Revo HTPC

Revo Setup

I will base th rest of the setup on the AR1600 which I have so your setup may differ a bit.

OS Install: Since we want to use Windows 7 Media Center we will need to completely wipe the Windows XP on the machine. Since there isn't a DVD drive you will  need to load the install on a USB Drive. You will need at least a 4GB Flash Drive. If you have the Windows 7 ISO or DVD simply use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. This will format the flash drive correctly for installing via USB. To install simply Turn Off the computer and plugin the USB drive. Restart the computer and when you see the Acer screen come up press F12 to enter the Boot Menu and select the USB drive to boot from. After that simply follow the install instructions.

Updates and Drivers: After Windows 7 comes up it will automatically install the latest updates including the ION drivers. After all of the windows updates are complete, you will need to install the latest ION drivers for video and audio. Go to the Nvidia Driver site and download and install the Graphics and HDMI Audio drivers. After you install these you should be ready to go.

Windows Theme: I prefer to set the Theme to Basic this will disable Aero and will use less CPU and memory. To do this follow these instructions:

  1. Right click on your desktop
  2. Select Personalize
  3. Select the "Basic" theme from the menu and hit OK

"TV" Friendly Fonts and Windows Screens: One issue if you hook your Revo up to your TV is that everything looks tiny from sitting far away. However inside of Windows 7 there is an option to make everything bigger. This will not effect video or applications, it only effects Windows specific items like the Task Bar.

  1. Right Click on your Desktop and Select "Screen resolution"
  2. You will see more options at the bottom of the page select "Make text and other items larger or smaller"
  3. Select Medium or Large depending on your screen resolution.
  4. Hit apply and log off and log on and you will see a world of difference.

Auto Login: There are 2 real options when you setup Windows 7 users. You can have 1 Admin User which does not have a password and it will automatically login when the Revo starts up. However if you wish to have another Non-Admin user and want them to auto login then you have to do a little bit more work. First thing you will want to do is type in "netplwiz" into the Windows Search. This will bring up the User Accounts Control now you will see a checkbox that says "User mus enter a user name and password to use this computer", simply uncheck this:

Now simply hit Apply, when you do so it will ask you to enter the credentials you want the default user to log in as. Enter the username and password and now the next time you restart your computer you will automatically be logged in.

Installing memory: If you purchased additional memory for the Revo you will need to install it. It is extremely easy to install memory on the revo and the good guys over at netbooked.com have a great video of how to take apart the Revo.

Adjusting Video Memory: By default the Revo defaults the dedicated memory to 256MB RAM, however since we really want to take advantage of the ION to pump out 1080p video we want adjust it to 512MB RAM. To do this simply do the following:

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. When you see the Acer screen press Del to go into BIOS
  3. Go to this page
  4. Adjust video to 512MB from 256MB
  5. Exit and save

Pictures:

Video:

Windows Experience Index: You will want to run a Windows Experience Index to tune your Revo.

  1. From the start menu right click on Computer and select Properties
  2. Under System select Windows Experience Index and run it.
  3. Let it run to completion.

Pictures:

Media Center Setup ->

Comments (29) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Thanks for building this site, it’s got me interested in building my own HTPC. What version of Windows 7 do you recommend?

  2. You are welcome, I recommend Windows Home Premium 32 bit.

  3. Here’s my journey

    Building a Revo 3610 HTPC-start to finish

    Early February 2010

    SUMMARY
    Successful build judged by smooth playback of 1080p .mkv excerpt from “Planet Earth” and other clips. CPU-GPU usage went from 45% CPU-15% GPU to 15% CPU-45%GPU by using CoreAVC 2.0 Pro. SATA drivers successfully installed using XP trimmed nLite and setting SATA controller in BIOS from Native IDE (as found) to AHCI. This was key to having Revo recognize the NVIDIA SATA driver during the XP blue screen install.

    STEPS

    Hardware from Taiwan as follows:
    http://stores.ebay.com/23port_Acer-Aspire-R3610_W0QQ_fsubZ180197011QQ_sidZ144817041QQ_trksidZp4634Q2ec0Q2em322

    OS : Linpus Linux
    CPU: Intel Atom 330 Dual Core
    Chipset: Nvidia ION Chipset
    GPU: nVidia ION 9400
    DIMM: 2GB DDRII 800
    HDD: 320 GB

    Wipe HD in preparation for XP Pro OS install.

    Download optimized nForce chipset driverpacks for XP (32/64bit) (Fernando drivers)-specifically:
    “NF4-7 Actual Driverpacks” for XP (32/64bit)
    (with new nForce IDE drivers v11.1.0.33 dated 08/04/2009, which do fully support AHCI)
    http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/optimized-nforce-chipset-driverpacks-for-xp-32-64bit-t70968.html

    Use nLite to slipstream XP, SP3, Fernando drivers and trim unneeded XP components (if desired).

    Install XP with Fernando drivers

    Install Realtek HD audio (R2.41)

    Install Atheros wireless driver (wireless is much slower than LAN and not recommended if possible) (7.7.0.329)

    Install nVidia graphics driver (196.21)

    Install Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta 2

    Install Direct x 9.0C

    Confirm that nvidia SATA driver appears in Device Manager under the IDE controller

    Follow these directions to optimize Revo HD playback (Media Player Classic-Home Cinema is ONLY player you need)
    http://nunnally.ahmygoddess.net/watching-h264-videos-using-compute-unified-device-architecture-cuda/

    Set XP desktop Custom DPI to 200% for ease of viewing screen from 15 feet away (on my 110 inch projector screen)

    40 hours of work on my part to figure all of this out should be only 5 or 6 hours on your part if you follow these steps. I was new to nLite and the AHCI setting in the BIOS cost me a day.

