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116 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 30062 28-Jan-2009 00:11
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HVR 1700 , Freeview HD

After trying 2 different STBs and having no luck I am giving building a HTPC a go.
Wanted a tuner with Hardware Encoder for the Analog channels.
Only need DVT-T

I was going to use a HVR-2200 but at $185 vs $100 I didn't really need the extra tuner :)
Usually watch recorded anyway so no need for dual.

Dropped into the Computer Lounge on the way home
Unfortunatly they had no suitable remotes.
Not sure what to get. Guess it will depend on what GUI I go with.


Had one of these spare in the office so I grabbed it for the test.
http://www.keenzo.com/showproduct.asp?ID=3657137
2.66Ghz E8200, 1Gb
XP Pro SP3, Latest updates as of 27Jan2009

Onboard Video? Oh noes.
Chipset Type: Intel Q35 Express, GMA 3100 DVMT 4.0
http://www.intel.com/technology/graphics/gma.htm?iid=tech_graphics+gma

Hopefully the cpu can pickup the slack.

No issues with the LCD TV.
Supported 1360 x 768 60hz just fine.
Connected via DB15 VGA


Fortunatly the PC is naturally quiet.
Half the battle done.

Installed the card/drivers and bundled software.
Cyberlink PowerCinema HD edition with AAC+ version 5.1
CD-PCM-5.1-HD-AAC-V1.1

Scanned digital and analog channels.
Took about 30 minutes.

It worked, sound and all.
Phew, I was bracing myself for a fight after reading all the posts about having to mix and match drivers/codecs.

The software worked as it should.
Timeshifting etc.
Watching HD, task manager hovers at 20%, 40% for tv3
No EPG.
No dumb time recording either :(

Tried DVBViewer Pro v3.9.4.0
Found this link helpful for selecting right Transponder list
http://blogs.pcworld.co.nz/pcworld/products/2008/03/freeview_hd_no_need_to_wait.html
Worked fine as well.

So far much better than my STB experience.


To do:
Test other frontends
Get it to time record from both DVB-T and Analog (prime)
Buy remote
Make sure low power works, standy
Get an epg working

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 192415 28-Jan-2009 07:34
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One thing to note with this card is that you can't use the S-Video input and DVB-T tuner at the same time. I bought this card thinking that I'd use my Sky box as a second tuner, for when I wanted to channel surf while recording.

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me as I can't see what common component would be used to encode an unmodulated analogue signal at the same time as you decode a UHF digital signal,

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  Reply # 192417 28-Jan-2009 08:27
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This is the difference between hybrid cards and standard cards.

The 1700 has one tuner. This can be used for analogue or DVB-T but you have to choose one or the other you can't have both DVB-T and analogue setup on your media center using this card.

I am trying out a 2200 which has two tuners however when I setup the analogue feed from the Telstra STB that used one of the two tuners leaving one tuner which I could use for a second analogue feed or DVB-T.

This is different from the 3000's which I have which are hybrid cards. With them if you use DVB-S you can also setup DVB-T and if very keen soft analogue. You still cant use more then one thing at a time but you can switch between them.







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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Master Geek
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  Reply # 192420 28-Jan-2009 08:45
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So does this mean it uses the 'Tuner' for the SVHS feed, even though it technically it is not tuning in the normal sense.

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  Reply # 192421 28-Jan-2009 08:59
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Correct that still uses a "Tuner" regardless of what input it is using.







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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Geek


  Reply # 192436 28-Jan-2009 10:27
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I have the Hauppauge HVR2200 card also which you can get for about $150. I use one tuner for Freeview and another for Sky via an S-Video input. With Windows 7 beta I can use the Windows Media Center for both Freeview and the Sky input, but I found it quite tricky to set up. You have to have a media center remote to use the S-Video input with one tuner even though the input clearly works. In the setup it offers FOUR tuners, 2 digital and two analogue, which is all possible combinations of two tuners rather than four actual tuners. If you were silly like me and chose two digital tuners for Freeview, thinking that I didnt need to have a free tuner for S-Video inputs, you get a strange set of errors. Particularly it tells you that you do not have the remote control installed (even though you are using it to set it up) so I spent hours fiddling with remote control drivers etc. All I had to do was set only one tuner up to Freeview and suddenly the remote appears to be installed! For just a little bit more than the HVR1200 this is a better system, and with Windows 7 Media Center the picture quality is much better than with Power Cinema. Still no EPG though sadly.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 192669 29-Jan-2009 09:47
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Pomphobetus, I tried to find one at that price in stock, but looks they have gone up.

