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transforming an extra pc into a htpc, suggestions?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
i built a budget pc for my kids to play on, but they arent showing much interest in it, so im considering converting it to a htpc. ive never used a pc for ht use so im looking for some suggestions on my hardware. i plan on using this as a dvr for local HD channels.

here are the specs of the system-

p4 3.0ghz OC'd to 3.6
2gb ddr2 (not 100% sure on the speed)
6800 extreme 256mb
80gb hdd
antec 550w psu

im planning to add another hdd later. will my video card handle Hd video? what would be a really good hd tuner card i could pick up?
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post #2 of 16
Your video card support PureVideo 1 so it can do MPEG-2 hardware decoding. MPEG-2 is what TV signals are formatted in.

Get a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1800 MCE Kit. It comes with a remote and builtin FM radio tuner.
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
so the hd playback wouldnt/shouldnt have any stutter problems caused by the video card?

with that card can i hook up a VCR and put vhs tapes onto my pc?
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Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 - 80gb Windows Vista Gateway 24" FHD2400 Sigma Shark 635W 
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post #4 of 16
HD video playback would not be processed using the GPU but rather the CPU in this case. Not sure how a P4 would hold up on some HD videos... maybe I should try on my old P4 3.0.

It really should be fine...
 
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post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by namehater View Post
so the hd playback wouldnt/shouldnt have any stutter problems caused by the video card?

with that card can i hook up a VCR and put vhs tapes onto my pc?
depends on the format.

Not sure of the output encoding of a VCR (what are those again? )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzâ„¢ View Post
HD video playback would not be processed using the GPU but rather the CPU in this case. Not sure how a P4 would hold up on some HD videos... maybe I should try on my old P4 3.0.
Depends on the video format. The card support MPEG-2 acceleration but doesn't support the BluRay/HD-DVD formats well or at all.
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post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Depends on the video format. The card support MPEG-2 acceleration but doesn't support the BluRay/HD-DVD formats well or at all.
Yea you really won't find any HD video in MPEG-2. Apart from VC-1 (WMV9) directly off Blu-ray/HD-DVD. Most HD video is encoded with x264 (h.264/MPEG-4)
 
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
hd-dvd and blu-ray isnt really an issue right now, later on maybe i would upgrade where i needed to so i could hook up my hd-dvd add-on player that i have for my xbox360

how does the input work on the tuners, i have a hd antenna on the roof, does that hook into the tuner to receive the channels or do they package something with the tuner for it

btw, thanks for the help here guys
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Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 - 80gb Windows Vista Gateway 24" FHD2400 Sigma Shark 635W 
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CoolerMaster RC-690 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
e6400 evga 610i pny 8800gt 512mb 2GB DDR2 667mhz Cruicial Rendition Value Ram 
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Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 - 80gb Windows Vista Gateway 24" FHD2400 Sigma Shark 635W 
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post #8 of 16
P4's won't handle 1080p processing unless it can be offloaded to the video card... I have a P4 OC'ed to 4.0 ghz and the 1080p x264 videos I have stutter. It's close but still not fluent enough to watch. The 720p versions play just fine with the cpu at around 60%-80%.

I just ordered a cheap E2140, and am planing to OC it to at least 2.4 just so I can grab a Bluray reader and have a decent budget dual core HTPC.

Supposedly you can get an HD2400 and it will do the processing but alot of people have had bad luck with getting it to work right with all the HD videos. I'm not going to chance it, because I would have to get an AGP card and I really don't feel like buying more old outdated hardware at top prices.

I believe the tuner cards have a coaxial connector for RG6 cable on them, so yeah they decode the standard NTSC signals from your antenna.
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Microwave Mojo
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
hd channels arent in 1080p yet right? thats just hd-dvd and BD isnt it?
new rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
e6400 evga 610i pny 8800gt 512mb 2GB DDR2 667mhz Cruicial Rendition Value Ram 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 - 80gb Windows Vista Gateway 24" FHD2400 Sigma Shark 635W 
Case
CoolerMaster RC-690 
  hide details  
Reply
new rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
e6400 evga 610i pny 8800gt 512mb 2GB DDR2 667mhz Cruicial Rendition Value Ram 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 - 80gb Windows Vista Gateway 24" FHD2400 Sigma Shark 635W 
Case
CoolerMaster RC-690 
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Reply
post #10 of 16
Yes Digital OTA signals can be HD up to 1080p/i. It is at the stations descression on how they use their bandwidth. A station could have a 480station and a 1080 station broadcasting. Or they could just do a 720 station. So it is all dependent on the station.

HTH
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