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Simple 50Hz 60Hz Switch within VMC


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#1 logifuse

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:21 PM

This thread has been superseded by this application: >http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/plugins-addons-vista/35286-refresh-rate-changer.html

Edit: I've added 48Hz to the rar file:

>http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/downloads.php?do=file&id=176

Hi everyone,

I'm so close to having this working, but I think I need some help from someone who writes VMC apps. :o

Background:

I was watching some US Xvids & the judder was driving me mad, so I ran the wizard & changed to 60Hz - not an elegant solution. I started to think that it must just be a simple registry change, so it shouldn't be too difficult to set up some shortcuts. After some research I found some good info about changing refresh rate for Power DVD, & some good info about launching games from within VMC. The result works outside of VMC, but it's hit & miss from within.

What I did (in a ham-fisted way):

Downloaded & installed >AutoHotKey - it allows you to create a script & then convert it in to an exe.

I created a folder called c:\refreshrate\ & to put everything in (& changed scripts to reflect that).

Created a 50Hz & a 60Hz reg key:

50Hz:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\DisplayService]
"RefreshRate"=dword:00000032

60Hz:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\DisplayService]
"RefreshRate"=dword:0000003C

Lifted >these AutoHotKey scripts & created 50hz.exe & 60hz.exe files. They both work perfectly!

I then created 50hz.mcl & 60hz.mcl files in c:\users\"current user"\AppData\Roaming\Media Center Programs\ in the format of:

<application
run="C:\\refreshrate\50hz.exe"
ThumbnailImage = "C:\\refreshrate\panel.png"
/>

The panel.png is the flat panel image copied from within the ehome folder (not sure what it's actually named in there).

The result is 2 programs (called 50hz & 60hz) in the program library (next to online media). When triggered, they seem to perform exactly as they do when you trigger the exe from outside of the MC gui, but actually changing the refresh rate is hit & miss (100% when using the exe's directly). They close the gui, make the change & then re-open the gui, but when checking regedit, the refresh rate usually hasn't changed.

My hair-brained theories:

- The registry change is being trigged before the gui is actually closed, locking the key. I tested this by adding 3 second pauses (using the choice command) in to the script & the result was the same.

- It's some sort of user security issue. I changed to a shortcut to the exe's in the mcl so that I could set the shortcut to run as administrator at all times - didn't seem to help.

Now, I know mcl is a bit last year, but the other ways of registering apps in VMC seem far too complicated - please correct me if I'm wrong.

If someone can get it working, how about putting the shortcuts on the videos line of the main menu?

Cheers,

Justin

Edited by logifuse, 17 June 2009 - 05:21 PM.


#2 dgaust

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:39 PM

You can only add one item to an existing strip unfortunately.

I'm working on a theory to do this myself, which hopefully will work.

It uses HIP and powerstrip profiles. Hoping to get something working over the weekend. This will allow custom buttons on the remote to change the refresh rate.

#3 birdie101

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 02:01 AM

I know I post about Powerstrip every time someone writes about watching 50Hz and 60Hz material, but seriously, its a dead easy solution in my opinion.

Have a quick read of my post here: >http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/video-audio-cards-vista/25547-video-settings-1080p-tv-blu-ray.html#post175603

In my setup, I press Ctrl+Alt+7 and I go to 75Hz. Ctrl+Alt+6 and I go to 60hz. Ctrl+Alt+5 and it works incrementally down from 60hz down to 50hz and doesn't lose sync (which my plasma will do if you feed it a 50hz signal at its native resolution straight off the bat).

They are literally .bat files with keyboard shortcut keys set in the properties of the file. I'm no programmer and I got it going so its very easy. My setup is MCE2005, but I'm certain the same philosophy would work with Powerstrip for Vista.

I'll go back into my little hole now. Hope someone finds it helpful.

Luke

#4 logifuse

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 02:33 AM

Hi Luke,

It's a bit different in Vista because you can have completely independent desktop & MCE resolutions & refresh rates.

It doesn't matter anyway because I got it working!!!!:drool:

My first hair-brained theory was right - there wasn't enough time between the close of ehshell being triggered & the registry update being applied. I fixed it with an extra parameter in the autohotkey script which added a wait time of 5 seconds in between (less would probably be fine).

I'll put together a package of the required files that will be easy for anyone to install & use (famous last words...). Should be able to upload it tomorrow.

Justin

#5 dgaust

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 02:42 AM

Sounds good Justin. Great work.

Do you happen to know the entry points of the MCML apps? If you can provide those, using HIP you'd be able to add a custom button on the harmony remotes so you don't have to use the application icons.

#6 logifuse

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 02:56 AM

Sounds good Justin. Great work.

