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Anyone else excited about DirecTV HDPC-20 external USB tuner for Vista Media Center?

post #1 of 112
Thread Starter 
Been a while since I've heard anything about the DirecTV HDPC-20. In January a product brochure was leaked (see below) about the HDPC-20 which will give DirecTV subscribers (like myself) the ability to have DirecTV channels and the DirecTV guide show up directly in Vista Media Center. That also means streaming TV and recorded shows to PC's and Media Center Extenders (i.e. XBOX360, etc) not to mention your using your PC's harddrive(s) as storage instead of proprietary or filesystem-encrypted drives locked inside a set-top DVR. No doubt the recorded content will be encrypted but "you know how it goes" if some guy with thick glasses decides he wants to take the time to reverse engineer the encryption, assuming the box gets popular enough.

For a while there was a thread going on in dbstalk.com indicating some beta testing activity being hosted by Microsoft, but that thread's been dead since April. From the look of it we're still at least 6 months away from a release date (CES 2009 perhaps).

I simply can't wait, because the limited broadcast channels available via OTA and QAM to "tuner cards" are just piss poor, especially if you're used to a decent cable or SAT channel package.

Can't wait until Vista Media Center does everything.....Channel guide and GUI are SO much nicer looking in Vista MC than on my DirecTV HR21 box (or any set-top box). This thing almost seems too good to be true, and if/when it does come out it will blow away that obscure ATI cablecard external box that's crippled and hard to even get the cable company to install cards into without citing federal regulation to them (and even then they'll play stupid and refuse).

post #2 of 112
If it's only going to be available for VMC then count me out. A lot of us still use XP, mainly because Vista is still too buggy to be considered as an OS for any viable use IMHO. I'll stick with third party apps made by anyone else but Microsoft.
post #3 of 112
I am definately interested in this. From my reading in DBStalk.com it will require the upgrade to the Vista Media Center which is at RC0 test phase now. This means that we are still a couple of months away, at least, from availability. But for for people who already are subscribers to DirecTV this will be a great alternative to OTA TV tuners or QAM cable cards. For me personally, this is ideal.
post #4 of 112
Bad news

http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/thread/271026.aspx

I suspect Ben has a man on the inside...
post #5 of 112
I think if that came out it would push me over the edge to make an HTPC. Right now I'm on the bubble. I don't have a problem using local OTA and DVR functionality on a PC, and I'd even spring for an HDHomerun, but so much of the stuff that we watch isn't available OTA.
post #6 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojoxl View Post

Bad news

http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/thread/271026.aspx

I suspect Ben has a man on the inside...

I told you guys last year to not expect this device to actually get fielded. No one is championing this inside of DirecTV, and h.264 support in VMC is still nowhere to be seen.

The most commonly used app in VMC is the photo browser. Our community is NOT the target market for Microsoft and VMC. Just get over it.

If you want native HD imported into a PC based PVR system with extenders, SageTV is definitely the way to go with an R5000-HD modded STB from either Dish or a cable box, and now the Hauppauge HDPVR.

But if you love VMC (which means no h.264 for you), Nextcomm just released support for VMC in it's R5000 drivers. That means you can take a R5000 modded cable STB and hook it into VMC as a tuner, and record the native MPEG2 of anything you are authorized for. This is about the best you can do now given all the limitations of VMC.
post #7 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

If it's only going to be available for VMC then count me out. A lot of us still use XP, mainly because Vista is still too buggy to be considered as an OS for any viable use IMHO. I'll stick with third party apps made by anyone else but Microsoft.


Have you honestly taken the time, with "proper" hardware, and actually used vista? I've been running my HTPC with Vista (for media center) for over a year now, and I have Less issue now than I did when I was running MCE 2005.

XP is dead, so of course there is NOT going to be support for something like this.

Quote:


it will require the upgrade to the Vista Media Center which is at RC0 test phase now. This means that we are still a couple of months away, at least, from availability.

Correct, they are beta testing the MCE update right now, along with beta testing the tuner: http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/04/04...ter-beta-test/

What needs to happen with the update is add mpeg4 support, which this media center update will add, since the dual tuner box is a mpeg4 only device.

