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60 posts

Master Geek


# 21558 30-Apr-2008 15:45

Hi guys,

I'm putting together a HTPC, it will be used for watching xvid movies, and Freeview HD, so no blu ray movies.

Here are the specifcations:
  AMD X2 4200+
  1GB DDR2
  Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H
  Windows XP Pro SP3
  Nova 500 tuner

I know the CPU is a bit slow, but that motherboard has the fancy new 780G chipset which I believe has onboard hardware x.264 decoding. I will be using Mediaportal for the software.

What I need to know: will this setup play Freeview HD streams smoothly? Also, will I be able to record to the HDD (just a straight dump)?

One further question for Mediaportal experts. The Nova 500 is a dual tuner card, does this mean I can have the mediaportal server and client on my HTPC, someone can be watching say, TV2 in HD, and I can watch TV3 in HD on my laptop using just the client?

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75 posts

Master Geek


  # 127437 1-May-2008 01:01
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As for the cpu, I am running software decoding  with almost no problems with the exact same processor with dvbviewer. You should be fine for that part.



60 posts

Master Geek


# 127470 1-May-2008 09:47

Excuse my language, but some mother f***er stole my coruier package! This one _WAS_ a signature required, too.

http://i31.tinypic.com/2sbwd5g.jpg taken at 7:30 by the courier, signed for by 'R T' (no idea who that is).

I went down there at 9:00, and it was gone.

Post Hate left my $200 package down by the mailboxes (I live in an apt building with 70 units). They didn't even knock on my door.

So, now my project has been significantly delayed.

 
 
 
 


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  # 127472 1-May-2008 09:50
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Got to love that the courier provided you evidence that they didn't do their job,
Why would it be signed for and left on the mailboxes? if it was signed for it would be then put inside your house.

Time to get your money from the courier company.




CPU: Intel 3770k| RAM: F3-2400C10D-16GTX G.Skill Trident X |MB:  Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB | GFX: GV-N660OC-2GD gv-n660oc-2gd GeForce GTX 660 | Monitor: Qnix 27" 2560x1440

 

 


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  # 127473 1-May-2008 09:51
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talsemgeest: As for the cpu, I am running software decoding  with almost no problems with the exact same processor with dvbviewer. You should be fine for that part.


A 4200 CPU is way to slow for 1080i H.264 decoding, your system probably has 100% CPU utilisatiion watching TV3.

The reality is you *need* to have a video card supporting H.264 decoding (NVidia 8500 or later). It's not just the fact the GPU takes the load off the CPU it also does a far better job of decoding the H.264, particularly with hardware deinterlacing.



60 posts

Master Geek


  # 127485 1-May-2008 10:11

sbiddle: keep in mind that the 780G has been praised for being an excellent http://www.silentpcreview.com/article807-page8.html

Playing this clip: http://www.apple.com/trailers/newline/rushhour3/hd/ (1080p | 24fps | ~10mbps) used only 12% of the CPU when it was underclocked to 1.5ghz. I can't imagine TV 3 is going to be 9 times as demanding.

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  # 127552 1-May-2008 13:41
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But thats using the newest drivers + hardware accelerated codecs. Pretty much that's what you need.

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  # 127554 1-May-2008 13:48
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rixth: sbiddle: keep in mind that the 780G has been praised for being an excellent http://www.silentpcreview.com/article807-page8.html

Playing this clip: http://www.apple.com/trailers/newline/rushhour3/hd/ (1080p | 24fps | ~10mbps) used only 12% of the CPU when it was underclocked to 1.5ghz. I can't imagine TV 3 is going to be 9 times as demanding.


Maybe not 9 times - probably about 10x more demanding! Smile Our H.264 broadcasts are nothing like the QT trailers.

If you go down the ATI path it's at your own risk - there are know issues with all ATI 2xxx/3xxx cards and even the 780G chipset with hardware accelerated H.264 interlaced content. I've spent hundreds of $$ trying various combinations before I realised an Series 8 or 9 NVidia (8500 or greater) is the only way to go. If you buy ATI I just about guarantee it won't work well.




 
 
 
 


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Master Geek


  # 127565 1-May-2008 14:00
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sbiddle:
talsemgeest: As for the cpu, I am running software decoding  with almost no problems with the exact same processor with dvbviewer. You should be fine for that part.


A 4200 CPU is way to slow for 1080i H.264 decoding, your system probably has 100% CPU utilisatiion watching TV3.

The reality is you *need* to have a video card supporting H.264 decoding (NVidia 8500 or later). It's not just the fact the GPU takes the load off the CPU it also does a far better job of decoding the H.264, particularly with hardware deinterlacing.


No, only 70 to 85% load on tv3 during a 1080i program. But it only works with dvbviewer. My crappy inbuilt graphics definitely don't have h.264 decoding, and yet picture quality with csi:NY was perfect.



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Master Geek


  # 127568 1-May-2008 14:03

talsemgeest: what MB do you have?

I thought the TV3/ATI problems were resolved with the latest Catalyst drivers.

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Master Geek


  # 127619 1-May-2008 15:24
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I've got an asus m2a-vm hdmi: http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?modelmenu=1&model=1585&l1=3&l2=101&l3=496



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Master Geek


  # 127622 1-May-2008 15:29

Final questions: what tuner and how fast does changing channels take?

Do you have any issues when switching from interlaced to non-interlaced streams like some ATI users?

Have you tried using Mediaportal?

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  # 127632 1-May-2008 16:10
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The Asus M2A works fine and doesn't have any of the known ATI issues but that's because it doesn't support H.264 acceleration. All H.264 decoding relies on your CPU.


 



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Master Geek


  # 127635 1-May-2008 16:15

Well,

I will see how it goes. If need be, I'll splash out another $80 on a 8500GT.

Some people seem to have the 780g chipset worknig perfectly, others not, so YMMV.

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Master Geek


  # 127639 1-May-2008 16:29
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rixth: Final questions: what tuner and how fast does changing channels take?

Do you have any issues when switching from interlaced to non-interlaced streams like some ATI users?

Have you tried using Mediaportal?


Channel changing generally takes about 1.5 seconds, but it works perfectly.

I have tried media portal but couldn't get it configured properly for my card (asus p7131)

And I'm taking a guess here that my mother board was designed for HD video (hence the HDMI at the end of the model number) so the handling has been streamlined somehow so I can watch freeview on a relitively underpowered processor.

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  # 127972 2-May-2008 16:58
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rixth:
One further question for Mediaportal experts. The Nova 500 is a dual tuner card, does this mean I can have the mediaportal server and client on my HTPC, someone can be watching say, TV2 in HD, and I can watch TV3 in HD on my laptop using just the client?


I am by no means a mediaportal expert, but I can run the what you describe above well almost - TV3 on the HTPC and TV1 on the lappie (it's not grunty enough to smoothly run TV3). But I use twin HVR-3000 cards so can't comment on the Nova 500.  However if you can record from two different muxes at the same time I don't see why you shouldn't be able to view two.  The mediaportal site references setting up multiple tuners as hybrids so that may also be of assistance.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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