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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All--


Some of you may have been following the JohnAd's DirectShow Filter thread , which recounts the resolution of Hauppauge's use of DScaler's DirectShow filter satisfactorily. This gives us an opportunity to re-request information on the WinTV-D card. It seems right to try to formulate our request for information carefully.


Why would WinTV-D support be nice in DScaler? Among other reasons...
  • The WinTV-D is the only non-Teralogic ATSC hardware decoder
  • The WinTV-D can be looked at as an already-released DStream card
  • The WinTV-D passes an undecoded ATSC stream to the bus, leaving tons of possibilities, such as double-barreling the WinTV-D and WinTV-HD
  • 480i downconverted from 1080i - 480p and then processed by DScaler really looks nice--better than you would expect
  • Direct control over tuning, etc.
  • It would add lots of function to DScaler, making it easier to support more digital cards


Feel free to add your own reasons.


We have done a lot of research on this in the past. Please see the following resources for more information.

WinTV-D chip list
WinTV-D: Recording Digital Broadcasts
Open source Linux code for DVB cards that might be useful


OK, so what conclusion did we come to? The conclusion that I came to was that we need information on controlling the logic chip that the WinTV-D has on-board. That said, I may be wrong or have an incomplete understanding. This is why I'm bringing it up to for a general discussion. You may have more informed questions that will get what we need more quickly.


Also, if anybody would like to help in this, there is tons to do, including:
  • management of the bitstream to/from hardware
  • muxing the ATSC bitstream
  • recording/playing functionality
  • MPEG-2 decoder chip control
  • chip initialization code


Again, feel free to add tasks. I'm probably forgetting some.
 

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I have one of these cards and on Win/Me I think it may actually have better reception than my WinTV-HD card. There are a zillion things we could do to it but it has always hinged upon getting access to some info from Hauppage.


I originally got the beta recording software and some info directly from Ken Aupperle but after his untimely death it seemed to become harder to find out stuff and I stopped working with the card.


And BTW, do they still sell these?


- Tom
 

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One more thing .......


Has there been any thought to using the mpeg2 decode hardware to play DVD's, along with DScaler? (forgetting CSS for the moment).


- Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tom: the only drawback to this card is that it appears to do a D/A conversion after the MPEG-2 decoding and before the video is fed into s-video on the Fusion 878A chip. While this is pretty good, a better way would have been to pass the video through the CCIR656 inputs on the chip. Anyway, I think this conversion would make it unsuitable for DVD playback, when other options exist.


I can only guess that the reason they did this was so that if they didn't have a lot of Fusion 878A's on hand, they could go with other chip versions. Earlier chip versions may not have had CCIR656 input...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Let's open this up to some other Hauppauge products that might have similar chips. I've asked Fergal Warde to post about the chips on the PVR.


Tom: I'm not sure if they sell them anymore, but they can be had on e-bay for a reasonable price.
 

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The Hauppauge web site still has them listed for sale. $299 directly from Hauppauge New York! Seems kind of pricey after the super sweet $50 deal J&R ran a while back.


It also find that the WinTV-D has better reception than my WinTV-HD. In fact, my WinTV-HD has no reception at all right now since it was shipped back to Hauppauge to fix a problem that caused the card to constantly freeze the system. (I'm not convinced that it was the card, but I do what customer service tells me to)


Card initialazation code would seem to be the most useful. Anything that would allow a third party app to interface with the tuner, demod, MPEG decoder, and FPGA would be really helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have the docs for the tuner and in any event, I believe it's already supported by DScaler. You just have to push a byte along the I2C bus telling the tuner it's digital.


I think the demodulator is standard fare. Push a couple of bytes for initialization and you're done. Check it every second or so to make sure it's locked on the signal. In any event, we have the docs for that, but it would be nice to see Hauppauge's information--something from which to work.


The logic chip seems like it's where all of the work is done and it's a black box. I've never controlled a logic chip like that, so don't even know what's involved. I think we could really use your help here, Joe, if you're willing to at least give some pointers.


The MPEG-2 decoder chip seems pretty straightforward, even though I could only find docs for a previous LG/Hyundai 480i chip. It would be interesting to see Hauppauge's information for this, in case there's an opportunity to up the resolution slightly, or whatever.


Re the quality of reception, I agree that it has always seemed to be forgiving--better than the HiPix. My guess is that even though the WinTV-D had earlier version stuff, Hauppauge controlled it directly and was willing to accept slightly more dropouts for better overall reception.
 

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Just wondering if anything ever came of this?


Mike
 

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How about just using this card to route the transport stream to directshow filters.


That way we could use a higher quality video card for output, Powerstrip for custom resolutions and timings to match any display, direct interface with firewire D-VHS recorders, software scaling to 1080p or whatever, and digital firewire or DVI output to monitors with that capability.


I made these recs to the HIPIX guys, but they may be more applicable to the WinTV-D as it is lacking HD playback capability anyway.


Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dave: Thanks for the bump. I missed pinkchry's post the last go-around...


No updates.


pinkchry: YGPM.
 

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Bump?


I've got two of these cards, the J&R deal was too god to pass up. I don't have any other DTV equipment tho (cards, sets, anything).


One card is in my HTPC (32" analog set, 5.1 setup). I use it for live sporting events cause the SD 480i looks much nicer than my crap analog cable. I'd use it for primetime SD/HD programming more, but I timeshift everything on tape. That said, I would like to capture the streams for some shows for later playback, I have the drivers that did it but have never mucked with it. I'd also be interested in saving the stream and then "easily" converting that into MPEG2 data capable of being placed on DVD-R for DVD video playback.


Other card is in my main desktop. Doesn't get alot of use. My ribbon antenna is shaky at best in the basement. The analog CATV input stinks on this card, some kind of known problem, but makes it real BLAH for just running the analog coax in. I've thought about getting yet another VCR to use as a tuner and then use it's composite/audio feeds into the WinTV-D for watching cable and watching tapes. But I'm about to upgrade from a GeForce2MX to a VIVO GeForce4 4400 which would be as good/better than the analog composite input on the WinTV-D. Maybe I'll ebay it. On the other hand, I hate to give anything up that is "unrestricted" in an increasing age of DRM curtailing my fair use.


I could use that box to capture the streams (far greater CPU/HD than the HTPC) and then use them upstairs on the HTPC over the LAN like I allready do with archived DVDs. Hmmm... I'll have to really muck with saving the streams.


It's a shame the analog coax stinks so bad, it'd sure be alot nicer using an onboard tuner then thru a VCR.
 
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