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gumdigger

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#23146 19-Jun-2008 23:03
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Hi there

i am building a HTPC in order to watch HD(bluray) content and recording HD content, till now i though recording hd content will be the same as recording SD content through windows media center. apparently its not right?. how hard is it and what does it depend on? does it depend on which HD tv tuner i get or what applications i use.
thanks

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sbiddle
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  #139292 20-Jun-2008 08:04
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There is no support for recording H.264 content in XP Media Center or Vista Media Center. Support for H.264 recordings (Freeview|HD) is expected with an update for Vista Media Center due later this year.

Virtually any tuner that supports DVB-T and had Windows BDA drivers will enable you to record Freeview|HD with appropiate software. Some tuner cards are coming with software that supports H.264 however the best option is to use GB-PVR, DVBViewer or Media Portal. You will also require a video card capable of hardware acceleration (NVidia 8500 or greater) and an H.264 codec capable of hardware acceleration such as the one that comes with PowerDVD7 or PowerDVD8.


 
 
 

You will find anything you want at MightyApe (affiliate link).
gumdigger

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  #139328 20-Jun-2008 10:44
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thanks sbiddle.

my next questions are, how user friendly(Women can handle) are the listed programs? what tuner card you suggest my budget is $200nzd. Is there a list i can get which show mCE compatible cards?.for Garphic card i was thinking ATI Radeon HD 2900 Pro 512MB, PCI Express or ATI Radeon HD 3850 256MB, PCI Express, doe you suggest anything better? 
thnks 

rhysb
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  #139439 20-Jun-2008 17:39
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Go for either GBPVR or media portal as both have a 10 foot interface. You can check out the screenshots on their respective websites to get an idea. 

A good DVBT card is the Hauppauge HVR2200 which has two DVBT tuners and two analogue tuners, with any two being used at the same time. It requires a free PCIe slot.

Forget the ATI 2900 as it does not do any h.264 hardware acceleration. The ATI 3850 does do HD acceleration or you could look at any of the Nvidia 8x00 cards (except the 8800's) or 9x00 cards.








1gkar
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  #139683 22-Jun-2008 10:51
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gumdigger: thanks sbiddle.

my next questions are, how user friendly(Women can handle) are the listed programs? what tuner card you suggest my budget is $200nzd. Is there a list i can get which show mCE compatible cards?.for Garphic card i was thinking ATI Radeon HD 2900 Pro 512MB, PCI Express or ATI Radeon HD 3850 256MB, PCI Express, doe you suggest anything better? 
thnks 


The HVR-2200 tuner is a very good card. Haven't had any issues with non-recordings, even on dual DVB-T records.

To answer you're queries, well at least partially Laughing If you have a reasonable understanding of PC hardware and have built/or are willing to do research on how to build an HTPC, you can do it. I did & I'm not even in the electronics field. Question: are you planning to use the PC as a dedicated HTPC? Or an all-in-one desktop, gaming & HTPC? If the latter, consider the implications. Kids might be playing a game when you want to record a show etc.

I have an HTPC (home theatre PC) running connected to my 32" Samsung LCD-TV & Denon AVR-1803 receiver. The sound is connected via coax SPDIF to the PC motherboard (mobo), so no soundcard required.

I have a learning remote which will power up my HTPC from standby, power on my HDTV & power on the receiver & set source to PC with one button press. Same to power down.

I use Mediaportal (MP) as it is a brilliant app & being opensource it has the collective minds of people far more conversant with software programming than me. Be aware that you will NOT be able to use the analogue tuners on the HVR-2200 unless you have MP RC1 installed with a later SVN built http://forum.team-mediaportal.com/mediaportal-tv-server-1-0-rc1-svn-builds-268/ also, check out their WIKI http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/MediaPortal_Manual_Index & http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/Country_Specific_Informations/NewZealand Not sure about the viewer apps mentioned by sbiddle.

Most people seem to go with Nvidia graphics cards as they seem to have less driver issues, though there is intensivve debate on that. I can't really comment as I've only used Nvidia for some years, now. Also, be aware that recording DVB-T does use up hard drive space (5-6GB per hour TV episode), so you will need a decent one. I use Seagate as they have good reviews and appear to be amongst the quietest around.


I use the MCE remote for MP control as my learning remote does not have enough keys so it is easier. Press the green button & you're at the MP frontend, very similar in layout to MCE. I use a grabber for getting the TV guide station information designed by a Kiwi for NZ use http://www.reven.co.nz/xmlTVNZ/Default.aspx

Once setup, then you allow it to grab overnight & all set for when you enter the guide section of MP. You can set programme records from there, watch FreeviewHD  channels, DVDs, watch ripped DivX/XVid movies, play you're music, slide shows etc. all within MP.

Moral of the story: if set up right it is very easy to use but it does take time. Here's a couple of good NZ dedicated sites.

http://cranznz.googlepages.com/
http://forum.team-mediaportal.com/mediaportal-1-talk-45/calling-all-mp-new-zealanders-both-you-2321/




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

gumdigger

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  #139772 22-Jun-2008 18:37
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thanks alot 1gkar, you have given alot of info there.
i will keep asking questions if you dont mind,(wont be stupid)

gumdigger

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  #139938 23-Jun-2008 14:08
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As a case i was thinking
silverstone LC17 .
i saw other brands like thermaltek, lilan, cool master but they dont look that great.

Has anyone had any problems with this case?. trying to fit video cards hdd etc.

maorry
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  #139954 23-Jun-2008 15:08
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sbiddle:

...You will also require a video card capable of hardware acceleration (NVidia 8500 or greater) and an H.264 codec capable of hardware acceleration such as the one that comes with PowerDVD7 or PowerDVD8.



Nice summary. I have a Gigabyte 8400 GS lying around in a box which says it can decode H.264 - can I assume from your comments that it won't do it well or it's a false claim?



sbiddle
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  #139958 23-Jun-2008 15:27
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maorry:
sbiddle:

...You will also require a video card capable of hardware acceleration (NVidia 8500 or greater) and an H.264 codec capable of hardware acceleration such as the one that comes with PowerDVD7 or PowerDVD8.



Nice summary. I have a Gigabyte 8400 GS lying around in a box which says it can decode H.264 - can I assume from your comments that it won't do it well or it's a false claim?


It's not a false claim - it's just that the claim of "H.264 acceleration" doesn't mean it will handle all H.264 content.

 

kiwijunglist
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  #142298 2-Jul-2008 18:04
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Please be aware that the analog side of the HVR2200 doesn't work in mediaportal ... not sure if its supported in GBPVR or not.

Go for geforce 8600 for hardware decoding of h264 as ATI is very difficult to get working.

Even with an nvidea GPU it is very fiddly to get hardware h264 working, so it is best to get a fast CPU so you can decode using software decoding if needed.




HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.


1gkar
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  #142319 2-Jul-2008 18:57
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kiwijunglist: Please be aware that the analog side of the HVR2200 doesn't work in mediaportal ... not sure if its supported in GBPVR or not.

Go for geforce 8600 for hardware decoding of h264 as ATI is very difficult to get working.

Even with an nvidea GPU it is very fiddly to get hardware h264 working, so it is best to get a fast CPU so you can decode using software decoding if needed.
You can now use the analogue tuners in the 2200 with the later Mediaportal RC1 SVN builds. Or so I Have read. Macraenz posted it a couple of weeks back. Will eventually test it as I have twin 150MCE cards installed, anyway. 




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

kiwijunglist
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  #142357 2-Jul-2008 21:21
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Actually I have read that too, but it sounds like there might still be some difficulties/problems.




HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.


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