Do I think MCE needs this device? Hell yes, but I am still sceptic on whether or not it'll actually come out. The thing that gets me is if the R5000 mod can add mpeg4 support to vista see here for details: http://www.nextcomwireless.com/R5000/mce_h264.htm

I don't see why the folks that actually built the software couldn't easily add mpeg4 support as well.

So I guess time will tell.

Quote:


Our community is NOT the target market for Microsoft and VMC. Just get over it.

I call BS on that. VMC is just what "our community" needs for HTPCing. You have DVRing, DVD cataloging, third party plugins for streaming content like Netflix, you have photos, videos, ect.. ALL in one easy to use, easy to setup gui.

Quote:


If you want native HD imported into a PC based PVR system with extenders, SageTV is definitely the way to go with an R5000-HD modded STB from either Dish or a cable box, and now the Hauppauge HDPVR.

you can do the same thing with MCE and MCE extenders as well with R5000 mod, but I personally would rather have a legit solution, that doesn't require hacking a box and paying $500 or more to do so.

- Josh
post #8 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

If it's only going to be available for VMC then count me out. A lot of us still use XP, mainly because Vista is still too buggy to be considered as an OS for any viable use IMHO. I'll stick with third party apps made by anyone else but Microsoft.

I used to be in the same boat as you - I used to "hate" Vista and I swore by XP MCE R2 for the three HTPC's in my house, because Vista's Media Center was giving too many weird issues. Then Service Pack 1 came out for Vista, I did a TON more research into codecs and stuff, and decided to give Vista another shot. I've got it down to such a science now with a minimum of codecs that its absolutely flawless and I couldn't go back to XP MCE.

In retrospect part of my initial problems with Vista were using "codec packs" - BIG MISTAKE. The morons that put codec packs together are usually teenagers/hackers with little clue about what the hell they're doing or how some of the codecs they throw into a "pack" are stepping on each others' DLL's and associations and generally conflicting with each other.

Here's what I run now as standard (all about to change when I build my first Radeon 4850 based system for taking advantage of BluRay playback and losslses audio of HDMI):

EVGA Nvidia-based motherboard with GeForce 7150 chip onboard
Vista Ultimate SP1 32bit
Purevideo as MPEG2 decoder in Vista (offloads MPEG2 based decoding including DVD and HD .TS files)
ffdshow-tryouts with custom post-processing settings
haali media splitter (I deselected .TS support during install so it doesn't take over audio decoding from PureVideo on MPEG2 streams)
MyMovies (latest version)

That's it! Just purevideo for mpeg2, ffdshow-tryouts for everything else and haali for MKV (my container of choice for my backed up BD titles). You need NOTHING else to be able to play back pretty much everything.

The system is flawless and never crashes or locks up, plus standard def XVID/DIVX is automatically scaled up and looks amazing for even crappy encodes (done by others).
post #9 of 112
Yes, as a current D* subscriber, I am definitely excited about this tuner, just frustrated it is taking so long to get on the market. When the first cable-card PC's came out, there wasn't much of a difference in the HD offerings between D* and most cable companies, so the primary shortcoming of cablecards at that time was the need to buy a new PC. Now that D* has so many more HD channels than cable, even a fully loaded high end HTPC (from Niveus, Cannon, Vidabox etc) with 4 or 6 cablecard tuners isn't really a good option because of the dearth of HD channels on cable compared to D* (not to mention Sunday Ticket, if you like football). Based on initial reports, a D* tuner has the following advantages over a cable card tuner:

1. No need for a new cable-labs approved PC.
2. Access to most HD channels
3. Two-way capability (ie. access to ppv), though this may change if 2way cable cards are ever issued.
4. Access to Sunday Ticket
5. Potentially easier implementation of more tuners than with cablecard.

Also, the R5000 is becoming less relevent since it cannot work with MPEG4 HD channels from D*.
post #10 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

Have you honestly taken the time, with "proper" hardware, and actually used vista? I've been running my HTPC with Vista (for media center) for over a year now, and I have Less issue now than I did when I was running MCE 2005.



Do I think MCE needs this device? Hell yes, but I am still sceptic on whether or not it'll actually come out.



