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Freeview Card with HW Decoder

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by WBC, May 17, 2005.

  1. WBC

    WBC
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    Guys,

    Any ideas which PCI freeview card decodes onboard.

    Just spoken to Nebula who state their DigiTV uses software which obviously stress's the CPU!

    Thanks
    Stace :D
     
  2. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    No-one at the moment :(
     
  3. WBC

    WBC
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    Anything in the pipeline???

    What minimum spec CPU is required for software decoding?

    Thanks
    Stace
     
  4. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    Not that I know of.
    Minimum spec for software decoding depends on quality required.
    IIRC from my capture card, 500MHz for the lowest quality (VCD-ish) upto about 1.5MHz for DVD quality. I take it you're using something other than MCE? If you are using something else you can always get something like a Hauppauge PVR150MCE analogue card which does have hardware encoding along with your freeview card
     
  5. WBC

    WBC
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    PC's not built yet, why do you assume I'm not using MCE??
     
  6. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    Because you mention the Nebula card. Unless Nebula have just relased MCE drivers, that card won't work with MCE
     
  7. WBC

    WBC
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    You were one step ahead of me ;)

    I'm not decided on which platform to use yet and I'm struggling to find a list of the pros and cons of each one (;) hint hint ;) ). I assume the main ones are MCE, Media Portal and Meedio?? I did find a linux one but thought that would be major hardwork!!

    Why do specific peices of HW work (or not) with MCE? Are you suggesting that 'non-approved' HW will not be automated with the way mce works??? I haven't had a play myself yet, I'm still reading up anything I can find on the web?

    Is it the most configurable? Whilst I understand someone is currently making a skinner, the thought of looking at the MCE screens puts me off somewhat! After a long while with a modded Xbox, XBMC and Chokemaniac's Project Mayhem III skin, MCE looks *****!!

    All help appreciated!

    Thanks in Advance
    Stace
     
  8. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi Stace

    if you are building a new HTPC then any current CPU will be plenty powerful enough. If you are looking at MCE, then the SweetSpot MCE is a good choice , particularly if you double up and run a dual tuner configuration.

    good luck
     
  9. Skunkpipe

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    Its the device driver that's different for the MCE part. MCE requires BDA (Broadcast Driver Architecture) drivers for it's TV cards etc. This is differnet to the WDM (Windows Driver Model) drivers that are supplied with cards such as the nebula; which is a shame as the nebula is a really good card.

    Some good alternatives that come with BDA driver support are:-
    Black Gold (a dual tuner version of this is due soon I'm led to believe if that is of interest - it's also had a recent price cut)
    Sweetspot MCE
    Hauppauge PVR150
     
  10. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Just to get this straight.

    You are after a digital tuner card with hardware ENCODING not....decoding?
    The software decoding on the nebula app is not particularly cpu intensive ( you could also turn off the bob and frame smoothing options).

    Are you after something that hardware encodes to a smaller size than mpeg2?

    You know the nebula just dumps the mpeg2 bitstream to the harddrive and is effectively already compressed?
     
  11. WBC

    WBC
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    So whilst looking for hardware, MCE drivers are really only important of TV cards???? That a fair statement?
     
  12. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    ahhhh v good point
     
  13. WBC

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    Mr D,

    Now you've confused me!!

    I'm under the impression that recording from the card puts intense pressure on the CPU, which is why I was hoping something offered the **coding on the card.

    From the sounds of it, I was ill informed!!?!

    MPeG files on the harddrive are fine by me!
     
  14. WBC

    WBC
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    So any obvious pros and cons with the different software offerings out there, a few people seem to like Meedio!
     
  15. Skunkpipe

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    encoding is if you're capturing from an external source via the s-Video input - is software based this IS CPU intesive.
    Decoding on the other hand is way less cpu intensive; and as freeview has been encoded at source this isn't something you need to worry about - now if you were talking about analogue cards; it would be very different.
     
  16. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Encoding is reformatting the video. Some encoding schemes compress some don't . Some compress losslessly some don't. You only need to worry about this if you are capturing analogue video ( 720x576 using huffyuv gets on for about 1gb a minute compared with mpeg2 which is more like 1gb for 40 mins)

    The cpu overhead with most freeview cards is pretty much negligble as all they do is dump the transport stream thats broadcast onto a hard drive . No re-encoding and the transport stream is already in an mpeg2 format.

    Playing back the recording uses much more cpu and varies on what sort of deinterlacing technique you use (weave is negligible , bob is more intensive).

    Any road up you don't need a hardware encoder unless you plan on capturing an analogue source (even then you can do it in software...wouldn't want to though)

    I'm under the impression that you can use the nebual with MCE but it doesn't integrate with the EPG and TV modules of MCE ...you have to use it outside the gui stuff.

    If I was going MCE I'd oprobably opt for the Black Gold / sweetspot MCE route over the nebula which is a shame as the nebula is the mutt's!
     
  17. WBC

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    Guys,

    Guess I was talking about decoding.

    I have a capture card but I wasn't talking about that, I was merely talking about PVR capability with a Freeview card (nebula, blackgold).

    Someone mentioned you had to have a daddy cpu to do this (which did seem kinda crazy)

    Thanks
    Stace

    So anyone got a url to the pros and cons of the different software options (front ends - meedio etc)?
     
  18. WBC

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