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TV issues on MCE HTPC, and recording queries

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by sapper, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. sapper

    sapper
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    Help :lease:


    I am looking for some advice/clarification.

    My HCPC set up is as follows:

    A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard, AMD Athlon XP3000 and 1GB of Crucial DDR400 Memory
    Sapphire Radeon 9600 AGP X8 256MB DDR DVI TV-Out Retail Box
    80GB Hard Drive, 250 GB Mirror array
    Liteon 16x48 IDE DVD-ROM Drive
    Nebula DigiTV Card
    MCE 2005
    Pioneer 433MXE Plasma (DVI) and a Samsung LCD flat screen (VGA; Samsung set as primary)

    1. Firstly, I have problem with my Nebula software at the moment. When I start the software on the Samsung, the DigiTV picture is in black and white. On the Plasma, it is in colour!! I had this problem before, after I installed MCE, but some how I managed to solve the problem, but I’m not sure how. But I upgraded my Sapphire drivers, and again the picture is black and white on the one monitor and colour on the Plasma.

    2. I want to be able to record from VHS onto my hard drive small instructional videos. Whilst I have a free view card in the form of the nebula DigiTV card, it is not MCE compliant currently, and Nebula cannot guarantee when a MCE compatible driver set will be available. I also have a Telewest PACE Cable Set top Box, which I would also like to be able to record. One option is to get a sweet spot card at ~£175. But currently this does not seem to be MCE complaint, but I may be wrong. LisaG (thank you  ) suggested a basic Hauppauge WinTV for around £25. there is now an MCE complaint version but not available in the states.

    I have also seen that the Black Gold DVB-T MCE free view DigiTV card is MCE complaint and according to their website will allow me to record VHS. My VHS player has Scart and composite output. If I were to go for the Gold DVB card, as I understand, I would also need a seperate capture card? What is the best way of capturing and recording from my PACE box. Is the sweet spot the best option?

    What are the real options available to me to :

    1. Record VHS from an aging underused Tos VCR player.
    2. Record Cable DigiTV on my MCE box
    3. Produce DVD’s of my VHS tapes, or to put several short films onto one DVD
    4. To have a MCE compliant freeview card.


    Will using the sweet spot and its software including the descaling software be able to produce better quality copies of the VHS tapes then say a basic WinTV TV capture card.

    I am sorry if I am asking silly questions. The more I try to search the forum (and web) the more confused I am becoming.

    Any assistance would be most appreciated. :thumbsup:

    Adrian
     
  2. sapper

    sapper
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    I have decided to order the gold TV card...

    but any information would be appreciated..

    Adrian
     
  3. LordOfTheBling$

    LordOfTheBling$
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    I have a similar build to yours (same mobo, 9700pro graphics, 2600XP) and want to use MCE 2005 to record freeview, but allow a recordable input from a Sky Set top box as well.

    What I have found so far is that Nebula definately dont support MCE 2005. Hauppauge produce a Nova-T PCI card that is MCE 2005 compliant BUT will only support one card in the PC.

    This kinda left me with one choice. Black gold. It supports two cards,under MCE 2005 but I wanted to confirm some stuff with their pre-sales support first. I'm not sure if I need 2x DVB-T cards or 1x DVB-T and 1x Analogue cards to be able to watch my sky box whilst recording from freeview.

    Their support didnt answer tho so i was wondering how you have got on.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.
     
  4. PAH

    PAH
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    From what I understand about MCE2005, if you have two cards they both have to be using the same source signal (i.e. both freeview, or both sky, or both cable, etc), as the EPG can only handle one set of listings so both sources need to have the same channel number setup. Maybe if you're not bothered about recording from both sources that you can set one up for the EPG and use the other for live viewing only, though I'd be suprised if this works.

    Hopefully I'm wrong or there will be a fix for this sometime, as I too would like to get a freeview card alongside my existing NTL cable setup (which I've got plugged into a Hauppage PVR250), which is working fine at the moment. Even the IR blaster works out of the box after selecting the correct Pace unit during setup.
     
  5. sapper

    sapper
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    Hi Pah and LordOfTheBling$

    Several Comments...

    i have ordered but still awaiting the black gold card. This was ordered as i would be able to record from my Video as well as have an MCE complaint DigiTV card.

