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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I currently have a ReplayyTV. It's an older Panasonic ShowStopper model. I'm getting a new RPTV and I am wondering if anyone thinks I'll get better picture quality by getting some kind of tuner card for the PC instead of using the Replay. The main reason I ask is because when using the Replay, it's always recording the video/audio feed and then displaying it on the TV. It doesn't just pass the video/audio, it compresses it first, then displays it. So, do PC based PVRs do this as well? If so, I can't see the point in getting one. Perhaps, if there is one that can function just like a RepalyTV, but just send the direct audio/video feed out to the TV, I'd be happy.


I have DishNetwork, so whatever PVR based solution I find, it'll have to be able to control the satellite box.
 

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I'm familiar with several PC TV Tuners and none of them have the passthrough feature that you're looking for.


However, I think the same can be accomplished if you have two relatively inexpensive devices: (1) an Svideo splitter (possibly coupled with a signal amplifier?); (2) an Svideo switcher.


Here's an example that would work with either a PC or a ReplayTV. If you're not using svideo to move the signal around, then you can do the same thing, but if it is component signal that you're switching, it will be more expensive.

Code:
Code:
|-------->ReplayTV or PC-------->|
Dish---->splitter/amp                         switcher---->television
                |------------------------------->|
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info... I could get away with just buying the Svideo splittler. I have multiple Svideo inputs on the TV. If I fin the quality is any better, I'll do it.


Anyone else have any info?
 

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I've got an Ultimate TV, an ATI AIW, a Hauppauge PVR250 and I had a Pinnacle PCTV pro.


I use my PC for archiving shows from my UTV, editing and then burning to DVD.


The UTV (and the similar Directivo) is a bit different than your replay (or the stand alone Tivo) in that it is recording the actual digital bitstream as sent by DTV. Since there is no compression during recording, upon playback I get the exact picture as originally broadcast.


The AIW and the PCTV display the TV image straight from the tuner or video input until you go into timeshift mode. The PVR 250 always displays the video coming out of the mpeg2 encoder. In terms of live TV picture quality I would rate them PCTV (using Dscaler or showshifter), PVR250, AIW. I've heard the newer AIW's have better input quality but I haven't seen this first hand. In terms of capture quality I would rate them PVR250, AIW, PCTV.


I don't use my PC as a PVR for a couple reasons... I haven't found a PC based PVR that comes close to the integrated EPG, scheduled recording, and video library functions of a good PVR. You also can't beat the reliability of an STB based PVR. I think the exception might be the new MCE machines but they are just too expensive at this point.


Al
 

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Hey BigAl, you seem well informed and experienced so maybe you can help me. I'm wanting to get a PVR/Tuner card. But, I have TV's in 2 different rooms and I'm not sure which I'd want to watch in more. I also have multiple computers on a network. Would it be possible to have the PVR card in my main HTPC do the recording and then play it back from another PC?


7
 

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I am also considering the same thing. I look at one the advantages of the PC PVR solution to be the ability to burn vcd's at vcr quality to move files to another room for viewing. It is the closest thing to pulling a tape out of the living room vcr and popping it into the bedroom vcr. This capability barely exists with any of the traditional PVR's. I looked at first at the Panasonic with DVD burning capabilities, but that is almost as expensive as a basic HTPC. Also DVD media burns at 2x as opposed to 40+ x ona VCD, not to mention media costs. Not to mention the other things you can use the HTPC for.
 

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>>I look at one the advantages of the PC PVR solution to be the ability to burn vcd's at

>>vcr quality to move files to another room for viewing. It is the closest thing to pulling a tape

>>out of the living room vcr and popping it into the bedroom vcr.


You should check out the latest Replays. You can network two units and play whatever is recorded by either unit on that unit or the other unit. And while not officially supported, there is software that allows you to capture the mpegs from the Replays for use on your PC, and allow you to use your PC as a server for material reorded on the Replays. And you can use the mpegs to burn VCDs, if you still want to do that.
 

