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27 posts

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# 40581 31-Aug-2009 23:54
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I'm contemplating upgrading my PC and would welcome comment on processing HD Freeview and whether I am right or wrong or misguided. Currently I have an old Athalon XP 2400+ , an Hauppauge WINTV-PVR-150 and GBPVR and it has worked pretty well for the analogue signal. I'll stick with Hauppauge for its compatability with GBPVR when I get a Freeview tuner. I intend to retain the WINTV-PVR-150 tuner as well.

TUNER
I understand that any DVB-T tuner will do as it simply outputs the file format that it receives. Even though its spec may state that its file format is MPEG-2, that is just saying that the Hauppauge software can only handle MPEG-2, which is not of great concern to me as GBPVR can handle the MPEG-4 H.264 of our Freeviw HD. Therefore, for example, if I want to record two Freeview channels at once I could purchase a WinTV Nova T 500 even though it's spec states that its file format is MPEG-2.

VIEWING
I watch my recordings over my network, served from my PC with TVersity, and via UPnP receivers currently consisting of a Pinnacle ShowCenter 250, XBox 360, and  XBMC software on some computers.
-For recording on the computer but viewing off the computer, the computer does not need significant processing power (such as dual core CPU and H.264 capable video card) so I could conceivably use my existing machine.
-I expect the XBox 360 might view the MPEG-4 H.264 recordings OK.
-I don't know if the computers running the XBMC software will need to be very powerful to view the H.264 files.
-I'm hoping that TVersity will transcode the H.264 recordings to a format that will suit the ShowCenter, and if neccessary the XBMC software

PROCESSOR
I'm thinking of getting a Core2 Duo E8400 processor (3.00 GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 6MB cache), a GeForce 9400 GT (512MB, DDR2, PCIe-16) video card, 4GB RAM, and Vista 32bit with an upgrade to Win 7 32 bit. Though I don't intend to watch the recordings much on the computer it will also need processing power to transcode the recordings with TVersity for UPnP receivers that can't process MPEG-4 H.264, and I will be doing editing sometimes. Do you think that with these components it will enthusiastically process 1080i TV3 recordings?

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921 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 252091 1-Sep-2009 07:05
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Tuner - Ignore the specs, it'll output MPEG4. I have the Nova-T 500 and it works fine with DVB-T in New Zealand (although there was aparently a bad batch of them a little while ago). If you can afford it you could look at going for the Hauppauge 2200, I've read of a lot less people having trouble with it compared to the 500 (although I've never had any trouble with mine). The 2200 give you the option of Analogue as well and it's PCIe instead of PCI, although that won't make a huge difference to performance.

XBox 360 - I'm not sure if the Xbox will play back TS recordings, you might need to convert it to an MP4 container. You'll also want a fast network (preferably wired) as the recordings are huge (802.11G won't keep up)
XBMC - If the computers have video cards capable of doing h264 decoding you should be OK, you want one of the HD line of ATI cards or something like an nVidia 8500

If you need to do transcoding there's an open source app called Handbrake which will do the job. It can be run from a batch file so you could automate the whole process.

The specs you have for your new PC sound fine, the video card will definitely be able to play back TV3 quite nicely.

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  # 252115 1-Sep-2009 08:49
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I'm not sure if you'll have any luck transcoding H.264 content on the fly.


 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 252121 1-Sep-2009 09:01
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For transcoding I'd give 4TheRecord a try, it's a scheduler that works with both GB-PVR and MediaPortal. It'll allow you to set rules up like "transcode after recording has finished" or "transcode at 4am" when activity on your computer is low (the transcode command will just be a batch file that calls something like Handbrake). I have a similar rule for running comskip on shows I record, I have the process run at 3am when no one's watching TV (usually). It's also an excellent scheduler with a web, IM and Windows remote management console for it.



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  # 252139 1-Sep-2009 10:23
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So many choices that I'm starting to dream about it. Thanks Meesham - I'd thrown in the WinTV Nova T 500 as an example but I guess that PCI is getting old so it should be PCIe or USB 2. I also figure that if I get a PCI tuner with analogue then it should have a hardware MPEG--2 encoder otherwise I'll never use it as I primarily use it for the EPG recording of GBPVR and GBPVR doesn't support software MPEG-2 encoders. I also figured that as I already have an anaolgue tuner I'll direct my funds to just digital, and that a dual would be better than a single as we have recording conflicts in the house. However there are only two dual Hauppauge DVB-T dual tuners (WinTV-Nova-T-500 PCI and WinTV-Nova-TD USB2) and both are nearly twice the price of a single tuner (I'd hoped for a better economy than that) so I may well just go for a WinTV-Nova-T (USB2). However I'm also concerned that spilitting my TV signal yet again between the WINTV-PVR-150 and WinTV-Nova-T may be detrimental so perhaps I should get a WinTV-HVR-1200 (PCIe with DVB-T plus analogue with hardware MPEG-2 encoder) which is actually cheaper than the WinTV-Nova-T and means I don't need to use my own splitter!

Then I can put my WINTV-PVR-150 on Trademe (or perhaps I'll keep it in the old computer and experiment with it under Ubuntu and something like MythTV).

