Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to fix HDCP - Handshake - Sound Muted - issues with Windows Media Center and AV receivers

This is a very common problem in WMC and I have tried to fix this for over 3 years. I have even tried selling old computer parts and switching out stuff to find the issue. Basically it comes down to driver issues, but you will never get it work 100% unless you install Gefen HDMI Detective Plus.

To start, I have Windows 8 with WMC running on HD4600 Graphics card with Onkyo Receiver in between HTPC and Panasonic TV. This has gotten rid of the sound dropping issues, sleep issues, No video card installed, HTCP issues, basically the only thing my wife complained about from switching to HTPC over cable box. This is a must have if your wife complains about stability because we haven't had to restart computer once in over a month since installing this device.

THE ONLY DOWNSIDE IS THE COST AT $100 BUT WILL BE MORE THAN WORTH IT

The awesome thing is that it literally takes a couple minutes to install and then you never have to worry about it again.

The one issue I speak of is the intermittent auto mute upon resume. Go here and I explain how to fix that if you run into this problem.



My Amazon review below

For all those who fought WMC and microsoft to fix the HDCP issues with drivers and updates, this will make all your issues go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pros
So easy to setup - takes 5 minutes
Works perfectly

Cons
No idea how this costs $100 (there is cheaper alternative on amazon you could try but this is the most common one)

Just go ahead and pay the $100, you will more than make up the difference by making your wife happy that she doesnt have to restart computer everytime she wants to watch live tv

ONE ISSUE -
It seems to be hit or miss on whether my computer starts up muted. Never had this issue before installing device but I dont care as its a simple button to hit on remote.

Windows Media Center Fix - Auto Turn off Mute upon resume

I ran into a bug where sometimes Windows Media Center would auto-mute sound upon resume. To fix this, I used eventghost.

1. Download and install Eventghost (or list of downloads here)

2. Open up Eventghost

3. Create Macro. Name it Turn Mute Off

4. Create new event (System.Resume). In order to find this I hit sleep on windows media center remote and hit it again to wake computer up. On the left side of eventghost window you will see the most recent activities recorded. Drag the System.Resume event over to the night under the macro you created.

5. Create action. Double click on system, then double click Sound Card, then select Turn Mute Off.


6. Save it

7. Test it out by first muting windows (not receiver mute but actual windows mute). Then double click the macro and it should turn the mute off.


Should look like example below



Monday, March 17, 2014

Terrible OfficeMax Pricematch - Customer Service

Been trying to pricematch a monitor from amazon/newegg/B&H to officemax because I have a gift card to spend. It has been quite the process and thought I would share how stupid their policies are for pricematch.


  1. Pricematch to amazon for $214.97 ($249.99 on officemax)


Hello Austin,
We do apologize, unfortunately at this time we are unable to process your price match request from Amazon. OfficeMax is not able to price match a competitor that does not have a physical retail store location in the continental U.S.
For further details on our Price Match Guarantee, please visit: https://www.officemax.com/customerservice/customerService.jsp?
OfficeMax thanks you for the opportunity of servicing your future business and personal supply needs. If we can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for choosing OfficeMax!


    2. Pricematch to B&H because they have physical store in New York. 

Dear Austin,
Thank you for your recent inquiry, as this is a $44.00 price match and this retailer only has 1 physical store in the US in New York, I cannot approve this match, I apologize.
OfficeMax thanks you for the opportunity of servicing your future business and personal supply needs. If we can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for choosing OfficeMax!



SERIOUSLY OFFICEMAX??????????? How does only having one store in not qualify?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Setup DVRMSToolbox and ShowAnalyzer for Commercial Skip in Windows Media Center (WMC) - Windows 8

UPDATED: Forgot to have ShowAnalyzer run at night to limit CPU usage. Scroll to bottom for directions or check out separate post

To get started we need to have ShowAnalyzer v1.0 (Costs $29.98) installed as well as DVRMSToolbox (1.2.1.7 R1) and the Windows 7 Media Center Addin (1.0.0.9) (note: to download these updated edition for windows 8 you must donate to gain access). Once you’ve got all three installed let’s get started configuring each program.
  • Don't install showanalyzer package that comes with DVRMSToolbox as won't work with windows 8. You must install the newest v1.0 by clicking link above

Start by opening DVRMSToolbox’s DVRMSToMPEGSettings and on the first tab set your preferred Analyzer to ShowAnalyzer. Then switch to the MC Addin tab and make sure that the Commercial Skip option is enabled.


