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  1. #1
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    303

    Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    So,

    You think you are interested in Beyond TV?

    EDIT: You can also change the look of your BeyondTV- below are some links to some BeyondTV Skins I made.

    SKIN "LCD" http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?t=28271
    SKIN "Nostalgia" http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?t=28017
    SKIN "Pirates" http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?t=28136

    The big three- Windows MCE, Sage TV, and Beyond TV are all good things to consider but if you decided on Beyond TV, this post was created to help guide you in what to expect!

    Unlike SageTV or Windows Media Center, Beyond TV is currently ONLY a PVR solution- meaning it doesn't have a built in DVD player nor does it playback audio files. Beyond Media is a program to integrate a media center into Beyond TV.

    What Beyond TV does give you is a very simple and intuitive recording station with an excellent search function, great manual recording features, and a layout that is so simple to use- even my Fiance who isn't too hip on computers knows how to fully operate without having to consult me for help.
    Setting up Beyond TV is very easy- there are a few requirements and some tweaks you must do if you really want to get the most out of your Beyond TV setup.

    Hardware- in order to use Beyond TV to it's max, I will list the minimum requirements to get you started...

    100GB or greater HD 7200RPM Minimum
    nVidia Video card (yes, nVidia...read on)
    512 DDR RAM
    PCI MPEG2 Capture card (Hauppauge HIGHLY recommended)
    350 or greater power supply

    TV, Surround Sound AMP, Speakers are up to you...I won't make suggestions here. However, a surround sound amplifier that has optical inputs (S/PDIF) will save you a few bucks when it comes to buying licenses for Dolby codecs and will give you the absolute best sound. What you hear is what you get!


    My setup is not a blazing fast computer and yet, I experience ABSOLUTELY no hiccups or bog-downs when using it-


    I have everything in my signature but I'll do an explanation of why I chose each piece of hardware. Just keep in mind, my HTPC isn't for gaming and I don't consider my choices to be the only options to go with for creating a Home Theater PC for Beyond TV useage. Maybe you will like my ideas, maybe you won't. Nice thing about HTPC's it's limitless with OPTIONS!


    1. Case- Antec Overture. It's quiet and has ample space to put hard drives. It's kinda cool looking (KINDA) but there are definitely better cases out there. I probably would have went with Ahanix if I was to do it all over again-

    http://www.ahanix.com/ctg_htc.html

    I personally like Seagate hard drives. They are one of the most quiet drives on the market and have never let me down. I even thought my very first Seagate was broken because it didn't produce much sound.

    2. Motherboard- Abit NF-7S (2.0) This motherboard is relatively inexpensive now, has nVidia's Sound Storm onboard, USB 2.0 and Firewire, Uses the nForce N/S bridge, and has 2 Serial ATA controllers. The whole motivation for this motherboard is the SoundStorm chip- S/PDIF output. One of the best onboard audio chips in my opinion.
    If you already have a surround sound receiver w/optical, this little SoundStorm chip will win you over.

    3. AMD Athlon XP2800+ (An XP2500 would work just as well). I really don't care what your preference is, INTEL or AMD they both work great and will satisfy your needs.

    4. Lite-ON SK7551 wireless keyboard with pointing device. The Lite-On has a VERY nice sized I.R. receiver and the keyboard has a pointing device built in. I program the keyboard commands into my Sony RM-AV2500 and I can operate every piece of equipment with 1 REMOTE! (Doesn't sound like that big of a deal but it is)

    5. Sony RM-AV2500 - It's a $150.00 remote that you can buy for $80.00 at NewEgg.com that is fully programmable, has lots of features and it's big. At first I didn't like the size of this remote but the more I used it, the more I liked it's size. This remote now even controls the lighting in my living room after installing I.R. dimmer switches in my house. Because the Lite-On keyboard works on I.R., I can program all the key-commands I need into it.

    6. PNY Verto 6600GT AGP- That's right. It's *NOT* an ATI card. No, I do not think nVidia is better than ATI for 3d games and such, but for Home Theater PC's you are MUCH better off using nVidia. Trust me on this one- I'm a HUGE ATI fan and I *ONLY* use ATI video cards in my computers I build but, nVidia currently has the market on video-to-TV output. (The PNY is a little on the loud side but I'm looking for solutions on that)

    If your TV has a DVI connection on it, don't go waste your money on a "Monster" brand DVI cable- they are expensive. Why pay $100+ dollars on a DVI cable when you can find perfectly good DVI cables for about $15.00 on Ebay. That's what I did and the cable is a good quality build.

