A FEW questions Answered, a few questions asked...

A FEW questions Answered, a few questions asked...

Post by Paul Bilsb » Sun, 01 Feb 2004 18:13:17


his is a multi-part message in MIME format.


Hi there, i live in the UK, and about 2 months ago, bought a HP Media Centre PC m380uk. Overall the system works well and after a quick scan through this Newsgroup i have decided to answer a few common questions and at the bottom i have some questions of my own which if i get no answer too here, will be taking up with Microsoft directly and will post the answers into this thread.

Freeview on MCE???

If you have a Freeview box it can be connected to the PC and works very well and it does NOT just come on 1 channel and then you have to use the Freeview remote control, EVERY channel is listed in the guide and you use the MCE remote throughout.

HP Provide you with and IR Blaster cable which runs from the IR receiver to your Freeview Box, then when you change the channel on the Guide, it sends the correct IR data to the Freeview Box, changing the channel.

Can you copy, sorry, "Back up", Videos onto DVD's using MCE?

Yes and no is the answer to this, let me explain.

Yes you can link up to your MCE a video player through the video and sound inputs at the front and then record the incoming "unprotected" video such as home videos and recordings made off the TV on your video, BUT the problem is this, alot of Videos you may have bought from the shop and want to copy, ahem "BACK UP", have copy protection on them called MACROVISION.

Macrovision is a data scrambling protection which alters the brightness settings to the picture making it appear on any tuner light and then dark repeatedly, and the TV tuner card in this PC is just the same as any other, and so, the picture becomes very blocky and scrambled.

The solution for this is a device logically called a "Macrovision remover" or for the techies, a "Time Base Corrector". This device sits in-between the Video and the pc and, you guessed it, removes the macrovision protection! enabling you to convert all those VHS Videos onto lovely DVD's!

Do you get RDS on the radio part of MCE?

Unfortunately, no. This is a disappointment to me as RDS seems to be on everything from the cheapest stereo all the way to the most expensive but not on a new state of the art 500 pc????

Once again the conversion between analogue and digital seems a slow gate to open, if only a digital tuner complete with a DAB radio was installed instead of the analogue card.

Now for my major grumbles and a possible solution...

1. The alarm clock you can download from Microsoft has a sleep and an alarm function, and a nice touch it is that you can select different music to go to sleep to and wake up too, BUT ,my major grumble with it is that you cannot set 2 different volume levels, one for sleep and one for the alarm. Anyone got any ideas?? Microsoft??

2. DivX films seem to be a problem for MCE, for what reason i know not, but whenever you watch a DivX movie and then want to exit it to do whatever you want to do, MCE freezes!!! Then, if you press Ctrl+Alt+Del, wait a few seconds, it will unfreeze and away you go. This however it not something i want to be doing everytime i watch a DivX film as i have quite alot of them, Anyone got a solution?? Microsoft?? Divx??

3. The Media Libary function where it gets the information from the internet about CD's you copy onto your MCE works well most of the time BUT...... IT DOES GET IT WRONG FROM TIME TO TIME!!!! Beware of this and check all the details of the trac
 
 
 

A FEW questions Answered, a few questions asked...

Post by Paul Bilsb » Sun, 01 Feb 2004 18:15:31

Hi there, i live in the UK, and about 2 months ago, bought a HP Media
Centre PC m380uk. Overall the system works well and after a quick scan
through this Newsgroup i have decided to answer a few common questions and
at the bottom i have some questions of my own which if i get no answer too
here, will be taking up with Microsoft directly and will post the answers
into this thread.



Freeview on MCE???



If you have a Freeview box it can be connected to the PC and works very
well and it does NOT just come on 1 channel and then you have to use the
Freeview remote control, EVERY channel is listed in the guide and you use
the MCE remote throughout.



HP Provide you with and IR Blaster cable which runs from the IR receiver
to your Freeview Box, then when you change the channel on the Guide, it
sends the correct IR data to the Freeview Box, changing the channel.



Can you copy, sorry, "Back up", Videos onto DVD's using MCE?



Yes and no is the answer to this, let me explain.



Yes you can link up to your MCE a video player through the video and
sound inputs at the front and then record the incoming "unprotected" video
such as home videos and recordings made off the TV on your video, BUT the
problem is this, alot of Videos you may have bought from the shop and want
to copy, ahem "BACK UP", have copy protection on them called MACROVISION.



Macrovision is a data scrambling protection which alters the brightness
settings to the picture making it appear on any tuner light and then dark
repeatedly, and the TV tuner card in this PC is just the same as any other,
and so, the picture becomes very blocky and scrambled.



