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Thread: Best MCE solution

  1. #1
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    Best MCE solution

    I was going to let THIS THREAD pass by, but it got me thinking...

    What is the best MCE solution to date?? Either what you're using, seen a friend have or wish you had??

    I guess it can range from stand-alones PVR such as TiVO, cable/satellite offerings and Harddrive HDTV tuners TO PC/MAC/LINUX based systems using Standard or 3rd Party Applications.

    I'm currently using Vista with standard Media Center, and find it pretty good and reliable, however my region doesn't support the built-in EPG function. This is my main PC, and i'd rather not have it running for many hours and thrashing the Harddrives recording.

    So what are the alternatives?!
    Last edited by cash_site; October 29th, 2009 at 03:47 AM. Reason: new info.

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Did you ever decide a suitable alternative to your current setup or did you just put up with the problem you had with the built in EPG function not working?

  3. #3
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    Hey, still using Vista MC, but first i go to the TVguide website and then schedule the movie/tv show I want to record... worked well for a few series.

    I did get a PlayTV for the PS3 which supports EPG, but haven't configured / tuned it yet. Anyone else use this?

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  4. #4
    Precision Processor Super Moderator egghead's Avatar
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    I use GBPVR for all my tv.

    it uses any XMLtv scraper so you can get guide data from pretty much anywhere.

    I have a 14 day guide and never watch live tv anymore and I choose a recording and decide if I want to record a series or whatever

    I have a hauppaggu hdpvr that records off of HDTV cablebox and changes the channels for me and a dual tv tuner card for the 50 analog channels.

    it's pretty cool and worth it to check it out, it's free.

    I have sagetv as well but it is feature rich but GBPVR records everything so I end up watching tv versus mucking around with sagetv.
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  5. #5
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    oh i second the GBPVR, I was using that for a bit instead of VMC, but in the end liked the big buttons from 10ft away on the couch.

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  6. #6
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    How much time did you guys spend setting up your media center boxes? IThis was one reason I never set one up.. it felt like a lot of work.

  7. #7
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    I have an atom Pc with ....I don't remember the software, but it took 10 minutes to setup.
    I am now thinking on getting a more robust PC, because the atom cpu does not have enought power for 1080p (barely for 720p)
    Most likely I will use a Core i3 to keep cost down, and low power PSU to keep Watts usage low as well. Windows 7 as the OS so I can watch the content on Xbox360 as well

  8. #8
    Precision Processor Super Moderator egghead's Avatar
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    you probbly want a better video card to decode HDTV content.

    I bought the ATI 5440 for about $50 which decoded H264 HD from the HDPVR fine but ran hot without a fan but was worth the money.
    I upgraded my rig to a ati 5770 for $149 and put the old 4770 into the PVR lol

    so put the 5440 in the idle computer.

    I play GTA4 tons and the 477- played just as good as the 5770 but the 5770 is definitely better for games at full max.

    Listen, if you are having problems decoding HD content you should try purecodec. It has hacked codecs that can access the gpu.
    http://shawn.genplace.com/index.php/...1225-download/

    Pick the cyberlink and choose your settings.

    Ahh here is a guide that will show you what I mean lol
    http://iphonedaily.net/other-news/ha...cpu-usage.html

    Good luck

    @boogs
    The hardest thing is figuring out the xml file for the TV guide.

    I use a program called mc2xml that downloads a 12 day guide for all my channels and it works really well. Has guide data for North America just run it once and it will ask you questions and show your provider and your good to go.
    More info here:
    http://mc2xml.110mb.com/

    There is a website xml project that can get guide data for many countries such as Japan but not sure if you have to pay for that data...
    http://wiki.xmltv.org/index.php/Main_Page

    Here is a ton of info on xmltv grabbers
    http://gbpvr.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manual/EPG

    Here is the quick start guide for GBPVR:
    http://gbpvr.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Q...art/QuickStart

    I have messed with Home theatre PC software for years and GBPVR has been the one that I keep using for years and is rock solid which is important when recording shows... you don't want to find out half or more of your shows don't record etc... GBPVR just works no prob.
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  9. #9
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    There is no option to upgrade the video with atom PCs unfortunately, and from what I read ION (Atom = Nvidia GPU) can run content today, but might not later on.
    That is the reason I recommend a Core i3. The on CPU GPU is actually quite strong, and what it cannot do the CPU will do, which is very strong as a CPU. And if you have wireless using AES, or encryption using AES, the core i3 will be even better.
    Another option is to use an Athlon X4. They are good CPU and are low on power. Not as low as Core i, but low enought to get a system running between 40 and 50 Watts.
    The Radeon HD 5450 is a good card for HTPC, and it provides DTS passthru (important if you put a blu ray player and connect the whole system to a receiver using HDMI), but it increases the power concuption by 19 Watts. Still at 60 Watts it is reasonable for the amount of power processing in the computer.
    Again...., the H55 might be good enough and it provides the option to add the card later on.
    I got the hardware (motherboard and CPU) for my new HTPC
    AMD Athlon II X2 245 and a Biostar 790GX micro ATX board.
    I will be putting together after I get the RAM, so I can measure how much power it uses. I don't do PVR yet, since I have the recorder from Comcast, but I might look into doing that later on.
    The 790Gx has Radeon HD 3300 which is just a step below the HD 5450
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...rt,2088-2.html
    I didn't used to be a fan of integrated graphics, but considering how much power you can save, and that they are good enough now a days, and support multiple display, while still giving you the option to add a card later it makes for an easy choice.
    My atom PC was built with only 150$ to be used in my car, but I never bought the display, so I have been using it as a HTPC in the mean time

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