    7. Theater-Tek DVD- If you own an nVidia card and you don't own this software, ask yourself why. I chose this DVD player because they capitalize on the nVidia DVD decoder.
    http://theatertek.com

    8. Hauppauge PVR series capture cards either the PCI or USB2 versions work great. Also, ATI's new theater 550 chip has appealed to a few BTV users. I'm currently testing the Sapphire Theatrix 550 out on my rig so look for my personal opinionated review.

    9. General Suggestions- only 1 DVD ROM is installed on this HTPC. I don't use this to browse the internet since there is NO anti-virus software running on this PC. No DVD burner since all shows are on a network drive and can be sent to other PC's for editing & burning.

    Hard Drive Setup- (Some may find this one useful)

    C:\ Drive is partitioned- main partition used for programs.
    D:\ Second partition used for the recording buffer (60 Gigs - enough buffer for watching shows) which gets HEAVILY partitioned. Having it separate from your programs allows you to defrag the drive without comprimising your recorded shows.

    All recordings go to a 200GB hard drive labeled "M:\Shows" (M for Movies) Nothing but recordings go to this drive although, I put another file called "drivers" which contains all my program updates for the HTPC in case I ever have to perform a clean install on C:\

    10. DVDIdle- removes copy protection from your DVD's allowing you to play at any resolution, allows you to skip over lame intros & warnings by going directly to the MENU, and saves your DVD drive by caching through RAM.
    Some people have experienced problems when using DVDIdle and TheaterTEK DVD. I found that instead of cacheing to RAM, cache through one of your hard drives will remedy those pesky DVDIdle issues when using TheaterTEK.

    If you decide on an nVidia card with your system and you used to have an ATI card

    First- uninstall ALL of your ATI drivers. They sometimes conflict with the nVidia ones. Download the latest drivers from www.nzone.com and have them ready when you install your card.

    Don't forget on Series 6 GeForce cards to have a spare +12 molex connector and at least a 350 Watt or greater power supply. Forget to hook +12v to your card and you'll certainly have some embarrassing troubleshooting on your hands. (#1 tech support fault)

    Install the nVidia card- see how well you like it's features.

    What you will want to invest in is the nVidia DVD decoder....Actually, wait first- see how well DVD's look without it- HUGE difference!

    The nVidia DVD decoder software starts at $20.00 but...
    If you are using S/PDIF (optical) for your audio, don't waste the extra $30.00 for all of the Dolby features unless you feel you need it.
    If you use S/PDIF, you will more than likely set it to "SPDIF Passthrough" in which your receiver will be doing all the decoding (This is how I'm using it)

    Next, read this thread...There is a fix where you replace the DirectX 9.0c "quartz.dll" with the "quartz.dll" file from DirectX 9.0b to fix motion blurring. Depending on your system, you may or may not have the need for this fix... If you are using an ATI video card, this fix is 99% mandatory to have a watchable picture.
    This is specifically a Microsoft DirectX 9.0c problem found in both the Beyond TV and Sage TV communities and it is not a problem related to either PVR software development.
    (I personally believe Microsoft did this on purpose to get users to jump over to their Media Center Edition)

    http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/sho...ight=quartz.dll

    It must be done in safe mode but it will improve on your picture.

    -----------------

    http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?t=19735

    Another thread- to improve your record/playback qualities and a few other minor tweaks can be found here...Lots of reading will pay off to getting Beyond TV set up the way you want it.
    Most users never realize with Beyond TV, if you go into the Web Admin settings and create new record qualities, you will get the absolute best picture quality when recording. Kind of a shame you have to learn how to enter Web Admin to customize and that these recording qualities are not (YET) a part of the choices in setup. In other words, you have to create custom record qualities.

    -----------------

    Finally, as a last step- MAINLY for those who use DirecTV or Digital Cable...

    http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/sho...33&page=1&pp=15

    You may not need to take this last step though.

    -----------------

    I will try to keep this updated as much as possible. Feel free to post any tips/tricks you know with setting up and running Beyond TV.


    Good Luck!

