View Full Version : Help a Noob!
29-04-2008, 09:59 PM
Hi. I would like to build a media pc for my living room. I have a TiVo with a freeview box and a Virgin Media HD V+ box.
I'm not happy with the picture quality of either of these devices. My large HDTV is a 1080p model.
I would like to know what tv card or cards will give me the best picture quality for playback. I would like to have a dual tuner setup for digital freeview only. I think I would use windows media centre running on vista but would also experiment with other software once I have it running.
I'm not too bothered how hardware dependant the setup would be, I can always update the PC in the future so don't let this be a deciding factor. Currently I have a P4 3ghz with HT and a 250gb SATA HDD available to use but it doesn't matter if they are not suitable.
What resolution is freeview actually transmitted in?
What will the card be capable of recording it in?
Will the card or cards be capable of HD freeview when it comes?
Many thanks for any help. :)
30-04-2008, 05:59 PM
30-04-2008, 06:24 PM
All DVB-T cards give identical quality.
01-05-2008, 04:36 PM
Thank you for your help.
So the hardware decoder just takes some load off the cpu?
Is the picture quality of cards the same as the USB stick devices running in USB2 mode?
03-05-2008, 04:25 PM
03-05-2008, 04:33 PM
Some cards have hardware ENcoders - this is only used for encoding analogue TV signals into MPEG2 format. For digital broadcasts it is already in MPEG2 format and so there is no requirement to have an encoder.
These days there is no requirement for hardware DEcoding either, because the majority of modern graphics cards can decode MPEG2 in hardware with <5% CPU usage.
DVB-T (Freeview) channels are broadcast in a multiplex. The multiplex is only 24Mbps, and the maximum theoretical bandwidth of USB 2.0 is 480Mbps. So there is plenty of bandwidth and therefore no need to do any processing to compress the signal further.
Therefore, no matter which device you choose you will see identical visual quality. Some people imagine that a particular device gives a sharper/softer or noisier/cleaner image, but it's all placebo effect. It is impossible to process the image with the hardware the cards have on them. Bear that in mind when reading reviews. All devices WILL definately give identical quality in Media Center.
03-05-2008, 05:03 PM
Thank you so much, it makes sense now.
10-05-2008, 10:06 AM
Well, it seems I need help once again...
I bought a Hauppauge WinTV NOVA-TD Diversity Dual digital freeview USB stick.
The stick works fine in WinTV although I am not too keen on WinTV's interface.
The problem I'm having is getting it to work with Windows Media Center. It reports there is no tuner card installed.
I have tried to install the MCE_soft_encoder included with the latest winTV CD I downloaded V4.4 but this also reports I have no tuner installed...
I am stuck! Hopefully someone knows where I've gone wrong.
10-05-2008, 11:00 AM
There is a problem with Windows Vista as pre-installed on Acer computers. For some crazy reason they completely disable the ability to watch TV in Windows Media Center!
Somewhere on this forum there is a solution posted by Hauppauge technical support. I'll try to find it for you.
PS: SoftMCE is not required for your particular WinTV product. It is only used for analogue on e.g. the HVR-900.
It's in here:
10-05-2008, 11:02 AM
OK, I found this thread which has moved me on to the next problem...
Now at least Windows Media Center knows I have a Tuner, but now it doesn't pick up any channels when it scans for them.
WinTV still works though...
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
10-05-2008, 11:05 AM
OK, I see you've found the relevant post. :)
Do you have the Nova-TD configured for Diversity (which is the default mode) or for Dual-Tuner? If it's set to Dual-Tuner, you have to connect your aerial to both aerial inputs (by way of a Y-splitter). If it's in Diversity mode it should "just work", albeit with no multi-tuner functionality.
10-05-2008, 12:29 PM
Thank you once again for your help!
I have the stick connected via a splitter to both aerial inputs. I have tried running it in both Diversity and Dual Tuner mode and still can't get any further...
I tried installing a codec "DSCALER5008" and still it won't pick up any channels when I go to tune. I have downloaded the guide from the internet so many times now :mad:
I hope you have an idea. I will continue to search.
Just to add, VMC does say I have two tuners.
10-05-2008, 12:36 PM
Another thought. What I am actually trying to achieve is to have a better quality TiVo. I was really pleased with my TiVo until I got a huge (for my living room anyway) LCD 1080p TV. The features I really liked was the season pass manager. This is really why I am interest in Media Center.
Maybe I should give up on VMC and try another programme. I really hated WinTV's interface.
13-05-2008, 05:03 PM
Well, I installed a fresh edition of Vista Ultimate x86 on to another partition and got it to work. It would seem that Acer messed up VMC or that after installing all the windows updates needed that it stops the stick working with VMC.
Thanks for all the help.
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