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AIW / Multimedia Discussion and Technical Support Discussion and support forum for all of the All-In-Wonder Radeon cards, the TV-Wonder, Remote Wonder I and II, the new HDTV Wonder, and basically anything with VIVO support.

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Old Aug 29, 2004, 11:26 AM   #271
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FlyByNight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGHammer
However, processor usage, even with the chop, is amazingly low (very seldom above twenty percent, even at 1080i, and it's been as low as eight percent @ 1080i).

If I can fix the chop problem, I'll be a happy camper.
While trying to fix the high CPU usage (which I did BTW by disabling ACPI) I found that process wlancfg4 would cause chops even when the CPU had moderate usage. [wlancfg4 is Netgear's MA111 wireless USB utility].

I discovered this by looking at all running processes under Task Manager. Wlancfg4 was taking more CPU then others. Perhaps you have the same kind of problem.

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

With ATI's bundled antenna I get 16 channels (half are 480i). Reception is 80% or better, except for 2 spanish channels. I found out that orienting the antenna in the proper direction is more important than hight or the location itself.
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 11:48 AM   #272
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ATI Technologies Did you mount your Antenna *outdoors*?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyByNight
While trying to fix the high CPU usage (which I did BTW by disabling ACPI) I found that process wlancfg4 would cause chops even when the CPU had moderate usage. [wlancfg4 is Netgear's MA111 wireless USB utility].

I discovered this by looking at all running processes under Task Manager. Wlancfg4 was taking more CPU then others. Perhaps you have the same kind of problem.

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

With ATI's bundled antenna I get 16 channels (half are 480i). Reception is 80% or better, except for 2 spanish channels. I found out that orienting the antenna in the proper direction is more important than hight or the location itself.
The other reason why I said *location* might matter is that the signal wildly peaks and valleys (all stations). The antenna itself is positioned vertically (smallest tines down) between the screen and the glass in the aforementioned window. There are *no* basement windows on the side of the house facing the towers. (The transmitter locations are spread out in a *fan* from the front of the house; the basement room in question faces the rear.) I strongly suspect that the times that signal strength increases is due to reflection from vehicular traffic (a divided highway is less than a mile from the rear of the house straight-line, screened from the rear by trees).
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 01:10 PM   #273
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Exclamation Look at what ATI is up against.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVGuru
Sci, like my pal rvb5, I disagree but I have edited my posts.

There's a lot to this HDTV issue, especially concerning PCs, DRM, and exactly what you get for your dollar. Both of us added info which will help readers determine the best mix of HDTV Wonder and other parts to make it work in their neck of the woods. Some will be plug-and-play, some will need a LOT more work.
Exactly. ATI's size does not make them immune to the issues (such as DRM) confronting the industry as a whole. In fact, if ATI were to solve the QAM issue, it would likely make the company a *larger target*. Worse, larger cable companies (Comcast in particular) are very wary about the lawsuit-happy MPAA, so they are taking a *when in doubt, encrypt* approach to even retransmitted OTA (which has been found to slam the brakes on any PC HD tuner card that claims to handle QAM at all, such as the Fusion cards, so expect something like that to either be imposed by fiat, as Comcast is doing, or even mandated by law, as an extension of HDCP for OTA to CATV).

Also, there is the issue of HDCP (the copy-inhibit flag) in terms of OTA itself. While this isn't an issue for ordinary HDTVs, for PCs (with designed-in recording capability) this is critical. (Of course, it's just as critical for TiVOs.)

While satellite and cable MSOs are designing in TiVO-style capability, this doesn't help the OTA situation. Existing HDTV tuner cards for PCs (including the HDTV Wonder) ignore the copy-inhibit flag. However, by 2006, they must be able to deal with it, as ignoring it won't be an option.

I don't see the situation getting better anytime soon. Even with the merger of NBC and Universal (the merged company, NBC Universal, is now majority-owned by General Electric) that simply means that the content is kept under the creating company's watchful eye all (or nearly all) the way to the customer (namely, us). Such content has a *monetary value* which is seen as needing protection (while said monetary value is less for OTA transmission than it is for CATV carriage, it is not zero), and, in the case of special-event programming (the Olympics, for example) aired primarily over OTA, the value may indeed be equivalent to that of carriage over basic CATV (that is indeed why NBC Universal added their wholly-owned basic cable *channels* to the Olympic carriage mix). I am actually *expecting* the major special-event programming going forward (especially starting in 2006) to be tagged with *copy-never* (such programming would include the FIFA World Cup, US NFL Super Bowl and World Series, NHL Stanley Cup Finals, the NTRA Triple Crown horse racing events)




Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVGuru
And while some folks do have what sounds like a big success with HDTV, that is not the likely experience of most casual users who just decide to try it. Very competent and knowledgable folks over at AVSFORUM have been struggling for years to get PC HDTV to work as well as Analog now does. They continue to have trouble, even those with direct engineering support from vendors. The fact ATI decided to play in the PC HDTV arena doesn't magically sweep away all the difficulties. (and the reviews note the MMC side is still lagging in function and stability)

Rage3D tends to coddle ATI a bit much. Any time somebody criticizes them, the response seems to be furiously protective and personally hostile. This IS an ATI-Centric board after all, and one would assume ATI appreciates constructive criticism, helping them design and build new, exciting, revenue-generating products. They don't need "YES MEN". The HDTV Wonder is a perfect example why. It's far from reveloutionary, yet is greeted like it's a pioneering effort to deliver a product like nothing anybody has seen.

