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aether22

53 posts

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#20288 19-Mar-2008 15:37
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What is the cheapest card (and source of cards) for picking up Freeview Terrestrial HD?

Also does anyone know if you can play a 720P x264 .mkv (ot .ts) smoothly if that means you can likely play HD Freeview smoothly? (not seen anyone suggest this as a test but it sounds like it may work to me, better than bying the card only to find you need a new PC)

Also if anyone can point to any hacks so that AGP cards can be made to try and decode x264 what would be very nice.

note: I understand the SD channels can not be played with CoreAVC, so I suppose when watching those the only option is PowerDVD Ultra, I assume HD channels are harder on the CPU/GPU right? If so that might work Ok, but does anyone know how much slower PowerDVD Ultra is than CoreAVC?

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openmedia
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  #117557 19-Mar-2008 16:43
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aether22:
Also does anyone know if you can play a 720P x264 .mkv (ot .ts) smoothly if that means you can likely play HD Freeview smoothly? (not seen anyone suggest this as a test but it sounds like it may work to me, better than bying the card only to find you need a new PC)



Nope.. the 720p x264 encodes aren't as complex as the DTT broadcasts. I can do 720p x264 at 50% on a AMD 64 3200, but I can't do the 720p DTT broadcasts.

Steve




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.


aether22

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  #117558 19-Mar-2008 16:44
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Anyone know if this card: http://www.pepspcs.co.nz/product_info.php?cPath=101&products_id=161
For $75 will work? (seemingly it should, right?)

openmedia: Damn, sounds like my machine might not cut it then. (3.06ghz HT 1GB ram, AGP ATI9700)

 
 
 
 


eXDee
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  #117559 19-Mar-2008 16:53
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openmedia:
aether22:
Also does anyone know if you can play a 720P x264 .mkv (ot .ts) smoothly if that means you can likely play HD Freeview smoothly? (not seen anyone suggest this as a test but it sounds like it may work to me, better than bying the card only to find you need a new PC)



Nope.. the 720p x264 encodes aren't as complex as the DTT broadcasts. I can do 720p x264 at 50% on a AMD 64 3200, but I can't do the 720p DTT broadcasts.

Steve

So if we can play the .ts recordings of DTT tests then its likely live DTT will run smooth? A long .ts recording (3 mins) would be useful to test with, preferably with somewhat complex scenes eg not all dark.

aether22

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  #117566 19-Mar-2008 17:35
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eXDee, oh yeah i forgot i mentioned .ts IIRC I could play them, just (but maybe I remember incorrectly?)


But a search has found that while it may not do Bluray, the Nvidia AGP based 6200 from $64 inc gst at http://pcpacific.net/product_info.php?products_id=4126
Does hardware decoding of h.264  (um, not sure though what this means considering that you are meant to only be able to use PowerDVD Ultra to decode the SD channels, clearly I need to read up more on this subject)

So $64 + $75 = $139
Better than paying $500 for a Zinwell.

sbiddle
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  #117575 19-Mar-2008 17:55
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Hate to ruin your day but there is no way you're going to get H.264 acceleration out of an NVidia 6200.

You really need to be looking at a high end 7 series or 8 series card such as an 8500GT which is what I've just purchased for my PVR. There are also serious issues that can occur with hardware acceleration under AGP - it's something that is normally only available under PCIe however several companies have released patches which may or may not work correctly.

 

aether22

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  #117646 19-Mar-2008 21:36
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Damn, while I had read that the 6200 had some GPU acceleration it seems that info was either wrong or not awfully relevant.

It seems I'm going to have to buy a new Motherboard, CPU and Ram and Videocard along with the tuner, still it might come just under the price of a Zinwell and at least my PC wll have possibly higher specs, plus I guess I can get something for my current gear.

Sadly my current system though decent is not very upgrade friendly.

I wonder just how cheap the unofficial STB's well be.


cranz
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  #117661 19-Mar-2008 22:13

According to Nvidias PureVideo list here there are 6 AGP Geforce cards that support HD h.264 decoding acceleration 7800GS, 7600GS, 6600GT, 6600, 6600LE and 6200.

Saying that though, I'd agree with sbiddle that you'd want a high 7/8/9 series model for better performance as I'm not totally convinced a 6200 would be enough

 
 
 
 


eXDee
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  #117692 19-Mar-2008 23:30
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aether22: Damn, while I had read that the 6200 had some GPU acceleration it seems that info was either wrong or not awfully relevant.

It seems I'm going to have to buy a new Motherboard, CPU and Ram and Videocard along with the tuner, still it might come just under the price of a Zinwell and at least my PC wll have possibly higher specs, plus I guess I can get something for my current gear.

Sadly my current system though decent is not very upgrade friendly.

I wonder just how cheap the unofficial STB's well be.


Im in the same position, once a box gets old enough to replace 1 thing you pretty much have to do them all unless you buy outdated technology which is more expensive than the newer better parts.

Though its likely we wont get DVB-T this year due to lack of HD except the olympics and a couple of TV3 shows and the cost of it.

openmedia
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  #117697 19-Mar-2008 23:50
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aether22: What is the cheapest card (and source of cards) for picking up Freeview Terrestrial HD?



cheap != good most of the time

I'd go for a reliable supplier using well known chipsets.

For example for DVB-S I'd almost only use Technisat cards or similar chipsets, for analogue I'd go for Hauppauge PVR cards rather than try yto save $10-20 and have lots of pain.

For DVB-T I'm not sure who is best just yet, but Hauppauge are high up the list and they do dual tuner units.

Steve




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.


aether22

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  #117722 20-Mar-2008 08:00
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Maybe the 6200 will be enough to push my P4 3.06ghz HT 1GB Ram into processing DBV-T, but I am not sure what parts of decoding the GPU undertakes with that card where as with the 8500GT I know it's all of it.

As for it being costly to update old tech yeah, but that's not really my problem as my old tech is top of the line. (the only problem is that while AGP is good enough it seems there is maybe only
Anyone want a GB of Rambus Ram? A Radeon 9700TX?
I can probably sell it and have it pay for my upgrade, the problem is much of my upgrade will be a down grade or sidegrade unless I spend a lot more money which I can't do soon.

If I could buy any of the listed cards (7800GS, 7600GS, 6600GT, 6600LE, 6600, 6200) cheaply enough with the right of return I could try it out and see if any can do it.

There is of course the Sapphire ATI 2600Pro AGP but if sbiddle got rid of his (and it's not cheap at $200) then that does not sound good.

fisher191
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  #117733 20-Mar-2008 09:36
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I have been looking at this http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/03/04/amd_780g_chipset/index.html for a media extender but I believe it would be good for a htpc also. I agree with the advice about tuner cards and go with the name brands. My pick would be the Hauppauge t500 but the hvr1100 http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/products/data_hvr1100.html is very well priced. A quick check on pricespy shows ~$135 for the mb and ~$80 for the tuner. A plus is that the mb doesn't need a fast cpu for h264 or bluray and of course no video card is needed.



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