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# 17676 6-Dec-2007 18:02
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Hi everyone. Just joined, have been spectating for a while - great forums.

I'm about to commence the build of an HTPC, but it has to be wife-friendly. I have a couple of questions;

What I have: Sky Digital, Home theater speakers and receiver (No HDMI), Philips 32" LCD (No HDMI).

I am wanting to run Media Portal server. I would like to have the media portal software control all the channels, and would love to do away with the Sky remote and the TV remote if possible(?).

Tuner Cards: How many and what type?

I'm thinking one DVB-S and maybe a Hybrid Card (3-in-1). I saw in another post about someone having issues with the WinTV HVR-3000 and MediaPortal Server.

If there are issues with the hybrid card, I would probably go with the DVB-S card and an analogue one for now, and wait for DVB-T in my area (Napier) and put one of those in then.

Do I even need the analogue card? (I will need to bring in the signal from the Sky Decoder somehow) - I dont have a VHF aerial, and would wither use Sky Channels or Freeview channels for free-to-air stuff (Prime/TV1,2,3 etc).

Which brings me to... Changing Sky Channels.

I would need some sort of Remote blaster thing so that Media Portal can change the channel on my Sky decoder. Where does one get these, and does Media Portal support them? Ie, If I want to watch Discovery (Sky Channel 70), can I set Media Portal to change to the channel that the sky box is tuned to (on the analogue tuner/Composite inputs), then change the channel on the sky decoder.

PC Components

Obviously as few fans as possible, and H.264 decoding for the future. Are there motherboards with onbiard graphics that have H.264 decoding? or do I need a Video Card (eg Radeon 2600 or the like)?


That's enough questions for now.

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for replies/linkage.

Cheers,

R


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  # 98654 6-Dec-2007 22:00
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I would just go My Sky and save the grief - esp. from wifey......




Mark Ascroft
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  # 98690 7-Dec-2007 07:04
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That is an option I suppose, but MySky doesn't play my collection of DivX's and DVD ISOs. Plus it wouldn't be as satisfying as getting something going myself.

 
 
 
 


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  # 98691 7-Dec-2007 07:58
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trig42: Hi everyone. Just joined, have been spectating for a while - great forums.

I'm about to commence the build of an HTPC, but it has to be wife-friendly. I have a couple of questions;

What I have: Sky Digital, Home theater speakers and receiver (No HDMI), Philips 32" LCD (No HDMI).

I am wanting to run Media Portal server. I would like to have the media portal software control all the channels, and would love to do away with the Sky remote and the TV remote if possible(?).

Tuner Cards: How many and what type?

I'm thinking one DVB-S and maybe a Hybrid Card (3-in-1). I saw in another post about someone having issues with the WinTV HVR-3000 and MediaPortal Server.

If there are issues with the hybrid card, I would probably go with the DVB-S card and an analogue one for now, and wait for DVB-T in my area (Napier) and put one of those in then.

Do I even need the analogue card? (I will need to bring in the signal from the Sky Decoder somehow) - I dont have a VHF aerial, and would wither use Sky Channels or Freeview channels for free-to-air stuff (Prime/TV1,2,3 etc).

Which brings me to... Changing Sky Channels.

I would need some sort of Remote blaster thing so that Media Portal can change the channel on my Sky decoder. Where does one get these, and does Media Portal support them? Ie, If I want to watch Discovery (Sky Channel 70), can I set Media Portal to change to the channel that the sky box is tuned to (on the analogue tuner/Composite inputs), then change the channel on the sky decoder.



You will need an analogue card of one form or another as you can't record Sky direct with a DVB-S card. You will need to use your Sky decoder and use the composite input to record from the Sky box. With a remote control such as a MCE one your IR blasters will be able to change the channels automatically on the Sky box.

HVR3000's work well with DVB-S and the trial DVB-T broadcasts using GB-PVR (my setup). The combination of cards really depends if you want simultaneous recording on multiple channels or not or are happy with one being dedicated to Sky and another for DVBT/DVB-S. Media Portal does allow recording multiple channels on the same MUX, something GB-PVR can't yet do.




PC Components

Obviously as few fans as possible, and H.264 decoding for the future. Are there motherboards with onbiard graphics that have H.264 decoding? or do I need a Video Card (eg Radeon 2600 or the like)?



With a fast enough CPU you can decode H.264 stuff OK but it does require a fairly powerful CPU. I have a Asus M2A-HDMI motherboard in my system with a X2 4800 CPU and could decode the 1080i video that's being transmitted in the current DVB-T trials here in Wellington but was using ~75% CPU time doing this which would make recording multiple channels or watching something while recording a show almost impossible. I installed an ATI 2600 Pro which has reduced this to around 5-10% while watching the same stream. As for motherboard with onboard H.264 I'm now presently aware of any but I wouldn't imagine it will be too long before chipsets from ATI and NVidia include this as the onboard GFX are typically a generation behind the current video cards.




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  # 98694 7-Dec-2007 08:19
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Thanks for your reply.

Media Portal does allow recording multiple channels on the same MUX, something GB-PVR can't yet do.


What does that mean?

Just a clarification about the MCE remote and the IR blaster - does MP have a configuration file or some such, so that if from the Program Guide in MP I choose a Sky Channel (eg Discovery), it will automatically change the channel on the sky decoder at the same time as switching the input to the analogue channel the sky box is connected to on the PC?? Sounds confusing - I hope that my question is clear.

