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post #1 of 1315 Old 03-09-2007, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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The cablecard thread was getting a bit off topic so I have created this thread for more general questions about the new Velocity Micro Media Center systems.

I'm Hoping Chris will join us here soon. I should probably state that I don't work for Velocity Micro, so I don't have much information other than what I gleamed during the order process for my system.

Since I started this, I'll go ahead and ask the first questions:

Chris, we talked earlier on email about raid options on the new MCE's. Can you tell us more about how the Raidstorm raid system works. Since the initial system will be using the software version, what expansion features will it offer if we want to add more drive space in the furture?

Lastly, how much hard drive space (locations for hard drives) does the CineMagix Grand Theater system have?
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post #2 of 1315 Old 03-09-2007, 04:24 PM
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Great idea for a separate thread-and I think Chris' baby was getting born today-so we probably won't hear from him for a while.

Does anyone know what he cheapest HDCP enabled pci-e video card out there? Velocity gives you pretty nice nVidia 7900(?) when you select cablecard-my thinking is that I can pull this from the new VM pc and upgrade my current Dell XPS (only has a 128mb X800GT) and substitute some thing cheap that the bios will read as HDCP(required for cablecard). I've tried the "office pc as MCE box" for 2.5 years, and it doesn't work for me. The MCE box has become a production piece in my house-the VM box will live in a closet and 360s will do all the display work. These pcs are so expensive and have such high end components-its a waste (recording 4 streams of HDTV will take less than 30% of the lowest end processor).

Chris had another thread about a new, much cheaper solution (motherboard with builtin DVI/HDCP) that I want to determine avaialblity on. Any news on that Chris?

DirecTV + Antenna + 3 Locations = 325 feet of quad shield RG6. AARRGGHH!
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post #3 of 1315 Old 03-09-2007, 07:13 PM
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Shiba - thanks for starting the discussion...

I was wondering what specs did you order for your system... I got the following, spent $3k - and think it is worth it - but interested to see others selections:

CineMagix Grand Theater
E6400
2GB
8800GTS 320MB (actually upgraded after ordering for better picture)
2x ATI DCT
4x 250GB / Raid 5
All other selections as standard

I think the videocard is overkill, but conversations with Chris indicated that the visual quality on the 8800 was superior to the 7900 so I went for it. Of course that all assumes nVidia every gets their drivers figured out... but I digress.

Can't wait to ditch the STB DVR...

My only concern after all my research is how much effort will it take to get the DVD/TV picture looking its best under Vista. It seems there are lots of problems in this regard and while much of this is blamed on videocard drivers, I guess we won't really know if there is a great solution until it happens...
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post #4 of 1315 Old 03-09-2007, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Nearly identical. I went with the e6700 processor and the 7950 video card.
On the tuner, I was torn between the cleaner look of internal vs having 2 pci-e slots available for expansion. Ultimately I decided I rather be more expandable and went with the external.

Did you do internal or external, and why?


I'm hoping nVidia chose not to release their drivers because they want to make sure all the functionallity is there and working right. I'll settle for no hardware acceleration of video playback in the short run, if I get more stable & capable drivers in the long run. Still its annoying to hear ATI drivers are coming along faster.

If the thing can play & record (2 channels) at the same time out of the box, I'll be pretty happy even if the picture quality isn't the best, as long as it gets there eventually. I'd probably even setting for recording 2 channels & playing one back on the extender, if I had to.
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post #5 of 1315 Old 03-09-2007, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlundy View Post

The MCE box has become a production piece in my house-the VM box will live in a closet and 360s will do all the display work. These pcs are so expensive and have such high end components-its a waste (recording 4 streams of HDTV will take less than 30% of the lowest end processor).

In the closet. Thats so sad.

I'm going to display mine; Heck I might put special lighting & signs pointing the way...

Maybe its overkill, buy my prized HP z555 died during Christmas, and my wife and I have been trying to make due with some limited MCE functionality in our laptop, but I got withdrawls. Somebody give me an MCE fix!

4 HD streams? How are you planning on doing that, so are we talking 4 OTA, or 2 Cablecard & 2 OTA.
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post #6 of 1315 Old 03-09-2007, 10:12 PM
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I got the internal as by the time I ordered (2/12) that was the only choice. I was considering external, but probably would have stuck with the internal in the end for the cleaner look.
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post #7 of 1315 Old 03-10-2007, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlundy View Post

Great idea for a separate thread-and I think Chris' baby was getting born today-so we probably won't hear from him for a while.

