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Windows XP MCE 2005 and All in Wonder 9600

Discussion in 'Home Theater PC' started by bobiroc, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. bobiroc

    bobiroc Member

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    I just received some Nice Software from Microsoft by going to a Microsoft in Education Seminar and I am having trouble getting my Free copy of Media Center Edition to properly work with my ATI All In Wonder 9600. I have downloaded the latest drivers from ATI that say they are Media Center compatible and this utility here https://support.ati.com/ics/support...ge&folderID=294

    If I do not install the ATI Multimedia Center it says not tuner found and if I do I cannot set up the RCA inputs because it wants to configure an IR remote. Is there anyway to bypass this cuz the Remote Wonder that came with the All In wonder works fine which is a RF remote.

    Computer Specs are as follows
    Pentium 4 3.066GHz
    1GB Ram
    ATI All In Wonder 9600
    SB Audigy 2
    ASUS P4G8X Deluxe Motherboard
    40GB OS Drive
    80GB Data Drive
    Windows XP MCE 2005

    I got the following software for free from Microsoft
    Windows Server 2003 RC2 Enterprise Ed.
    SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Ed.
    Visio 2003
    Sharepoint Portal Server
    Windows XP Pro
    Windows XP MCE 2005
    Frontpage 2003
    Microsoft Class Server
    Exchange Server 2003

    Hopefully I can put it all to good use.
     
  2. stollery

    stollery Guest

    Hi,

    You cannot just, willy nilly, slap Windows Media Center 2005 into any old machine and expect it to work. There are many variables, not the least of which are MCE compatible drivers. Do you have a separate tuner, designed specifically for MCE, or are you trying to get MCE, if I read you correctly, to work with your 9600 card, by itself? If that's the case you might be better off telling me everything you can about your computer and I'll post back as to whether or not it's a good candidate for MCE.

    MCE Custom Builder
     
  3. bobiroc

    bobiroc Member

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    OK here is what I got,

    ASUS P4G8X Deluxe Motherboard
    Pentium 4 3.066 Ghz
    1GB PC2700 DC DDR Ram
    40GB Drive for OS and applications
    80GB Drive for Storage
    ATI All In Wonder 9600
    SB Audigy 2 Platinum
    Pioneer DVD-ROM
    Sony DVD±RW (Single Layer)
    Windows MCE 2005 (obviously)

    According to ATI's support website there is a 1.7MB File that you can download to make All In Wonder cards (Model 9600 and higher) work with Windows Media Center Edition. It is titled "Windows XP Media Center Edition Encoder" and is supposed to and I quote...

    [bold]"This Encoder contains PVR and capture functionality for ATI TV Tuners and All-in-Wonder® Cards. It is required for fully functionality of myTV within Windows XP Media Center Edition. The Encoder also allows you to run Windows XP Media Center Edition with an All-in-Wonder card without ATI Multimedia Center™."[/bold]

    This patch can be found here https://support.ati.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=894&task=knowledge&folderID=294.

    Maybe I read it wrong, but it sounded pretty clear to me. This is what I have tried. After Windows MCE install I installed my device drivers including the catalyst 6.4 drivers for ATI. Using .net framework 1.1. THen i installed the Media Center Encoder file. I DID NOT Install the ATI Multimedia Center. That told me that there was no tuner found using RCA or Coax. So I decided to install the ATI Multimedia Center and when I did that it tells me that the tuner is in use by another application. So that is where I am. I guess I am upset because ATI has a supposed patch/plugin that states it will make the card work with the MCE interface. Installing Windows Updates did not change the situation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2006
  4. stollery

    stollery Guest

    Good Morning,

    Though I sell the 9600 in my store I never bundled it with Media Center machines, and while I like ATI cards, their drivers are another story, and always have had that well deserved reputation.

    I cannot tell you that you shouldn't use your existing card, but I can offer from experience that even if you're ever able to get it running, which I doubt, you'll likely have problems. Getting MCE to work properly can be a very daunting process. Heck, I studied for nearly 6 months until I had all the hardware and software to where it was working properly and I could then feel comfortable selling them to the public.

    I suspect you'll have to purchase a separate tuner card, to get everything working properly. You have a powerful enough computer to handle everything - you just need to decide for yourself if you want your machine to work flawlessly.

    If you need more help just post back.

    Note: As an aside to let you know how picky some cards can be, I've learned that the bundled software with some video and tuner cards that purport to be MCE compatible, are not.

    Have a good day.
     