I call BS on that. VMC is just what "our community" needs for HTPCing. You have DVRing, DVD cataloging, third party plugins for streaming content like Netflix, you have photos, videos, ect.. ALL in one easy to use, easy to setup gui.



- Josh

I agree with you 1 0 0 % , Josh. Excellent points. The SageTV people are always going to be in the shadows because unfortunately its still a tinkerer's platform - it's still the "Linux" of HTPC software and the ONLY way a big provider like a satellite company or cable company is going to bother marketing a device to a niche that's already fairly obscure in a sea of people content with set-top devices, is with a joint effort from a company like Microsoft. I'm not an M$ fanboy, I'm just realistic. I could care less WHAT software or O/S gets me my SAT or cable channels into my media center computer - but realistically Vista MC has the only shot.

As I said, the HDPC-20 still seems "too good to be true".
post #11 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by sipester View Post

1. No need for a new cable-labs approved PC.

Hasn't been verified yet, just pure speculation at this point.

Quote:


3. Two-way capability (ie. access to ppv), though this may change if 2way cable cards are ever issued.

Again all speculation at this point, none of this has been confirmed.

Quote:


5. Potentially easier implementation of more tuners than with cablecard.

Well thats NOT true at all, MCE by default only supports 4 tuners, 2 ATSC, and 2 NTSC. With Cable card tuners, they use the NTSC tuning space. And assuming the HDPC20 uses the same tuning space, you are only looking at two tuner support out of the box so no matter what you'd have to hack the registry like you have to do now to add more than the allotted 2 tuners per tuning space limitation.

though right now there are plenty of third party apps that easily allow you to modify the registry and add more tuners. I personally am using 6 tuners (3 ATSC, 3 NTSC) with VMC right now, and took me all of 2 minutes to get up and running.

Quote:


Also, the R5000 is becoming less relevent since it cannot work with MPEG4 HD channels from D*.

It CAN support Mpeg4, it just can't support the H10, H20 equipment.

- Josh
post #12 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sipester View Post

Yes, as a current D* subscriber, I am definitely excited about this tuner, just frustrated it is taking so long to get on the market. When the first cable-card PC's came out, there wasn't much of a difference in the HD offerings between D* and most cable companies, so the primary shortcoming of cablecards at that time was the need to buy a new PC. Now that D* has so many more HD channels than cable, even a fully loaded high end HTPC (from Niveus, Cannon, Vidabox etc) with 4 or 6 cablecard tuners isn't really a good option because of the dearth of HD channels on cable compared to D* (not to mention Sunday Ticket, if you like football). Based on initial reports, a D* tuner has the following advantages over a cable card tuner:


ABSOLUTELY right. I've browsed the HD channels on my neighbor's set-top box that he has from our cable company; it's a fraction of the HD channels that I have with D* and my HR21 DVR. I simply COULD NOT live without all the beautiful and amazing "Discovery" family of channels alone (Discover Science HD, DiscoveryHD, National Geo HD, etc. etc.) The astronomy shows in HD alone are worth staying with D* until someone else gets their act together. Mind-boggling on my 65" Panny

Also, my neighbor has a decent 1080p set and yet when I look at his cable-company sourced HD channels, it appears they're choking the bitrate even worse than D* is. My god, more macroblocking and motion blur on those cable HD channels than I've ever seen on D*. D* are no saints though, its well known they ratchet down their 1080i signal into what D* critics like to call "HD Lite", and with good reason.

If the cable company wants to set itself apart from D* further they need to hurry up with a purely IP-based solution to where the cable modem becomes the entry point for TV channels as well since it'll just be data. Then open up the bandwidth for the IPTV side (and QoS it or whatever so TV packets take priority over computer browsing, etc). I get a consistent 16Mb/s right now which seems like it'd be enough to send one channel at a time.
post #13 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by odditory View Post

I'm not an M$ fanboy, I'm just realistic. I could care less WHAT software or O/S gets me my SAT or cable channels into my media center computer - but realistically Vista MC has the only shot.

