testing, the problems i have are not coming from the CPU ( i dount the reported temperatures are real ), but form the overheated DVB-S card. Of course, both are related, so a CPU with less heat dissipation will help the DVB-S card to keep sync.
However, there seem to be a couple of alternatives to a XP-M :

a. use an external, USB based TV/Sat card. At least the Supernova USB seems to work quite well, even with ProgDVB, and i will soon order a Hauppauge DEC 3000 now, as this one has a CI slot and will also work directly with the TV, no need to power up the PC all the time.

b. use a SS2 Rev 2.6 instead of the old Rev 2.3 i have, it seems to be much more stable

i have a tough question for ya christian, is there the option in the bios or a physical dip-switch in the motherboard to change the cpu multiplier??? that can make you keep a good fsb for memory speed and still downclock the cpu, hope you can sort it out. ... there are a lot of different options in the BIOS setup i havent tested yet, but from what i understand now this should be possible, yes .... hope this helped to make you less scared ;) ....

Phobos
1st July 2004, 04:10
Originally posted by ChristianHJW
... there are a lot of different options in the BIOS setup i havent tested yet, but from what i understand now this should be possible, yes .... hope this helped to make you less scared ;) ....

i have the cpu already, its an old athlon xp palomino 1600, i dont want stock speeds, if i hit 1Ghz with a lil high temps ill feel okay. Now that you say theres a cpu multiplier it seems more feasible to get full 333MHz fsb and change the multiplier down to attain 1ghz in my cpu. Anyway i wasnt planning to use a DVB-S card, so im less than scared, thnx for your help

ChristianHJW
5th July 2004, 12:38
Last update :

Seems like the XP-M 1900 definitely did the trick for me. CPU temperature is down by 8 - 10 C now, the unit is running perfectly stable for both TV and DivX/MKV/RMVB movie watching, even for hours.

The only reason why i still have the cover removed is now the old SkyStar 2 Rev 2.3 DVB-S card, which is getting too hot, and can loose sync after one or two hours if the cover is put on the barbone. I am searching for a solution for this problem now, either i put a Rev. 2.6 in ( which i was told produces less heat than the old Rev. 2.3 ) or i go for an external USB device.

Speaking of the remote control, thanks to BlackSun i meanhwile got a working registration code for the MSI Multimedia Software, and the IR drivers are installed fine now. I installed Girder also ( a 30 days test version right now ), and since then volume control is working fine already, channel up/down to follow soon ( once i find the time to learn the remote software the according buttons, and link it to the channel up/down of the DVB-S TV view software ).

So, after some serious problems, it seems the project is moving forward, finally ;) ....

ECY
13th July 2004, 11:44
Originally posted by ChristianHJW
The only reason why i still have the cover removed is now the old SkyStar 2 Rev 2.3 DVB-S card, which is getting too hot, and can loose sync after one or two hours if the cover is put on the barbone. I am searching for a solution for this problem now, either i put a Rev. 2.6 in ( which i was told produces less heat than the old Rev. 2.3 ) or i go for an external USB device.


there is another option
Drill a hole on the right side of the case (use a hole saw), where the PCI slot is located.
And than attach a 80mm case to it, use a panaflo fan(0.84 Watt, 21Db, 24cfm).
Depending on the other cooling fan/airflow, you'll have to place it as an exhaust or intake solution
(mostly exhaust, incase of an intake will may need a airfilter).

there is a guide for a simple case on overclockers.com, which is quiet useful if you take this step
http://www.overclockers.com/tips1083/

these (budget) usb version are completely overpriced and looks kind of dull next to a Mega 810 or Shuttle case,
take a look at some oem budget PCI cards from TechnoTrend or TwinHan
or go for a skystar2 rev 2.6B/C (the ones with the newer board layout)
they are cheaper (arround 50 Euro) and do the same work as the usb version

ChristianHJW
14th November 2004, 14:33
My odysee has still not come to an end :(

My CPU overheating problems are solved now, admitted, but it seems my video card still doesnt like the heat coming from the DVB-S card sitting next to it. After 4 - 5 hours watching the TV, the picture becomes distorted, then the complete PC freezes shortly after that. A reboot, and all is fine again. Of course, things like that always happen in the most exciting scene of the movie ;) .....

