Media Center problem


Senior Member
I recently took a PC I had and tried to set it up as a MCE PC for the living room.

The PC is custom put together a few years back:

Asus P4PE Motherboard
2.6 GHZ
Windows XP Media Center w SP2
Gainward TI4800SE video card
Hauppague WinTV PVR150MCE
80GB Hard drive (testing the setup before I go nuts on storage)

McAfee Anti-virus/firewall (2005 version)

I got everything loaded and setup but I have problems with the TV input.

If I run the capture program that came with the PVR150 I get TV input. If I try to set it up within MCE (the greenbutton app, forget what they call it) when it goes to set the video it seems to be flashing a black screen in between the blue screens you normally see and it gets locked up.

I'm connecting from a Scientific Atlanta HD cable box (not on HD channels) using S-Video to the PVR card.

I'm connecting the video card to a Samsung 61" DLP tv via RGB.

Resolution is currently 1280 x 720.

Anyone see a similar issue? I was wondering if it could be the video card, but aside from ATI AllInWonder I don't see many that mention compatibility (but I'm probably not looking in the right place).

I have another PC with a Ti4600 which if that works it might give me an excuse to upgrade that. I haven't taken that one out to try it yet as I just got things setup last night. In addition since the capture app works it seemed that it might not be the video card.

Any clues?
The ATI AIW series is not officially certified for use with MCE2005. But, the most recent drivers and MultimediaCenter do work with MCE2005 and are documented as such by ATI.

I am using a 9800AIW card with MCE2005 now.

I recently posted either here or on AVSForum a script to shutdown MCE2005 services and to launch the ATI TV player if you go this route and don't want to use MCE2005 player.
Thanks, I found the list:

It is not on the list (neither is the card I have in the other PC). I'll take a look at replacing that.

Any opinions on the level of card I need for general MCE use?

I saw a 6600 GT with 128MB DDR3 ram for around $150, but is that more than I need? I also see 5900's for around $80 and 5200's for $50-$70.

I'm just new to the media center arena and if I'm not going to need the power I'd rather put the extra money into my new Elk, homeseer and the other half dozen projects :huh:

If it makes sense, I don't have a probelm getting the better card though. I've seen articles with people taking real old PC's and turning them into living room PC's which makes me question the level of card that is appropriate.
DavidL said:
I recently posted either here or on AVSForum a script to shutdown MCE2005 services and to launch the ATI TV player if you go this route and don't want to use MCE2005 player.

Found your post where you provided the following commands:

ECHO Closing Media Center Services...
net stop ehrecvr
net stop ehsched
' "C:\Program Files\ATI Multimedia\main\ATIMMC.exe" /TV+
Actually I am not using any decoder as I still use my DirectTivos for recording. And, I really don't even use MCE2005 - just for the XPPro OS portion.

I should try the software ATI AIW decoder in MCE2005 to see how it works. ATI says it will...

In my HS server, I have a PVR350 TV card that I use once in a while to record 8mm camcorder analog to hard drive.
BraveSirRobbin said:
Ah, forget the ATI and go NVidia, hehe!

I'm using an FX5200 chipset with 256MB memory. You can get it HERE for $57, a lot less for 128MB ones.
I am normally an NVidia person, however I had such a hard time finding a higher model nvidia card that was actually on the approved list I went ATI.

The 5200 ranks lower than the 4600 that I have in my other computer, and the only reason I want more is that I am planning on being able to use the big screen for graphics/games if needed.

I settled on the Gigabyte 6600XT which gets a bunch more bang for $83 shipped at zipzoomfly. If I was not planning on possibly wanting to show off some games or non-tv graphics I would have stuck with the 5200.

I considered the other approved one from gigabyte that had 256MB of memory, but it was a lower grade card so I would have had a 10% performance hit. Noticeable? Not sure.

I can clearly see there is not a focus on marketing these cards for MCE as it was hard to find out which ones would work, and almost none (besides) ATI marked that they were MCE compatible.

We will continue the media center expedition this weekend. Hopefully this solves the problem.
Ok, I got the new card today and everything worked fine. It apparently was the older card. All my issues went away. Now I just need to finish setting everything up.

Thanks for the help guys!

And on a slightly bright note, now I have a spare video card along with some other parts to make a dedicated home seer machine if I need to go that route (not that the video card adds that much). I see I've already begun justifying it in my mind...