    Darren E
    http://darrene.com
    Last edited by DarrenDiego; 11-12-2006 at 08:37 PM.
    Darren E
    HTPC
    Athlon XP3000+ | 1GB PC3200 | Abit NF7-S 2.0 | 80GB Seagate | 200GB Seagate | Antec Overature Silent Case | PNY 6600GT DVI | Lite-On SK7551 IR Keyboard w/Pointing Device | Sony RM-AV2500 Remote | 2 Hauppauge PVR-150 | 2 DirecTV D10 | Hitachi 65S700 | Beyond TV 4.0
    Notebook
    Sager 4750- AMD64 3200 | 80GB HDD | 17"WSXGA | 1GB Ram
    A/V Authoring
    Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus | Lite-On DVD | Antec 900 Case | Delta 66 Audio Card | Intel E6600 | 2 GB G-Skill RAM | eVGA 8800GTS 320MB | Seagate 500/500/400 GB HDD | ViewSonic 20" Q20wb

  2. #2
    Joined
    May 2003
    Posts
    1,237

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    HTPC's rock! I've got SageTV Server running on my PIII 733 with 512mb PC133 and a dedicated 120gig 64k-cluster TV show drive. I can record 2 shows simultaneously, as well as watch 2 different shows at the same time on my laptop and desktop. SageTV uses ~5% of the the server's CPU to do all that, thanks to the Hauppauge PVR-500 dual-tuner hardware encoding card.

    I was a little miffed that the bundles Sage sells don't include a client license. However, 2 clients @ $30 each was worth it, as it leaves my server free to serve HTTP, FTP, and VPN.


    Intel 7820X, ASRock X299 Taichi, 32GB DDR4 3200, Radeon 290X, 8TB WD Gold with 32GB Optane cache

  3. #3
    Joined
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Hamilton NZ
    Age
    38
    Posts
    7,575

  4. #4
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    303

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    Beyond TV 3.5.2 version is out which automatically recognizes the nVidia DVD decoder so you don't have to make manual edit changes to the XML files.
    Darren E
    HTPC
    Athlon XP3000+ | 1GB PC3200 | Abit NF7-S 2.0 | 80GB Seagate | 200GB Seagate | Antec Overature Silent Case | PNY 6600GT DVI | Lite-On SK7551 IR Keyboard w/Pointing Device | Sony RM-AV2500 Remote | 2 Hauppauge PVR-150 | 2 DirecTV D10 | Hitachi 65S700 | Beyond TV 4.0
    Notebook
    Sager 4750- AMD64 3200 | 80GB HDD | 17"WSXGA | 1GB Ram
    A/V Authoring
    Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus | Lite-On DVD | Antec 900 Case | Delta 66 Audio Card | Intel E6600 | 2 GB G-Skill RAM | eVGA 8800GTS 320MB | Seagate 500/500/400 GB HDD | ViewSonic 20" Q20wb

  5. #5
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    303

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    Beyond TV 3.5.3 is out which fixes the 0 MB recording bug
    Darren E
    HTPC
    Athlon XP3000+ | 1GB PC3200 | Abit NF7-S 2.0 | 80GB Seagate | 200GB Seagate | Antec Overature Silent Case | PNY 6600GT DVI | Lite-On SK7551 IR Keyboard w/Pointing Device | Sony RM-AV2500 Remote | 2 Hauppauge PVR-150 | 2 DirecTV D10 | Hitachi 65S700 | Beyond TV 4.0
    Notebook
    Sager 4750- AMD64 3200 | 80GB HDD | 17"WSXGA | 1GB Ram
    A/V Authoring
    Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus | Lite-On DVD | Antec 900 Case | Delta 66 Audio Card | Intel E6600 | 2 GB G-Skill RAM | eVGA 8800GTS 320MB | Seagate 500/500/400 GB HDD | ViewSonic 20" Q20wb

  6. #6
    Joined
    Jan 2002
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    71

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    Hi DarrenDiego. I liked your write up in here. Just a question. First my htpc is run right off of cable (no cable box but plan to add one)
    Im using the build in sound off the motherbord connected to my Creative 5.1 speakers. Sounds good but was wondering about the Surround Sound Amplifier.
    Do you think it will make a Big impact in my htpc experience? And if so what one do you have/recommend?

