New Hauppauge HD hardware encoder demoed at CES - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 227 Old 01-09-2008, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, someone finally did it. A card that can do realtime hardware encoding of an HD signal over component analog video. At CES, Hauppauge is demoing a card that takes advantage of the analog hole using a hardware x264 encoder that looks quite good.

The hauppauge box was quite interesting. USB connected, it has an analog component encoder that can encode 720p, 1080i, and yes, 1080p content in an H.264 format at data rates of 5 to 25 Mbps. This allows for pretty good quality, though not as good as an R5000. The HD-DVD disk player output they were encoding looked very good at 9 mbps.

The h.264 profile they are using is blue ray compatible, so a codec that can playback BR content should be able to play this back too. They also can take in SPDIF for multichannel audio recording, which is synced in software to the video. It's fresh out of the engineering lab, but they claim it will be in production and distribution in a couple months for $250.

A friend of mine said a bunch of companies are working on this same type of product, some farther along actually, and so we will likely see a number of such products soon. The BOM for such a card is likely sub $50, so the $250 price is high and is likely to come down soon after there is more competition.

This is an ideal card to capture HD video from a cable or DBS STB over it's component analog outputs. It appears from comments made on the Sage forums by Sage staff that they have already been talking to Hauppauge about this card and will have support for it in Sage TV soon. Sage already supports x264 playback with a Cyberlink or other codec, and the HD extender handles x264 playback fine as well, so this is a great fit for SageTV.

While it's not as good as a R5000-HD which captures the raw digital bitstream, this will be a good mainstream product that should be very popular.
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post #2 of 227 Old 01-09-2008, 11:13 PM
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Sounds great.
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post #3 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 05:03 AM
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Any word on the interface type? I'm assuming PCI-E but is it X1 or X16?
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post #4 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 05:07 AM
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Any idea if it supports 5.1?
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post #5 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 06:45 AM
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USB, and reports are that it does support 5.1 input.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #6 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

USB, and reports are that it does support 5.1 input.

Correct. No HDMI audio in of course, but 5.1 SPDIF is all you really need for cable and dbs.
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post #7 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 08:51 AM
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In reality, Stereo is all you need. Stereo is capable of great surround and most channels aren't 5.1 AC3 anyway.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #8 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

In reality, Stereo is all you need. Stereo is capable of great surround and most channels aren't 5.1 AC3 anyway.

LOL, hi stanger. Actually most prime-time network shows are in 5.1 (excluding reality/news etc).

I'm really happy to see it supports SPDIF audio in.
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post #9 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 10:41 AM
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About bloody time!

I'd drop $250 on a card that can accelerate H.264 encoding tomorrow without thinking about it.

Assuming it can rapidly accelerate transcoding 1080p H.264 from AP@L5.1 to AP@L4.1 for streaming from my PC to my XBOX 360 (in absence of a proper network streaming H.264 player on the market STILL!).

Unless someone here knows better re other options to facilitate the above?? (Have looked into using current graphics cards to help the job along but getting hard facts about anything to do with HD en/de/coding at the mo is nigh on impossible)

Money not an issue(ish!)

PS: Bit concerned at the singular reference to the H.264 profile in the OP too ...
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post #10 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 10:43 AM
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The idea of an extra layer of conversion doesn't thrill me, but I guess it provides an alternative to the current products available of getting HD from a STB.

I wonder if Hauppauge will offer hooks into Media Center. If you can't integrate it into the desktop software, it won't be received very well. I know Sage is somewhat popular around here, but it's not nearly as ubiquitous as MC.
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post #11 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 11:43 AM
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!!!!!!! Great news !!!!1111111one one one!!!!
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post #12 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 12:23 PM
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Finally!!! If this thing comes out at $250 I will buy one for sure. This is fantastic news.
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post #13 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Leisle View Post

The idea of an extra layer of conversion doesn't thrill me, but I guess it provides an alternative to the current products available of getting HD from a STB.

For Canadians there are zero options as CableCards are not available and cable companies have not enabled firewire on a consistent basis to allow that to be an option.
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post #14 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 02:52 PM
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Link to press release: http://www.businesswire.com/portal/s...38&newsLang=en

J

Not afraid to break a few eggs....
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post #15 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 03:42 PM
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damn, i just spooged a little in my pants.
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post #16 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post

LOL, hi stanger. Actually most prime-time network shows are in 5.1 (excluding reality/news etc).

True, I was thinking more stuff like SciFi, network shows aren't a problem to record

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #17 of 227 Old 01-10-2008, 05:30 PM
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Excellent! I would love this. Though I like my HVR-1600, it is a bummer that I can only record HD from over-the-air and not the HD output of my Dish receiver. I'd buy one of these to almost complete my HTPC. (HTPCs never really become finally complete, do they?)

Bazinga!

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post #18 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 10:06 AM
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This is way cool.

For many of us, this can provide a path to offload DVHS recordings that are 5C flagged. I'll be very interested in the quality of this. Surprised these aren't more closely restricted by DRM, basically you could get anything from cable in near HD quality, onto the internet.
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post #19 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak3883 View Post

This is way cool.

For many of us, this can provide a path to offload DVHS recordings that are 5C flagged. I'll be very interested in the quality of this. Surprised these aren't more closely restricted by DRM, basically you could get anything from cable in near HD quality, onto the internet.

