My Viiv server building issues and learnings

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by davel, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. Feb 3, 2009 #1 of 15
    davel

    davel Godfather

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    Well, after a month of messing around with all of the other media servers, I decided to build a Viiv server and throw Vista Ultimate on the box. All of this is done just to get trick play.

    Links that I have used:
    Viiv test utility - Note you have to set your PC clock back to around 7/2008 to use it or it will only send you to the website (where there is no update).

    Viiv Wiki entry

    Newegg - to look at the motherboard box pictures and zoom in to find the VIIV logo (see below)

    1.7.231 Viiv software - You can download 1.6 from directv.

    Viiv computers consist of a Viiv processor, Viiv motherboard (chipset and lan) and sata hard drive.

    Processor - This one is easy. Any current processor (not the I7) socket LGA 775 will work. I went with the Q9400 quad core which is way overkill but my thoughts are if DTV ever gets their $#@% together and offers trick play on anything other than Viiv, I will turn this box into a virtualized server.

    SATA - again easy. I am using a 1.5TB seagate drive for data and an old 320GB drive pulled from an HR-20 for my main drive.

    Motherboard (lan and chipset) - This was a total mess! I did all sorts of digging on chipsets, north and south bridges, lan cards, etc. I wanted the latest motherboard for speed and power. I tried to stick with intel boards because of the intel lan that seems to be needed. I came up with the intel DG45ID board which had everything! I messed around with it and called tech support to find that the Viiv software has not been updated for the G45 chipset (even though Intel says the board is Viiv compatible). I then looked around on newegg for intel boards and zoomed in on the pictures of the box for the Viiv sticker. I went to my local Microcenter to see what they had and tried the Intel DP35DP (which had the Viiv sticker on the box) and it worked fine (had Intel P35 chipset)! The one thing I have found is that if the South Bridge = Intel ICH9DH it is a Viiv compatible board. If it doesn't have that south bridge, check the box for the Viiv sticker. I gave up trying to find a Viiv board that was not made by Intel. The one thing to be careful of is that some of the older Viiv boards do not do front side busses above 800 mhz which limit the newer processors.

    Watchouts - Viiv will only install on 32 bit Vista (I only tried ultimate but am wondering if other versions work) so therefore do not buy greater than 3 GB of ram because the OS will not recognize it. I bought 4 GB of ram to conserve a slot and use Dual Channel and the system recognizes 3.3GB.

    Viiv software is a total hot potato at Intel. I called their tech support for information on why my first motherboard did not work (even though it had the approved chipset and lan etc), they said it was Viiv compatible, but the latest version would not install. They said that the vendor needed to have an update to the Viiv software, I said "The software that you provide to the vendor?" They said "yes, but we don't support it". It was a mess. To be fair, the test utility failed but they said that the "utility is out of date." I think whatever test the utility runs is the test that limits the software from being installed.

    Please post what motherboards you have used that are known Viiv compatible.

    My list that I have found is:
    Intel DP35DP
    Intel DG33FB
    Intel DG33BU

    I still need to configure Viiv but the hardest part is done. I hope this saves some suffering for others
     
  2. Feb 3, 2009 #2 of 15
    boilerjt

    boilerjt Icon

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    Since I do not have a Viiv box, this is second hand info that I have seen posted. There have been posts that Viiv does support trickplay, but not on all formats. I am assuming (big assumption) that this means formats that require transcoding (anything other than MPEG2) since you can't FF to where the video hasn't been transcoded yet. Let me know what you find.

     
  3. Feb 3, 2009 #3 of 15
    BattleZone

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    I'd bet that a big reason why they aren't updating it anymore is because Windows is going to natively support transcoding with Win7/WMP12.
     
  4. Feb 3, 2009 #4 of 15
    davel

    davel Godfather

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    I have read up a bunch on the encoding and trick play. The reason trick play works is because Viiv accepts an instruction set (ff and rew) back from the client. The other Media servers don't. It doesn't have anything to do with the encoding
     
  5. Feb 3, 2009 #5 of 15
    t_h

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    Intel isnt particularly good at software, and often wades into areas where they think they can jumpstart something or make a business out of it, and then learns they dont have the core competency.

    The people I've talked to there think Viiv was a huge fiasco and a big waste of money. But it seems that a number of other options will step into the void.
     
  6. Feb 3, 2009 #6 of 15
    davel

    davel Godfather

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    No other options will do trick play on my 3 hr-20's which is why I built the Viiv server
     
  7. Feb 3, 2009 #7 of 15
    islesfan

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    Just as an aside, you list a Sata drive, but I have Raid drives on my HP Pavillion which is a ViiV and working fine.
     
  8. Feb 4, 2009 #8 of 15
    davel

    davel Godfather

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    Some updates:

    1 I could not get Viiv to work at all. I swear it worked a couple days ago. I reinstalled the os and everything... It still didn't work throwing errors in the log for CCU_Engine and TrayIcon that "failed to determine the logged in user type." and "Could not create the ICCUEngine interface pointer" I thought it might be SP1 or something. I had been putting my computer in my home domain and just out of dumb luck, I removed the pc from the domain and bingo Viiv started working again.

    It has somthing to do with the Iusr_nmpr that the viiv software installs and runs under. Net learning, don't put the media pc in the domain.

    Once I went in and configured all of the share devices allowing them, it worked fine. My last hurdle is to find a way to translate vob files to pure mpeg the will play without any choppy playback. I have been using MPEG Streamclip ( http://www.squared5.com ) which works but it adds a tiny bit of choppyness (to the file itself and not the streaming). Does anyone know of another tool? Ideally I guess I just have to convert the digital audio to mpeg audio. The video should already be mpeg2 so therefore I don't want to have to convert frame by frame. Any ideas are welcome.
     
  9. Feb 4, 2009 #9 of 15
    RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Raid isn't the type of drive, it's what the drives create and the type of controller they use. I'm sure you'll find your drives themselves are SATA.
     
  10. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    Cant you just install the Viiv software and most modern machines and be good?

    I thought I had done that at one time with no issues...maybe not though.

    I would try, but all my stuff is 64bit.
     
  11. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    No, there are pretty stiff requirements for ViiV certification right down to the type of DVD drive is in the machine.
     
  12. davel

    davel Godfather

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    I think you could get the software to install without any dvd/cd drive. BTW, the directv 1.6 version did not install and gave me the "hardware not compatible" error, I had to install the 1.7 version I found

    I can verify that trick play works on at least mpeg-2 and avi files
     
  13. dgobe

    dgobe Legend

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    I use VideoReDo Plus to save the VOBs to transport streams. Works great, no need to convert the AC3. Whether it plays DD5.1 through a receiver, I don't know. TV speakers for me. When I create the VOBs I just pull the AC3 English stream, not all of them.

    Download ffmpeg. Here's a snippet I use to convert various video types to mpeg2 with ac3 audio. Feed these files to VidoeReDo to make the transport stream. Maybe there's a direct way to do it?

    ffmpeg.exe" -i "input.[avi|wmv|etc]" -threads 2 -target ntsc-dvd -vcodec mpeg2video -acodec ac3 "output.mpg"

    Convert DVRMS files from Media Center...

    ffmpeg.exe -i %1 -vcodec copy -acodec copy -f dvd %2
     
  14. davel

    davel Godfather

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    May 1, 2007
    I'll try it and post back the results.
     
  15. davel

    davel Godfather

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    May 1, 2007

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