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 Post subject: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:54 pm 
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Hi All,

Just wanted to get a post going on my setup of my new ASRock Ion 330 HTPC. I got it via UPS on Thursday, and have it connected to my 42" Toshiba 1080p tv in the living room. I ordered a 4GB memory ugrade with it, and have that installed. Have not yet attempted to connect & configure the IR sensor for use with my Harmony One remote. So far it seems to be working pretty well, though there are a few issues.

I initially set everything up using a wirelss connection to my home network. When I would play a movie from the MSS, the sound and picture would stutter bad enough to make it unwatchable. Pictures and music was fine. I have since connected via ethernet for testing purposes, and that has fixed the problem, though Hulu (through Hulu Desktop) still stutters. I have not yet tried NetFlix streaming, but will shortly. Now I just have to crawl under the house & figure out how to run it permanently - low WAF on having the cable running from the office, down the hall, & through the living room :)

I have downloaded and installed Media Browser, and have a few questions about it. It has downloaded cover art etc for some, but not all movies, and some but not all music albums. How do I get it to download the rest? For example, the Media Browser website has a screenshot showing fan art for Iron Man, but my system does not. Also, for some music albums. it shows cover art, but for others, it does not. Some of the ones where it does not show cover art have multiple albums inside that DO show cover art. Other artists with multi albums shows one of the covers when browsing. WTF? Media Browser has crashed on me a couple of times, and the error message it gave said I might lose some data (can't remember exact text of the message". Any way I can make it restart the data gathering process? Ideally, it should show cover art for all ripped DVDs and all music albums, right? What do I need to do?

I plan on installing and trying SecondRun.tv as well. I will post after.

Edit: forgot one important thing - I don't seem to be able to play any music through Media Browser. I click on an album & just get an empty screen....? I can play music by going to Music in the main menu of Media Center.

Thanks for any help that anyone can give.

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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Trying Netflix streaming now, and I have to say, I'm pretty impressed so far. Watching "21" right now full screen. While it's not DVD quality - I can see the pixelization in the shadows etc., it's still pretty darn good. Much better quality than in Hulu Desktop.

Installed the HuluDesktopVMC plug-in, and it always crashes. Have to find out how to see the %AppData..." folder in Win7 so I can copy to c:\. Been a while since I've had to do anything like that. How do I get my user to see the hidden folder?

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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:45 pm 
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bugman30 wrote:
Hi All,

Just wanted to get a post going on my setup of my new ASRock Ion 330 HTPC. I got it via UPS on Thursday, and have it connected to my 42" Toshiba 1080p tv in the living room. I ordered a 4GB memory ugrade with it, and have that installed. Have not yet attempted to connect & configure the IR sensor for use with my Harmony One remote. So far it seems to be working pretty well, though there are a few issues.

I initially set everything up using a wirelss connection to my home network. When I would play a movie from the MSS, the sound and picture would stutter bad enough to make it unwatchable. Pictures and music was fine. I have since connected via ethernet for testing purposes, and that has fixed the problem, though Hulu (through Hulu Desktop) still stutters. I have not yet tried NetFlix streaming, but will shortly. Now I just have to crawl under the house & figure out how to run it permanently - low WAF on having the cable running from the office, down the hall, & through the living room :)

I have downloaded and installed Media Browser, and have a few questions about it. It has downloaded cover art etc for some, but not all movies, and some but not all music albums. How do I get it to download the rest? For example, the Media Browser website has a screenshot showing fan art for Iron Man, but my system does not. Also, for some music albums. it shows cover art, but for others, it does not. Some of the ones where it does not show cover art have multiple albums inside that DO show cover art. Other artists with multi albums shows one of the covers when browsing. WTF? Media Browser has crashed on me a couple of times, and the error message it gave said I might lose some data (can't remember exact text of the message". Any way I can make it restart the data gathering process? Ideally, it should show cover art for all ripped DVDs and all music albums, right? What do I need to do?

I plan on installing and trying SecondRun.tv as well. I will post after.