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  # 98707 7-Dec-2007 09:53
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trig42: Thanks for your reply.

Media Portal does allow recording multiple channels on the same MUX, something GB-PVR can't yet do.


What does that mean?

Just a clarification about the MCE remote and the IR blaster - does MP have a configuration file or some such, so that if from the Program Guide in MP I choose a Sky Channel (eg Discovery), it will automatically change the channel on the sky decoder at the same time as switching the input to the analogue channel the sky box is connected to on the PC?? Sounds confusing - I hope that my question is clear.


A MUX is a stream containing several channels. Freeview for example has 3 MUX's which are all ~25Mbps in total. This means you can fit say 4 channels in that will all use just on 6Mbps or you could fit 10 channels in that would use 2.5Mbps each. The reask Sky TV has such poor picture quality is because they compress their channels very heavily to fit as many as possible into a single MUX.

Media Portal allows you to record multiple channels off the same MUX at the same time. The current Freeview MUX's are split between TVNZ, MediaWorks and Kordia. Because TV1, TV2, TVNZ6 and Sports Extra are all on the TVNZ MUX you can record shows on all of these channels at the same time. I believe Media Portal is currently the only application that can do this, I believe MythTV is working on it and I know I'd love to see it in GB-PVR (so hopefully sub can give us this cool feature at some stage in the future!)

I haven't configured a MCE remote in Media Portal as I haven't played with it for some time. You shoud be able to easily configure it so that when you change a channel it will send the IR command via the IR blaster to the Sky decoder to change the channel. There are a few Media Portal users on here so somebody should be able to help you configure this.




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  # 98762 7-Dec-2007 15:37
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Nice reply, Thanks.

Will wait on MP users to see about the IR blaster thing - as that is #1 on the 'Wife Friendly' list



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  # 98763 7-Dec-2007 15:37
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Nice reply, Thanks.

Will wait on MP users to see about the IR blaster thing - as that is #1 on the 'Wife Friendly' list

 
 
 
 


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  # 98764 7-Dec-2007 15:50
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IR blasting works fine in MP.

I have the following setup.

Nexus 400watt power supply (silent fan)
Core 2 Duo E4400 (2Ghz overclocked to 3Ghz) wityh stock intel fan - set to silent mode in motherboard BIOS
HVR3000 - DVB-S for Freeview (can change to DVB-T later)
ATI 550 pro analogue card for Sky.
4GB DDR-2 667
ATI HD2400 pro (passive heatsync)

I use media portal TV server and Media Portal front end. all works perfectly with both freeview and sky on the same dish.

I watch a lot of downloaded x264 content with no issues - I also upscale everything (divX, Xvid, liveTV) using FFDShow - 1366x768 displayed on a Bravia V series 40" LCD.

Havent tried the h.264 content yet as I dont have a decoder installed for it - tried on my laptop using powerDVD (test file from BBC) which worked but was stuttery. Expect it should be fine on the box above though.




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  # 98769 7-Dec-2007 15:55
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geekiegeek: I watch a lot of downloaded x264 content with no issues - I also upscale everything (divX, Xvid, liveTV) using FFDShow - 1366x768 displayed on a Bravia V series 40" LCD.



A wee bit OT but what settings are you using in FFDshow for this? I've read a few articles lately about optimising FFDshow settings but would be interested to know what you're using as you're obviously happy with them. I use the Cyberlink MPEG2 decoder for GB-PVR rather than FFDshow because I find the default settings better but use FFDshow for divx/xvid/mkv playback.

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  # 98772 7-Dec-2007 16:13
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I'll post a link to settings that I used when I get home tonight. 




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  # 98818 7-Dec-2007 20:21
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ffdshow settings - I started with this andthen played around until it was just right

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c99/shin_sukebei/SukebeiFFDShowGuide.jpg




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  # 99612 12-Dec-2007 13:39
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Do the AverMedia Cards work in MediaPortal??

Just looking for hardware.

Cheers

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  # 103018 5-Jan-2008 11:49
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geekiegeek: IR blasting works fine in MP.

I have the following setup.

Nexus 400watt power supply (silent fan)
Core 2 Duo E4400 (2Ghz overclocked to 3Ghz) wityh stock intel fan - set to silent mode in motherboard BIOS
HVR3000 - DVB-S for Freeview (can change to DVB-T later)
ATI 550 pro analogue card for Sky.
4GB DDR-2 667
ATI HD2400 pro (passive heatsync)

I use media portal TV server and Media Portal front end. all works perfectly with both freeview and sky on the same dish.

I watch a lot of downloaded x264 content with no issues - I also upscale everything (divX, Xvid, liveTV) using FFDShow - 1366x768 displayed on a Bravia V series 40" LCD.

Havent tried the h.264 content yet as I dont have a decoder installed for it - tried on my laptop using powerDVD (test file from BBC) which worked but was stuttery. Expect it should be fine on the box above though.

Noice ... almost identical to what my setup is going to be. Got Mediaportal Server running in a cupboard, and then a nicer mediaportal front end in the lounge. Just got a Bravia V Series 40" for $2100 (building a new house, so got ity cheap with having bought all our kitchen ware through the same shop!) ... so be putting it all together very soon.

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