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2 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 16285 2-Oct-2007 19:56
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    I have just bought a new PC and thought it would be a great idea to upgrade my old PC to a HTPC. The thing is, im not all that 'up to play' with the HTPC area. I have read many threads and website DIY sections but still a little lost as to what i need to setup.

So, firstly my PC (exact specs on the way [currently away from home] )
Intel P4 2.4
1GB DDR2 Ram
GForce ???? 512mb
120 Gb HDD
400w PSU

-these are the basic specs!

Anyway, thats not my main issue here. What i am after is what additional hardware and software i will require to connect; SKY, HT audio system and a 39in Phllips LCD to the PC which is capable of recording SKY and playing all the usual stuff.

I am basically after decent brands and simple instructions on what is required to enable this. Generally speaking i figure things out quickly but would be nice to get some expert advice.


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  # 89170 2-Oct-2007 20:58
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Setting up a HTPC to record SKY isnt as straight forward as it should be, firstly you will loose picture quality because you can only feed SKY into your HTPC via SVIDEO, 2nd unless you buy a 2nd Decoder otherwise you will only be able to record one SKY channel at a time.

Anyways the first thing you will need is a video card.  Something like a haupauge MCE500 has dual ANALOGUE tuners, and dual inputs (for your two sky decoders).  If you not interested in SKY then a couple of DIGITAL cards is the way to go these days.

Get a EPG from (recommend you donate to get v3 of his brilliant XMLTVNZ)

Bigger HD will be needed (WD 500GB is the best bang for back, and the WD drive is pretty quiet)

Youve probably already got a sound card, so unless you want to go digital to your amp, you can probably just run a headphone jack to RCA type plug for now.

Find out what connections your 39" LCD has, and see if you GEFORCE card has the same, I would recommend DVD/HDMI first, followed by VGA, Component, SVIDEO...

Factor on spending loads of hours:-)

Best sites are
and here :-)

1091 posts

Uber Geek

  # 89180 2-Oct-2007 21:37
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Yeah I guess you loose a bit of quality with SVIDEO in but hey SKY bitrates are pretty nasty anyway so it doesn't matter that much!
I'd recommend a PVR-150 analog card for SKY And a satellite (DVB-S) card (you'll need a dish) for freeview.

For software I'd recommend MediaPortal TVServer.

The PC will be up to it but you might want to check out whether the video card supports DirectX 9 (Important for MediaPortal).

Setting up a good PVR can be a challenge but it's really well worth it and you'll never go back. And if you go with MediaPortal you'll get plenty of support from around here and in the NZ thread on the MediaPortal forum. Best of all it's OpenSource and free!

You can check out my MediaPortal setup. links below.

This shameless plug was brought to you by mcraenz


139 posts

Master Geek

  # 89213 3-Oct-2007 08:24
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If you are using something other than Media Centre (maybe MediaPortal) there is a component input card for your HTPC, which delivers a better picture than s-video - the Winfast PVR3000 Deluxe.  The problem with Vista Media Centre is that it doesn't recognise a component input.

5150 posts

Uber Geek


  # 89217 3-Oct-2007 08:59
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Agree with most of what has been said above.  Most of the solutions will work but I like gbpvr ( Seamless support for a bunch of different cards including the Hauppauge analogue capture, DVB-S cards and others. Integration with the epg from Reven is pretty seamless and as a bonus, written and supported by a kiwi living in Wellington!

I am thinking about Vista but since my current setup works, why fix something that isn't broken?

Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount


System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex



2 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 89390 4-Oct-2007 04:47
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Cheers guys!

I am quite amazed the speed in which people respond on this site! When i get home ill look into all the options you have all given me and post back my decisions for your guys opinions, but it wont be for about 3 weeks! Hope youll still be around!!


1091 posts

Uber Geek

  # 89394 4-Oct-2007 08:02
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Yep we'll still be here; "We've got no place else to go" Cry Wink

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