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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I’ve been toying with the idea of taking my current HiPix equipped HTPC and repurposing it as a media server. For the client machine I’d build a new HTPC, probably based on a Shuttle SB51G. To connect the two I’d use the onboard 100Mb Ethernet in both machines. I’d use the server to record HD, serve up DVD images, MP3’s etc. The client would be used purely for playback.


The question is how do I play back HD material recorded via the media server’s HiPix? I’ve searched the forum, but it isn’t completely conclusive how to do this. In one thread a user seemed to indicate that it’s possible to play back HD via a software DVD player and Microsoft’s DirectX digital TV filters. But that doesn’t seem very likely. If it were possible to play back HD files without a tuner card’s decoder, wouldn’t everyone use software playback to pause live HDTV?


So my assumption is (and the forum search results seem to indicate) that I need a second HD tuner card for the client HTPC. This is a bummer because all I need is HD playback. I don’t need a second tuner because my HDTV already has one.


But if I need a tuner card for playback, what are my choices? Can I use a MyHD to play back HiPix files unmodified? Or am I going to need another HiPix? Note that the emphasis is on “unmodifiedâ€. I don’t want to run a software tool to convert from one format to another. I just want to playback HD content as recorded directly from the media server.


I know that a number of members have set up similar media server/client systems. Hopefully you can provide me with some first hand advice regarding the best design direction.


Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


Best regards,
 

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It is possible to play back saved HDTV files using a software player but you need a few extra pieces of freely available software, and a very fast PC.

There is a thread somewhere here that explains how to do it, but I can't remeber what is but if you do a search for "HDTV file download" you will a few threads with most of the information.


Chris.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestion fantazia2. But I've already seen most of these threads. These are particularly interesting:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=1
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...+file+download


Unfortunately the results of all of these discussions are inconclusive. There's been lots of talk but mixed success. So until someone comes up with a real recipe for reliable playback or a new product that works, it looks like a software player for transport streams is not currently viable.


If anyone out there has successfully set up software playback of HD material that works consistently, I'd really appreciate a post with details on how you set it up. Just to be clear, I'm not interested in posts that say things like "get the elecard demux and it should work". I'm looking for the bible on HD software playback.


Sorry to be so demanding! Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No takers huh? So I take it there is no reliable software-based HD playback solution at this time?


If that's the case, then I'll have to buy another tuner card. That's probably more economical time wise than spending a month messing around with demuxers and software DVD players in any case.


So the next question is which card to buy? I already have a HiPix. Does this mean I have to buy another HiPix (assuming I can find one for sale)? Or can I buy a MyHD and have it interoperate with HiPix recorded files over a network?


Again, thanks for any insight.


Best regards,
 

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Allen,


Chris is right... you *can* do this in software, since the files that the hipix records are pure ATSC streams (which really isn't all that much more than MPEG2 hacked into little pieces). WinDVD4 will play them directly; just drag and drop the file onto WinDVD. However, I'm not sure what machine you'd need to get this to play smoothly. On my 2.2GHz P4, it's stutters to much to be watchable.


I did the same thing you are thinking of; I bought another hipix card. Smooth as can be. A MyHD card will work also, since the content of the files is the same. The naming convention is different, though, so you'll have to rename all your files (there's a little utility that does this for you, actually, so it may not be a big deal).


One big advantage to using two hipix cards: You can watch the files on the other card WHILE they are being recorded. Effectively: you can timeshift HD material. Really quite cool :)


Peter


edit: If you're looking for a hipix card, shoot Michael (mkanet) an email...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the response Peter.

Quote:
Originally posted by pzand
Chris is right... you *can* do this in software, since the files that the hipix records are pure ATSC streams (which really isn't all that much more than MPEG2 hacked into little pieces). WinDVD4 will play them directly; just drag and drop the file onto WinDVD. However, I'm not sure what machine you'd need to get this to play smoothly. On my 2.2GHz P4, it's stutters to much to be watchable.
It may be possible, but it doesn't seem practical at the moment. It sounds like not many people have succeeded and that the results have been marginal. That's why I've been leaning towards a hardware solution.

Quote:
I did the same thing you are thinking of; I bought another hipix card. Smooth as can be. A MyHD card will work also, since the content of the files is the same. The naming convention is different, though, so you'll have to rename all your files (there's a little utility that does this for you, actually, so it may not be a big deal).


One big advantage to using two hipix cards: You can watch the files on the other card WHILE they are being recorded. Effectively: you can timeshift HD material. Really quite cool :)
That's exactly what I want; an almost-Tivo for HD. But I didn't know that it had to be a HiPix on both ends for this to work. Is that because of the file naming convention difference or is there some other deeper reason?


The odd thing is that Cliff indicated in another thread that the MyHD card could play back HiPix files unmodified. Maybe they fixed the naming problem?


Best regards,
 

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I have to admit that I haven't kept up to date on the MyHD developments. Perhaps it can read the files directly now...


Anyway, the names might be different, but the content of the files should be the same. If you want to go the timeshifting route with two cards, I highly suggest using two identical cards, though. Just to rule out any potential issues....
 
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