An HTPC on the cheap with GB-PVR

If you're a college student with not a lot to spend, getting into the HTPC game requires a little creativity, but it can be done. Benjamin Webb shows how he did it.
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  1. Fantastic, this is much more along the lines of what I was hoping for in an HTPC article. You say GB-PVR is the best 'cheap' solution..... but what if you have some money to blow? I would like to see a similar article on the 'best' software, rather than 'cheap' software. Or does this free software do everthing you could hope for? Other than that the detailed info on compatibility and features available is great!

  2. Nice article. I was introduced to the wonders of GB-PVR and the Hauppauge PVR-150 a few months ago and converted my somewhat antiquated system into gaming/HTPC combo. I use an XP1700+ with 1.25GB RAM and a 6800GS and am very satisfied with performance. GB-PVR certainly is not without faults but the writer and other contributors have put together a really great package. I do recommend contributions to the writer as this wasn't made clear in the article. Apparently this is one guy and he does personally appear to respond to many peoples problems detailed in the GB-PVR forums.
    I have used several of the plug-ins and these really take things above and beyond what I anticipated from an HTPC system. I would say I am at the low end of PC specs for this setup!
    Please expect a few teething problems in the setup but the effort you put in is fully rewarded. I would note that I have been unable to get the IR blaster with the Hauppauge card to communicate with the Motorola DCT2500 digital cable box despite being listed as a supported product but this is no fault of GB-PVR. Have fun.
  3. Anyone have any experience with Orb? The feature set looks pretty impressive.
  4. Although "best" is subjective, GBPVR is my "best". Being free is a bonus, along with the best support of any PVR software out there.

    I also wanted to add a bit. On page 7, the article mentions using VideoReDo to manually edit commercials after comskip has detected them, or using comclean to automatically remove them.
    If you already own videoredo, you can have it automatically remove commercials.
    Full thread explaining the setup here:
  5. My setup uses COMCAST Digital cable. Do you have any experience using GBPVR with the ATI HDTV Wonder? Is it worth switching form the ATI Multimedia center?

    Thanks again.
  6. Well GBPVR says on the site that its natively supported so you shouldnt have a problem. If you have any trouble check the forum at gbpvr and theyll help you out.
  7. Comskip sometimes picks up the show before or at the end of a recording and it does miss a commercial once in a blue moon. Thats why I manually edit.
  8. Great article, thoroughly enjoyed reading it. This is exactly the article I have been looking for because soon I will be off to college and I have been thinking about hooking whatever computer I get up to the cable connection there and trying to record shows while I am hopefully studying.

    Now to my questions...
    What sort of gFx card would I need to run these taped shows off of? Any old thing that has an s-video or just rca video out? Lets assume I get my hands on an old computer that would be dedicated to this 100%.

    What part will the processor be having in the whole scheme, is the load only on encryption or in actually recording the show? What are some minimums you guys can think of?

    Any thoughts on USB tunners or PCMIA tunners for the laptop oriented if you just want to stream TV (maybe an antenna)
  9. I would suggest at least a 2 gighz if you have comskip running while you watching shows and like running emulators like I do. As for graphics card I would suggest any old thing with a s-video that outputs at a quality you can live with. I have a Radeon 9200 looks great. Hauppauge WinTV-USB2 is a good bet for a labtop run you about 83$ on newegg.
  10. This topic has been closed by Reynod
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