Which is best AccessDTV or HiPix?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I have a bunch of questions here, regarding the hdtv pc-cards, AccessDTV and Telemann HiPix..

1. Since it looks like both cards can play back files from the harddrive with HDTV material, can they also play back regular dvd-movies, and possibly 'convert' them to 480p/540p or something, output to a RPTV?

2. Does both of them come with a remote? ( I know HiPix does)

3. Is it possible to convert either of the cards streams into regular tv-resolution mpeg2/mpeg4? I am not talking about realtime, or anything. But does there exist any software that could take a transport stream and convert it?

4. Both cards have built in tuners that can handle regular tv-broadcasts. Can they also output those to a hdtv, rptv? If so, would it 'convert' those signals to 480p/540p?

5. Will HiPix get a PPG sometime soon?

6. Does either one of them support DirectTv HDTV?

7. What is the deal with the 15% restocking fee that DigitalConnections apply to all the orders of the 2 cards?
I can understand they had it when it was hard to get the cards, but it seems they have both cards in stock now.. Anyplace else I can get these cards?

I would be very thankful if someone could help me figure all of this out. I don't want to spend 400+ USD on a card that cannot do what I want it to do..

-Tom Erland

[This message has been edited by tomes (edited 07-16-2001).]

[This message has been edited by tomes (edited 07-16-2001).]

[This message has been edited by tomes (edited 07-16-2001).]
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 02:10 PM
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Conceptually, you are just hooking up two PC monitors. Basically what you want is this:

VGA card -> [loopback cable] -> HD card -> [Extron VGA Splitter] -> [2 male-to-male VGA cables] -> PC monitor and RPTV with RGB/VGA input

A HD card like accessDTV allows you to switch between the HD output and passing through the signal from your VGA card.

The HD cards allow you to record HD on your PC. I'm not sure, but I don't think accessDTV allows you to record HDTV downscaled to 480i/480p, but WinTV-D is built specifically for that, or you could use a HD receiver plus a stand-alone TiVo to record anamorphically (vertically) stretched 480i from HDTV signals. For recording regular 480i, I definitely suggest a TiVo, but see the thread ... you only need two softwares: dscaler and WinDVR .

When you use a HD card like accessDTV to watch 480i NTSC broadcasts, the card line doubles and scales the 480i up to 1080i or whatever you specify. You can also just use dScaler and a video capture card.

Regarding the aforementioned Dish 5000 + HDTV Modulator, that facilitates recording off Dish, not DirecTV.


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post #3 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomes:
Thanks for your reply!

For those of you who are confused about the number of questions chap answered, in relation to my questions on top of the page, it is because I removed some of them, after reading other topics at this forum.

Ideally, I want to use my pc for the following:

1. Watch dvd on pc and rptv
2. Watch regular tv on pc and rptv
3. Watch hdtvo on pc and rptv
4. Record regular tvo on pc
5. Record hdtv on pc
6. Record hdtv downconverted to sdtv on pc
I am doing all of those things except for the last one. . . I don't quite understand why you want to record bad HD when you can just record SDTV and watch it on your PC.

My setup is, I have a Radeon All in wonder which I use for most standard definition stuff. It can record to my hard drive, and can be used for video editing. For all HD material I use the HI-Pix, however I can also use the Hi-Pix for SDTV as well. I am not sure if it records SDTV though. I haven't had a chance to mess with that yet.

For the DVD part, all you need to do is get a DVD-Rom. The radeon has a very good DVD decoder built into it.

I assume you have an HDTV that you want to plug this into? If it has a VGA port then you just have to plug the PC straight into the HDTV, or get a VGA-&gt;component adaptor which is how I have it setup.

However I could have a monitor plugged in for all my regular computer needs plugged directly into the Radeon, and then have the Hi-Pix plugged into my HDTV. I can also in that same scenario plug my radeon into an S-Video port on my tv so I can use it for SDTV and DVD output like that if I wanted.

The easiest scenario is to plug the Hi-Pix directly into the HDTV and then use the pass through cable from teh Hi-Pix into the Radeon. Works great for me.

Also if you setup the pc the way I described, using a program called powerstrip you can basically upconvert your DVD to 1080i if you want.

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Answer to Abdul and Chap:

&gt;Conceptually, you are just hooking up two PC monitors. &gt;Basically what you want is this:
&gt;VGA card -&gt; [loopback cable] -&gt; HD card -&gt; [Extron VGA &gt;Splitter] -&gt; [2 male-to-male VGA cables] -&gt; PC monitor and &gt;RPTV with RGB/VGA input

&gt;A HD card like accessDTV allows you to switch between the &gt;HD output and passing through the signal from your VGA &gt;card.

