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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 23rd December, 2013, 11:43 PM
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Oh man, I can't stand foreign movies without original language. When their mouth doesn't match up to the dialog... ugh, looks soo bad.

You can always get a mini keyboard with mousepad...
Newegg.com
I know its just more money, but gives you keyboard functionality and isn't huge.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 24th December, 2013, 02:42 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion, but it would be nice if the remote can do the job. Just installed the driver and am realizing the design intent was to control Windows Media Center, something I've never used.

With Windows, it doesn't seem to have the ability to change window focus, but after arriving in a window (mouse), it can select objects, open and close folders, and playback a movie file. However, don't yet see a way to remote maximize the playback window, or move to a player control bar (probably window focus again) though the player control buttons appear to work.

I tried Windows Media Center, but instead of keeping my movie files organized for intelligent access, the stupid thing just stretched the names of every single media file across the screen and well beyond -- what good is that for more than a handful of files? I tried playing a DVD and control was fine, but the player wasn't. Windows Media Player image quality is junk, and unless WMC can be configured to playback with my choice of player, then it's junk as well. So, results of my initial foray aren't too good, though the remote itself works fine.

Just moved the HTPC back to the PC room to see if I can figure out any solutions. Not a good idea to lollygag with a PC on a plasma.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 24th December, 2013 at 02:45 AM.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 25th December, 2013, 04:28 AM
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Finding both the remote and WMC disappointing. I spent time searching setup hints for WMC and learned about streaming TV off the net from an older XP based article, but nothing in my Win7 Ultimate WMC indicates that capability is still available, only Live TV which I don't have and won't be getting. Spent time fooling around with the movie library mode and view it a pretty complete disaster. If I designate upper level directories, it says the subdirectories are included, but the titles don't show up. If I designate all the directories, they all show up and I've a 970+ entry nightmare extending well beyond the screen -- could hardly be more useless. Can find no way to navigate to a single directory and then down into its files. If it just allowed me to "TAB" from directory to directory, it would be a lot better, but still not good enough when dealing with TV series and even film extra content. Add to that the Windows Media Player picture is at best mediocre quality (it works, but that's it), I'm concluding the only thing good about WMC is it's compatible with the Rosewill remote. No wonder MS decided to start charging for it with Win8, what a great product!

For Windows Explorer, blowing up the size of the icons and screen print helps tremendously when navigating to a film, and the Remote supports navigation once the focus is in the server window. However, after launching film playback, I can't find a way to control screen size or exit playback outside of a mouse. Too bad the designers of the remote driver didn't allow for user programmability so it can also be setup to work reasonably with Windows.

Next step is to try XBMC and see if it makes any more sense. As an Open Source effort, seems at least likely it would support VLC playback. May even support the Remote. Wonder if it does a better job of organizing library files?

EDIT: XBMC may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I'm finding it pretty obtuse. Has a collection of net accessible transmissions which is good, but have got nowhere so far on accessing my server files, which is my main goal -- was expecting that to be pretty straightforward! Something to spend Christmas day with I suppose !
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Last edited by TrevorS; 25th December, 2013 at 06:28 AM.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 27th December, 2013, 03:27 AM
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As the day after Christmas winds to a close, XBMC is proving an uncrackable nut. I've learned it has its own playback software, meaning it doesn't support the only universal player I have confidence in -- VLC. Further, it appears the method I've been applying to try to get it to access my LAN film directories SHOULD work, but it isn't happening!

Latest annoyance is my attempt to register with their forum (hoping for help) has failed to result in the promised activation email. Am trying not to be too PO'd over this thing about which so many glowing words have been written, but with which I've thus far accomplished nothing (that includes a just-in-case system reinstall.) Even MS WMC could access my files, it just did a crummy job of handling, organizing, and presenting them!

Would be nice if I could at least see what the player output looks like so I'd know if all the getting-nowhere effort is worth it ! However, to be fair, there are two positives I can point to -- a very nice GUI and apparent remote control compatibility.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 29th December, 2013 at 03:24 AM.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 27th December, 2013, 11:59 PM
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Latest XBMC news: they've just released a bug fix update 12.3, so I've removed 12.2 and installed the new. Unfortunately, no change. Found I can login to their forum, but when I try to post my problem, I'm told my account hasn't been activated. I entered my email address and requested resend, which it says it's done, but just as before, nothing has arrived (no, it's not in either my SPAM or TRASH bins). Getting the impression nobody is checking their contact email address, sent at least five so far. Maybe XBMC is just allergic to APUs, don't know, wonder if I'll ever be able to find out? Majorly bummed!
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Last edited by TrevorS; 28th December, 2013 at 12:05 AM.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 30th December, 2013, 01:57 PM
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Wow, you have been busy.
I read the "about" page for XBMC and it describes exactly what you are trying to do, but obviously can't...
How sad is that?

Are you still testing all of this in Windows XP or Media Center?

Its almost comical because their description says " for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet"

There should be a way to do this with VLC alone and Windows Explorer. But I"m sure you are looking for a simple software that will organize your movies and update when you add new one's. Then it should be browsable with a remote and small thumbnails.

Its sad because I have been using Windows Media Player for years to do this with Music. It creates little thumbnails of each album and I can rate them or categorize them. I can play whole albums and/or play a "radio station" with all of my music.

Why the heck can't it do it with movies? Oh wait... thats right... the stupid codecs.
You have to pay for MP4 codecs or rip everything as their WMP codec.

