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183 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 24655 30-Jul-2008 09:27
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My current pc isn't equipped to handle freeview hd terrestrial well so time for an upgrade. I'd also like to to handle games like cod4, hl2:ep2 on high settings. My budget is $1500 and this is what i've come up with so far.

Motherboard - Asus P5Q Intel P45 - $197.9
Main reasons:
* Supports pci-e 2
* 3 pci
* 2 pci-e 1x
* external usb and firewire support
* system bus 1600
* ddr2 1200

CPU - Intel CORE 2 DUO E8400 3.00GHz,1.33GHz FSB,L2:6MB,45nm $257.93
overclocked to
CPU - Intel CORE 2 DUO E8400 3.60GHz,1.60GHz FSB,L2:6MB,45nm
Main reasons:
* High multiplier, get good overclock
* 45nm chip runs cooler
* 6MB L2 cache for games
* Recent price drop

RAM - OCZ DDR2-1066 PC2-8500 Reaper HPC Edition OCZ2RPR10662GK CL5-5-5-15 - $122.93 5-year warranty
overclocked to
RAM - OCZ DDR2-1200 PC2-9600
Main reasons:
* Comfortable overclock to 1200 @ 2.2v
* 5-year warranty

Graphics Card - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 - $303.75 2-year warranty
Main reasons:
* Can get good fps on games like cod4, hl2:ep2 with settings on high.
* Looks like great bang for buck
* Hopefully it'll be able to handle the new games for the next 4 years.
* H.264 decoder (for freeview hd terrestrial)
- Runs hot if not cooled properly

Tv Tunder Card - Hauppauge HVR2200 PCI-E (WHITE BOX) - $134.66
Main reasons:
* Dual channel tuner
* Analogue capture
* dvb-t
- Not sure if it can handle recording freeview hd while watchin gprime?

Hard drive - Seagate Barracuda 11 7200rpm 1TB SATA2 32MB Cache (ST31000340AS) - $242.15 5-year warranty
Main reasons:
* Well it just looks great. Also i've had good results with Seagate hard drives.

PSU - Corsair HX520W (CMPSU-520HX) PSU - $143.60 5-year warranty
Main reasons:
* Powerful enough to handle my set up. (stable under load)
* Good range of cables
* Quite

Sony MPF920 3.5 Branded Floppy Drive Black $16.88
Main reasons:
* Just need a floppy drive.

Case - Undecided. Bascially i want one with good air flow, quite, vibration free, solid construction, front ports for usb, mic, headphone, firewire, e-sata. And everythings got to fit without probs. Doesnt seem like to much to ask but i havnt found one that fits this criteria yet :(


My whole goal is to build a system where there's no real bottleneck and that all parts complement each other. I figured that if i went for a cpu and ram with lower fsb to mobo i'd have the option to overclock them to Intels P45 chip fsb potential if needed. My logic might be wrong their?

Would the HD 4850 card be hindered if i went for a Intel P35 mobo with pci-e v1 support only? (I have no plans for a crossfire setup)
I see some P35 boards that support system bus 1600[oc] and ddr2 1200[oc] (e.g Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3)so i could go for one of them if pci-e v1 isnt a bottle neck for the HD4850 card.

That's all i can think of for now. What do you think?

tia :)
charley

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217 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 152697 30-Jul-2008 14:39
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Double check the HVR2200. I have an HVR-3000, which claims to be a triple-format capture card: Analog, DVB-S, and DVB-T. This is true, however the analog doesn't have a hardware MPEG II encoder, the encoding of the analog capture is done by the CPU. This means the analog capture part of the card doesn't work with many PVR applications (such as GB PVR).

You may be better off getting a dedicated DVB-T card and a separate PVR-150 for analog captures.

HTH
Buzzy



183 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 152700 30-Jul-2008 14:46
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Interesting you say that. The ati 48xx series specs show that the Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2) works with H.264/AVC, VC-1, and MPEG-2 video formats. So wonder if it's possible to get it to decode analogue channels?
http://ati.amd.com/products/Radeonhd4800/specs.html

Why cant PVR applications (such as GB PVR) use the cpu for decoding anyway?

 
 
 
 


217 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 152704 30-Jul-2008 14:56
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charley: Why cant PVR applications (such as GB PVR) use the cpu for decoding anyway?


