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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,


Been lurking and trying to gather as much info before I made this post. Please let me know if any of you can help me out on a few things:


I live in a loft, and my main computer sits about 12 feet above my tv. My main computer has 4gb ram, 8800 gt (512 mb), q6600 (quad-core) with win 7, so I feel like it would be best to just leverage that with the hdpvr-1212. On to the questions:


1) I have seen some old blog posts floating around that says there will be a driver from Hauppauge that will allow it to work with win7 mc. Is this true and has it been released yet? Works well? It seems like many are recommending sagetv around here.


2) Since my computer will be upstairs, should I have any problems running a 15 foot usb cable down to the pvr next to my tv? I think I read usb cables should not extend past 16 ft.


3) If I am reading the right things about this device, it seems like I need to connect my computer to the tv as well? So could I just run a 15 foot dvi to hdmi from my computer and call it a day?
 

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To preface I use two HD-PVR's with dvblink and win7 mc, have been using them for ~6 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moondev /forum/post/18143462


Hi guys,


Been lurking and trying to gather as much info before I made this post. Please let me know if any of you can help me out on a few things:


I live in a loft, and my main computer sits about 12 feet above my tv. My main computer has 4gb ram, 8800 gt (512 mb), q6600 (quad-core) with win 7, so I feel like it would be best to just leverage that with the hdpvr-1212. On to the questions:


1) I have seen some old blog posts floating around that says there will be a driver from Hauppauge that will allow it to work with win7 mc. Is this true and has it been released yet? Works well? It seems like many are recommending sagetv around here.

There is no official driver. There is unofficial support for W7MC through dvblink, which is an added $30, though i think you can get a 30% discount if you post a review of your experience with the trial version on a forum. My experience with the software has been pretty good however the hd-pvr is inherently a bit buggy and the added layer of software doesnt help things. Even with a "stable" system you are likely to have the hd-pvr error and have to be power cycled occasionally, this behavior seems to vary greatly. There is a hook for the dvblink software that allows power cycling to be automated with an IP power strip, which a lot of people have been happy with. In my experience a beefy computer is important for stability; yours should be pretty good. The HD-PVR seems to be very sensitive to latencies, spikes in processor usage etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moondev /forum/post/18143462


2) Since my computer will be upstairs, should I have any problems running a 15 foot usb cable down to the pvr next to my tv? I think I read usb cables should not extend past 16 ft.

Probably will have problems. Again, anecdotal evidence points to the HD-PVR being very sensitive to the USB cable used, many have found greatest stability with the supplied 6 foot cable. You will likely find that your stability is greatly reduced with a long cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moondev /forum/post/18143462


3) If I am reading the right things about this device, it seems like I need to connect my computer to the tv as well? So could I just run a 15 foot dvi to hdmi from my computer and call it a day?

Yes you have to connect your computer as well. That would probably be fine however you are going to need some way to control the computer as well i.e. a remote, keyboard whatever.



This may make the HD-PVR sound crappy, and in some ways it is, though there are some good things about it. The main benefit of the HD-PVR, as compared to the upcoming cable card products, is the use of the analog hole for recording. Due to this there is no copy once or other crappy DRM to deal with and you can play your recorded files on any of your other htpcs. In upgrading my HTPC to a quad core i was able to greatly increase stability, though power cycles still occur occasionally, not enough for me to give it up, but the hd-pvr's are in my room so power cycling is easy. I will likely buy a cablecard tuner when they are released, however, i would still keep one HD-PVR no matter what to take advantage of the analog hole and the ability to really archive recordings (if your cablecard pc dies or is upgraded sufficiently any copy once content will be unplayable).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
kemist1117, thank you so much for your quick and detailed reply.


I have an ipod touch, so I was planning on using the logitech "touchmouse" app to control the htpc (over wifi), but the included remote should work for changing channels right?


I see that the hdpvr has some drawbacks, but I'm so fed up with my crappy time-warner dvr that this has to be an upgrade.


I guess the main thing I dont get, is how does it turn channels and schedule records when all it has access to is the component out from the cable box? Would it not just record the cablebox dvr ui? Maybe this is where the dvblink software works its magic?


Can you give me a quick link that discusses these "cablecard" tuners? They sound interesting but maybe not as "turn-key" as hdpvr. Thanks again!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by moondev /forum/post/18143641


kemist1117, thank you so much for your quick and detailed reply.


I have an ipod touch, so I was planning on using the logitech "touchmouse" app to control the htpc (over wifi), but the included remote should work for changing channels right?

No problem moondev. I believe you can do that, ive heard its a very good remote. Not sure on the hdpvr included remote; i've seen people complain about the included one but i forget why. I initially used a harmony and have moved onto a gyration remote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moondev /forum/post/18143641


I see that the hdpvr has some drawbacks, but I'm so fed up with my crappy time-warner dvr that this has to be an upgrade.

