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Tips for Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250

Tips for Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250
Revised 20.APR.07



These are all the PVR-250 tricks I know and use. I've tested all of them on my own card (tuner 82082) and they all work well in my system. Nevertheless, I cannot guarantee you that they will all work the same way on your PC, since you might be using a different set of drivers and tuner. So try the tips at your own risk! By the way, if you don't know how to: a) make a .REG file; or b) use the Windows Registry; you really should try to learn it someday, mate....You can't be a "luser" forever! ;-)

Make sure you read the descriptions first before you try to apply any of the tweaks, as some of them might not be useful for you at all. Also, remember to backup your Registry before trying to mess with it (this is especially important for n00bs). Last but not least, watch out for the line-breaks! I had to manually break some of the lines in the text below in order to preserve the design of the page. I made "notes" to remind everyone of such line-breaks, however. For more info on this great TV card, visit these 3 great forums: SHS WinTV, AV Science and HTPC News.

These are the drivers I'm using with my WinTV. I got them from Hauppauge.

1) pvr250_driver_118_23257 (Base Driver, 27.Sep.05).
2) pvr250_middleware_23_24111 (Driver Update & Middleware, 21.Apr.06).
3) hcwsmd05_23290 (Video Decoder, 17.Oct.05).
4) wintv2k_413_24088 (WinTV2000 Application, 29.Mar.06).

Again, I take no resposability for any misfortune you might bring upon your system as a result of trying these tips. Godspeed you, mate!



01) Setting the Overscan.
02) Setting Sharpness.
03) Setting the speed of the PAUSE/REC animation.
04) Allow channel change during Time-Shifting.
05) Setting the Delay/Lag of LiveTV to 0.5 seconds.
06) Setting the File Buffer Size to 30Gb.
07) Setting the Snapshot dimensions.
08) Setting the name of Pause file.
09) Setting the Pause and Record folder.
10) Setting the LiveTV file drive.
11) Setting the Display of Closed Captions.
12) Saving Closed Captions into the MPEG-2 file.
13) Adding low bandwidth Recording Profiles.
14) Controlling Winamp, PowerDVD & Media Player Classic via Remote.





SETTING THE OVERSCAN


; This tweak will stretch the left and right sides of the video in order to
; remove the artifacts that are (sometimes) present in a TV broadcast. It's
; worth noting that regular TV sets *also* use this technique to hide
; undesired noise in the signal. TV sets, however, apply an overscan of
; approx 10% in all directions....That is considered normal. These overscan
; parameters are optimized to LCD monitors running at 1280x1024. If you
; are using a different resolution, you will need to find other parameters
; that will work for you.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\hcwTVWnd]
"Overscan_Bottom"=dword:00000082
"Overscan_Top"=dword:00000190
"Overscan_Left"=dword:000001e0
"Overscan_Right"=dword:000000dc




SETTING SHARPNESS


; This setting sets the 3 NOISE filters to "0" and the SHARPNESS to "5".
; These values are of personal preference, so feel free to change them to
; anything else you prefer.
;
; The Default values are (respectively):
;
; "FltDnrMode"=dword:00000000
; "FltDnrSpatFltLevel"=dword:00000000
; "FltDnrTempFltLevel"=dword:00000008
; "SharpnessValue"=dword:00000002 <--- (max possible value is 7)
;
; NOTE: I had to insert a line break after the word "Services". If you
; are going to make a .REG file, keep the text between brackets in the
; same line!


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services
\Globespan\Parameters\ivac15\Driver]
"FltDnrMode"=dword:00000000
"FltDnrSpatFltLevel"=dword:00000000
"FltDnrTempFltLevel"=dword:00000000
"SharpnessValue"=dword:00000005





SETTING THE SPEED OF THE PAUSE/RECORD ANIMATION


; This tweak will shorten the time it takes for the PAUSE/RECORD
; dropdown box to appear on your WinTV2000.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Hauppauge\WinTV32\Preferences]
"Animate_Step"=dword:0000004b





ALLOWING CHANNEL CHANGE DURING TIME-SHIFTING


; With this tweak you'll be able to change channels while on PVR mode
; (i.e., while pausing live TV).