Closest is $167 at playtech

Ok so i was a little impaitent and wanted one that day.


Got the remote.

HAUPPAUGE MCE Remote Control Kit

http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=JOYHGA0001



Once again prepared for a fight after all the reading.

Windows recognised and install drivers.

PowerCinema worked great with it.

I could suspend the machine.

But not bring it back up.



A bit of reading and found this program

http://www.1-script.com/forums/Make-MCE-wake-from-remote-article82004--17.htm

http://slicksolutions.eu/mst.shtml

MCE Standby Tool

After running I was able to bring the system out of suspend.



I also located the scheduling functions in PowerCinema. 

Tested it's record from suspend/standby.

It worked.

Turned itself on, recorded, went back into standby.

Can also schedule recording from both inputs, Digital and Analog.

Why do I care so much?

I want to get my FTA money's worth :)

Prime has good docos.



As far as plug and play goes, this actually lived up to the promise.

Looks like the SW is now quite mature :)

With a functioning remote and low power states, it has a very high Wife Acceptance Factor.



This is too good to be true, just waiting for something to grind it to a halt.

I suspect my next hurdle may be making sure the video is using HW Decoding.



Getting a new MB today to start the proper build.

http://my.ocworkbench.com/2008/gigabyte/GA-EG45M-DS2H/g1.htm

$260inc from Ingram

Let see if the Onboard Video lives up to the hype. 1080p

http://my.ocworkbench.com/2008/gigabyte/GA-EG45M-DS2H/b8.htm

If it does, this may be a good option for those that are just wanting a basic system that have been disappointed with current crop of PVR STBs.



260 Mainboard, HDMI, 1080p

150 E2200 Duo 2.2g, with hw decoding, how low can you go? Will test and report back.

40 2gb DDR2, how little do you need?

160 750Gb

100 HVR1700 withPowerCinema 

50 MCE Remote

80 Basic, quite case, mine is hiding behind the rack. No need for anything flash

40 DVD Writer

----

$880

Humm, not as cheap as I though.

Getting close to a Tvix (Without HDD)

PS3 with PlayTV (If it ever gets released, small HDD)

But neither have analog.

A PC will always be more flexible though.



Could save if lower cpu is used. Less ram.

Separate MB and display, but integrated means one less thing to cool.

Trademe for CPU and RAM.

Drop DVD drive, use another pc to backup anything you want to play.

? $710



I have left out the OS and KB/MSE.

Once setup you won't be needing the kb/mse.

I will see how easy it is to get one of the linux system to run on this configuration.


So My new to do list:

Test other frontends

Get an epg working

Test lowest possible CPU, minimum ram.


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  Reply # 192701 29-Jan-2009 12:18
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Well done, good on you for giving this a go, and reporting honestly/detailed back here, thanks!

I looked at this earlier and at the time the HD capable motherboards were just arriving.  With this working correctly there's not really that much additional grunt required as TV is still only one picture displayed after another. 

Personally I'd spend the extra dollars to create the best system rather than trying to compete with set top box prices etc.  I'd look to include a bluray player, and the drives themselves were cheaper in Australia initially for some reason?  That would give you a complete system comparible to PS3 (with the non existant NZ PlayTV) and you could watch Prime too. 

Getting good connectivity is important too.  Can htpc's output surround sound via hdmi outputs now?  Optical/dig coax is not sufficient for modern bluray formats, though it's fine for freeview dolby surround.  DVI/hdmi adapters work, but can in some instances not work too well with the copy protection stuff.

Cheers.



116 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 192904 30-Jan-2009 12:57
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Thanks for your kind words.
Will check sound options when I have HA sussed.
Unfortunatly I do not have a high end amp to fully test hdmi.


1gb appares to be sufficient for this particular combo.
XP , PowerCinema , HVR1700

Looks like Hardware Video Acceleration is still not plug and play.

I may have to upgrade to vista if I want to continue to use PowerCinema.
There is a lot of information on getting it to work with Nvidia, ATI/AMD chipsets.
With some perseverence I could probably get it to work in XP with the Intel x4500HD, but will install Vista to give the best chance of working.


-What I found, some conflicting information
PowerCinema doesn't do H/W Acceleration by default.
Some success here
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=22139

XP may not support generic HA.
Cyberlink drivers get around the limitation to provide HA in XP.
http://forums.gbpvr.com/showthread.php?t=37867

Dot net 3 is required for H/W Accelleration under XP.
Not mentioned often as I guess people assume it is installed as part of other programs.
http://forums.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?t=90623


-Other links of interest
http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/board/archive/index.php?t-13980.html

Another poster testing low cost solutions
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=84&topicid=24384

-Some info re x4500HD
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1061016

It 'should' work
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=84&topicid=24361
http://www.cyberlink.com/eng/press_room/view_1723.html



Giving xp a little more time.
Currently trying ArcSoft options.
Updating to latest intel drivers. Current version, 6.14.10.5009 _ 3/11/2008



116 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 193055 31-Jan-2009 10:16
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Drivers on CD were latest.

