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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am looking for a configuration where I can use my aging P3-800mhz, that has 256 Mb ram, running at 133mhz, with 100 GB of harddrive space.


Reading in the forum, it seems that the cheapest and pretty good quality way of doing this is buying the IOMagic PVR, and using Dscaler for watching, and the WinDvr for recording. Alternatively, I could consider other software, like WinCoder or ProCoder.


My question is, can any of these compress to Full Screen (720x480 NTSC) mpeg-2 streams, utilizing IBP packets? I am assuming they can only possibly do CBR, as VBR seems to be much more cpu-consuming. Hence, I would like to save 6-8mbps CBR streams...Well, can a P3-800 do the trick? Reading the info on the website, it seems that at least Wincoder should be able to, since they pretty much say best quality requires a P3-800 (I know, not much margin for error, is there...)


Anyone have an opinion/experience with this?


Thanks!!


-Tom
 

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I have an IOMagic and have used PowerDVD to capture at the settings you list. I think you will find that your PC is not adequate to capture consistently good quality at those settings. My PC has a 1.6 GHz P4 with 512 MB DDR RAM and I still get dropped frames and digital artifacts at those settings. Other software may work better, but my advice would be to go with a hardware based MPEG solution such as the Creative Digital VCR or Hauppage WinTV-PVR. This is what I plan to do since I'm not satisified with the quality I am getting from the IOMagic and PowerDVD. For more details on my experiences see:

http://jschefdog.home.attbi.com/powervcr.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,


Thanks for your advice, I will be looking at your webpage for more info :)


Thanks again!


-Tom
 

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Your PC may not be up to snuff to record real time, but you have two options hardware encode and encoding with a fast codec and convert to mpeg later(non-realtime). Creative's hardware PVR cost about $100.

With the software, a capture like I/O magic PVR ($50) or ati TV wonder($50-$90) , software that allow the use of outside codec like ATI MMC (free with ati TV cards) or showshifter ($50) and encoder software like TMPGEnc (in development so it free for now but expire in 30 day just d/l it again), O and codec Huffy (free) or Picvideo ($30).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes Accoe, I agree that your suggestions are the most reasonable. I would like to have it done in realtime though, since I plan on using it a lot, and offline encoding later on would probably tie the computer up. I have also heard bad things about both the creative PVR and the Hauppage PVR, so I guess buying a nice computer is the best alternative, or maybe a capture card (though not having the tuner would be a lot of hassle...)


Oh well, maybe someone manage to make a nice card in the next 6-12 months :-| It seems the PC is not ready for primetime timeshifting functionality yet.
 

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What bad thing about Hauppage WinTV-PVR ho just so you know there are two new WinTV-PVR 250 and 350 is better yes it better then 1st PVR was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes I heard about those, and actually posted some questions in another thread, but no-one replied. I guess I have to wait and see what people think about those.


Thanks, anyway! :)
 
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