Order Your AccessDTV Card Now !!!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 03-22-2001, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I'm officially released from my NDA for the only game in town for PC-HDTV PVR/Timeshifting. That is right folks the accessDTV card is being announced to the world on TechTV this coming Monday and the folks at i-Tech & Digital Connection have decided to pre-announce the card here at avsforum to permit members to get their orders in before the TechTV announcement. The first card will go to our gracious host, Alan Gouger, and the remainder of the first shipment should go out by Friday of next week.

The card is truly groundbreaking and I have been fortunate to be a beta tester for Dewey Weaver, CEO of i-Tech along with Cliff and Milori (and several others). Dewey and his entire company have been incredibly responsive and really listened to Cliff, and even the rest of us on occasion! The result is a card that walks the walk not just talks the talk.

It can Pause, RW/FF, Instant Replay, and of course Record/Playback. It also comes with a very slick guide with both your ATSC and NTSC programming, making it very easy to schedule HDTV recording events. And no more VIP worries...you can watch HDTV right on your desktop WITHOUT VIP!!

Stop by Digital Connection and order your card today to get into the first shipment. The card can be ordered at http://www.digitalconnection.com/Pro...Video/adtv.htm

Feel free to ask Mark Hunter (Milori) any questions you may have as he is free from his NDA too!

Regards,

Tom

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post #2 of 40 Old 03-22-2001, 09:46 PM
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WOW!!! Enough said.

Bob
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post #3 of 40 Old 03-22-2001, 10:28 PM
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this sounds like a great product; one that i've been waiting for since i bought my tv!

so, (having spent a lot of time on the tivo forums) here comes the inevitable questions:

what capabilities exist if you don't pay for the subscription? it appears that you can record and playback progams "vcr-style", by specifying channel and time, but you don't get the program guide and future software updates?

also, if i read correctly, the web page indicates that recordings made on one machine cannot be played back on another. am i to infer from this that recordings are stored in a proprietary format (not MPEG-2, at least not MPEG-2 that i can feed directly into an MPEG player)?

STOP DVI/HDCP and Boycott JVC!
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post #4 of 40 Old 03-22-2001, 10:54 PM
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Tom,

Is this card based on the same Janus Teralogic chipset as the HiPix/WinTV-HD, or is it a different chipset?

Jeff
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post #5 of 40 Old 03-22-2001, 11:05 PM
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tommyboy2:

My order is placed.

I noticed I couldn't find mention of the product by going in through DC's main menu, so it really looks like only hard core Forum readers will be able find it through your link. Thanks for the advance notice.

As regular forum readers may recall, my sig line sporadically has been, "I hate having to choose between my ReplayTV's true timeshifting and my HiPix's stunning picture quality." Well, I recently made my decision, and sold my HiPix, believing the predictions that a product with PVR-like HDTV recording *must* eventually come along. How nice that I will have the best of both worlds so very soon. (It still seems like an eternity till delivery date, though. I do miss the picture quality of my ex-HiPix.)

(But, $9.95/month? After $479 (plus 7.75% tax)! I guess I'll just have to see how convenient those PVR-like recording features are for DTV. I imagine, though, that it'll be like the drug pushers' advertising slogan: "The first one's free. After that you can buy it from me." And I won't be able to quit.)

Oops. Just noticed it requires a 500 MHz PII. My PC is a 473 MHz PIII. I wonder if I'll be able to squeak by.

Dewey & Kei: Dear, strangers, Godspeed.

-yogaman
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post #6 of 40 Old 03-22-2001, 11:13 PM
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â€what capabilities exist if you don't pay for the subscription? it appears that you can record and playback progams "vcr-style", by specifying channel and time, but you don't get the program guide and future software updates?â€

Hi js,

If you don’t have a subscription you can not setup a recording schedule. With the base unit you can record to hard drive with the “Record Now†function and have Time Shifting (TS) functions such as Pause Live TV, Replay, RW/FF for TS.