Does anyone know what he cheapest HDCP enabled pci-e video card out there? Velocity gives you pretty nice nVidia 7900(?) when you select cablecard-my thinking is that I can pull this from the new VM pc and upgrade my current Dell XPS (only has a 128mb X800GT) and substitute some thing cheap that the bios will read as HDCP(required for cablecard). I've tried the "office pc as MCE box" for 2.5 years, and it doesn't work for me. The MCE box has become a production piece in my house-the VM box will live in a closet and 360s will do all the display work. These pcs are so expensive and have such high end components-its a waste (recording 4 streams of HDTV will take less than 30% of the lowest end processor).

Chris had another thread about a new, much cheaper solution (motherboard with builtin DVI/HDCP) that I want to determine avaialblity on. Any news on that Chris?

I think if your going to run the system like a server (in the closet) with no connected Display the type of display adapter does not come into play. You could use any supported Vista card. As I understand it the card only has to support HDCP if it is used to play content.
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post #8 of 1315 Old 03-10-2007, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddD View Post

I think if your going to run the system like a server (in the closet) with no connected Display the type of display adapter does not come into play. You could use any supported Vista card. As I understand it the card only has to support HDCP if it is used to play content.

Makes sense to me. Rlundy, if you try using a non HDCP card, let us know how it works.
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post #9 of 1315 Old 03-10-2007, 11:30 AM
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Are these systems actually shipping now? Does that make Velocity Micro the first vendor to actually ship a CC system, or are there others? (I know that VM seems to have the best price/performance out there.)

Also, are all you guys getting dual tuners? If you only got a single tuner, can you later buy a second one? If so, how? And if you wanted to try the registry hack to add a 3rd DCT, could you buy another DCT?

(It's amazing to me that the cost of the DCTs alone in a 2x tuner system are nearly the price of a new TivoS3!)

Quietly rooting for the glorious comeback of the MCE2005 UI in the new Vista Media Center.
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post #10 of 1315 Old 03-10-2007, 01:04 PM
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I spoke with Chris at VM and he confirmed that you can buy one DCT now and another later - don't know where you would get one though, since no-one is selling w/o a system right now. Apparently 2 tuners is the limit "right now".
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post #11 of 1315 Old 03-10-2007, 02:19 PM
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Hi,

Perhaps you guys can enlighten me. I have found 3 companies advertising DCT's. VM, Niveus and VidaBox. The prices for the other two DCT's are over $1,200. Are these 3 the same animals. Are they at all similar?

Thanks

Shimon
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post #12 of 1315 Old 03-10-2007, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveSD View Post

I spoke with Chris at VM and he confirmed that you can buy one DCT now and another later - don't know where you would get one though, since no-one is selling w/o a system right now. Apparently 2 tuners is the limit "right now".

i'm sure VM will sell you another one later if you bought the original systems from them.
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post #13 of 1315 Old 03-10-2007, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimon Hirschorn View Post

Hi,

Perhaps you guys can enlighten me. I have found 3 companies advertising DCT's. VM, Niveus and VidaBox. The prices for the other two DCT's are over $1,200. Are these 3 the same animals. Are they at all similar?

Thanks

Shimon


another one is the sony with the VGX-XL3, but it isn't cheap.
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post #14 of 1315 Old 03-10-2007, 04:55 PM
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The Sony VGX-XL3 is even harder to find. They will be selling it for about $3300, for the whole system including the tuner. I don't know how much of that is the tuner and how much is the system (which seems to be pretty high end).

Are the products very different or is it just different companies guesing how much they can sell it for.

Shimon
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post #15 of 1315 Old 03-10-2007, 04:59 PM
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I will probably ordering a VM Media Center soon with 2 DCTs.
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post #16 of 1315 Old 03-10-2007, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedster View Post

Are these systems actually shipping now? Does that make Velocity Micro the first vendor to actually ship a CC system, or are there others? (I know that VM seems to have the best price/performance out there.)

Also, are all you guys getting dual tuners? If you only got a single tuner, can you later buy a second one? If so, how? And if you wanted to try the registry hack to add a 3rd DCT, could you buy another DCT?

(It's amazing to me that the cost of the DCTs alone in a 2x tuner system are nearly the price of a new TivoS3!)

No, they are not shipping yet, though it seems VM will be the first to ship a CC equipped pc. I ordered my system with a single tuner (was told I could add a second later if desired) on Jan 31, with an original ship date of March 2nd. A subsequent email and call to VM told me that all CC equipped systems were delayed until at least March 15, as they needed a firmware "hot fix" from Microsoft and now that that is done VM is trying to finish the BIOS prep, but is apparently struggling to get help from "their partners." It was unclear, when I talked to Chris from VM on Thursday, whether they would meet their March 15th date, though they are working hard at it, no doubt.
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post #17 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 07:20 AM
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Hi guys, thanks for hanging in there - Evelyn Anne Morley was born on Friday @ 1:46PM and she's in great condition!

