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OS for htpc, back to XP/Vista or did MS fix low bit rate in finally W8 WMC

country2

Senior member
May 1, 2001
598
4
81
I have recently restarted using my htpc again since have installed large tv in bedroom. I know in the past I would regularly get the low bit rate message usually while recording and watching live tv and once and while get it just watching live TV. This never happen with xp or while on Vista with media center and I know this was a known issue with W7 Media center and MS came out with a hot fix.It was usually hit or miss if it fixed it or not and I do have that fix installed.

After seeing that message come up again I'm thinking about going back to XP or Vista (I know but got it for free) as those did not have a issue..or did MS "really" fix it in W8 and wmc if so I can use it.

If it matters I have dishnetwork hooked up to pc to record and watch live.TV tuner card is a Diamond TV Wonder HD650 pcie
 
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poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
I would pick Vista over XP, XP's DXVA simply doesn't do the job a modern HTPC needs to do.

Windows 7 is the second best HTPC OS ever, only Linux does it better.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
Win7 is a great HTPC OS. I have never seen any low bitrate error on any of my machines. If you have trouble, replace your tv tuner card.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
Why do you think that? Not that I disagree, but just wondering your reasoning...
Windows 7 is the best Windows HTPC OS for many reasons:

-It has Vista's level of DXVA (which is pretty much a requirement for modern software) with XP's leanness on hardware
-It was the last version when MS still actually believed their media center product had a future
-Its rock solid stable with most modern TV tuners, GPUs, etc.
-It is easy to hack away its shell to turn it somewhat into a dedicated media appliance
-Most Windows media center software is tested first and most on x64 Windows 7 and so there is a huge support network online if you have hangups

All that together makes it an easily the winner of the Windows. I only put Linux above it because with Linux you can make a completely seamless media center appliance with no hangups that sometimes you can't avoid in Windows (such as other apps stealing focus of your media center application). A normal person could easily mistake one of my XBMCbuntu boxes for something like a Roku, especially my one with the 11 second boot time.
 

country2

Senior member
May 1, 2001
598
4
81
Win7 is a great HTPC OS. I have never seen any low bitrate error on any of my machines. If you have trouble, replace your tv tuner card.

Guess I could spend another $100 and see if MS fixed it and its just my card but it worked with XP and Vista. Picture is perfect with no lag just prior to this so don't think its really a low bit rate issue and usually restarting Media center will fix it. I'm just guessing its the same old issue with MS media center (google low bit rate and you'll see) and as some people have stated in other forums the fix just did not fix it on their system and I'm in the same boat.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
I'm not sure if the $100 refers to Win7 or a new TV tuner, but you can install Win7 without buying it and use it for up to 120 days. just find any Win7 disk and install but don't activate it. You don't need to buy it before you confirm it works well.
 

country2

Senior member
May 1, 2001
598
4
81
I'm not sure if the $100 refers to Win7 or a new TV tuner, but you can install Win7 without buying it and use it for up to 120 days. just find any Win7 disk and install but don't activate it. You don't need to buy it before you confirm it works well.
Talking about trying another card as I'm on W7 64 right now.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
Seriously, just roll back to Vista. That tuner hardware is ancient, I wouldn't be surprised if they never made a decent driver for Windows 7 onwards which means you will never fix it going forward with OSes.
 

country2

Senior member
May 1, 2001
598
4
81
Windows 7 is the best Windows HTPC OS for many reasons:

-It has Vista's level of DXVA (which is pretty much a requirement for modern software) with XP's leanness on hardware
-It was the last version when MS still actually believed their media center product had a future
-Its rock solid stable with most modern TV tuners, GPUs, etc.
-It is easy to hack away its shell to turn it somewhat into a dedicated media appliance
-Most Windows media center software is tested first and most on x64 Windows 7 and so there is a huge support network online if you have hangups

