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BarneyC

62 posts

Master Geek


#22735 6-Jun-2008 16:02
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Okay as a "long term" HVR2200 user the skinny on the card thus far is...

Analog vs Digital
  • The analog side does not yet work under MediaPortal - but support is in the development pipeline.
  • No analog under GB-PVR
  • The analog side works under Windows MCE2005 but no digital
Number of Channels

The theoretical limit for concurrent digital channels with ANY twin digital card is 14 in NZ.  That's right you should be able to record upto 14 channels at the same time - of course hardware like memory and disk spindles play a pretty big part here.
As mcraenz points out here as the digital channels are multiplexed in groups across only a handful of frequencies with a twin digital card you should be able to record everything on upto two muxed frequencies.

Personally I stop at 4 concurrent digital channels, three recording and 1 watching as that is more than enough for my HTPC.

A bigger problem right now is I defy anyone to fnid more than 4 concurrent diital channels worth watching even in primetime!

Once we have media centre apps that support both the analog and digital sides of the hybrid cards (rock on Fiji) then the combinations available in theory are;

  • 2 analog
  • 1 analog and 1 mux (say TVNZ with TV1, TV2, 6, 7 & Sports)
  • 2 muxes (go wild)
In all liklihood I would expect Vista to actually only support any two programmes, but MediaPortal (actually TV Server) will rock on through whatever your hardware can handle.

Channel Switching

The HVR2200 is pretty fast switching digital under DVBViewer.  Under GBPVR and MediaPortal it is quick when switching between channels muxed together; so TV1 to TV2 or TV3 to C4.  But switching muxes (which means switching frequencies) isn't that quick - on my machine about 3-4 seconds and as much as 10 seconds.

Quality

For all those desparate to hang onto the dream of using the analog side of the card, once you are using Freeview Digital aside from having to drop back for Prime (an Juice ? if you're lucky enough to have it) you WILL NOT want to watch anything but Freeview.  Aside from the picture quality on SD content the upscaled TV1 & TV2 look that much better and HD on TV3 really is so sweet.

Skipping, Jitter, and all That Nastiness

The first thing to realise with the HVR2200 is that it is only sucking the stream in from the airwaves NOT providing the decoding.  This isn't like an decent analog card which does both and makes it all run just fine on oldish hardware.  For Freeview you are gonna need a half decent machine (see my signature for my specs - they ain't that high and it works) BUT most importantly you absolutely must have...

  • A very decent graphics card which is capable of H.264 decoding.  ATI have one (sorry look elsewhere in the forums) or ideally an nVidia 8500 or 8600 based card (which natively have h.264 acceleration).  These cards take the load off the CPU and without one you are in for a really dire experience IMHO.
  • A software Codec capable of decrypting the h.264 stream AND taking advantage of all that hardware goodness above.  There are a couple but honestly the US$99 for Cyberlink's PowerDVD (I think there i sjust a codec pack as well for less) is well worth it.
  • MediaPortal, GB-PVR or DVBViewer.  The first two are free and I'm a big fan of MediaPortal as it drives the HVR2200 better than the other two.  Forget Windows MCE2005 it doesn't do Freeview Terrestrial.
  • And last but not least either XP SP2 with .Net3 or ideally Vista as the rendering is significantly better.  I will be upgrading once finances allow but for now I live with minor jitter on TV2.
Overall

I'm never going back to analog - HD is just too damn pretty for that.  And for anyone who hasn't bothered do watch the Freeview Demo channel.  I often leave it running as natural history programmes (especially the underwater ones) do look sweet.  Just wish they would play a few more.

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mcraenz
1118 posts

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  #136482 8-Jun-2008 18:14
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MediaPortal TVServer now supports analog on HVR-2200 (Latest weekly snap required) :)

BarneyC:The first thing to realise with the HVR2200 is that it is only sucking the stream in from the airwaves NOT providing the decoding. This isn't like an decent analog card which does both and makes it all run just fine on oldish hardware.


Well no TV card does decoding. All decoding is done either with a Software/CPU or software/GPU combination. Some cards do encoding of analog video to MPEG2, HVR-2200 does support this. Other hybrids such as the HVR-3/4000 don't have onboard analog encoding therefore rely on the software/CPU to do both encoding and decoding; in a word, NASTY!

