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Prong
05-26-2006, 03:49 PM
I'm in the process of building a new box and I have procured an X1900 AIW for video and capturing duties. A few questions: Catalyst 6.2 is the last cats where I can use the analog audio, correct? What I'd like to do is use the AIW with the BTV 4. Will it work to use Cat 6.2, the Remote Wonder software for remote functionality, and BTV to handle TV watching and recording duties. I don't want to use MMC at all if possible. Will this work? Has anyone done this with any success? Also, is it true that BTV doesn't do one touch recording? I've heard that it can only be set to record in 15 minute increments, and not do it on the fly. Thanks for any help in advance.

Bigbird999
05-26-2006, 04:20 PM
Prong
The AIW cards are software encoding cards, SS reccommends hardware encoding cards (check the system requirements section) for use with BTV. Search these forums for AIW threads and read through them. You will find about a million reasons why NOT to use an AIW (or any software tuner) with BTV.

They can work but there are many limitations and problems. After reading the threads, post back if you need more explaination.

Most people who start out with a software encoding card (like me) end up switching it for a hardware encoding card.

If you can return/exchange the AIW for a hardware tuner and separate video card do it. The AIWs are simply the wrong hardware to build a BTV HTPC around.

BB

Prong
05-29-2006, 09:57 PM
Thanks for your response. I probably would return the card except I'd get dinged 15% for restocking. This will be my 4th AIW card and I've been happy with what they do. Only recently has MMC become troublesome for me, and the fine folks at Rage 3D were saying BTV was a good alternative.

Bigbird999
05-30-2006, 09:47 AM
Prong

I, too am a long time AIW user. They are great cards, just not great with BTV.

There are two problems in using the AIW with BTV. The biggest issue is CPU usage. By design, BTV is always recording to the hard drive. When you are watching live TV you are really watching the recording with a couple of seconds delay. This allows all of the fancy PVR tricks like pausing and rewinding live TV. This "always recording behaviour" cannot be turned off.

The AIW cards require considerable CPU resources (30% 40%) to record since they use software, while the hardware cards use <5% CPU. This high CPU usage can cause stuttering and choppy recordings on some computers, especially older, slower machines. In the older MMC software, you could watch the TV stream without recording and have minimal CPU usage. Or you could select "TV on Demand" to turn on the "record to disc" behaviour and have access to PVR features (with the attendent high CPU usage). In one of the later (9.10 I think) MMC drivers ATI enabled "always recording" behaviour without explaining what they had done. Do a google search on "AIW always recording" to see how many PO'd people could no longer use their AIW to watch live tv because of the high CPU and hard drive usage.

In addition, BTV uses its own software encoder to convert the tv signal to an mpeg 2 file. It is not the same as the encoder used by the ATI MMC software. Thus BTV recordings on the AIW do not have as good a picture quality as MMC recordings on the same card.

If you checked out the threads regarding AIWs on this forum, you saw that most people are, just plain, not satisfied using an AIW for TV capture with BTV. Most end up installing a hardware encoding card and using the AIW as a video card. Or using the AIW in a separate computer to watch TV while working. That is what I do.

Not to say that your AIW won't work with BTV, but your experience will be, at best, OK, rather than outstanding.

BB

yatman
06-01-2006, 06:38 PM
i have and AIW x800XT and it was nothing but problems with BTV from day one with the catalyst 6.2 drivers. Since then, they seem to have changed the fundamental hardware drivers in 6.4 and now 6.5. I recommend updating to that first. Everything has worked fine ever since. I use the Firefly remote but I think the AIW will work too.

Bigbird999
06-01-2006, 08:44 PM
Prong
You were very specific about wanting to use the analog sound drivers rather than the onboard sound. May I ask why?

yatman says the 6.4/6.5 (ie onboard sound) drivers made his problems go away.

yatman
Do you have a hardware card as well? Do you ever use the ATI MMC or is it even installed?

BB

Prong
06-02-2006, 03:00 PM
I'm trying to avoid the digital sound now because of the widely known sound stuttering and out of synch audio problems may people are having.

yatman
06-04-2006, 11:29 AM
Big Bird,

I have a shuttle ss56 and am using the on-board sound. I have a new setup as I just received the nVidia DualTV MCE card. I have ALL video sources working on my PC. I am now using the nVidia for dual tuning with BTV4 and am using the x800xt AIW with the ATI MMC (TV APP only) in s-video mode only so as to be able to play my xbox and watch my TiVo. I was VERY picky about which ATI MMC applications I installed. I only installed the TV application and the radio app (even though I am using the nVidias Radio tuner). I also installed the guide + app just in case but I'm not using the ATI for tuning/TV viewing (aside from through the TiVo).

Teesh

Prong
You were very specific about wanting to use the analog sound drivers rather than the onboard sound. May I ask why?

yatman says the 6.4/6.5 (ie onboard sound) drivers made his problems go away.

yatman
Do you have a hardware card as well? Do you ever use the ATI MMC or is it even installed?

BB