[mythtv-users] what cards and tools

Cook, Garry GWCOOK at mactec.com
Thu Dec 2 17:24:30 UTC 2004

mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org wrote:
> On 30 Nov 2004 at 8:31, Cook, Garry wrote:
>> although the answer to #1 has me confused again.
> Maybe I can add to your confusion   ;-)

Actually Marvin, you cleared up quite a bit for me. Thanks for all of
the great information!
I do have a few remaining questions which I'll ask in-line in the
relevant areas...

>>> From what Wayne says, the PVR250 may be better for me,
> because while I
>> don't have HDTV capabilities right now, I will most likely want them
>> in the future, and the 350 sounds like it's no good for this.
> The 350 is a good choice for displaying a standard NTSC source on a
> standard NTSC TV set.
> What is your display? I run a projector that the PVR-350 can't drive
> anyway, so for me it's a no-brainer, I use a PVR250.

I'm still a noob, so just getting used to the new acronyms. My main TV
has an Svideo input, which I believe is NTSC, please correct me if I'm
wrong. Therefore, it does sound like the 350 would be a good bet for me,
as the output should work for my TV. My question then becomes, 'Do I NOT
need a VGA card (GeForce4 or similar) if using the PVR350 output?'.
If the answer is that I do NOT need an additional video card (I can just
SSH into the box from another PC, so won't need a monitor), then the
extra $50 for the PVR350 will be well spent.

> Both are useless for HDTV. Go here: http://www.pchdtv.com/ to see
> what's required for HDTV on MythTV.
>> Although
>> previously I was leaning towards the 350's, thinking that the decoder
>> would be useful for keeping CPU low during playback (probably going
>> to run this on an old PIII 800).
> The 350 will help this, but if you are thinking of adding
> HDTV capability later, a PIII-800
> is not enough (someone on the list is going to disagree, but why
> endure the pain. Besides, the current pcHDTV card probably won't run
> on your motherboard, even if it was fast enough.) So,  if you'll be
> upgrading this box later to faster hardware to do HDTV,  at that
> point you won't need the decoding half of the 350 because you'll have
> CPU clock cycles to spare, or maybe you'll use a display card that
> includes some MPEG decoding in it, so why bother? 
> If you are going to leave this machine as it is for
> watching/recording standard TV, then
> buy a PVR350.
> I would go with the PVR250. With it, your PIII-800 will be
> able to record a program while
> watching it or while watching something that you recorded earlier...
> but not much else, and then move it to the new faster HDTV box that
> you are going to build for capturing standard TV on it.

I might be able to convince the wife to keep this PIII 800 (we were
going to upgrade her to a P4 2.4), and give me the new box for the Myth
Project. If so, then I won't need to worry too much about upgrading for
a while, and could probably go with cheap cards without hw encoders,
although I might just go with a 250/350 combo anyway.
HDTV is not in my immediate future, but I know that I will want it
eventually. I guess I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

> So, you have 2 choices for standard video. Use a PVR350 and let it do
> the encoding of video to MPEG as well as decoding the MPEG back to
> video for the TV set, or use a PVR250 to capture the signal and
> encode it to MPEG for the computer, and let the computer decode the
> MPEG and send it through your VGA display card for display on any
> display device you want. 
> Marvin

Hmmm... This sort of answers my first question, whether or not I need a
standard VGA display card. Sounds like maybe not. Please let me know if
I've misunderstood.

Garry W. Cook, CCNA
Network Infrastructure Manager
MACTEC, Inc. - http://www.mactec.com/
303.273.5050 (Office) - 720.220.1862 (Mobile)

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