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8 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 42392 3-Oct-2009 21:08
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Hey, im looking at building my own HTPC Box, i just have a few questions, hoping if you pepz can help =)

ok, I have Sky decoder, i would like to be able to record it to the htpc

What would be the cheapest setup i could have? I dont want any High Def or anything, just normal sky..

i would like to run it from the sky decoder to the pc (A/V cords), and then display it on my tv (through A/V??)

I would also like to recored and maybe have the time lapse feature..(pause, rewind??)

What sort of TV card do i need??
what sort of CPU speed to i need?
Ram?
GFX card??
Do i neeed a sound card or can i work with onboard?

I need the minimum specs, as i dont have much cash =(

as i said before... No Hd, just normal crappy digital tv.


Sorry, if its confusing, im not to sure how to explain!! =)

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 260917 4-Oct-2009 09:06
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Recording off sky is relatively simple. I use half a dual tuner to do it. In my case a PVR500 analogue tuner card from Hauppauge. There is also a PVR150 which is a single tuner. This is an mpeg2 hardware encoding tuner card (makes files that are DVD compatible).

You can also hook this card to an aerial and record the old analogue tv signals (vhf/uhf).

One thing to note with the recording off sky is the infrared blasting (changing channels on the sky box) this is possible, but not sure if the hardware that comes with various tuner cards can do it natively, or if you need a Microsoft MCE remote/blaster.

Because at the time I was with TelstraClear, the blasting wasn't supported, so I bought a device called a usb-uirt which can receive and transmit IR signals. It's used to this day to control my (now) sky box.

As for hardware, 2ghz cpu minimum, I'd recommend dual cpu (means it can do something in the background), and because you're not looking at hd you could go for an onboard video card, or a low end pcie (or even agp if you want old school). Sound I use on board with no issues, my motherboard has a SPDIF header for connection to a video card to use HDMI, and a spdif jack for output to a stereo. But inthe past I have used the headphone jack to stereo rcas to a television.



I would say however, think about the video card, as later on you may decide to put HD in (assuming you're in coverage area), and simple by adding a better video card and dvb-t tuner you can get this functionality....




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex


107 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 260925 4-Oct-2009 09:19
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Building a HTPC box is not cheap. I spent about $800 on mine. I think you can do it for about $500 on the cheap.

You would be best off buying a motherboard with integrated graphics (3200 min) including HDMI port. CPU should be a dual core 3200 or better. ATI is usually cheapest for a motherboard / graphics combo. Integrated sound is fine. 2GB of ram is recommended. I use MediaPortal software on mine and find it works well.

The capture card you use can be anything from simple mpeg capture card to HD freeview terrestrial or satellite card with external card reader. Getting sky to work with your setup is difficult and complicated. If you use a mpeg capture card and feed the composite signal to the capture card you will lose quality and I don't recommend it. Capturing the sky satellite directly is very difficult and requires a certain type of sky card to work.

I built my htpc box when there were not a lot of alternatives. If my HTPC box blew up today I would not bother building another one as there are far cheaper and less complex alternatives available today.

My recommendation.
Rent mysky for $15 a month. its worth it.
Buy an xbox 360 or this something like this http://www.xtreamer.net/ for playing back downloaded content.

If you still decide to go down the HTPC route, there should be plenty of information available in these forums to help you get started.

 
 
 
 




8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 260928 4-Oct-2009 09:26
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Awesome, Thank s guys, thats given me ALOT to think about! I was thinking about just buying a old pc, and just upgrading it with the tuner card and stuff =)

@davidcole

About the infrared blasting, i will just use the sky remote, no biggey
Thanks

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  Reply # 260932 4-Oct-2009 10:01
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Wackowillie: Awesome, Thank s guys, thats given me ALOT to think about! I was thinking about just buying a old pc, and just upgrading it with the tuner card and stuff =)

@davidcole

About the infrared blasting, i will just use the sky remote, no biggey
Thanks


Fair enough, I just prefer to set all recordings to the middle of the night, leaving the sky box free during the day for our use.

In saying that, the wife only watches sky though the pvr, rather than having to play around getting sky remotes etc..




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex


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