  5. bobiroc

    bobiroc Member

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    Thanks for the replies. But after being called a liar and being accused of software piracy from ATI Support I decided to purchase a WinTV-PVR-150MCE. From the reviews I have read on this it works flawlessly with Media Center Edition 2005.
     
  6. stollery

    stollery Guest

    Yeah, that card works well when you're only using your type card for video.
     
  7. ktenns

    ktenns Member

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    Wow,
    You sound like you could help me muddle through this too.
    Here's what I've got:
    Soltek SL75-FRN-2L NForce2 Mobo
    Sempron 3000+ 512KB
    1GB PC3200 Dual Channel
    ATI's AIW 9800 Pro 128MB
    Seagate 300GB 16MB 7,200 RPM HDD
    LG 16X DVDRW

    I have "borrowed" a copy of MCE 2005 to see if I CAN make it work before I take the plunge and buy a legit copy. I have had all types of woes thus far with AIW 9800 Pro and the accompanying software. My hope was that the software woes would disappear magically with MCE and I could leave ATI's software behind me forever. So far it doesn't look that way. Until I installed the ATI Multimedia Centre, MCE would get as far as finding my SVideo input and shoing it in a little preview box...then it would stick it to me when I couldn't provide a remote sender unit to tune my satellite receiver.

    I am actually pretty happy with my satellite remote as is thank you very much Microsoft! Is there a way to get around that or I am just out of luck? Will the AIW 9800 Pro even behave itself in MCE anyway? Or do I also need to look at a Hauppage PVR150 or perhaps a Theatre Pro 550 to gin hardware MPG2 encoding so that it actually records properly?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    BTW, I have the legitimate Win XP SP2 disk in my hand, so if MCE is a no go I will simply go back to that...but will I ever be able to REALLY use the PVR features that the AIW box promised?

    - Kevin
     
  8. bobiroc

    bobiroc Member

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    One thing I found even after I installed my Hauppauge card is that you need a Windows MCE compatible MPEG2 Decoder software. I had PowerDVD 5 and that did not seem to work. Luckily I found WinDVD 7 in my DVD-Writer software and I installed that and it worked. Makes me wonder if that is all I needed for my ATI Card.
     
  9. ktenns

    ktenns Member

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    You mean to say the once vaunted ATI DVD Decoder will NOT work for this?
     
  10. bobiroc

    bobiroc Member

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    I don't hav my original ATI Driver CD so I couldn't install it.
     
  11. stollery

    stollery Guest

    There are a number of combinations of hardware that will cause MCE to function correctly, but I like to use older 256 meg GForce cards, along with a Hauppage or a AverMedia tuner card. Understanding of course, that you do NOT use the drivers that come with the video card. You either let Windows set the card up as a result of a fresh OS install or grab the latest video drivers available from many sites specializing in MCE 2005. Remember also that if you're looking for HD you'll be looking for an additional tuner card as well, so make sure you have an available PCI slot. I should also add that with the GForce card you have the opportunity to use a DVI or SVHS output to a large Plasma or LCD screen. Be advised however that for certain "large screens" the conventional video output works best. Trial and error? You bet.
     
  12. rturnock

    rturnock Member

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    I am almost certain that the 9600 AIW tuner did not work with MCE 2005 a year ago. That was because the tuner did not have hardware encoding and MCE can't afford the bandwith to encode while it is doing other things. Now maybe ATI has a patch to hide the encoding or reduce the load or something but I haven't seen it. I would recommend getting a tuner with hardware decoding, I bought a pair of ATI Theatre PRO 550's and I am very happy with them.

    The 9600 AIW is working well (aithout the tuner being used) and drives an HDTV through component cables very well. Originally my system used all the ATI software but it was nothing like as styable and useable as MCE.
     
  13. bobiroc

    bobiroc Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I purchased and installed a Hauppauge TV-Tuner and replaced my ATI card with a GeForce 6200 256MB. All is working rather well. Connected via DVI to my Mitsubish HDTV at 720x480. Now I gotta program my Harmony remote to control it all.
     
