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146 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 9


Topic # 24927 7-Aug-2008 00:48
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Now that HD is becoming more ubiquitous and with the upcoming olympic coverage, it is time to get off my arse and build that HTPC I've been meaning to build since I got back from the States (where I had a TiVo :)

My situation is this: I have TelstraClear Cable TV and also want to be able to view and record Freeview DVB-T.
I have a few questions that I haven't found answers to here yet.

1. What is the situation with tuning my TelstraClear box?  Are there any issues with using any of the IR blaster solutions to tune these boxes?

2. It looks like the HVR-2200 is the currently recommended card atm?  According to Hauppauge's site this is dual tuner, but I gather what the mean by that is one analogue and one digital tuner, right?. So if I wanted to record two DVB=T channels or two analgue channels I'd need two cards, correct?

3. Whatever PVR software I choose, is it easy to configure them so that they record from the DVB-T/HD sources in preference to analogue?  ie. I presume for flexibility you want all cards to see all inputs, but can you set it up to record the digital/HD source if its available rather than the analogue source?

4. How critical is getting the silent power supply/case etc?  I think the most noise in my current PC is from the graphics card fan.  Will getting a quite graphics card be enough?

4a. Same question re HTPC cases.  Are they worth all that extra money?

I see a lot of high spec HTPC setups listed on the forums.  Can anyone point me at a spec for a good, reliable (but not outrageous expensive) setup?
I'm thinking something like the following:

- Core Duo 2.4G+
- mobo TBD
- case TBD
- 2G RAM
- 500G+ HDD
- DVD writer (maybe blueray)
- 8850+ video card (for the H.264 accel - yes?) or a mobo like the Intel G45s that supports H264
- HVR-2200 (x2)
- Media centre software TBD
- Harmony or MCE remote

Thanks in advance for everyone's advice and suggestions

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994 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 29


  Reply # 154863 7-Aug-2008 09:47
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Couple of things:

The HVR-2200 is a dual digital/analogue tuner meaning that you can record analogue+digital, 2x digital or 2x analogue signals at once. In fact, you can record all the channels in one mux with each one of the tuners meaning you can record all channels in two muxes at once (someone correct me if Im wrong). Therefore you prob dont need two. I think mediaportal has issues with analogue signals from that card (maybe older versions of MP only, not sure) so a separate analogue card is what some mediaportal fans have used. You may or may not know that you cant currently use Vista media center for DVB-T.

Personally I wouldnt say its "easy" to set up the DVB-T in any PVR, but Im a n00b when it comes to PC TV. Its not too complicated really but quite a few people have issues.

Quiet PSU is fairly important, but most are fairly quiet these days. Im going for the Corsair HX520 modular, have a look at that.

For the graphics card, Id recommend 8600GT 512MB. This will enable you to do some limited gaming too if desired. If gaming is important, you could also look at the 9600GT. You can get away with an 8500GT (if strictly used for home theatre only) but the price dif between 8500 & 8600 is small.

Case is a matter of preference really. Just make sure that the case will fit the graphics card you choose as even the bigger ones can get cramped due to the position of HDD cages and optical drives. Silverstone make some good cases in all price ranges.

Sorry cant help with the telstra cable thing unfortunately. Hope that helps a little




HTPC: Silverstone Crown CW02 case | Asus P5Q-L main board | Intel Dual core E8400 3.0GHz CPU | Thermalright Ultra120-Extreme Passive CPU Cooler | Blackgold BTG3540 TV Tuner & Hauppauge PVR-150 MCE Edition | Asus EN9600GT-Silent Passive GPU | 4GB Supertalent DDR2 800 RAM | 5+TB HDD space | LiteOn DH-401S BD/DVD/CD reader | Corsair HX-520w PSU | 1 single Noctua Silent Case fan | Logitech diNovo Bluetooth Media Desktop | Logitech Harmony 785 Universal Remote | Logitech Wireless Rumblepad 2 | Windows 7 Media Center, MediaBrowser & Arcsoft Total Media Theatre



146 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 9


  Reply # 155009 7-Aug-2008 17:23
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Thanks Asmodeus

Thanks for catching my typo re gfx cards.  Of course I meant 8500 (not 8850).  You make a good point re getting a good card.  Theres a resonable chance I would want to play games on the big screen.