Edit: forgot one important thing - I don't seem to be able to play any music through Media Browser. I click on an album & just get an empty screen....? I can play music by going to Music in the main menu of Media Center.

Thanks for any help that anyone can give.


Hey Blair,

Congrats on the purchase. One option if you don't want to run wires is to get an powerline type solutions, the MoCA seems to work the best. I ended up running Cat6 in my house (I only had one network connection when the house was built), but if I ever need more connections I would go with MoCA.

With MediaBrowser I am not sure I follow the music thing. Unless you compiled the SVN (I am assuming you did not) music is not a feature in Media Browser. When the next version comes out music will be a part of it, but currently it is not (you can get some info on thenew Music plugin for MB here).

As far as fanart, I would suggest you use Metabrowser to manage all your fanart. I use this for my entire collection (movies and tv shows) and it works great with Media Browser.

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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:47 pm 
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bugman30 wrote:
Trying Netflix streaming now, and I have to say, I'm pretty impressed so far. Watching "21" right now full screen. While it's not DVD quality - I can see the pixelization in the shadows etc., it's still pretty darn good. Much better quality than in Hulu Desktop.

Installed the HuluDesktopVMC plug-in, and it always crashes. Have to find out how to see the %AppData..." folder in Win7 so I can copy to c:\. Been a while since I've had to do anything like that. How do I get my user to see the hidden folder?


When you are in Windows Explorer I think if you hit F10 it will bring up the toolbar menu. From there you can go to Tools -> Folder Options. Go to "View" tab and select "Show Hidden Files and Folders"

Hope that helps.

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bugman30
 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:41 pm 
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dbone1026 wrote:

Hey Blair,


With MediaBrowser I am not sure I follow the music thing. Unless you compiled the SVN (I am assuming you did not) music is not a feature in Media Browser. When the next version comes out music will be a part of it, but currently it is not (you can get some info on thenew Music plugin for MB here).

As far as fanart, I would suggest you use Metabrowser to manage all your fanart. I use this for my entire collection (movies and tv shows) and it works great with Media Browser.



Well.....DUH! I guess that would be my problem then! Guess I didn't realize that music was not part of this version of Media Browser. I set up a link to the music folder on my MSS, and it popped up some music, so I was thinking it should work. Oh well. Waiting for next version I guess.

I'll look into Metabrowser, thanks, but I kinda thought that was what Media Browser was supposed to do. The website says "automatic metadata retrieval". A little surprised that I'd need to use something else as well.

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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:27 pm 
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dbone1026 wrote:
When you are in Windows Explorer I think if you hit F10 it will bring up the toolbar menu. From there you can go to Tools -> Folder Options. Go to "View" tab and select "Show Hidden Files and Folders"

Hope that helps.


Thanks Damian. That worked perfectly. Still learning my way around Win 7. Haven't even had it for a week yet. Netflix streaming is pretty cool. Waiting for the Win7 plug-in. I've now got Hulu workiing through WMC, just wishing quality was as good as Netflix.

I think I figured out my probelem with Media Browser not showing metadata for all of the ripped DVDs. I remembered reading on this site somewhere that the folder for the movies had to pretty much match the real title of the DVD. I use DVDFab to rip the DVDs, and it doesn't do this automatically. For example, ripping "The Bourne Ultimatum" results in a folder called "BOURNE_UNTIMATUM". Guess Media Browser doesn't like the underscore. I changed a few folders to have a space instead of the underscore, went into Media Browser, and voila! the artwork starts popping up. Guess I'll have to spend a little time renaming the rest of the folders. And figuring out why Transformers won't play.

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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:05 am 
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bugman30 wrote:
Well.....DUH! I guess that would be my problem then! Guess I didn't realize that music was not part of this version of Media Browser. I set up a link to the music folder on my MSS, and it popped up some music, so I was thinking it should work. Oh well. Waiting for next version I guess.

I'll look into Metabrowser, thanks, but I kinda thought that was what Media Browser was supposed to do. The website says "automatic metadata retrieval". A little surprised that I'd need to use something else as well.