I am not saying the HDTVWonder isn't a perfectly good card, technically well executed (unfortunately, the software seems to be lagging...) and as good as any others on the market.

I AM saying that ATI underachieved with it and they deserve to be castigated rather than congratulated.

Compared to competitors in PC HDTV, ATI has vast resources.
ATI designs and builds HDTV tuner chips and systems
They chose the NXT2004 vs. the NXT2005 for this card
Even with extra years of development time, the HDTVW offers nothing but perhaps a slight evolution past competitor's cards.
Still no MCE compatability despite MCE "Symphony" future paradigm.

It's sort of like going to the Detroit Auto Show, expecting to see the new " 'Vette", watching the crowd get worked up into a frenzy as the lights flash and the Chevrolet platform turns, music blares, the supermodel grabs the cloth covering it, rips it out of the way and there for all to see is the new.... Chevette?????? Quite a letdown.

I think both rb5 and I have discussed many of the pitfalls, assumptions, misconceptions and other irritating aspects of HDTV on the PC, including pretty much an accurate picture of what the HDTV Wonder can or cannot do.

If your thought is that we got too spirited, I apologize. Sometimes people do their best thinking when they get motivated!
ATI may indeed have vast capabilities, but the bigger you are, the bigger the target is on your back. (Ask Microsoft, for example.) ATI also sees its product used in markets other than PCs (as many of us are aware, it supplies TV tuner chipsets to Sony). However, more capability is inherent *in the box* with a TV as opposed to a PC. (Sounds laughable, but hear me out.)

First off, HD-built-in TVs *must*, by law, include QAM capability. (This is why Sony is using ATI's solution in the first place.) However, this capability comes at a price: the TV must also accept CableCARD. (While the original CableCARD specification was based around the PC Card Type II and Type III form factor, due *entirely* to DRM issues, it was made incompatible with personal computers.) The solution that ATI supplies to Sony is larger (by a factor of at least four) than HDTV Wonder (or twice as large is existing AIW products). Such a large product wouldn't fly within a personal computer. A major point in favor of the HDTV Wonder is that it is *physically smaller* than the Fusion cards or myHD cards. The lack of compatibility with MCE 2004 is a Microsoft issue, not an ATI issue, as no MCE 2004 HDTV tuner cards exist.

The only *lag* I have seen in ATI's integration of DTV with MMC is *only* present in the initial release (MMC 9.0.1); MMC 9.0.2 has fixed this issue.

EPG issues will come about whenever you have multiple tuners in the same PC (mostly because different signal sources will be used by each tuner). No EPG has solved this issue. (While I use Gemstar Guide+ with the AIW's cable tuner, I glance at TitanTV's Web site for HDTV OTA information, as there is not a separate EPG, from anyone, for the HDTV Wonder.)

While ATI is larger than the competition, it is also a bigger target than the competition (especially to a lawyer).
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Last edited by PGHammer : Aug 29, 2004 at 01:12 PM. Reason: Quoting corrections
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 03:00 PM   #274
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I posted this before but it is still working like a champ.

The antenna worked fine on the main level of my house but I have my computers in the basement so I put the Zenith Silver Sensor outside. Works like a champ out-doors too. I did ground the incomming line to the cold water pipe just in case!



I get all the locals expect 46-1 "UPN" with the antenna placement I am using. UPN is not carrying and HDTV broadcasts worth talking about anyway, so no loss. All stations are solid, the ATI HDTV WONDER seems to be fine with anyting above 65%. Everything is rock solid!

Signal-Strength (Today 8/29/2004)
2-1 FOX-2HD FOX [126°-6.6 miles - Signal 88%] - 1080i
4-1 KMOV CBS [114°-10.3 miles - Signal 74%] - 1080i
5-1 KSDK-DIGITAL NBC [102°-7.8 miles - 88%] - 1080i
5-2 KSDK-Standard NBC [102°-7.8 miles - 88%] - SD480i
9-1 KETC-HD PBS [152°-8.6 miles - 66%] - 720P
9-2 KETCKid PBS [152°-8.6 miles - 66%] - SD480i
9-3 KETC 9 PBS [152°-8.6 miles - 66%] - SD480i
11-1 WB11-DT. WB [99°-8.1 miles - 85%] - 1080i
30-1 ABC Digial 720P ABC [95°-7.8 miles - 85%] - 720P
46-1 WRBU-DT UPN [183°-14.1 miles - 25%] - SD480i

Much better than in the basement.

