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Spec evaluation, please
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 11:20 pm Reply with quote
v1d4lin
 
Joined: 14 May 2004
Posts: 1




I am thinking about jumping in and building a new KnoppMyth system -- from scratch. I've done my best to draw a rough schematic, which you can find at the following URL.

http://www.directedmotion.com/mythspec.png

My questions:
- Does the MSI FX5600 that I spec'd for the video out have sufficient RAM onboard for playback of the recorded HD material (which I should receive to the 2 pcHDTV cards as OTA)?

- Is 512MB RAM enough to have the system perform? I can always add more later, but if this isn't even enough to *start* I would like to know...

- Same question re: 160GB of HD space. Anyone thnk I need to go higher, in order to get a system that has enough headroom to handle an average week's recording schedule? (About 18 hours of programs).

- Remote? I understand Haupaugge cards (which I haven't spec'd here...) come with remotes. How are they "heard" without an IR receiver on the front of the PC?

- Case recommendations: I've spec'd a small case, requiring a MicroATX motherboard. Small is what I will want -- it should look like any other item in my entertainment center. But, I've never bought a case before. Positive reports on small cases (and where they were bought) are welcome.

- This is a US system. Anyone think I've found pricing that's too high for any given component?

- In the future, I will probably replace the TV with an LCD monitor, with DVI input. If that happens, I will have to send the HTPC video output directly to the monitor -- which is fine. The problem arises when I consider how to feed VHS video to same. 19" LCD monitors I've seen don't offer S-video inputs, and certainly not RCA composite inputs. So, how's a guy with "legacy" videos supposed to watch 'em? And how do I switch between the HTPC and the VCR at the monitor?

As long as there are video sources to switch between, I'd like to continue to do so in the receiver.
http://www.directedmotion.com/dvi_vcr.png

My receiver does not offer DVI in/out -- only Y Pr Pb. As you can see in the above diagram, I envision needing a few convertors to pull everything together. I imagine convertors 1 & 2 could be the same model, assuming that model permits pass-thru in either direction. Convertor 3 would be a different animal. And I wonder if such convertors exist. Anyone?

Recommendations welcome!
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 1:38 am Reply with quote
jl
 
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 15
Location: Shoreline, WA




160G for a week might be a bit on the small side.
I don't have myth and the pcHDTV card stable yet, but using dtvstream I average just under 8G per hour. So 18 hours would be a bit less then 144G.

As for the Converters to use the receiver for switching I think you are asking for trouble. It may work, but you are adding a lot of complexity, and possibly degrading your signal.

I keep wondering how I should deal with the same problem. My thought, right now, is maybe you can tune to CH3 on input 2, and get the VCR over coax.

As for the remote I did the Do It Yourself on the www.lirc.org website and I use it with the universal remove which came with my receiver. It works verry well. I have the IR sensor next to the receiver, and it does not look bad. I should make a small box to house it. I took the IR RX out of an broken VCR.

You could also look at the Radio Shack 15-2117 (RF) Remote Control. Then you can put the IR sensor behind the computer and have the RF base flash at the sensor.

I have thought of just having a DVD drive connected via firewall and hiding all of the equipment (including the receiver) with an RF remote for control.

Hope that gived you some ideas.

JOSH
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Re: Spec evaluation, please
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 11:50 am Reply with quote
jpoet
 
Joined: 11 Nov 2003
Posts: 55
Location: Albuquerque, NM




v1d4lin wrote:

My questions:
- Does the MSI FX5600 that I spec'd for the video out have sufficient RAM onboard for playback of the recorded HD material (which I should receive to the 2 pcHDTV cards as OTA)?

nVidia has started producing "Personal Cinema" versions of their video cards. Right now I think eVGA is the only OEM producing them. Part of this kit is a video in/out breakout box. *some* of these kits include component video outputs. For example:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-130-191&depa=0

For video output, 64MB of RAM on the video card is plenty. The extra RAM is only used for 3D.
Quote:

- Is 512MB RAM enough to have the system perform? I can always add more later, but if this isn't even enough to *start* I would like to know...

Should be plenty. You could probably even get away with 256MB of system RAM.
Quote:

- Same question re: 160GB of HD space. Anyone thnk I need to go higher, in order to get a system that has enough headroom to handle an average week's recording schedule? (About 18 hours of programs).

I am using MythTV. Myth strips off any subprogram not needed.
720p programs seem to take around 7 gigabytes per hour.
1080i programs seem to take arround 8.5 gigabytes per hour.
Quote:

- Case recommendations: I've spec'd a small case, requiring a MicroATX motherboard. Small is what I will want -- it should look like any other item in my entertainment center. But, I've never bought a case before. Positive reports on small cases (and where they were bought) are welcome.

You probably also want quiet. Look around this site:

http://www.silentpcreview.com
Quote:

My receiver does not offer DVI in/out -- only Y Pr Pb. As you can see in the above diagram, I envision needing a few convertors to pull everything together. I imagine convertors 1 & 2 could be the same model, assuming that model permits pass-thru in either direction. Convertor 3 would be a different animal. And I wonder if such convertors exist. Anyone?

Video cards with DVI out are easy to come by. Stand alone DVI switchers are available. Receivers with DVI switching built in are very hard to find - at this point in time.

Converters from VGA to component are available, but cost around $115 each (I am using one to drive my HDTV). Would not have needed to go this route if the "Personal Cinema" nVidia line had been available when I started this.

Since you don't currently have a display which requires DVI input, I would suggest you not worry about it right now. By the time you get such a display, you may want a new receiver anyway, and they might have DVI switching in them.

John
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Spec evaluation, please
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