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Old 01-08-08, 08:53 PM   #49
Lyme
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

Try vlcplayer or powerdvd ultra.

You did also fix the paths in the xml file? (I think there are some).

You may want to try to get windows media center to register your mp3's first, because you can test that they work with windows media player. If you can't get that to work, it is unlikey you will be able to get the dvd stuff to work.
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Old 01-08-08, 09:06 PM   #50
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyme
Try vlcplayer or powerdvd ultra.

You did also fix the paths in the xml file? (I think there are some).

You may want to try to get windows media center to register your mp3's first, because you can test that they work with windows media player. If you can't get that to work, it is unlikey you will be able to get the dvd stuff to work.
Fix the paths? What are you talking about?

With the codec pack, I can play any MP3 or MP4 in WMP but for some reason MCE won't pick it up.
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Old 01-08-08, 11:53 PM   #51
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

Ok I tried VLC and it plays my backed up copy of 300 no problem! There's gotta be something I'm not doing right.
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Old 01-09-08, 12:15 AM   #52
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

I ran Windows Update and that fixed the MP3 problem, but still no backed up DVDs showing up. I'm going to try MyMovies and see how it goes.

EDIT - MyMovies works! I'm going to hook the X360 Extender up and see how playback is.
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Old 01-09-08, 01:04 AM   #53
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

Playback on the 360 is pretty good, same as watching it from the PC itself. However, you cannot watch any backed up DVDs from the 360. I will do a little more research and get my music in order tomorrow.
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Old 01-09-08, 01:22 AM   #54
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

Glad you seem to have figured out most of the problems.
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Old 01-10-08, 04:16 PM   #55
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

Alright guys, I told you that I would put up some screens so here they are:

Standard Definition Cable TV:


Electronic Programming Guide, provided by Comcast


I recorded the new show "Parking Wars" since I missed it the other night:


When you hit the Media Center button on the remote or the symbol up top, you get this:


This is a 3rd party app called "MyMovies". It keeps your backed up DVD collection via SQL. When you tell MyMovies what movie it is, it automatically downloads cover art (front and back) and downloads information for each actor, actress and director. A little overkill but what the heck:


I'm still working on the music and pictures. I'm having to convert all of my iTunes music from MP4 to MP3 one at a time and then copying them over to the Media Server.

Overall, everything was real simple to get working. A fresh install of Windows Vista Home Premium and updating everything BEFORE installing anything else did wonders for my media. Streaming everything but my backed up DVDs to my XBOX 360 works perfectly. Right now, the X360 Media Remote is the only media remote I own. I plan on getting a MCE remote some time next month.

So what's next? First, let's get something straight with the whole HDM format wars. I'm a supporter of HD-DVD all the way and I believe it is the superior format. HOWEVER, I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants this format war to be done with. In a way I hate to see the HD-DVD camp lose support but then again, I just want this to be over. With that said, I am looking to add either Sony's Blu-Ray DVD-ROM drive to my HTPC or LG's Hybrid Drive. I would like to give the software a little more time to catch up since I hear mixed reviews about PowerDVD, AnyDVD and others.

Next, I will obviously like to add more hard drive space. Backing up my DVDs aren't taking up as much space as I thought it would so I'm happy. However, I do have 20 different TV show DVD sets to back up! Just for FYI, I am only backing up the movie itself, no DVD menus or BTS stuff. That saves 1-2GB!

Finally, I would like to get a different case and power supply. The case I have is OK but it is cheap, probably the cheapest case I've ever own in terms of quality. Maybe I can get something that is a real HTPC case and that will flush with my other equipment. The power supply is doing ok, but you can tell that it's maxing out. There has been a few times where I've tried to wake it up from screen savers but I have to reset the entire machine for response.

If anybody has any questions, please feel free to ask. Thanks for looking guys!
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Old 01-10-08, 05:06 PM   #56
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

looks very good

have you thought about getting a silverstone htpc case or one from thermaltake? they look very nice

I even saw some guy on XS make a water cooled rig with his small silverstone case... I may need to do the same
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Old 01-10-08, 05:10 PM   #57
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LORD-eX-Bu
looks very good

have you thought about getting a silverstone htpc case or one from thermaltake? they look very nice

I even saw some guy on XS make a water cooled rig with his small silverstone case... I may need to do the same
Not real sure on what case I want yet. Right now, I'm pretty broke from this project and the wedding is in exactly 9 months from tomorrow. If I ever get enough money, the next thing I will invest in is either another hard drive or the Blu-Ray drive.
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Old 01-11-08, 11:20 PM   #58
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

Well, after having everything set up for half a week and really using it, I'm sad to say that I'm a little disappointed in the overall quality of SDTV and DVD backups via HTPC. I know, I know, I shouldn't expect a lot of quality from SDTV and SD-DVD but I thought it would be better than what it really is. I was showing my dad the HTPC and we watched a little bit of The Matrix (backed up of course) and we both noticed a good amount of grain in the black areas in the lobby shooting scene.

I really hope that within the next year or two, a better TV capture card will emerge that will decrypt HD signals. So let's review:

Quote:
PURPOSE
1. Be able to watch all analog and digital channels provided by Comcast.
2. Record/Schedule Record TV shows.
3. Play both DVD discs and movies backed up on an internal hard drive.
4. Play backed up music from both my collection and the future wifey's collection.
5. Eventually play HD-DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, or both.
6. Be able to access any content above on any trusted PC/Laptop on my network.
7. Be able to access any content above using XBOX 360's extender.
1. I can only watch analog channels, digital channels are encrypted. Hopefully when everything goes digital, this won't completely screw me over.

2. I can record analog channels only. This is pretty awesome to do, especially when I'm not home to watch certain shows. Vista MCE does a great job with this task.

3. Backed up DVDs work great, with the help of MyMovies and DVDShrink. Quality isn't the best I've ever seen but I've been spoiled by HD programming, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

4. I haven't been through my music collection, but this will take some time to accomplish.

5. This is a tough situation. IMO, HD-DVD is right on the verge of being left in the dust due to movie title selection and studio support. I've been doing some research on both the LG hybrid combo DVD drive and Sony's $200 Blu-Ray drive . . . Not sure if I will get one of these or not.

6. This is pretty simple to do. Share the entire drive and map network drives, couldn't be simpler.

7. Everything works great through the XBOX 360 Extender . . . except my DVD backups. MyMovies does not support extenders.

So here's what I wanna know: Do you think this was a good project? Do you think this was worth it lol? I've been questioning myself all day today . . .

Will the analog to digital switch next year screw me with my current setup? I'm pretty sure the answer to this is yes since everyone will need cable boxes or converter boxes. Man, this is depressing. If anything, I can backup my DVD collection for future usage and use it for backing up other things as well. I don't mind using this just as a backup/storage server once the digital switch hits next year.

What do you guys think?
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Old 01-11-08, 11:48 PM   #59
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

wait, so you kept the movies in iso format?

why not just combine the vob files and change them into mpeg2?
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Old 01-12-08, 12:09 AM   #60
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Default Re: My HTPC Project (Worklog)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nekrosoft13
wait, so you kept the movies in iso format?

why not just combine the vob files and change them into mpeg2?
No, they are VOB files. Would changing it over to MPEG2 really make any difference in quality?
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