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62 posts

Master Geek

# 20569 30-Mar-2008 22:19
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I am about to upgrade a dedicated HTPC to change from recording / viewing analogue TV (via a Telstra Clear STB) moving to Freeview DTT. I can't see that this question has been asked yet.

Viewing the Zinwell STB pdf manual on the Freeview Shop website today, the outputs on the rear panel seem quite impressive. Presuming the decoding is done inside the STB and then output direct to TV, is there some reason why the output signal can't be routed into a HTPC running MCE or DVB viewer etc instead?
I know one can buy an H.264 video card and digital tuner card instead (and probably alot cheaper than $450), but I was hoping that would be one way of minimising hardware, software and driver issues that seem to be bugging a lot of people.  Sounds too easy and I'm guessing thats my answer.

If this would work, I'm not sure how the signal would enter the HTPC (component in capture card maybe), or something even better - is there such a thing as HDMI 'in' cards available?

On a slightly differnet note, does anyone now if Microsoft have indicated they are working on including H.264 in the foreseeable futre??

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242 posts

Master Geek

  # 119799 31-Mar-2008 07:49
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One problem with this is that your HTPC would have to re-encode the video/audio to something (the decoder has decoded the H.264/AAC already) or you would end up with massive file sizes. A hardware capture card would likely re-encode the vid to mpeg2 which would give either lower quality or much larger file sizes than the original mpeg4 stream.

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  # 119811 31-Mar-2008 08:45
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You will not be able to output HD content from these boxes unless you have an HDMI complaint TV.

Component output will be limited to 576i when the HDCP flag is transmitted.


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  # 119827 31-Mar-2008 09:55
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You will not be able to output HD content from these boxes unless you have an HDMI complaint TV.

Component output will be limited to 576i when the HDCP flag is transmitted.

Do we know whether the broadcasters actually intend to use the HDCP flag? I know that Sky HD in the UK advertised that HDMI was required for this, but as far as I know all content has been happily working over component in HD since launch.


62 posts

Master Geek

  # 120018 31-Mar-2008 19:48
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Cheers - I had a feeling it sounded too easy. So in summary the answer is use a STB and go direct to a TV, or use a HTPC with freeview compatible cards but not both.

I certainly want more than the STB can provide so, hardware shopping - here we come  Smile

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