Do you happen to know the entry points of the MCML apps? If you can provide those, using HIP you'd be able to add a custom button on the harmony remotes so you don't have to use the application icons.


If my understanding of all the Greek I read today is correct, that's something to do with GUIDs? :confused: I ran away like a girl at that point & steadfastly stuck to the simple MCL route.

I'll put it out there for all to disect tomorrow - you might be able to take it to the next level & work out those sorts of things.

Justin

#7 dgaust

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 03:01 AM

Yeah it's the GUIDS.

It'll have an application one, and then an entry point. It'd be great to have a look at it when you put it up, it'll add them in the registry anyway so I can do a search in there.

#8 logifuse

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 03:46 PM

OK,

I've put the goodies in a rar in the dowwnloads section: >http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/downloads.php?do=file&id=176

I think it should work off the bat without installing AutoHotKey, but I'm not 100% sure.

Let me know how you go.

Justin

#9 logifuse

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 12:03 AM

I've added 48Hz. I'll create a switch for 24Hz, but it will be an extra download as it's not applicable to most people.

>http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/downloads.php?do=file&id=176

Justin

#10 birdie101

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 05:34 AM

Well done. I haven't tried this yet (as I don't have Vista) but I wanted to congratulate you on your efforts. We see a lot of people doing a lot of work to iron out the kinks in our systems and don't often say thanks.

I'm upgrading the HTPC soon, and I dare say it will be a Vista machine, so I thank you in advance.

Luke

#11 philzgr8

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 03:29 PM

I'd like to add my compliments on this too. I have actually downloaded it and I might give it a go tonight to test with Blu-Ray. I'll let you know how I go if I do.

Good work

Phil

#12 philzgr8

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 03:32 PM

Yeah it's the GUIDS.

It'll have an application one, and then an entry point. It'd be great to have a look at it when you put it up, it'll add them in the registry anyway so I can do a search in there.

Have you had a chance to look at this yet? I'm really interested as I'd love to add some keys to my Harmony for this.

Edit: Actually, I'm wondering if installing Autohotkey might be the simplest thing to do. It seems that it allows you to automate most things bu creating a set of hotkeys which I could easily program the Harmony to handle.

#13 logifuse

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 03:42 PM

I'd like to add my compliments on this too. I have actually downloaded it and I might give it a go tonight to test with Blu-Ray. I'll let you know how I go if I do.

Good work

Phil


Thanks.

I know for sure that 50, 60 & 24 are working (as I can test 50/60 with content & 24 makes my TV think it's 1080i), but I have no real 24p content, so I don't know if 48 is working - it certainly changes the registry the same as it does for the others.

Justin

#14 logifuse

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 03:46 PM

Have you had a chance to look at this yet? I'm really interested as I'd love to add some keys to my Harmony for this.

Edit: Actually, I'm wondering if installing Autohotkey might be the simplest thing to do. It seems that it allows you to automate most things bu creating a set of hotkeys which I could easily program the Harmony to handle.


I think you may be right about autohotkey. If you use the ahk files I've included as the basis, you should be able to work it out. The autohotkey website has heaps of info on all the different commands, but some are a bit counter intuitive (some don't mention the spaces after "if").

As all I've really done is create a few tiny exe's, I don't think they create GUIDs (you would need to manually create them - I put that in the too hard basket).

Justin

#15 philzgr8

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 04:54 PM

I think you may be right about autohotkey. If you use the ahk files I've included as the basis, you should be able to work it out. The autohotkey website has heaps of info on all the different commands, but some are a bit counter intuitive (some don't mention the spaces after "if").

As all I've really done is create a few tiny exe's, I don't think they create GUIDs (you would need to manually create them - I put that in the too hard basket).

Justin

Thanks Justin.
In fact I've just spent the last little while playing with it and it seems I don't even need autohotkey installed. What I have done is to create a single ahk file with mappings to hot-key combinations as follows: ctrl-alt-4 = 48Hz, ctrl-alt-5 = 50Hz and ctrl-alt-6 = 60Hz. If I add the compiled executable to the startup menu it will run at bootup and sit in the system tray. I should now be able to create soft keys on my Harmony remote to emulate the appropriate keystrokes and implement the changes without the need for MCE menu items.

The unexpected benefit is that it also allows me to do something else I had wanted to do for a while and that is to set and unset the hidden attribute on a network folder where I have stored some video files which I didn't particularly want my kids having access to. This can now also be mapped to harmony remote soft keys in the same way causing the target subfolder to appear or disappear from the video library according to how the attribute is set.

All that remains now is to install it on my VMCE and see if it works. I suspect the only possible issue will be write permissions on the network folder but given that my MCE uses the same account name and password as my other computer I doubt this will be a problem.
Cheers,

Phil