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Master Geek


Topic # 25577 26-Aug-2008 00:24
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Looking at getting a HTPC setup. Currently have a E2180 at 3Ghz, 2gb ram, p35 matx board.

Looking around at cases/graphics cards/tv tuner/remotes

Case:
Was going for NSK2480, but may be problem for power and space if wanting to go with powerful graphics card. Whats the largest graphics card that can fit in the mobo chamber?

TV tuners:
Between hvr-2200 and nova 500. Pro of the 500 of course being remote, hvr-2200 having built in FM and from what I've read around seems to be more reccomended.

graphics cards:
After doing a bit of gaming at 1080 very keen to get a high powered graphics card so I can play games like GRID on the TV. What would be the reccomended card for this resolution? Was thinking along the lines of 4850 for great bang for buck.

remotes:
Looking at getting a logitech harmony remote to control HTPC and TV, with the hvr-2200 what is the easiest way to get the remote working with media portal? With the nova 500 would the logitech be able to replace the original remote in all ways? Is it easy to setup with media portal?

Cheers for any help

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  Reply # 159755 26-Aug-2008 00:44
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do you need to connect to a set top box - e.g. sky box - or tune into Prime on UHF?  you can do neither of these with the Nova-T cards.  Also they are PCI, not PCI-X so that might be either an advantage, or disadvantage depending on your view.

you can program the harmony remotes to peform the MCE remote functions so yes you can ditch the hauppauge remote.  you can also get a MCE remote kit seperate from the tv cards.  mediaportal can use the MCE remotes (just check a checkbox i think to make it work) and if you want to play with vista MCE then that, obviously, will work with the MCE remotes too.

there are bunches of cases available - silverstone have a lot of models and there are a few at the high end now from zalman, silverstone, thermaltake, antec etc.  i'd advise going to a store and taking a look - if you go to the right place they should be able to help you with compatibility of cases and GPUs.  if you are in auckland you could check out www.computerlounge.co.nz  Another thing to keep in mind is where you are going to put it.... the only case that would fit into my entertainment rack was the zalman hd160.  all the other models were too deep.  luckily i'm really happy with the zalman and its a perfect match for my onkyo amp.

can't help you with GPUs for games though, solitare doesnt use many fancy graphics




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Master Geek


  Reply # 159756 26-Aug-2008 00:56
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I have no need for prime/sky, i very rarely watch TV anyway, but having freeview HD would be good to have, and something that makes the HTPC more of a "complete" package.

Where abouts can I get one of the remote kits? Would the logitech work without one of the kits via the novas IR receiver?

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  Reply # 159757 26-Aug-2008 02:54
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Driftdamage: I have no need for prime/sky, i very rarely watch TV anyway, but having freeview HD would be good to have, and something that makes the HTPC more of a "complete" package.

Where abouts can I get one of the remote kits? Would the logitech work without one of the kits via the novas IR receiver?


if you bought one of the cases that comes with a VFD they usually have a remote receiver and remote control included - e.g. silverstone lc16, zalman hd160, antec fusion 430. The antec fusion is good value at $310 inc gst from www.computerlounge.co.nz as it comes with the VFD, remote control and 430watt silent power supply.  the zalman and silverstone are a little more expensive.

otherwise you can buy a seperate MCE remote control kit from microsoft or hauppauge for example:-
http://www.ifocus.co.nz/Keyboard+%25252F+Mice+%25252F+Input/Remote+Controls/Microsoft/Microsoft+Remote+Control+%252526+Reciever+for+MCE.html
or
http://www.ifocus.co.nz/Keyboard+%25252F+Mice+%25252F+Input/Remote+Controls/Hauppauge/Hauppauge+MCE+Remote+Control+Kit.html

EDIT: actually, looks like the antec fusion doesnt come with the remote control... just the VFD and PSU




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  Reply # 159773 26-Aug-2008 08:13
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If you're wanting to use Freeview|HD then don't even bother thinking about an ATI video card. ATI's H.264 support is broken and simply doesn't work for 99% of users. The odd person seems to get this working OK but most just give up and move to NVidia.

A video card with H.264 hardware acceleration is essential if you want a decent picture with H.264 content. Any 8 or 9 series NVidia card from the 8500 upwards will work OK (with the exception of some 8800's which are older cores).

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  Reply # 159805 26-Aug-2008 10:12
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Agree with above comments

HVR2200 = PCI-Ex1 / No remote / Analog Tuner / Svideo IN / FM Radio
(I can't get FM Radio to work in mediaportal , and Analog is still a bit buggy in Mediaportal RC2 - works for some people, but others are still having problems)

NOVA 500 = PCI / Includes Remote / No Analog / No Svideo in

VFDs = Don't exclude a case because it doesn't have VFD. VFD is a bit of a novelty really, You can't read the display from more than a few metres away and i havnt had many situations when i want to operate the PC without the display turned on.

