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Turn your PC into home theater computer server

By tipstir
Sep 23, 2007
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  1. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    Best speed.. Excellent Network Streaming A/V too!

    Try #3 gave me these results the cable modem can only go up to 43Mbps

    [​IMG]


    WZR2-G300N - Buffalo Speed Demon Wireless/Wired Router Draft 2.0 N
    Specs..
    CPU 500MHz
    16MB of RAM
    4MB of Flash
     
  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    My Wireless Project with Buffalo & MediaMVP

    As you know I wanted to see how well the 3 wireless network devices would be with the wired Media MVP.

    First Test

    Here you have it a case study to see if all 3 Buffalo network wireless devices would work together but some features have to be disabled:

    WZR2-G300N
    [​IMG]
    Wireless / Wired N-Mode, G-Mode, - B-Mode High Speed Demon Router / Access Point
    Marvel CPU 500MHz + Atheros chip 16MB of RAM & 4MB Flash - wired 10/100, wireless 54, 125, 300Mbps
    +

    WHR-HP-G54
    [​IMG]
    Wireless / Wired G-Mode, - B-Mode High Power Turbo Speed MIMO Router / Access Point
    Broadcom with Afterburn CPU 200MHz 16MB of RAM & 4MB Flash - wired 10/100, wireless 54, 125Mbps

    +

    WLI-TX4-G54HP with Hauppauge Media MVP 1000
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Wireless G-Mode, - B-Mode High Power Turbo Speed MIMO Ethernet Converter Drop Access for Wired Devices
    Broadcom CPU 200MHz 16MB of RAM & 4MB Flash - wired 10/100, wireless 54, 125Mbps

    I had purchased two WZR2-G300N one as used as wireless/wired router 20Hz and another I just got on Friday for the access point. I had a lot of problems and it looks like it was the one I was using as the router causing my problems as being faulty. I had just returned that lastnight, just told them it wasn't working. So I still have one WZR2-G300N which I will disable the wireless and use it as a wired router and then use or keep the current wireless access point WHR-HP-G54AP in place. Right now I am using 2 WHR-HP-G54 (one as wired router and the other one as access point) Still the wireless is showing Excellent signal on 1 desktop, 4 laptops and 1 WLI-TX4-G54HP with Hauppauge Media MVP.

    For some strange reason no matter what I did or configured the 2 WZR2-G300N with WLI-TX4-G54HP and MVP it just won't work. Kept on getting drop connections, where it would work then it won't. Then to make matters worst I lost the wired and wireless connections. I had to be the main router being used. As that was in placed for 1 week with WHR-HP-G54AP and WLI-TX4-G54HP and MVP was working perfectly. On the router side on each PC there seem to be WAN and LAN disconnection going on daily or at odd times. So the router was dropping the connections, so that was the first problem. Then when I got the second WZR2-G300N this past Friday night then all hell broke loose as they say. Nothing worked right.. I did get everything where it should be then the next day nothing worked.

    Well in a bit I'll configured the new WZR2-G300N with a laptop prior before I implement that migration into the existing WHR-HP-G54RT wired router which will be shutdown. It's only going to work this way it has to be wired can't use the wireless features or it won't work with WLI-TX4-G54HP.

    Setup... First Test Failure

    Setup... Second Test

    Setup... Third Test

    WZR2-G300N
    Wireless Disable
    Router Mode

    WHR-HP-G54AP
    Wireless Enabled
    Security Enabled
    Router Mode Disabled
    Access Point Mode
    Channel 11 Manual Lock
    G-Mode

    WLI-TX4-G54HP
    Wireless Mode
    Security Enabled
    Bridge Mode
    Channel 11 connected to WHR-HP-G54A
    G-Mode
     
  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    Second Test

    Running the dual network here:

    4-wired desktop
    1-wireless desktop
    4-wireless laptops
    7-wired media mvp

    AOSS is disabled on all three devices..
    Test results show all work fine.. For Intranet, Internet and Streaming Media from HTPC to media players

    WHR-HP-G54
    Wired Router Mode Enabled
    Wireless Router Mode disabled
    G-Mode
    UPnp - Enabled
    Security Mode Disabled
    Wired Router

    Throughput WAN to LAN -- good
    Throughput LAN to LAN -- fair

    WHR-HP-G54
    Wireless Access Mode Enabled
    Wired Connections not used
    G-Mode
    Turbo 54G
    Multi-Cast Enabled
    125Mbps Enabled
    Security Mode Enabled

