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Topic # 57843 26-Feb-2010 12:56
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Hi all, I have a quick question that i need this forums expert help with. I currently have a GeForce 9400GT in my HTPC (see my specs in sig). This has done me well with Windows Media Centre, but I am looking to move to MediaPortal. Since MediaPortal has higher GPU requirements (which i can confirm as all channels work but TV3's 1080i which is fine in WMC and DVBviewer with similar codes) I am about to upgrade video cards.

I gave been recommended to get a 4670 by a very helpful Kiwi member of the MediaPortal forums (thanks Mike). However I have seen that the new 5670 is out and due to its smaller 40nm size it looks to run cooler and quieter. It also has a bunch of extra features like DX11 and Dolby audio.

But some if the specs worry me, for example it only has 20 Texture Units as opposed to the 4670's 32. Knowing my luck this may be the "one most important stat for Freeview + MediaPortal smooth playback".

In short, I’m asking if anyone can see any reason (other than price) why the 5670 could be a worse choice then the 4670 (in terms of on-paper-stats) for Freeview on MediaPortal in my HTPC. I am not sure about terms such as "Stream Processors" and "ROPs" so I can’t really compare spec sheets myself.

Thanks in advance.
Dom

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  Reply # 302459 26-Feb-2010 13:11
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The 5670 will be fine, far superior to the 4670. I'll get flamed for this, but MediaPortal is an average application, far too resource hungry for what it offers. Once XBMC gets PVR features (April) MP wont stand a chance.

Have a quick read of this article from Anandtech, in the conclusion they pretty much say the 5670 is the minumum for full HD. (thats with all the bells and whistles)

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3734



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  Reply # 302474 26-Feb-2010 13:58
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Thanks. Yea I'm a XBMC fan, but got tired of swapping in and out for live tv (plus the girlfriend factor of explaining both apps).

I just wanted to ask if I need anything more than raw power to get a good mediaportal experience?

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  Reply # 302484 26-Feb-2010 14:37
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I just don't know how Media Portal has become so resource hungry. You simply should not need anything beyond a 8xxx series Nvidia with H.264 to view a H.264 feed!

I'm still unconvinced ATI have fully fixed their H.264 decoding issues yet either, it's something to be a little wary of still.

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  Reply # 302494 26-Feb-2010 15:07
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Since when is MP resource hungry?
I'm running the TV Server side on my WHS box, which is an AMD 3400+ single core with 2GB RAM.
The CPU usage never goes above 50% even when recording 2 or 3 channels at the same time.
The client side runs on an Asus EeeBox which is only a single core Atom 230 with 1GB RAM and it runs great. (Also run a client on a couple of laptops)
It is only SD Freeview but MP is the same.






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  Reply # 302496 26-Feb-2010 15:13
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The issue is with TV3's HD 1080 interlaced content. It needs a more powerful card to display compared to other PVR software on the same system, and untill XBMC gets a PVR MP is the best all-in-one software i have found.



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  Reply # 302498 26-Feb-2010 15:15
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As a side note i tested the same system with my 4850 from my gaming rig. All i did was swap cards and install drivers, same codecs (PDVD9) and settings and MediaPortal ran TV3 fine.

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  Reply # 302504 26-Feb-2010 15:40
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dominicmck: The issue is with TV3's HD 1080 interlaced content. It needs a more powerful card to display compared to other PVR software on the same system, and untill XBMC gets a PVR MP is the best all-in-one software i have found.


1080i decoding is fine on a basic 8 series card nvidia card - any other piece of software can do this.

Why does Media Portal supposedly need something so much more powerful to do the same thing as GB-PVR, PowerDVD or Windows7?


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  Reply # 302533 26-Feb-2010 17:14
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I have never experienced any of these higher performance requirements. I have an 8500GT Passive Underclocked.
It runs TV3 perfectly fine at 50FPS and any drops of frames are due to signal scrambling, other than that it works fine. Codecs are PDVD8 previously and now Microsoft DTV codecs.
I dont have any 1080p content howerver i have downloaded trailers/sample videos to test it out and it works fine with those also.

I'd happily like an 9400GT instead of the 8500gt - i dont know why you're upgrading.

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  Reply # 302572 26-Feb-2010 20:34
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I think the MP developers claim that it is to do with the blending the GUI with the video. This means that the video has to be rendered as part of a texture (as opposed to just rendered directly to the screen). See this post for the best explanation I have seen: http://forum.team-mediaportal.com/1-0-1-svn-builds-313/1080i-material-not-deinterlacing-under-1-0-1-... Note that the poster is an MP developer so he knows what he is talking about.

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  Reply # 302578 26-Feb-2010 21:16
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the ATI HD4550's work pretty damned well so that card wont be an issue.. As for being resource hungry, you must be running a different program to me, my cpu barely does anything above idling most times (AMD X2 4800+) and the system runs 1GB of ram...

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  Reply # 302582 26-Feb-2010 21:24
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@askelon: according to Anandtech, the 4670 is the lowest gen-4 card that supports vector adaptive deinterlacing of 1080i material.

If you really want to buy the least powerful ATI card possible then I recommend that you read Anandtech's series of articles on the lower end 5-series cards. They talk about this very issue in excellent detail. I recommend this one in particular: http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=669. It indicates that the 5570 is the lowest end card that has enough grunt.

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  Reply # 302583 26-Feb-2010 21:25
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askelon: the ATI HD4550's work pretty damned well so that card wont be an issue.. As for being resource hungry, you must be running a different program to me, my cpu barely does anything above idling most times (AMD X2 4800+) and the system runs 1GB of ram...


No1 said anything about CPU usage Undecided It takes far more GPU power to do simple tasks, as said earlier even a 8400GS should be fine for TV3 HD, the fact MP needs more just proves my point.

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  Reply # 302597 26-Feb-2010 21:58
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I haven't used anything other than MediaPortal except when I initially chose to use MP. I guess if I had bought something lower that a 4670 (note that I was originally rocking a 6600GT then bought the 4670 for DxVA) or had a less powerful computer that I would have a stronger opinion. I absolutely see PANiCnz's point of view since the need for the extra grunt isn't really obvious to a user...

Every alternative has its drawbacks and strengths, and people will perceive features as more or less valuable based on what they need/want. Personally I thought GB-PVR was nice but its configuration was much more difficult to get my head around than MP's, it doesn't have the client-server architecture for streaming support like MP, and it isn't open source. XBMC has a *very* slick interface but TV support is a hack right now (I may give it a go when it gets proper support). MP is very powerful but it does have the extra requirements that are being discussed.

Enough from me I think! All the best dominicmck with whatever software and/or graphics card you choose :)



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  Reply # 302607 26-Feb-2010 22:25
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Wow! Thanks everyone. Blink and the thread is full of good replies. Lots to think about. I might give a few alternative pvr software a try over the weekend. Anyone got a easy quick guide to GB-pvr for Freeview HD in Auck.

Thanks again everyone.

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  Reply # 302644 27-Feb-2010 08:09
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GB-PVR has had a client/server architecture for years and also works great with other extenders such as the Popcorn Hour.

As for setup you just need to ensure you have an appropiate H.264 and Monogram AAC codecs installed, add the capture card and scan for channels. For the EPG just enter

http://epg.pvr.geek.nz/epg/freeview.xml.gz

In the box that pops up asking for an XML file location.

There is a lot more discussion on setup etc over at the GB-PVR forums. The software is written here in Wellington and sub (the author) is pretty quick with support if you have issues!




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