View Full Version : Decoder - Channels questions

2010-07-02, 03:56 PM
Suggestion: some guidance on decoders would help. After I used NPVR to get my channels, using XMLTV approach from GB-PVR, I only saw black screens. Couldn't tell if anything was working or not. I then tried a few "MPEG" choices for the MPEG slot. One, Ulead, gave an exception error and failed miserably. An ATI one gave me half a screen of TV, with the rest "smeared." Then, Cyberlnk gave me full picture!:)

But no sound. For AC3 I have an AC3 filter and that gave me sound as well So I now get TV picture and sound when using Live TV and TV Guide - Watch. Cool! Will do a test recording soon.

But when changing these settings, and avoiding all the others, I'm flying blind as I have no useful knowledge of the options...just trying, a, then b, then c, and so on. Don't know if I should even try for the other decoder settings, or just leave them alone. I don't know what they are for.

CHANNEL - can I change channels while on Live TV? When in Guide, it makes sense that the show/channel I click on shows up. But in Live TV it comes up with the last channel I used in TV Guide, and I don't see how to pick a different channel.

Also, is it possible to change the channel numbers? I tried to do that in the Bulk map, to change npvr's channel 1 to 7.1, and so on, the actual channel number (OTA), but it didn't take.

Getting there! Thanks! It seems slick when it works.

2010-07-02, 04:19 PM
You likely won't need more than AC3 and MPEG audio decoders set. Leave all the rest disabled. Unfortunatly, everyones systems are different and need different decoders. Looks like you already went through the filters you have. I don't use dvds on this system so I am not sure about any decoders needed for that.
For channel changing while watching, just hit the up or down arrows and it will bring up a now and next guide. Hit enter and it will change to that channel.

2010-07-02, 04:35 PM
Picking the best decoder (or even the one that works) has always been a piece of "cut and try", and so it has been in all pvr's I'v tried (one of the worst didn't even allow me to choose a decoder that worked!). Yes you can change the channel numbers in "Bulk Map", double click the number under # and type a new nunber. Note that you have to exit NextPVR and start it again for this change to take effect. And if you do not renumber all your channels the ones with a low number will stay on that number and show up early in the guide.

Edit: I don't think it will accept numbers like 7.1 - 7.2 etc. I beleive it has to be whole numbers (like 1, 2, 3 etc)

2010-07-02, 04:54 PM
What you must understand first is that GB-PVR/N-PVR provide no decoders at all, and therefore no guidance for them. Both products use what you have on your system; the list of choices is simply generated by whatever your system reports as being present. GB-PVR/N-PVR are very DIY products; you will have to learn quite a bit about how things work while setting them up. GB-PVR & N-PVR are written by one guy who lives in New Zealand, but are used by people all over the world using very different video standards than what sub has access to at his dev machine; he necessarily leaves a lot of the details up to you.

To confirm some things you've probably figured out, for US ATSC or QAM TV channels, you need an MPEG-2 video decoder capable of HD video. If you're on Windows Vista or Windows 7, the Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder works really well - I've been using exclusively since going to Windows 7. The ATI MPEG-2 decoder provided with the AVIVO download also works well for me; I don't know which version didn't work for you. Cyberlink is what I used mostly when I was on XP; some later versions of Cyberlink are setup not to work for anything other than Cyberlink apps.

For Audio, you need 2 different decoders - an MPEG-1 Audio decoder (MP3) and an AC3 decoder. You can usually use the Microsoft MPEG decoder for MP3, and AC3Filter is pretty standard for the US. On Windows Vista/Windows 7, it's tempting to use the Microsoft DTV-DVD Audio Decoder for AC3, but it doesn't actually work outside of Media Center (yet it lists itself as an available AC3 decoder, it's not Sub's fault it doesn't actually work).

You can and probably should leave all other decoders set to Disabled.

There is a sticky at the top of the Wishlist forum for Hoborg's SAF (stand-alone filters) pack. Essentially it's a package of decoders and related bits tuned for GB-PVR users. I don't use it myself, but many people do. It primarily uses FFDShow for video and audio decoding, with a few other pieces.

Regarding the channels, you were on the right track to setting the channel numbers. However, a channel number like "7.1" is a USA only thing, and sub has decided it's too much trouble to implement for just us. So yes, you can set channel numbers, but whole numbers only.

To change channels in Live TV, you can use the up and down arrows which will show you a Now/Next mini-guide for each channel, and then you change with the OK/Enter button. You can also change with +/- on your keypad, which is an instant change. Finally you can just type a channel number and hit OK.

edit: lol, I spent so long typing this post others have already replied making me look pretty redundant... oh well ;)

2010-07-02, 05:19 PM
But a very good post johnsonx42 :)

2010-07-02, 08:32 PM
Excellent responses and information. Thanks a lot. I'll re-try channels without the periods. And I'll look for the up/down arrows - I really did not see them before, but maybe I didn't look hard enough.

I thought it was just me that was struggling along on the set-up stuff, so I am glad to read that it is INTENDED to be a hands-on thing. (If I'd known that at the beginning I MIGHT have made different choices, but I seem to be winning at getting NPVR rocking.)

More power to sub and his "NZ" project - it is quite impressive!

2010-07-02, 08:38 PM
Up/down arrows on keyboard

2010-07-02, 10:40 PM
Excellent responses and information. Thanks a lot.

I'v said it before but I won't hesitate to say it again: This project has THE BEST support forum ever! :)