Besides that all is working allright. This last remaining problem will be solved soon, because i bought a new TV via ebay, a christmas present, a 2 year old 32" SONY with S-VGA input. I will get it next week, and then the video card is removed and i can use the onboard video card. Maybe just a newer TV with a S-Video in would have done the trick also, but this time i didnt want to take any experiments and a S-VGA input on the TV is always nice :D.

The most annoying thing, still, are the low range remote control coming with it ( soon going to be replaced by a programmable RC with higher output ) and this

crappy

SRS sound 'enhancer' system that cant be deactivated by default, and sounds like complete sh*** . Everytime i switch the unit on to listen a music CD, i have to search for the remote to push the SRS button to switch it off, otherwise the lead singer is sounding like he is standing in a huge cave :angry: .

My wife is very patient with me, but recently she said again that she wants me to buy a normal SAT receiver now, so that she will be able to watch TV like everybody else on this planet ....

Mouse
17th November 2004, 07:59
MSI made some fine computers, note computers. Couse used for anything else, they don't work well.

I bought this machine under instead. Works perfect as a DVD-recoder & PVR + that it is extremely nice. Using it with a Leadtek A-310 THD MyVIVO, that can capture 720x576 without any fuzz, or why not a using it with the nifty function "direct-burn" direct to a dvd-r or a dvd-rw. Works perfect every time.

Link to the computer : http://www.epox.com/USA/product.asp?id=EP-EX5300S (click here)

http://www.epox.com/USA/product_images/EP-EX5300S-large2.jpg

Infirmus
6th December 2004, 10:56
U should look into Windows Media Center 2005.

MacAddict
12th December 2004, 16:26
I'm still baffled why I keep reading all over the net how good and crisp the ATI TV-Out quality is suppose to be. I've personally owned two 9700 Pro, 9600 Pro and a few AIW cards and they never gave me a quality picture compared to something like the Nvidia cards I have now (FX5200 & MX400). All of the ATI cards I've tried via S-Video had terrible blurry images compared to a very inexpensive Nvidia card.

ECY
7th January 2005, 16:43
Originally posted by ChristianHJW
My odysee has still not come to an end :(

My CPU overheating problems are solved now, admitted, but it seems my video card still doesnt like the heat coming from the DVB-S card sitting next to it. After 4 - 5 hours watching the TV, the picture becomes distorted, then the complete PC freezes shortly after that. A reboot, and all is fine again. Of course, things like that always happen in the most exciting scene of the movie ;) .....

Besides that all is working allright. This last remaining problem will be solved soon, because i bought a new TV via ebay, a christmas present, a 2 year old 32" SONY with S-VGA input. I will get it next week, and then the video card is removed and i can use the onboard video card. Maybe just a newer TV with a S-Video in would have done the trick also, but this time i didnt want to take any experiments and a S-VGA input on the TV is always nice :D.

The most annoying thing, still, are the low range remote control coming with it ( soon going to be replaced by a programmable RC with higher output ) and this

crappy

SRS sound 'enhancer' system that cant be deactivated by default, and sounds like complete sh*** . Everytime i switch the unit on to listen a music CD, i have to search for the remote to push the SRS button to switch it off, otherwise the lead singer is sounding like he is standing in a huge cave :angry: .

My wife is very patient with me, but recently she said again that she wants me to buy a normal SAT receiver now, so that she will be able to watch TV like everybody else on this planet ....

if you still have problems
i would say get a receiver with ethernet port and optional HDD support (i.e Dreambox DM5600)
this way you can stream/copy the recordings to your htpc for storing recodings (-> cd-r or dvd-r)
and scrap the skystar2

regarding the SRS thing
have you try to mail MSI aboat it,
maybe they have/will make a firmware/bios to disable this thing