Greg


Quote:
Originally Posted by PGHammer
I *finally* got my DTV probs solved. Mostly.

Right now, my biggest problem is *lack of signal*.

Except for WJLA-DT (ABC affil) I get the DC HD *majors* (WUSA-DT, WRC-DT and even WTTG-DT). At 1080i, I'm not using much in the way of CPU (usually around twenty percent, with dips as low as a mere eight percent).

I am using the antenna included with the HD Wonder.

The problem is that I'm in the basement, which faces the *wrong direction* (the towers, while less than twenty miles away, are all towards the front of the house, while the basement faces rearward, so the signal has to travel the structure of the house).

Is an indoor antenna *precluded* with this sort of location?
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 04:04 PM   #275
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ATI Technologies Interesting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by grog
I posted this before but it is still working like a champ.

The antenna worked fine on the main level of my house but I have my computers in the basement so I put the Zenith Silver Sensor outside. Works like a champ out-doors too. I did ground the incomming line to the cold water pipe just in case!



I get all the locals expect 46-1 "UPN" with the antenna placement I am using. UPN is not carrying and HDTV broadcasts worth talking about anyway, so no loss. All stations are solid, the ATI HDTV WONDER seems to be fine with anyting above 65%. Everything is rock solid!

Signal-Strength (Today 8/29/2004)
2-1 FOX-2HD FOX [126°-6.6 miles - Signal 88%] - 1080i
4-1 KMOV CBS [114°-10.3 miles - Signal 74%] - 1080i
5-1 KSDK-DIGITAL NBC [102°-7.8 miles - 88%] - 1080i
5-2 KSDK-Standard NBC [102°-7.8 miles - 88%] - SD480i
9-1 KETC-HD PBS [152°-8.6 miles - 66%] - 720P
9-2 KETCKid PBS [152°-8.6 miles - 66%] - SD480i
9-3 KETC 9 PBS [152°-8.6 miles - 66%] - SD480i
11-1 WB11-DT. WB [99°-8.1 miles - 85%] - 1080i
30-1 ABC Digial 720P ABC [95°-7.8 miles - 85%] - 720P
46-1 WRBU-DT UPN [183°-14.1 miles - 25%] - SD480i

Much better than in the basement.

Greg
Sounds like I'm gonna have to do an outdoor mount to improve the signal situation.

From what point on the antenna did you run the ground wire?

If I go this route, I'll need a longer length of RG-6.

(For now, I have the antenna positioned so that I can. at least, get *some* signal from the in-area stations, including ABC (WJLA-DT), NBC (WRC-DT) and FOX (WTTG-DT) as well as PBS (WETA-HD), CBS (WUSA-DT) and the MegaHertz Multiplicity (WNVC-DT/WNVT-DT, four SD stations, none of which carry HD content, even upscaled).

Right now, I'm bouncing between the Olympics (WRC-DT) and the Buick Championship (WUSA-DT), with WUSA having a much better signal (in fact, the signal is so good it's smacking around Comcast's cable retrans of the SD side, which is clean).
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 04:55 PM   #276
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When the cable run enters the house I put a high quality splitter to handle to run from there to my computer. Splitters have a screw connection for grounding, so I ran the ground from the splitter to a ground clamp.

I had a disconnected ground clamp from the cable-TV feed since I use DISH here. I just used that one. But a cable ground clamp should be easy to get at any hardware store.

Something like one of these:




Greg

Quote:
Originally Posted by PGHammer
Sounds like I'm gonna have to do an outdoor mount to improve the signal situation.

From what point on the antenna did you run the ground wire?

If I go this route, I'll need a longer length of RG-6.

(For now, I have the antenna positioned so that I can. at least, get *some* signal from the in-area stations, including ABC (WJLA-DT), NBC (WRC-DT) and FOX (WTTG-DT) as well as PBS (WETA-HD), CBS (WUSA-DT) and the MegaHertz Multiplicity (WNVC-DT/WNVT-DT, four SD stations, none of which carry HD content, even upscaled).

Right now, I'm bouncing between the Olympics (WRC-DT) and the Buick Championship (WUSA-DT), with WUSA having a much better signal (in fact, the signal is so good it's smacking around Comcast's cable retrans of the SD side, which is clean).
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 07:19 PM   #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGHammer
[...] I strongly suspect that the times that signal strength increases is due to reflection from vehicular traffic (a divided highway is less than a mile from the rear of the house straight-line, screened from the rear by trees).
Whew! *Vehicular traffic* Awesome. Try your HDTV at 3AM and get back to us on that one.