Finally, under the Commercial Skip tab make a note of the Commercial Path so we can setup ShowAnalyzer to use the same path when saving it’s commercial XML files. You also have the option to setup the keys used by the Media Center Addin to skip commercials during playback as well as enabling auto skipping of commercials.

  • I ran into troubles with miniguide and basic remote functions for skipping. I turned off autoskip and only use forward jump key 'Delete". I then programmed my logitech remote for + sign to send signal to computer. You can play around to see what settings work for you.


Finally, open up ShowAnalyzer and go to Global Settings –> Directory Watcher


Make sure that the Directory Watcher feature is enabled. Then add directory of your Recorded TV directories to the service.


Next, under the Default Profile -> Analyzer tab make sure that Priority is RealTime and checked.


Then go to Default Profile -> Output. Under Where paste the location of the DVRMSToolbox files being created matches the Commercial Path in your DVRMSToolbox settings from above.

Then open up Windows Media Center and ensure that the DTBAddin is listed and enabled under Settings –> Start Menu and Extras –> Extras Library. Finally, you may want to restart your system to ensure that the newly installed services have been started properly.

HOW TO SCHEDULE SHOWANALYZER TO RUN AT NIGHT

1. Create new folder in C:\ drive. I named it showanalyzer. 

2. Open up notepad application. 

3. Type in      
start C:\"Program Files (x86)"\"Dragon Global"\ShowAnalyzerSuite\ShowAnalyzerMaster.exe




4. Click File Save As

5. Name it start.cmd (make sure to include .cmd at end so you save it as command file and not .txt)

6. Go back to notepad and click File New

7. Type in
taskkill /f /im showanalyzer*



  
 (/f is force command, /im is to select name of process, and the * at the end is used to end all process starting with showanalyzer)

8. Click File Save As

9. Name it stop.cmd

10. For some reason you need administrative privaleges to run the stop command. In order to get around this make a shortcut by right clicking on stop.cmd and selecting Create Shortcut


11. Right click on the shortcut and select Properties


12. Click advanced under shortcut tab


13. Check Run as Administrator Box


14. Now to create the tasks to run at night. Open Task Scheduler


15. Click on Create Task...

16. Name it start sa and check run with highest privaleges


17. Under Triggers click New. Create the schedule you desire to run showanalyzer. I selected every day at 2AM. 


18. Under Actions click New. Find where the start.cmd you created


19. Under Conditions check the box Wake the computer to run this task


20. Under settings you can leave alone. I selected to stop running task if it runs longer than 4 hours but I am not sure if this matters. Click OK


 21. Now Create another new task and name it stop sa. Again run with highest privaleges


22. Under Triggers select schedule to stop showanalyzer. This will depend on how many shows you record nightly. It took my computer about 10 minutes to strip commercials out of 2 concurrent tv shows so I doubled that and figured it would take 25 minutes at max to analyze 4 shows. I would recommend running showanalyzer manually and see how long it takes and find a sweet spot so you get all the shows analyzed everynight. I chose to end at 2:30AM everyday. 


23. Under Actions click New. Find and select the stop - shortcut you created. MAKE SURE TO SELECT THE SHORTCUT SO IT RUNS AS ADMINISTRATOR.

24. Under Conditions I chose to start the task if its idle for 5 minutes so it wont stop showanalyzer in middle of working. I said idle time is 30 minutes. I then checked Stop if the computer ceases to be idle and Restart if the idle state resumes. I also checked Wake the computer to run this task in case computer goes to sleep before process is stopped. (helps prevent showanalyzer running during day)


25. Under Settings I again chose to stop task if longer than 4 hours.


26. All done. Go back to Task Scheduler screen and test out each command. I would open up Task Manager and watch for ShowAnalyzer and ShowAnalyzer Master under processes. They should start up with start command and disappear with stop command. 

Cura Peru 2011 (+playlist)

Pictures from Space - Time Lapse Video (+playlist)

Pictures from space - Time Lapse Video (nebraska) (+playlist)

How to install DDWRT on Netgear R7000 AC1900 Night Hawk Router



1. Log in to Netgear router with 192.168.1.1
  • login: admin
  • password: password

2. Download proper files from here or click links below for shortcuts
  • Initial file here (chk r7000 file)
  • Second file here (currently latest release is r23655) Check forums for which release is stable
3. Go to Advanced Tab/Administration/Firmware Upgrade
  • First upload r7000.chk file
  • Allow time for router to reboot
4. Do the 30/30/30 reset 

5. Login to router again with 192.168.1.1

6. Go to firmware update within DDWRT and select .bin file you downloaded
  • Allow time for router to reboot
7. Repeat 30/30/30 reset 

8. Log in to router and you have DDWRT installed!