    Specs:
    Case: ShuttleX FN45
    Has Nvidia nForce Ultra
    has Realtek ALC650 for sound
    Connected to Creative 5.1
    Athlon Xp 2100
    120 Western Digital 8meg buffer HD
    Hauppauge PVR 250
    512m Corsair
    Geforce 4400

    This Connected to my BenQ Projector

    Currently running Gentoo Linux and using MythTV
    I want to Dual Boot this With WinXp so my wife can use
    it too. I originally thought
    XpMedia Center was the way to go so I bought it and
    very dissapointed with the dvr-ms (wish I did
    my research first) so I have dissabled
    the media center and using BTV (on another PC)
    My Second Rig

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ w/Thermaltake VENUS 12 80mm Ball Cooling Fan/Heatsink

    ASUS A8N5X
    GeIL Ultra 1GB (2 x 512MB)DDR 500
    GIGABYTE GV-NX66T128VP Geforce 6600GT 128MB
    ENERMAX All in One Noisetaker Series 600w
    Audigy 2 Platnum
    NEC 16x DVD Writter
    1 Hauppauge 250 tv tuner/capture
    1 Ati eHome wonder tv

    4 Maxtor DiamondMax 250GB

  7. #7
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    303

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    That's really up to you...

    I would recommend something that has S/PDIF optical inputs. This way you can directly feed your computer's audio through digitally with " 0 " conversion.

    You may or may not notice much of a difference when using Snapstream- but it's a HUGE difference when playing a DVD.

    I bought a Sony amp for only a couple of hundred dollars but if I had it my way, I'd probably buy a nice Denon amp.

    The best way to pick your amp is to determine how big of speakers you plan on driving.

    (Does this help?)
    Darren E
    HTPC
    Athlon XP3000+ | 1GB PC3200 | Abit NF7-S 2.0 | 80GB Seagate | 200GB Seagate | Antec Overature Silent Case | PNY 6600GT DVI | Lite-On SK7551 IR Keyboard w/Pointing Device | Sony RM-AV2500 Remote | 2 Hauppauge PVR-150 | 2 DirecTV D10 | Hitachi 65S700 | Beyond TV 4.0
    Notebook
    Sager 4750- AMD64 3200 | 80GB HDD | 17"WSXGA | 1GB Ram
    A/V Authoring
    Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus | Lite-On DVD | Antec 900 Case | Delta 66 Audio Card | Intel E6600 | 2 GB G-Skill RAM | eVGA 8800GTS 320MB | Seagate 500/500/400 GB HDD | ViewSonic 20" Q20wb

  8. #8
    Joined
    Jan 2002
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    71

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    Yes it dose help. I know there are alot of choices out there starting at around 99 bucks going into the thousands. I don't want to spend more then 400. Going to do some research. The room is mid sized and not carpeted yet. Thanks for your reply.
    Tom
    My Second Rig

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ w/Thermaltake VENUS 12 80mm Ball Cooling Fan/Heatsink

    ASUS A8N5X
    GeIL Ultra 1GB (2 x 512MB)DDR 500
    GIGABYTE GV-NX66T128VP Geforce 6600GT 128MB
    ENERMAX All in One Noisetaker Series 600w
    Audigy 2 Platnum
    NEC 16x DVD Writter
    1 Hauppauge 250 tv tuner/capture
    1 Ati eHome wonder tv

    4 Maxtor DiamondMax 250GB

  9. #9
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    64
    Posts
    30,989

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    Hey, DD, glad to see you back here!
    How have you been?
    Did you know you were missed??
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  10. #10
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    303

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleBob
    Hey, DD, glad to see you back here!
    How have you been?
    Did you know you were missed??
    Thanks...I've had a change of jobs which really put a damper into my free time.

    DirecTV and their so-called-upgrades affected how my D10 receiver works. DirecTV did a over the air upgrade which advertly affected channels 2 - 100 which are where the major network stations are located. I could not get these channels to tune using the serial tuning cable and to make matters worse- if the D10 was left on for more than several hours, a cheesy "DirecTV Logo" screensaver would be bouncing around causing any scheduled recordings to record this screensaver.

    My solution- I own an older model Sony SatB3 DirecTV box which works just fine and does not have the capability of being "upgraded." Hooking this receiver up still allows me to do everything my D10 box did with one small exception- channels 2 - 100 are located in channels 900+. I can live with that.