Hi guys, it is very interesting what you say about treating a rptv as a monitor! Combining this with powerstrip, setting the right resolution etc, of the desktop, sounds like it should work! Chap, I wonder though, how did you get powerstrip to work with the ATI card. I have heard that to output hdtv resolutions from the monitor output, you would need a Matrox G400 or Geforce? It seems they are more 'tweakable' than ATI and others?

Chap, you ask why I would want to downconvert HDTV to regular SDTV for recording; 2 reasons:
1. I do not have an analog capture card today, so I could save those expenses for a while (though the channels I could capture from would be limited)
2. I believe that by (and this is only my personal belief!) downconverting the signal, would give a better result, since it seems to me there is a cleaner signal than from my lousy digital cable connection. You would think with digital cable today, that they could have a component or at least, s-video output, but no, to save cost, they just give me the regular composite output, which really gives me a washed out picture. I see it especially well since my livingroom is kinda small, and I have the Pioneer 58" widescreen...

Thanks so much for all your help so far, guys! And chap, I would really be interested in knowing how you got your ATI tweaked to give hdtv output ( because I assume you just send your 'desktop' to the hdtv, and basically use windvd or something to play it?)

-Tom Erland
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 03:13 PM
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I learned it all from the HTPC forum thats here. Thats pretty much where I got all my info from. ITs actually not hard at all. Beta 3 of powerstrip supports the Radeon. It took a little bit of playing around with, but it all works now. There are detailed instructions throught the forum telling how to set it up. I unfortunately don't remember all the exact steps I went through off the top of my head.

As far as downconverting goes, I'm pretty sure you can't do it on the fly, but I could be wrong.

I'm still a tad bit confused though as to why you would want to take a perfectly good HDTV signal and turn it into SDTV instead of watching it as HDTV with no downconversion. I think there is either something I'm missing, or your thinking of doing something that just isn't possible.

As far as an analog capture card goes, the Radeon is a good catch. Also like I mentioned before the Hi-Pix does have a second tuner for analog stuff, but I'm not positive it can record from it. I don't see why it wouldn't be able to, but you never know. If I have time to test it, I will let u know.

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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&gt;I'm still a tad bit confused though as to why you would &gt;want to take a perfectly good HDTV signal and turn it into &gt;SDTV instead of watching it as HDTV with no &gt;downconversion. I think there is either something I'm &gt;missing, or your thinking of doing something that just &gt;isn't possible.

The reason for downconverting would be to get the best possible quality (that's why I don't want to save straight from SDTV), but still take up less space on the harddrive. I like to record, a lot, and HDTV takes up 9gig/hour, which would fill my harddrive in approx 4 hrs. Mpeg2 SDTV would in comparison take around 2.5 gig/hr, and if you convert to mpeg4, you could probably get it down to 0.5 gig/hour.

Hey, I know I am asking much, but your solution seems to cover most of my needs. And with a bit of luck, I will find an encoder that can read the HDTV transport streams and convert them to mpeg2/4 (not in realtime though).

Thanks again, for all your help!

-Tom Erland

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 04:00 PM
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Ok. Now I understand better. You never mentioned space issues before. Couple of things you can do. . . there is someone working on (if its not complete already) a program that will down convert HD files form a Hi-Pix to 540p which will be about 2.5 Gigs for a 2 hour movie instead of the standard 18. That is something that you can search the Home Theater PC group for.

Also, so you don't ruin the quality of the HD that you recorded you might be better of trying to archive them off of your Hard drive by other methods such as tape back, or MiniDV. If you get a fast enough tape backup drive it is possible to stream the HD files in real time. Persoanally I'm waiting for a fast enough firewire tape backup solution. Till then I will use MiniDV.

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, that is exactly what I am looking for! Lucky for me I also have a dv-camera, so I will follow your advice and use that for backup! Thanks again! Your advise is greatly appreciated!

-Tom Erland
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 04:19 PM
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what model camcorder? Andy, the creator of DVSpoof is still testing different camcorders with it. So far it looks like JVC's (at least mind did), Panasonics, and Sony's work just fine, but the canon Elura had issues.

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post #10 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 06:46 PM
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Been listening in on this HDTV recording forum. I want to do recording in the future. My Dish 6000 doesn't seem to give me any options to tap into.

Dish 5000 + Modulator seems unobtainable based on 72 hours of searching.

