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HTPC Questions

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September 13, 2009 1:56:59 AM

The newegg components are listed here: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Important Component List:
CPU - Celeron E3200 Dual Core
Motherboard - BIOSTAR G31E-M7
RAM - 4 GB (2GB x 2) DDR2 800 RAM
Hard Drive - 1 TB WD Caviar Green
Video Card - GeForce 9500 GT 512 MB 128 bits
TV Tuner - Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250

A couple questions I have for right now. I want the system for two major purposes (Play DVD's and eventually Blu-Rays...once the price of Blu-Ray Burners goes down), and then as a DVR.

1.) Is this system powerful enough to do everything I want (can it record/play back high def video, and can it play blu-rays (possibly both simultaneously) with good quality?

2.) Are there any components I could downgrade without damaging the system (i thought about going down to a single core 35W celeron processor, so that I could make it a little quieter...not sure if that's worth it)

3.) I am unfortunately stuck with comcast cable...i know their digital signals are encrypted. What limits does that put on what i can do with this system?

Thanks,

~Lyuokdea

More about : htpc questions

September 13, 2009 2:25:05 AM

could go AMD
AMD Athlon II X2 240
MSI 785GM-E65 AM3 AMD 785G
Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066
better PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS370X 370W
then you wouldn't need the discrete GPU, lower power usage, and lower heat generate

1) technically the system you put there is powerful enough, your listed PSU is crap though

2) could really just use 2GB(2x1GB) memory, the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 is a great tuner (i have one)
2GB(2x1GB) Mem: Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

3) as for encrypted channels, you would be able to get the ones that are clearQAM (which usually are just local broadcast channels)
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September 13, 2009 2:34:30 AM

thanks so much for your help:

mindless728 said:

3) as for encrypted channels, you would be able to get the ones that are clearQAM (which usually are just local broadcast channels)


is there any way to get around this? For instance, if I run my cable through the HD receiver and then into the computer, will the HD system unscramble the channels for me? I know that would mean i'd have to select the channel on the cable box... but i need to have some way to tape games that come in on espn hd etc.

Thanks,

~Lyuokdea
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September 13, 2009 2:37:13 AM

yeah that would work, but you lose the point of having a dual tuner like the H2250 (since you only have one channel being transmitted to the tuner)

i think what you really want is a cableCARD tuner

look for ati digital cable tuner (or ati DCT)

look here

though you are going to do a lot of research if you want the ati DCT (actually you may want 2 so you can record and watch at the same time)

hard to get working on a custom computer apparently
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September 13, 2009 3:00:59 AM

mindless728 said:
yeah that would work, but you lose the point of having a dual tuner like the H2250 (since you only have one channel being transmitted to the tuner)


couldn't you just have a cable splitter and run the second line directly into the pc?

That will let you get a digital channel and an analog channel at the same time, even if you can't get two hd digital channels simultaneously.

Also, if you recorded something earlier, you should still be able to play it while recording another show right?

~Lyuokdea
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September 13, 2009 3:10:35 AM

Lyuokdea said:
couldn't you just have a cable splitter and run the second line directly into the pc?

That will let you get a digital channel and an analog channel at the same time, even if you can't get two hd digital channels simultaneously.

Also, if you recorded something earlier, you should still be able to play it while recording another show right?

~Lyuokdea


i suppose, but you may get a conflict from what ever channel the box outputs and the corresponding channel in the cable programming

and yes, you could watch something already recorded (on the pc) while recording at the same time

personally i think all of his is too restrictive, so i am doing research into integrating the ati DCT into a custom build
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September 13, 2009 4:00:54 AM

Honestly, Comcast (and the others) is making changes throughout their network - dunno where yours stands. Last month they shifted my area over, requiring everyone to get the digital descrambl . . . er, set top boxes that output only the channel selected on that box.

While that does not affect any analogue channels carried in my area (eg. those remaining on Basic Cable) - yet - it does mean that without an analog tuner, or a cable card, you won't be able to use your PC as a tuner.

Until that deal Microsoft struck with Big Cable spreads and allows Cablecards on home-built HTPCs, their usefulness is . . . low.

As an aside, this changeover has blown some of the filtering/splitting/modulating I used to do for my own whole house TV setup, actually destroying components lol. Bah!

At least that's what's up in my area. YMMV
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September 13, 2009 4:30:22 AM

well, he doesn't have to worry about the lack of an analog tuner as the H2250 is a dual hybrid tuner (2 tuners that are a hybrid of digital and analog, basically each tuner can be either)

though i may be worth looking into trying to get the ATI DCT to work

or wait until Q1 2010 for the Ceton Multi-Channel Cable TV Card, though who knows if this will actually work in a custom built computer when it releases
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