[mythtv-users] Hauppauge pvr-350 or pvr-500

Dewey Smolka dsmolka at gmail.com
Sun Jul 3 12:34:47 EDT 2005

> >I think you may
> >be a bit confused about your components. All of the
> >x50 cards (and the 500) are hardware encoding. The difference is that
> >the 350 does hardware decoding, which is completely irrelevant if your
> >sending the signal out through DVI.
> Sorry if I was unclear. Was actually aware of that. The question is whether
> I should forget both the 500 and dvi out and go for the 350 using the scart.
> The picture quality will not be as good, but it may help keep noise levels
> down.

Sorry about that. I actually noticed that in your post, but only after
I had already sent mine.

> So, to rephrase:
> How much heat can I expect playback of high quality encoded film to generate
> using software decoding?
> Also: The 350 only supports mpeg2 en/de-coding, right? So DivX, for example,
> will be software only anyway?
I can't speak for the 350 as I've never used one. I do, however, have
a number of films in DivX and Xvid that play without problem
(currently through the fx5200, and previously though a gf2). I'd give
you temperature and CPU data, but unfortunately, my wife is listening
to Mythmusic right now.

I can say that I've never had any issues with temperature, and I'm
only using the stock PSU, CPU and case fans on an old beige-box tower
with a P3 700. I've removed the floppy drive, one of the 5 1/4 bay
panels and a couple PCI covers and replaced them with screens to
increase airflow through the unit. There's three 5 1/4" bays and three
3.5" bays that I have set up like this (from top to bottom):
5.25 -1 DVD RW
5.25-2 [empty] screen
5.25-3 HDD 20 GB (OS, MythTV, live buffer)
3.5-1 HDD 200 GB
3.5-2 [empty] screen
3.5-3 HDD 250 GB

At first I had the two large drives sitting next to each other, but
that generated a lot of heat. When they're separated, they run much

I could make the case quieter if I wanted, but to be honest, it's
never been loud enough to bother me.

> >Some m>odels of the nvidia fx5200 have CRT, S-video, and DVI out with
> >passive (heatsink) cooling. I picked one up in the bargain bin at
> >Microcenter for around $50, but you should be able to find a new one
> >for $65 or less.
> Thanks, will look for that. Would you all agree that picture quality is
> better on Nvidia that on ATI with the ATI driver?? I have to say I was impressed
> with how my old ATI coped with a 50Hz tv, but that is irrelevant now.

I've never used ATI, but it seems on this list that people have had
problems with some ATI cards. It also seems like nvidia cards are
cheaper, but that may jsut be because that's what I was looking for --
i.e. I pretty much always skip over ATI cards when I look for hardware
because I know the nvidia stuff works.

In all, it seems to me that the 250 + an fx5200 is a better deal than
the 350, particularly because you can easily upgrade to a CRT- or
DVI-compatible display.

The only issue I really had with TV-out (s-video to RCA conversion) on
nvidia cards is fiddling with xorg.conf to get a resolution that fills
the whole screen. The right settings are on this list, however.

One thing you'll want to look for is a utility called xvattr, which
will allow you to remove a small blue border on the left and top of
your screen when playing through nvidia's tv-out (it doesn't actually
remove the border, but changes it from blue to black, which is the
same thing as removing it in the end). The full command has been given
numerous times on this list -- just search for xvattr.

Good luck

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list