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I am very fussy, How is the record quality of the HiPix?  

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am very fussy, How is the record quality of the HiPix card? I just found out yesterday that our local CBS station was broadcasting in HD they went on the air September 9th and I was distracted by the September 11th events and did not know about it until now. Now its time to get something that can record HD. I have a DTC100 for watching. I don't care about time shifting but I want the best picture possible. I really don’t care about archiving ether. Should I consider a HiPix. I really don't want to mess around with 169time or should I consider something else. I don't want to spend a great deal of money because it is just network TV. Any Ideas? I realize this should be maybe in the HTPC forum but I thought I would ask her first. I feel you guys are very discriminating . That forum has so many post, thread get buried very quickly.
post #2 of 23
Unlike VHS or any analog recrding format, these hard disk recorders and digital VHS machines reproduce an IDENTICAL quality to the origional. That is because they are simply recording the digital bit stream. There is no quality loss. Same goes for the audio.

An analogy would be making a copy of a word processor file. The text doesn't get fuzzy with each generation of copy does it? But making copies of copies in a Xerox machine does because the Xerox process is analog.

There is however some loss in that no magnetic media is perfect. Nor does every bit transition get captured even on perfect media. Digital information does contain errors from magnetic recording and long distance distribution. These errors can be corrected much like a spread sheet. If you know the final total, you can go back and calculate the value of a missing line item. But if too many line items are missing, you really don't know how much of the total to allocate to each one. This is where error CONCEALMENT takes over. Error concealment is basically an educated guess. So if you were to make multiple copies of DVHS lets say 10 generations deep, you would start to see artifacts from build up of errors that cannot be corrected. To go back to our word processor analogy, you may get a copy with a few words scrambled and unreadable if the media cannot be corrected. But the rest of the text would be perfect, identical to the origional.

But for all practical purposes a HiPix will give you a perfect image just as good as the origional broadcast.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Gimmie,
I thought that was the case but I didn't know if they used any compression. I saw a demo of a UltimateTV that is of course SDTV but I could see a great deal of compression artifacts even on a 27" set so on my 100" FPTV it would look like hell. Well it look like I will go for the HiPix and an 80 Gb HD for the HTPC. For what I want I think it makes the most sence. I have heard it does a pretty good job on Analog SDTV also.

Thanks
Mike
post #4 of 23
I have had the HiPix for about six months now and continue to be impressed with it. One thing though... you mention an 80 Gig hard drive for your HTPC... I have 120 Gig and it is not enough. Look into the DV Transfer threads on the HTPC forum. It is good to have the tape option. The problem is that the HDTV you copy to the hard drive looks so good that you find yourself not wanting to zap one program to record something else. My 120 Gig of drives gives me about 15 hours of record time, about what you get with seven VHS tapes. Could you get by with an old analog VCR and only seven two hour tapes?
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Timpanogos,
Good point about the hard drive size. Now we will get into the HTPC area, sorry about that but here it goes. There is seems to be a big delta price wise from a 5400 RPM hard drive to a 7200 RPM hard drive especially in the bigger sizes will the 5400 RPM perform ok? I see no need to spend extra money if not needed and the 5400 RPM drives run cooler and quieter.

Mike
post #6 of 23
I had exactly the same question you did and another person on the HTPC forum said that he had no issues at all with the HiPix and 5400 rpm drives. Based on this recommendation, I bought an 81 gig, 5400 Maxtor and a 40 gig, 5400 Maxtor in mid year. Both drives work without any problem when recording or playing back from the HiPix. No issues at all. I am even running them at ATA33 on an old BX motherboard (the very stable AOPEN AX6BC with a PIII 850e). They are ATA 100 drives.

The 40 gig is now going in my wife's computer and I will be getting a 120 gig 5400 Maxtor to make it an even 200 gig for the HTPC. It is good to have even numbers, you know (just kidding). Besides, one fifth of a terabyte sounds cool... and impresses the hell out of my brother-in-law.
post #7 of 23
I started buying 7200rpm drives (mostly because they were cheaper with an awesome deal at Fry's) because I was using my drive at the same time I was recording to it with Hipix, thinking I'd give myself extra breathing room. Has anybody had any trouble reading/wriiting to a 5400rpm drive, while recording Hipix files on that drive?
post #8 of 23
Keep in mind that you can see pixelation on
HiPix recordings because the material is
digitally compressed by the station/network
that is broadcasting the signal.

The HiPix should not add any additional
artifacts (beyong what you would see even
if watching it live).

When you mentioned the UltimateTV showing
pixelation it made me feel compelled to
tell you that the HiPix will also faithfully
reproduce any pixelation inherent in the
signal as it was broadcast.
post #9 of 23
When they come out with reasonably priced 3 Tarabite hard drives which should hold about 100 HD movies, I will then switch to the HiPix and stop recording on tapes.

