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Hardware Thread, HTPC help in Technical; Think this is the right room for this so... Greetings all, i am on the edge of buying a new ...
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    HTPC help

    Think this is the right room for this so...

    Greetings all, i am on the edge of buying a new system in teh aim of building a HTPC (sky box blown up and bored).

    My aim;
    I want a HiDef HTPC, with PVR function. I want to be able to have a signal from my dish (HD) or maybe two!

    What i know;
    As far as building the system no problem been building since i was 12 (now in my 20s). I no i can choose xp MCE, Vista HP, or run a linux distro (i will choose the latter two tho but would appreciate advice on these)

    What i dont know;
    Digital signal, and channels i am not paying for sky just getting the free channels atm. (just as a note here i dont think i can get DVB although this may just be my tv aerial) so what channels can i get

    Card?
    I have looked at may cards, but struggle to find an ideal one due to the descriptions

    Questions;

    1. What is the best OS for a PVR HTPC?
    2. If i were to subscribe to sky (to get more channels) can i do this on this system?
    3. What card is the best (preferably PCI not PCIe as my wifi card is PCIe) for the following functions;

    * singal or dual channel recordings
    * lots of channels (at least ch 1-5)


    Fingers tired of christmas typing now, cheers in advance and i hope you have all had a merry xmas and hope you all have a great new years and the new year brings good times....

    ....rant ends

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    Oops_my_bad's Avatar
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    Re: HTPC help

    I always thought with sky the box + card were sort of married, so unless you have both you will probably only be able to get the freeview ones

    Could be wrong though

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    Re: HTPC help

    i brought my box off ebay and dish and fitted it all my self. so i dont have a card i almost brought one (a freeview one) to get the other free channels.

    I have one other idea about how to resolve this issue. point my tv arial the other way (2 broardcast stations here) and see if i can get freeview (dvb or waht ever)

    gonna test this idea tomoro, my neighbour has theirs the other way if this works i can go a head with a different card

    would appreciate any otehr ideas, other advice etc

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Re: HTPC help

    Take a look at Linux MCE I have seen it in action and it is fantastic! The website is here & take a look at the demo.

    On a similar subject has anyone seen a Digital lowprofile PCI TV tuner card for sale? I am having trouble finding them.

    Z

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    Re: HTPC help

    TeddyKGB, you are correct. the Box & card are married. If you even want to change your box Sky, have to marry the serial from the new box to your existing card. From what I understand this is done free.
    I don't know if you can get a decoder for a PC, never looked in to myself, but if you can you would need one that could take a sky card. I don't expect you can get such a thing though.
    Lets face it, sky have got you by the short & curly's. Stick with free view channels. I would, but the other half likes to watch some of the pay to view ones.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: HTPC help

    Linux MCE is a PITA when it comes to hardware selection - I tried. I have also tried a plain MythTV installation on Linux and MCE2005. I now use Vista Home Premium. IMHO MCE2005 was more than adequate... the flashy visual stuff in Vista doesn't add to the enjoyment!

    I have never tried satellite digital through the HTPC. I did discover that GDI BlackGold cards seemed to be best for digital terrestrial TV but these had no Linux support or 64-bit Vista support. I currently have a Hauppauge Nova-T-500 dual tuner which does the job. For HD Satellite TV I think that http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/pro..._novahds2.html is your only option and you can't use a Sky subscription (free to air only).

    As for spec, you need a decent processor and plenty of RAM... big disks are handy too

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    Re: HTPC help

    For Sky or Virgin via your HTPC you need to use its decoder box's video outputs, there is nothing on the market that I have come across that works straight with the PC and your card without the Sky or NTL Box.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: HTPC help

    @john: Should have mentioned that is the other option (using an analogue TV card). Windows Media Center will control the hardware too.

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    Re: HTPC help

    I second Ric's recommendations of the Nova-T500 and vista media centre.
    The Nova-T500 is an excellent package. Dual tuner low profile card with full and half height blanking plates, ir receiver and remote and only requiring on aerial input is amazing value for about the 50 quid it costs.
    As much as I hate to admit it as well, vista media centre is better than both MCE2005 and Media Portal on XP. Vista media centre looks so much better than MCE2005, and is skinnable with an addon. Media portal, while I'd love to use it, just was not stable or reliable enough to use as an every day television. Regular crashes, slowness when changing channels and flakey recording forced me back to Vista.

    Matt

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