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Thread: HTPC or Freesat PVR?

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    HTPC or Freesat PVR?

    Currently I have a 40" Samsung series 7 TV with built in Freeview. But Freeview is c**p at present here and so I have a PC ( 18 month old good gaming spec) with a freesat card linked to the TV. We use Windows Media Centre to play music display our piccies and watch TV and iplayer/4OD etc. We rarely use the PC for anything else (browsing etc). However, even with a reasonable PC the image is poor, particularly with black. So we get a lot of ghosting. I now need that PC elsewhere and have to replace either with a dedicated HTPC or a Freesat PVR. But will a HTPC still have a poor image compared to a HD freesat box?

    Anyone have a HTPC setup and could comment on its quality?
    The Man with the Silver Spot

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    Re: HTPC or Freesat PVR?

    I have a Compro S350 which has Freesat HD, the HD channels are good and the SD is the same as Freeview SD. I don't get any ghosting the way you mention ghosting is to do with the black levels but it usually refers to motion lag. LCD TV's have poor blacks in dark rooms compared to plasmas which have poor brightness in bright rooms. Try putting the TV to Dynamic and see if it makes a difference and then adjust the brightness and contrast.

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    Re: HTPC or Freesat PVR?

    I am using a Compro S350 and I guess "Ghosting" is the wrong term. With black or dark colours the previous bright image frames are still leaching onto the screen. I have tried dynamic. I am guessing it's a poor gfx card.

    That's fine. If no one else has this then a HTPC is going to be OK.

    Thanks
    The Man with the Silver Spot

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    Re: HTPC or Freesat PVR?

    Which do you prefer:
    Endlessle messing around with settings to get the damn thing working, eventually getting it working and then 6 months later having to fiddle for a couple of hours because of some software related idiocy but getting to use a PC as a freesat box.

    Buying the Freesat+ box and it just works. Keep expecting it to do something stupid because well, it's technology and generally that means "randomly does stupid stuff". Keep being impresses that even in situations where you expect it to do something stupid and in fact it still just works.

    I had the same dilemma a year ago after using my Win7 PC as an HTPC and I was considering fitting a Freesat card. I cannot stress how glad I am that I just bought the Humax HDR instead.

    The only disadvantage with the Humax HDR is that If I want to watch films from my PC on it, I have to transcode them. It's fine for MPEG-2 but H264 is a hit and miss enough that I don't bother.
    However, films recorded on the HDR play without any extra codecs on a Windows 7 Media centre.
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    Re: HTPC or Freesat PVR?

    Sorry to reopen this thread, but I'm in the same position myself. The only thing really keeping me from getting a PVR is being able to watch recorded programmes on my PC. Badass, you imply this is possible on your Humax PVR, may I ask how?
    Thanks

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    Re: HTPC or Freesat PVR?

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Sorry to reopen this thread, but I'm in the same position myself. The only thing really keeping me from getting a PVR is being able to watch recorded programmes on my PC. Badass, you imply this is possible on your Humax PVR, may I ask how?
    Thanks
    I could have sworn I put links to the software in my last post, but I didn't.
    http://myhumax.org/blog/?page_id=166

    My experience:
    Every single program I have recorded plays on windows 7 out of the box and no extra codecs installed.
    However I have not tried any HD content. My understanding is that both BBC HD and ITV HD will NOT work as they are encrypted, however BBC one HD should work.
    "In a perfect world... spammers would get caught, go to jail, and share a cell with many men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship."

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    Re: HTPC or Freesat PVR?

    I did! It was just a different thread
    http://forums.hexus.net/shopping-ret...interface.html
    Just to clarify. You need no additional software or to do anything at all with teh HDR to enable you to play recorded media that isn't encrypted HD on a Windows 7 machine. Just a USB key/HDD to plug into the HDR. It allows you to back up the recordings onto your external storage formatted as FAT32 or as EXT3. These recordings are encoded using MPEG-II or H264/AVC depending on whether they are SD or HD. IIRC they use TS encapsulation.
    "In a perfect world... spammers would get caught, go to jail, and share a cell with many men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship."

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    Re: HTPC or Freesat PVR?

    That's fantastic, thanks very much.

    I was planning on building a HTPC to upgrade from my not-so-great Argos (Wharfedale) PVR but I agree with you on the likelihood of hair-pulling moments. Being able to back up recorded videos changes things massively for me, so would you recommend Humax?

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    Re: HTPC or Freesat PVR?

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    so would you recommend Humax?
    Do bankers like bonuses?
    I love it!
    "In a perfect world... spammers would get caught, go to jail, and share a cell with many men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship."

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    Re: HTPC or Freesat PVR?

    Thanks, you just made a decision much easier!

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