Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

21 - 24 of 24 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,996 Posts
You'll need to get the newest version of DVBLink in order to use multiple HDPVRs. The program is $30 and there is a 30 day trial to make sure it works. It's also unnecessary to replace the 1600s with HDPVRs, you can use both. Personally I use one HDPVR and supplement it with 2 OTA tuners and 2 SD digital cable tuners. It's rare that multiple people want to watch different premium HD channels at once, and it saves you the significant cost of a second HDPVR/HD STB. As long as you get solid signals on the OTA channels you can merge them with the HDPVR channels and Media Center will just pick an available one (though then you never know if you'll get simsubs or not on US networks).

You might also want to consider getting a separate USB card, the HDPVR is pretty sensitive to USB bus activity.

Also, if you have TVs that are non-HD or that don't get much use you can continue to use the Linksys extenders, they will still work for non-HDPVR sources.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thanks Colin... that is VERY helpful. That said, now you've sparked more questions... LOL... Maybe I should just hire you. :)

Let me tell you my setup and perhaps you can give me your recommendation (since I'm brand new to the HD world).

My primary HTPC setup is this:
- Dell XPS / Windows Vista w MCE / 4GB RAM
- External 1TB Lacie HD for recording
- 2 x Hauppauge Win TV 1600 MCE
- 2 older Starchoice receivers (non-HD)
- ATI DVI/S-Video Card for output to TV

The TV that is connected to the HTPC is now a 52" Sharp LCD 1080i. Upstairs, I have another TV that is not HD, however, we will be switching it to a flat screen HD in the near future (6 months). It's connected to a Linksys 2100 Media Extender.

I also have 2 Linksys 2100's that are unused.

So here's what I was thinking based on your feedback (and now you've got me thinking):

- Sell the 3 media extenders (I think I will ask around $350 total for all 3 of them.)
- Buy an Xbox to replace it (since I only need one anyways)
- Get 2 HDPVRs and get rid of the WinTV 1600's. (Note: The reason I need 2 HDPVRS is because many times we will be watching one show, i.e. the Leafs game, and want to record another one, preferably in HD, in the background.)
- Purchase DVBLink
- Ditch the old StarChoice receivers and buy a new dish w/ 2 new HD receivers. (Hopefully that won't up my StarChoice/ShawDirect bill too much). :)
- Replace my current video card with a new ATI Radeon HD 4650 1GB GDDR2 PCI-E Video Card (for HDMI support), and of course buy an HDMI cable to replace the S-Video cable.

On a sidenote, I also have a third StarChoice receiver that I use for my Slingbox. It works great and does not require HD. I will still keep that running as well.

So all of that said, what do you think? Am I making the right decisions?

Thanks again!!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,996 Posts
Here's some notes:

- For the HDPVR you need to be using TV Pack or Windows 7. I'd recommend a clean install for Vista if you want to add TV Pack.

- Buy 1 HDPVR and HD receiver first. Make sure they work for you and do what you need before you make a significant investment in a second pair.

- Consider keeping the HVR1600/SD combo. I disabled the SD channels on the HDPVR and use SD boxes for SD channels for two reasons. Firstly the HDPVRs are more likely to have problems than the HVR1600s, they are known to be a little flaky sometimes and adding more stress to them seemed pointless. Secondly, no matter what the source is the HDPVR will record in H.264. I've never looked at how this affects storage use but I know it does make it more difficult to edit and playback the SD programming.

- If you haven't already, test out OTA. Your HVR1600s will handle it so the only cost would be an antenna. Depending on where you are and what signals you get you might be able to avoid the need for a second HDPVR, since digital OTA will get you HD for all the major American and Canadian networks. For most people that covers everything but the sports channels and specific premium HD channels (such as TMN HD or HBO HD). Most people are extremely surprised (I was) by what OTA has become since it began switching to digital.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Thank you!

I think I will wait for the final release of Windows 7 before I install this. TV Pack on Vista sounds like a bit of a gong show... LOL :)

I really appreciate all of the help on this!

Sincerely,
Ray
 
21 - 24 of 24 Posts
Top