Metabrowser isnt needed as MediaBrowser will pull in metadata on its own. I just personally like to have more control over the metadata, but there is no reason why you cant just stick with the Media Browser automatic retrieval. I think at first load it make take some time to gather all the metadata and throw into cache which is probably the issue you are experiencing

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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:07 am 
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bugman30 wrote:
Thanks Damian. That worked perfectly. Still learning my way around Win 7. Haven't even had it for a week yet. Netflix streaming is pretty cool. Waiting for the Win7 plug-in. I've now got Hulu workiing through WMC, just wishing quality was as good as Netflix.

I think I figured out my probelem with Media Browser not showing metadata for all of the ripped DVDs. I remembered reading on this site somewhere that the folder for the movies had to pretty much match the real title of the DVD. I use DVDFab to rip the DVDs, and it doesn't do this automatically. For example, ripping "The Bourne Ultimatum" results in a folder called "BOURNE_UNTIMATUM". Guess Media Browser doesn't like the underscore. I changed a few folders to have a space instead of the underscore, went into Media Browser, and voila! the artwork starts popping up. Guess I'll have to spend a little time renaming the rest of the folders. And figuring out why Transformers won't play.


Yeah, that was going to be the other suggestion. I always make sure that the name of the movie is spot on which does clear up most problems. You can always go to themoviedb.org or imdb.com if you are unsure of the exact name.

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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:24 am 
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Have you overclocked your system to 2.0ghz? The performance is night and day, and the dual channel ddr helps. Did you set aside 512megs of ram for your video buffer? Also, there is no substitute for cat5, don't waste your time with ethernet over power, i have them and they suck.


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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:28 am 
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klamath wrote:
Have you overclocked your system to 2.0ghz? The performance is night and day, and the dual channel ddr helps. Did you set aside 512megs of ram for your video buffer? Also, there is no substitute for cat5, don't waste your time with ethernet over power, i have them and they suck.


I believe I do have it overclocked to 2.1 GHz. I set it through the BIOS, and when I check through Control Panel, it says 2.1 GHz. I have 4GB of DDR2 memory, but have not set aside any for a video buffer. That would probably help. Could I go up to 1GB for video buffer? Would that provide additional benefits, or be a waste? Not sure how to do that. Could you provide some instructions?

Still have a few things to do like connect the IR receiver & set that up on my remote, but I have to say that overall, I'm very happy with my purchase.

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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:55 pm 
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should look like this in the bios, with my ion the max is 512, should be the same on yours. Also see if your current with bios upgrades. Have you tired xbmc under linux or not a linux fan?


Here is a great site i found after i set my zotac up, might give it a try if you have a mondo size library.

http://a8t8.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!25 ... !804.entry




Tim


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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:02 pm 
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klamath wrote:
Have you overclocked your system to 2.0ghz? The performance is night and day, and the dual channel ddr helps. Did you set aside 512megs of ram for your video buffer? Also, there is no substitute for cat5, don't waste your time with ethernet over power, i have them and they suck.


I would avoid powerline, I had a bad experience with them as well. MoCA seems a lot more promising and from what I have read people who used them have had zero issued. When prices come down I may get one unit to test out. Definitely glad I ran Cat6 though

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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:45 pm 
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Have not tried XBMC or Linux. I figured I'd stick with Win7 as I'm more familiar with Windows than Linux. Linux would also be completely foreign to the rest of the family. I want to make it as dead simple as possible, and it looks like Win7 with Windows Media Center will offer everything I want / need. Also thinking...would Netflix streaming work on a Linux box? It requires Silverlight which is a MS product - does it work on Linux?

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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:00 pm 
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I have netflix but never use it. But i dont think xbmc has a plugin for netflix, boxee does or did. How are you enjoying the ION so far?


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 Post subject: Re: ASRock Ion 330 setup
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:14 pm 
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Hi

I am looking to buy the same box and install win7
Mainly will be using it to record DVB-T with a twin tuner (in UK). Would also like to add a USB sat reciever at a later date. All through windows media centre
Will this system handle this smoothly ?
Have your initial teething issues ironed themselves out ?

ern

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