The solution for this is a device logically called a "Macrovision
remover" or for the techies, a "Time Base Corrector". This device sits
in-between the Video and the pc and, you guessed it, removes the macrovision
protection! enabling you to convert all those VHS Videos onto lovely DVD's!



Do you get RDS on the radio part of MCE?



Unfortunately, no. This is a disappointment to me as RDS seems to be on
everything from the cheapest stereo all the way to the most expensive but
not on a new state of the art 500 pc????



Once again the conversion between analogue and digital seems a slow gate
to open, if only a digital tuner complete with a DAB radio was installed
instead of the analogue card.



Now for my major grumbles and a possible solution...



1. The alarm clock you can download from Microsoft has a sleep and an
alarm function, and a nice touch it is that you can select different music
to go to sleep to and wake up too, BUT ,my major grumble with it is that you
cannot set 2 different volume levels, one for sleep and one for the alarm.
Anyone got any ideas?? Microsoft??



2. DivX films seem to be a problem for MCE, for what reason i know not,
but whenever you watch a DivX movie and then want to exit it to do whatever
you want to do, MCE freezes!!! Then, if you press Ctrl+Alt+Del, wait a few
seconds, it will unfreeze and away you go. This however it not something i
want to be doing everytime i watch a DivX film as i have quite alot of them,
Anyone got a solution?? Microsoft?? Divx??



3. The Media Libary function where it gets the information from the
internet about CD's you copy onto your MCE works well most of the time
BUT...... IT DOES GET IT WRONG FROM TIME TO TIME!!!! Bew
 
 
 

A FEW questions Answered, a few questions asked...

Post by Luis A. Bu » Sun, 01 Feb 2004 22:09:14

i Paul,

Thanks for your contributions. I'll try to answer your questions, see
inline.


not,


Which DivX codec do you have? Have you tried a different DivX codec?

True, I've seen such cases. You need to go go an amnually change the name
and author in Media Player. Very good advise. However, such a big library is
poised to ae errors every once in a while.


the
t

You are fortunate here, I have the answer you've been probably looking for.

You can use your scanner, scan the CD cover artwork and put it inside the
folder conatining the CD tracks, Just make sure you name it "folder.jpg",
both Media Player and Media Center will recognize it and use it inmediately.
I do it all the time, as sometimes I don't like how the images downloaded
from the internet look, or the image stored in the database belongs to a
different edition of the CD with a different cover artwork. Also, when I
create my own "CDs", I also create my own artwork, and add it there that
way.


have
know

I hear you. Microsoft is aware of the problem, however, the random nature of
this issue makes it more difficult to find and fix. Recently, someone from
the UK posted an article in this group where he was mentioning that this
seems to be a problem specific to the HP, I don't know if this is true or
not, but so far, all the reports I've heard about this issue come from HP
users, including myself. But it could be just a coincidence.

just

I don't really understand this.. you are leaving your MCE logged on and it
guarantees that the recordings will have audio? I leave mine logged off
(mine is in domain mode also) and most of the time it goes and return from
standby mode to perform the recordings, and 99% of the time they have audio,
it just seems to happen randomly. Could you please comment on that?



Interesting, you say you can replicate this behavior that way.... I cannot
test it right now since as I said before, my PCs are part of a domain, so
switch user is not available. But I'll transmit that to the product team.

has

Oh I agree, no question about it. The Complete Media Center Nirvana, as you
call it, is by definition, and unreachable dream, but a good goal worth
persuing, and I believe MCE is going in that direction.

for

Sounds pretty fair. Number 6 is available now, so you don't have to wait.
The divx problem...well, I would try a different codec and see if that fixes
the problem.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, and not only post your
suggestions, but also contribute to others with very god answers to common
questions.

Regards,

Luis




 
 
 

A FEW questions Answered, a few questions asked...

Post by Luis A. Bu » Sun, 01 Feb 2004 22:09:56

his is a multi-part message in MIME format.


Please see your other post for answers.

Luis
"Paul Bilsborough" < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > wrote in message news:% XXXX@XXXXX.COM ...
Hi there, i live in the UK, and about 2 months ago, bought a HP Media Centre PC m380uk. Overall the system works well and after a quick scan through this Newsgroup i have decided to answer a few common questions and at the bottom i have some questions of my own which if i get no answer too here, will be taking up with Microsoft directly and will post the answers into this thread.

Freeview on MCE???

If you have a Freeview box it can be connected to the PC and works very well and it does NOT just come on 1 channel and then you have to use the Freeview remote control, EVERY channel is listed in the guide and you use the MCE remote throughout.

