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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking of building a simple HTPC for my Mits WS65807. The main function will be Dscaler for S-video sources (mostly Tivo). Here's what I have lying around:


P3/1000 CPU

440BX motherboard

256mb PC100 Ram

Geforce2mx


I'll need a quiet black case with floppy and DVD, a small HD, and a video input card. I'm happy with my current progressive DVD player, so I don't think I need a sound card for now.


Will this system be adequate for Dscaler? Can anyone recommend a case or video card? Do I need a Radeon instead of the Geforce? And will I be better off running this at 1080i (RGB cable to the hidef input) or 480p (convert to a component input).


Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as I've built several PCs but never an HTPC. Thanks!
 

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Seth: I would recommend moving into the P4 1.7 GHz + Rambus, if you're willing to replace rather than build from available parts. Not necessarily because of CPU speed. Rather, because of memory bandwidth issues on Tom's Greedy HM algorithm and other advanced algorithms. Also, you might think about a Radeon LE or similar. They're going for a song and a prayer nowadays...


I am doing a build right now and opted for the P4. The Googlegear CPU/Mobo/Memory came out to $483 with shipping. The power supply was about $120. If you're adding the Radeon, that'll cost you another $50. Very cost-effective.


In your case, make sure that the power supply is chosen well. That will directly impact the quality of your analog capture.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Please give me more details on why I need a different CPU. I was under the impression that a 1ghz P3 would be sufficient. Where can I find more info on this "greedy" algorithm. I will not go with a P4 system, I would only consider an AMD (not willing to pay for overpriced Rambus, poor price/performance). Since I am not doing DVD decoding, would the Radeon provide any real advantages over the Gforce2mx? And can anyone recommend a quiet black case & power supply?
 

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Hi,


The BX is a good Motherboard and I would bet the P3 1000 is fast enough but then again I don't really know.


I do know you don't need a floppy drive. Just initiallize the HD in another machine. You can get a floppy if you want but I don't think you need one and not having one is kind of shiek.


I guess you wouldn't need a DVD-Rom drive either.


I would use the CPU+MB that you have since you have them anyway and then upgrade if it seems to be having a hard time keeping up.


I guess you'll need an OS.


I'm not sure the GF will do interlaced resolutions like you mentioned. The Inputs on your TV may not be looking for what the PC is outputting either. So, since I don't know, I can't help you there.


Good Luck,


Brian
 

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Well, "need" is such a strong word. I am basing my thinking on posts like BGane's --he's having trouble running the pulldown detection algorithm on a 933 MHz P3 at 720 pixel width. While I don't know whether there are other problems that he's experiencing, it looks to me like a memory bandwidth limitation. Actual bandwidth varies from motherboard to motherboard, as I understand it, so your mileage will vary.


Good luck.
 

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Dan,


Do you recommend any power supply in particular? You spent $120 which seems like it is a fairly steep for a power supply. Thanks.


Gabe
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice guys.


I still need a video capture card. Can you recommend one (under $100, easily available)?


And the million dollar question -- Win98SE or Win2000? I am not into Me or XP at this time.
 

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skubersky,


I have Run DScaler using a PII400, Intel BX MB, GeForce 2MX, 128MB ram, and a RCA VGA (RGBHV) to Component Converter with 0 dropped frames.


Even using the "advanced" algorithms. I plugged it into my Mits 65905 running 960 x 540p and it worked very well using Powerstrip. You will want to have a computer monitor handy while you adjust your overscan.


--Rick
 

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Seth: please see the following Greedy HM help file . This algorithm is new and is being improved. It does suck down the cycles, though.


Gabe: yesterday, I bought a power supply strong enough to run my refrigerator as well. :cool: 450 Watts. I was in the heat of testing interference and capture quality, so perhaps I paid more than I should have or didn't get the right one. Enermax's have gotten good reviews, although have been said to be slightly noisy, so these perhaps aren't the best for Seth, considering he named noise as a criteria.


Rick: are you using 3.1.0?
 

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Dan,


I guess 540p doesn't require heavy CPU load like 1080i requires. For me, Celeron533 1600x1200 has not enough CPU power with default advanced algorithm. It shows very bad PQ. Cel800 is still little less enough.


-- Kazushi
 

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Capture card under $100? Popular one here is the IO Magic for $40 at CompUSA - if you can find one. It was first reported that the SVideo port operated even though the box said it was disabled. There have been reports since that some are disabled, at least that is the word.


I haven't done much with mine yet. I ran a 50 foot coax from the living room to the theater. Less that spectacular to say the least. I expect to have SVideo from a SVHS VCR or TIVO by this weekend (only looking for external tuner for now), as the tuners on the card are not very good. What do you expect for this kind of $$$?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Again, thanks for all the info. A few more:


People keep recommending a Radeon. Which one -- VE? LE? I'm not going to play games, so 3D performance is irrelevant.


Should I be outputting 1080i or 540p to my Mits 65807?


Thanks!
 

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I may be branded a heretic, however, the Radeon is an 'average' performer on dscaler. I'm not sure how much of it is dscaler-specific or radeon driver specific, however, I get significant 'posterization' in color gradients on the Radeon which are either diminished or non-existent on other cards.


I have a 64MB DDR VIVO Radeon, GeForce 2 GTS and a Hercules Kyro II. The Kyro cost $100, has the 3-D performance of the GeForce, happily maps to a variety of non-standard resolutions through PowerStrip and performs the best of the lot on DScaler. I think the Kyro II is a fabulous value and largely overlooked by the Radeon/GeForce-myopic members that frequent this forum. I cannot and will not comment on any other capabilities of this card as I do not use it for anything other than NTSC video processing and an occasional game.


Thats my story and I'm sticking to it. :D


-Ted
 

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kazushi: just to be clear, it doesn't matter the resolution and refresh timing that you're running at. The DScaler load will be identical no matter.


Ted: luckily for you, heretics are no longer burned at the stake. It's tough to even get some good ridicule going anymore. :D


Weren't you quoting $400 or something for the DVI version of the Kyro II, though?
 

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Whew, that's a relief Dan! I was about ready to get my asbestos vest out of storage... :D


I, for one, don't mind a heated debate from time to time.


The new one that's coming out by Imagine Graphics in the UK is a PixelPerfect card that has a special driver for WXGA at 1366x768 and it is KyroII-based and has a DVI-D output for $400. The one I mentioned above is the garden-variety Kyro II from Hercules (Prophet). Unknown if the Imagine Graphics drivers will work on the Herc card tho.


-Ted
 
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