If this is the case then I should perhaps bring the antenna up in the attic. Cars/trucks are all over the place where I live. However, wouldn't the distance between the antenna and the PC become an issue then? (think signal loss, noise, interference).
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 09:14 PM   #278
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Monitor HDTV PIPING for fun.

Some have asked how to display the DTV next to the S-VIDEO or Composite in at the same time.

Well with this release PIP or ATI mulTView "Picture-in-Picture" is not yet supported. But we can do it anyway.

The whole idea is to cause the TV part of the HDTV to come up in non-acceleration mode. We can do this by using the AmCap sample from the Microsoft DirectX SDK.

AmCap Sample (Part of DirectX-SDK)
http://msdn.microsoft.com/archive/de...mcapsample.asp

I will warn that you need a lot more CPU to do this than just running the HDTV application, but it does allow comparing content that is the same on both HDTV "DTV' and S-VIDEO or Composite at the same time.

In the example below the ATI DTV WONDER S-VIDEO In is connected to DISH and is displayed using the AmCap program. On the right side is the DTV application running at the same time. Performace stats are also shown. This example should work even if you do not have a AIW card since we are using only the components on the DTV card.

If you try to do this start the DTV application 1st so it gets the overlay.



In second example below the ATI DTV WONDER S-VIDEO In is connected to DISH and is displayed using the AmCap program. On the right side is the ATI AIW 9700 PRO MMC/TV+ with acceleration running at the same time. Performace stats are also shown.



I guess PIP is possible with this card. Lets just hope ATI adds it to the list.

Added:
Oh, I did one more test.
How about record using "Windows Movie Maker version 5.1" and recording from the AIW 9700 PRO MCC/TV+ composite at the same time I play a show on the ATI HDTV DTV application. Sure I can, and the recorded video came out perfect with no sound mixing.



In all cases the DTV still played fine, well up until the point where I told "Windows Movie Maker" to actually create the movie from the capture. Even without DTV running it takes about 100% of the CPU to do it. Other then this the DTV in the tests.

Ok.. had to do one more.
This example the ATI HDTV WONDER DTV application is running.
Also the ATI HDTV WONDER S-VIDEO-IN is displayed with AmCap.
Also the ATI AIW 9700 PRO composite is being caputed with the "Windows Movie Maker version 5.1". So now I see 100% CPU usage. Guess this is a bit much.



Greg
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Old Aug 30, 2004, 11:45 AM   #279
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Default Here's why it is *not* an issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyByNight
Whew! *Vehicular traffic* Awesome. Try your HDTV at 3AM and get back to us on that one.

If this is the case then I should perhaps bring the antenna up in the attic. Cars/trucks are all over the place where I live. However, wouldn't the distance between the antenna and the PC become an issue then? (think signal loss, noise, interference).
None of the transmitters is even twenty miles away (the furthest is MHz Networks in Fairfax Station, VA, at nineteen miles) and very little signal comes to the antenna directly (the house itself is in the way). Almost all the the signal I *do* get is reflection (from structures on the opposite side of this road, which is in a direct line from the antenna through trees). All the vehicles do is reflect additional signal along the same path.

In your case, likely an attic mount *would* make more sense. If they ever finish wiring the remaining upstairs bedroom for CATV, I may shift this indoor antenna to the attic, and take the unused B-side (the cable system now only uses the old A side) and use that for HDTV OTA.
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Old Aug 30, 2004, 08:50 PM   #280
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Default ExtremeTech Dials Back HDTV Wonder Rating

So after spending a week of late nights trying to get the HDTV Wonder to work, I dropped by here and AVS Forum to see if I was crazy or not. Turns out not.

So I wrote a rant, and today here at ExtremeTech, we revised our review of the HDTV Wonder, and reduced the score. I hope it does some good, and that ATI can resolve all these problems. I did finally record some of the Patriots game in HD this weekend, after way, way too much work.

jim
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Old Aug 30, 2004, 10:47 PM   #281
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ATI Technologies

Since this is your first post here I will go over the problems one by one for you.

First I must say the problems reported here seem to be small in number to me. This thread actually started way before the HDTV card was released and includes a lot of "I hope the card does this" comments.

I also have a ASUS Athlon-64 based motherboard and my interrupt for the HDTV is shared but I do not have the problems that some others have noted. Shared interrupt issues are not the fault of ATI, nor their hardware or software for that matter.

Can't See ABC TV: I will agree this is a problem and I have personally reported it to ATI. I am sure this will fixed shortly.

Stuttering playback: Since your problem appears to be releated to sharring IRQ's on your motherboard I thought you might need some input on why this happens and why it is not a ATI issue in this case. Yes I can prove it. The whole idea of sharred interrupts is not a bad one. The hardware interrupt comes in and each device interrupt service function is called. It is up to the device to determine if the interrupt was for "me" or not. In some cases poorly written drivers do not handle this case very well at all. I would say this is the problem with the RAID driver code. Since you have no RAID devices then the code really should just return. My bet is it does not. See I have a ASUS K8V and my interrupt is sharred with Ethernet.

