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424 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 59000 24-Mar-2010 18:57
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Since I realised that if I had a standard PVR (Zinwell, Homecast, Magic etc) and it died, I'd lose hundreds of hours of material, I decided to go the HTPC way to record programs.  There is a lot of confusing information / advice (usually in the form of "don't buy the xyz1234, go with the yzx4213, it's got more power, and you'll need the updated version which handles the WTF2.2 codec.  I think").

I happened to come across this upgrade system from PCU here in Christchurch:



  • AMD Athlon II X2 240 Dual Core CPU

  • Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H Motherboard  

  • 2GB DDR3 1333MHz Ram

  • Hauppauge HVR-2200 TV Tuner

  • Watch and Record analogue or digital TV

  • Integrated ATI Radeon HD4200 graphics (DirectX10.1)

  • PCI-E Port for Upgrading

  • High quality 106dB SNR HD audio

  • Optical S/PDIF Out

  • Support for Dolby® Home Theatre

  • Gigabit LAN

  • IEEE1394 Firewire  

  • USB 2.0 Ports


 From http://pcu.co.nz/store/product.php?product=3850 The price is $679 but I'm not really concerned about that, also it doesn't include a case, or drives and peripherals.  This is actually the first HTPC setup I've come across from a company that is trying to sell their system. I would be running Windows 7 Media Centre. What are people's opinions of what they've chosen?  Thanks.

Also, they've written out a description of watching and recording Freeview here in NZ: http://www.pcu.co.nz/content/freeview.aspx any comments, mistakes etc? 

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299 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 310934 24-Mar-2010 19:25
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I priced up the same parts (CPU, Motherboard, RAM and TV Tuner) for $530 inc GST and delivery from ascent.co.nz.  My advice would be if you are going to buy parts then you can't got wrong with Ascent or Computer Lounge.




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3941 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 311119 25-Mar-2010 08:06
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The only comment on the freeview link would be on this:
"There are ways around this, such as importing an XML file into Media Centre that gets downloaded every day from the internet with the full EPG. Tools such as the Big Screen EPG (BSE) can do this, Google has lots of information about this. "

But the recent spate of take down notices have been directed at web sites that held Sky Data - I think all the ones with freeview data are still ok.


Other than that it was written fairly well and while I don;t use any of their recommended hardware I would recommend that to others for a simpler set up experience.

The only point they don't touch on properly (in my opinion) was on the video cards.  I would have liked them to be a bit more pointed inthe video capablilites needed i.e an Nvidia 8500Gt and above, 9400Gt and above and the ATi eqivalents.  Giving the minimum spec needed.

But those are pretty minor faults.




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,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


81 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 311144 25-Mar-2010 09:22
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timestyles: Since I realised that if I had a standard PVR (Zinwell, Homecast, Magic etc) and it died, I'd lose hundreds of hours of material, I decided to go the HTPC way to record programs. 


If you're going to go the Freeview|HD route, you probably won't be able to store hundreds of hours of TV, cos each recording takes up a lot of space. I have a 1 Tb drive with about 500 Gb free for TV, and I find I usually delete stuff after I've watched it anyway cos if I didn't it didn't take too long to fill it.

Sorry I'm not at home right now so I can't tell you exactly how much space a recording uses, but obviously it varies, with TV3 being the heaviest and C4 and Prime the lightest, and TV One and TV2 in between.

-Matt

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 311175 25-Mar-2010 10:37
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For Freeview|HD (H.264) - TV1, 2 is about 4GB an hour. - TV3 is about 6GB an hour.

SD channels (C4, Prime etc) I think are about 1 gb an hour (as opposed to Freeview - DVB-S/Mpeg2 which runs around 2gb an hour - similar as a dvd)




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,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


481 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 311227 25-Mar-2010 12:06
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mattyboy2: If you're going to go the Freeview|HD route, you probably won't be able to store hundreds of hours of TV, cos each recording takes up a lot of space.

My HTPC uses a two disc setup - a 750GB disc for Windows and "odds 'n sods" and a second 1TB disc for TV recordings. 1TB will store approximately 165 hours of material from TV3, or 250 hours from TV One and TV2, or 600 hours or so from the other channels. Even so, a policy of record and never delete wouldn't work - I always delete programmes after watching them, and I've still built-up a backlog of something like 500GB of unwatched recordings!

722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 311463 25-Mar-2010 22:20
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One of the earlier respondents stated that Computer Lounge was one of the best PC resellers. I feel I need to quantify that statement due to an instance I had about one year ago.

I did my normal due diligience, in terms of research for parts. I bought the PC case I was after from Computer Lounge, only to find the location of the PSU meant my existing PSU's cables weren't long enough to reach the HDDs.  I had even looked inside the case before I bought, but had not even considered that issue.

I took back the case, the same day, with ALL components & boxing intact & present. The proprietor stated because I had opened the case, I was responsible for the restocking fee of 15%.

Less than 1 day & ALL parts were returned intact, & it cost me an extra 15%.

I had spent maybe around $1000 at their company over about 3 years. Sorry: but I haven't been back since, & I have had to replace a failed HVR-2200 card out of it's warranty that I bought from them, & would have repurchased from them, but for this issue.

Don't get me wrong: they never failed me with any service issue: just that. My preferred place of procurement is Playtech: THEY HAVE NEVER FAILED ME. Even when I had an issue with an AMD setup that was unforeseable.




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

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