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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Below, I have listed the features of my "Dream" multimedia card. I don't think it exists (or even close), and I don't know if it will ever be made, but I do know that this forum is the biggest forum of it's kind, and if all of you let the manufacturers know what you want, they might just make it!!!


Please post comments, even if it is comments like "I have been looking for a card like this too!!". If we can get some response to this thread, maybe a company picks up on the idea, and creates a card with more or all of the features!! (Okay, I know I am a dreamer, but it is worth a shot :)


Wish List for device for HTPC:


IMPORTANT FEATURES

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-Full Tivo functionality

*record and watch at the same time

*epg

*onboard tuner (of course)

-Recording Formats - Fully implemented in Hardware:

*Good Quality Full Screen Mpeg-4 recording, at max 300KBytes/sec (CBR?)

*Great Quality Mpeg-2 recording (fullscreen, VBR)

*The recordings must be in an open format (not encrypted in any way) so

that 3rd party products could be used for editing.

-Must have moderate cpu requirements, Max P2?, so one can use secondary computers for tivo functionality

-EASY TO USE!! You should not need to be a rocket scientist to record a tv-program in satisfactory quality!!!!!

-The card should be able to use the hardware encoder also when doing conversion in other programs. (some sort of driver that can be detected in premiere, xmpeg or similar)


NICE TO HAVE FEATURES

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-Abilitity to receive and output NTSC and PAL

-Ability to decode/save/output HDTV streams

-Ability to play back DVD through component/vga output. I.e Progressive HDTV resolutions

-Firewire or USB-2 connection to PC, rather than taking up a pci slot, BOB boxes are more conventient too...

-DV connector(s) would be nice too :)


WHAT I DO **NOT** WANT

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-Do not want a graphics card/video capture combo like All-in-one, since new 3d cards come all the time

-High Price Tag. Without HDTV, max 300 USD, with HDTV, max 500 USD
 

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MPEG 4 at 300kbps = not pretty.


Hardware MPEG4 card would be sweet but probably expensive. The rest of the stuff you speak of is mostly software and PowerVCR II can do most of that...
 

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eh, mpeg4 @ 3000kbps would be more like it...I make 1800kpbs DivX 5 encodes, and they look quite good, but 3000kpbs in hardware would be great (well, maybe...lots of issues to consider :p0


Cheers,


Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your replies. I did not say MPEG4 at 300Kb's, though. I said at 300 *KB* which would make it 2400 kbits. :) (which should be nice)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, it is probably silly of me to use the case of the 'b' letter to differentiate, but that's what I'm used to (I am a true Geek :)


Namlemez, I don't think many of the features that I requested are really covered by PowerVCR II.


True, you do get the TIVO functionality, including MPEG2-encoding, but from what I have heard, even CBR encoding needs a powerful machine. I only have a P3-800 and doubt I could do it in software. In my wish-list I also wanted VBR encoding, which is even more demanding on the CPU. Some people claim you need a 4-5 Ghz computer to achieve that in real-time through software.


When it comes to ease of use, I am not sure how it is, since I never played around with it, but typically trying to use most any program to compress a mpeg2 file to mpeg4 for instance is frustrating for a newbie.


Not to mention the hardware aspects I want, like HDTV tuner w/component and VGA outputs, and also the ability to play DVD through those same outputs (progressive, w/various HDTV resolutions of course)


Actually, if one took the Hipix HDTV card, added a mpeg2/mpeg4 encoder, and bundled it with a dvd player that could output through their own vga output. I would be super-happy :D
 

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My wish list:


Hardware:

1 Adaptive de-interlacing similar to ATI - have not compared it to D-scaler, but I am happy with the picture.


2. Getting rid of the fussy line-in connection to soundcard. There must be a way to transfer audio data over PCI bus to soundcard.


3. All-n-one function. I actually prefer this, as this means one less card. True, 3-D graphics are always getting better, but so what? This is important if your computer is also a gaming machine, but for HTPC, not important. The only 3D program I am running is the fish screensaver. As long as it can run that, including the upcoming 3D background, I am happy.


4. 10 bit or better video DAC.


5. I'd be willing to have just MPEG-2 hardware encoder/decoder. Anything more would be gravy.


6. HDTV - prefer it to be optional. (Unless the Canadian broadcasters suddenly pull their heads out of their a**es and start offering it.)


7. Support for custom resolutions and timings. No need for PS then, would simplify things, hopefully.


Software:


1. Stability.


2. An INTEGRATED programming guide. Hopefully one that supports Canadian markets.


3. Ability to record in the background, without having the TV application running.


4. Should have one program handle both live and recorded feeds. This is one of my main gripes with ATI software. You have to use another program to watch your recorded shows.


5. A user interface similar to TT - minimal on-screen buttons, and minimal use of the mouse. This way it would be easier to use a remote.


6. Did I mention stability?


7. Oh, and please make sure it works with the Delta Audiophile 2496 soundcard.


Otherwise, I like the list tomes gave. As far as price goes, sure the cheaper the better, but I am willing to pay up to $500 if it had all this and actually works.
 

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I should have been more specific, sorry. PowerVCR handles the TiVO and program guide/scheduling pretty well (needing a 3rd party hack last I checked.) Its compression can leave a little bit to be desired...MPEG2 only and not much control.


Ideal would be a MPEG2/MPEG4 hardware encoder. It should be programmable / upgradeable to take patches for say, DivX and XviD. Hardware decoder with VIP connector and lots of post-processing features (like DivX 5 has) would be very cool too. Decoder needs to be programmable and upgradeable of course too!



The rest is really a nice software package to control it, but if it supported standard interfaces to allow anything to use it, all the better.

Quote:


Namlemez, I don't think many of the features that I requested are really covered by PowerVCR II.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Both of you guys had some really nice ideas that I did not think of myself :)


As you said, a set of predefined resolutions would be nice (basically like HDTV cards have, 480P, 540P,1080i,Dila resolutions etc.)


I agree that some people would rather like a all-in-one card instead of what I want, so why not make 2 versions :) (add on 50 bucks for a pretty good 2d/3d GPU)


You know, if someone did the following, that would be perfect:

Combine ATI AIW 8500DV, but instead use a dedicated hardware encoder, like the Hauppage PVR chip (preferably one with better quality though..), and a Hipix card (maybe like a daughter card for people who are not interested in/cannot use HDTV). Now, if parts of this sat outside in a break-out-box, one could even fantasize that some of the functionality worked, even with the pc turned off (epg, viewing ntsc,viewing hdtv for instance...drool! :)
 

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Just give me some half-decent software for my 8500DV and I'd be happy. Seriously. I'm pretty tempted to try my hand at Directshow Programming.


Hardware wise, the line-in implementation does pretty much suck, though. I'd also be happy if the TV card was a seperate PCI card, allowing me to choose my Video Card seperately. I don't know enough about how overlay works, etc. to know if this is feasible. Would it be like my Hollywood+, because that implementation sucked too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey, a man is allowed to have his dreams, SHS ;)


Wish I knew more about programming, but with my limited knowledge, I could probably not do much good... (In college I started to fall asleep whenever they mentioned hashing, binary trees etc...)
 
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