Creating a PVR (or is it DVR?)

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

I'm interested in putting together a PVR (or should I say DVR?). What I
mostly want to accomplish is this:

1. Reliably record TV programs to hard drive with the video quality as close
to the same as how I would see it on live TV.

2. Play back the recorded video on my TV (not just a computer monitor).

3. Skip commercials (either by using a remote with some sort of 'skip'
button, or by having a program do it's best to strip them out).

4. Have a remote control.

I only have analog cable, not digitial. I own an old ATI ALL-IN-Wonder
card, and it view's TV fine on my computer, but seems very unreliable when
using the "Digital VCR" software piece to record.

What hardware should I consider purchasing to accomplish the above? Will
the hardware come with the necessary software?

Thanks!
2 answers Last reply
More about creating
  1. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    HolyCow wrote:
    > What hardware should I consider purchasing to accomplish the above? Will
    > the hardware come with the necessary software?

    http://mythtv.org/

    Get a PVR-250 to go along with it.


    --
    -WD
  2. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    > I'm interested in putting together a PVR (or should I say DVR?).

    I have no idea whether we should call it PVR or DVR. I tend to call it
    a DVR if it looks like an applicant (such as a TiVo). I tend to call
    it a PVR if it is made from a conventional PC. This is just my way of
    calling it. I don't know if this is right or not.

    > 1. Reliably record TV programs to hard drive with the video quality as close
    > to the same as how I would see it on live TV.

    I use Beyond-TV software and a Hauppauge PVR-250 TV tuner and capture
    card. The result is good in term of video quality. However, my TV
    screen is not that great (25" 3 years old low end TV); in fact, the
    recorded video "seems" to look better on my PC monitor. Therefore, I
    am not a good judge in TV video quality.

    > 2. Play back the recorded video on my TV (not just a computer monitor).

    This works. I think this is a function of the video card in your PC.
    If your video card has a TV-out port, you should be able to show video
    on your TV screen. You can check this out now -- just the cost of the
    cables.

    My video card is supposed to display the same image in both my PC
    monitor and my TV screen at the same time. But currently I can only
    show the video in either the PC monitor or the TV screen one at a
    time. I hope yours is better.

    > 3. Skip commercials (either by using a remote with some sort of 'skip'
    > button, or by having a program do it's best to strip them out).

    Beyond-TV has a feature to scan the video and mark the commercials;
    then you can skip them. But this has one shortcoming: This takes a lot
    of CPU and disk-I/O to accomplish this. I just don't bother with this;
    therefore, I turn off that feature. I find that using the remote
    control to skip commericals is so fast and easy that I don't miss that
    skip-commercials feature. All this takes is hit the fast-forward
    button four times, and hit the fast-backward button once (or none) --
    very easy.

    > 4. Have a remote control.

    I use FireFly remote control that I bought together with Beyond-TV.

    > I only have analog cable, not digitial. I own an old ATI ALL-IN-Wonder
    > card, and it view's TV fine on my computer, but seems very unreliable when
    > using the "Digital VCR" software piece to record.

    Not sure. I am wondering if that ATI video card uses your CPU to
    encode the video into MPEG format. That may be OK for very powerful
    CPU. But that can be slow for low-end CPU. I use Hauppauge PVR-250
    card to use hardware to encode the video into MPEG -- no problem and
    very low CPU utilization.

    > What hardware should I consider purchasing to accomplish the above? Will
    > the hardware come with the necessary software?

    As mentioned above, I use Beyond-TV software, Hauppauge PVR-250 TV
    tuner and capture card, and a FlyFire remote control. I also need a
    special serial cable from Beyond-TV to connect the PC with the DirecTV
    RCA decoder. And I also need some S-video cables, audio cable ... etc.

    Very recently, Microsoft introduced their Windows Media Center 2005 OS
    that you can use to upgrade the OS in your PC. You may also consider
    that. There is one unique "feature" is that there are some devices
    called Windows Media Extenders that will only work with PCs that have
    Windows Media Center 2005. If you really like those Windows Media
    Extenders, you have no choice but to get Windows Media Center 2005.
    You still need to get a TV-tuner and capture card and a remote though.
    I haven't used Windows Media Center 2005; therefore, I cannot tell you
    how good/bad it is.

    Jay Chan
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