As I said, the HDPC-20 still seems "too good to be true".

see I am the total opposite... I AM a M$ fan boy BUT.... ONLY for Media Center. I honestly prefer MCE, its interface, what it does, its abilities more than any other front end out there. Specially with the way M$ handled the developers pack for VMC, its much easier to make and integrate third party plugins for VMC than it ever was for MCE 2005.

I've now also got 4 media center extenders through out my home, and Xbox 360 and a Linksys DMA 2100 in my bedroom, a 360 in my office, and a DMA2200 in my kitchen/dining room.

Yes the extenders might be more expensive than the SageTV counter part, but the interface and ease of use for anyone who tries to use it for the first time just out weighs anything else.

- Josh
post #14 of 112
I expect tuner support to change with fiji.

Im keeping a close eye on this arena, i dont want to buy a new pc when i already have a quad core and tivo its hard to justify 1500 bucks, so im hoping this unit will be bios independent. It will make me a directv subscriber.
post #15 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

Hasn't been verified yet, just pure speculation at this point.



Again all speculation at this point, none of this has been confirmed.



Well thats NOT true at all, MCE by default only supports 4 tuners, 2 ATSC, and 2 NTSC. With Cable card tuners, they use the NTSC tuning space. And assuming the HDPC20 uses the same tuning space, you are only looking at two tuner support out of the box so no matter what you'd have to hack the registry like you have to do now to add more than the allotted 2 tuners per tuning space limitation.

though right now there are plenty of third party apps that easily allow you to modify the registry and add more tuners. I personally am using 6 tuners (3 ATSC, 3 NTSC) with VMC right now, and took me all of 2 minutes to get up and running.



It CAN support Mpeg4, it just can't support the H10, H20 equipment.

- Josh

I thought I read somewhere that tuner limitation may be less stringent for the D* tuners compared to the cablecard tuners, but what you say about the MCE limitation for all tuners makes more sense. Though if Microsoft is going to be serious about competing in this space, they really need to make it easier to add more tuners!

As for the R5000 and Mpeg4, you are correct, it is the system limitation. That said, does anyone realistictly expect R5000 to come up with a solution for getting the Mpeg4 stream from D* with any equipment? So it still seems like the D* tuner for MCE is the best hope at having a complete HDTV archival and distribution system.
post #16 of 112
I have E* right now.

If Fiji adds D* support I will switch service providers the very first day it's available.

In fact i just built a new HTPC that should be perfect for the dish tuner, with the idea that it will be available in ~6mo
post #17 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by odditory View Post

I agree with you 1 0 0 % , Josh. Excellent points. The SageTV people are always going to be in the shadows because unfortunately its still a tinkerer's platform - it's still the "Linux" of HTPC software and the ONLY way a big provider like a satellite company or cable company is going to bother marketing a device to a niche that's already fairly obscure in a sea of people content with set-top devices, is with a joint effort from a company like Microsoft. I'm not an M$ fanboy, I'm just realistic. I could care less WHAT software or O/S gets me my SAT or cable channels into my media center computer - but realistically Vista MC has the only shot.

As I said, the HDPC-20 still seems "too good to be true".

:-) Well, this "tinkerer" has been enjoying native HD without restrictions for over 18 months now while you guys keep waiting. I expect I'll be enjoying it a lot longer before you will get to enjoy it at all, if ever. As I said in a posting awhile back, I know senior folks in the cable community and inside of DirecTV. If a better solution were coming, I would trumpeting it.

But hey, if you want to wait on MSFT fielding you a solution because "Vista MC has the only shot", go ahead. And all those vendors out there who aren't selling product while folks wait for MSFT to deliver what they want can continue to not make sales too.

I'd prefer to enjoy my HD video in multiple rooms with the ability to burn to DVD and watch my recordings when I'm on an airplane, automatically skip over commercials, etc... It's more fun to to watch than to wait, at least as far as I am concerned.
post #18 of 112
I really respect the sage guys, they've been plugging away for a long time and they've built an incredibly flexible platform. I agree that it's for the hard-core tinkerer (at least in comparison to VMC) but I think it's great that the SageTV/HD-PVR option is out there... I'm hoping it will create the same kind of market forces for cableco's and the sat companies to become more open the same way music companies were forced to become more open due to mp3's.