HP Provide you with and IR Blaster cable which runs from the IR receiver to your Freeview Box, then when you change the channel on the Guide, it sends the correct IR data to the Freeview Box, changing the channel.

Can you copy, sorry, "Back up", Videos onto DVD's using MCE?

Yes and no is the answer to this, let me explain.

Yes you can link up to your MCE a video player through the video and sound inputs at the front and then record the incoming "unprotected" video such as home videos and recordings made off the TV on your video, BUT the problem is this, alot of Videos you may have bought from the shop and want to copy, ahem "BACK UP", have copy protection on them called MACROVISION.

Macrovision is a data scrambling protection which alters the brightness settings to the picture making it appear on any tuner light and then dark repeatedly, and the TV tuner card in this PC is just the same as any other, and so, the picture becomes very blocky and scrambled.

The solution for this is a device logically called a "Macrovision remover" or for the techies, a "Time Base Corrector". This device sits in-between the Video and the pc and, you guessed it, removes the macrovision protection! enabling you to convert all those VHS Videos onto lovely DVD's!

Do you get RDS on the radio part of MCE?

Unfortunately, no. This is a disappointment to me as RDS seems to be on everything from the cheapest stereo all the way to the most expensive but not on a new state of the art 500 pc????

Once again the conversion between analogue and digital seems a slow gate to open, if only a digital tuner complete with a DAB radio was installed instead of the analogue card.

Now for my major grumbles and a possible solution...

1. The alarm clock you can download from Microsoft has a sleep and an alarm function, and a nice touch it is that you can select different music to go to sleep to and wake up too, BUT ,my major grumble with it is that you cannot set 2 different volume levels, one for sleep and one for the alarm. Anyone got any ideas?? Microsoft??

2. DivX films seem to be a problem for MCE, for what reason i know not, but whenever you watch a DivX movie and then want to exit it to do whatever you want to do, MCE freezes!!! Then, if you press Ctrl+Alt+Del, wait a few seconds, it will unfreeze and away you go. This however it not something i want to be doing everytime i watch a DivX film as i have quite alot of them, Anyone got a solution?? Microsoft?? Divx??

3. The Media Libary function where it gets the information from the inter
 
 
 

A FEW questions Answered, a few questions asked...

Post by Paul Bilsb » Mon, 02 Feb 2004 14:51:22

Thankyou Luis for you contribution to this thread.

I am extremly happy that you can put your own album cover images into the
media libary by doing that. That was something that was one of those
niggling annoyances that ends up ruining a good idea.

As for the No Sound Problem, like i say, i can pretty much garuntee that no
sound will be recorded if i just Power On, leave it on the welcome screen,
don't log on to any user, and let it record, as my Media Center did this the
other day with a full days worth of recordings, yet i have had no problems
recording tv if i'm logged on, and switching users enables me to be logged
on whilst still keeping my pc secure when unattended. But this is not how it
is meant to be, if anything, the PC should, if off, turn itself on to record
the TV, record it without the need to log on, and then turn itself off when
the program finishes. Now that would be impressive, the situation as it is
now is a big let down. I am part of the old school PC users who where taught
this "Nothing happens Randomly inside a PC, It does something for 1 reason
only, cause a human told it too" Therefore, it is someones fault, nothing
random about it.

The Divx Codec i have is the free one, downloadable from
http://www.yqcomputer.com/ ,
"Standard DivX Codec, Free" and is Version number 5.1.1 and i have not
touched any of the settings in the configuration utility as i have no idea
wha to tick/untick in there. If there is something i should tick in there
that isn't ticked that would solve this problem, then please, let me know.

What about the Alarm Clock? Do Microsoft plan to update the current version
to one that you could set to 2 different volume levels, surely this can't be
THAT difficult for all those clever people at Microsoft to do??

If is was to go out and purchase a Digital TV Tuner card, (which should have
really come with the PC, and was a requirement Microsoft should have
insisted on for the builders of MCE's and was an opportunity missed) I
presume i would get all of the FreeView Channels, but what about DAB Digital
radio, i hate having to look at frequency numbers of Radio Stations, can i
get it to list Digital Radio Station Names under the Radio function or could
this be a feature of MCE2006?? Or at least give people the opportunity to
replace the frequency number with a Radio Station Name.

Once again, thankyou for your time in reading this, i'm glad that the
development team are listening to users feedback. I am one person who
belives that Media Centre Nirvana is not impossible, far from it, it just
requires a perfectionist attitude to it to get it right, Once they get it
right it will always be right.

