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514 posts

Ultimate Geek

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#20402 25-Mar-2008 13:46
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Hi all,

My questions are very rudimentary I am sure, so if there is an FAQ that address any of all of them, feel free to direct me.

We have a PC running Windows media Center. It’s a dual Core Processor machine with a 3.2 GHZ CPU and 2 GB of RAM. Currently we have a Hauppauge TVR PCI Tuner card, which is analogue. We drive it through the Windows Media Center software and have put an EPG together with the help of Bladerunner and XMLTVNZ.

I’d now like to upgrade us to receive Digital Terrestrial TV, and have some fundamental questions.

1.
      
What would be the best equivalent to the PCI card we have now, IE integrating with Media Center, and including FM radio capability?

2.
      
Is Windows media Center's programme guide supported natively by Freeview, and if not, are there means by which I can integrate the EPG from Freeview into Windows Media Center?

3. How does one tune to Freeview stations. Do they all operate on a single frequency and simply present themselves in a menu in some kind of list?

4.
      
Does anyone know of a company/individual in the Christchurch area who I could pay to just get all this set up and configured?

5.
      
And finally, do we share the same standard for DTV with any other countries, IE if I looked for hardware selling in the UK, would that be compatible?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can get me started. I’m reasonably tech savvy but am not at all in this loop and find myself a bit baffled by the acronyms and unfamiliar terminology.




Jonathan


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2363 posts

Uber Geek

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#118540 25-Mar-2008 14:14
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Your first big problem is that Windows MCE will not work with freeview DVB-T as it does not support the H.264 codec used.

Other alternatives are GBPVR, Mediaportal or MythTV (Linux).

I would suggest Mediaportal if you want something close to Windows MCE. If your are just looking for PVR functions then GBPVR or MythTV are both good options.




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514 posts

Ultimate Geek

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#118549 25-Mar-2008 14:39
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Thanks for the reply,

Will these packages work with the Hauppauge Tuner I now have? I would need to test them, as I am blind and would need to evaluate their accessibility with my screen reading software.




Jonathan


 
 
 
 


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  #118555 25-Mar-2008 14:52
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As far as I know they should work. Most PVR software solutions seem to support most\all cards from my experince.




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722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #118894 26-Mar-2008 21:08
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geekiegeek: Your first big problem is that Windows MCE will not work with freeview DVB-T as it does not support the H.264 codec used.


I'm really confused, now. Why do you need the H.264 codec? Is not the HD DVB-T stream being braodcast in MPEG4 format?

Are our Standards completely different to those of Australia (apart from their using MPEG2)? Because if they aren't, there are heaps of people using MCE2005 for HD playback over there.  http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au

As I understand it, only DVB-T IS supported within MCE2005; not DVB-S.

Here is a quote from the Freeview Website, "Freeview NZ will use MPEG-4."  http://freeviewnz.tv/index.php?section_id=9&category_id=3

I need these areas clarified, also as I'm near upgrading my HTPC for Freeview. Thanks.




Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector

294 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #118897 26-Mar-2008 21:15
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Hi there, I'm equally ignorant and equally eager to try out Windows Media Center as I got a free no-resale copy of Vista Ultimate today (along with a select group of 1000 other people) and figure I should find something to use it for.

I'm confused because stuff I've read such as the wiki entry for Windows Media Center Extender which says that h.264 is supported as of v2. Is there something different about the NZ Freeview setup that means this is insufficient?




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  #118899 26-Mar-2008 21:16
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1gkar:
geekiegeek: Your first big problem is that Windows MCE will not work with freeview DVB-T as it does not support the H.264 codec used.


I'm really confused, now. Why do you need the H.264 codec? Is not the HD DVB-T stream being braodcast in MPEG4 format?

Are our Standards completely different to those of Australia (apart from their using MPEG2)? Because if they aren't, there are heaps of people using MCE2005 for HD playback over there.  http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au

As I understand it, only DVB-T IS supported within MCE2005; not DVB-S.

Here is a quote from the Freeview Website, "Freeview NZ will use MPEG-4."  http://freeviewnz.tv/index.php?section_id=9&category_id=3

I need these areas clarified, also as I'm near upgrading my HTPC for Freeview. Thanks.


Firstly - yes our standard is completely different from Australia.

MPEG4 is just a standard, H.264 is known as MPEG4 part 10 and is part of the MPEG4 standard.

New Zealand is using H.264 for all of our transmissions, Australia uses MPEG2.

New Zealand's DVB-T transmissions are not supported by XP MCE or Vista MCE. Support within Vista MCE is expected to happen at some stage in the future but when that could happen is anybody's guess. Microsoft is expected to upgrade Vista MCE to support MPEG4/H.264 transmissions but have not comfirmed this.



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  #118902 26-Mar-2008 21:20
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compost: Hi there, I'm equally ignorant and equally eager to try out Windows Media Center as I got a free no-resale copy of Vista Ultimate today (along with a select group of 1000 other people) and figure I should find something to use it for.

I'm confused because stuff I've read such as the wiki entry for Windows Media Center Extender which says that h.264 is supported as of v2. Is there something different about the NZ Freeview setup that means this is insufficient?