...however... my tinkering days are behind, I gave those guys a few bucks and I don't regret it at all but I just find the interface of VMC superior and I like the fact that MS is trying to create viable solutions with D* and the cablecos.

I also really, really want to get back to directv... I'm really sick of all the outages I get with my cable company, the DVR with only 16 hours of HD recording time and a UI that's slow as molasses.
post #19 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

What needs to happen with the update is add mpeg4 support, which this media center update will add, since the dual tuner box is a mpeg4 only device.
- Josh

All I'm saying is don't count on that happening. Microsoft has been known to do an about-face on stuff during beta before.
post #20 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

:-) Well, this "tinkerer" has been enjoying native HD without restrictions for over 18 months now while you guys keep waiting. I expect I'll be enjoying it a lot longer before you will get to enjoy it at all, if ever. As I said in a posting awhile back, I know senior folks in the cable community and inside of DirecTV. If a better solution were coming, I would trumpeting it.

Could you elaborate on your solution?
post #21 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

If it's only going to be available for VMC then count me out. A lot of us still use XP, mainly because Vista is still too buggy to be considered as an OS for any viable use IMHO. I'll stick with third party apps made by anyone else but Microsoft.

Vista is very stable. Always has been. The issue isn't with Vista and has nothing to do with Microsoft. It's drivers. It's all about hardware vendors getting us quality drivers.
My VMC box is very stable and my Vista desktop is rock solid. I also run Leopard and dare say that Vista x64 is more stable than OSX. Not that OSX isn't stable but if I had to rate them..
post #22 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

Vista is very stable. Always has been. The issue isn't with Vista and has nothing to do with Microsoft. It's drivers. It's all about hardware vendors getting us quality drivers.
My VMC box is very stable and my Vista desktop is rock solid. I also run Leopard and dare say that Vista x64 is more stable than OSX. Not that OSX isn't stable but if I had to rate them..

No to derail the thread, but I'd partially agree. I just pulled out my nVidia 7900GS card because since upgrading to Vista SP1 and the latest nVidia drivers my system would BSOD at least once a day. I now have a ATI 4850 (which I'll be returning) and haven't had a BSOD yet. BTW the heat and noise of the 4850 are making me return it, not stability issues with Vista.

Most of my problems with Vista are with stupid decisions that MS made with respect to GUI changes and other issues. If you have stable drivers, then the OS is pretty solid if you can stand the other changes MS made.

I'm a D* customer and if they release this device, then it will push me into a HTPC. I've had my eye on this unit for a while and have been holding off on a HTPC for a variety of reasons. Early 2009 would be a good time, given the new Intel chipsets later this year and hopefully better bitstream/video options for Blu-Ray HDMI that would let me sell my BD30.
post #23 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by yngdiego View Post

No to derail the thread, but I'd partially agree. I just pulled out my nVidia 7900GS card because since upgrading to Vista SP1 and the latest nVidia drivers my system would BSOD at least once a day. I now have a ATI 4850 (which I'll be returning) and haven't had a BSOD yet. BTW the heat and noise of the 4850 are making me return it, not stability issues with Vista.

Most of my problems with Vista are with stupid decisions that MS made with respect to GUI changes and other issues. If you have stable drivers, then the OS is pretty solid if you can stand the other changes MS made.

What stupid decisions would those be? I like the GUI. But there is much in windows that is unorganized. I feel like I have to go to 3 different places to get at stuff that should all be in one place.
Nvidia is the worst offender in terms of drivers. Their video card and chipset drivers are still crap. In fact their drivers account for the majority of crashes in Vista. I'm using an ATI video card and my motherboard is an Intel chipset. Very stable.
post #24 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

What stupid decisions would those be? I like the GUI. But there is much in windows that is unorganized. I feel like I have to go to 3 different places to get at stuff that should all be in one place.

I won't derail the thread with my Vista rants, but I share some of your frustrations. The new network sharing center is a total disaster, as are some changes made to Explorer. Plus its generally a slow pig. I suffer with it on my home PC, and put Windows Server 2008 enterprise edition on my laptop. My laptop is now much, much faster. Unfortunately I want to retain the media features on my desktop so it won't be getting WS2008 on it.

