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162 posts

Master Geek

#27519 29-Oct-2008 16:26
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Hi All,

I'm building a Freeview|HD capable HTPC on a budget and wanted to know if a Pentium 4 2.8GHz is going to be able to cut it?

I already have an nVidia 8500GT graphics card to handle the h.264 decoding and a HVR-2200 DVB-T tuner.

In theory I'm thinking that with the 8500GT handling the h.264 decoding and as long as I have sufficient RAM (looking at 2GB minimum) then it should be okay.

Any thoughts?


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4025 posts

Uber Geek


  #174385 29-Oct-2008 16:38
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It'll be fine, just your load times might be slower.

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Uber Geek

  #174473 29-Oct-2008 22:05
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Is the 8500GT PCIe or agp? I have a nagging suspicion that the h.264 acceleration only works with with PCIe. Someone might correct me though. Otherwise you'll be good to go.


162 posts

Master Geek

  #174544 30-Oct-2008 08:27
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mcraenz: Is the 8500GT PCIe or agp? I have a nagging suspicion that the h.264 acceleration only works with with PCIe. Someone might correct me though. Otherwise you'll be good to go.

Yeah it is PCIe so should be all good. Seems most people in the forums have had the most success with this card.

On another note what is recommended for the OS? XP runs a lot better on the hardware that I have but from what I have read in the forums Vista has some added benefits in terms of rendering h.264 and S3 support. I'd appreciate any recommendations/experiences. (I plan on running Media Portal)

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Uber Geek

  #174546 30-Oct-2008 08:32
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Not sure how vista will go on the 2.8 but it should be ok, if you've got plenty of RAM and if the system is doing nothing but media center. I would highly recommend vista if you can possibly do it. Test it out. The main advantage of vista is EVR, there is noticeable difference.

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Master Geek

  #174573 30-Oct-2008 09:48
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Although you can also do EVR on XP if you install .NET 3.0 or higher.

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Uber Geek

  #174581 30-Oct-2008 10:37
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Yea but I don't think EVR on XP supports hardware acceleration so it's pretty much useless.

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Master Geek

  #174586 30-Oct-2008 11:04
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I tried both XP and Vista. Decided on Vista due to its superior render quality and S3 support.


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Uber Geek


  #174638 30-Oct-2008 15:23
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Hardware Acceleration works fine on VMR9 under XP with my 8500GT.

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Uber Geek

  #174645 30-Oct-2008 15:42
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Yes HA on VMR9 not on EVR, That is why VRM9 is the only option for XP, but EVR is better, hence Vista is best for a media center
Tongue outWink

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  #175732 4-Nov-2008 15:17
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I've got a 3Ghz P4 machine with 8500GT. Works just fine for Freeview HD.

I tried Freeview with XP and got h/w acceleration working with VMR9 but had problems with frame jitter. Works much better with Vista and EVR.

I've got DVBViewer working OK but got frustrated with mostly German documentation in forums. Now using Mediaportal RC which seems very nice.

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