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Video Blaster questions (1 Viewer)

Fred Grambs

Auditioning
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Messages
10
Hello,

I just purchased the Creative Video Blaster Digital VCR and I have a few questions that I can't seem to find answers to. I'm hoping someone here would have gone through these already.

The requirements only list a hard drive. Is there any difference in performance or quality between a 5400 and 7200 RPM drive? I have access to a couple of 5400 RPM drives, and I'm planning on using them.

Can I use the IR Blaster to control a set-top box? If so, will the software automatically change channels for scheduled recording? I'm thinking of upgrading to digital cable and that would force me to use a set-top box.

Would the DVD quality be better coming from a set-top DVD player (currently an RCA, forgot the model) or from a DVD drive in the computer?

Does anyone have experience with the myhtpc software (myhtpc.net)? I think it would be a nice frontend, but how is the stability?

My plans are to use a P3-800 MHz computer with a GeForce2 MX400 (SVideo out) and 384 MB PC-133 RAM and put an Audigy or SB Live in for output to my 5.1 receiver. The computer will only be used for HTPC and will be hooked up to a Toshiba 57HDX82. I have most of the hardware already, the only thing I may need is another hard drive, based on the answer to my 1st question.

Oh, 1 more question...the DVI/HDCP input on my TV looks like a standard DVI connector. The manual says that the TV is not meant to be used with PCs and it has no further instructions in the section on the DVI-D connector. Has anyone used that connector to hookup their computer?

TIA,
Fred
 

Ken Chan

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 11, 1999
Messages
3,301
I haven't used that particular card, but to answer your questions in general:

It looks like the card has a hardware MPEG-2 encoder. The bitrate for DVD-quality MPEG-2 (10 Mbits/sec) is well within the capability of any recent hard drive. Even an old, slow 5400rpm drive should manage at least 5 Mbytes/sec, so that's four times faster.

The whole idea behind the IR blaster is to control a STB; the only question is whether it is compatible. There should be a list somewhere. You can check with your cable company and Creative to make sure it matches up.

DVD quality from a HTPC when using higher-than-TV resolution (TV is 480i) through a VGA/DVI connection should be better than a DVD player. (Not sure if a P3-800 has enough horsepower for good scaling, though.) But if you use the S-video out of the video card, then you're actually displaying the desktop at 480i -- actually probably shrunk a little bit -- and that will look worse.

Dunno about myhtpc

If your TV is not HD, then it can't go higher than 480i, and most desktops nowadays are bigger than that.

//Ken
 

Fred Grambs

Auditioning
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Messages
10
Thanks for the response Ken.

I've been doing some digging and found that Creative does not provide support for the IR Blaster, but does explain how to enable it. I guess they didn't want to get stuck supporting multiple configurations, etc. Something to play with over time.

I'm still not sure if my TV will accept a computer input on the DVI/HDCP connector. I'm very hesitant to try it because of the warning in the manual.

Once I'm finished configuring everything on my regular monitor (don't want any burn-in problems), I'll get it hooked up to the big screen and see how well it works via S-Video hookup.

Fred
 

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