  4. This is a great walk through for an XP setup. For me I prefer Windows 7 and Media Center. Overall I believe brings a whole lot more to a HTPC. Thank you very much for your walk through though.

  5. I’m working with a newly purchased R1600, and my Advanced Chipset Features screen doesn’t look the same as yours – where you have options for “iGPU Frame Buffer Detect” and “iGPU Frame Buffer Size”, I just have “UMA Frame Buffer Size”. Do I have a different BIOS version? (P01-A4, 11/03/2009)

  6. My version number is v.02.66 from American Megatrends, inc. I would assume there might be something similar in there.
    Actually I found the specific BIOS number.
    I have P01-A1 from 6/17/2009

  7. I have the same issue Lucas has above. I have UMA frame buffer and the same bios version. Furthermore I follow the Revo setup guide and I cannot pass the digital cable advisor and I am getting the sneaking suspicion this may have something to do with it.

  8. I noticed with my AR3610 setup that the fonts were too small on 1080P.
    I recommend including font setup as part of the guide: Start> Getting Started> Change text size> Larger – 150%.

    Now things are great on 1080P, I could read on the screen once again!

  9. Added, than you for the recommendation.

  10. Hey Motz, thanks for the great setup! I’ve been trying to get the Acer 1600 to WOL. I got it to wake from sleep while on, but not from shutdown, so I know the cables are in correct, but maybe thought something in the Bios isn’t quite right. Any hints?

  11. I am honestly not sure, I had a friend attempt for a while to get his custom built machine to WOL from shutdown but couldn’t get it to work. Sorry.

  12. Am in the process of bringing up my REVO as a HTPC but have hit a snag. I cannot get audio over the HDMI cable. Can you shed any light on how I need to alter my settings to make this happen? I have been surfing the web for the past week to see if someone has posted a solution but nothing for XP that I can find.

    My set up:
    Revo 1600 (no mods/changes/etc its straight from box except with updated video drivers)
    HDMI -> Samsung 50″ Plasma
    Dlink Rangebooster USB dongle (have to use wireless as its HTPC is across the house from network)

    Thanks!

  13. Go into your playback devices and disable Realtek audio and enable the HDMI HD Audio, this should fix it up from what I have read.
    James

  14. Hey Motz, I got the WOL working. Turns out it had more to do with my Verizon router than my Revo.

    Question 2: How do you deal with user accounts and the log in for the HTPC. Do you have it only set with one account and no password or can we have a HTPC (non-admin) account automatically load without a password? I just wonder how to get to Media Center or XMBC without a keyboard.

    Thanks again for putting together this guide.

  15. I added a new section called Auto Login to this setup page. Hope this helps :)

  16. Motz, did you install x86 or x64 bit Windows 7 on your Revo?

  17. Sorry please disregard my last comment, I saw your previous comment.

  18. Sorry please disregard my last comment, I saw your previous comment.

  19. What is the advantage of 32bit vs 64bit Windows 7? Less resources? I noticed the higher end Acer Aspire ships with 64bit Windows 7.

  20. Lucas and Sean. I have the same issue UMA Frame Buffer. How did you proceed.

  21. I’m having a hard time getting my Revo to work on a Sony 50WE610 TV. The display only works in safe mode (MS driver). Any suggestions?

  22. You most likely just need to install the latest Nvidia Drivers:
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/win7_winvista_32bit_197.45_whql.html

  23. Thanks Motz, but I’ve done that.

  24. Can you supply me with some more information: Revo model, Connection type (hdmi or vga), version of windows.

    You can also attempt to use different nvidia drivers, perhaps an older one would work. Let me know, I would say post in forums as I check there more often.

  25. Thanks Motz – I’ll move this to the forums.

  26. Hi guys n gals. Top notch Motz. I am having a juice of a prob on my R3610 (win7, hauppage tv stick, 2Gb, GPU at 512k in bios). Everthing works really well until I watch live tv, lasts about 10-15 mins then blue screens & restarts. (Checked memory – AOK) All else reports ok, no disc probs etc. Run orthos for couple of hours – fine. Checked TV stick on diff pc – fine, latest drivers….absolutely stumped. Same setup on my previous quad worked faultlessly? Any suggestions please would be magic?

  27. as far as the 1 audio stream at a time in the faqs, i found this (i did not come up with this nor can i remember where i found it. someone else definitely deserves some credit here)

    1.Open Sound panel
    2.Select Speakers as the default playback device
    3.Go to the “Recording” tab
    4.Right click and enable “Show Disabled Devices”
    5.A recording device called “Wave Out Mix”, “Mono Mix” or “Stereo Mix” (this was my case) should appear
    6.Right click on the new device and click “Enable”
    7.Right click on the new device and click “Set as Default Device”
    8.Double click on the new device to open the Properties window
    9.Go to the “Listen” tab
    10.Click on the “Listen to this device” checkbox
    11.Select your HDMI device from the “Playback through this device” list
    And you’re done, the drawback is that you won’t have a microphone selected as default recording device, but for what concerns me I couldn’t care less

  28. I still had problems with Hulu Desktop & 10.1 The video played just fine but none of the controls worked. The fix is here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/adobe_flashplayer_plus_nvidia.html

    The auto-detect update of the Nvidia driver was not good enough. Option2 on the above website shows you the latest download of the driver. As of 9.26.10 it was the Geforece/Ion Release 256 and now it works great.

    Great site btw. I canceled my cable and finished my setup everything works great. Thanks

  29. Every thing works Fine for me except surfing the internet with pages that have flash on them. Scrolling is very painful. TV show sites like “THE Event” ARE Just PLAIN unwatchable.


Leave a comment


*

No trackbacks yet.