 
 
 
 


722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 155018 7-Aug-2008 17:44
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BigBadaboom: Now that HD is becoming more ubiquitous and with the upcoming olympic coverage, it is time to get off my arse and build that HTPC I've been meaning to build since I got back from the States (where I had a TiVo :)

My situation is this: I have TelstraClear Cable TV and also want to be able to view and record Freeview DVB-T.
I have a few questions that I haven't found answers to here yet.

1. What is the situation with tuning my TelstraClear box?  Are there any issues with using any of the IR blaster solutions to tune these boxes? Can't help here

2. It looks like the HVR-2200 is the currently recommended card atm?  According to Hauppauge's site this is dual tuner, but I gather what the mean by that is one analogue and one digital tuner, right?. So if I wanted to record two DVB=T channels or two analgue channels I'd need two cards, correct? As stated by Asmodeus. Mediaportal RC2 will record/play analogue stations eg. Prime. Make sure you get a card that has hardware decoding on the analogue side. This is essential if you plan on using Mediaportal at any stage. A number of people here have bought the wrong card, then tried to use MP. I use HVR-2200 but use an existing 150MCE analogue card for Prime to free up for twin DVB-T records.

3. Whatever PVR software I choose, is it easy to configure them so that they record from the DVB-T/HD sources in preference to analogue?  ie. I presume for flexibility you want all cards to see all inputs, but can you set it up to record the digital/HD source if its available rather than the analogue source? The card will record only what is broadcast, if the signal is DVB-T HD (ie. TVs1,2,3)then it will record in it, depending if the programme is produced in HD or SD. If it is DVB-T SD (ie. C4, Maori, TVNZ6,7 & Sports Extra) then you will only get standard definition records. The last may be possible depending on your frontend software. Mediaportal only allows you to set the tuners' priorities within the config. You cannot allocate which programmes will record with which tuner.

4. How critical is getting the silent power supply/case etc?  I think the most noise in my current PC is from the graphics card fan.  Will getting a quite graphics card be enough?Get a passive 8600Gt video card: ie. no fan & easily powerful enough for DVB-T work. It pays not to game on an HTPC.

4a. Same question re HTPC cases.  Are they worth all that extra money?I don't believe the cases with VFD (mini-displays) are worth the extra. Who ever walks from their chair to use the thing. Eye candy, is all. Spend the extra on a better remote that has functions to work from the operator's chair.

I see a lot of high spec HTPC setups listed on the forums.  Can anyone point me at a spec for a good, reliable (but not outrageous expensive) setup?
I'm thinking something like the following:

- Core Duo 2.4G+ check my sig.
- mobo TBD
- case TBD
- 2G RAM
- 500G+ HDD
- DVD writer (maybe blueray)
- 8850+ video card (for the H.264 accel - yes?) or a mobo like the Intel G45s that supports H264
- HVR-2200 (x2) Good choice
- Media centre software TBD
- Harmony or MCE remote Think you will need both unless Harmony comes with IR receiver

Thanks in advance for everyone's advice and suggestions




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



146 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 9


  Reply # 155050 7-Aug-2008 20:10
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1gkar:
Make sure you get a card that has hardware decoding on the analogue side. This is essential if you plan on using Mediaportal at any stage. A number of people here have bought the wrong card, then tried to use MP. I use HVR-2200 but use an existing 150MCE analogue card for Prime to free up for twin DVB-T records.



Thanks mate.
It sounded when I first read this that you were suggesting that the 2200 didn't do h/w encoding.  But I'm guessing you already had the analogue cards and added the 2200 later?





4025 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1076

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  Reply # 155071 7-Aug-2008 22:06
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BigBadaboom:
1gkar:
Make sure you get a card that has hardware decoding on the analogue side. This is essential if you plan on using Mediaportal at any stage. A number of people here have bought the wrong card, then tried to use MP. I use HVR-2200 but use an existing 150MCE analogue card for Prime to free up for twin DVB-T records.



Thanks mate.
It sounded when I first read this that you were suggesting that the 2200 didn't do h/w encoding.  But I'm guessing you already had the analogue cards and added the 2200 later?

I'd say thats the case because freeview only launched earlier this year, so there wasnt much point in the HVR-2200 before.

But yes the HVR-2200 does have h/w encoding for analogue.

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