I'm a newbie into the world of HTPC but am about to dabble in the very near future. Hopefully in the next week or so I'll be taking possesion of an old P4 2.8Ghz Dell PC which I'd like to turn into a basic HTPC. I have a spare radeon 9550 128mb AGP video card I was going to put in it to enable video out. I'm on a pretty tight budget so I'm only really wanting to fork out for a tuner card. We have both a satellite dish and UHF, and although I'm unable to try and see if Freeview HD works we do get Prime and Maori TV via analogue very clearly. I've got a few questions that I hope you guys can help with. Basically I would really like to be able to watch freeview and be able to schedule recordings, preferably be able to record and watch a different channel or reocrd 2 different channels at the same time, ie dual tuner.
My first question is, will it be better for me to try and get a DVB-S or DVB-T tuenr? We only have an old CRT and have no plans in the near future to upgrade the telly to an HD one (read:no money in the budget for that!) so I'll only be needing an SD signal on the telly. Is one signal easier to handle/record than the other? I would have thought DVB-S would be easier on the CPU but I could be wrong.
Will this PC be able to handle recording 2 or even 1 channel in with either DVB-S or DVB-T?
The PC will be running XP so I was thinking of trying GBPVR or Mediaportal. From the reading I'm doing I'm currently leaning towards Mediaportal. Are there certain types or cards/tuners that work better with Mediaportal?
I'm also wanting to be able to use a remote to change channels and navigate menus etc, I notice that a lot of tuners don't come with remotes or provide shody-looking card style remotes. From what I read many of the Hauppauge tuners come with really good remotes. Am I better to just get the tuner card(s) and then get a seperate MCE remote or something like that?
Keeping in mind the tight budget, I was hoping to get some thoughts from you guys on what might be some good ideas for me.