Charlie - they can, I was talking about ENcoding not DEcoding :) The Hauppauge PVR-150/250/350 have hardware encoders on the board. The card receives the signal, encodes it, and hands the resulting MPEG II stream to the PVR application. All the application has to do is write it to disk, display it, or whatever else it pleases.

The HVR-3000 doesn't have an encoder chip, so it hands a full uncompressed video stream to the application. The app would then have to do its own encoding in realtime, in software, and write the resulting stream to disk. This is pretty CPU intensive.

Digital transmissions arrive at the card as an MPEG II (DVB-S) or H.264 (DVB-T) stream, so no hardware encoding is required.

Cheers,
Buzzy



183 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 152709 30-Jul-2008 15:16
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I see what you mean. So if you dont have a pvr card your best option with regards to analogue and terrestrial at the same time is to watch the prime and record the terrestrial.

But look here, the 48xx specs say "Accelerated video transcoding & encoding for H.264 and MPEG-2 formats". So wonder if the hd4850 card would also encode prime for ready use with PVR applications?

217 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 152715 30-Jul-2008 15:45
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The 4850 won't do that by itself; it'd have to be told to do the transcoding by the PVR application. Currently most PVR apps don't support that kind of thing. Others may be able to comment on their experiences, but to my knowledge GB PVR doesn't support realtime transcoding via the vid card.

Cheers,
Buzzy



183 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 152740 30-Jul-2008 16:46
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So if i got a Nova-T 500 HD, WinTV-PVR-150 and HD4850 card i'll be able to watch analogue record terrestrial, watch terrestrial record analogue, watch terrestrial record terrestrial and watch analogue record analogue while using very little cpu?

I see both cards Nova-T 500 HD and WinTV-PVR-150 come with remotes. Will either of these remotes work with software that supports freeview's HD terrestrial so you can can channels?


138 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 152748 30-Jul-2008 17:23
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charley:

So if i got a Nova-T 500 HD, WinTV-PVR-150 and HD4850 card i'll be able to watch analogue record terrestrial, watch terrestrial record analogue, watch terrestrial record terrestrial and watch analogue record analogue while using very little cpu?

I see both cards Nova-T 500 HD and WinTV-PVR-150 come with remotes. Will either of these remotes work with software that supports freeview's HD terrestrial so you can can channels?



The answer to the first part is yes, as with two DVB-T tuners you can record as many TVNZ and Mediaworks channels as you wish, and the single analog tuner can record Prime. And with a fast CPU and HD acceleration this will have little load on the CPU. The important things to note here:

- Watching is the same thing as recording, when you watch TV in a PVR app the data is being written to the hard drive (timeshifting) and played back.

- Recording TV off a digital source, or with a hardware MPEG2 encoder, has a very small load on the CPU. It is effectivly like a network data write, in fact some DVB devices show up as network devices in Devices Manager.

- It is decoding (playing back) HD streams that is the difficult task, and where a H.264 hardware accelerating card does its thing to provide smooth playback.

To answer your second question, you definitely want to be using Media Portal and yes it works with both those remotes. Why Media Portal? It supports both DVB-T and analogue (and a mixture of both), and supports multi-rec. This is what allows you to record multiple TVNZ (TV1, TV2, TVNZ 6, TVNZ 7) or Mediaworks (TV3, C4) off a single tuner due to how digital TV works.

Having said that you should definately look at the HVR2200. As long as you have another source for a remote, such as an MCE one of the PVR150 one, it provides more flexibility with its analogue tuners and frees up PCI slots. And yes it can do DVB-T and analogue at the same time in any combination up to two tuners.

Finally I would suggest going and doing some googling on this subject, it might help to have a better understanding. Don't take offense to that, it is pretty complicated and I don't pretend to understand it all. If you are going to spend a few grand on such a system I would strongly recommend a better understanding thats all!



183 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 153280 1-Aug-2008 12:20
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amphibem:
- Watching is the same thing as recording, when you watch TV in a PVR app the data is being written to the hard drive (timeshifting) and played back.

Does timeshifting hinder the hard drive from doing other pc related things properly? Till now i was only thinking of the cpu.
amphibem:
- Recording TV off a digital source, or with a hardware MPEG2 encoder, has a very small load on the CPU. It is effectivly like a network data write, in fact some DVB devices show up as network devices in Devices Manager.

- It is decoding (playing back) HD streams that is the difficult task, and where a H.264 hardware accelerating card does its thing to provide smooth playback.