    Through LAN to LAN -- very good

    WLI-TX4-G54HP
    Wireless Ethernet Converter Bridge
    Security Enabled
    G-Turbo Mode Enabled
    125Mbps Enabled
    First device connected use MAC address for Hauppauge MediaMVP
     
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    Third Test

    Running the dual network here:

    4-wired desktop
    1-wireless desktop
    4-wireless laptops
    7-wired media mvp

    AOSS is disabled on all three devices..
    Test results show report better overhaul compared to use WHR-HP-G54 Wired Router.. For Intranet, Internet and Streaming Media from HTPC to media players

    WZR2-G300N
    Wired Router Mode Enabled
    Wireless Router Mode disabled
    G-Mode -Only
    UPnp - Enabled
    Wireless Security Mode Disabled

    Throughput WAN to LAN -- Excellent
    Throughput LAN to LAN -- Excellent
    Throughput Downloading - Excellent
    Throughput Streaming Media - Excellent

    WHR-HP-G54 + 4db Gain ANT
    Wireless Access Mode Enabled
    Wired Connections not used
    G-Mode
    Turbo 54G
    Multi-Cast Enabled
    125Mbps Enabled
    Security Mode Enabled

    Through LAN to LAN -- Very Good to Excellent 5 Bars
    Throughput Streaming Media - Excellent

    WLI-TX4-G54HP
    Wireless Ethernet Converter Bridge
    Security Enabled
    G-Turbo Mode Enabled
    125Mbps Enabled
    First device connected use MAC address for Hauppauge MediaMVP

    Throughput Streaming Media - Excellent
     
  5. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    Everything is working A.O.K!
     
  6. thrower1

    thrower1 TS Rookie

    Price

    What prices would one be looking at to set up a HTPC? How cheap could one get?
     
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    What you need?

    Do you want to buy one? Or Build one?

    If you already have a spare PC around say 1GHz with 512MB of RAM and 200GB HDD you can start there. Just need to buy a tuner card. Range $79 and up.

    Recommended
    Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-150 - single tuner
    Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 - dual tuner
    Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-Series for NTSC/ATSC

    Price around on the net as prices do drop Use the link below for tuner cards
    http://castle.pricewatch.com/s/search.asp?s=hauppauge&srt=t&mi=0&m=&view=

    If you want to build a system:

    1. AMD X2 X64-bit Avg CPU Speed 2GHz
    2. RAM 1GB Min
    3. HDD 320GB Min
    4. Video: 128MB AGP 8x Min S-Video Out
    5. Sound Card: Any will do
    6. Tuner Card: Listed above
    7. CASE: Any to match your TV
    8. MOBO: with SATA II 300
    9. PSU: 430W min Recommend 500W with SATA power connectors
    10. Wireless:
    11. Keyboard
    12. Laser Mouse
    13. Network Card

    Software: Free/Pay for EPG (Media Portal) or Pay for (SAGETV) free EPG
    OS: Windows Media Center 2005 SP2
    or
    OS: Windows Vista Ultra 2007 with Media Center 2007

    $300 to build a budget system, might be slightly higher though.
    You can buy systems already made from HP an etc.. You'll have to check on prices for that as they vary.
     
  8. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    Fourth and Fifth Test

    Fourth Test - Failure bady-- DHCP Client Table can't maintain auto assign IP, you have to make everything static even for wireless laptops, the unit will try to assign IP already assigned to another devices where you would get IP conflict. This happen to the first PC connected to the ports it also happen on wireless for DHCP. Well then came the WAN and LAN connections started to drop badly by day 10 to a point that my wired Hauppauge MediaMVP I couldn't watch any media on it. Connections would just drop.

    Fifth Test - I had to go back to my standby router WHR-HP-G54 used only as wired router. Still have number 2 upstairs in a closet working great as wireless access point. This is so weird why would the WHR-HP-G54 work with no hiccups no drops and no DHCP issues where the WZR2-G300N fails in this part. I've taken this crappy router right back to the store where it came from!

    Now with the WHR-HP-G54 used as a wired router using stock firmware there seems to be a problem when I transfer large files say 300MB to another PC on the main floor. I get a message saying it's going to take 31-60 mins. This is crazy! The WZR2-G300N besides being crappy would take only 30 seconds to transfer the same file. So what's wrong with the WHR-HP-G54? Well let me see I don't connect anything devices into the wireless WHR-HP-G54-2 access point I use another 5-point switch which that access point connects to inside the closet, that makes all the wireless focus on the device itself instead of it managing the switch ports.