Bernhard
post #10 of 23
Bernhard,

You'll have to think about backup before doing so.
One thing about hard drives is that they eventually fail. Losing 100 movies would be quite a shock!
Prices for hard disks are going down, but tape backups remain expensive. You might think about using a second hard drive as backup, but if the failure is in the PC, or if you get a virus, both units can end up damaged. My experience with computers is that you need several levels of backup to never lose data.
post #11 of 23
For those keeper movies, I can guarntee that you wished you had a way to save them.
Tape is the best way.

You can use that camcorder method discussed in the HTPC forum or you can get a DDS-4 Dat drive (that's what I use) for under $600.

Joe
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all this information!
Mike
post #13 of 23
Mike,

I noticed you mention recording analog SDTV on the HiPix. I didn't think it had this capability. Could someone verify this, please?
post #14 of 23
Joe,

DDS-4 is a very nice technology, I use it for my work. One tape can hold 20 GB of data, 40 GB with compression.
But that's very far from what we will need with TB hard drives! You would need 50 of these tapes, since you cannot compress a video file which is already highly compressed.
At the moment, TB able backups system are just too expensive for video usage.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff T
Mike,

I noticed you mention recording analog SDTV on the HiPix. I didn't think it had this capability. Could someone verify this, please?
Mike,
You maybe correct. I thought I saw you could in a thread somewhere but I was unable to find it now. While searching I did find a thread that said it could not however that was before the product was released so I don't know how reliable that information is. Maybe someone else will know for sure. Or I might post in the HTPC forum if no one knows. It is not that important to me I seldom want to record anything NTSC anyway I will used it most of the time to just demo the system. I downloaded the manual from Telemann but it is very unclear.

Mike
post #16 of 23
The HiPix has outstanding quality, as long as your signal is excellent. The biggest problem for OTA HDTV, is reception. Usually an outdoor antenna is best. Poor reception shows up as "pixellization" or audio "studdering".

I'd sure like to see AT&T Digital get it together with the DTC 5000 boxes, and/or Dish/DirecTV come on with a receiver with I.link so I could spend all my take home pay on a receiver and JVC HM30000.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by MikeEby


Mike,
You maybe correct. I thought I saw you could in a thread somewhere but I was unable to find it now. Maybe someone else will know for sure.
Mike
Mike,
I own this card - it can NOT record SDTV. It can only display it. That's what TIVO's are for:)

Joe
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by MikeEby


Mike,
You maybe correct. I thought I saw you could in a thread somewhere but I was unable to find it now. While searching I did find a thread that said it could not however that was before the product was released so I don't know how reliable that information is. Maybe someone else will know for sure. Or I might post in the HTPC forum if no one knows. It is not that important to me I seldom want to record anything NTSC anyway I will used it most of the time to just demo the system. I downloaded the manual from Telemann but it is very unclear.

Mike
Neither the HiPix nor the accessDTV HDTV cards can record analog NTSC signals... only ATSC broadcasts in the "8VSB" format can be recorded. HTPC forum moderator mkanet recently joined Telemann as a consultant and has stated in the HTPC forum that recording analog TV is a goal for HiPix, but for right now, no dice.
post #19 of 23
The HiPix card has no hardware MPEG2 _ENCODER_
so any NTSC SDTV recording would have to use
software to compress the video for storage
(the HiPix would just be a glorified NTSC
tuner / capture card).

In that case your system CPU performance would
likely need to be substantial to be able to
do the compression in software.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Scott & PVR,
Thanks for clearing things up on this issue. Analog recording is not very important to me so I will go with the HiPix. That good news about mkanet going to work for Telemann. It would be nice if they could use the same look and feel of Theatertek for the user interface to give our HTPC’s some consistence between applications. I would guess that 95% of HiPix sales are for home theater applications.

Mike
post #21 of 23
Telemann's propaganda seems to imply that it'll record SDTV alright, so long as it's from a DTV station:

http://www.telemann.com/products/DTV200_Features.pdf

(and not from an analog station.)

Having gotten my HTPC to finally settle down and play DVDs perfectly, I'm thinking of building a seperate machine dedicated to the HiPix DTV-200 for timeshifting OTA DTV programming.

I'm curious as to how you guys who have one of these would rate its scaler for upconverting SDTV pictures that start out as 480i or 480p?
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by robena

But that's very far from what we will need with TB hard drives! You would need 50 of these tapes, since you cannot compress a video file which is already highly compressed.
Though MPEG-2 video is already quite compressed, an ATSC transport stream is fixed bandwidth and thus could have a variable number of unused packets. These can be "compressed away."

Also, if a broadcaster uses multicast, you can remove select programs from the recording and use compression to realize storage savings.

This program can be used to erase select programs:

http://www-personal.engin.umich.edu/~balazer/epid/
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Few products impress much anymore but the HiPix did it for me. I tried to run under WinME with not a great deal of luck. The system seemed very unstable but with Wind2K it is very impressive. I have posted some screen shots screen shots in the CRT forum if any one would like to take a look.

Timpanogos: You're right a 120 Gb is not even enough.

Thanks everyone for the advice.
Mike
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