I use Vista Ultimate x64 w/ 8GB RAM, 3.2GHZ C2D, and fast SATA drives. So my hardware is no slouch. Ya I recently saw nVidia drivers caused 40% of all crashes, and I would believe it. Bad driver problems with ATI in the late 90s steered me away from them until last week when I hit my breaking point with nVidia.
post #25 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

:-) Well, this "tinkerer" has been enjoying native HD without restrictions for over 18 months now while you guys keep waiting.

Well I've been doing that too, its called ATSC HD I refuse to pay for premium cable tv service anyways so I really could care less if I get it or not, I could very well do what you do with MCE now and get a R5000 modded cable box and do the same thing, problem is rental fee's are still there, its NOT a legal solution by any stretch of the imagination and if it breaks your out $500 and no recourse for getting it fixed or replaced.

Doesn't sound like the most Ideal solution to me.

Quote:


As I said in a posting awhile back, I know senior folks in the cable community and inside of DirecTV. If a better solution were coming, I would trumpeting it.

ummmm yea... and I am best friends with the pope.... I grew up with a kid that now works for one of the major cable MSO's that cover's Montana, ND, SD, Wyoming and parts of Idaho and Colorado. He runs their Data center there and works with any and every single piece of technology they have to offer, and he tells me all that time that he doesn't even have a clue what they have to offer in terms of new technology, that crap changes in an instant.

Problem is that no matter what crap changes so say you have a couple of R5000 modded cable boxes, and say all of the sudden your cable MSO decides to switch to SDV what happens then? your SOL is what happens, but that's the same issue with cable card tuners right now as well.

What you have may work for you, but MANY of us here, aren't willing to throw down the cash to mod rented cable boxes, or put forth the cash for used equipment that has no warranty, to get modded and if it breaks your sol again, at least with a legit solution you have things called warranties and such.


Quote:


I'd prefer to enjoy my HD video in multiple rooms with the ability to burn to DVD and watch my recordings when I'm on an airplane, automatically skip over commercials, etc... It's more fun to to watch than to wait, at least as far as I am concerned.

Watch HD in multiple rooms - Check, Vista does that just as easily with a 360, or media center extenders, in fact I just picked up two more extenders from Dell today for $125/each cheaper than the sage solution.

Burn to DVD - Check, MCE has that ability, nothing has changed there.

Watch on an airplane - Check again, I just picked up a 2nd gen Zune, and the Zune software all you have to do is point it towards your shared "recorded tv" folder(s) and it'll sync any recordings you want with it, and it works perfectly. In fact I just got back from a trip to Hawaii for work and the Zune was loaded with a back log of tv shows I needed to catch up on.

Auto Skip commercials, or how about Auto Remove commercials all together to save disc space - check and check, just lovely how small little programs made by the MCE community work sooo well.

You know we've gone around and around and around like this before, its just sooooo funny that when talk about cable cards or Direct TV tuners come up in here, you just have to poke your 2 cents in saying we're all a bunch of morons and how blah blah SageTV blah blah blah is soooo much better, it just amuses me to no end.

- Josh
post #26 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojoxl View Post

All I'm saying is don't count on that happening. Microsoft has been known to do an about-face on stuff during beta before.


Ben's Post's didn't say anything about lack of Mpeg4 support, all he said was his "inside man" hasn't yet received the HDPC-20 box, that was it. End of Story.

If M$ can add mpeg2, out of the box with vista, and have mpeg4 support for the 360 NOW, that tells me they already have the licensing issues way past them. The 360 has had mpeg4 support/codec support since the last major update so I think it is pretty trivial to add mpeg4 support to media center.

- Josh
post #27 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by yngdiego View Post

Could you elaborate on your solution?

He's running a modded/hacked box by these guys: http://www.nextcomwireless.com/R5000/home.htm

then running SageTV with either a SageTV client software running on a pc/laptop, or the SageTV HD extender.