Failed to get it going under XP.

 

1Gb of ram is also sufficient for this config.

 

Install Vista Business, SP1.

Tried PowerCinema 6, PowerPowerDVD 8 Deluxe, Arcsoft Total Media 3.5

No go on HA.

 

So at this stage I would recommend against this chipset for plug and play MS Hardware video acceleration.

 

I was wondering weather to get a video card to get this going or try a GeForce 9300 chipset mainboard.

Going with the new mainboard, for science :)


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 193057 31-Jan-2009 10:29
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MrWestie:
Dot net 3 is required for H/W Accelleration under XP.
Not mentioned often as I guess people assume it is installed as part of other programs.
http://forums.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?t=90623


This is incorrect.

You will NOT get hardware acceleration under XP using the EVR renderer. Under Vista DXVA2 HW acceleration is only available using the EVR renderer. Under XP you will only get HW acceleration working using VMR9. In both cases you need a codec such as the Cyberlink PDVD H.264 codec to acchieve this.



116 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 193088 31-Jan-2009 14:50
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sbiddle , thanks for clarifying.

 

Installed the new board, 

http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail&id=6656

XFX MI-9300-7AS9 AS9 LGA775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

 

Didn't even have to reinstall vista.

Loaded up drivers.

It works :)

CPU 1-3%

 

Dropped in a Celeron 2.8Ghz, D335J

Idles a littler higher, 40-50% but still usable.

Unless a PCI Tuner card sucks more resources than a PCI-E then any old P4 should be able to do the job with HA working.

 

Will give XP a test run.

 

edit:

Works fine on XP too :)


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  Reply # 193095 31-Jan-2009 15:50
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MrWestie:

Unless a PCI Tuner card sucks more resources than a PCI-E then any old P4 should be able to do the job with HA working.




In theory if you have a video card doing the H.264 decoding then yes. The problem is most P4 boards are all AGP not PCIe whereas all decent cards are PCIe.

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  Reply # 193838 3-Feb-2009 22:35
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MrWestie:

sbiddle , thanks for clarifying.

 

Installed the new board, 

http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail&id=6656

XFX MI-9300-7AS9 AS9 LGA775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

 

Didn't even have to reinstall vista.

Loaded up drivers.

It works :)

CPU 1-3%

 

Dropped in a Celeron 2.8Ghz, D335J

Idles a littler higher, 40-50% but still usable.

Unless a PCI Tuner card sucks more resources than a PCI-E then any old P4 should be able to do the job with HA working.

 

Will give XP a test run.

 

edit:

Works fine on XP too :)



Sounds like an interesting MB

So what is the final price including CPU, Tuner, Ram, Motherboard, case and OS etc.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 194231 5-Feb-2009 11:37
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260 Mainboard, HDMI, 1080p
100 Used CPU off trademe, P4 3.0ghz (530)
20 1gb DDR2
160 750Gb, sweet spot, as you don't save much going smaller
100 HVR1700 with PowerCinema
50 MCE Remote
80 Basic, quite case, mine is hiding behind the rack. No need for anything flash
----
$770

$190 XP Home OEM
Will try to get a flavour of linux going on it.

No dvd drive as I will dump anything I want to watch over the network.
Mainly used as a PVR.


I did investigate cheaper mainobard alternatives.
Geforce 8200/8300 , ATI HD 3200 based.
But from a lot of reading, the driver support is not quite there yet.
Well as og Aug 2008, as that is when updated stopped from people testing those solutions on geekzone.

8200 test
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-nvidia-chipset,1972-23.html

8200 failed
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=84&TopicId=24361

8200 failed, 3200 partial success
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=84&TopicId=24384
http://www.gpforums.co.nz/thread/321515/?s=

Bloom mentions he may have gotten it working
http://1337.gpforums.co.nz/printthread.php?threadid=335628

Dec2008, 8200, not recommended, not sure if first hand experience
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=84&TopicId=28918

8200 failed
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=24644

3200 working, set procedure to follow
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=84&TopicId=24816

3200 tips, it does not like interlaced. Good point about extra cpu power reserve.
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=84&topicid=27655

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