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Old 2008-04-09, 10:36 AM   #76
smp01
 
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I wonder what happens to the signals coming into the front ports (s-video, composite)
Does it loop out of the component/audio at the back?
Does it just go the PC via USB?
Does it act as a 2nd tuner card? (That would be super bonus)
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Old 2008-04-09, 11:27 AM   #77
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I am afraid some of you guys have no idea what is involved in a media extender. They require a separate cpu and gpu in order to work. This device is not, and was never intended to be, a media extender.
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Old 2008-04-09, 12:16 PM   #78
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This is a video capture device. It's function is to take analog video and convert it to digital video. That's all. At the $250 price point, it's enough. Previous devices that did this cost up to $10,000.

The video blaster and remote are nice features but really not required. They work independently of the video capture functionality and simply provide a recording software interface. They are also worth about $100 if purchased separately.
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Old 2008-04-09, 12:18 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smp01
Does it act as a 2nd tuner card? (That would be super bonus)
No.

These HD-PVR boxes are only a single STB enabling device. For each "tuner", you need one HD-PVR. So for a 3 way setup, you need 3 STBs and 3 HD-PVR boxes.

On the subject of pie in the sky wishes, they are supposedly answered by way of the PVR you can get from BEV, *C or your cable company. TiVo has the series 3 HD unit that NEEDS CableCARD but where CC will likely never be available in Canada, this is a non-starter.

And further, the TiVo Series 3 in no way addresses all of the BEV and *C customers.

This HD-PVR is intended to be the "holy grail" of HD capture devices that allows any HD cable or satellite STB to be recorded in near 100% HD quality. All of this capturing is to be done with an HTPC.

HTPCs are BY FAR, the unrivaled champion of the world when it comes to total PVR/media content management. Out of all of the HTPC solutions, the most competitive are Sage and Beyond, with SageTV offering by far, the most overall comprehensive collection of tools, devices, and software.
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Old 2008-04-09, 01:09 PM   #80
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Receivers with firewire or USB digital output enabled do a better job. Unfortunately, that is only mandated in the US and only for OTA stations. There are a few firewire and USB add-ons that work well but they are expensive and very specific to one STB. (For example, I can't port my EV 169time firewire mod to Rogers, even though a similar mod is available for Rogers STBs.) The Hauppauge unit fills a popular, versatile niche, at least until component video is phased out or disabled.
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Old 2008-04-09, 02:14 PM   #81
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Does this device have an option to bypass the encoding and pipe the raw stream over USB to the PC?
Since this product targets mainly HTPC owners, such an option would certainly be welcome, I think. And USB2 should be enough...

By description, the real-time encoding will fit a 2h program on a SL DVD. That ends up about 5Mpbs combined audio+video.
For a real-time encoder 5Mbps AVC could be on par with a good upconverting DVD player.
It claims to be capable of AVCHD output. Anybody knows the bitrate (format max is 24Mbps)?

I'm not downplaying the importance of such a product just trying to keep expectations on a reasonable level.
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Old 2008-04-09, 02:19 PM   #82
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Quote:
Does this device have an option to bypass the encoding and pipe the raw stream over USB to the PC?
What do you mean? The output from your set top box is analog.
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Old 2008-04-09, 02:24 PM   #83
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My understanding is, the analog (over component) stream enters the box, gets digitized and is fed to a hardware AVC encoder (something similar to what AVCHD camcorders have).

It would be a nice option to bypass the encoding step and pipe the raw digitized stream (I know, few hundred GB per hour), most probably AVI, to the PC.
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Old 2008-04-09, 02:41 PM   #84
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On data streams out of this thing, I would have preferred that it allow for MPEG2 as that is a very easy format to manipulate after the fact.

I am excited for these things but I am not looking forward to having to upgrade my HTPCs so they can deal with H264 if that is the only way to go.
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Old 2008-04-09, 03:07 PM   #85
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In essence, this Hauppage box combined with any player/receiver that has component outputs, will be the same as a 169-modded satellite receiver with two differences:
1. it uses USB instead of FireWire
2. it encodes the stream on the fly

Since any hidef optical formats can be ripped much more easily and no quality loss (and so is OTA), this solution is only of interest to users of cable/satellite receivers.
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Old 2008-04-09, 03:33 PM   #86
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Followup:
According to Hauppauge home page
Quote:
Recording datarate: from 1 to 13.5 Mbits/sec (user selectable)
That is good news.
No option to bypass encoding. Not so good news.

But with today's quality of hidef broadcasting most of the time around 10Mbps or less in MPEG-2, 13.5Mbps real-time AVC should suffice...

Would be interesting to see if this box can be modded...
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Old 2008-04-09, 05:18 PM   #87
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Quote:
No option to bypass encoding. Not so good news.
Totally infeasible. 1080i is 1920 X 1080 X 30 x 3 bytes per pixel or 186,624,000 Bytes per second. USB 2.0 is 480,000,000 bits per second, theoretical. One uncompressed 1080i stream would saturate 4 USB 2 channels.

Craig
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Old 2008-04-09, 07:03 PM   #88
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I thought the raw stream is about 270Mbps. Don't know why.
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Old 2008-04-09, 07:17 PM   #89
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Naw, raw component is HUGE.

Like I said above, the better option would have been to have built the device with H264 AND MPEG2 so that the end user could choose from the two.

Either way, I bet SDTV from component will end up pretty freaking small under H264. HD content will depend a lot on what is fed per each channel.
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Old 2008-04-10, 10:49 AM   #90
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MPEG-2 license is $2.50 per instance and no caps.
H.264 (as well as VC-1) is "a fraction of that" and is capped.

This could be the reason why MPEG-2 is not an option. The silicon would certainly be cheap.
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