Wanted to let everyone know about a new PC from Iomega called Peerlessâ„¢. It is a USB or firewire Hard drive with removable cartridges. It comes in a 10Gig and 20 Gig Version. (Cost $400)

Seems to me that the 20Gig would be a perfect archive for an HD movie. (price is $200 for the cart however - should come down over time)

Here is the URL http://www.iomega.com/peerless/index.html

Have NOT built my HTPC yet so I don’t have any experience with this new product.

-Scott


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- Scott
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 08:44 PM
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The peerless looks interesting till you look at the price of the disks. 160 bux a pop isn't exacly cool. . . I could get a removable harddrive for a better deal and more storage. Also the firewire version is mac only. They didn't have speed specs, but to stream HD you need at LEAST 2.4 MB's sustained. The onstream firewire drive I think will barely do just that, but I want at least 3 just to be safe.

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post #12 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomes:


Wow, you got a lot of questions. I will answer them the best I cna, but you Cliff Watson is the real man to ask.

1. Since it looks like both cards can play back files from the harddrive with HDTV material, can they also play back regular dvd-movies, and possibly 'convert' them to 480p/540p or something, output to a RPTV?

No

2. Does both of them come with a remote? ( I know HiPix does)


I know the Hi-Pix does like I said, but I am not sure about the access DTV myself.

3. DigitalConnections list 3 different 'versions' of the AccessDTV card; Just the plain card, a 'kit', and a 'dtv companion card'. Whats the difference between these?

One of the cards comes with an Antennae, and one is plain. I don't know about the third.


4. Is AccessDTV the only card that encrypts the datastream, so you need to use that exact card to play it back later?

Yes, and as far as I can tell that is its only REAL incident.


5. Is it possible to convert either of the cards streams into regular tv-resolution mpeg2/mpeg4? I am not talking about realtime, or anything. But does there exist any software that could take a transport stream and convert it?

You can do it for Hi-Pix files, but not for the Access.

6. It seems that the cards have a different revision of hardware chips. Is any of the two better than the other one?

I am not aware of different revisions. Thats soemthing to talk to Cliff about.

7. Both cards have built in tuners that can handle regular tv-broadcasts. Can they also output those to a hdtv, rptv? If so, would it 'convert' those signals to 480p/540p?

The Hi-Pix has the ability to output directly to a TV, but I haven't tried it yet. You can select various signal formates. I'm not sure if 540p is on the list of them.

8. Will HiPix get a PPG sometime soon?

I think I heard they are working on a guide for it. whether you have to pay for it or not remains to be seen.

9. Will the cards be outdated when the broadcasters start encrypting transmissions?

*IF* they start encrypting then yes I think both of these will be obsolete since they have no means of decrypting it, unless somehow it can be done with software which I doubt.

10. Does either one of them support DirectTv HDTV?

No, but if u get the Dish 5000 and the HDTV modulator then you can record HD with both of them.

11. What is the deal with the 15% restocking fee that DigitalConnections apply to all the orders of the 2 cards? Can I buy them anywhere else? seems to me they are just trying to make a big buck here...
I would be very thankful if someone could help me figure all of this out. I don't want to spend 400+ USD on a card that cannot do what I want it to do..


What exaclty do you want to do????

-Tom Erland

[This message has been edited by tomes (edited 07-16-2001).]

[This message has been edited by tomes (edited 07-16-2001).]


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post #13 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply!

For those of you who are confused about the number of questions chap answered, in relation to my questions on top of the page, it is because I removed some of them, after reading other topics at this forum.

Ideally, I want to use my pc for the following:

1. Watch dvd on pc and rptv
2. Watch regular tv on pc and rptv
3. Watch hdtvo on pc and rptv
4. Record regular tvo on pc
5. Record hdtv on pc
6. Record hdtv downconverted to sdtv on pc

Any ideas of what I would need to do to fix all of this?

Thanks
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-16-2001, 10:38 PM
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If you want to use DVSpoof, this would make accessDTV a risky choice, due to accessDTV's encryption not tolerating any errors.


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post #15 of 16 Old 07-17-2001, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
11. What is the deal with the 15% restocking fee that DigitalConnections apply to all the orders of the 2 cards? Can I buy them anywhere else? seems to me they are just trying to make a big buck here...
Actually, it is there to discourage anyone purchasing the product without doing some research on availability of HDTV signals. Another thing to keep in mind, if you return a product that was purchased on a credit card, we do not receive our "merchant discount fee", the price we pay to process credit cards back from our bank.

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post #16 of 16 Old 07-17-2001, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I will be using one of the panasonic models (910 or something), which I am very happy with, btw http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

Looks like I should be going for the HiPix card, reading this and other discussions.

Thank you all for helping out http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

-Tom Erland
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