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Can You build your own PVR?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Hoosier, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Hoosier

    Hoosier Mentor

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    Jul 3, 2002
    Can you build your own PVR and get good picture quality?
    such as using Hauppauge PVR card ect... I would appreciate any advice on this? :shrug:
     
  2. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Absolutely. The PVR functions provided by my ATI AIW Radeon 7500 work great!
     
  3. Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

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    Whats the cost and features and where do you get this stuff at?
     
  4. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    All you need is a

    If not provided by your existing Video card, you will need a Video input card & PVR SW (don't know if these support changing channel of E* or D* reciever?)
    Big Enough Hard Drive
    Remote Control device.

    Some come out of the box (not including drive space) I think this one only supports Analog Cable (Ch 1-125)
    http://avermedia.com/products/tvtuner_AVerTV_studio.shtml
     
  5. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    You have setup your PC as a PVR? How did it control your Dish reciever? Did it come with a remote control, if not did you not use a remote control? Please provide details!!!
     
  6. raj2001

    raj2001 Icon/Supporter

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  7. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    " You have setup your PC as a PVR? How did it control your Dish reciever? Did it come with a remote control, if not did you not use a remote control? Please provide details!!!"

    I can't think of anyway to control a DISH receiver. I don't use it on DISH, but on a local antenna. I don't use the PVR often. I have my antenna run into the input on the back of the card. It will output on S-Video just fine (as well as composite and of course RGBHV). Composite and S-Video inputs also provided. PVR functions are provided by ATI MultiMediaCenter, but an onscreen guide is NOT. The card also includes Guide Plus+ for Windows, which provides an onscreen guide to simplify programming (just click on the show). A remote control is included with the package. Newer All-In-Wonder cards have HDTV Y-Pr-Pb support.

    Overall it works well, you can tweak the file bitrate vs. image quality. On a 950MHz Athlon, it uses about 70% of the processor while PVRing, so it's not practical to use the computer for other things at the same time without risking frame dropping (though it usually works fine).
     
  8. Hoosier

    Hoosier Mentor

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    Jul 3, 2002
    Hauppauge.com

    I have heard they work well..but would love to hear from others..also I found a site...tomshardware.com... and search under PVR or PVS...there is a little more info...hope we can gather some more info.. and more advice...Thanks
     
  9. raj2001

    raj2001 Icon/Supporter

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    I've always had that problem of frames dropping, no matter how powerful the CPU. PVR's like TiVo don't drop frames, because that's all they do all day - i.e. record and play back.
     
  10. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I've almost never seen dropped frames. Of course the ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon's have hardware assisted (iDCT and motion compensation) MPEG encode/decode.
     
  11. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    Cool, The inability to control Dish or D* makes it somewhat limited in value. Looking at the cards out there, the seem to be setup for non-cable box cable signal.

    The CPU 70% utilization also is an issue (not suprising). Pretty much anyone who uses their PC for a PVR needs to buy another PC. I have a P3/1GHz sitting doing nothing (hoping to sell it for a few hundred) But If I get bored I may just buy one of the dedicated PVR boards and see how well the SW works (even look at the Linux ones.) Maybe even sell it to a friend as a PVR instead as a PC :D

    Looks like Hauppage have the nicest offering
    http://www.hauppauge.com/html/products.htm#pvr

    It also looks like their most expensive 350 Model is the only one that has Video Out back to the TV as part of the package. But even at $150-$250 it makes it only the domain of the Cable viewer (or do it yourselfer/tinkerer at heart) without a cable box as D* with a DirectTiVo or E* with a 50x is still more cost effective IMHO
     
  12. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I didn't buy the card to use it as a PVR, but sometimes I find myself wanting to record the local news or something and watch it later, and it works great. And of course you can do all the live TV pause stuff that's on a real PVR. Or you can run true live TV (not hard drive buffered and PVRable) and drop your CPU utilization down to 5% - which is how I'm USUALLY using the TV functions on the card while I surf the Internet.
     
  13. Jacob S

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    Do the pvr products availabe on the pc have the record by show name feature in which the dish pvr's do not have?
     
  14. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    JocobS, That would depend on the SW and if the guide is defined by to tell the difference between a repeat or a re-airing of the same show? Just from reading the literature of the vendors. They seem to be similar to Dish PVRs where they record based on times. It looks like the cheaper cards don't even give you a guide (other that what is transmitted by the cable company) and like a VCR you program when to record.
     
  15. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I've honestly never used the ATI guide (I'm in an area served by repeaters, and the guide lists the channels on the wrong numbers, and it doesn't have a lot of the channels. It's terrible for off-air's. Gemstar says legal issues prevent them from fixing it?!?!?!?! And they say to download the cable guide and delete everything I DON'T get on the antenna, and reassign the channel numbers... Sure, one problem - the cable guide is half a megabyte a week! Though now that I have broadband I'll probably install the software and try it out. Half a meg's not nearly as bad as it was...
     
  16. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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