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658 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 96523 30-Jan-2012 00:36 Send private message

New to the HTPC scene.

What i would like to know (preferably without wading through too many threads) is:

1. What USB solutions are there in NZ for NZ Freeview (satellite) viewing/recording on a PC. (Is USB just a bad idea? Why?) URL's?

2. What software supports those (MythTV, MediaPortal, WMC, or others?)

3. Support for NAS, etc.

4. What should a noob look out for? Budget is a concern.

Obviously many here are doing that? But I am trying to get the best price/performance ratio and avoid any pitfalls/driver issues with some models.

As yet it is just a vague idea, but with the correct info and links it might become a good idea lol.

Thanks.


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658 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 575144 31-Jan-2012 01:28 Send private message

So, no one here can name a good USB freeview decoder for windows ????????? Really?
 

758 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 575153 31-Jan-2012 07:30 Send private message

I have two USB tuners in my HTPC system, however they are DVB-T, not satellite.  They work fine except every so often the system will 'loose' them.  More specifically they appear with "No Signal" in Windows Media Centre, but after a reboot work fine.

I also have a PCI satellite tuner which has been 100% stable.

In regards to your other questions, I use Windows Media Centre and I have a Windows Home Server as my 'NAS'.  These two work together to move recordings off the Media Centre and onto the server automatically, where they can be accessed by anyone on the network, but still appear under "Recorded TV"

I haven't used any other software but I know several others on geekzone have.

Noob 'gotchas'
- recording TV can take up a LOT of space.  
- If you want to get Ausi satellite channels (now limited to SBS after Go, Gen and Nine disappeared) you will want a  DVB-S2 card to receive the HD signal
- Windows is known for its plug and play approach, but is slightly more limited compared to the other options if you like to tweak
- Satellite WILL give you a full EPG, unlike DVB-T
- Satellite will NOT give you HD from NZ channels
- Make sure to use an HDMI cable from the PC to the TV, it saves having two or more cables

Do you have any specs or ideas on the hardware you will be using?

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Uber Geek
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Biddle Corp
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  Reply # 575159 31-Jan-2012 08:26 Send private message

Brendan: So, no one here can name a good USB freeview decoder for windows ????????? Really?
 


There is technically no such thing as a "USB Freeview decoder". In a DVB-T/DVB-S world the tuner card merely passes the DVB stream to the PC where the audio and video is decoded by the audio and video codecs on your PC.

As for USB tuners I've known plenty of people with issues, a PCI card or Ethernet tuner is a far better option.   

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 575181 31-Jan-2012 09:42 Send private message

a hauppauge novat is a good usb tuner. but you can get some cheap ones off trademe with dual tuner capabilities, i might go for those in your shoes.

how many tvs do you want to serve? bedroom + lounge? if so, i would recommend xbmc as a front end, for the record or mediaportal for backend/tv server if you want windows or tvheadend or mythtv for linux.

then i would buy a couple of raspberry pis for the front end (not for sale yet, but weeks away, and 35 pound each).

im planning on getting a couple raspberry pis and selling off my mac minis

758 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 575182 31-Jan-2012 09:44 Send private message

I forgot to ask in my reply, why USB?  Is it a Mac Mini or similar? Otherwise can you not fit in half-height PCI or PCIe cards? 



658 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 575325 31-Jan-2012 14:16 Send private message

timbosan: I have two USB tuners in my HTPC system, however they are DVB-T, not satellite.  They work fine except every so often the system will 'loose' them.  More specifically they appear with "No Signal" in Windows Media Centre, but after a reboot work fine.

I also have a PCI satellite tuner which has been 100% stable.


Interesting - possibly the USB tuners are problematic... Might have to have a re-think.

In regards to your other questions, I use Windows Media Centre and I have a Windows Home Server as my 'NAS'.  These two work together to move recordings off the Media Centre and onto the server automatically, where they can be accessed by anyone on the network, but still appear under "Recorded TV"


Noted, thanks.

I haven't used any other software but I know several others on geekzone have.

Noob 'gotchas'
- recording TV can take up a LOT of space.  
- If you want to get Ausi satellite channels (now limited to SBS after Go, Gen and Nine disappeared) you will want a  DVB-S2 card to receive the HD signal
- Windows is known for its plug and play approach, but is slightly more limited compared to the other options if you like to tweak


I do... But more importantly I want it to work lol.

- Satellite WILL give you a full EPG, unlike DVB-T


No dvb-t here in Oamaru anyway AFAIK.

- Satellite will NOT give you HD from NZ channels
- Make sure to use an HDMI cable from the PC to the TV, it saves having two or more cables


Thanks.

Do you have any specs or ideas on the hardware you will be using?


Still in the planning stage, but i had thought of using a spare laptop as a media center maybe running XBMC first, then add recording with mediaportal or ???... Good idea or bad?

Am i just asking for lots of trouble and should I go to something with PCI slots? Budget is a concern...




658 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 575326 31-Jan-2012 14:16 Send private message

sbiddle:
Brendan: So, no one here can name a good USB freeview decoder for windows ????????? Really?
 


There is technically no such thing as a "USB Freeview decoder". In a DVB-T/DVB-S world the tuner card merely passes the DVB stream to the PC where the audio and video is decoded by the audio and video codecs on your PC.

As for USB tuners I've known plenty of people with issues, a PCI card or Ethernet tuner is a far better option.   


Thanks. Starting to look that way for me too.
 



658 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 575331 31-Jan-2012 14:22 Send private message

reven: a hauppauge novat is a good usb tuner. but you can get some cheap ones off trademe with dual tuner capabilities, i might go for those in your shoes.