If they want anything else testing, please feel free to send me one of them
lovely smart screens, a tablet laptop, and one of them Windows Powered
Phones would be nice, maybe a Beta version of Longhorn, and anything else
Mr.Gates has stashed waiting for future release.

Thankyou once again,

Paul Bilsborough - XXXX@XXXXX.COM
 
 
 

A FEW questions Answered, a few questions asked...

Post by TWFyayBQaW » Tue, 03 Feb 2004 15:26:07

PLS HELP! I purchased a Packard Bell Media Center at Xmas. It came with no instructions at all about setting up the TV link-up, and I am completely stuck. I have a standard Sky digibox. At first, I took an RF aerial output from the Sky box to the PC. It did not work (I called Packard Bell, PC World, Sky but no-one was any help). Then I decided to try the S-Video + AV cables. Bingo! When I run through the Setup Wizard, I can see the TV playing. However, it says it cannot find the IR control, and will not work without it. So I am trying to find out what this cable is (although reading your notes, it is the cable that takes the signal from the Media Ceter PC remote and tells the digibox to change channels). My questions:
1) where do I get one of these from - what is it actually called?
2) where do I plug it into (both on the Sky box and on the back of my PC - there is no socket on the Video/TV-in ard)
3) Can I get an Infrared one, so I can site the PC in a different room
4) If I want to site the PC in a different room, how do I link it up (the 10 metre S-Video cable show significant deterioration in quality). Do I have to buy a Microsoft Extender (if so, is it available in the shops)?

Thanks for your help!
 
 
 

A FEW questions Answered, a few questions asked...

Post by Nigel Andr » Tue, 10 Feb 2004 04:28:29

Mark,
Did you get anywhere?
I have recently bought a Packard Bell 6142 and am just getting on top of the
system.
Maybe I can offer the results of my experience.

Nigel



no instructions at all about setting up the TV link-up, and I am completely
stuck. I have a standard Sky digibox. At first, I took an RF aerial output
from the Sky box to the PC. It did not work (I called Packard Bell, PC
World, Sky but no-one was any help). Then I decided to try the S-Video + AV
cables. Bingo! When I run through the Setup Wizard, I can see the TV
playing. However, it says it cannot find the IR control, and will not work
without it. So I am trying to find out what this cable is (although reading
your notes, it is the cable that takes the signal from the Media Ceter PC
remote and tells the digibox to change channels). My questions:
there is no socket on the Video/TV-in ard)
10 metre S-Video cable show significant deterioration in quality). Do I
have to buy a Microsoft Extender (if so, is it available in the shops)?
 
 
 

A FEW questions Answered, a few questions asked...

Post by andre » Wed, 18 Feb 2004 04:00:23

I have just bought a HP m477 and I am trying to get my Freeview box to
work with the pc. I am having no luck at all. My freeview box is an
old ITV digital box (Pioneer) with only scart leads and your standard
Coaxial input/output. (I don't know a horrendous amount about pc's
so forgive me if i am asking really obvious questions.)

Can I link up this freeview box? On previous posts the IR blaster
cable has been mentioned. I can't work that out or where it is
supposed to go. I don't have anything to link with that on my
Freeview box, but again i am sorry as i fear i have missed something
here.

I think i need an idiot guide to setting up my Freeview box. So any
tips would be appreciated.


Thanks

Irndru

Posted via http://www.yqcomputer.com/
Everything about Windows XP Media Center Edition
 
 
 

A FEW questions Answered, a few questions asked...

Post by andre » Thu, 19 Feb 2004 09:20:25

hi nigel,

thanks ever so much for your help. I have just cracked it in the last
two or three minutes. I read somewhere on this forum (or misread)
that the DVB-T option was for those wishing to use a card with a
digital tuner in it and not a digital set top box so to speak so that
threw me off a little. In actual fact the main reason I could not
get it to work was because of the quality or lack of quality of the
set top box i have.

I got it from the Itv-digital days and I found it difficult to locate
the remote control reciever (thingy) on the front of the box. Through
process of elimination (faffing around with remote control, covering
bits up etc) i narrowed it down. Also the remote control i have with
the box is hopeless and only a couple of buttons regularly work.
Anyway i fumbled through it and the MCE worked out how to replicate
it regardless and thankfully it works fine. I am one happy bunny.
Now I only have to sort the guide out because i faffed around with
all the channel line up before but thats my own fault.

Thanks again for your help. :wink:

Irndru

Posted via http://www.yqcomputer.com/
Everything about Windows XP Media Center Edition