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Dedicated desktop PVR question

Discussion in 'Home Theater PC' started by scj6771, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. scj6771

    scj6771 Member

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    Lets say I have decided to dedicate a desktop for the sole purpose of a PVR rig, lets also say that the desktop (IBM NetVista Pentium 4 model number: 6790-21U) uses half height (low profile) cards, now lets continue to say the operating system is Win XP Pro SP2.

    I have realized that I do not want to "tie" my primary rig up with additional components.

    Also I am thinking of connecting a KVM switch from the PVR rig to my primary rig.

    I really do not need to watch TV on my primary rig, I just wanna schedule and record shows and be able to send them back to my TV.

    My questions are the following:

    1. Find best possible PVR solution for my PVR rig's "half height" problem. Perhaps a USB TV tuner?

    2. Do I really need a "good" graphics card in the PVR rig if I do not plan on watching tv on my desktop?

    3. Could I in theory hook up a KVM switch just so I could bounce from primary to PVR rig? (do not need another monitor in the room, to messy as it is).

    4. Will I have any issues running Win XP Pro?

    I hope this makes sense to you? I just want to "tuck" the PVR rig away and access it through my primary rig.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2007
  2. DMW

    DMW Regular member

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    Hi,
    Quick answers from experience are...

    1) You could get a half-height tuner card, Hauppauge, Pinnacle and many "Cheaper" manufacturers make them, I personally wouldn't recomend a USB tuner, but I prefer everything internal.

    2) No, no at all, integrated graphics will work fine if it just to be a backend/media server.

    3) That would work fine.

    4) Nope, a lot of HTPC frontends are made for XP.

    It sounds like you are making a media server and to be honest, unless you have already, the hardest part will be picking the software for the job....there are a lot to choose from.

    Let us know if you need any more help, I'll try my best and there are a lot of knowledgable guys on here.

    Hope it helps.
     
  3. scj6771

    scj6771 Member

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    Thanks DMW, I think I am going with the following advice I got from another member,, any thoughts?

    If you use Beyond TV, you can schedule recordings from the web.

    1. WinTV-PVR-150-MCE I.p low profile card. 2 if you want dual tuners.

    2. I was using onboard video on my rig at first. I ended up buying an ATI 9600XT all-in-wonder for around $50. You don't need anything really expensive for standard tv. I don't really recommend onboard video. Here is a low-profile video card for $42.99. Does that PC take a low-profile card with a regular bracket or low profile bracket also, this also goes for the tv tuner card?

    3. Just use your tv as the monitor and get a cheap wireless keyboard and mouse. It's probably just as cheap as a KVM switch. When you need to go into the pvr, just use remote desktop that is built into XP Pro. That's what I use with my server that has no monitor, keyboard or mouse. You could just use the remote.

    4. I would recommend XP pro. That's what I use.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  4. DMW

    DMW Regular member

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    Hi,
    Beyond TV is certainly a good option from what I've seen, no experience to give a solid comment, I use GB-PVR almost exclusively, MCE for online spotlight features only and Meedio for other odds and ends.

    1. The PVR-150,250,350 and others from Hauppauge are great, the only reason I would not reccomend them is that the only ones here anyway (UK) are analogue and we are going for a digital switch overs soon which will make them defunct, may not apply obviously for you and if not then they are quality cards as they have hardware encoding which takes a load off your CPU.

    2. The comment about the bracket is worth noting as not all low-profile cards have low profile brackets, this is certainly a good point. I do still stand by my "integrated graphics will work fine if it just to be a backend/media server" comment. If you are not watching media on this machine then an add-on card is just not needed.
    I guess the main decider here will be exactly what this system will do, i.e. will it just record and serve your media across a network or will it be the output for your TV?
    If this is the output then the on-board video may be called into question. I use an on-board nVidia 6100 and have had no issues at all on my main HTPC.

    3. Again, this one depends on your setup and how much of a network this is all going over, or is it all same room next to each other?
    Remote desktop is good, no doubt, the only reason I stopped using it was due to a lot of the frontends I used were not running remotely due to video rendering in RDP being, well, not too hot.

    4. Again, I'd agree on this one, unless you want to get down and dirty with Linux.

    It's turning in time here, but I'll stay subscribed to this thread. Let me know how you go with it and also what you configuration is with machines and network etc.

    Later
     

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