Posts Categorised: Media PC Hardware

2Media Player Classic - Home Cinema LogoComparing madvr GPU performance

My current HTPC has an nVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4Gb with which I am able to upscale all content to 1080p with fairly high quality settings, and am also (just) able to playback 8k 60fps content downscaled to 1080p. However, I have long wondered what the benefits of a more powerful card might be on the ability to use higher settings. Sadly, no-one seems to provide any benchmarks for madvr, so how can cards be compared?
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0True home cinema for a grand

I’ve long had a “home cinema” setup with a fairly budget HTPC, a 50″ plasma TV, and a 4.1 surround system, but when I moved house a year ago I found I no longer had a place in the main family room to fit the 50″ TV, so had to revert back to the old Samsung 32″ 720p CRT that I bought in around 2006. The room has a large bay window with a little recess perfect for fitting a screen, so a plan was born for true home cinema
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2Blackgold BGT3630 LogoProblem with BlackGold 36xx TV Cards

I’ve been having on-off issues for a while with my TV-Server.  I run DVBLink on top of Windows Server which allows me to share my TV signals to all my PCs, Android phones, PS3, Xbox and other DLNA devices.  However, I’ve had an issue where seemingly at random I’ve lost the ability to tune some channels.  Initially I put this down to DVBLink, but after extensive testing it appears the problem is with the TV cards.  Once the cards have lost tune this seems to last for a while in DVBLink, maybe it wouldn’t have the same effect in a straight Windows Media Center setup.

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0BlackGold BGT3600 DVB-T2 & DVB-S2 tunerBlackgold 3600: The new ultimate TV Card

I’ve recently moved house, but now that I’ve restored internet access (always the first priority) I’ve been tasked with fully sorting out TV in the house.  The previous setup isn’t bad – with a Media Server (including TV cards) tucked away, and a HTPC in the lounge.  These both run Media Center and DVBLink.  This way I can also get TV on my desktop PC and laptop.  In the near future I’ll be building another HTPC for the bedroom TV so we can watch recorded programmes in bed.  All these potential recordings and watching are beyond the capability of my current tuner setup – a BlackGold BGT3620 and a Compro S350.  … Read Full Article

0AMD Vision Fusion Premium LogoBrazosTweaker: AMD Brazos E350 tweaker

As regular readers will know, my main HTPC is currently based on an AMD Brazos E350.  I’d like to say a quick thanks to SemiAccurate for their recent article highlighting the excellent BrazosTweaker by Sven Wittek.  This tool (and its sibling FusionTweaker) enable the tweaking of P-States (the voltage in low power mode) of Brazos and Llano chips, just like K10Stat, PhenomMsrTweaker, RMClock, CrystalCPUID and others have done in the past.  To quote SemiAccurate, “the main purpose of both these tools is to modify the voltages and clock dividers of the built-in P-States on these chips.”

The FusionTweaker utility is still somewhat buggy by all reports, but BrazosTweaker seems reliable to me.  I highly recommend reading the SemiAccurate article and then grabbing the tool if you have a Brazos HTPC, or laptop.

0Motorola NYXBoard QWERTY RemoteLooking beyond the boxee remote-keyboard

For a long time I’ve been searching for the ideal HTPC remote control.  I want a fairly standard remote, but with a QWERTY keyboard on the back, or inside a flip/slide out part.  I’ve been tracking the options in an article from Jan-2010, and eventually ordered myself a Boxee remote a few months back.  The boxee is an excellent wireless keyboard, but unfortunately, boxee have opted to go the “Apple route” (aka dumbed down) on the non-qwerty side.  There are a total of 7 buttons, non of which is a power button.  There is also no “back up” type button.  This makes the boxee pretty useless for Media Center 7…. Read Full Article

0DVB LogicPlanning a new networked home media setup

In the coming months I will be buying a new property, and to go with my new home, I’ve been reading up lots on how I might integrate a new home media setup.  In recent months several exciting new options have become available, which finally makes the sort of setup I have always desired a real possibility…. Read Full Article