On to the tests.
To test the theory I started "X-Windows" from Cygwin in WinXP. I connected to a Linux box and played a DVD image using XINE over the net. The 100BaseTx-FD connection was saturated. I also have the DTV player playing and no studdering of any kind was seen.

This proves to me at least that the ATI driver is sharing very well since I was able to saturate the line. Also it tell me the 3COM driver was doing it's job of not responding to interrupts that really for the DTV hardware.

So what does this say, basically that sharred interrupt problems are a system problem and when a card such as the ATI HDTV WONDER is introduced into a system it should be understood that the ATI HDTV WONDER does in fact produce a lot of interrupts and only a well desiged system can deal with it. Really if the Raid driver was doing it's job you would not have had the need to move the IRQ's around. If you don't think I know what I am talking about I have been both a hardware design engineer and not an embedded software architect for the last 25+ years.

You can click on the tumb-nail for the full picture below.



Inability to Delete Recorded Material: This is not a problem at all, by default the ATI software will allow one hour of TV-ON-DEMAND recordings to be saved for later use. Personally I just un-check the "Preserve TV-ON-DEMAND between sessions" box. I don't want them as well, but it is an option. Just re-run the DTV "Initialization Wizard", lower left hand corner of the Display tab.



In your case only the "Can't See ABC TV" is a real issue in my book. You never asked the questions you never got the answers.

I think the issue with using NVIDIA cards was covered here from almost day one. It appears to be an install issue only. Install the decoder and all should be well. The newer ATI drivers which appeared even before most got their cards fixed this issue.

I think most of the problems we have seen lately have been around using SP2 and trying to install the ATI HDTV WONDER card. Some have also fought the IRQ battle as well. But you put a PCI card in a system that requires 1200 interrupts per/second you may have to do some work to optimize it. As I said, if the other drivers in the system were written as well as ATI's you would have this problem.

Do you homework before you downgrade a review next time.

One more comment. The ATI HDTV WONDER card is my book the best card I have ever put in my PC. And no, I don't work for ATI!

Greg

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlouderb
So after spending a week of late nights trying to get the HDTV Wonder to work, I dropped by here and AVS Forum to see if I was crazy or not. Turns out not.

So I wrote a rant, and today here at ExtremeTech, we revised our review of the HDTV Wonder, and reduced the score. I hope it does some good, and that ATI can resolve all these problems. I did finally record some of the Patriots game in HD this weekend, after way, way too much work.

jim
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 01:25 AM   #282
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If I were to review HDTV, I'd give the software (mmc and driver) no more than 1 out of 10... LOL. 1 for it being at least showing some animations on my monitor after some tweaks... LOL

Last weekend I reinstalled mmc 9.0 (cd) on my clean OS image. MMC 9.02 had rendered my system unusable earlier. After install and scanning for channels the usual stuff, I started paying attention to the "page fault" that DTV player produces and its memory consumptions. Woohoo... sorry to say but the high page fault that MMC generates just isn't acceptable in a commercial software. The paged pool seemed to increment a little over time as well (I smell leak). High page faults are usually signs of lazy/poorly informed software writers using high-level api shotcuts. Add that to badly managed threads... 100% cpu usage is a time bomb waiting to happen being it a high-end server system or general PCs. There are ways to diminish page faults, so that's up to the knowledge and skills of the software writers.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 01:58 AM   #283
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How many page-faults per/sec did you see the DTV application make?



If you click on the thumb-nail above you will see the ATI MMC DTV player recorded 6.081 page/faults per/sec while the Microsoft Media 9 player recorded 6.172 page/faults per/sec in the same time frame.

A page fault actually happens when a section of memory is not currenty covered in the system page tables. Page faults are common as you cross large areas of memory. Six faults a second for two applications of this type is normal.

What are you seeing, any data to support a problem?
Are you using the latest release?
The reason I ask is the problem you just described does not match with my test cases.

Greg

Quote:
Originally Posted by micnn
If I were to review HDTV, I'd give the software (mmc and driver) no more than 1 out of 10... LOL. 1 for it being at least showing some animations on my monitor after some tweaks... LOL

Last weekend I reinstalled mmc 9.0 (cd) on my clean OS image. MMC 9.02 had rendered my system unusable earlier. After install and scanning for channels the usual stuff, I started paying attention to the "page fault" that DTV player produces and its memory consumptions. Woohoo... sorry to say but the high page fault that MMC generates just isn't acceptable in a commercial software. The paged pool seemed to increment a little over time as well (I smell leak). High page faults are usually signs of lazy/poorly informed software writers using high-level api shotcuts. Add that to badly managed threads... 100% cpu usage is a time bomb waiting to happen being it a high-end server system or general PCs. There are ways to diminish page faults, so that's up to the knowledge and skills of the software writers.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 03:27 AM   #284
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlouderb
So after spending a week of late nights trying to get the HDTV Wonder to work, I dropped by here and AVS Forum to see if I was crazy or not. Turns out not.