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  # 252144 1-Sep-2009 10:32
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GB-PVR has had support for the Hauppauge SoftMCE MPEG2 decoder for quite some time.

The question you really need to ask is what use analogue is. Unless you're recording from an external STB then it's of no real use.

The HVR2200 is a newer card with slightly faster channel changs but the Nova T 500 works well.



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Geek


  # 252150 1-Sep-2009 11:17
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I don't see the HVR2200 on the Hauppauge Singapore site (which is the one for products supplied in NZ isn't it?). Until the other day I needed analogue for Prime, but I still need it as I do have a TC STB in another room. Perhaps there is a better way than using its RF out (or a modulator) to get its signal further afield than the adjacent TV and I'd welcome any suggestions on this, but till then I need to keep the analogue tuner. In addition, there have been a couple of times when I lost HD signal on my TV's with Freeview tuners and quickly switched to analogue so as not to miss the program, so I'm not 100% confident in it yet.

Actually, is there any performance difference of an HVR2200 over an HVR1200, which is a lot cheaper. The only difference that stands out to me is that the HVR2200 has S-Video & RCA in.

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Ultimate Geek

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  # 252155 1-Sep-2009 11:22
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The HVR2200 is the dual tuner version, apart from that I believe they're the same. You're not interested in recording multiple shows at the same time?

I've just ordered the HVR2200 from Ascent for $187 inc shipping (a mate is taking my TD-500 as I have a low profile bracket for it and he doesn't have a spare PCIe slot)

The best site to go to is the Hauppauge UK site (http://www.hauppauge.co.uk), all the gear we get here is on that site.

 
 
 
 




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Geek


  # 252156 1-Sep-2009 11:25
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Regarding a video card, I selected the GeForce 9400 GT as there have been a number of comments that is is proven to work well, including http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=20310 and http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=30390. However the NVidia 8400GS also seems to be OK (based on user comments, not my technical research) and would save a few$, so maybe I'll consider that too.

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  # 252158 1-Sep-2009 11:27
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The HVR2200 is listed right in the middle of the front page of the Hauppauge Singapore site.

As for the difference between the cards you really have to decide whether you want a single tuner or dual tuner. The HVR2200 is certainly the most one of the most popular cards around.

If you're losing digital signal then you obviously have an aerial or cabling issue.

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Geek


  # 252162 1-Sep-2009 11:32
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Well the Nova T 500 (99xx hardware) has a blue screen issue with XP SP3 due to it's internal Via USB controller. see this thread with no solution from Haupauge
http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/board/showthread.php?t=9888
Now Haupauge have replaced the Nova T 500 with the Nova TD 500 (68xx or 84xx hardware) on their website.
I have removed my Nova T 500 and now use it only in my W7 RC test box (okay in Vista too).
I replaced it with a HVR 2200 (99xx) tuner in my main PC and have no regrets as it's faster, it suspends/wakes to/from S3 and S4 properly, and has no USB "safely remove hardware" glitches.

It's your choice, but it should probably be between the current models: the Nova TD 500 and the HVR 2200



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Geek


  # 252169 1-Sep-2009 11:43
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Great, thanks sbiddle. I guess this problem with my eyesight is why this is taking me so long. I went straight to Products and looked under WinTV-HVR-Internal but The WinTV-HVR-2200 is listed under System Builders and VARS.

My Freeview HD signal is consistently great, except for a couple of occasions over the 6 months, so I assume there may be something in the signal path that changes enough very occasionally to upset the signal at my end, or there may have been issues with the transmission equipment. However because I have an 8 way splitter (and amp) there is a possibility that the signal reaching my receivers is only a little above the threshold of turning crappy, but as I said, 99.9% of the time there is no problem.

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Master Geek


  # 252399 1-Sep-2009 20:49
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I just picked up an HVR-2200 from playtech for $162 replacing my HVR-1200 which is up on trademe. It's a little longer than the 1200 but still half-height capable. Win7 and media centre picked it up flawlessly and am currently recording spiderman 2 and watching CSI. More because I can than anything.

What was my point again? Oh yeah, two tuners is great especially with prime in the mix now. In saying that if you want a single tuner, the 1200 was fast and slept and woke perfectly.

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  # 252483 2-Sep-2009 10:37
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MCEabused: Well the Nova T 500 (99xx hardware) has a blue screen issue with XP SP3 due to it's internal Via USB controller. see this thread with no solution from Haupauge
http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/board/showthread.php?t=9888
Now Haupauge have replaced the Nova T 500 with the Nova TD 500 (68xx or 84xx hardware) on their website.
I have removed my Nova T 500 and now use it only in my W7 RC test box (okay in Vista too).
I replaced it with a HVR 2200 (99xx) tuner in my main PC and have no regrets as it's faster, it suspends/wakes to/from S3 and S4 properly, and has no USB "safely remove hardware" glitches.

It's your choice, but it should probably be between the current models: the Nova TD 500 and the HVR 2200


That's a bit scary. I run a Nova T 500 in my PVR (with a modest Sempron 3000) using gbpvr and under XP/SP2 it runs flawlessly recording HD content. I can even record two channels at once - possibly only from different transponders - not sure.  I guess I won't be updating the OS on that machine!




Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/32019730  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount

 

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, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex

 

 


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