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HD PVR?

jrfuda

Active Member
Anyone out there using an HD DVR PCI card? What's your experience? Recommendations?
Looks like there are a lot of fans of the MyHD card over at AVS, and there's a deal to get it for $239, an opinion on it?
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
it all depends on what software you are going to be using, it's usually the software you have that will force you to go with a certain card vs. the card you actually want :D
 

jrfuda

Active Member
I figured I'd just use whatever software comes with the card, although if I can get it to work with TVLobby (I have a question posted there as well), that would be ideal.

I'm currently a Dish subscriber and their HiDef DVR is not included in any packages and has to b e purchased separately for around $1000. Since having the DVR on our current Dish tuner (521) my wife could not live without it (highest WAF of any gadget in the house - leaves everything else in the dust). And furthermore, Dish doesn't offer the local channels in HiDef, so OTA is the only way to get them (the 921, Dish's HiDef DVR has a built in HiDef tuner for OTA broadcasts).

Wal-Mart has a HD STB Tuner for $199, but I can't record to it - low WAF, so it's a no-go.

Using a PC-based HD PVR seems like the most economical choice, and it adds a 3rd digital recording source to the setup (the Dish 521 DVR we have now can watch/record any combo of 2 different channels). I should be able to get the card and a big honkin' HDD for around $300.

I'm also hoping, given that the tuner/PVR will be used intermittently, my HS Server that is already running HS, MLServer and JR MediaCenter can handle the additional work of running the tuner/PVR (I think the MyHD does all the encoding/decoding via hardware).

My PC is an AMD Athlon XP 2700+ on an Abit NF7-S mobo with 512MB RAM.
 

jrfuda

Active Member
Rupp said:
John,
What ever happened to the old time VCR? :D
hee hee!

I think had we never had a DVR, we'd of still thought our VCR was great, but after having the DVR for 4 months, we're spoiled - especially with the ability to pause live TV (very useful with a newborn). I'm not sure if any of these PC-based solutions can pause live TV, though. The plan, howerver, is to use the sattelite TV for live viewing and recording stuff on the PVR for later watching..


Hey, wait a minute! I'm preaching to the choir, aren't you buying a PVR from your boss! :lol:
 

CFGuy

Member
There would be a riot at my house if I got rid of our Dish Network PVR's and told everyone to use a VCR.

My wife initially thought the PVR was just another one of my toys. One weekend we were watching a movie and the kids came in to ask something. So we missed a couple of minutes of the movie. No big deal to me since it was a chick flick. My wife finished dealing with the kids and asked what she had missed. I rewound live tv and started playing it right at the point where the kids came in. It stopped being a toy and soon my wife had taken it over to where I couldn't even use it anymore. I added a second PVR for myself asap.
We use it to pause what we are watching when the phone rings. Pause a show when its dinner time and start watching at the exact point after dinner.
Its really cool to be able to rewind during a football game, then when it goes to commercial, fast forward and catch back up to live. And scheduling a recording is so easy my 6 year old daughter can record her own programs. Select a program in the TV Listings and press enter twice.

Have to agree with jrfuda that the sat PVR are one of the highest WAF items in the house.
Personally, I would give up my entire HA setup before I would give up the PVR's.
 

Treetop

Active Member
I haven't kept up with the HDTV capture cards, but I was under the impression that there were no (zero) cards on the market that are able to capture anything but an OTA signal (in the US). This card has S-Video, Composite, and Coax inputs, so if you were using you Dish STB, you would in essence be going from High-Def to analog, the card upscales it to 720p or 1080i, and then spits it out...

Edit: You can upscale standard signals using FFDShow (or is it dScaler? I forget), without having this card.

Not sure if my terminology is correct here, but I believe you would need a QAM card. EDIT: I'm a bit off here (thought I was). QAM decoder cards exist for unencrypted signals and most of the major players have added this.
http://htpcnews.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=6802

Personally, I'm waiting for these PVR packages to support recording off FireWire (oh, and to get a HDTV :D )
 

jrfuda

Active Member
Tree, My intent was not to record from the satellite, because the sat receiver has its own DVR built in. This was to augment the satellite, so I could watch and record local HD channels without having to resort to the $1000 Dish 921 or a DVHS box ($600+).

The MyHD card can send out to DVHS or other firewire devices, but not record from (which I think is what you're' "waiting for")

The more I think about it, the more exited I get about diving in, but also, the more I reason with myself to wait a year when they'll be much cheaper (and maybe the 921 is leaseable).
 

jrfuda

Active Member
Guys, a little more research into the MyHD MDP120 makes it look like it is really the way to go if you want an HD PVR. From what I've read from the reviews and posts at the AVS forum, the card does 100% of the work in its hardware. The only thing it uses the PC for is as a power source, a place to record and user interface, so - other than useing HDD space and PCI bandwidth for recording, it barely uses any processor power. I think I read in its specs that it can run on a PII !!!!
 

jrfuda

Active Member
Looks like a PII 400 with 64MB, Here are the total specs:
 

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electron

Administrator
Staff member
damn I wish MCE supported that card, that is a VERY nice piece of hardware, and that AVS price is great. What software are you going to be using with this card?
 
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