Building a pvr for videotron digital tv - Page 3 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

post #31 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-09-27, 04:55 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Quebec
Posts: 17
I'm about to order the Dell Dimension 9150 with Windows media center 2005 and a dual tuner card with remote, 4GB, dual core 3.2Ghz, 1TB HD, 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX Graphics Card. I already ordered the Logitech Z-5500 and the sound blaster X-fi.

The dual TV tuner is an ATI Ehome. In this thread I learned this model will soon be discontinued. That told, the Dell rep said I can order the system with another one. Which TV tuner (digital dolby surround sound) is really by far the best on the market ? Keep in mind, I will watch TV on a HDTV LCD TV.

I learned a lot by reading this thread so thanks everyone, especially craigstar. But I'm not sure to understand everything yet, so...

1) do you think taking this computer is a good choice ? Any other computer I should look at ?

2) As far as I understand, I still need the illico decoder. The signal is sent to the TV tuner. I use the MCE remote to browse the guide downloaded from clicktv. Correct ?

3) I've been using the illico PVR for the last 2 years. Can I switch from MCE to the illico PVR to record on the illico PVR from time to time ?

4) The sound blaster features many in and out, such as digital dolby surround, 5.1 DTS, THX certified, SPDIF. I don't know how the audio out from the TV tuner is processed.

5) What do you think of the samsung LNR-328W LCD TV ?

6) How do I connect the HDMI cable from the video and audio to the LCD TV ? (the samsung has HDMI but the computer of course has a DVI output and the usual digital coaxial or SPDIF audio output)

thank you

Thomas
thomaslally is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #32 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-09-28, 09:20 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Montréal: Akai PDP4273; Bell 6131, Xbox 360, Philips Soundbar
Posts: 117
Hi Thomas,

I'll answer what I can..

The computer looks good. You'll get stability. However you should note that in the past Dell has been very slow relasing updates for Media Center Edition. The good news is that there is only one more planned update before Vista - and it's supposed to be downloadable. Some of us already have our hands on it..

Yes you will need an illico decoder. In fact if you're going with two tuners - you will need <b>two</b> illico decoders. Both have to be the same model.

Yes you use the MCE remote to view the guide - it comes from Zap2It.

You could switch to the PVR but it'll be a paint in the butt. You'll need to either put some sort of switching splitter thing from the video out on the PVR to the computer and television. You're better off getting two basic terminals.

For the audio it depends on how you hook your illico box. I have the eHome Wonder hooked to the illico via composite cables. Each TV tuner has different connections - you should check the specs if you deicde on a differnet model and the possibilities.

The other questions I'm at a disadvantage. But you should note that this version of MCE (2005) does not support HDTV over cable. It only supports HDTV OTA. The next version (Vista) should support via a cable box or CableCard.




Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaslally
1) do you think taking this computer is a good choice ? Any other computer I should look at ?

2) As far as I understand, I still need the illico decoder. The signal is sent to the TV tuner. I use the MCE remote to browse the guide downloaded from clicktv. Correct ?

3) I've been using the illico PVR for the last 2 years. Can I switch from MCE to the illico PVR to record on the illico PVR from time to time ?

4) The sound blaster features many in and out, such as digital dolby surround, 5.1 DTS, THX certified, SPDIF. I don't know how the audio out from the TV tuner is processed.

5) What do you think of the samsung LNR-328W LCD TV ?

6) How do I connect the HDMI cable from the video and audio to the LCD TV ? (the samsung has HDMI but the computer of course has a DVI output and the usual digital coaxial or SPDIF audio output)
craigstar is offline  
post #33 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-09-28, 08:45 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Quebec
Posts: 17
thanks Craig, very helpful

About the update I guess I could also have my hands on it, if I know the right person...

I wasn't sure about the decoder, I've seen you were talking about it in a previous post. So now I know for sure.

About the remote, is it from Microsoft ? What is the best remote for MCE ?