To clarify, an hd-pvr requires a cable box from your supplier and hooks up to it by component, so you will still have to have a regular cable box. If you only have one hd-pvr you will only be able to watch/record a single channel and will not be able to record something while you watch something else or record 2 channels. If you want to do that, ala a typical pvr, you will need 2 hd-pvrs.


Look for other opinions as well. I'm very happy but my build is mostly stable, others arent mostly stable, again ive seen people say they gained stability with the dvb-link software by upgrading processors, you should be fine with quad core. However some of the other things you mentioned could be a problem, like if you tried to use a long USB cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moondev /forum/post/18143641


I guess the main thing I dont get, is how does it turn channels and schedule records when all it has access to is the component out from the cable box? Would it not just record the cablebox dvr ui? Maybe this is where the dvblink software works its magic?

There are 3 ways to do this. First you can have the HD-PVR use its included ir blaster to change the channels on the box, this supposedly reduces stability though, so is not recomended. 2nd would be to use an ir receiver/IR blaster included with an MC remote to perform IR blasting, this would require you to buy a remote, though they are pretty cheap. Third would be to use FireSTB to change channels through firewire if your cablebox is supported. All are a bit clunky at changing channels, however firewire is probably the best. Firewire route requires a 32 bit install of windows though as the software requires a driver which is only available in 32 bit version.


If it wasnt clear an ir blaster is basically an IR led that you tape onto your cable box, google will probably have some images.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moondev /forum/post/18143641


Can you give me a quick link that discusses these "cablecard" tuners? They sound interesting but maybe not as "turn-key" as hdpvr. Thanks again!

Google ceton cablecard. They are actually (in theory at least) much more turn key than the HD-PVR, however they have their own set of quirks. Main drawback, especially if you have time warner cable, is the drm. Supposedly Time warner flags most channels as copy once which means they can only be watched on the pc that recorded them, though you can still stream to Xbox 360s. This is mainly a problem if you are trying to archive your recorded content for later use; if you do anything to your pc that windows sees as needing a reactivation all of your content will be dead, and you wont be able to play any of the copy once stuff on other htpc's if that is something you were looking to do. This may or may not be an issue for you, though i have a server and like the ability to keep the things i record.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
very interesting. Good point about the one-channel-at-a-time stuff. Will have to think long and hard about if that is important to me.


So I understand that there are options for switching channels, but how is the mediacenter/dvblink software able to automatically control the cablebox so it can record the right channel at the right time?


Are there any other options out there available now for me if I want to record hd-tv on all my cable channels? (i'm guessing not since this seems to be the only 'analog hole' product) what about tivo? (guessing that needs a cable card)


EDIT- damnit kemist, now you have me wanting this ceton card. It really does sound like a great option, even though you have to pay to rent the cable card from the cable company and are kind of handcuffed with the drm. I'm almost wondering if i should just wait for to come out and build an htpc around it, as the more I read about the hdpvr it sounds like its not a surefire solution. hmmmm
 

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Mediacenter tells the ir blaster/firewire driver to change the channel basically, the ir blaster by sitting over the cablebox's ir receiver and mimicking the cable box's remote, the firewire driver by directly telling the cablebox to change the channel. Guide wise i like W7MC's guide way more than the cable co's guide, which is slow and painful to use. The w7 guide is fast and nice, but changing a channel with the hd-pvr takes ~8 seconds, so you will not be channel surfing up and down. You get used to just finding what you want to watch with the guide though.


As of right this second this is the only real viable analog hole tuner, though very soon there will be at least 1 more (by avertv). The avertv may possibly be more stable, but its the same basic chip as the HD-PVR and it is only capable of recording stereo sound, where as the HD-PVR can record DD5.1.


Single tuner cablecard tuners are out now, but the ceton 4 tuner cards will be out by the end of march so its probably not worth buying one of the current offerings if you want to go the cable card route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
wow, thats amazing all that has to happen for it to record. No wonder stability is an issue. It really sounds like I will be happier in the long run with a "real" cablecard tuner.


thanks again kemist as you just saved me $200+ on something that probably would not have suited my needs! Guess I will join the crowd waiting for the ceton.


Out of curiosity can you reccomend any good single cablecard tuners?
 

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Yeah, had the ceton tuner, as well as the sdv support and reduced (ha) drm restrictions been announced before i got the hd-pvr's i would have probably have waited. That said, im still very happy with the hd-pvr's and, like i said before, even if i get a cablecard tuner im going to keep at least one of these for permanent archiving.


there is only one single card tuner and it is the ATI tuner, you are better off waiting for the ceton. Good luck with your choice.
 
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