So I wrote a rant, and today here at ExtremeTech, we revised our review of the HDTV Wonder, and reduced the score. I hope it does some good, and that ATI can resolve all these problems. I did finally record some of the Patriots game in HD this weekend, after way, way too much work.

jim
Thnx for the review. I always go to your site to check out some news. I was tempted to get the HDTV Wonder the other day when I saw it at a store, but I decided to hold off just to see how it went for people. After reading all the posts here, I'm glad i did. I suspected it would have a lot of common issues often associated w/ a first-generation product, and indeed it does. So much end-user variability in using the product certainly doesn't help to make it anymore predictable either.

I guess it doesn't help that they still using some flavor of MMC to power the HDTV Wonder. After using it over a couple AIW's for a while now, I have to say MMC is a pretty buggy and unstable program at heart. It does what I need it to do to get the job done, but I have often spent more than six hours trying to fix probs that seemingly pop up out of nowhere w/ MMC and don't have any rational explanation. It appears to especially have probs interacting w/ other software that might be installed. I certainly don't feel like going through that ordeal again w/ the HDTV card.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 08:27 AM   #285
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Question

Is anyone able to tune in CBS with the hdtv wonder? Whenever I try it just freezes the current channel's frame and thats it ,no errors etc. The signal strength for cbs is showing 85% and I'm running the latest software/drivers from ATI, Thanks.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 08:47 AM   #286
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Here is what I get.

2-1 FOX-2HD FOX [126°-6.6 miles - Signal 88%] - 1080i
4-1 KMOV CBS [114°-10.3 miles - Signal 74%] - 1080i
5-1 KSDK-DIGITAL NBC [102°-7.8 miles - 88%] - 1080i
5-2 KSDK-Standard NBC [102°-7.8 miles - 88%] - SD480i
9-1 KETC-HD PBS [152°-8.6 miles - 66%] - 720P
9-2 KETCKid PBS [152°-8.6 miles - 66%] - SD480i
9-3 KETC 9 PBS [152°-8.6 miles - 66%] - SD480i
11-1 WB11-DT. WB [99°-8.1 miles - 85%] - 1080i
30-1 ABC Digial 720P ABC [95°-7.8 miles - 85%] - 720P
46-1 WRBU-DT UPN [183°-14.1 miles - 25%] - SD480i

I have no problem with CBS at all. But the report of the problem is real.
In my case 9-1 PBS has a problem but if I go to 30-1 which is also 720P and back to 9-1 it is fine. PBS 9-1 always comes in by the way, just not right until I tune in 30-1 1st. So I have my channels mapped right now with 30-1 above 9-1.

30-1 ABC here does not have that issue. CBS here is 1080i and I have no issues with any 1080i feeds.

Greg

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrw
Is anyone able to tune in CBS with the hdtv wonder? Whenever I try it just freezes the current channel's frame and thats it ,no errors etc. The signal strength for cbs is showing 85% and I'm running the latest software/drivers from ATI, Thanks.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 08:51 AM   #287
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I know many will not buy the product based on the downgraded review and it is a shame, great product in my book.

I also don't expect to see hardware fixes for any of the problems listed. All of the issues that can be solved should be done in software. The chipset used on the board is ATI' own solution for digital television and is used in set-top boxes. Solid piece of hardware.

Greg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liuke
Thnx for the review. I always go to your site to check out some news. I was tempted to get the HDTV Wonder the other day when I saw it at a store, but I decided to hold off just to see how it went for people. After reading all the posts here, I'm glad i did. I suspected it would have a lot of common issues often associated w/ a first-generation product, and indeed it does. So much end-user variability in using the product certainly doesn't help to make it anymore predictable either.

I guess it doesn't help that they still using some flavor of MMC to power the HDTV Wonder. After using it over a couple AIW's for a while now, I have to say MMC is a pretty buggy and unstable program at heart. It does what I need it to do to get the job done, but I have often spent more than six hours trying to fix probs that seemingly pop up out of nowhere w/ MMC and don't have any rational explanation. It appears to especially have probs interacting w/ other software that might be installed. I certainly don't feel like going through that ordeal again w/ the HDTV card.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 10:48 AM   #288
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Greg, I am using MMC 9.0, also seeing 6 pf/sec. Granted there is nothing special about OS's memory management with regards to paging mechanism. Under normal condition page faults wouldn't be a concern with a health, properly configured OS. Still, with the complexities of end-users' OS environment today, a generic software with close disk i/o bound like MMC should go around the possibility getting caught up in constant paging. As I said, it's a time bomb. The symptoms can be quite unpredictable.