To answer your second question, you definitely want to be using Media Portal and yes it works with both those remotes. Why Media Portal? It supports both DVB-T and analogue (and a mixture of both), and supports multi-rec. This is what allows you to record multiple TVNZ (TV1, TV2, TVNZ 6, TVNZ 7) or Mediaworks (TV3, C4) off a single tuner due to how digital TV works.

How many terrestrial channels can i record off the dvb-t tuner at once?
amphibem:

Having said that you should definately look at the HVR2200. As long as you have another source for a remote, such as an MCE one of the PVR150 one, it provides more flexibility with its analogue tuners and frees up PCI slots. And yes it can do DVB-T and analogue at the same time in any combination up to two tuners.

If the HVR-2200 can encode analogue and also support watching/recording terrestrial & analogue at the same time through vista and MediaPortal TVServer then why do i want the PVR150 card?
amphibem:
Finally I would suggest going and doing some googling on this subject, it might help to have a better understanding. Don't take offense to that, it is pretty complicated and I don't pretend to understand it all. If you are going to spend a few grand on such a system I would strongly recommend a better understanding thats all!

It's cool man i'm glad that people like your self take the time to explain how tv works on the pc. So mpeg2 h/w encoder is needed for analogue & pvr s/w plus it will also relieve cpu. Terrestrial doesnt require a h/w encoder for pvr s/w but a H.264 h/w decoder is needed to relieve the cpu.

tia,
charley

217 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 153291 1-Aug-2008 13:04
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charley:Does timeshifting hinder the hard drive from doing other pc related things properly? Till now i was only thinking of the cpu.


It does put some load on the HDD. Regardless of whether you're timeshifting analog or digital, you're writing to the disk and reading from it. For analog or DVB-S, you're probably reading/writing about 1MB/s. Modern disks can sustain around 30MB/s. If you start trying to do something else that's read/write intensive, then you will probably see it slow down compared to doing the same task when the PC is idle.

charley:If the HVR-2200 can encode analogue and also support watching/recording terrestrial & analogue at the same time through vista and MediaPortal TVServer then why do i want the PVR150 card?


If the HVR-2200 can encode analog with MediaPortal then you don't need the PVR-150 as well :) You can always purchase and install a PVR-150 down the track if you find that the HVR-2200 isn't doing what you want

Cheers,
Buzzy

1075 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 172


  Reply # 153293 1-Aug-2008 13:08
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Better to get a Microsoft remote, Yes the HVR2200 does do hadware encoding of the ananlog side and it can do digital and anlalog at the same time, IMHO it beats the the NOVA T hands down; no supprise though it's a much newer card.




138 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 153294 1-Aug-2008 13:11
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charley:
So mpeg2 h/w encoder is needed for pvr s/w and it will also relieves cpu. Terrestrial doesnt require a h/w encoder for pvr s/w but a H.264 h/w decoder is needed to relieve the cpu.

tia,
charley


Thats a pretty good summation. I'll answer you other questions in order:

charley:
Does timeshifting hinder the hard drive from doing other pc related things properly? Till now i was only thinking of the cpu.
charley


It shouldn't do significantly. By my maths TV recording uses around 0.8MB/s to 1.2MB/s depending on resolution. Now a modern hard drive can sustain at least 40MB/s constant read/write, so you wouldn't think there would be a problem. My personal experience however is that my Seagate 7200.10 gets sluggish while recording 3+ shows and trying to watch another one, and I assume this due to the drive head having to seekto different parts of the disk. If you are only timeshifting one channel at a time though, no problem.

charley:
How many terrestrial channels can i record off the dvb-t tuner at once?
charley


Assuming no bottlenecks on the PC, one tuner can record all the channel on a mux. So for TVNZ for example, you could record TV1, TV2, TVNZ6 and TVNZ7 all at once. With the Nova T 500 or HVR2200, add TV and C4 to that for a total of 6 channels off 2 tuners.

charley:
If the HVR-2200 can encode analogue and also support watching/recording terrestrial & analogue at the same time through vista and MediaPortal TVServer then why do i want the PVR150 card?
charley


You don't need one just to get Prime, but if say you want to record TV2, TV3 and Prime at the same time (a situation I personally experience) then you need 2 DVB-T tuners + an analogue tuner which is more than the HVR 2200 can provide by itself. Hence HVR2200+PVR150 gives you all the recording capacity you need. There is one final point on this, my recommendation would be to plan on needing 3 DVB-T tuners in the future. This is based on my personal assumption (i.e. I havn't heard anything official) that if Sky does eventually allow Prime to be on Freeview, it will be on the Kordia mux and and hence the desire for 3 DVB-T tuners. Does that make sense?



