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HTPC vs Freeview Recorder


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Old 22-05-2013, 11:15
DeelyBopper
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I have an Athlon x3 and 4Gb in a spare unit that I let others use if I'm busy on my main PC.

I was thinking of adding in a TV card and making it into a HTPC so I could get some more utility out of it.

I already have a TV with a media player built in and another Western Digital type media player so I wouldn't need it to play back movies (although that would be a bonus or could relegate those media players).

I'd want it to watch Freeview and record to hard drive.

I already have a Freeview recorder (but its getting really long in the tooth now and I either need to do the HTPC to replace it or buy a new one).

Financially, I don't think there is much in it.
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Old 22-05-2013, 14:09
Mr Dos
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I have been using my pc as a TV for years. If you want to keep a film etc its handy being able to remove adverts and save as mp4. Also 4 channel TV cards are common (Windows media center supports 4 tuners). WMC saves as a wtv file, so my work flow is -

r-click wtv + save as dvr-ms
edit dvr-ms in VideoRedo, save as mpg (frame copy no quality loss)
convert to mp4 using Handbrake

step #1 is required because my old version of VRD doesn't support wtv. Some programs are copy protected, but that's another story . . .
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Old 22-05-2013, 17:16
Roland Mouse
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HTPC all the way! It just so versatile.

If you are going HD then a reasonable graphics card is required, but not silly money gaming cards. a ATI Readeon HD 5400 (about 19.95) is all that is needed and what I use.

As mentioned above, with a PC set up you can do so much more and updating over requires different software to get something completely new.

Edit, burn to DVD or save to another hard drive.

Personally I recommend and use DVBViewer which isn't free but not expensive and I prefer it to WMP.
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Old 22-05-2013, 21:14
Solo Marble
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At least as well with a HTPC, you have more freedom with your recorded TV programmes, unlike a Freeview box or a Freesat box which usually applies copy protection to recorded programmes, (especially HD recordings).
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Old 22-05-2013, 21:26
cp2
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I too use DVBViewer with a Blackgold twin HD Freeview tuner.
Unencrypted HD recordings and, with DVBViewer, the ability to record a transport stream rather than a channel. So, more than two channels can be recorded provided that they are on the same multiplex.
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Old 22-05-2013, 22:40
whoever,hey
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HTPCs had have had there day i reckon back in 2005. Humax PVRs are dirt cheap now and can take massive HDDs and run linux anyway so can do anything you want. I dont see the point in them unless you already have all the h/w and they take up much less physical space. Custom f/w can remove copy protection on HD too.

But if it can be done for cheaper on HTPC then go for it.
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Old 23-05-2013, 00:27
Roland Mouse
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I too use DVBViewer with a Blackgold twin HD Freeview tuner.
Unencrypted HD recordings and, with DVBViewer, the ability to record a transport stream rather than a channel. So, more than two channels can be recorded provided that they are on the same multiplex.
Yes it's the same with satellite where it opens the whole transponders and you can record anything on it at the same time and it only uses one tuner. Also two programmes following each other on the same channel which overlap in time only use the one tuner as well.

And of course, not to be discussed here, but my 4 satellite tuner HTPC set replaces my whole (paid for) Sky box. All recordings are put on my hard drive in the clear for me to do with as I see fit.

If someone doesn't want to be adventurous and doesn't want flexibility and don't want to keep their recordings then a freeview or freesat box may be for them, but for doing what you want when you want, then a HTPC set is the way to go.
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Old 23-05-2013, 08:48
DeelyBopper
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Freeview box it is! Thanks guys, I'll leave the PC for minecraft and moshi monsters.
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Old 23-05-2013, 13:52
Nightdeamon
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HTPCs still could be great if WMC got developed further to support the Freeview HD spec (and support for the MHEG-IC for Connect-TV), as it is imo one of the best and easiest media centres available but unless things will change for windows 8.1 its unlikely it would get updated. However with windows 7, my laptop makes for a brilliant PVR using the PCTV Systems nanostick T2 USB tuner (even with the tiny aerial whilst I'm at uni).
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