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MCE + Sky Digitak

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by BiggieBig, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. BiggieBig

    BiggieBig
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    Hi Guys,

    Right I’m a newbie to HTPC and have just ordered one.

    I need advice on how I can connect my Sky Digi box to it. Basically I want to stream my sky box through my HTPC so that I can use just one connection to the plasma (vga).

    Also if possible I want to be able to record and it's got to be wife friendly (i.e. easy to use via MCE)

    Here’s the solutions I’ve thought of but have some questions:-

    1) Analogue TV Card - But I don't want to compromise PQ, guess I’ll have to use s-vid or composite.

    2) SweetSpot - Guess I can connect via RGB.
    a) Does the sound have to go in via a different card?
    b) Also I’ve heard MCE doesn't support this so will it be difficult to switch? (i.e. is it possible via the MCE menu)

    3) Could I use some other capture card? Or may be even the satellite digital receiver from
    http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/products/data_nexus.html

    :)
     
  2. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    I did exactly the same.... however.

    As far as I know, Sweetspot doesn't work in MCE, or at least not natively. I know nothing more about Sweetspot than that.

    If you use an analogue input card, you'll be limited to s-video or composite, as you know. I don't think there's any way round this at all. I thought composite was below par, but I don't have a Grundig box and I wasn't prepared to get a scart to s-vid converter, but I imagine s-video would be acceptable quality, if your Sky box can output it or you get that converter from Maplin.

    As for sound, if you use an analogue tuner card such as the Hauppauge PVR 150, 250 etc, the sound goes in through that card, otherwise you'd have to use your sound cards line in.

    Also, it's worth bearing in mind, you cannot input Sky or any other source through a DVB-T (Freeview) TV card. These do not have hardware mpeg2 encoding, so MCe will not allow you to use any input on the card for that purpose.

    So you're stuck with the analogue card I think.

    MCE is very good at controlling the Sky box via the included IR blasters, I was pretty impressed, but be aware even at "fast", you press Channel Up on the MCE remote, and you'll get the changed channel about 4 seconds later on the screen, due to MCE typing in the channel number (104 for example) and then buffering the output. That might not bother you, but it bothered me. So much so the PC is on eBay!!!!
     
  3. BiggieBig

    BiggieBig
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    Thanks for the reponse chuckalicious,

    I've seen your previous post as a result i've gained alot of knowledge even since this post.

    I was thinking of going down the s-video route as the HTPC comes with a PVR-250 so all I need is the converter (i've already got some decent quality cabling).

    But the 4 second delay does sound annoying :( cos I know it'll bother me.


    I know sweetspot isn't supported by MCE but why didn't you just go down the sweetspot route, I persume then you could still use the PC to view & record sky (manually), get decent PQ for sky and use the PC for the other facilities i.e Movies on Harddisk, photos, MP3 etc etc...
     
  4. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    Glad it helped.

    To be honest, if something doesn't do everything it's supposed to, and well, it's never going to be in my living room. Havnig to change inputs, or open new windoes, run different programs or whatever is never going to happen in my living room. That's why I'm selling it. Yes it's an all in one solution, but the results are not as good as the collection of hardware it's supposed to replace.

    I'm going to get Sky + and a good DVD player, much better solution.
     

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