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seven,

Yes. I have an HTPC networked with my Home office PC. I record on the HTPC using the PVR250 then I jump onto my Home office pc for playback, editing, and burning to DVD. Very doable with any 10/100 wired network... don't know if a wireless network would give you enough bandwidth to stream the video over the network though.


ar7499,

I can understand that although DVD is becoming much more cost effective. I believe office depot had a Cendyne DVD-r burner (which is really a rebadged pioneer A04) for $170 after rebate. Pretty good deal. Also if you go online you can get 2x media for around $2 apiece (1x for $1)... not as cheap as CD's but the quality is so much better. Burning does take some time but authoring & building the DVD are the real time wasters for me... takes me about an hour. Burning takes about 25 minutes with 2x media. I've messed around with VCD's just a bit but I just couldn't deal with the quality... I've got an HD RPTV and the quality just wasn't good enough for me.


One other warning though... mpeg2 capture, editing and DVD burning are all still maturing on the PC so expect to do some tinkering.


Al
 

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You may want to check out BroadQ ( http://www.broadq.com/ ). They have a product that allows you to stream video from a computer to any PlayStation 2 on the network. If you use a computer, you should just be able to share the videos folder and play the file remotely.
 

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hbanzon, what are you talking about? Bypassing the internal decoder? What would that get you?




I'm also one of the users who's using both. I've got two of the 3k replays and just tried out a 4504 and thought it was pretty cool with networking. I've since purchased a 5040 (arrived today). I'm thinking of using the replay to grab the shows and the PC to archive the shows. Pretty simple and I can always use the HTPC to playback a show from any replaytv. The pc is really like the multimedia hub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
hbanzon - I can't find that button on my remote. I have the older Panasonic Showstopper. Any other way to do this?


-Brian
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff D
hbanzon, what are you talking about? Bypassing the internal decoder? What would that get you?




I'm also one of the users who's using both. I've got two of the 3k replays and just tried out a 4504 and thought it was pretty cool with networking. I've since purchased a 5040 (arrived today). I'm thinking of using the replay to grab the shows and the PC to archive the shows. Pretty simple and I can always use the HTPC to playback a show from any replaytv. The pc is really like the multimedia hub.
I have a replaytv 5040 too. I was thinking of doing the same thing too. I actually downloaded some software that allowed me to access the replaytv over my home network. The files in high quality are HUGE! I downloaded one half hour episode of Seinfeld that I had recorded, and it took almost 20 minutes to transfer, and it was over 1 GB in size!


Add to it that you have to manually edit the commercials out, and it all leads to a less than desirable setup. (I was intending on archiving the shows on my pc in divx format.)


Anyone doing this successfully or have some software that they recommend?
 

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Varun, go over to the replaytv area and search there. You'll find more than enough options. =)


I find about 2GB an hour for files. And yeah slow if your network is slow. I'm thinking of trying a switch in place of hubs to see if that speeds things up a bit.
 

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Jeff - bypassing the internal decoder just passes the signal right out to the TV without digitizing the image. Why would you want to do that? Beats me, but it's what Beefcake asked about when he opened the thread.


Beefcake - don't know much about the showstoppers. My dad has one - I'll check it out next time I go over there. Check the faq or post the question on the ReplayTV Forum. Lotta folks in there who may know about how to do what you're doing.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Beefcake


I am wondering if anyone thinks I'll get better picture quality by getting some kind of tuner card for the PC instead of using the Replay.



PQ, with PC, will only be better if your new tv is HD ready and you input the computer video card signal (vga) into the DTV port on the new tv, at HD resolutions. There won't be much difference between s-video sources, because: S-video is still limited to 480i resolution.


Read through the FAQ at the top of this forum, for more in-depth info.

P.S. computer PVR is not going to be as good as what you experience with Replay TV. The automated find/record feature is not duplicated with computer PVR... yet.
 
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