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My First HTPC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Spud36, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. Spud36

    Spud36
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    Hello

    I am new to all this so please be patient. I currently have a sky digibox and DVD player hooked up to my CRT TV via RGB Scart socket. I would like to replicate this in a PC with the ability to record from sky and to play it all back on my TV.
    I understood that in order to achieve the above I would need a TV card with PVR facilities which would recieve the input from sky and record the signal etc. and a Graphics card that would output the pictue to the TV. This is where my confusion started. I cannot find a setup which uses RGB Scart. Is there anybody who can suggest suitable hardware.

    Also can you convert a PC into a Sky digibox? I suppose this would be something that would replicate a Sky+ box.

    Thanks for any help you can give me
     
  2. Kramer

    Kramer
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    HCPCs aren't much use feeding a "regular" TV via composite/s-video. They're really only used via VGA to plasmas & projectors.

    Having said that, the Realmagic "X-card" does offer RGB out.

    Only way to archive to PC/HDD from Sky is with a capture card so no, not really a plausible replacement for Sky+.

    :)
     
  3. groovyclam

    groovyclam
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    I beg to differ on both counts.

    ----

    As long as you use a Radeon 9000-series as the graphics card for the HTPC then you can get *perfect* RGB output from the VGA port by soldering up your own VGA-to-RGB-SCART lead as per the instructions on this site:

    http://ryoandr.free.fr/english.html

    I and many HTPC users have done this and obtain excellent RGB on our ordinary CRT Televisions as can be attested to in this thread:

    http://www.avforums.com/frame.html?http://www.avforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=46

    ----

    Regarding Sky+ functionality - this is achievable also, but if you want RGB capture from the vanilla SkyBox then you need to spend as much as a Sky+ box itself on the capture card. The SweetSpot capture card is the cheapest card that can do RGB capture but costs over £170. Available here http://www.pluggedin.tv/sweetspot/

    You could get a cheap Packard Bell card for £40 from PCWorld but this only allows capture via the aerial-out of the SkyBox and therefore will be of lesser quality.

    For the EPG system to find series and programmes you like to record you would use DigiGuide ( www.digiguide.co.uk ) at a subscription of £9 a year ( yes *year*, not month ). You can set up repeating searches and timers using DigiGuide which would then trigger recording software to capture programmes from the capture card you chose.

    Unless you are happy with setting AutoView personal planner entries for these recordings on the SkyBox itself then you will also need to spend money on an InfraRed transmitter to change channel on the SkyBox just before the recording is meant to start. The RedRat3 is such a device but again adds to the cost.

    Buying a Sky+ box is cheaper initially but the extra £10 a month cost to run Sky+ will mean creating your own solution with a HTPC will be cheaper in the long-run. Also the DigiGuide EPG is far superior in functionality than the Sky+ EPG. If you already subscribe to a sports or movie package that means you would not have to pay the £10 a month Sky+ subscription then you may be better just getting a Sky+ box.

    However the home-made HTPC solution would mean you would not be tied to a specific provider and you could substitute a FreeView box or a cable-TV box in the future with very few changes to the HTPC ( probably just the IRcodes to send for the channel changes would need re-keying ).

    You could also use it to view your digital camera pics on the telly in slideshows, play DVDs and listen to mp3s and internet radio stations ( amongst other things )
     

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