I played around a bit with the encoding. They had the Bourne Identity playing, and it was a tiny bit grainy at 5 mbps, but north of 9 or 10 mbps, it looked very good from an encoding perspective. Obviously, it's not as good as an R5000, but it's very good if you use the higher encoding rates and most people may not be able to tell the difference. It looks like it's a CBR setting, which is too bad, I think VBR would be more efficient, but that may be too much to ask for this gen of chips.
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post #20 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 10:16 AM
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Wow, if this can accept HD from a HD cable box using the R G B analog wires into a media center pc this will be amazing!! I can finally start using my cable now, I rarely ever turn it on any more as I would rather just use the media center.
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post #21 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaFox View Post

Wow, if this can accept HD from a HD cable box using the R G B analog wires into a media center pc this will be amazing!! I can finally start using my cable now, I rarely ever turn it on any more as I would rather just use the media center.


It's not RGB, but component... Still, yes that should work. BTW, the demo I saw was not integrated into Media Center, so I am not sure this is going to work right away with VMC or MCE, as I don't think MSFT is working on adding support, but eventually, I bet someone will figure that out.

thx
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post #22 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

It's not RGB, but component... Still, yes that should work. BTW, the demo I saw was not integrated into Media Center, so I am not sure this is going to work right away with VMC or MCE, as I don't think MSFT is working on adding support, but eventually, I bet someone will figure that out.

thx
mike

I meant component, couldnt think of the name. I hope they get MCE support, this is my bread and butter. maybe they can do something like that networked tuner I have (name eludes me) that simulates a over the air HD channel so that QAM will work.
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post #23 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 11:02 AM
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I was also there getting a demo... From what I could understand, the spec were:

480p-1080i60 res support. 5-25Mbs CBR & VBR h264 main profile L4.0. Component Video In, S-Video In, Composite Video In...plus Component Out for pass-thru. RCA LR Audio for AAC and SPDIF Audio for Dolby Surround. SPDIF and RCA Audio Pass-Thru.
Capture to file or burn AVCHD onto standard DVDs for playback in BD players.
Nice......
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post #24 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaFox View Post

I meant component, couldnt think of the name. I hope they get MCE support, this is my bread and butter. maybe they can do something like that networked tuner I have (name eludes me) that simulates a over the air HD channel so that QAM will work.

I don't think MCE and VMC natively support h.264, particularly in this profile, and in a way that extenders and such can deal with it. I guess you could transcode it to MPEG2, but that wouldn't happen in realtime. But I'm sure eventually someone will figure a way to hack it in. Your vid cards will need to be able to play this back too, so this is a big change for a lot of folks.

Maybe someone here could address how easy it would be to add an h.264 capture device in MSFT products. Sage is a better PVR anyway though, and their extenders specifically support this format now. :-)
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post #25 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

I don't think MCE and VMC natively support h.264, particularly in this profile, and in a way that extenders and such can deal with it. I guess you could transcode it to MPEG2, but that wouldn't happen in realtime. But I'm sure eventually someone will figure a way to hack it in. Your vid cards will need to be able to play this back too, so this is a big change for a lot of folks.

Maybe someone here could address how easy it would be to add an h.264 capture device in MSFT products. Sage is a better PVR anyway though, and their extenders specifically support this format now. :-)

Yes, but MCE is so slick and it prittey much just works. I have a 8600GT with a DVI to HDMI cable with HDCP so hopefully it wont be a limiting factor.
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post #26 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

I don't think MCE and VMC natively support h.264, particularly in this profile, and in a way that extenders and such can deal with it. I guess you could transcode it to MPEG2, but that wouldn't happen in realtime. But I'm sure eventually someone will figure a way to hack it in. Your vid cards will need to be able to play this back too, so this is a big change for a lot of folks.

Maybe someone here could address how easy it would be to add an h.264 capture device in MSFT products. Sage is a better PVR anyway though, and their extenders specifically support this format now. :-)

Was there any word on Linux support?
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post #27 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaFox View Post

Yes, but MCE is so slick and it prittey much just works. I have a 8600GT with a DVI to HDMI cable with HDCP so hopefully it wont be a limiting factor.

From the comments at TGB on this topic, the collective opinion seems to be that it will not work in MCE or VMC. MSFT is not engineering MC to try and do the things that you want to use it for.
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post #28 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by onyxsoft View Post

Was there any word on Linux support?

Darn it, I knew there was something I forgot to ask them about! Sorry about that.
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post #29 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaFox View Post

Yes, but MCE is so slick and it prittey much just works. I have a 8600GT with a DVI to HDMI cable with HDCP so hopefully it wont be a limiting factor.

I see. what would the best thing be to use this with then?
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post #30 of 227 Old 01-11-2008, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

I don't think MCE and VMC natively support h.264, particularly in this profile, and in a way that extenders and such can deal with it.

From this article,
Quote:


The HD PVR is a USB-enabled device that connects to any high-def cable or satellite box, and records HD into the H.264 AVC format. Included software allows for playback on a PC.

it appears it won't have hooks for VMC, that you'll have to use their app. That's unfortunate, without Media Center intergration, it will only be a niche product for the niche product of HTPC users. SageTV support is a good start, but the number of users of Sage is a smaller subset of the number of HTPC users that would love to use this product.

Maybe some enterprising individual will come up with a plugin for Media Center like My Movies.
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