    So why not apply the same method to the WHR-HP-G54-1 don't use the switch ports on it. So I use DLINK 5-port fast ethernet switch those have extra buffers per ports. Wow! what a difference I get 30 seconds now with that same file. Let the WHR-HP-G54 do it's router but not let it manage the switch ports as they don't seem to work well. But companies do the same thing everything should come down to the area in a switch otherwise you would have bottlenecks. I must say my old dlink wired router I didn't need to use a another switch too it.

    Everything is working as it should no messages for now...

    Peace!
     
  9. xquizyt

    xquizyt TS Rookie Posts: 22

    Question the set up you suggested on the 1st page is slightly different than the second page.
    Ex. You stated that any soundcard would do on second page but on 1st page said that it should have analog, digital coax.

    I just want to make sure since I'm getting a sound card now that I get one that will let me upgrade later to get the computer tv recording experience.
     
  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    The first page is using onboard 6 chan audio. You can use PCI or PCI-Express if you prefer. The only reason you would change this setup if you started to get hicups in the audio. Otherwise you should be good to go..
     
  11. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 743

     
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    I've posted in your post.. If you need help I'll come around more often.. Got some updates to post here... As well very soon..!
     
  13. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    No Workgroup PCs in My Network Places?

    I was starting to have a problem with Hauppauge Media MVP Server where it couldn't open may workgroup or access any of the other server systems on my network. So if you can't see your work group PCs in MY Network Places, then you have a problem like I did:

    To fix..

    Under My Network Places
    Set up a home or small office network
    Make sure your work group matches what's in there
    and continue to run..

    Next do the following...

    click on start
    click on run
    type: cmd

    type: ipconfig /flushdns
    type: nbtstat -r
    type: netsh interface ip delete arpcache

    Now go to your Network Connections
    Right click on your LAN or WLAN
    Click on Properties
    Click on Internet TCP/IP
    Click on Advance

    Default Gateway should have your DG (router)
    If not put the IP in there and leave the Metric alone.
    Click on the Wins tab
    Change Default NetBIOS
    To Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP

    Click apply or okay

    Now...

    click on start
    click on run
    type: services.msc

    Make sure.. Computer Browsing is Enable and Started (auto)
    Make sure... Network Connections is Enabled and Started (auto)

    If you want your Router to show up under My Network Places under XP like it does Under Vista

    You need to make sure SSDP is enabled and started (auto)
    You need to make sure UPnP is enabled and started (auto)

    In your router turn on UPnP (some of you say it slows down your connections, but I don't see that happening..

    Now under My Network Places there is:

    Show UPnP Devices click on that.. If you get an error, then you need to rebuild the dbase.

    Fix is here:

    Click on start
    click on run
    type: esentutl /p %windir%\security\database\secedit.sdb

    This should fix this problem..

    Click on Show UPnP Devices again..
    Might have to reboot the PC for it to show your Router.
    Once the Router shows up in My Network Places
    You'll have a command to Invoke the Router which
    will open the Web GUI for the Router.

    Enjoy!...
     
  14. lilgeez

    lilgeez TS Rookie

    Nice Rig :D
     
  15. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  16. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    Wireless Feed of A/V Network Streaming..

    I've made video today 12/8/07 to show how well wireless over the network when doing 100% A/V Streaming. This video will show you when I connect a wired Hauppauge MediaMVP to a wireless Buffalo Ethernet Converter where there is no LAN drop connection (meaning no outlet for LAN connection) so this is 100% wireless feed to the new Element 19.10 HDTV using S-Video/Stereo Audio Left/Right.

    http://files.filefront.com/Kodak Dec 08 2007 019MOV/;9218379;/fileinfo.html
     
  17. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    My Element LCD HDTV by Proview Video WNS

    Shot this today to show off the Element 19.10 16:9 in S-Video 480i using Buffalo Wireless Ethernet Converter (Wireless Drop Connection) no wired LAN connected to Buffalo this setup. Hauppauge MediaMVP is wired device but it's connected to one of the wired ports on the Buffalo. So this is 100% Wireless Network Streaming. :hithere:

    Click on below:
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Grixti

    Grixti TS Rookie Posts: 28

    Hi tipstir!
    Im looking to get a new pc for gaming, and to be part of my home theatre setup. But i just have a little question (dont know if it is totally on topic?) but you seem to know a lot about the matter.

    Basically, i have an HDTV that im going to connect my new PC up to. But i want to know how to play an HDTV signal out of it as much as possible (Playing games or even watching TV). Is there any specific graphics card or tv card i need? I have my HDTV connected up to my pc at the moment, but the quality doesnt seem to be that good e.g. when i open up a txt document some lines of the pixels in the TV spread out the letters slightly more than the others. Its hard to explain... Say i write a full stop on microsoft word, it will look normal at one point, but if i scroll down slightly and the full stop is shown on a different line of pixels on the TV, its slightly spread out and faded. slighty, but noticable.