    Since installing MCE i have had some minor hicups with nebula, the current one being its black and white on one screen, colour on the other... Starnge I know

    I will probably have to get another videocapture card for recording from my PACE/Telewest set up.

    Pah, How does the IR blaster work? Is that the MCE controling your PACE box for recording purposes?

    I have lots to learn and grasp on MCE 2005 and insufficient time! lol

    Adrian
     
  6. PAH

    PAH
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    > How does the IR blaster work? Is that the MCE controling your PACE box for recording purposes?


    The IR blaster attaches to the front of the pace box where it receives the IR signal from the remote. The other end connects to the IR receiver for MCE that plugs into a USB port. You therefore need to have your MCE machine next to the pace box as the cable isn't very long.

    This allows MCE to send IR codes to the pace box to change channels. You can do this in real-time via the MCE remote so you can watch cable tv via MCE, or use the EPG to set up scheduled recordings which causes MCE to change channel prior to the recording taking place. It even asks if it's ok to change channels if you happen to be watching live TV via MCE when a scheduled recording is about to activate.

    I think I got lucky with the model of Pace unit I have, as I've read elsewhere that some models require a red-eye blaster that plugs into the back of the pace unit and sits between the MCE IR blaster and the pace IR receiver to interpret the codes automatically.
     
  7. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    I have a Black gold MCE dvb card, not sure if it is the same one, it came with a Mesh MCE pc.

    It has a s-video connector for capturing composite or s-video. S-video is very good with any software but I have only found one piece of software which gives good composite capture (iuvcr), unfortunately it uses about 1Gb per min so 2 hrs fills up my hd.

    Also, once you record from the dvb part of the card, you can only view it from the pc, ie you cannot create a dvd, not a problem if you have a HCPC but still a bit limiting.
     
  8. sapper

    sapper
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    Thanks for this. Their (Black gold) literature claims that recording to DVD is possible, though they dont elaborate...

    I have not yet worked out how t record programs to DVD in order that it can be used in a conventional DVD player

    Any hints? :)

    What form of lead do you use? Scart to S veideo plus sound phono? If so where do you plug the sound into?

    Sound card or DV Card?

    Adrian
     
  9. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    Yes, you can copy the dvr-ms file to dvd, which can only be played on a MCE PC. (Possibly only the PC it was recorded on, but I cannot confirm that). Wish they'd told me that when I bought it. Although, the quality I get from the card is not worth recording.

    I use a SCART to s-video and the sound goes to the soundcard via a phono lead. (Not the one Mesh supplied as it doesn't fit in the socket!)
     
  10. LordOfTheBling$

    LordOfTheBling$
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    PAH,

    I am a little confused as to what can be recorded with the Hauppauge analogue cards. As I understand it you cant record Sky channels with a DVB-S card because theres no NDS CAM available.

    If you let the skybox do the NDS decoding and then hook it up to an analogue PVR - does the same apply?? ie you can only record certain channels???

    I know I have set-up a VCR to a sky box before and the recording comes out all garbled because of some kind of encryption.
     
  11. stuartmc

    stuartmc
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    A few things that might help.

    Black Gold is just a DVB-T card in MCE2005. The S-Video socket is not supported by MCE drivers for input.

    For input the Hauppauge Analogue cards will work with a cable/Sky box for video capture. To get Sky+ functionality you would need two Sky/Cable boxes and either two Hauppauge 150 cards or a Hauppauge 500 (Twin Tuner) card.

    No DVB-S card is currently supported by MCE2005

    You can't mix TV formats must be either analogue or Feeview or Cable or Sky, limitation is only one EPG can be used.

    To record the MCE captured TV programs to DVD for playing on "most" DVD players you need the Sonic DVD encoders that come on the Multimedia option pack that comes with an OEM computer or is included with the three pack of MCE2005 OEM available form Microsoft distribution.
     
  12. sapper

    sapper
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    Having several problems with my monitors, and blacjk an dwhite on one, colour on the other (especially MS Mediaplayer), I found on another thread a piece os software that informs whether your codecs etc are MCE/MEdiaa player 10 compatable. According to this MS software, the Sonic DVD coder that came with my machine is not MCE compliant?

    I was very confused.
     

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