Building my own PVR...

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by pix, Nov 2, 2004.

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  1. pix

    pix
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    Hi all.

    I've decided than none of the off-the-shelf PVRs I've seen will do all I want (or in the way that I want), so I'm going to build my own. I've written an article about it, and I'd be interested to hear any comments you might have. Mainly, have I missed out anything important!

    Thanks.
     
  2. ReggieDaMole

    ReggieDaMole
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    Have you looked at getting a PC running Microsoft media centre 2005 - it sounds like it will do most of what you want... recording programs based on key words etc...

    Have a look on MS site for more.



    Reg
     
  3. pix

    pix
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    I have a copy to try out (we are a system builder), but I wont be able to put together a complete system including license for £400 quid - it requires quite hefty hardware.
     
  4. macta

    macta
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    You know - I've come to the same conclusion...

    I'm pretty sure that I can do the software - its just picking out the hardware - bearing in mind it has to be quiet!

    I'm also a bit confused about how you hook up said device reliably to a wide screen TV, and how you get good audio output too.

    The digiMatrix box looked good - but its micro pci slots rule out freeview tv cards, the Asus Pundit looks good - but is it quiet enough (and will it dish out decent quality audio and video).

    Its quite a mine field but I'm interested in comparing notes.

    Too really keep the price down you may have to ditch windows - so maybe use Linux or potentially just use a raw VM on the hardware (squeek os might be good or kaffe?)

    Tim
     
  5. Teapot

    Teapot
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    Check out MythTV It does most of what you want, at a price. You need some Linux expertise though.

    OR

    How about taking a Thomson DHD4000, stick it in a nicer case with a 120Gbyte hard drive and the usual quiet PC mods.
     
  6. Ikki

    Ikki
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    If you want near silence, you will have to go for passive water cooling or a VIA Epia based system. The Epia's are not high powered in the sense of a AMD 64 but have hardware dvd decoding built in and have a very small form factor. The CN400 chipset has Mpeg2 and 4 acceleration, DVI output and HDTV support as well.
     
  7. pix

    pix
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    I am looking at the EPIA kit, but I will need 2 PCI slots for 2 Freeview tuners, so I'm trying to work out what will cope.

    Does anyone here have any EPIA kit?
     
  8. ReggieDaMole

    ReggieDaMole
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    I take it you are including all your man hours it takes you to write you own software in the total cost....? I got a media centre PC for £699 from PC world with 17in tft so minus monitor would work out not much more......

    Why re-invent the wheel? :confused:
     
  9. Teapot

    Teapot
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    2 slot riser card

    http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=8#p1902

    I have used Mini-ITX boards to run MythTV. It's a bit pricey if you buy the fancy cases, but the boards themselves aren't bad.
     
  10. Teapot

    Teapot
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    OK I'm a Linux bigot. I bought a Windows Media Centre PC for evaluation, I don't think it's quite there yet. But i agree with you 110%, Windows OR Linux, why re-invent the wheel?

    I'd recommend a Thomson DHD 4000 for PVR, it has two tuners for 159 quid, I own one, and a Mini-ITX for MP3s and photo with MythTV (or WinXP if you like). Then you can use a nice low-end Mini-ITX and be happy, 'cos tuner PCI cards cost much money.
     
  11. Teapot

    Teapot
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    I've built a Mini-ITX that is near perfectly quiet.

    Change the CPU heatsink and ditch the fan. Stick a Zalman motherboard heatsink on the CPU.

    http://www.quietpc.com/uk/vgamb.php#zmnbj

    More importantly, if you use a Seagate drive with cover plates top and bottom, stuff it in one of these and you hear nothing.

    http://www.quietpc.com/uk/harddrive.php#silentdrive

    I put this together at work in February and ran it 24/7 till June, no noise and it didn't die on me.
     
  12. Ikki

    Ikki
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    That's a bit pedantic, you can make a Athlon FX55 silent if you are prepared to add the appropriate bits.
     
  13. pix

    pix
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    Thanks Teapot - I am certainly considering MythTV as I'm happy to fiddle about with stuff if I can end up with just what I want. I've found supported Freeview tuners on ebay (new OEM) for around £35, so the cost of them isn't a problem. Mind you, if I could find a supported twin tuner PCI card, all the better.
     
  14. Teapot

    Teapot
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    That's a good price. Got a URL or a model number? I want to get into MPEG editing so something like that to experiment with would be very nice at 35 quid!
     
  15. Teapot

    Teapot
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    Huh? What's wrong with posting a couple URLs? No offence taken or intended, just curious about "pedantic".
     
  16. Ikki

    Ikki
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    Teapot

    In my first comment, I didn't think it necessary to give a description of how to make a system silent, the words 'near silent' were enough, describing how was where the pedantry came in. No offence intended either. :)
     

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