Quote:


No to derail the thread, but I'd partially agree. I just pulled out my nVidia 7900GS card because since upgrading to Vista SP1 and the latest nVidia drivers my system would BSOD at least once a day. I now have a ATI 4850 (which I'll be returning) and haven't had a BSOD yet. BTW the heat and noise of the 4850 are making me return it, not stability issues with Vista.

Most of my problems with Vista are with stupid decisions that MS made with respect to GUI changes and other issues. If you have stable drivers, then the OS is pretty solid if you can stand the other changes MS made.

Re-read what the above post said, and what you just said here... the BSOD issues you were having was NOT vista related at ALL.

It was hardware/driver related.

Besides Aero (and who in their right mind even runs it), What gui issues are there in vista? you can make vista look like XP classic if you want it to.


Quote:


Nvidia is the worst offender in terms of drivers. Their video card and chipset drivers are still crap. In fact their drivers account for the majority of crashes in Vista. I'm using an ATI video card and my motherboard is an Intel chipset. Very stable.

Exactly, which is why I know run ALL AMD/ATI on my vista machines, three of my htpc's in my home are all running the new AMD 780G mobo/video chipset combo, and I couldn't be happier with the setup.

- Josh
post #28 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

Well I've been doing that too, its called ATSC HD I refuse to pay for premium cable tv service anyways so I really could care less if I get it or not, I could very well do what you do with MCE now and get a R5000 modded cable box and do the same thing, problem is rental fee's are still there, its NOT a legal solution by any stretch of the imagination and if it breaks your out $500 and no recourse for getting it fixed or replaced.

Doesn't sound like the most Ideal solution to me.



ummmm yea... and I am best friends with the pope.... I grew up with a kid that now works for one of the major cable MSO's that cover's Montana, ND, SD, Wyoming and parts of Idaho and Colorado. He runs their Data center there and works with any and every single piece of technology they have to offer, and he tells me all that time that he doesn't even have a clue what they have to offer in terms of new technology, that crap changes in an instant.

Problem is that no matter what crap changes so say you have a couple of R5000 modded cable boxes, and say all of the sudden your cable MSO decides to switch to SDV what happens then? your SOL is what happens, but that's the same issue with cable card tuners right now as well.

What you have may work for you, but MANY of us here, aren't willing to throw down the cash to mod rented cable boxes, or put forth the cash for used equipment that has no warranty, to get modded and if it breaks your sol again, at least with a legit solution you have things called warranties and such.




Watch HD in multiple rooms - Check, Vista does that just as easily with a 360, or media center extenders, in fact I just picked up two more extenders from Dell today for $125/each cheaper than the sage solution.

Burn to DVD - Check, MCE has that ability, nothing has changed there.

Watch on an airplane - Check again, I just picked up a 2nd gen Zune, and the Zune software all you have to do is point it towards your shared "recorded tv" folder(s) and it'll sync any recordings you want with it, and it works perfectly. In fact I just got back from a trip to Hawaii for work and the Zune was loaded with a back log of tv shows I needed to catch up on.

Auto Skip commercials, or how about Auto Remove commercials all together to save disc space - check and check, just lovely how small little programs made by the MCE community work sooo well.

You know we've gone around and around and around like this before, its just sooooo funny that when talk about cable cards or Direct TV tuners come up in here, you just have to poke your 2 cents in saying we're all a bunch of morons and how blah blah SageTV blah blah blah is soooo much better, it just amuses me to no end.

- Josh

:-) Once you leave ATSC HD video, and deal with video from cablecard or the fictitious HDPC-20, you will not be able to burn to DVD, watch in multiple rooms (though extenders of yours support h.264?), play your recordings on a laptop on an airplane or autoskip/remove commercials because MSFT has deemed those desires as too "aggressive".

Oh yes, SageTV extenders let you view ripped DVD's, ripped HD-DVD's and ripped Blu-ray recordings. Do your extenders do that?

And the R5000 is completely legal, and does something that nothing else seems to be able to do. And it works fine with SDV, so I will not be SOL when it's deployed, unlike all those few customers of VMC cablecard systems.

And I have been enjoying Sage to do all those those functions on HBO HD recordings and a lot of other content I pay for. It works great. Why limit yourself to ATSC when there is a lot more interesting content available?