You can also playback H.264 content in Vista MCE with the appropiate codec.

The problem is that Vista MCE is unable to view live TV transmissions with a DVB-T card because it's incapable of decoding the H.264 stream. Media Extenders such as the Linksys ones that support H.264 will also not work in NZ because they are unable to decode the AAC-LATM audio format that is being used in NZ.

If you want to use Vista MCE with Freeview your only option at present is to use a DVB-S (satellite) card.

 
 
 
 


722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #118908 26-Mar-2008 21:26
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sbiddle:
1gkar:
geekiegeek: Your first big problem is that Windows MCE will not work with freeview DVB-T as it does not support the H.264 codec used.


I'm really confused, now. Why do you need the H.264 codec? Is not the HD DVB-T stream being braodcast in MPEG4 format?

Are our Standards completely different to those of Australia (apart from their using MPEG2)? Because if they aren't, there are heaps of people using MCE2005 for HD playback over there.  http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au

As I understand it, only DVB-T IS supported within MCE2005; not DVB-S.

Here is a quote from the Freeview Website, "Freeview NZ will use MPEG-4."  http://freeviewnz.tv/index.php?section_id=9&category_id=3

I need these areas clarified, also as I'm near upgrading my HTPC for Freeview. Thanks.


Firstly - yes our standard is completely different from Australia.

MPEG4 is just a standard, H.264 is known as MPEG4 part 10 and is part of the MPEG4 standard.

New Zealand is using H.264 for all of our transmissions, Australia uses MPEG2.

New Zealand's DVB-T transmissions are not supported by XP MCE or Vista MCE. Support within Vista MCE is expected to happen at some stage in the future but when that could happen is anybody's guess. Microsoft is expected to upgrade Vista MCE to support MPEG4/H.264 transmissions but have not comfirmed this.




Thanks for that clarification. That is best, concise explanation I have seen on the matter. It should be edited out & made a sticky for others like me, investigating Freeview via an HTPC.

Now, I need to check if my video card will work correctly; it is PCI-E 16X so ther's hope yet. Now I have to hope that GB-PVR works with the multiple digital tuners I want in my machine as I could never get it working with 2x Hauppauge 150MCE cards & no one could work out why. MP was another matter altogether: TV3 engine would not install without issues, either. Looks like I'll have to give up golf for a while, soon. ;-)




Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector

294 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #118925 26-Mar-2008 21:59
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sbiddle:
compost: Hi there, I'm equally ignorant and equally eager to try out Windows Media Center as I got a free no-resale copy of Vista Ultimate today (along with a select group of 1000 other people) and figure I should find something to use it for.

I'm confused because stuff I've read such as the wiki entry for Windows Media Center Extender which says that h.264 is supported as of v2. Is there something different about the NZ Freeview setup that means this is insufficient?


You can also playback H.264 content in Vista MCE with the appropiate codec.

The problem is that Vista MCE is unable to view live TV transmissions with a DVB-T card because it's incapable of decoding the H.264 stream. Media Extenders such as the Linksys ones that support H.264 will also not work in NZ because they are unable to decode the AAC-LATM audio format that is being used in NZ.

If you want to use Vista MCE with Freeview your only option at present is to use a DVB-S (satellite) card.


Erm, can I get a DVB-T tuner to continuously dump a live h.264 stream to file and watch it via Media Center? As you can tell I'm ridiculously keen to get some use out of Vista Ultimate...




A time-poor geek is hardly a geek at all

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Uber Geek

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  #118926 26-Mar-2008 22:05
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compost:
sbiddle:
compost: Hi there, I'm equally ignorant and equally eager to try out Windows Media Center as I got a free no-resale copy of Vista Ultimate today (along with a select group of 1000 other people) and figure I should find something to use it for.

I'm confused because stuff I've read such as the wiki entry for Windows Media Center Extender which says that h.264 is supported as of v2. Is there something different about the NZ Freeview setup that means this is insufficient?


You can also playback H.264 content in Vista MCE with the appropiate codec.

The problem is that Vista MCE is unable to view live TV transmissions with a DVB-T card because it's incapable of decoding the H.264 stream. Media Extenders such as the Linksys ones that support H.264 will also not work in NZ because they are unable to decode the AAC-LATM audio format that is being used in NZ.

If you want to use Vista MCE with Freeview your only option at present is to use a DVB-S (satellite) card.


Erm, can I get a DVB-T tuner to continuously dump a live h.264 stream to file and watch it via Media Center? As you can tell I'm ridiculously keen to get some use out of Vista Ultimate...


There is no way you can use Media Center at present to watch out DVB-T stuff. You need to use something like DVBViewer, GB-PVR or Media Portal that all support the H.264 video and AAC-LATM audio used here in NZ. If you want to know more read some of the other threads in this Home Theatre section, there are hundreds of posts covering Freeview's DVB-T transmissions.

Vista Media Center is pretty lame as far as a TV solution goes, hopefully we'll eventually see an update but so far beta testing for the update is a year late.

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