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Recording quality concerns on MCE PC

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by KITT, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. KITT

    KITT
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    My parents own a standard Sky box, a Panasonic DVD-RAM recorder and a Sony 26" CRT TV. The quality of the recordings on the DVD-RAM discs are great for both Sky and analogue TV, and you can't tell you're watching a recording.

    If I build up a Media Center PC for myself, will the quality be comparable? I too have a Sky box and CRT TV so will be using something like a Hauppauge PVR-150 to do the recordings onto a hard drive. From reading a number of threads on here, I'm worried that I might be better of upgrading to Sky+, but I'd really like the extra features a MCE PC will offer. Can anyone confirm/deny my suspicions?

    cheers

    Matt
     
  2. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    Matt, you've set me thinking about this. Having just delved into the whole HTPC/MCE thing and spent a not inconsiderable amount of money, I'd sum it up by saying that once you can buy PC cards that interface with the real world (which is currently via scart, which is also what most people have in their living rooms) then it's worthwhile. Not having a scart input and output probably represents a good deal of the threads/problems on here I'd have said.

    The other thing I'm deeply upset about is the fact that MCE (and I'm willing to be corrected here) is bringing about copyright encryption in a quite intrusive manner. The Video side is not yet a problem but it will be with HDMI but the music player part is IMHO, horrendous.

    However, that doesn't answer your question. Recording TV will show no loss of detail. If anything, you may have the option of increasing the quality. The moment you try to watch it on a CRT TV however is another matter. It's not that much of a problem .... eventually (torn out hair, punched walls, cries of 'why oh why did I bother'... that kind of thing).

    If you want me to be perfectly honest, the cost of upgrading to Sky+ and the simplicity of the connections would outweigh the hassle you are about to go through. On the other hand, if you like to be different, enjoy learning about this technology, have a fair bit of money and like the thought that you can adjust almost every single parameter of your Audio visual experience, then go ahead.

    Personally, I'm beginning to wish I'd got Sky+ and a nice apple mac to play about with :thumbsup: Possibly others are wishing I did too ;)

    No, I love it really.
     
  3. Rambles

    Rambles
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    I use mine with an external freeview USB2 tuner and the quality is excellent, the live tv and the recorded tv is equal in quality to my Freeview PVR through JS Tech RGB to VGA converter into my plasma.

    I understand that sky is a little different, as you will probably have to capture via s-video and output to your CRT via s-video, which are not ideal solutions, although still perfectly adequate. See the thread about making your own VGA to scart cable as I think this will definitely be worth the effort.

    MCE is cool, though! There is much more to it than watching and recording live tv. And how much will you be paying for Sky+? With the, monthly subs you will soon be spending as much or more than the cost of a HTPC.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2017
  4. DaveP

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    I see recording Sky channels as the main problem. If, like you said, you can plug a scart into your PC you would be half way there. Using a TV capture card will give you a far inferior picture and glorious mono sound.

    You can use a Freeview card of course, and you will get excellent picture quality but you wont get Sky1 and the rest.

    I use Sky+ to record the programs, a Sweetspot card to project the recordings onto my six foot screen via my Sony projector and if I want to keep the recording I archive off the sky+ to my Panasonic DVD recorder.

    Sadly sky will never bring out a sky receiver on a PC card.

    Dave
     
  5. KITT

    KITT
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    So are there no TV cards that have a stereo audio input? That could be a bit of a problem but not a total one I guess. Just seems odd that my parents DVD-RAM recorder takes a scart in from the Sky box and outputs on scart giving a great picture. Surely that goes from digital (Sky) to analogue (scart) to digital (DVD) to analogue (CRT TV) which must loose some quality, but you don't notice it.

    I'm keen to build as small a system as possible, probably using the Hiper Media Chassis as it looks just like a set top box :) Does anyone know if this mainboard's TV-out is any good:

    http://www.eqscomputers.com/products/mobo/motherboard.php?model=M56K9-MLF

    The pdf spec file mentions TV-Out via RCA / S-Video Port (cable included)
    NTSC / PAL - Support Dual Display (CRT + TV). It sounds like it can be connected straight to by CRT TV without any special cables etc.
     
  6. DaveP

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    Just to clarify the mono sound mentioned above. I meant you would get mono if you tuned the TV card to the channel that the sky box output on it's aerial out lead.

    If you are using s-video you could get stereo by feeding the left & right channels from the sky box into the line in on your sound card.

    Dave
     

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