ATI Cards = Can't do hardware accleration for interlaced Freeview DVB-T (TV3,C4, TVNZ6+7, TVNZ Sports Extra). However ATI cards have no problems with H264 720P/1080P movies and get a better rating for hardware acceleration of blueray. You said your not gonna watch much TV, and you want to play lots of games. I asumme if you want to play games at 1080 your CPU will be fast, so it would be plenty fast enough to software decode interlaced DVB-T. So on this basis if you think that ATI gives you a better card for playing 1080 games you should stick with ATI. I imagine that eventually ATI will sort out their problems with a driver update. If hardware acceleration of live Freeview TV is a must then go with nvidea.

Remotes = I recommend a remote that can control HTPC and your TV.  iMON remote that comes with Silverstone LC16-M is not programmable, so it can't learn to control your TV or volume on your Receiver.  If you are using an LCD monitor for your display you don't need the power button because the LCD will go into standby, however my TV displays a no signal detected logo rather than going into standby when i turn off the HTPC.

IR Receiver = Get an IR receiver that still receives power from the PSU when your HTPC is off/standby.  This way you can turn the computer on using the remote control.




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


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Master Geek


  Reply # 159856 26-Aug-2008 12:40
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I have an ATI HD4850 and it can do hardware acceleration on all freeview channels using poweredvd 8 codec and patch. I also have a Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 CPU and it only uses 25%-30% when watching freeview with hardware acceleration disabled.



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Master Geek


  Reply # 159868 26-Aug-2008 13:17
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Cheers for the comments guys.
About cases, I don't care for VFDs at all, my main concern is getting a case or a remote receiver that can be setup with a logitech harmony remote. My LCD tv displays a no input signal when computer turns monitor off, but with logitech harmony this shouldn't matter as I will be able to control TV with it.

Do the MCE remote kits linked above remain powered on when computer goes into standby/off so that I can turn it back on with remote?

Great news about getting 4850 working properly. Ati have far better bang for buck for performance at the moment, would have be reluctant to go and pay more for the same performing card

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  Reply # 159875 26-Aug-2008 13:34
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Driftdamage: Cheers for the comments guys.
About cases, I don't care for VFDs at all, my main concern is getting a case or a remote receiver that can be setup with a logitech harmony remote. My LCD tv displays a no input signal when computer turns monitor off, but with logitech harmony this shouldn't matter as I will be able to control TV with it.

Do the MCE remote kits linked above remain powered on when computer goes into standby/off so that I can turn it back on with remote?


i dont really use my VFD but the built-in remote receiver makes for a much cleaner look than an externally placed unit.  if you dont care about aesthetics the the kits are fine.

the kits also connected via USB and USB can typically be set to "wake" a machine from sleep.  in the case of the Zalman integrated unit the VFD/IR Receiver are also powered so that the MCE remote can be used to power on the machine when it is switched off too (unless you toggle the PSU switch!) which can be an advantage of going for the VFD cases.




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  Reply # 159878 26-Aug-2008 13:40
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charley: I have an ATI HD4850 and it can do hardware acceleration on all freeview channels using poweredvd 8 codec and patch. I also have a Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 CPU and it only uses 25%-30% when watching freeview with hardware acceleration disabled.


Hi can you please answer the following for us?

1. Which Catalyst Display Driver are you using?
1. Are you using Vista EVR or XP VMR?
2. If you toggle hardware accleration on/off and TV3 what is the difference in CPU useage?
3. Can you watch C4 with hardware acceleration enabled under mediaportal config -> directshow settings -> PDVD8 settings -> hardware deinterlacing = On?




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


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Master Geek


  Reply # 159884 26-Aug-2008 14:01
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kiwijunglist:
charley: I have an ATI HD4850 and it can do hardware acceleration on all freeview channels using poweredvd 8 codec and patch. I also have a Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 CPU and it only uses 25%-30% when watching freeview with hardware acceleration disabled.


Hi can you please answer the following for us?

1. Which Catalyst Display Driver are you using?
1. Are you using Vista EVR or XP VMR?
2. If you toggle hardware accleration on/off and TV3 what is the difference in CPU useage?
3. Can you watch C4 with hardware acceleration enabled under mediaportal config -> directshow settings -> PDVD8 settings -> hardware deinterlacing = On?

1. Catalyst Display Driver = 8.522-080731a-067975C-ATI
2. I use overlay mode.
3. ha off = 20%
ha on = 5%
4. I use DVBViewer.

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