    So what i conclude from this is that the signal i have going into my TV at the moment isnt at the full quality the TV can go to. So how do i get it to the full quality?

    Any help on how to achieve my ultimate home cinema, HD style, would be great!

    [the spec of the computer i am looking to get:]

    Processor (CPU)
    Intel® Core™2 Quad Q6600 (4 X 2.40GHz) 1066MHz FSB/8MB L2 Cache
    Memory (RAM)
    4GB CORSAIR XMS2 800MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (2x2GB)
    Motherboard
    ASUS® P5N-E SLI: Quad-core CPU Ready, NVIDIA® Dual X8 SLI
    Operating System
    64 BIT WINDOWS® VISTA Home Premium (inc CD & License) (£69)
    Graphics Card
    512MB GEFORCE 8800GT PCI Express + DVI + TV-OUT
    TV Card
    DIGITAL TV CARD (Dual Tuner!) (Watch/Record Freeview on PC) £28

    Thanks!
     
  19. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    How are you connected to the HDTV with the PC? VGA or DVI to HDMI? I use VGA but I am all wireless to the HDTV, keyboard, mouse, laptops is wireless. PQ is the same as it would be for monitor. Some of these set handle PC better than others.

    I've installed a Gaming Server now. So I can do MMO (Multi-Player Mode like LAN Party) So I got a 3D world in the house well virtual world. Looks good 3 wireless laptops no lag in performance two wired setup.
     
  20. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    Basement Network Closet #1

    [​IMG]

    top

    BUFFALO - WHR-HP-G54 = WIRELESS ROUTER/ACCESS POINT (USED AS WIRELESS ACCESS POINT #1)
    ]cat 5e
    ]=DYNEX - DX-E401 - WIRED ROUTER LAN: 10/100 WAN: 10/100
    ]cat 5e
    ]=NETGEAR - FS108 - 8-PORT WIRED SWITCH 10/100
    ]cat 5e
    WEBSTAR - 43MBPS CABLE MODEM + 2.3GHZ RG6 Ultra COAX

    bottom

    As you can see from above only one port on the router switch is used to connect to the netgear 8-port switch better throughput and less bottleneck with the router. So this way the router can managed DHCP server and no worry about managing 4 port switching. All Cat5e is kept away from the power cords to reduce signal loss. Results have been very good for downloading, media streaming is quicker when FF/RW lag is gone. Next floor not shown is 10 port switch Netgear. I have another closet setup for mini network on second floor it also has 8-port linksys switch connected to BUFFALO - WHR-HP-G54 = WIRELESS ROUTER/ACCESS POINT (USED AS WIRELESS ACCESS POINT #2)
     
  21. Grixti

    Grixti TS Rookie Posts: 28

    I think i am using a VGA to connect my tv to the computer (whatever the cable is with 15 pins). But when i set a high resolution, the quality of the screen isnt good enough and its very hard to read the writing underneath the icons on my desktop.

    If i use an HDMI cable with my new GeForce 8800, do you think it will fix the problem? Is it possible to get HD resolution when on the desktop of my PC?

    Thanks..
     
  22. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    Only if you video card can do it.. HDMI out to your HDMI HDTV then whatever your set can handle in resolution then you can do it. 15-pin 800x600, 1024x768 or higher and that depends on how much RAM and display your card can handle through VGA which is XVGA an etc. I don't know what the specs are for your PC input on your HDTV. AGain be very careful not to set your video card or HDTV to high when connected to the PC you might damage something. So start slowly.

    To me I had to go 800x600 as I couldn't see my screen from over 12FT on HDTV, but I use VGA cable. My HDTV can go 1440x900 max. Some can go higher than that. You can get video card with HDMI out now.
     
  23. Grixti

    Grixti TS Rookie Posts: 28

    Is using a a graphics card with an HDMI out the same as using a DVI to HDMI adaptor and connecting that to your TV for quality?

    I see that the GeForce 8600GTS has HDMI connection but the more expensive 8800GT only has DVI and TV-OUT. Would it be wiser to choose the more powerfull graphics card or the one with the HDMI connection?
     
  24. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 4,686   +86

    I don't see HDMI on this card only Component Video. (analog video red/blue/green/)

    DVI (digital video only)

    HDMI (carries both digital video and digital audio) depending on the video
    card its going to have digital video only.

    If you want to go component video then go that route as your HDTV should have an extra connection for that.
     
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,627   +320

    I think the problem with Component is that it isn't HDCP compliant.
     


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