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I am not a software engineer or an expert at how the HR20 outputs programs, but how hard would it be to make the HDdvr output two different sources. In other words, why can't a HR20-700 (or any satellite box to my knowledge), use it's dual satellite inputs to output two signals. One HDMI and one composite or component, so I wouldn't need two boxes to use Picture in picture. (POP is what my television calls placing two pictures side by side as opposed to within one another).

It may be impossible, but I just thought that would be a great feature. :grin:
 

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Difficult.

The MPEG Decoder chip they selected, only has the ability to decode one MPEG stream at a time.
 

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krkeeton said:
I am not a software engineer or an expert at how the HR20 outputs programs, but how hard would it be to make the HDdvr output two different sources. In other words, why can't a HR20-700 (or any satellite box to my knowledge), use it's dual satellite inputs to output two signals. One HDMI and one composite or component, so I wouldn't need two boxes to use Picture in picture.
I was like "why does my HR20 need to receive email?"
 

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It's a shame they chose this chip. I believe the DVR selected by Cablevision does PIP (not sure if it does POP, but it may). It was one of the selling points that ALMOST had me going back to cable, as my new HD doesn't have PIP/POP, while my old 27" Sony CRT had PIP. I'll miss it during Sept and Oct when the NFL season overlaps with MLB, but in the end, the picture quality and proven reliability (let alone great price) won out over that feature.
 

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This was something the old UltimateTV boxes did great. With the HR20 though they might have been a little hampered by the need for both MPEG2 and MPEG4 decoding. Could have limited their chip choices.

Would be nice though. I really miss that from the old UltimateTV days...
 

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korkle said:
This is why so many of us miss the old Ultimate TV box (I still have mine working in the bedroom). it does PIP, folders, etc. Oh well, the good they die young.
As I love to say, Microsoft decided to do Media Center and ditch UltimateTV. It definitely is a shame... Great DVR... Ahhhh.... The good old days
 

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lguvenoz said:
As I love to say, Microsoft decided to do Media Center and ditch UltimateTV. It definitely is a shame... Great DVR... Ahhhh.... The good old days
Well with MS and D* back in bed with each other the good old days might be coming back around. In theory Media Center hs the potential to be the best Directv receiver out there, could do everything mentioned in this thread and more.
 

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ouijal said:
Well with MS and D* back in bed with each other the good old days might be coming back around. In theory Media Center hs the potential to be the best Directv receiver out there, could do everything mentioned in this thread and more.
Especially with Vista offering support for 4 parallel HD tuners. I personally would be on board to even alpha test a dual tuner board from D* for my machine.

Did any D* folks out there hear that.... I certainly hope so.
 

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lguvenoz said:
Especially with Vista offering support for 4 parallel HD tuners. I personally would be on board to even alpha test a dual tuner board from D* for my machine.

Did any D* folks out there hear that.... I certainly hope so.
100% agreed.
 

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Earl Bonovich said:
Difficult.

The MPEG Decoder chip they selected, only has the ability to decode one MPEG stream at a time.
Not true. At least on the R15 which utilizes the STi5528 chip from STMicroelectronics.

www.st.com said:
The STi5528 and STi4629 chipset can decode two separate video and audio streams allowing consumers to connect two televisions to a single set top box. Furthermore, while decoding the two audio and video streams, the new chipset can also record two channels to a hard disk, so providing dual PVR functionality. Together, these two features allow manufacturers to build products that eliminate the need for a second STB to provide digital content to the second TV that is present in many homes.

Link=http://www.st.com/stonline/press/news/year2004/p1363p.htm
I'm not sure what processor/chipset is in the HR20 but I would be surprised if the R15 processor has this capability and the HR20 doesn't.
 

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Wolffpack said:
Not true. At least on the R15 which utilizes the STi5528 chip from STMicroelectronics.

I'm not sure what processor/chipset is in the HR20 but I would be surprised if the R15 processor has this capability and the HR20 doesn't.
I am not a "chip" guy...
But I am 95% sure, some one recently broke down the capabilities of the main chip in the system.

Saying it "could" do two MPEG-2 streams, but only one MPEG-4

Something of that nature.
 

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Earl Bonovich said:
I am not a "chip" guy...
But I am 95% sure, some one recently broke down the capabilities of the main chip in the system.

Saying it "could" do two MPEG-2 streams, but only one MPEG-4

Something of that nature.
Well, I think they said two SD or one HD signal. It's a Broadcom chip, IIRC.
 

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From Earl's photos, it does indeed look like there is one decoder chip in the HR20. The decoder chip is the Broadcom Chip there on the right-hand side.



I checked out the Product Brief from Broadcom and on page 2, the following statement is made:

The BCM7411 supports the following decoding operations:
* 1 HD (MPEG-2, H.264 or VC-1) in real-time
* 2 SD (MPEG-2, H.264 or VC-1) in real-time
So, based on this information, the HR20 could do Picture-in-Picture some of the time, but it could not do it for any HD programming. Having a sometimes-on, sometimes-off feature would certainly increase the CSR load and make this a feature that is unlikely to be implemented.
 

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Wolffpack said:
What's doing MPEG4? Is that all software?
It's definently hardware level....

That might be what's under the heat sync (speculation here... don't no for sure, as I am not re-opening the unit to check)
 
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