183 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 153304 1-Aug-2008 13:40
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Wouldn't two hard drives solve the timeshifting issue you may get? So 2 500gb drives would be the way to go?

amphibem:
You don't need one just to get Prime, but if say you want to record TV2, TV3 and Prime at the same time (a situation I personally experience) then you need 2 DVB-T tuners + an analogue tuner which is more than the HVR 2200 can provide by itself. Hence HVR2200+PVR150 gives you all the recording capacity you need. There is one final point on this, my recommendation would be to plan on needing 3 DVB-T tuners in the future. This is based on my personal assumption (i.e. I havn't heard anything official) that if Sky does eventually allow Prime to be on Freeview, it will be on the Kordia mux and and hence the desire for 3 DVB-T tuners. Does that make sense?

That's a good point for recording 2 terrestrial channels of different networks + Prime at once. Could see myself needing that.

I guess recording a channel from each of the terrestrial networks at once could be achieved with 2 HVR2200 cards?


29 posts

Geek


  Reply # 157738 18-Aug-2008 15:02
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This is getting confusing now...

charley:
If the HVR-2200 can encode analogue and also support watching/recording terrestrial & analogue at the same time through vista and MediaPortal TVServer then why do i want the PVR150 card?
charley


amphibem:
You don't need one just to get Prime, but if say you want to record TV2, TV3 and Prime at the same time (a situation I personally experience) then you need 2 DVB-T tuners + an analogue tuner which is more than the HVR 2200 can provide by itself. Hence HVR2200+PVR150 gives you all the recording capacity you need. There is one final point on this, my recommendation would be to plan on needing 3 DVB-T tuners in the future. This is based on my personal assumption (i.e. I havn't heard anything official) that if Sky does eventually allow Prime to be on Freeview, it will be on the Kordia mux and and hence the desire for 3 DVB-T tuners. Does that make sense?


So would a HVR3000+PVR150 do the same job?

Thanks

138 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 157740 18-Aug-2008 15:20
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graemer: This is getting confusing now...

charley:
If the HVR-2200 can encode analogue and also support watching/recording terrestrial & analogue at the same time through vista and MediaPortal TVServer then why do i want the PVR150 card?
charley


amphibem:
You don't need one just to get Prime, but if say you want to record TV2, TV3 and Prime at the same time (a situation I personally experience) then you need 2 DVB-T tuners + an analogue tuner which is more than the HVR 2200 can provide by itself. Hence HVR2200+PVR150 gives you all the recording capacity you need. There is one final point on this, my recommendation would be to plan on needing 3 DVB-T tuners in the future. This is based on my personal assumption (i.e. I havn't heard anything official) that if Sky does eventually allow Prime to be on Freeview, it will be on the Kordia mux and and hence the desire for 3 DVB-T tuners. Does that make sense?


So would a HVR3000+PVR150 do the same job?

Thanks


Both are hybrid cards, the HVR3000 has DVB-T, DVB-S and analogue while the HVR2200 has DVB-T and analogue.

The HVR3000 can only use of its tuners at a time, so using either the DVB-T or DVB-S tuner you could record either the TVNZ mux (TV1, TV2) or the Mediaworks mux (TV3, C4).

The HVR 2200 can use two of its tuners at once, and can hence record of the TVNZ mux and the Mediaworks mux at the same time. The PVR150 in either case is for Prime.

29 posts

Geek


  Reply # 157756 18-Aug-2008 15:57
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amphibem:

Both are hybrid cards, the HVR3000 has DVB-T, DVB-S and analogue while the HVR2200 has DVB-T and analogue.

The HVR3000 can only use of its tuners at a time, so using either the DVB-T or DVB-S tuner you could record either the TVNZ mux (TV1, TV2) or the Mediaworks mux (TV3, C4).

The HVR 2200 can use two of its tuners at once, and can hence record of the TVNZ mux and the Mediaworks mux at the same time. The PVR150 in either case is for Prime.


Right, makes the water a little clearer... 

I am putting together an HTPC to which I want to feed Sky digital, Freeview.  What would you suggest for tuners?  I read somewhere that Prime needs to be treated differently, but so far I get that via Sky, so am confused about that as well.

Thanks

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