  14. Missingxt

    Missingxt Member

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    Listen [bold]dont waste your money unless u want hardware encoding[/bold] and from what i hear u can come close to the quality with a software encoder.
    Here is a simple tutorial (no bs) for my AIW 9800 Pro
    1 Install mce2005
    2 Install all your drivers (the latest drivers)
    3 install the windows media center encoder from ati
    4 install a supported dvd player i installed Nvidias (take that ati!)
    5 then u can run the set up on mce and there shouldnt be any problems
    if there r any problems its going to be your AIW overheating
    but let me tell you that the only good thing about mce is that it has the online spotlight where u can surf the net for video tv but its only lo res and maybe xbox360
    eazylook is definaately much better than microsofts soluion but redmon did a better job integrating everything (video, pictures music, ie)
     
  15. stollery

    stollery Guest

    Missingxt - "but let me tell you that the only good thing about mce is that it has the online spotlight where u can surf the net for video tv"

    um, I'm curious about your comment above and also the one about being no better than xbox res. The minimum any machine goes out of my store is with 1024X768, but usually higher. Are you suggesting that MCE2005 dicates a lower/inferior res? Having built 100s of MCE machines over the past couple of years I'm wondering where you get your info, because I'd like to check it out.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2006
  16. Missingxt

    Missingxt Member

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    LOL
    let me clarify
    i have cable and i did not find any exeptional funcionality in mce
    that u dont get in eazylook absept the pre-packaged websites for online spotlight ive been using eazyllok for a long time and still do even thought i had (unknowingly) got the ati to display tv in mce
    now i dont know about the res I am not ritch so i cant really coment on res, you would need to get a very big, maybe 52" hd tv (if they make them that big) to notice any resolution diference
    but from what i read about the xbox 360 (and sony) having a 128 bit gpu interface the mce should be better and i dont know if the xbox is hdmi capable but i am more interested in another solution that is even more capable and powerfull than mce and that is MYTH TV i definately recomend it to the adventurious people who dont mind training by their own wits
     
  17. Missingxt

    Missingxt Member

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    besides i already know how to navigate eazyllok with the keyboard too
    and i cant seem to be able to do the same with mce yet without drilling though menus
     
  18. stollery

    stollery Guest

    Missingxt - There is a very satisfied customer data base out there as a result of MCE being bundled with their machines. Connecting them to a high end Plasma/LCDTV or conventional HDTV has been a snap.
    Reliability and ease of use is a huge consideration for the majority.

    If you would indulge me for a moment though - you state you are looking for a more powerful and capable solution? MCE is essentially XP Pro with the MCE bundle. Since there is no limitation insofar as the power of the unit "because of MCE", what powerful solution are you looking for that the MCE OS can't offer? If you simply don't like MCE that's fine. To each their own.........

    Just trying to learn something here.
     
  19. Missingxt

    Missingxt Member

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    well i mean mce is definately limited in some areas where myth tv fairs better or equal and in easy to use its about the same
    ive been looking at the microsoft websites for some answers
    and i found some interesting information here
    (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/chats/transcripts/williams.mspx)
    heres some brief but usefull bits ive been able to find on the net

    1. theres really no third party support for mce yet since there is no sdk on the other hand myth tv is an open source solution thats available for anyone to develop for including making an apliance of some sorts (although i doubt it will ever happen) but of course beeing open sources means maybe theres not many devices that will work for myth tv but right now windows cant boast a long compatiblity list either so

    2. A very simple and easy to over look feature thats missing in mce (i havent found it) a fully themeable interface but i have a feeling microsoft is going to fix it soon

    3. Can u really upgrade mce 2005 to maybe mce 2007 without installing a whole new OS

    4. Can mce auto detect commecials and skip them, i dont think a single commercial product is going to be released that will do that

    5. Another major thing about mce is that its not recomended to install several receivers at once, on myth tv is suggested

    6. U cant rpc to your media center machine, vnc may solve that issue for windows i dont know but i know that in myth tv it has a web interface

    well you know i expected more from microsoft that just a patched windows i dont think many undestand what is capable with myth tv
    i have been following the project for a long time (i had a 3dfx 3500) and people have been able to connect 4 tunners, sure its nice to be able to get an extenders conected easily but myth tv can do that too The fact is i like beeing able to watch tv in my computer but i like it even better in television and as far as recording and play back well tivo does a perfect job (tivo=linux) the fact u can d/l a win Xp Pro with all the media center enhancements alreay installed says a lot about what micosoft has done
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
  20. stollery

    stollery Guest

    Well I certainly appreciate your explanation and the degree you went to explain yourself; thanks.

    There are numerous 3rd party plug ins - BTW, for MCE. Frankly, however, a couple of them truly suck, which can be said for any software though.

    As an aside, MCE2005 has multiple tuner support to include, of course, Hi-Def.

    I've read that the next release of MCE will be upgradeable, but only with the understanding that you have 2005 installed. As with anything, I'll believe it when I see it.

    Again, to each their own.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2006

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