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Hauppauge\WinTV32\Preferences]
"Allow_SlipChannelChange"=dword:00000001

 



SETTING THE DELAY/LAG OF LIVE TV TO 1 SECOND


; This setting changes the value of WinTV's "LiveDelay" to "1000" miliseconds
; (the original value is 100 miliseconds). Increasing such value usually
; fixes A/V synch issues in computers with low System Resources.
;
; Some possible values are:
;
;
; 0.5 Seconds -------------------------------> 000001f4
; 1 Seconds ---------------------------------> 000003e8
; 2 Seconds ---------------------------------> 000007d0
; 3 Seconds ---------------------------------> 00000bb8
; 4 Seconds ---------------------------------> 00000fa0

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\hcwTVWnd]
"LiveDelay"=dword:000003e8

 



SETTING THE FILE BUFFER SIZE TO 30GB

; This teak sets the maximum size of the PAUSE file to 30Gb. Obviously
; this can only be useful if you have 30Gb of free space in your hard drive
; partition. The value is given in hexadecimal format so use the table as
; a reference:
;
; NOTE: I had to insert a line break after the word "WinTV32". If you
; are going to make a .REG file, keep the text between brackets in the
; same line!
;
; 10Gb (decimal) ------------------------------> 00002710
; 20Gb (decimal) ------------------------------> 00004E20
; 30Gb (decimal) ------------------------------> 00007530
; 40Gb (decimal) ------------------------------> 00009C40

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\WinTV32
\CODECS\StreamSlipSolo]
"StreamSlipLimitFileSizeTo"=dword:00007530

 



SETTING THE SNAPSHOT DIMENSIONS


; Sets the "SNAPSHOT" dimmensions to 800x600.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\WinTV32\Preferences]
"SnapshotWidth"=dword:00000320
"SnapshotHeight"=dword:00000258

 



SETTING THE NAME OF THE PAUSE FILE TO "_PAUSE.MPG"

; This tweak sets the name of the PAUSE file to "_PAUSE.mpg".This is
; of course, a personal preference of mine. If you'd like to use a different
; name, do so.
;
; NOTE: I had to insert a line break after the word WinTV32. If you are
; going to make a .REG file, keep the text between brackets in the
; same line!

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\WinTV32
\CODECS\StreamSlipSolo]
"StreamPauseFileName"="_PAUSE.MPG"

 



SETTING THE PAUSE AND RECORD FOLDER TO "DRIVE T:\"


; Sets the PAUSE and RECORD folder to the drive T:\. This is only
; useful if you have a partition using such letter. It's recommended to
; have a special dedicated partition just for use by WinTV. That can
; boost performance a great deal! If you prefer to have your MPEGs
; saved to C:\, do NOT use this tweak! If you are using a different
; drive for your Pause and Recordings, replace the letter accordingly.
;
; NOTE: I had to insert a line break after the word WinTV32. If you are
; going to make a .REG file, keep the text between brackets in the
; same line!

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\WinTV32
\CODECS\StreamDvcrSolo]
"StreamDvcrSoloRecordFilePath"="T:\\"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\WinTV32
\CODECS\StreamSlipSolo]
"StreamPausePathName"="T:\\"

 



SETTING THE LIVETV FILE TO "DRIVE T:\"


; The tweak will set the LiveTV file to the "T:\" partition. Having a
; partition to be used exclusively by WinTV, can boost your system's
; performance during LiveTV, Pause and Recording. In my PC, I chose
; to assign the letter T: to my WinTV drive, however you can use any
; letter you want. To change a drive's letter, use the Disk Management.
; Make sure you replace the letter "T" with whichever letter your WinTV
; drive is using -- if any. This tweak will also set name of the the LiveTV
; file to "_BUFFER.MPG", which is a persoanl preference of mine.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Hauppauge\hcwTVWnd]
"LiveFileName"="T:\\_BUFFER.MPG"
"LogFileName"="T:\\HCWlog.txt"

 



SETTING THE DISPLAY OF CLOSED CAPTIONS


; In order to get Closed Captions to show during "LiVETV", you need
; to do a few changes in your Registry. And even after the changes,
; there's a chance that things won't work, so cross your fingers! The
; only requirement for CC is:
;
; A set of DRIVERS that actually support the feature. The DRIVER
; UPDATE named "pvr250_middleware_23_24111.exe" (21.APR.06)
; does NOT support CC. You should try any older drivers, like
; "pvr250_22_23070.exe" (11.MAR.05), for instance.
;
; Three Registry tweaks are needed in order to enable the display
; of CC on WINTV2000. You will have to apply all 3 and re-start your
; PC afterwards.

; 1. The first tweak simply adds the CLOSED CAPTIONS option to
; WINTV2000's menu (both WINTV32 and WINTV2000). Here it is:
;
; NOTE: I had to insert a line break after the word "WinTV32". If
; you are going to make a .REG file, keep the text between
; brackets in the same line!

