My MediaMVP and GBPVR experiences
The following page details the initial woes which I experienced with
MediaMVP/gbpvr. The issues had been resolved after this page was
written, and the current status can be found here.
I had initially installed and run LinuxMCE
on my newly assembled HTPC
back in April ‘07; however, shortly after I decided to upgrade to
a Blu-ray drive to watch movies in high-def, and Linux is not BD ready.
studios' overly- and foolishly-restrictive end-user policies will
probably never allow Linux to natively playback high definition videos
by just dropping them in a hi-def DVD drive and hitting play.) So
used an unregistered copy of XP home that I purchased a few years back
wife’s old laptop, which died just after installation but prior
activation. I then found GB-PVR
perchance and decided to get rid of my Panasonic DMR-E20.
First off, let me say that GB-PVR is wonderful and I highly recommend
it. Although my recent upgrade to ver1.15 was problematic,
the problems were not attributable to GB-PVR.
As of February 2008, only the automatic EPG update does not work
consistently--but it's no trouble to manually run yapi2xml once or
twice a week.
Prior to GB-PVR ver1.15, I was running 0.99.12 on the HTPC as my
time-shift, using the Zap2it EPG. Two other things happened
concurrently with my upgrade:
1) I decided to
set-up the MediaMVP
in the family
room in order to minimize DVD damage by The Wifetm
secondarily to reduce the clutter. (I bought the MediaMVP in
January 2007, but finally got around actually taking out of the box in
early November 2007.)
2) Zap2it went under and I switched to yapi2xml.
I upgraded the GB-PVR s/w with the prerequisite vcredist first,
configuration for the GB-PVR, and set up yapi2xml. (I stress that
the Hauppauge s/w was installed, but the appropriate tasks were set to
manual start. And the GB-PVR s/w was installed to its
location.) Again, GB-PVR had been working properly
So, what happened? In no particular order:
1) When actually
connection and having media streamed to it, the mediamvp refused to
play divx files. (I have the divx codec, as a long-time
registered user of divx-pro and dr. divx, installed.) The file
extension was “.avi”.
on the HTPC, played the
divx files in an upside-down mirrored image (most odd) or with audio at
the wrong pitch. How, I haven’t a clue. (I was able
to stream and playback the divx files on another pc without a problem.)
3) In spite of
analog-only listing for Time-Warner through the yapi2xml setup, the EPG
in the GB-PVR had listings for what turned out to be the digital
of analog channels. (The yapi2xml.xml file was ok.) Thus,
when I set up a timer recording of a channel, the digital channel would
be tuned-in and the resulting recording would be static only.
Watching live TV worked fine.
a. On a side
note: when I deleted the digital channels in the capture sources, the
analog channels could not be viewed live, and the TV Guide listings
4) TV guide text
inordinately large. Easily rectified by editing the xml file, but
why the increased default sizes?
5) The biggest
issue was the MediaMVP not finding the server—or even acquiring
an IP address—most of the time
The MediaMVP and server headache:
My home network, as it was configured when I upgraded to GB-PVR
consisted of a residential wireless-gateway, configured as a DHCP
server, with all machines on my network having static IP
addresses. (DHCP for addresses in the range of
192.168.1.10-255.) The MediaMVP, located upstairs, was connected
to one of the ports on the 8-port hub. The HTPC motherboard, Asus
P5 DH Deluxe, has three NICs (two wired, one wireless).
configuration was set for one MediaMVP.
Again, the Hauppauge s/w was installed and had the appropriate tasks
set for “manual” start so that they would not conflict with
GB-PVR's recording service. The MediaMVP would take a
long time to find a server and boot after having to restart
the GB-PVR recording service. Well, sometimes it took a long
Most of the time, it could not find the media server or even get an IP
In order to troubleshoot, I installed the GB-PVR s/w on the PC in
office and connected the MediaMVP to the office hub. Here the
MediaMVP worked more often than not. (Oh, divx files also worked
properly on the office machine, when selecting them through
GB-PVR.) There was obviously something amiss on the HTPC.
After uninstalling then re-installing GB-PVR a number of times, and
having a similar success-to-failure ratio of booting the MediaMVP, I
decided to go a bit of a different route. I modified the cat-5
line to be a cross-over, re-routed the line, and connected the MediaMVP
directly to the second NIC on the HTPC instead of the 8-port hub.
(See diagram for
I set the HTPC for Internet Connection Sharing. The
success-to-failure ratio increased significantly, but no-where near
1.0: probably about 0.8. It also took a long time to boot the
MediaMVP --nearly 2.5 minutes—when it did boot.
At this point I uninstalled the GBPVR s/w, edited the registry to
remove all references to the GB-PVR software, and re-installed
GB-PVR. Success! I probably should have edited/cleaned up
the registry at the beginning…..but then again, the HTPC doesn't
have a lot of software installed, un-installed, etc. If you're
having issues with the update, I would recommend editing the registry
in addition to un-installing and re-installing the newer version.
MediaMVP has been booting all the time, and in less than 15
seconds. Also, divx files play flawlessly for the most
part. I’ve had a few divx files playing abnormally on
either the gbpvr or MediaMVP. Re-encoding those few videos solved
I am now serving xvid- and divx-encoded files to the MediaMVP without a
hitch. Well, there’s one hitch: The Wifetm
is not too
happy about having a new box, though diminutive, in the Family
Room. The kids (6 and 8), on the other hand, have adapted quite
nicely, thank you.
And DVDs are now safe in their jewel boxes.
When displaying pictures in “slide show” mode on the
MediaMVP, the screen blanker kicks in. GB-PVR explicitly states
that the screen saver will not activate when playing videos, but the
shows mode is not playing videos: It's following the letter of the law.
Also, sometimes videos
served to the MediaMVP are out of sync with the audio: simply hit
pause then play and all is well again.
I love it! Again, other than the GB-PVR not automatically
the EPG consistently, everything is working fine. The boys love
having access to their favorite shows (Pre-historic Planet is the
latest favorite) and home movies via the
MediaMVP....my wife is even getting used to it.
I added Media Portal
and purchased a Harmony
One remote in mid-March and late March, respectively. Media Portal
consistently crashed and I eliminated it.
A humorous, and somewhat frightening note about my six-year old:
I showed him how to boot the MVP, running mvpmc, in emulation
mode and then goto the video library to watch his favorite movies.
And that's all I showed him. Well, one day I setup PVRX2 to
record a couple of TV shows. A few days later I decided to watch
them. Nothing! What the blankety-blank?? Geez, did
some recent application mess up GBPVR? I quickly discovered the
problem. My six-year old had recorded over 100GB of TV
programming in three days! Everything from Disney Channel &
Cartoon Network programming to Dirty Jobs. When I asked him about
it the next day he was very proud of his discovery. "Dad, you
didn't know this but, there's this thing on the box (the MVP) that, if
you hit this thing called TV Guider (yes, "guider"), then you can press
this button and then......." Damn! He figured out how to record
shows. Now I have to check the drive every night, delete shows,
and tell him that the hard drive is out of room......
All has been working for the passed six months or so--I connected the
MediaMVP to the HTPC directly, and use Internet Connection Sharing
(ICS) to serve as the DHCP server to the MediaMVP.
Questions, comments, concerns? e-mail
me, Greg Kimnach (non-hyphenated American)
Why do young people drive like
they're days are numbered, and old like they've got all the time in the
website last updated February 2008.