We have more calls today with MS and motherboard gurus from Intel will be here tomorrow. I am overnighting one of our systems to MS today and we're all going full steam on this. I am confident this will be resolved soon.
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post #18 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 08:22 AM
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Hi guys, thanks for hanging in there - Evelyn Anne Morley was born on Friday @ 1:46PM and she's in great condition!

We have more calls today with MS and motherboard gurus from Intel will be here tomorrow. I am overnighting one of our systems to MS today and we're all going full steam on this. I am confident this will be resolved soon.

Congrats Chris!! much happiness with Evelyn.

So what are the issues your having - when i called on friday they said the only thing they were waiting on is a usb cable.
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post #19 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 08:26 AM
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Sales usually doesn't have the most up to day info on this particular situation. If you have any questions about status please don't hesitate to ask me directly. We're still working on re-engineering the BIOS at this time and it seems like we have one issue left that we're trying to get MS and Intel to clarify...
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post #20 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

Hi guys, thanks for hanging in there - Evelyn Anne Morley was born on Friday @ 1:46PM and she's in great condition!

We have more calls today with MS and motherboard gurus from Intel will be here tomorrow. I am overnighting one of our systems to MS today and we're all going full steam on this. I am confident this will be resolved soon.

Congrats Chris! And happy fatherhood. I hope both you and the proud mom are both doing great as well.

Thanks for keeping us up to date on VM too. Hopefully this will be the week to get this done!

Bob
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post #21 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 09:13 AM
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Congrats Chris.

I had read somewhere that you felt the 8800 provided better TV video quality. Is that correct? If so, I will switch from the 7950.

Thanks for helping us in this fourm
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post #22 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Congratulations Chris & best wishes to you and your family.

I can't speak for everybody, but if I have wait a little longer so you can spend time with family, I won't gripe. Take care.
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post #23 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mkennedy96 View Post

Congrats Chris.

I had read somewhere that you felt the 8800 provided better TV video quality. Is that correct? If so, I will switch from the 7950.

Thanks for helping us in this fourm

It is all subjective, but the concensus yes. The 320MB 8800 GTS should be about the same price as the 7950 GT, so I am recommending that people go that route. Please be aware the component out on the 8800 GTS is not fully functional, however (NVIDIA driver issue.)
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post #24 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Shiba3420 View Post

Congratulations Chris & best wishes to you and your family.

I can't speak for everybody, but if I have wait a little longer so you can spend time with family, I won't gripe. Take care.

My team has continued to work at this in my absence and it's down the nitty gritty BIOS work which I am not needed for, so this won't have any affect on our end. Thanks for the sentiment, though!
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post #25 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mkennedy96 View Post

Congrats Chris.

I had read somewhere that you felt the 8800 provided better TV video quality. Is that correct? If so, I will switch from the 7950.

Thanks for helping us in this fourm

And if it is better, do you think its the hardware or better available drivers?
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post #26 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 10:45 AM
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will Switched Digital Video that Time Warner is switching to soon be compatable with the cable cards?
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post #27 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

It is all subjective, but the concensus yes. The 320MB 8800 GTS should be about the same price as the 7950 GT, so I am recommending that people go that route. Please be aware the component out on the 8800 GTS is not fully functional, however (NVIDIA driver issue.)


Chris, I have the 8800 GTS on my unit, but am planning on using DVI output for video, and the coxial digital output for audio. Are you aware of any issues with those, and Blueray (which I have on my unit as well), and the Power DVD ultra?

Thanks,

Bob
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post #28 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 10:55 AM
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And if it is better, do you think its the hardware or better available drivers?

Well, it's a completely different architecture from the 7-series so I would presume it's a hardware thing.
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post #29 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GamingDoc View Post

Chris, I have the 8800 GTS on my unit, but am planning on using DVI output for video, and the coxial digital output for audio. Are you aware of any issues with those, and Blueray (which I have on my unit as well), and the Power DVD ultra?

Thanks,

Bob

No problem at all, that's what we tested here.
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post #30 of 1315 Old 03-12-2007, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shk718 View Post

will Switched Digital Video that Time Warner is switching to soon be compatable with the cable cards?

Conventional wisdom is no, as that's a limitation of CableCARDs. But I honestly don't know.
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