I am more into system software myself, and 1 pf is enough to make me nervous because of the stuff I have seen. 6pf/sec is just out of limit in my book. I don't know the innards of MMC or other multimedia software to justify their cause for allowing pf. If pf is unavoidable, I'd rest my case. There are also "native api", or just get down and dirty to proper the memory usage within a application. The software writer should not assume the program is fine just because all functionalities are there on their own dev machine.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 10:58 AM   #289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grog
I know many will not buy the product based on the downgraded review and it is a shame, great product in my book.
I bought the HDTV Wonder a couple of days ago, and I'm putting it back in the box and returning it. I'm getting the blank FOX channel (audio but no video), audio stuttering on other stations, and a whole mess of issues. (This was with SP1, and not SP2, which I am only installing this morning.)

Sad thing is I am an otherwise happy ATI customer, with a 9600 Pro in one PC and an X800 Pro in another. But any product that demands the level of tweaking and patching of the HDTV Wonder falls well short of greatness, in my book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grog
I also don't expect to see hardware fixes for any of the problems listed. All of the issues that can be solved should be done in software.
Without the software, the hardware is meaningless. My issues may or may not be solved down the line, but for now, the hardware goes back.

I am happy for you that you're getting the kind of performance you crave from this product, and also admittedly envious that you could put your knowledge and tech skills to the task. But to ask this level of the average consumer, who doesn't have a RAID setup or knowledge of IRQ issues, makes the HDTV Wonder a poor mass-market solution.

==\dub/==
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 03:07 PM   #290
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by grog
I know many will not buy the product based on the downgraded review and it is a shame, great product in my book.

I also don't expect to see hardware fixes for any of the problems listed. All of the issues that can be solved should be done in software. The chipset used on the board is ATI' own solution for digital television and is used in set-top boxes. Solid piece of hardware.

Greg
I agree that there will always be inevitable variability in user results w/ any hardware/software. That's just the way things go, and it looks like you may have gotten lucky or simply had the knowledge to figure things out. More power to you I say.

With all the probs being reported though, I would have to say the HDTV Wonder is very deserving of the review. I really just don't see a reason for them to recommend it if it's going to cause this much trouble for so many users.
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 10:45 AM   #291
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Well I went and bought an M-Audio revolution 7.1 card to see if it could help with the stutter. I removed my SBLive and drivers and installed the M-Audio card and its drivers. It made the stuttering worse. My utilization is now also borderline 70% constantly when the analog TV app is playing.
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 01:02 AM   #292
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Default HDTV WONDER: glimmer of hope

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecTP
Well I went and bought an M-Audio revolution 7.1 card to see if it could help with the stutter. I removed my SBLive and drivers and installed the M-Audio card and its drivers. It made the stuttering worse. My utilization is now also borderline 70% constantly when the analog TV app is playing.




This does not surprise me at all. I reported here in this thread http://rage3d.com/board/showpost.php?p=1333129286&postcount=249 that removing the SB card did not make any difference to my CPU usage/choppy video.



As I also reported, my workaround to high CPU usage/video choppiness was to disable ACPI - which I don't really recommend because of the mess it can cause. But this brought my CPU usage from 100% (Full Choppy) down to 60~70% (Little Choppy) on a P4 1.7 GHz.



So, I decided it was time to upgrade my "old bucket" and swapped my VIA P4XB mobo with an Abit IS-7 equipped with P4 2.4C - keeping everything else the same. CPU went down to 40-50% when watching 1080i.



Based on my experience and that of others I drew the following conclusions:



1. Extreme CPU usage/choppy video for systems that meet or exceed the minimum requirement set by ATI is a software anomaly. It may be because of some incompatibilities, immature drivers, bad IRQ or whatever - it does not really matter. ATI is responsible and they must come up with a fix.

2. High CPU usage has been reported across the board. Under the current MMC implementation this is a normal condition. I.e. a P4 1.3 will likely operate in the 90% range yet will have very little choppiness. A P4 1.7 will be in the 60-70% range, a P4 2.4 GHz in the 40-50% range and so forth. Of course these figures may vary depending on whatever else is running on your system.

3. Video Stutter can be seen even if your CPU is in the 40% range. For instance I discovered that wlancfg4.exe (a USB wireless utility) was causing video jerks every 1-2 seconds if there were no network available. Others have noticed a periodic stutter when ToD switches from on file to the next.

4. TV-ON-DEMAND (ToD) is mainly responsible for high CPU usage. Higher than expected CPU is not due to the fact that HD requires so much bandwidth. My assumptions are based on several ATI RADEON TV cards I have been using over the past years. In every iteration of the product, whenever ToD is launched, CPU usage increases from a mere 2-4% all the way up to 60%, or more. HDTV can only make ToD worse – not better.