Thanks. What should I be looking for exactly as far as compatibility with NZ Freeview goes? I can only get the satellite freeview here...

how many tvs do you want to serve? bedroom + lounge? if so, i would recommend xbmc as a front end, for the record or mediaportal for backend/tv server if you want windows or tvheadend or mythtv for linux.


Initially, just one TV.

So, I can have a server doing all the grunt work (inc NAS I guess? for PC backups etc) recording, hosting the tuners etc. hidden away somewhere, and then just have a weak front end computer running xbmc, that runs nice and quiet in the lounge?

then i would buy a couple of raspberry pis for the front end (not for sale yet, but weeks away, and 35 pound each).

im planning on getting a couple raspberry pis and selling off my mac minis


I was watching that too...

Thanks.
 



658 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 575334 31-Jan-2012 14:22 Send private message

timbosan: I forgot to ask in my reply, why USB?  Is it a Mac Mini or similar? Otherwise can you not fit in half-height PCI or PCIe cards? 


I had the idea of using a laptop.
 

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 575755 1-Feb-2012 10:42 Send private message

if you only can receive DVB-S, i would suggest a PCIe card. the USB DVB-S tuners are few and far between and I couldnt find any that were dual or more tuners.

I would buy a Tevii PCIe from trademe or a TBS from buydvb.net (I got a TBS6984, quad tuner PCIe from there) and have used it with: For The Record (Windows), MediaPortal (Windows), NextPVR(Windows), and currently using it with Tvheadend (linux) (i was getting BSOD with my setup in windows so switched to linux to test that out (only did that last weekend)).

for the record is quite nice, nice interface, love the fact its a service and can run on a server type setup and has support for XBMC PVR frontend and a very good mediaportal frontend (hard to tell the difference from the mediaportal standard frontend).



658 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 38

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  Reply # 576135 2-Feb-2012 00:09 Send private message

reven: if you only can receive DVB-S, i would suggest a PCIe card. the USB DVB-S tuners are few and far between and I couldnt find any that were dual or more tuners.

I would buy a Tevii PCIe from trademe or a TBS from buydvb.net (I got a TBS6984, quad tuner PCIe from there) and have used it with: For The Record (Windows), MediaPortal (Windows), NextPVR(Windows), and currently using it with Tvheadend (linux) (i was getting BSOD with my setup in windows so switched to linux to test that out (only did that last weekend)).

for the record is quite nice, nice interface, love the fact its a service and can run on a server type setup and has support for XBMC PVR frontend and a very good mediaportal frontend (hard to tell the difference from the mediaportal standard frontend).


Thanks, this is the sort of information I was hoping to get!

Thanks again. 



658 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 38

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  Reply # 576140 2-Feb-2012 01:21 Send private message

reven: if you only can receive DVB-S, i would suggest a PCIe card. the USB DVB-S tuners are few and far between and I couldnt find any that were dual or more tuners.

I would buy a Tevii PCIe from trademe or a TBS from buydvb.net (I got a TBS6984, quad tuner PCIe from there) and have used it with: For The Record (Windows), MediaPortal (Windows), NextPVR(Windows), and currently using it with Tvheadend (linux) (i was getting BSOD with my setup in windows so switched to linux to test that out (only did that last weekend)).

for the record is quite nice, nice interface, love the fact its a service and can run on a server type setup and has support for XBMC PVR frontend and a very good mediaportal frontend (hard to tell the difference from the mediaportal standard frontend).


Do you happen to know if the TeVii cards are compatible with mediaportal, myth, etc?

Thanks.
 

2241 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 576143 2-Feb-2012 01:46 Send private message

DVB-T (Terrestial freeview/TV Antenna) requires a faster/newer PC than DVB-S (Satellitefreeview/ Satellite Dish). Make sure your PC is fast enough if you require DVB-T.




HTPC - Intel i3-2100 / 12GB DDR3 / GA-Z77X-UD5H / HD4670 1GB / HVR2200 / 750GB + 4 x 3TB / Win 7 x64 / MediaPortal 1.5
PC - Intel e8500 / 8GB DDR2 / HD5830 1GB / Win7 x64

1762 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 576159 2-Feb-2012 07:37 Send private message

Brendan:
reven: if you only can receive DVB-S, i would suggest a PCIe card. the USB DVB-S tuners are few and far between and I couldnt find any that were dual or more tuners.

I would buy a Tevii PCIe from trademe or a TBS from buydvb.net (I got a TBS6984, quad tuner PCIe from there) and have used it with: For The Record (Windows), MediaPortal (Windows), NextPVR(Windows), and currently using it with Tvheadend (linux) (i was getting BSOD with my setup in windows so switched to linux to test that out (only did that last weekend)).

for the record is quite nice, nice interface, love the fact its a service and can run on a server type setup and has support for XBMC PVR frontend and a very good mediaportal frontend (hard to tell the difference from the mediaportal standard frontend).


Do you happen to know if the TeVii cards are compatible with mediaportal, myth, etc?

Thanks.
 


yeah the Tevii cards are well supported.  Theres not a lot of brands for DVB-S type cards, compared to DVB-T, the hauppauge ones seem small on features and i dont think they have a multi tuner DVB-S card (they have a multi dvb-t, dvb-s, analog card but thats about it).

also make sure you get a DVB-S2 card, as all the 1080 stuff is delivered over DVB-S2, you'll need a card reader and sky subscription to get that content atm, but that could change in the future so you dont want to have to replace the card to get HD stuff.

if you are going the XBMC route for a frontend, i would suggest using linux and tvheadend, that is the "offically" supported backend and what the pvr devs test against.   but if you're not comfortable with linux, i would go for fortherecord as its pretty easy to setup and works well (i had lots of issues with mediaportal), for the record also has a mediaportal frontend. 

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