But as I said, you can keep waiting if you want. Us tinkerers will continue to enjoy what we've been enjoying for some time.
post #29 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

:-) Once you leave ATSC HD video, and deal with video from cablecard or the fictitious HDPC-20, you will not be able to burn to DVD, watch in multiple rooms (though extenders of yours support h.264?), play your recordings on a laptop on an airplane or autoskip/remove commercials because MSFT has deemed those desires as too "aggressive".

Oh yes, SageTV extenders let you view ripped DVD's, ripped HD-DVD's and ripped Blu-ray recordings. Do your extenders do that?

And the R5000 is completely legal, and does something that nothing else seems to be able to do. And it works fine with SDV, so I will not be SOL when it's deployed, unlike all those few customers of VMC cablecard systems.

And I have been enjoying Sage to do all those those functions on HBO HD recordings and a lot of other content I pay for. It works great. Why limit yourself to ATSC when there is a lot more interesting content available?

But as I said, you can keep waiting if you want. Us tinkerers will continue to enjoy what we've been enjoying for some time.

Why does it have to be "YAUB" yet-another-useless-debate about whether apples or oranges taste better? Howsabout we remember that no two HTPC enthusiasts have the same interests or requirements of their HTPC, and it all boils down to the best tool for the job. I have friends that swear by Sage, and I swear by Vista MCE.

That said, Media Center extenders have no defense: they're still crap admittedly; they still have a long way to go to catch up to what you can do with just an HTPC running Vista M.C. natively. For max flexibility of playback formats and codecs you need an HTPC running Vista at or near the TV. I've wasted countless days/weeks/months of life trying to give various extenders a fair shake and finally gave up. The workarounds to doing things like playing back MKV's are unacceptable in terms of hit to PQ.
post #30 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

:-) Once you leave ATSC HD video, and deal with video from cablecard or the fictitious HDPC-20, you will not be able to burn to DVD, watch in multiple rooms (though extenders of yours support h.264?), play your recordings on a laptop on an airplane or autoskip/remove commercials because MSFT has deemed those desires as too "aggressive".


MAN you are grossly misinformed... YES you can use extenders with cable card, many people are doing that now, and yes they support Mpeg4, V2 extenders have from the get go, and the 360 has since the last big spring update.

and yes you can still sync to zunes and other devices to pull off and play on the go, nothing has changed there. Same goes with auto commercial skip, it doesn't hack the video up, it just scans the video while it is recorded, makes an xml file marking down where the commercials begin and end, and then uses that to do the skipping, so again, nothing has changed there.

The only difference right now is you can't remove the commercials, and burn to DVD, which frankly I don't get, why the hell you'd want to degrade the HD video and burn it to DVD anyways, but to each is their own.


Quote:


Oh yes, SageTV extenders let you view ripped DVD's, ripped HD-DVD's and ripped Blu-ray recordings. Do your extenders do that?

Do I care if they do that? NO, but to answer your question they do for me, I rip all my dvd's to DVR-MS so I can retain xml data and surround sound, thus giving me the ability do to that.


Quote:


And the R5000 is completely legal, and does something that nothing else seems to be able to do. And it works fine with SDV, so I will not be SOL when it's deployed, unlike all those few customers of VMC cablecard systems.

You say its leagal, but I guarantee that if you so happen to call your cable MSO, or Sat provider and explained to them exactly what your doing, they'd cut your service off faster than you can blink.

In your eyes yes it may be "legal" but in the real work it is far from legal.

Do you even know what SDV is? and how it works? it requires all new equipment to support it, in which the boxes you have now, modded, won't work if your MSO decided to switch to SDV.


Quote:


And I have been enjoying Sage to do all those those functions on HBO HD recordings and a lot of other content I pay for. It works great. Why limit yourself to ATSC when there is a lot more interesting content available?

Because I have better things to do with my life and money then watch TV and I refused to pay for HBO and such when I can get the same movies, and watch them on my time the way I want with netflix.

I pay for extended basic with the HD chans (locals and Discovery HD, ESPN HD, FOOD HD, ect...) I don't get any of the extra crap, just not worth it, don't ever watch it.

- Josh
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