â€also, if i read correctly, the web page indicates that recordings made on one machine cannot be played back on another. am i to infer from this that recordings are stored in a proprietary format (not MPEG-2, at least not MPEG-2 that i can feed directly into an MPEG player)?â€

The recordings are always in the standard ATSC Transport Stream, however, the saved files are marked in a manner that does not reduce the transport stream video/audio quality, but does prevent them from being played on another system.


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post #7 of 40 Old 03-22-2001, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JKohn:
Tom,

Is this card based on the same Janus Teralogic chipset as the HiPix/WinTV-HD, or is it a different chipset?

Jeff
</font>
Jeff,

The Teralogic Janus is a single chip used on the accessDTV card to decode the MPEG-2 video and to provide digital to analog converter services for output to a monitor (display). The accessDTV card also has a hand full of additional chips that were necessary for the PVR functions. accessDTV is a third generation design of the Janus.


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post #8 of 40 Old 03-22-2001, 11:31 PM
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â€also, if i read correctly, the web page indicates that recordings made on one machine cannot be played back on another. am i to infer from this that recordings are stored in a proprietary format (not MPEG-2, at least not MPEG-2 that i can feed directly into an MPEG player)?â€

&gt;The recordings are always in the standard ATSC Transport Stream, however, the saved files are marked in a manner that does not reduce the transport stream video/audio quality, but does prevent them from being played on another system.

Ok seeing as there is no such thing as ATSC Transport Stream (ATSC is not a codec) and in fact MPEG2 is used as *part* of an ATSC compliant TS (which may comprise other datatypes along with relevant tables + compliant modulation) - what exactly is recorded? Is it simply MPEG2 comprising of the program paradigm ATSC i.e. Video and Audio PIDs?

Also, how does this device capture full 19.2Mbits ATSC video to disk? Seeing as all the hardware I have worked with maxes out the PCI bus at around 12Mbits.

Is the TS extrapolated and PIDs muxed raw to disk, or what? I'm betting the card does some el cheapo fixed bit processing via onboard chip or simply uses a custom header both of which can be easily defeated. How do broadcasters feel about this card?

I have tried to get some responses from whoever makes this card and no one ever got back to me.

Cheers
Kon
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post #9 of 40 Old 03-22-2001, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Kon:
Also, how does this device capture full 19.2Mbits ATSC video to disk? Seeing as all the hardware I have worked with maxes out the PCI bus at around 12Mbits.</font>
The PCI bus is way faster than 12Mbps -- maybe you're thinking of USB. For example, dTV running in 720-pixel-wide NTSC mode moves more than 150Mbps from the capture card over the PCI bus. For another example, people would be demanding their money back in droves if their 100-megabit Ethernet cards only gave them 2 megabits a second more than their old 10-megabit cards!
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post #10 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 01:00 AM
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Thanks for the tip-off, Tom! I went straight to the DC site and ordered it. I can't wait.
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post #11 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 01:16 AM
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Hi Kon:

___As Steve mentioned, your PCI bus is a whole hell of a lot faster than 12Mb/sec. Using any of today’s popular chipsets, you have a theoretical PCI bus bandwidth of 132 MB/sec. which is a good deal more than any ATSC stream requires in its present form. The performance of today’s PCI bus is many times what is needed if this is what you were asking.

Cliff, Tom, and Mark: I have already had a formal discussion on the cards attributes and performance so if you could find the time, please post one long write-up on its advancements over and above the Telemann HiPix and Hauppauge WinTV-HD as well as how to set it up properly. I know the accessDTV card already destroys the HiPix and WinTV-HD but I would like to see a whole lot less threads being generated in the HT Computer forum in particular with a long “all inclusive†write-up and commentary afterwards instead of a hundred like what happened with the Radeon over the past month or two. I do not even know which thread to pick for answers to all the Radeon questions currently http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif If I could link any one of your long write-ups in the FAQ post, maybe this would stop the hundreds of what, why, where can I … the accessDTV card threads that are generated by those that do not care to look back even a few days for the answers that have been posted tens to hundreds of times in the very recent past.

