geek(n): An intelligent, eccentric person with an interest in the perceptibly useless and esoteric.
asylum(n): 1) A place offering protection and safety; a shelter.
2) An institution for the care of those requiring organized supervision.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

More HTPC thoughts

Now that the shopping list for this stage of the project is complete, ive been reading whatever I can about MythTV and general tips and tricks. I cant wait to buy the next lot of parts tomorrow, and really wish the hardware was all assembled and working so that I could get on with tinkering with the software that will be installed eventually.

In my research Ive discovered that the DVICO dual DVB-T tuner card that I want outputs one tuner via the PCI slot, and the other via an internal USB connector. I wrote last time about the USB connectors on the motherboard, and my need for more than the usual two (dual) internal connectors. Luckily after the 4 front panel USB connectors and the VFD are connected to the motherboard, I will still have one more internal USB port left. I will use that for the dual tuner card's USB output. I guess in a pinch I could add a mini USB hub to the inside of the case somewhere, to add some extra internal ports.

It also occurred to me that the Haupage PVR-350 is probably an analog TV card. I couldnt find any info which specifically said that it is or isnt, but I assume that if it was digital (DVB-T), the specs would say so. Thats a problem because the analog TV reception around here is rubbish, and digital TV is much clearer to begin with.

I still want a hardware MPEG encoder (one of the PVR-350 features that I was looking forward to) but I may have to do without it, or try and find a decent digital tuner card which includes a working encoder. With the dual core AMD64 X2 CPU, I probably wont miss it too much, but it would be nice to have. The motherboard only has two standard PCI slots, and they are reserved for the tuner cards - I have been quite surprised that I have not yet found a digital tuner card on a PCI-Express board - they all still seem to be on standard PCI cards, but that should change as PCI-Express makes a wider impact.

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