    Now I know why DirecTV was so eager to give me brand new boxes when I signed up again...(DirecTV will deny all these claims- I've heard every single excuse there is from many tech supports)

    1. Major networks are located in channels 2-100. The upgrade keeps you from tuning to those channels.
    2. The screen saver is a way to keep you from recording most shows.
    3. They would rather you use THEIR DirecTV with TIVO unit.

    Nope...sorry. Once DirecTV has a majority of consumers with the TIVO units- they are going to do something clever to make sure advertising gets through to those units as well.
    You can quote me on this one.

    I'll be *VERY* surprised if they don't. TIVO already has talks of FF/RW advertising...What makes DirecTV with TIVO any different??


    There is a fix on the SnapStream Forums website for D10 box owners but it requires using Girder software to fix it. Which works great but so far doesn't satisfy the screen saver issue.
    Darren E
    HTPC
    Athlon XP3000+ | 1GB PC3200 | Abit NF7-S 2.0 | 80GB Seagate | 200GB Seagate | Antec Overature Silent Case | PNY 6600GT DVI | Lite-On SK7551 IR Keyboard w/Pointing Device | Sony RM-AV2500 Remote | 2 Hauppauge PVR-150 | 2 DirecTV D10 | Hitachi 65S700 | Beyond TV 4.0
    Notebook
    Sager 4750- AMD64 3200 | 80GB HDD | 17"WSXGA | 1GB Ram
    A/V Authoring
    Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus | Lite-On DVD | Antec 900 Case | Delta 66 Audio Card | Intel E6600 | 2 GB G-Skill RAM | eVGA 8800GTS 320MB | Seagate 500/500/400 GB HDD | ViewSonic 20" Q20wb

  11. #11
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    64
    Posts
    30,989

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    Man, this just plays into our hands, doesn't it? The DIY market will only get in more demand.
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  12. #12
    Joined
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    Age
    51
    Posts
    2,053

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    I use VBR and have it set to 6000-8000 - looks good to mr, but can you suggest better settings?
    K7N2 Delta ILSR bios ver. 7.8
    Geforce FX 5950
    XP3000+
    3x512mb ddr400 - corsair xms (dual channel)
    Wavemaster Case
    2XWD 36GB Raptor in raid-0
    Soundblaster Audigy 2

  13. #13
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    303

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    Have you been here?

    http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/do...hedit_141.html

    Create a graph and remove the motion filters if you are using digital.
    Darren E
    HTPC
    Athlon XP3000+ | 1GB PC3200 | Abit NF7-S 2.0 | 80GB Seagate | 200GB Seagate | Antec Overature Silent Case | PNY 6600GT DVI | Lite-On SK7551 IR Keyboard w/Pointing Device | Sony RM-AV2500 Remote | 2 Hauppauge PVR-150 | 2 DirecTV D10 | Hitachi 65S700 | Beyond TV 4.0
    Notebook
    Sager 4750- AMD64 3200 | 80GB HDD | 17"WSXGA | 1GB Ram
    A/V Authoring
    Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus | Lite-On DVD | Antec 900 Case | Delta 66 Audio Card | Intel E6600 | 2 GB G-Skill RAM | eVGA 8800GTS 320MB | Seagate 500/500/400 GB HDD | ViewSonic 20" Q20wb

  14. #14
    Joined
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    Age
    51
    Posts
    2,053

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenDiego
    Have you been here?

    http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/do...hedit_141.html

    Create a graph and remove the motion filters if you are using digital.
    Me. sorry, is that related to my question?
    K7N2 Delta ILSR bios ver. 7.8
    Geforce FX 5950
    XP3000+
    3x512mb ddr400 - corsair xms (dual channel)
    Wavemaster Case
    2XWD 36GB Raptor in raid-0
    Soundblaster Audigy 2

  15. #15
    Joined
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1

    Re: Beyond TV. The un-official setup guide

    I'm at a loss...I've been using BTV w/ cable for a couple months & loving it. I decided to upgrade to DirecTV w/ an HD STB (H21-200).

    Now I can't get BTV to recognize the DirecTV rcvr...IR blaster doesn't work (I have a Hauppauge HVR-1600 tuner card), so I've lost my BTV!

    Any ideas out there on how to get BTV working w/ my ne DirecTV?

    Thanks!

    -Fred.

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