All that together makes it an easily the winner of the Windows. I only put Linux above it because with Linux you can make a completely seamless media center appliance with no hangups that sometimes you can't avoid in Windows (such as other apps stealing focus of your media center application). A normal person could easily mistake one of my XBMCbuntu boxes for something like a Roku, especially my one with the 11 second boot time.
I tried XBMCbuntu while back but could not find a way to set it up with my dishnetwork receiver and tuner card.There just isn't a lot of info using XBMCbuntu with satellite.
 

country2

Senior member
May 1, 2001
598
4
81
Seriously, just roll back to Vista. That tuner hardware is ancient, I wouldn't be surprised if they never made a decent driver for Windows 7 onwards which means you will never fix it going forward with OSes.

lol yea I had to do some trickery to get driver to install as had to use the theater 650 drivers as I recall. Looking at the Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR as can get those used fairly cheap and see how it does...or may just roll back to Vista since that's when it worked with no issues even MCEBuddy worked then..
 

country2

Senior member
May 1, 2001
598
4
81
No HD just SD..I'm cheap but I do know eventually I'll have to give in due to the wife factor.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
Windows 7 is the best Windows HTPC OS for many reasons:

-It has Vista's level of DXVA (which is pretty much a requirement for modern software) with XP's leanness on hardware
-It was the last version when MS still actually believed their media center product had a future
-Its rock solid stable with most modern TV tuners, GPUs, etc.
-It is easy to hack away its shell to turn it somewhat into a dedicated media appliance
-Most Windows media center software is tested first and most on x64 Windows 7 and so there is a huge support network online if you have hangups

All that together makes it an easily the winner of the Windows. I only put Linux above it because with Linux you can make a completely seamless media center appliance with no hangups that sometimes you can't avoid in Windows (such as other apps stealing focus of your media center application). A normal person could easily mistake one of my XBMCbuntu boxes for something like a Roku, especially my one with the 11 second boot time.
My HTPC was my second build, not being a software wiz I was amazed I got it running as easily as I did using only W7 and WMC with Media Browser, and it remains rock solid even today. I tried XBMC but found it cluttered and not as user-friendly as WMC.
 

country2

Senior member
May 1, 2001
598
4
81
Well decided to leave it as is on W7 as I did the registry hack for the bit rate. If it gets bad as in interfering with my football game watching I'll go back to Vista or go with the dish network dvr. I cannot see spending any more money on it since with the scheme of things now it would be easier using something from dish network and not worry about it.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
Well decided to leave it as is on W7 as I did the registry hack for the bit rate. If it gets bad as in interfering with my football game watching I'll go back to Vista or go with the dish network dvr. I cannot see spending any more money on it since with the scheme of things now it would be easier using something from dish network and not worry about it.
The only stuttering problem I've experienced is with Netflix streaming... and, as I understand it, it's a Netflix problem, not my end.

The only other suggestion I would make is to reload W7 and reinstall the hotfix (which I believe I've installed myself...) on top of the clean install.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,481
931
126
If it matters I have dishnetwork hooked up to pc to record and watch live.TV tuner card is a Diamond TV Wonder HD650 pcie
I have no experience with your Diamond Wonder card. But there had been a wider range of tuner cards available. I had an AverMedia card, and I had some troubles with it. I dumped it. It was some time ago, so I remember less of the particulars.

My current system integrates both the Hauppauge HVR-2250 PCIe card for OTA broadcast HD and the SiliconDust HD Homerun Prime -- a network device with a cablecard from my ISP. I was troubleshooting a very, very infrequent and intermittent instability problem. SiliconDust tech-support argued that the Hauppauge card "had a history" of causing such problems. If course, this could just be a bias against a competing product. But I did find forum posts elsewhere in which people had had troubles with it.

But I've never noticed anything with either of these devices such as you describe with the Diamond Wonder card. I did a search on the HD 650. The Egg doesn't carry it anymore; I can't find any "new" product available; I can't judge whether this is a low-end device, or just an older device.

As someone only insinuated (perhaps without even realizing it) -- HTPC has a limited number of adherents. I continue to use an HTPC approach to my TV entertainment because I'd been experimenting with Tuner cards since 1999, and I only became more determined to make it work.
 

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