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What do you look for in an HD-PVR Computer?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by ibglowin, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. ibglowin

    ibglowin Godfather/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Sep 10, 2002
    I just picked up one of the MyHD 120 PCI cards so I can capture and archive HDTV. (not going to hold my breath waiting on Dish to activate the Firewire output on my 921!).

    My question is this, if you have one of these cards or are doing any kind of video capture on a desktop PC what do I need in a computer? Obviously large amounts of hard drive space but what type of video card is necessary? Is the built in Video card good enough or should I spring for a Radeion 9000 pro (128MB) card?

    How about sound cards?

    Tell me what computer your using to do your video capture.

    Any problems to look out for?
     
  2. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

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    Mar 23, 2002
    I have 2 hipix cards in 2 different computers. Before Christmas, they were both Celeron processors - 1 at 1ghz, the other at 1.3 ghz. One has now been upgraded to a P4C-2.6ghz box, but the upgrade was for DVD postprocessing, not for HD recording purposes.

    Built in video should be fine - just make sure that you can use the loopback cable that comes with the card with the onboard video. Mine were using an ATI radeon 7200 and a 9000pro. The 7200 has now been replaced with a 9600se.

    Sound cards - MAudio Audiophile 24/96 card in one, and a very cheapo sound card in the other. You can use onboard sound, but keep in mind that you want a card that can do 5.1 audio out via spdif.

    Oh, and definitely lots of disk space. Each recorded hour takes about 8.1 GB of space. I currently have 3 computers networked together for HD recording. One has 250GB of HD recording space, one has 550GB of HD recording space, and the third has 240GB of HD recording space for a total of 1040 GB!
     
  3. ibglowin

    ibglowin Godfather/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Sep 10, 2002
    Thanks Mark,

    I am looking at some P4 Sony's on ebay. Looks like they would do the job. I am going to add a 2nd 160GB drive to bump me up to 280GB total. What type of monitor are you using? What resolution can you watch your recordings in? Do you have your PC hooked up to your HDTV?

    Thanks for the info.
     
  4. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

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    Yup, my HPTC (the one that is now the P4 2.6) is connected to my HDTV via a VGA-component transcoder. It isn't connected to a second monitor. I have my desktop resolution set to 856x480p, and watch all HD recordings in 1080i output by the hipix. I also watch DVDs scaled to 1920x1080i (although I shrink that down to 1920x960i in my DVD software because 1080i is heavily overscanned. 960i is just slightly underscanned, meaning very slight black bars at top and bottom of screen).
     
  5. ibglowin

    ibglowin Godfather/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Excellent, The 40" RP-LCD Panny we have in the Master bedroom has an RGB input so I will give that one a try at some point. Do you ever convert to MPEG and burn as a DVD? If so what software are you using?

    Thanks,
     
  6. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

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    No, I'm not to the point of converting HD transport stream files to MPEG for DVD burning. I'm still waiting for the dual layer DVD burners to come out this year - then I'll start getting into that. Not to mention, I've only had the P4 for a month now. Doing the conversions with the celeron processors wouldn't have really been workable.
     
  7. jgoggan

    jgoggan Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    :eek2: Excellent! But when you reach that point, you get the added bonus of being able to start measuring in TERABYTES! It just sounds better to say "for a total of 1 TB!" :)

    - John...
     
  8. Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

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    Apr 14, 2002
    What I am currently looking for in an HD-PVR is to be able to use the tv to see not only HD programming but to use it as a computer monitor as well. Is this possible or would the HD monitor still make text hard to read as it is on the analog tv's?
     
  9. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

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    Mar 23, 2002
    My desktop at 856x480p is almost as sharp as a computer monitor. During the chats we have during the charlie and tech chats, I am participating via my htpc and my HDTV as the monitor for the chat window, and I can easily read everything.
     

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