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Beginner HTPC information

Discussion in 'Computers' started by eric_thr, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. eric_thr

    eric_thr Extra

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    i am looking to learn the basics of capturing video (from multiple sources) and distributing using a dedicated PC. What are some of the best resources to learn? I have a pretty good background with computers.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    If you know a lot about computers there's not much you need to learn. Once you get the hardware, you'll be teaching yourself through trial & error. [​IMG]

    Hardware:
    Canopus ADVC-100 - the easiest to use and very user-friendly. Limited to the DV codec.
    Flyvideo 2000 - provides excellent video quality and you can capture to whatever codec you want

    Codecs:
    Huffyuv - lossless compression codec, once you capture to this you can edit your material over & over with no loss in quality
    Xvid - Mpeg-4 derivative which yields the best quality and encoding time of the other MP4 choices
    Divx 5x Pro - Most popular MP4 codec but it's not up to par with Xvid. Yields above average quality but encoding time is slow, and it ain't free.
    TMPGEnc Plus - Relatively cheap MPEG-2 encoding solution for DVDs

    Software:
    Adobe Premiere - edits DV video, again the most popular but there are probably better options at a better price now.
    DVD-Lab - HTF's favorite DVD making program

    * www.doom9.net is a great resource to learn the basics of vidcapping.
     
  3. eric_thr

    eric_thr Extra

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    good info, thanks. here is my understanding from your categories, let me know if I missed anything:

    - Build computer - got that one
    - I need a capture card for each input, 2 satellite dish boxes, one OTA antenna, one external DVD = 4 cards.
    - Software to process/view/time shift/manage video streams
    - Software for any editing of saved video

    Sound complete?
     
  4. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Oooo multiple sources, that puts a spin on things. I use a component switcher (my receiver) to choose which source goes to the HTPC, so it isn't automated. I don't think getting 4 seperate vidcap cards will work. Most capturing software only lets you select 1 card to work from, especially when setting a timer.

    Just curious but why would you need 2 Satellite dishes to input into your HTPC? You have DirecTV and Dish Network? I'd just get 1 card, and an S-video switcher.

    To put DVD on your computer don't even think about a capture card. Grab a DVD-ROM and use a program to grab each chapter digitally to your HD. If it's for backup purposes this is the only way to go.
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    The "capture" cards scott outlined are for capturing video for editing/production reason- it is not the best solution for using the computer as a scaling device in real time.

    I would suggest reading up on AVS (www.avsforum.com) on time shifting solutions.
     
  6. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    yea very true. I was under the impression you didn't need a scaler but if you do there are better options than the FV2k. The Hauppauge PVR250 and Holo3d come to mind.
     
  7. eric_thr

    eric_thr Extra

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    Wanted to manage multiple streams to record two different shows and watch a DVD at the same time. Not necessarily practical....I'll read up on it some more.
     

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