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Hauppauge\hcwTVWnd]
"CC_Connect"=dword:00000001
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Hauppauge\WinTV32
\Preferences]
"ClosedCaption"=dword:00000001

; 2. The 2nd necessary tweak alters the original "__LIVETV" profile to
; make it "Closed Captions-capable".
;
; NOTE-1: I had to insert a line break after the word "hcwTVWnd". If you
; are going to make a .REG file, keep the text between brackets in the
; same line! NOTE-2: This setting has been updated (April 2007).

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\hcwTVWnd
\SagHarbor\Configs]
"__LiveTV"=hex:01,02,01,0e,01,00,01,00,01,01,01,00,01,0f,01,\
02,01,01,01,00,01,0b,01,00,01,fa,02,19,00,02,1f,40,01,00

; 3. In order to force the DVD data into the video, you'll also need to
; create a special DWORD in your REGISTRY: "InsertCCInDvd". Very
; unfortunaltely, there's no way to know before hand where such
; dword should be placed (it can reside in different places in different
; computers), so you'll have to do it manually. Here's the trick to
; find out the right spot for it:
;
; "InsertCCInDvd" must be created in the same "CurrentControlSet"
; subkey (NOT in the ControlSet00x ones) where the dword
; "EnableVIMProtection" is located. If, by any chance,
; "EnableVIMProtection" appears in 2 different subkeys in your
; Registry, add "InsertCCInDvd" to both...just in case!
;
; Give "InsertCCInDvd" the value of "1" (no quotes) and you're all
; set! Yes, you will have to do the whole thing yourself... MANUALLY!
; There's no other way, sorry.
;
; Below you can see an example of a couple "possible" locations for
; the "EnableVIMProtection" dword.
;
; [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\
; {4D36E96C-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0018\Driver]
;
; [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\
; {4D36E96C-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0019\Driver]
;
; In order for the "InsertCCInDvd" DWORD have an effect on your WinTV,
; you will need to reboot. In fact, from all Registry changes here, this
; is the only one that requires a reboot. After the reboot, you need
; to perform the very last step to get Closed Captions inserted into
; your MPEG files (no more Registry changes required)....
;
; Open WINTV2000, activate the CC, then PAUSE a show. This step is odd,
; but usually necessary.... By the way, if you make a recording using
; any of the profiles that do not support Closed Captions, you will need
; to activate the enable the PAUSE again in order to get the CC turned
; on again.

 



SAVING CLOSED CAPTIONS INTO THE MPEG-2 FILES


; To be able to save CC data in your MPEG-2 files, it's necessary to
; change the 4th bit of the chosen Recording profile to "0E". This tweak
; will add 4 new CC-capable profiles to your WinTV2000. Choosing any
; of these profiles will guarantee the insertion of Closed Captions data
; in your recorded MPEG-2 files.
;
; These Recording Profiles are identical to the original ones that are
; created during the installation of WinTV2000. The only difference
; is that each had its 4th bit changed to "0E".
;
; NOTE: I had to insert a line break after the word "hcwTVWnd". If you
; are going to make a .REG file, keep the text between brackets in the
; same line!

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\hcwTVWnd
\SagHarbor\Configs]
"DVD Extra Long Play with CC"=hex:01,02,01,0e,01,00,01,00,01,01,01,00,01,0f,01,02,01,\
01,01,00,01,0e,01,00,01,fa,02,0b,b8,02,11,30,01,00
"DVD Long Play with CC"=hex:01,02,01,0e,01,00,01,00,01,01,01,00,01,0f,01,02,01,01,01,\
00,01,0e,01,00,01,fa,02,12,c0,02,18,38,01,00
"DVD Standard Play with CC"=hex:01,02,01,0e,01,00,01,00,01,01,01,00,01,0f,01,02,01,01,\
01,00,01,0e,01,00,01,fa,02,19,00,02,1f,40,01,00

; This tweak will set the "DVD Standard Play with CC" as WinTV's
; DEFAULT Recoding Profile.
;
; NOTE: I had to insert a line break after the word "WinTV32". If you
; are going to make a .REG file, keep the text between brackets in the
; same line!

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\WinTV32
\CODECS\StreamDvcrSolo]
"StreamSlipQuality"="DVD Standard Play with CC"

; If you want to make SUBTITLE files from your Closed Captions, use
; the great software MPEG2SRT to rip the CC data from your MPEG-2
; recordings.