5. Even happy customers cannot be comfortable with the notion that their CPU is constantly hovering close to 50% duty cycle over a prolonged period of time. In trying to fix this ToD/CPU usage ATI cannot sacrifice video quality (like it does on RADEON 7200). Indeed, ToD has to be made optional then we’ll all be happy.



Good news: Because all these issues are ATI software-related implies that it will most likely be fixed in upcoming driver updates. Keep your cards at least until 4.9 / 9.03… Give’m a chance.



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Old Sep 2, 2004, 01:10 PM   #293
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Default No "Create Media Layout" button

I installed HDTV Wonder yesterday with no problems using the method advocated here of downloading the updated software on ATI's site and using the installation cd only for verification. Everything works so well I am hesitant to start experimenting, but my File Library interface only shows four buttons in the upper right hand corner. The "Create Media Layout" button is missing. Is there an additional piece of software I need to load to get this function? I am running XP Pro, no service packs and have a Radeon 9800 video card. Thanks for the help.
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 02:10 PM   #294
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Has anyone had any issues with DTV auto scanning for channels?

When DTV launches for the first time, it wants to auto scan for channels. It gets to around 43% and finds one channel then the mutilmedia center file crashes... It does this everytime and is extremely annoying.

Basically i cannot watch anything HDTV because the auto scan for channels function crashes the multimedia center executable file.

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Old Sep 2, 2004, 04:30 PM   #295
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Okay, I'm having a minor problem with the analog tuner so I'm hoping someone has seen this issue already and can help. On several of the analog channels I have to go past the channel and then back to it for it to tune properly. Once I go past it by one channel and flip back, it's fine. It's very annoying though since several of the channels do it so I'm constantly having to flip back and forth. What's really strange is that only some of them do it. Any ideas?
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 05:47 PM   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMetalEdge
Has anyone had any issues with DTV auto scanning for channels?

When DTV launches for the first time, it wants to auto scan for channels. It gets to around 43% and finds one channel then the mutilmedia center file crashes... It does this everytime and is extremely annoying.

Basically i cannot watch anything HDTV because the auto scan for channels function crashes the multimedia center executable file.
Did you get the latest MMC update and DTV decoder from ATI's site?
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 07:09 PM   #297
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrw
Did you get the latest MMC update and DTV decoder from ATI's site?
Yes, even did a clean install. WinXP SP-1

Latest CATs (4.8), MMC (9.02), HDTV Divers (7.22.04), Latest Decoder, etc.

Apparently this is not isolated just to me, there are other threads about this issue and i am still waiting for a fix...

Thanx
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 07:39 PM   #298
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MetalEdge, my system had the same problem. DTV channel scanning would crash at around 73% every single time... This is my fix: install MMC9.0 from the CD. As for the HDTV drivers and decoders, i am using the latest and it's OK.
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 10:14 PM   #299
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When watching NBC's HD station (channel 24.1 here) does anyone else see "lines" during motion on Non-HD content? (plays in a 4:3 window), I took a screenshot of it below ..it looks really bad just wondered if its normal.. the lines dont appear whenever its showing actual HD content ,just the usual pixelation during fast motion...

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Old Sep 2, 2004, 11:15 PM   #300
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Default New ATI CCC: Some issues

My temptation was high when I saw the new CCC (C-cube? C3?) here: http://www2.ati.com/drivers/wxp-w2k-...3a-016701c.exe ... I couldn't resist. Even though my HDTV (at 40-50% CPU) and TV were finally stable I decided to go ahead anyway.

Before installing CCC I removed all ATI software using ATI Uninstall Utility found in Add/Remove Software.

I installed the new driver package on WinXp Home SP2. Oh, BTW you'll need further megabloat before installing: .NET ... yes it is about time you get broadband.

Then I rebooted. Wow. This new CCC interface is really awesome! Read http://graphics.tomshardware.com/gra...902/index.html for more details . As usual, I had to re-configure my 9600XT dual-display options etc. This never seem to migrate from one driver version to the next.

Then I proceeded with:

http://www2.ati.com/drivers/mmc-9-1-0-0-dao-mdac.exe
http://www2.ati.com/drivers/hdtv-wonder-4-08-2012.exe
http://www2.ati.com/drivers/atiCDwiz4-0.exe
http://www2.ati.com/drivers/mmc-9-02-0-0.exe

Rebooting when prompted. (but why???)

After all was installed I couldn't get TV nor HDTV for start. Both caused "Failed to initialize" as reported here: http://www.ati.com/support/infobase/4586.html I tried the recommended workaround to no avail. Like I was surprised.

I then re-installed the default 4.8 catalist driver and was able to recover TV and HDTV.

Maybe I should just sit back now and enjoy my *working* TV/HDTV...
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