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# 18811 24-Jan-2008 17:44
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I would like to get Freeview onto my laptop running Vista.
I have an unused Sky dish, can I use that?
I would need either a USB or Express Card device, many that I have looked at refer to MPEG2 but I think in NZ we need MPEG4?

Any suggestions on best hardware? Nothing flash, not a big TV fan anyway.

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  # 106567 24-Jan-2008 17:59
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Get yourself a Dreambox ( stream via VLC directly to your laptop via your LAN or wireless network ) . you also end up with a freeview box permanantly connected to the household TV ( which can be used without your laptop ) .Cool

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  # 106571 24-Jan-2008 18:20
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peejayw: I would like to get Freeview onto my laptop running Vista.
I have an unused Sky dish, can I use that?
I would need either a USB or Express Card device, many that I have looked at refer to MPEG2 but I think in NZ we need MPEG4?

Any suggestions on best hardware? Nothing flash, not a big TV fan anyway.


To view the Freeview DVB-S (satellite) transmissions you will need to find a USB device that does DVB-S. New Zealand uses MPEG2 for DVB-S which all DVB-S devices will support. You will then need to use some PVR software to view the broadcasts, there are many to choose from including GB-PVR and Media Portal which are both very popular or you could use the software that comes with your tuner card.

If you want to view the soon to be launched DVB-T (terrestrial) broadcasts you will need to be in a suitable coverage area and have a tuner than does DVB-T. The DVB-T service uses H.264 MPEG4 so you will need appropiate software (such as GB-PVR) to view these broadcasts and a supported H.264 codec such as the one with PowerDVD Ultra. Unless you have a Dual Core processor I would forget about this option, these are the minimum hardware specs to be able to decode the H.264 broadcasts.

 
 
 
 


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  # 106583 24-Jan-2008 18:59
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freitasm: When is DVB-T, and who are the providers and what channels are likely to be available?


DVB-T is April - For the moment same channels as satellite - see http://freeviewnz.tv

It will be fun trying to find laptops that play back the HD channels well.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC a Technology Evangelist and Product Manager. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


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  # 106586 24-Jan-2008 19:01
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Cool. So the Hauppage DVB-T USB stick I have here will have some channels then? And free? Great, we can dump the cable service then...




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  # 106598 24-Jan-2008 19:51
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freitasm: Cool. So the Hauppage DVB-T USB stick I have here will have some channels then? And free? Great, we can dump the cable service then...


Except Vista MCE doesn't support H.264 yet so won't work with DVB-T in NZ. There is supposed to be a beta of the new MCE in the hands of developers very soon with a release date of later this year. Maybe you could ask around and try and get your hands on it for testing!



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  # 106599 24-Jan-2008 20:07
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nuclearchicken: Get yourself a Dreambox ( stream via VLC directly to your laptop via your LAN or wireless network ) .


I like the idea of streaming the video to the laptop but isnt the Dreambox a Lnux beast that has to be programmed etc? Sounded way too hard.

 
 
 
 


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# 106608 24-Jan-2008 20:38
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Peejayw the Streaming is all part of the PLi Iolite ( latest Pli image ) you will have full control from your laptop . It can be frustrating setup up etc ( just like any new device) ,but if you understand copumter networking ,FTP and telnet -this is for you .
Get yourself a DM500s for starters ( less than $250 )  and give it a go - you will be amazed  what's possible with this box.
heap's of support on other forum's to help you with issues ( even some guru's on geekzone ).
 



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  # 106615 24-Jan-2008 21:05
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Sounds interesting, where from?

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  # 106617 24-Jan-2008 21:16
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I have a few for sale, pm me for more details.

I have also been playing around with Digital TV Link from bitcontrol and that is just a sweet solution, lets you change channels on your DM via a system tray panel, and it streams into Windows Media Player, and record to MPG..





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  # 106620 24-Jan-2008 21:19
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I havent seen any express card dvb-t cards yet, and any laptop with cardbus is probably too underspeced to play the HD streams, so your left with a USB device which is a big sticky out thing. Since there is USB2 on the expresscard slot I would have thought that someone would make a receiver in that formfactor  but Im still waiting.




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  # 106675 25-Jan-2008 09:44
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richms: I havent seen any express card dvb-t cards yet, and any laptop with cardbus is probably too underspeced to play the HD streams, so your left with a USB device which is a big sticky out thing. Since there is USB2 on the expresscard slot I would have thought that someone would make a receiver in that formfactor but Im still waiting.


I think the main problem will be with the MPEG4/H.264 acceleration... Since the DVB-T card is doing the receiving of the DVB stream it doesn't need any CPU grunt at all.. however the laptop doing the displaying of the MPEG4 stream will need some sort of HW acceleration on the Video Card... and at the moment no such acceleration exists on any laptop i have seen, and only a few PCI-E or AGP video cards support MPEG4/H.264 onboard.  Using a software decoder (IE using the Main CPU of your desktop)... I have heard even 2ghz + core-duo boxes peg out at 100% trying to run the 1080p streams seamlessly so having hardware acceleration on the video card is the only real way to go.  Hence why I doubt we will see any real Freeview DVB-T MPEG4/H.264 solutions on any aptops for some time to come.





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  # 106676 25-Jan-2008 09:49
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I do quite a bit of DTT testing on a dual core laptop. The SD streams aren't much of an issue, but the HD 720p streams hit it quite hard. Mind due i'm running with a lot of debug code at the moment.

CoreAVC under windows on a decent spec laptop should do a reasonable job.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC a Technology Evangelist and Product Manager. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


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  # 106718 25-Jan-2008 12:12
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BarTender:
richms: I havent seen any express card dvb-t cards yet, and any laptop with cardbus is probably too underspeced to play the HD streams, so your left with a USB device which is a big sticky out thing. Since there is USB2 on the expresscard slot I would have thought that someone would make a receiver in that formfactor but Im still waiting.


I think the main problem will be with the MPEG4/H.264 acceleration... Since the DVB-T card is doing the receiving of the DVB stream it doesn't need any CPU grunt at all.. however the laptop doing the displaying of the MPEG4 stream will need some sort of HW acceleration on the Video Card... and at the moment no such acceleration exists on any laptop i have seen, and only a few PCI-E or AGP video cards support MPEG4/H.264 onboard. 


I'm expecting that my Vostro 1500 with an Nvidia 8600GT (M version) should be able to offload the decoding to the video card. I haven't quite got to the point of testing it yet, but, I'll be a bit disappointed if it doesn't work...
Will be finding out sometime over the weekend.
It does have an expresscard slot, so, if everything doesn't work out, hopefully at some point in the future I could get a hardware decoder for the H.264 codec...


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  # 106725 25-Jan-2008 13:20
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Go with a usb hybrid tuner. It's much more portable. I use the hvr-900.

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