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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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TV Tuner card PC as DVR

My PC has the capability of being used as a DVR, I was wondering if anyone here has done this and what the results are like?

If so, what's a good card to use?

TIA





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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 04:28 PM
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I have a dvr card that i have been meaning to play around with.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 04:33 PM
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Bought my wife a PC with a card and Windows Media Center....it works great, the only problem I have with it is the low quality recording it does. I have not bothered messing with it, but I'd hope it can record better then it looks now.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 04:39 PM
 
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I have played with it and the quality varies depending on your card. But I have yet to see any as good as an actual DVR. I can tell you that I saw a HUGE difference between my IDE and SATA drives. When I converted to SATA I was able to turn up the quality and not see as much pixelization.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 04:43 PM
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Most tuner cards include some sort of scheduling/recording software that you can tweak the settings to get the video quality you desire.

I've had a couple media pc's/dvr's set up for the past few years. They're nice, but kind of annoying with the excess fan noise.

I'm currently looking into setting up my current media pc as a MythTV box, and using XBMC on my xbox as a front-end for it... essentially I can then move the computer to another room/closet and use the Xbox to schedule recordings, pause/rewind tv, watch recorded videos etc.

I'm just lazy and haven't gotten around to it yet... but someday I'd like to. Lately I've just been downloading the shows I would've been recording, and they're shared out over my network, and watched through XBMC. To me, that's pretty much more convenient than a dvr. Sure, I don't get the shows right when they air... but then again, if I was recording them anyway, that means I'm not around to watch them when they air. And they're up 30 minutes to an hour after the show airs, so I can still get them in a timely manner.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmcblown4.6
I have played with it and the quality varies depending on your card. But I have yet to see any as good as an actual DVR. I can tell you that I saw a HUGE difference between my IDE and SATA drives. When I converted to SATA I was able to turn up the quality and not see as much pixelization.
SATA/IDE won't affect the compression quality. I think what you're trying to say is, because SATA is faster than IDE, you were able to record videos at higher quality (resolution, and compression), since the slower IDE bus was causing dropped frames.

Honestly though, IDE is fast enough, if you get 7200rpm and an 8mb cache (which is my setup). I do full frame NTSC (720x480) recording, mpeg2 compression, and I get a constant 30fps. It looks as good as DVD (because... ironically enough, that's the same resolution/compression used for DVD). I don't have HD video service, and most HDTV tuner's are for over-the-air transmissions, and won't record cable/satellite HD, so trying to do HDTV quality (1920x1080, 1280x720) is kind of pointless right now.

The real bottleneck is going to be CPU and RAM. I initially had a 1.5ghz system with 512mb ram. Trying to do DVD quality recording resulted in occasional dropped frames during recording/encoding. My current setup is a 3.0ghz with 1gig of ram. All that changed was the cpu, ram, and motherboard, all other components are the same from my initial DVR setup (same hdd, same tv tuner, etc)... and DVD quality recording is flawless.

In the case of a slower PC, SATA might help somewhat, but it's unlikely.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info ya'll. Now is there a preferred, but not outrageously priced card that ya'll recommend?

BTW I have a Athlon 64 Dual Core 4200+ and 2 gigs ram 250 Gig SATA HD





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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 06:55 PM
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SD or HD? What software are you going to run? My home is currently using a main media server running SageTV with 3 SD tuner cards and I am very satisfied. As for SD tuners, I would check into the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-150 or Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 because they have built in hardware encoders and are very widely supported. If HD then I would look in the HD Homerun device that is just comming out.

http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/produ...ta_pvr150.html
http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/produ...pvr500mce.html

Last edited by bug1124; 01-08-2007 at 07:08 PM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkWolf
SATA/IDE won't affect the compression quality. I think what you're trying to say is, because SATA is faster than IDE, you were able to record videos at higher quality (resolution, and compression), since the slower IDE bus was causing dropped frames.
I'm pretty sure thats what I wrote but for some reason you feel the need to "correct" me or "clarify" my posts. Anyways I hope you feel better about yourself.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bug1124
SD or HD? What software are you going to run? My home is currently using a main media server running SageTV with 3 SD tuner cards and I am very satisfied. As for SD tuners, I would check into the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-150 or Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 because they have built in hardware encoders and are very widely supported. If HD then I would look in the HD Homerun device that is just comming out.

http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/produ...ta_pvr150.html
http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/produ...pvr500mce.html
Thanks. I am using XP MCE '05 if I understand correctly it is supposed to be able to act as a DVR and just needds a tuner.





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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 09:20 PM
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Yes MCE will do it; however, I believe it limits you to one or two tuners.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tx Redneck
Thanks. I am using XP MCE '05 if I understand correctly it is supposed to be able to act as a DVR and just needds a tuner.
Ill sell you one of my cards. If your intrested I can give you the S/N
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmcblown4.6
I'm pretty sure thats what I wrote but for some reason you feel the need to "correct" me or "clarify" my posts. Anyways I hope you feel better about yourself.
The way it read, it sounded like when you switched from ide to sata you just magically got the ability to record at a higher quality. You did at least indicate you "turned up the quality", but didn't really clarify what you meant by that. Did you decrease compression, or increase resolution, or both, etc.

Had you taken my whole post in context, however, you wouldn't misconstrue it as a personal affront, but rather that I was clarifying for you, and providing further information on that subject for Tx Redneck.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Does this seem like a good deal?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815116015





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