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Windows 7: WMC is truly great, yet to find something else that even functions

23 Mar 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
WMC is truly great, yet to find something else that even functions

First off this is a 3.2 ghz pentium 4
WMC truly does work extremely well.
If it were not for WMC, I would not be able to use a PC tuner.

Although I would like signal meter on channels which would be nice maybe for antenna tuning.
When you use a monitor, not a tv you have no strength meter.

I went trying other software and it does not work. Mostly cant scan ATSC channels like

media classic player buggy ATSC suport
VLC no guides to setting up channels
Pot Player, scans produce no channels
DBviewer seems more European DVBT not ATSC, scans do nothing.

I did find one EasyHDTV that scanned, but the video was blocky, pixelated and out of sync. Perhaps due to computer must be very powerful, likely cause the software is impossibly convoluted. So slower CPU cant keep up.

So is there something else I can try?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2014   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Found one that sort of works.
ProgDVB 7.03 - VideoHelp Downloads

But not as smooth as WMC. Maybe codecs or maybe due to needing .net
It is dropping frames.
The user interface has some issues.

Who knows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I got EasyHDTV working much better.
Selected Microsoft for video decoder.
Selected LAV for audio decoder.

Now video and audio in sync and no blocky or dropped frames.

For some reason, the LAV video decoder is laggy and slow....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Mar 2014   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

You might try BeyondTV.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks, I have heard of it.
Of greater interest is something that is freeware.

I ran into some trouble with the pentium 4. Sometimes picture would break up on screen.

So as a test, I went looking for other software. The EasyHDTV program confirmed to me the hardware was fine, a perfect picture all day on all HD channels, but within a few minutes of starting WMC, picture issues on all HD channels. The sound would breakup and the picture turn sludgy, smears, parts of the screen quit moving and pixelate. I decided it was not signal strength because it would do that on all the HD channels. Restart WMC the problem would go away, then return after an indeterminate random time.
This happened after I let win7 do a lot of updates.

Researching this came across disabling WMP networking service,
to help with cpu usage which might have been part of the problem.

Does installing updates create more demand on the CPU?
That is what I seem to experience over the years.
And I had to overclock my sl7pn CPU from 3.2 to 3.5 to get a perfect picture again on WMC.
Luckily the board seems to be ok with the FSB set to 220. So CPU is 220 x16 = ~3.5 ghz
And after this it has been good again so far for hours.

If it happens again, I will wipe the drive, reinstall windows7 with SP1 and then lock it down with no updates. This PC is only for watching ATSC TV, recorded TV and internet video such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2014   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Making more discoveries.

I did a full format reinstall of windows but still randomly smudges breaks up on the picture.
I took the wonder card out of the P4 pc and put it in an Asus P5QC core2duo e7400 8 gb ddr2 motherboard with windows 7.
It works truly flawlessly, never pixelates or smudges using the same antenna coax cable.

In looking further into why the p4 pc would randomly smudge, breakup I am wondering if the PSU is too weak for the pc. It only has 8 amps on the 12 volt rail. Video card is an agp hd2600 pro.
If you add up the watts, supposedly needs at least 15 amps.
So maybe the system is running out of power to watch 1080i.

It is sort of random but after a while the smudges show up. And the only fix is to close WMC and reopen.
Then eventually it smudges again. But mostly only on HD channels. SD subchannels played all night smoothly in WMC.
So I will swap in a better wattt PSU and see what happens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2014   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I might have it working. So far playing with no glitches.

I changed PSU to 650 watt, did not help, so changed back to what it had.
I swapped out Corsair DDR400 for a better brand DDR400, did not help.
I took out the HD 2600 pro and put in a geforce 6200, did not help.

So I went into bios and made some changes, turned off onboard LAN since I have an addon gigabit card, set HDD from auto to udma transfer mode 4. It was on auto maybe it cant detect properly. I was wondering if hard drive activity was interrupting the video streaming.

Then increased the overclock to FSB 230 so the CPU is running at almost 3.7ghz (cpu temp is low 38* since it has a very good cooler.)

It has not glitched yet. The geforce 6200 is actually working ok with ATSC HDTV which is surprising.
It may be that WMC needs more processing power than what a standard pentium 4 setup can deliver? Or it had something to do with the old IDE 80gb hard drive not running at udma mode4. Board has SATA ports, but dont have a SATA drive to test out.

What is the minimum cpu WMC can work with TV Tuners?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2014   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Well that was fun for a while.
The glitch came back.

Is it possibly related to not using a SATA drive?

This PC may not be powerful enough to work with WMC. Something screws up with WMC and this main board.
EasyHDTV PVR plays fine with no glitches. And the recording works fine in EasyHDTV.

I suppose I can just use the core2duo board, but I dont think I should have to use it.

I am going to put up a bigger antenna which I already have, so will wait to make a decision on this motherboard. I am still wondering if signal multipath might be more of a problem when running using WMC than EasyHDTV, and a bigger antenna will help if you have multiplath since the antenna is more directional than a smaller antenna.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2014   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I think I finally got it.
Ever hear of AGP Fast Write?
It was disabled in the bios, so I enabled and so far all day long has been working with no glitch.
Still going to upgrade the antenna and cut some limbs since the trees will leaf out soon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2014   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Still working perfectly.
Must have been AGP fast write needing to be set.
This is great, now I can move on. This has been a pain for over a week trying to figure it out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 WMC is truly great, yet to find something else that even functions

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