The main purpose about using MCE, for me, is all about avoiding pain in the butt... so, the illico PVR will be soon for sale

About the audio, there I still don't fully understand. As I understand it, the RCA cables are used to carry the audio from the TV Tuner card to the illico box ? Is that mean the audio card (such as sound blaster X-fi) has nothing to do with the audio for MCE ?

I would like to have the best possible sound. Are you aware of any TV tuner card that carries the audio signal through digital coaxial cable or anything but RCA ?

What is HTDV OTA ?

Too bad it doesn't support HDTV over cable, Vista is not about to be available on the market. As a result, do I see the HDTC or wide screen TV shows in 12:9 rather than in 16:9 ?

The HDMI is of no use... for now. Future will speak.

Thanks again

Thomas
thomaslally is offline  
 
post #34 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-09-29, 10:49 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Montréal: Akai PDP4273; Bell 6131, Xbox 360, Philips Soundbar
Posts: 117
Hi Thomas,

Yes you should get the Microsoft remote because it comes with two IR blasters to control two illico boxes. There is no way around this - only Microsoft sells the compatable ones. The good news is they are $40ish which isn't super high.

My tuner card has a breakout box which I connect the RCA cables to from the illico box. The sound card in my computer isn't involved at all.

I did a quick search and all I could find were tuners that accept analog cable connections, or RCA connections from a digital box. I believe at the current state of the technology this could be where it ends. You can then use your sound card in your computer to output to your audio system.

HDTV OTA is HDTV Over The Air - with antenna. You can buy HDTV tuner cards for your computer which will decode the airborne signals.

Media Center gives you the option of aspect ratio. You can choose to view it in either resolution you choose... the latest update also has Zoom 4 which a lot of users really like.



Craig
craigstar is offline  
post #35 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-09-29, 06:16 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Quebec
Posts: 17
double thanks Craig !

I begin to understand. I also understand that MCE is not yet intended to everyone or every situation. I found out (well, I should say you did ) how to redirect the audio from the TV tuner to the sound card to output the audio.

HDTV is the last concern for me. I will be watching TV on a LCV TV, wide screen. I would prefer to see wide screen TV shows in wide screen format. Over the air is satellite ?

If I change the aspect ration, I am going to lose a part, isn't ? Whats is zoom 4 ?

Do you think we could expect TV tuners for HTDV over cable soon ?

thanks

Thomas
thomaslally is offline  
post #36 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-09-30, 11:02 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Montréal: Akai PDP4273; Bell 6131, Xbox 360, Philips Soundbar
Posts: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaslally
Over the air is satellite ?

If I change the aspect ration, I am going to lose a part, isn't ? Whats is zoom 4 ?

Do you think we could expect TV tuners for HTDV over cable soon ?
Hi Thomas,

no.. over the air is basically rabbit ears; local stations broadcasting..

There are TV tuners on the market already with HDTV. ATI HDTV Wonder is a great product from what I hear, and it's supported in MCE, but not through cable. Only over the air.

I think HDTV over cable is only a matter of time coming. It's being hung up by the CableCo's now and all the anti-copying crap in the States with the broadcast flag. It's just a matter of time before the dust settles and standards will evolve. I think by next year when Vista comes out it'll be their big thing. The new Xbox 360 which connects to Media Center supports HDTV natively. Just a matter of time.

How will you connect your TV to your computer? Are you using it as a monitor as well, or is it in a different room?

Craig
craigstar is offline  
post #37 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-09-30, 04:50 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Quebec
Posts: 17
Hi Craig

thanks for all the support you brought here

Building a media center is not yet for everyone, but it is something I'm going to keep on doing

I ordered the computer and the linksys wireless thing. I'm about to buy the Samsung HDTV LCD TV 32 with HDMI connector, maybe 36.

The LCD TV and the speakers will be in the living room. The computer, illico, DVD (on the computer) will be in the office room. The linksys box will transmit the signal sent by the remote control. In the Office I have a 20 inches wide screen Dell flat panel.

