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Homebuilt PVR

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Phoenix, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Hi All, now im somewhere that actually has soem TV channels, im looking to set up a small PC to act as a PVR, im just wondering if anyone has any experiance with this and wants to shoot ideas across :)
    Im looking to go for a pair of Hauppage 250MCE cards, which have onboard mpeg encoding to offload from the cpu, and then i could pretty much run it on my aging PIII 733, if anyones done a similar project let me know :)
     
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  2. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Hmm - I'll be following this one with interest .... :hhhmmm
     
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  3. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    for those that dont know
    a PVR (or Personal Video Recorder) is basicaly what a TiVo or Sky+ box does, it allows your TV stream to be digitally recorded while it passes through the device onto a hard disk
    so you can record your faveourite shows and such
    it also allows much more complex scheduling than say, a VHS, for instance you could say 'record every simpsons episode that isnt a re run, forever'
    or 'record anything with drew barrymore in for the next 2 weeks'
    on top of this you can pause and rewind live TV (as its being cached) so no more rushing to make a tea in the commercials (you can instantly skip those and remove them too)

    most of this functionality is provided by the software package you choose to use on your PVR, the default software with most TV cards is pretty simple to say the least, and doesnt have much of this functionality, its more for 'watching TV on your computer' and 'recording TV like a VHS'

    as the streams are nativly stored as MPEG2 you can directly copy saved files to DVD for viewing at friends houses etc


    with multiple TV cards you gain the ability with certain software to record multiple programs at once, or record and watch a different channel, the more tuners the more flexability you have, i remember sony demoing a behemoth of a PVR with 1TB of storage and 7 tuners, however it was the size of a PC and most people dont want that sitting ontop of thier TV :)

    there are quite a few technical difficulties to overcome with this project, but most of thats software based not hardware based
    from what i understand the Hauppage PVR-250MCEs are pretty much the best tuners you can get (the 350 is also good, but has a few issues)
     
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  4. Phil
    Honorary Member

    Phil Gigabyte Poster

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    Pheonix,

    I’ve been thinking of something similar for a while now. Only what i've been planning is a machine to broadcast sky round my house across a wireless lan using windows media encoder. That way I can get tv on any pc (or pda even) equipped with a wireless card. The plan would be to get a low profile pc to put in the living room and use that as a dvd player as well, I suppose it only makes sense to turn it into a pvr as well.

    On a side note i've finally done, it i've bought myself a pda :) a wireless and bluetooth equiped 4150 ipaq, in fact I’m sat in a hotel writing this on it now :D All I can say is i'm in love with this bit of technology, it's great. I'm just getting used to writing with this stylus. So i'm dying to get tv working through media player on this baby :)
     
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  5. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Phil check out Sage TV, its one of the software pvr front ends i was talking about, its built on a client/server model, clients can connect to any server with a tuner card and stream the TV to the client pc, ofcourse you would need to check tuner cards for compatibility with a sattilite system :)

    http://www.sage.tv/index.html
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
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