ADDING LOW BANDWIDTH RECORDING PROFILES


; This Recording Profile has a lower bandwidth consumption than
; "DVD Extra Long Play", which is useful for those using old computers
; for their recordings. It's worth-noting that this profile also allows for
; the recording of Closed Captions data into the MPEG-2 file.
;
;
; NOTE: I had to insert a line break after the word "hcwTVWnd". If you
; are going to make a .REG file, keep the text between brackets in the
; same line!


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hauppauge\hcwTVWnd
\SagHarbor\Configs]

"DVD Awfully Long Play with CC (352x480 @ 2Mbps)"=hex:01,02,\
01,0e,01,00,01,02,01,01,01,00,01,0f,01,02,01,01,01,00,01,0a,01,\
00,01,fa,02,07,d0,02,13,88,01,00

; This next Profile is better suited for creating files that will be
; watched on the screen of DAPs or PMPs (Digital Audio / Portable
; Media Players), such as Creative's Zen Vision:M. The low bitrate
; of this profile generates small files (approximately 330Mb for a
; 44min show) that can be transfered fast and look good enough on
; small 3-inch screens.
;
; Do NOT use this profile to record movies that you plan to watch on
; a TV screen or computer monitor! The quality would suck major balls!

"MPEG1 for Portable Devices (700Kbps)"=hex:01,02,01,02,01,00,\
01,02,01,01,01,00,01,0f,01,02,01,01,01,00,01,0a,01,00,01,fa,\
02,02,bc,02,03,84,01,00






CONTROLLING WINAMP, POWERDVD & MPC VIA REMOTE

In order to be able to control those applications via Hauppauge Remote, you need to edit the file IRREMOTE.INI (located in C:\WINDOWS) and add a few lines to it. This tweak is pretty simple and does not require editing the Registry. However, it's a good idea to backup your file before you start.

1) Open the file and find the section called "[Applications]". Then add the names of the programs you want to control, followed by the equal sign (do NOT touch the other entries!). Here is an excerpt of my IRREMOTE.INI. Note that I added Media Player Classic (my favourite video player), Winamp and PowerDVD to the list.

; First item in this section IS always the default app if no others found

[Applications]
Default=
hcwGo=
Windows Media Player=
ActiveMovie Window=
Media Player Classic=
PowerDVD=
Winamp=

2) Scroll all the way down til the end of the file and add 1 section for each program you want to control -- in my case, they are 3! Within each section, assign a Keyboard Shortcut to each Remote button you want to use. By the way, I have the 34-button silver Remote. If you have a different Remote, you'll need to adapt part of the script below to make it compatible with your particular device. This is necessary because some of the buttons mentioned here might be unique to the silver Remote. Well, be imaginative and employ some "trial and error" to find what works for your particular Remote. Here is another excerpt of my script:

[Media Player Classic]
CHNLDOWN={numpad1}{numpad1}
CHNLUP={numpad9}{numpad9}
FULLSCREEN={alt}{enter}
GRNPOWER={alt}{F4}
MUTE={ctrl}M
PAUSE={space}
PLAY={space}
REWIND={ctrl}{left}
FASTFWD={ctrl}{right}
SKIPFWD={pgdn}
SKIPREV={pgup}
VOLDOWN={down}
VOLUP={up}

[PowerDVD]
5={up}
7={left}
9={right}
0={down}
BLUE=LR
CHNLDOWN={down}
CHNLUP={up}
FASTFWD=FFFFFFFF
FULLSCREEN=Z
FUNC={apps}A{right}
GRNPOWER={alt}{F4}
MUTE=Q
OK={enter}
PLAY={enter}
REC={ctrl}O
REWIND=BBBBBBBBB
SKIPFWD=N
SKIPREV=P
STOP={esc}
YELLOW=U

[Winamp]
BLUE=s
FASTFWD={right}{right}
PAUSE=c
PLAY=x
STOP=v
REWIND={left}{left}
SKIPFWD=b
SKIPREV=z
VOLDOWN={ctrl}{alt}{down}
VOLUP={ctrl}{alt}{up}

3) After modifying your script, save the changes and restart the Remote Control application by running Start > Programs > Hauppauge > Restart IR. Check to see if all works as you planned.

It's very likely that you will have work on the script for a few minutes until you get all Keyboard Shortcuts assigned properly. If working directly on the script seems to complicated for you, you can try a program called "WinTV IR Configuration Utility 1.1".... I used it to find the name of the buttons on my silver Remote, but this litlle utility can do a lot more than that. Check it out.