So I'm going to use the computer from wherever I want to

Thomas
thomaslally is offline  
post #38 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-10-01, 06:20 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Montréal: Akai PDP4273; Bell 6131, Xbox 360, Philips Soundbar
Posts: 117
Hi Thomas ..

Sounds good... I assume by "Linksys thing" you mean the Linksys Extender. Make sure your wireless is G for that.

I don't want to rain on your parade but for the cost of the Linksys Extender you can almost get an older Xbox ($99 EB) and Extender DVD ($99 Best Buy) with wireless if you like ($99 Future Shop) which is a little bit more versatile. The Xbox will also play DVDs. You can't stream DVD's over the Linksys extender which is MCE's biggest fault to date. There are ways around it - ripping the DVD to AVI format, but it's a pain.

The Xbox has obvious other benefits as well. I have the Xbox option and have only played one game on it - I'm not a gamer - too short attention span . However I can also stream about any other media file available through it too - even ones that MCE can't play. It supports wide screen with the optional $39 HD cable.

The only quirky thing about the Xbox that the Linksys has an advantage over is the power switch. You can't turn the Xbox on or off via remote. The Linksys you can..

C.

Last edited by craigstar; 2005-10-01 at 06:29 AM.
craigstar is offline  
post #39 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-10-02, 03:06 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Question Windows Media Center and Videotron Illico

How does Media Center knows if Illico terminal is on or off ?
jpbjpb is offline  
post #40 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-10-03, 09:51 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Montréal: Akai PDP4273; Bell 6131, Xbox 360, Philips Soundbar
Posts: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpbjpb
How does Media Center knows if Illico terminal is on or off ?

You have to leave it on all the time.
craigstar is offline  
post #41 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-10-03, 07:12 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Quebec
Posts: 17
Thanks Craig, again I learned something new. As a matter of fact, not being able to play a DVD from the computer is a big concern for me. The main goal to have MCE was to remove all devices - including DVD - from the living room, but the TV and speakers.

I think MCE is the futur, the future is almost now... almost.

Meanwhile, I'll wait for the HDTV digital cable TV Tuner to come up before to go with MCE. On the new computer, I have Windows Media Center 2005. I'll see what I can get from all this. That's a pretty amazing technology

Thomas
thomaslally is offline  
post #42 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-11-09, 11:09 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Montréal, Québec
Posts: 24
I've gone all over the topic, and if i understand this right. I connect my illico box into my CPU and then my CPU to my tv. So it's my CPU that really changes the channel on the TV ???

So if i record a TV Shows, i can't watch another show since my Illico box as only one tuner??

Then it's better to buy a PVR illico box so i can record and watch another channel at the same time. After buy a DVD recorder and connectit to my illico box and do a ILLICO to VCR copy but on the DVD recorder.

I think the CPU with MCE is not the best thing right now since it doesn't give you as much opportunities then the PVR illico box.
ovcrash is offline  
post #43 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-11-23, 01:31 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1
First I want to thank the posters on this thread for asking/answering most of the questions I had while building my system. I want to share my experiences as an example of success.

Shuttle XPC SN25P (up to 3 sata II HDs, 350W ps, PCIe 16x, 1 PCIe 1x, no PCI, 7.1 digital audio with optical in, optical/coax digital out )
http://global.shuttle.com/Product/Barebone/SN25P.asp

Athlon 64 3000+
2x 512MB DDR 400 Corsair value ram
Samsung 250 GB SATA HD
Sapphire ATI X550 256MB PCIe with passive heatsink
PowerColor Theatre 550 Pro PCIe TV tuner(http://www.powercolor.com/product_series_Theater.html)
DVD/CD burner
Media Center 2005 Rollup 2
latest Catalyst drivers from ATI.
Powercinema that comes with the tv tuner for decoder

