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Old 16-Sep-2011, 8:16 PM   #42
GroundUrMast
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,749
@ MisterMe, Your caution is valid. There are plenty of pitfalls available when building a high performance PC such as a HTPC. However, there is a considerable pool of experience with HTPC technology available. I'm not inclined to discourage people from venturing into HTPC technology. I held back for quite a while and then on adopting a bit, discovered that it works, and offers options you can't get any other way.

I don't claim 'expertise' in HTPC technology. The bulk of my personal experience is with the SiliconDust HDHR dual tuner and several versions of software including Windows 7 Media Center, XP Media Player and open source Video LAN.

Microsoft tends to complicate things by imposing some artificial limits on what the user can and can't do. MS is generally inclined to make things proprietary. That said, the quality of the video from the laptop running Win-7 MC displayed on the 1080p capable TV screen via HDMI link is identical to the tuner sourced data. Live or recorded, the material is not compressed.

Using the basic software that comes with the HDHR tuner, I also can record the MPEG-2 steam directly to hard disk, straight from the HDHR tuner. I can then play back using Video LAN VLC at the same data rate that was broadcast. Again, no compression or reduction of data rate. If the program was broadcast in 1080i at 15 Mb/s, that's what I record and replay.

MPEG-2 is not the easiest format to edit, but there are several video editors that handle it well. The most common problem I have encountered has been loss of synchronization of audio vs. video.

I lean heavily toward the open source software solutions.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 16-Sep-2011 at 9:07 PM.
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