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2 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 28618 5-Dec-2008 22:39
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Hello,

I am a newbie in this area and what to seek some advice here.

I am going to upgrade my TV to a full HD 32 inch model. The thing I am not sure is whether I should buy the one with
built-in freeview HD decoder or not. The reason is in the near future, I may also want to build a HTPC which will have the
freeview HD tuner card in. Obveriously, I don't want to spend money twice.

My question is, if I am going to have HTPC with freeview HD tuner card, can I use this card provide signal to tv? if this is workable,
do I have to keep the HTPC on while I am watching the tv?

Thanks

dhs62312

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  Reply # 182402 5-Dec-2008 23:35
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Think of the freeview HD decoder as an analogue replacement one - its what will be used in the future when analogue is turned off. Also remember that similar to how your don't connect your VCR/DVD recorder to the TV's tuner, they have their own one, this is the same with the Freeview HD decoder built into the TV - you can't record off it.

First off you cant use the card to 'provide signal' to the TV if you mean somehow allow the TV to tune freeview HD channels with its analogue tuner.
Think of the HTPC like a vcr/dvd recorder or similar. It can record using its built in tuner to record, and you see what is being played on it, be it live TV or recorded, a DVD or movie etc. As with a VCR/DVD recorder yes you would have to have it on while you're watching something on it (again live TV through the tuner card, or a recording etc)

Personally i say both. The built in tuner for future proofing, and the HTPC for recording, as you would buying an analogue TV with an analogue VCR. But since you don't seem to want to do that, i'd say just the HTPC. Remember they aren't everyones cup of tea though and not always easy to setup for the non-tecnically inclined.

A Freeview HD PVR might be another option,  it simply works pretty much (well, will, when they are released en mass).

Of course, just my opinion so someone else might have a different take on it.

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  Reply # 182430 6-Dec-2008 07:47
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I agree with exdee. Get both, another reason for getting the digital decoder in the TV is that if you have not yet run a media centre yourself then you do not yet know if it works out to be what you want. Some people find them less then ideal. They are great but do take maintance. You basically need a geek on call at all times.
If that happens you would then finish up wishing that you had purchased a TV with the digital decoder built in.

Also it is not ideal if you you have to be running the media centre if you just want to watch TV. Some people do and it does have its advantages but I think you are better off having the option.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 182465 6-Dec-2008 12:28
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I've compared the picture from both my built-in Freeview HD tuner and a Leadtek HDTV card (via PC's DVI to TV's HDMI) and frankly it's signifcantly better straight off the Sony's W4500-series built-in tuner.  Not only that, the 100Hz motion flow seems to work way better "natively."

Video via PC suffers from contrast/gamma/brightness issues, and jittery image, the latter likely due to the video card I'm using - a Quadro FX1700, not a choice card for this sort of thing as it does not do hardware decoding (or at least not do it well,) soon to be changed.

I would like to stream via network .TS files from my desktop PC (with HD tuner cards) to my PS3 for playback.  This doesn't work yet but to me it seems like the most high-tech setup, and allows me to keep my PC elsewhere in the house for other duties.

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  Reply # 182480 6-Dec-2008 14:31
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KiwiME: I've compared the picture from both my built-in Freeview HD tuner and a Leadtek HDTV card (via PC's DVI to TV's HDMI) and frankly it's signifcantly better straight off the Sony's W4500-series built-in tuner....
....Video via PC suffers from contrast/gamma/brightness issues, and jittery image, the latter likely due to the video card I'm using - a Quadro FX1700, not a choice card for this sort of thing as it does not do hardware decoding (or at least not do it well,).....


Unless your video card can do full hardware decoding then it will not give you a good picture. It would be interesting to hear from someone that has both a TV with built in decoder and a video card that does full hardware decoding.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 182544 6-Dec-2008 23:51
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Thanks everyone for your advice. Now, I feel the built-in decoder may be the better option for me now.

I also read other post in this forum talking about zinwell zmt-640PVR. I may wait for a while and see some more
products available in the market before making purchase.

The initial intention to have a full HD tv with HD program recording ability (ie, the HTPC) is to allow me record some kids
program such as little bear or TV6 programs and my boy can watch it later on. Given the recording ability may not be able
to archieve in short term (within 12 months) and I have to use my old VCR (I don't have hard disk recorder), which means
in the analog format. This makes me think whether it still makes sense to buy a full HD tv (most likely 32 or 37 inch,
around $1500 for 32 inch) or the just those HD Ready TV (around $900 for 32 inch), given the price difference and what
I am going to use, any comments would be appreicated.

Thanks



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  Reply # 182549 7-Dec-2008 01:39
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Waiting for a cheaper PVR option is a good idea at the moment, currently theres a limited offering and they aren't cheap at all. Eventually i'd hope that DVD/HDD recorders (or even blu ray recorders) will get built in freeview decoders.

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  Reply # 182582 7-Dec-2008 13:54
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dhs62312: ...This makes me think whether it still makes sense to buy a full HD tv (most likely 32 or 37 inch,
around $1500 for 32 inch) or the just those HD Ready TV (around $900 for 32 inch), given the price difference and what
I am going to use, any comments would be appreicated.


IMHO I suggest getting a HD ready TV at that size rather then a full HD. From tests that have been run you would be hard pressed to see the difference at normal watching distances.

This is a good chart to give you an idea if you would get any benifit.

http://www.carltonbale.com/wp-content/uploads/resolution_chart.png

As you can see if the TV is around 32" then  you would need to be watching it from less then 6 feet to get any noticable visual difference.

Also keep in mind that HD TV is 720p or 1080i so will look no better on a full HD TV then on a HD ready TV. You are only going to get any benifit with a full HD TV if you are watching blu rays on it.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 182599 7-Dec-2008 16:43
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eXDee: Waiting for a cheaper PVR option is a good idea at the moment, currently theres a limited offering and they aren't cheap at all. Eventually i'd hope that DVD/HDD recorders (or even blu ray recorders) will get built in freeview decoders.


I am holding out for the firmware upgrade that will allow the Popcorn to play AAC-H LATM audio. Then my PVR solution will be complete which is basically gbpvr as the recorder (low spec PC - Sempron 3000) and the PCH as the playback. Don't need to watch HD live - if it's good stuff I will record it to watch later and delete ads. Plus with so little HD programming out there I am happy enough with DVB-S for realtime viewing.




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 182670 8-Dec-2008 08:40
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Nety: IMHO I suggest getting a HD ready TV at that size rather then a full HD. From tests that have been run you would be hard pressed to see the difference at normal watching distances.

This is a good chart to give you an idea if you would get any benifit.

http://www.carltonbale.com/wp-content/uploads/resolution_chart.png

As you can see if the TV is around 32" then  you would need to be watching it from less then 6 feet to get any noticable visual difference.

Also keep in mind that HD TV is 720p or 1080i so will look no better on a full HD TV then on a HD ready TV. You are only going to get any benifit with a full HD TV if you are watching blu rays on it.


While I agree with the basic sentiment of what you are saying, if the user intends to connect a PC to the TV, full HD is the way to go, no matter what the screen-size.

Bear in mind that most 720p TV's do not operate at 1280*720, but more like 1366*768, or for plasmas 1024*768.  In both cases, a 720p signal will be scaled by the TV to the native resolution, meaning text/fonts suffer artifacts, when using the TV as a monitor.  Unless the TV has a DVI input, then typically an HDMI input will limit you to the standard HDTV resolutions, maning no way to get 1-1 pixel mapping.  A 1080p TV solves that issue.





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