Today Media Browser 2.5.2 codename Apollo was released.
The main new feature is the support for 3D movies. Otherwise this update doesn’t bring as many changes as some previous releases, but it is worth noting that Windows Vista is no longer supported.
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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.
Sad news – for the last few days TheHTPC.net has been showing a Server 500 error. Now the owner (another Jon) has put up a message saying the site is broken and he may not be able to find time to fix it. I for one am very much hoping to see TheHTPC.net back in the near future. If that is not to be then I hope we will be able to source and provide a mirror of some of the outstanding resources that were previously available there. RIP.
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I have recently been suffering corruption playing back some H.264 files with FFDShow tryouts. After a bit of experimenting I’ve found that the last build without this issue is build 3949 from 24th-July. I previously had issues with earlier releases of FFDShow that didn\’t work with DXVA at all – fortunately build 3949 doesn’t suffer this issue. I also previously had a problem where some builds of FFDShow were less efficient on my HTPC and were unable to smoothly decode some high bitrate movies, e.g. a rip of the Inglorious Basterds Blu-Ray, which has forced me to continue to use an old build from mid-2010 until now. Build 3949 doesn’t suffer from these issues either – so in terms of the 3 problems I’ve had over the years with ffdshow, build 3949 doesn’t suffer from any of them, making it my build of choice for the foreseeable future.
It seems that the Media Center Studio site is permanently down. Fortunately several people have managed to archive the files needed to install it, and have provided them, along with some instructions. I have improved upon their manual instructions by making a self-extracting installer with shortcut. My version of the installer can be found on the downloads page
A couple of days ago I started getting an error on my HTPC when I tried to change library locations – either adding or removing. Media Center shows the error which says “A necessary component of windows media center did not start properly. Restart windows media center”. I understand this error can also affect Media Center Extenders… Read Full Article
Well, a big congratulations to pulse-eight and royal mail – I ordered a motorola NYXBoard QWERTY Remote control on Monday, and 21 hours later it arrived at my door – and all that for free postage!… Read Full Article
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
I’ve been following the development of MCEBuddy for a while now, as it was the only free way to transcode WTV files to a more compatible format. It is still in Beta however, and whilst it works it has 2 downsides to my mind. It transcodes the video which means an inevitable loss of quality, and this also means it takes a long time to transcode each recording. Around 4 hours for a 1Hr BBC HD recording on my Sempron LE-1100 server…. Read Full Article
As I mentioned recently, I am planning a new media system for a new residence. Having already experimented successfully with dvblink, I decided it was time to move my TV cards from my HTPC to my server and hand the duty of recording, transcoding and storing TV to the server…. Read Full Article