___Thanks in advance

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___ xcel@midwest.idsonline.com
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post #12 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 01:49 AM
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Can more than one of these cards be used in a machine at the same time (to record more than one show, or to record one show while playing back another)? Given that it can do trick play, can you record one show while playing back another with a single card?

Does it have an IR remote? What about an IR blaster to control a DBS deck like a model 5000?

Any chance for Mac OS X or linux drivers for the card?

It seems that for a card as expensive as it is not to even be able to do time and channel based recording without paying for a subscription is unreasonable (TiVo boxes which have options of monthly, annual and lifetime subscriptions will still do time and date based recording without the subscription, and the subscription is used to subsidize the disk price!)

If my card dies and needs to be replaced, does that mean that any content I have recorded is useless? Is the content encrypted or is it just a standard MPEG-2 TS with something in the user bits for CA?

Does it always record the full 19.4 Mbs or only the sub-channel that I am watching (this is important as film originated HD-content can be compressed to as low as 12 Mbs so not having to record the full stream would save lots of space)?

/carmi
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post #13 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 03:12 AM
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I wholeheartedly agree with Xcel's request. It could save us all a lot of grief to have a thorough review instead of going at this piecemeal. The info on the AccessDTV web site is a little vague.

My request to the beta-testers: could someone address the NTSC capabilities of the card?
Is lack of NTSC recording a hardware limitation(permanent), or is it possible that it might be added down the road?

How good is the upconversion of NTSC material compared to dTV?

Thanks,

Steve

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post #14 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 07:38 AM
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This sounds like a good product, but it seems like you can't copy the hi-def recordings made on your hard disk to another hard disk (for archiving). With it taking up 8 gigs of space for each hour of hi-def recording, even the biggest drives will fill up pretty fast. Nonetheless, this sounds like a promising product.

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post #15 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Brajesh:
This sounds like a good product, but it seems like you can't copy the hi-def recordings made on your hard disk to another hard disk (for archiving).</font>
Is this true? This restriction has not been mentioned in earlier posts.
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post #16 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 08:25 AM
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My bad re bus speed - 2am and I was thinking of IP decapsulation which leads me to:

does this board have an IP stack, or is it strictly video/audio/PVR?

Also I would sincerely hope it has protection since otherwise they might be opening themselves up nicely for some lawsuits.

Cheers
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post #17 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 08:48 AM
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Erik, maybe I got it wrong cuz I just read an earlier post that says only that "recordings made on one machine cannot be played back on another".

So, I'm assuming those 'recordings' can be archived to another hard drive???

HD Media Keen Videosaurus
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post #18 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 08:55 AM
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Sounds like its keyed to the card, and not the hard drive. So you should be able to copy to another hard-drive, as long as that hard-drive is in the same machine.

Someone else brought up a very good point: What if your card breaks? Can your replacement card be keyed to play your existing recordings? My guess is no.

This is the problem with all these stupid copyright scenarios.

Andy K.
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post #19 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 11:38 AM
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Jim,

Our store login is case sensitive.



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post #20 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 11:54 AM
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Frank:
When displaying an HDTV signal in a scaled window, is the resolution limited to 480 lines or is it the same as the window resolution?
</font>
Frank,

The resolution across the PCI bus is 480p. The windowed display is scaled on the desktop graphics card to the size you have selected for the overlay.


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post #21 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 12:29 PM
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Well this is all very exciting :P But I have one question (similar to my much earlier questions re: the Hipix card)...

To use the component inputs on my xbr400, will I need a transcoder box, or can I use a breakout cable similar to the HiPix? I've seen this issue danced around, be not definitively answered. In fact, on the DC website, it is referenced twice, but not with definitive authority..

