Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'd like a networked solution to get my GBPVR recordings and DIVX movies onto my TV set. I don't want to use the Hauppauge Media MVP or any game machines.

Is there a networked DVD player that can read a Windows network share? Thinkiing of building a PVR but won't the picture from the PC look worse than SD cable ?

My TV is a 1080i capable Panasonic flat wide CRT with HDMI. I don't think it is capable of 720p. Using my PC I tried a DVI to HDMI convertor and the pic from my ATI card looked like crap and even the SVid output looked better. Should I give this another try?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
Yes you should. SD will never look perfect, but better than S-video it should...

What ATI card do you have? Most modern video cards allow forcing 1080i output.
Quality will also depend on the player/codecs you are using.

RE: networked players.
Look into extenders. If hidef is in your future, look into PopcornHour...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Popcorn hour looks good and almost a solution but a bit spendy.. I guess if I am going to spend that much I'd get a Shaw PVR and live with the burned-DVD-sneaker-net for the divx.

I have a Radeon 9000pro older card but still okay. If I get a new PC it will be for my main machine not for a HTPC, although I could get an AGP video card that has HDMI.

I really like a new LCD-TV at 1080p so I could surf the web on the TV but for now I'll have to live with the CRT.

It'd be nice to work a FTA system into it as well. I have a DVB card but can't get it to work with GBPVR since my AMDxp2800 pc lacks the horsepower needed.

Is there such a thing as a networked FTA PVR receiver ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Why don't you want a media extender (or a game machine)? These are the easiest and probably most cost-effective solutions...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
I've found that SVideo out of a PC almost always looks significantly worse than SVideo out of a consumer electronics device, and I've tested many.

My suggestion would be to look into an XBox 360 arcade edition. Or, if you're feeling like tinkering a little bit I've heard great things about XBMC running on a first-generation XBox. Either one will give you very good SDTV picture quality, better than a PC video card.

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
I agree with that. I've never seen decent S-Video output from a PC. Not sure what the reason is, but it always appears as if there's a layer of vaseline on the screen (no sharpness to the picture at all).

I'm now using my new Xbox 360 as a media extender for my MythTV box and it works great. Simple, but effective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
This is funny because a while ago someone was suggesting that the PS3 was the way to do this. Now that two of you have suggested Xbox I am more confused. The only game machine I'd really go out and buy would be a Wii since it can run more than just games.

Wii, Xbox, and PS3 questions
1 cost
2 networkable
3 divx compatible ?

As you can see I am not a gamer.:rolleyes: Tinkering with the hardware is no problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,334 Posts
Now that two of you have suggested Xbox I am more confused. The only game machine I'd really go out and buy would be a Wii since it can run more than just games.
I believe that the Wii is the worst of the three game consoles when it comes to doing stuff beyond games. The Xbox360 is a Media Center extender and can play standalone content off of you network plus it can be used to download movies, etc.

The PS3 is a BluRay player and it can also play networked content, etc.

I thought that I read that the Wii is just getting into downloaded content in the near future and even at that it will be geared towards kids - cartoons, etc.

One other suggestion is to get ths SageTV HD Theater http://store.sagetv.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=SOS&Product_Code=STPHD200&Category_Code=HD. It plays almost all types of content including BluRay rips and if you ever decide to swithc from GBPVR to Sage it works as an extender. It should also work with files from the HD-PVR if you ever get one of those.

By the way - you should really think beyond Divx - H.264 seems to be taking over from Divx, at least where HD is concerned, at least if you plan on keeping this device for more than a couple of years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
If one of the game machines did double duty as a PVR then I'd be all over it. So what is different about the "arcade" version of the xbox.

If I find a TV card that writes via harware to H.264 .avi file type I'd get one since having the recorded files in .mpg format is a pain they are so large compared to .avi.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
So what is different about the "arcade" version of the xbox.
No hard drive, only $199... I'd opt for the Xbox 360 "Holiday Bundle" for $259, which includes a 60GB hard drive. The extra $60 + tax is well worth it, IMHO.

If I find a TV card that writes via harware to H.264 .avi file type I'd get one since having the recorded files in .mpg format is a pain they are so large compared to .avi.
I just transcode my .mpg files to .avi (divx) for now...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,782 Posts
You'll have to add $100 to the Xbox360 if you want to stream content to your TV via wireless. The wireless adapter is extra (for the cheaper versions of the console anyways).

If you think you'll ever buy a blu-ray player in the future, might as well get a PS3. Yes, you can surf the web with a PS3, you might want to get a keyboard if you're going to do that a lot though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,334 Posts
If I find a TV card that writes via harware to H.264 .avi file type I'd get one since having the recorded files in .mpg format is a pain they are so large compared to .avi.
It's called the Hauppauge HD-PVR. It can record HD and I think it even works with GBPVR. But the files aren't stored in avi format they are .ts files but encoded in H.264 format.

But why are you so concerend about filesize? Hard drives can now be had for about $140 for 1.5TB. The downside to getting H.264 is that the files are harder to handle with prorgams like editors, commercial skipping software and transcoding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Large files make copying to DVD a waste of time and disks. DVD-RWs are worse since they burn at a fraction of the speed of a regular -R. Having a device that is network connected would solve the problem.

The most recent batch of BR players sport 100baseT so I think it is just a matter of time before this will appear as a feature of the players.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Wayne
The mpeg-2 file size makes it difficult to burn to a dvd. Although with a device like the Hauppauge MediaMPV I would not need to burn disks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
The Hauppauge HD-PVR is a neat device but is external and lacks a tuner. Using an IR blaster to change channels and an external tuner make for a cluttered system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,334 Posts
The Hauppauge HD-PVR is a neat device but is external and lacks a tuner. Using an IR blaster to change channels and an external tuner make for a cluttered system.
True but the advantage of that is that it can capture HD output from any device with component outputs - satellite box, cable box, etc. That makes it the best tuner device ever made in my opinion. Given the restrictions of Hollywood it is impossible to have an internal tuner device unless you have DRM up the wazoo and then you have to buy a new PC to do so - CableCard for example. And then you are horribly restricted with what you can do with the files.

With regards to MPEG-2 and burning to DVD. This depends on what you want to do and how you are going to use the files. MPEG-2 is the native format for DVDs so it is very easy to author a video DVD from MPEG-2 files, much more so than from H.264 or avi files. If you just want to backup content then you can burn avis to data DVDs. But why even bother doing that with hard drives so cheap - just copy to a portable hard drive and use that with a laptop.

I almost never burn DVDs anymore but I have extenders at pretty much every TV in the house and my wife and I both have laptops to take with us when we want our content to be portable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,334 Posts
I have had V1 Media Center extenders. These only worked with the XP version of MCE - you need a new version of extenders to work with Vista - the advantage was that you could buy them cheap on eBay. But I am now in the process of switching to SageTV and I have bought several Sage extenders. The Sage extenders also work as standalone media players as I mentioned above and they give you the advantage of also being able to stream LiveTV.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top