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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:42 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Calgary, Canada
# Video type: SDTV (going to HDTV by year end)
# Type of system: combined front- and back-end
# Noise level: I can barely hear it from 5 feet away (unless the room is totally silent)

# CASE: Antec Sonata III
# PSU: Antec 500W
# MOTHERBOARD: ASUS M3A
# CPU: AMD Athlon64 X2 5200+ (dual core)
# RAM: 2GB Kingston 667MHz
# CPU HEATSINK: Unknown
# NORTHBRIDGE HEATSINK: Unknown
# CD/DVD-RW: Pioneer 16X DVD-RW
# HDD: WD 500GB SATA
# GRAPHICS CARD: Palit nVidia GeForce 8600GT
# SOUNDCARD: none (onboard sound)
# TUNER CARD: Hauppage HVR-1600
# REMOTE CONTROL: Hauppage A415-HPG (with IR Blaster)

I haven't seen a system using the HVR-1600 mentioned here yet so I wanted to pass on details of a setup using the most recent beta driver. It was not easy, but it's definitely doable even by someone with just a limited working knowledge of Linux - I know this because that's all I have.

This system is certainly overkill for SDTV but as mentioned I will be moving to HDTV later so I wanted a system that will be able to handle this. The entire system cost about $800 CDN including tax, which isn't much higher than retail HDPVR boxes go for here, and of course MythTV does so much more!

I'll outline the steps I followed below. Because it's long I have also put together a detailed guide on a web page, including links to appropriate references so you don't have to hunt all over for them like I did. (If there's somewhere more suitable to put this info please let me know and I'll happily move it.)

The three difficulties are the Tuner card (of course, it's beta), the motherboard (LAN driver isn't built into R5F27's kernel), and the video card (looks like common issues with all new nVidia cards). The normal KnoppMyth install from CD works but on reboot gives the infamous "c7 respawn" error that prevents X from working. Here are the steps from that point:

  1. Install the network drivers from the CD that came with the motherboard and configure the network in /etc/network/interfaces (and /etc/resolv.conf if needed).
  2. Add "vmalloc=192M pci=nommconf" to the start of the kernel boot parameters in lilo.conf and run lilo to activate. The first setting is key as the HVR-1600 driver won't get along with the nVidia driver without it.
  3. Remove the bad links to i2c-id.h and compat.h in /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.18-chw-13/include/linux, then download and copy replacement files from the i2c and kernel source trees, respectively.
  4. Run install-nvidia-debian.sh 169.12 for the graphics drivers. (If using TV out as I am, install the provided nVidia TV Out sample xorg.conf before doing this so that the install will modify this file.)
  5. Follow the steps here to install the HVR-1600 firmware. The firmware directory is /usr/lib/hotplug/firmware.
  6. Install the latest cx18 beta drivers. I am using build 7590.
    Patch the driver source with the patch here. (I couldn't get this to work (appears to be for an older driver version) so I just applied the edits by hand.)
  7. Proceed with setup, noting the following: Choose Hauppage Silver Remote as remote type. When setting up the tuner, choose "MPEG-2 Card (PVR-x50, PVR-500)". Under TV playback options, change the preferred MPEG decoder to "Standard XvMC" and enable the setting that says "Use the PVR-350's MPEG decoder".
  8. If needed, the IR blaster will work following the same instructions for the PVR-150's. Make sure to leave only the section for the A415-HPG remote.

I've had the system going non-stop for almost three weeks now. As mentioned I am using SDTV with the IR Blaster and TV out. The analogue tuner also works on its own. I am now trying to get both going at once but I haven't had much time for that yet. Any issues have been minor: first time after I booting the video is all choppy but works fine after that; and once the backend died for no apparent reason. Maybe these are common issues but I haven't done any research yet.

So yes it was a lot of work, but so far it's been worth it!


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 1:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:37 pm
Posts: 2657
Location: Whittier, Ca
paulsid wrote:
So yes it was a lot of work, but so far it's been worth it!
:D


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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 12:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:07 am
Posts: 132
Location: White City OR
Wow good job on getting the 1600 to work. I cannot wait to finish my math class (only 3 weeks left), and get a chance to test mine out.


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