In the description of the product:
"(VGA to Y-Pb-Pr converter maybe required)"

In the Specifications section:
"15-pin D-Sub VGA Connector (RGB and Y-Pb-Pr breakout cable optional)"

So, which is it? Have any of the beta-testers tried the RGB -&gt; Y-Pb-Pr breakout option? Or does someone know firsthand that it will/won't in this manner? I'd love to pull the trigger on the card right now, but I don't want to have to shell out another $130 on a transcoder box right now (getting married in 1 month...catering bill is due! :P)

Cheers,

Rich
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post #22 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 01:32 PM
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â€So, which is it? Have any of the beta-testers tried the RGB -&gt; Y-Pb-Pr breakout option? Or does someone know firsthand that it will/won't in this manner? I'd love to pull the trigger on the card right now, but I don't want to have to shell out another $130 on a transcoder box right now (getting married in 1 month...catering bill is due! :P)â€

Rich,

The answer to your question is it depends on how you use the whole system (HTPC). The accessDTV card will output YPbPr in full screen mode allowing you to use a breakout cable, but and this is a big but, with a breakout cable you can not use the loop-back cable and display the windows desktop on the TV because the computer graphics card is RGB VGA output which would require a transcoder. You can use a breakout cable for the accessDTV card to the TV and a small VGA monitor connected to the graphics card.

This should hold you over until after the divorce and you can again afford a transcoder. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


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post #23 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Cliff Watson:
The resolution across the PCI bus is 480p.</font>
I'm amazed that the PCI bus can handle the bandwidth of uncompressed 480p. I thought that this card would downconvert HDTV-in-a-window to 480i like the WinTV-D card does.
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post #24 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 01:49 PM
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Thanks for the concise reply Cliff!

That's exactly the answer I was hoping for. I didn't expect to use the loopback feature and have it display properly without a transcoder, but I was hoping that I could connect the card directly to my tv using a breakout cable. I use an s-video tv-out to view the windows desktop on my xbr, so that isn't an issue for me. I can continue to use this output when the desktop is necessary onscreen, and switch inputs to the component input when viewing the HDTV content. Clunky, but after some airboard/pronto/slinke configuration, I should be able to make it work seamlessly.

Cheers,

Rich

(I never realized that getting married meant trading in my geek hobbies for things like meeting with florists and caterers, ugh! :P)

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post #25 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 01:57 PM
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Cliff,

Since the video output of the card is only 480p, 720p, or 1080i, If I want a native XGA resolution from the card the only way I will be able to get that will be from my graphics card which will be resizing a 480p frame.

Is that correct? I have tried reaching their tech support on this issue but I have been unsuccessful. This is potentially a deal killer for me because I really need the XGA output.

I am not saying that this is all bad, but it sounds like the device for the fixed resolution people is an HD to DVD quality convertor.

-Mr. Wigggles

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post #26 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 02:39 PM
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Mr. Wigggles,

You can use YxY for the desktop display in the same manner it was used for DVD.


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post #27 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 02:51 PM
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Cliff,

Thanks,

But I would like to get 1 megapixel type HD resolution for my graphics card to work with instead of the typical .35 megapixel resolution that DVD players send out to my graphics card.

The Wintv-hd and hi-pix can do XGA directly out. I am surprised this card can't.

-Mr. Wigggles

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post #28 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Brajesh:
This sounds like a good product, but it seems like you can't copy the hi-def recordings made on your hard disk to another hard disk (for archiving). With it taking up 8 gigs of space for each hour of hi-def recording, even the biggest drives will fill up pretty fast. Nonetheless, this sounds like a promising product.

</font>
Barjest,

You CAN copy the captured files to another hard drive. But, you can only play them back on the card that was used for capture.


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post #29 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by kromkamp:
Sounds like its keyed to the card, and not the hard drive. So you should be able to copy to another hard-drive, as long as that hard-drive is in the same machine.

Someone else brought up a very good point: What if your card breaks? Can your replacement card be keyed to play your existing recordings? My guess is no.

This is the problem with all these stupid copyright scenarios.

Andy K.
</font>
Andy,

You guessed wrong (this time). http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

A replacement card can be make to look exactly like the card it is replacing. In order to properly manage this function Digital Connection will not be involved in the warranty of the accessDTV product. All warranty work will go directly to the manufacturer.


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post #30 of 40 Old 03-23-2001, 09:27 PM
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If the protection is on the card I give it one month before it is cracked.

Shoulda used a *cough*NDS*cough* smartcard :P
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