Bought most of the system from shoprbc.com (Ottawa)

At first I had the ATI All-In-Wonder X600 PRO because no PCI express TV tuner cards were on the market. The tv experience was absolute crap. It took a while for the channel to change and tv could get very very choppy. Thankfully a month ago PowerColor released the first dedicated PCIe tv tuner card. The Theater 550 tuner chipset from ATI is the best solution out there. Even the brand new All-In-Wonder X1800XT doesn't come close, TV wise. I found a canadian online store that carried PowerColor hardware (etccomputer.ca) and asked them to order the brand new PCIe card for me. I traded in my x600 for a fanless ATI X550 video card because it was pretty much the only one that fit inside my small case alongside the tuner. If you do go with a separated video card/tuner solution inside a Shuttle box, MAKE SURE THE VIDEO CARD FITS INSIDE! You can't get any card with a passive heatsink underneath or a card that takes up two slots (the lone PCIe slot is in the way)

I have a decent quality s-video cable from the illico HD box to the tuner along with a pair of L/R analog audio cables... I unfortunately don't know how to record any 5.1 digital audio with a tuner card. Dunno if it can be done; if so, please share! The computer is hooked into my DLP projector via a VGA cable and an optical cable runs from my optical out into my digital receiver.

I'm using the MS MCE remote control. The little red LED that flashes in front of the illico box's IR receiver doesn't always work so I put some tape over the area to block out ambient light. I programmed the remote to control the volume on my surround sound receiver and to turn it off. This means it replaces both the illico and receiver remotes. I still need another remote to turn off the projector.

It took a lot of work to get the right combination of components but now it works great. If only I could record/play digital sound... If you have any questions, post them!
Wessen is offline  
post #44 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-12-12, 05:36 PM
Bell Employee
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sainte Genevieve
Posts: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessen
It took a lot of work to get the right combination of components but now it works great. If only I could record/play digital sound... If you have any questions, post them!
I think you should be able to record digital sound via a digital input connector from the sound card (if there is any). Playing digital sound should be possible with Creative DDTS 100 digital decoder, which is also capable of upmixing audio streams from stereo up to 6.1 in hardware. At sohodiffusion.com, it was around 170 $. It has an adapter for speaker systems with 5.1/6.1/7.1 setup. also maybe you find a converter from coaxial to optical cable to input from the Illico.

I also want to built a cheaper PVR so I was thinking to get some Y RCA cables, to get one jack into a normal TV card and the other jack in the TV, source being Illico. What do you think? Some guy told me I need an amplifier to boost the signal from RCA cables. Where do i find the cables and the booster? I have a 56" wide screen Samsung DLP, the model with foot stand. The computer is linked to the tv by a high quality VGA cable, video card is Radeon 9600XT.
My rig is Duron 1,6 Ghz on a nForce2 MCP-T mobo from Asus + 512 MB ram. What I want to do is to be at least able to record one program on the PC while watching it on the TV in the same time. I don't need to change the channels from the PC, I shall do that with the regular Illico remote.
Please tell me if my ideea is good and what coud I improve at my rig? An Athlon XP Mobile would improve the situation, if overclocked, let's say at 2,2-2,4 GHz? And where do I find the cables?

Last edited by MARSTG; 2005-12-12 at 05:44 PM.
MARSTG is offline  
post #45 of 55 (permalink) Old 2005-12-13, 04:16 PM
OTA Forum Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,878
Why old style TV cards and not ATSC (HDTV)?

I noticed some of you are still deciding to use old style NTSC (480i) PC TV cards for your home made PVRs when there are more and more ATSC (HDTV) cards out there. Is it the cost? For many Canadians the OTA options for HD are getting better and better, especially in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver with Ottawa, Quebec City, and more places in the year ahead and further.

DHC HTPC Forum:
http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/for...splay.php?f=31

DHC OTA Forum:
http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/for...splay.php?f=81



stampeder is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome