Help my HTPC be less lazy
June 18, 2010 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out how to stop my HTPC from going into standby/sleep when I switch the HDMI source on my AVR away from my HTPC.

So I recently built an HTPC (specs at the end). Right now I have my HTPC and Xbox connected to my Harman Kardon AVR-254 through HDMI and then the receiver is connected to my TV also through HDMI along with a direct cable connection straight to the TV. The only connections to my HTPC are HDMI to the receiver, an ethernet cable to my router, a USB IR receiver, a USB bluetooth receiver, and the power cord. Everything works perfectly when being used. I have great picture quality and surround sound from all of my sources.

The problem that I'm having though is that when I switch away from HTPC to either cable or my Xbox the HTPC automatically goes into what I believe is standby mode (I'm almost sure it's not hibernation). I've looked through the power saving options in Windows7 but it only has option to go into sleep after X minutes of inactivity and no options for changes in the display connection. I also browsed through my BIOS options on my motherboard but didn't see anything that jumped out at me though I may have overlooked a section.

This wouldn't be much of a problem except that I'm also using the HTPC to rip my Blurays which takes about an hour to make an MKV and I'd like to use my TV to watch cable or play my Xbox rather than watch a progress bar. Worst case scenario: I buy another Bluray drive for my desktop and use that to rip rather than my HTPC.

So is there an easy fix to keep my HTPC running even if none of its display outputs are being used?

HTPC Specs:
Windows 7 Home Premium
Intel Core i3- 530
Biostar TH55B HD (Intel H55 chipset)
OCZ 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
Western Digital 1.5TB Green Drive
Samsung SATA Blu-Ray Combo Drive
Enermax Whisper eg465p-ve
Onboard Graphics, Sound, and Networking

Bonus question:
Right now I'm using MakeMKV to make MKV's from my bluray collection and it works perfectly but when I try to use the more manual method of eac3to and MKVmerge I get abhorrent stuttering. The MKV video file and FLAC audio file play perfectly after eac3to but once I place it into a MKV container with MKVmerge I get stuttering. I'm pretty sure it's MKVmerge considering that MKV files play fine from MakeMKV.
posted by woolylambkin to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Nothing on your main question, but I had similar problems with MKVmerge that seemed to be related to the Haali splitter - players that used that splitter (e.g. WMP, MPC) stuttered, players that didn't (e.g. VLC) were fine. Oddly enough, MakeMKV worked fine with the Haali splitter, even though (I think) it uses MKVmerge code.

If you can find an alternative splitter (I haven't kept up on developments on the Win side of things, so I don't know if there is one), it might be worth a try.
posted by Pinback at 11:52 PM on June 18, 2010

It's a bit of a using-a-tank-to-kill-a-fly option, but under the "Sleep" option in Windows 7 there's a "never" selection - have you tried that?

(Control Panel -> Power Options -> "Change When the Computer Sleeps" [left side panel])
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 8:52 AM on June 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's a product made by Geffen, Extron and a few others that goes between the PC and the switcher (or input of display) that makes the PC think there is always a monitor attached and is always on. So when you switch a way from the PC to the PC still thinks there is a monitor attached as opposed to being attached to nothing.
posted by jmsta at 12:08 PM on June 19, 2010

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