Its always about the money isn't it?
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 31st December, 2013, 01:27 AM
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The HTPC is running Win7 Ultimate Sp1. After the initial try I moved it upstairs and now have it hooked up next to the server with a KVM switch. Won't reconnect it to the receiver again until everything is ready to go. I'd be fine with Windows Explorer except I can't use the remote to change window focus or to make VLC go full screen or exit. That means I can't get away from the mouse and so I'd prefer to find something that works with the remote. WMC does, but that's the only thing I like about it.

Immediate problem with XBMC is I'm so far unable to access my server directories, yet they're fully shared and accessible. I access them regularly on my daily PC for upload and download. I've also accessed them via both WindowsExplorer and WMC from the HTPC (including playing part of a film and a DVD) while connected to the receiver.

Saturday I tried installing MediaPortal, another many like, and again got stymied. It searched out the directories just fine, but I couldn't figure out how to make it remember the ones I tried to select. I can only presume I'm making dumb goofs with both packages, but even "tutorials" haven't helped me, probably in part because they describe systems several revisions older and much has changed.

In any case, the XBMC people today manually activated my forum account so hopefully I'll be able to find out what I'm messing up.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 31st December, 2013 at 07:59 AM.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 31st December, 2013, 11:06 AM
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Turns out my XBMC problem revolved around the need to scroll a displayed menu, something I'm not used to. Probably just a reflection on me, but the important thing is I've finally been able to load XBMC with my server film inventory. Got to work with it more, but current appearances are good, and personally preferable to what I saw of WMC. I'll update as appropriate!

A remaining question is how XBMC video quality compares to WMC and VLC. Can't yet respond to that, but at least for me, it matters!
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Last edited by TrevorS; 31st December, 2013 at 11:12 AM.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 26th January, 2014, 06:27 AM
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Bit late updating this, but did some video comparisons and XBMC video quality is the easy winner over WMC. However, I also compared XBMC video (with setup tweaks) with the current release of VLC (2.1.2), and VLC won handily. Learned that XBMC video processing is the same as VLC except a generation behind due to XBMC release cycles. Tried the December XBMC Beta release and it give very similar image quality to the latest VLC. However, also learned there are certain other video solutions that can be better still. Am playing with one that's just like film to me, but have to work on the integration -- been distracted.

Should mention I made a mistake getting DDR3 1600 for my A6-5400K processor, should have gotten DDR3 1866 -- fastest the APU will support being the correct choice (primarily impacts iGPU speed). I've now 4GB 1866 on hand to install, will get there.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 26th January, 2014 at 12:33 PM.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 26th January, 2014, 05:52 PM
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Thanks for the update. Keep at it, one can learn a lot from trial-n-error and making mistakes.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 12th February, 2014, 02:32 AM
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Been battling with reception of the 2014 Sochi Olympics on my HTPC and have been learning a few things as a result. One is that my A6-5400K appears a capable over-clocker (runs at 4.4GHz w/o CPU over-voltage). Another is that my freshly purchased dual channel G. Skill 4GB DDR3 1866 "Rip Jaws" requires plenty of voltage (1.74V Vs 1.55V) to function correctly at 1866 -- disappointing, though also had to raise CPU voltage from 1.4000 to 1.4125V to successfully run Prime95 with the 1866. (G.Skill DDR3 1600 required neither.) Given a resulting memory clock of 933MHz, decided to bump the GPU clock from around 720 to some 1011 (appears stable at 950, but would prefer more margin.) Will probably have to run GPU benchmarks to see if GPU voltage is OK, but seems fine for Olympics stream broadcast.

In any case, after a few days of experimentation, I seem to be getting good Olympics reception and am happy for that! Am a consistent fan of the Winter Olympics -- go athletes, regardless of country!

Edit -- Darn, blue screened again, that blasted memory is too near the edge at 1866.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 18th February, 2014 at 11:52 PM.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 10th March, 2014, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post
Been battling with reception of the 2014 Sochi Olympics on my HTPC and have been learning a few things as a result. One is that my A6-5400K appears a capable over-clocker (runs at 4.4GHz w/o CPU over-voltage). Another is that my freshly purchased dual channel G. Skill 4GB DDR3 1866 "Rip Jaws" requires plenty of voltage (1.74V Vs 1.55V) to function correctly at 1866 -- disappointing, though also had to raise CPU voltage from 1.4000 to 1.4125V to successfully run Prime95 with the 1866. (G.Skill DDR3 1600 required neither.) Given a resulting memory clock of 933MHz, decided to bump the GPU clock from around 720 to some 1011 (appears stable at 950, but would prefer more margin.) Will probably have to run GPU benchmarks to see if GPU voltage is OK, but seems fine for Olympics stream broadcast.

In any case, after a few days of experimentation, I seem to be getting good Olympics reception and am happy for that! Am a consistent fan of the Winter Olympics -- go athletes, regardless of country!

Edit -- Darn, blue screened again, that blasted memory is too near the edge at 1866.
FWIW -- My battle with G-Skill rip-jaws DDR3 1866 and stability has continued. Seems the supposed stock voltage of 1.55V and 1.62V just don't work for me, tried and tried and tried again. On the other hand, after multiple rounds of testing, it's appearing a voltage of 1.67v plus "auto" memory timing and a slight Northbridge increment (memory and graphics controller) may actually allow both cold boot and warmed Prime95 to perform. More testing needed, but at least it's hopeful. Will update accordingly!
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