Remember hardware encoding on-card only ever applies to analog, digital (DVB-x) is already encoded, it's encoded by the broadcaster; we just receive it as data then decode (play) it.


 






 

Help me build a better way of doing politics in Aotearoa New Zealand

 

 

 


 
 
 

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ajst2duk
170 posts

Master Geek


  #136563 8-Jun-2008 22:53
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I bee n using one of these for about 3 months now - support all the views aside from channel changing - our experience has been this card switches pretty quick - say 2-3 secs max no matter what channel/mux.
It's been a very solid card

openmedia
3062 posts

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  #136572 8-Jun-2008 23:22
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ajst2duk: I bee n using one of these for about 3 months now - support all the views aside from channel changing - our experience has been this card switches pretty quick - say 2-3 secs max no matter what channel/mux.
It's been a very solid card


I wouldn't call 2-3 secs quick for channel changing.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC as a Technology Evangelist and Portfolio Architect. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.




mcraenz
1118 posts

Uber Geek


  #136598 9-Jun-2008 08:39
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How fast is a myPVR box with DVB-T channel changing? I suspect much of it is to do with codec setup time rather than card specific?






 

Help me build a better way of doing politics in Aotearoa New Zealand

 

 

 


openmedia
3062 posts

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  #136603 9-Jun-2008 08:49
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Within a multiplex it is around or under a second. Changing across multiplexes takes longer.

One of the complaints I've had in general about digial tv from a number of customers is they expected the channel changing to be quicker than analogue tv. Same thing in the UK as well where some people spend a lot of time searching for STBs that change channels very quickly.





Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC as a Technology Evangelist and Portfolio Architect. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


BarneyC

62 posts

Master Geek


  #136605 9-Jun-2008 08:57
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To be fair I never found switching channels on an analog card that fast, and my Toshiba LCD takes a good couple of seconds a well.

So 3 - 4 seconds really isn't a biggy for me.

@mcraenz - thanks for the info, and another wee part of the puzzle is complete for me.

mcraenz
1118 posts

Uber Geek


  #136612 9-Jun-2008 09:12
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Yeah I find the EPG compensates for the extra channel change time. Since you already knwo whats gonna be on before you choose the channel.






 

Help me build a better way of doing politics in Aotearoa New Zealand

 

 

 




ajst2duk
170 posts

Master Geek


  #136700 9-Jun-2008 16:18
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openmedia:
ajst2duk: I bee n using one of these for about 3 months now - support all the views aside from channel changing - our experience has been this card switches pretty quick - say 2-3 secs max no matter what channel/mux.
It's been a very solid card


I wouldn't call 2-3 secs quick for channel changing.


Key word in my quote was "MAX" it feels significantly quicker than that, and is quicker than our panasonic plasma changing analogue. I would say in practice 1.5 secs, which is fine

KrazyKid
1207 posts

Uber Geek


  #136791 9-Jun-2008 21:23
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Not wanting to hi-jack this thread 2 much but you guys seem to have got youR hvr-2200 working fine and I am having no joy.
Any advice welcome - see my thread here...

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=83&TopicId=22760

Thanks

1gkar
722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #138073 14-Jun-2008 23:11
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openmedia: Within a multiplex it is around or under a second. Changing across multiplexes takes longer.

One of the complaints I've had in general about digial tv from a number of customers is they expected the channel changing to be quicker than analogue tv. Same thing in the UK as well where some people spend a lot of time searching for STBs that change channels very quickly.

Must be the same people who reckon I'm slow at golf. Tongue out




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

sub

sub
358 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #139666 22-Jun-2008 06:32
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BarneyC:
Analog vs Digital
  • No analog under GB-PVR
A patch for this is available here: http://forums.gbpvr.com/showpost.php?p=283081&postcount=15

ajst2duk
170 posts

Master Geek


  #139972 23-Jun-2008 16:36
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Hey that's great Sub, I'll try that tonight as I've got heat problems with a PVR150 parked right next to the passive 9600GT - this will allow me to free up that slot and let my system breath a bit easier. Awesome

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