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Messages - artimus

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Users / Re: Help determine my min requirements
« on: May 28, 2009, 07:10:21 am »
Thank you, that does clear up some of my confusion.  I will clarify the rest of what is confusing me.
Its not 100% clear what you want to do here....
My most basic requirement would be setting up lmce to use my cable box (or 2 of them) as an input(s),  and be able to output to my tv without any loss (or noticable loss).

To try an summarise in a different way - practically any chipset will generate a 1080i/p screen resolution, and no CPU 'power' is required for that. The higher UIs (UI2 and UI2 Alpha Blended) will require more and more power the higher the resolution you choose, but that is not the actual screen resolution, it is the animation that requires the grunt. For those you will need decent (and compatible) hardware acceleration in your GPU, so this has no impact on your CPU requirements either. Thus very low power CPUs like the Intel Atom can easily handle UI2 on high res screens as all the work is done by the GPU. BUT - none of this has anything whatsoever to do with VDPAU.
That clears up a much of confusion right there.  I would like to be able to use UI2+alpha blending with 1080 resolution,  but im fine with just the overlay and no transparancy if it's going to make a major difference in price (which it sounds like it is).

VDPAU is a new API for allowing high end nVidia GPUs to do hardware acceleration of decoding video streams. Nothing to do with the screen resolution nor the 3D animation of UI2. It will be needed for decoding either high bit rate compressed video files/disks and/or the more advanced video codecs, like H264 (often used for HD video files and BD/HDDVD). Currently, we rely on software decoding in the CPU until this is integrated. So if you want to play BD or high resolution/high bit rate video files, you will need a high end CPU. However, nothing in your post indicates that you need to decode such sources.
A true newbie question here.  My understanding is that when I'm watching live tv, lmce will be recording it to give me pause/rewind functionality. If I am watching/recording an HD tv show, I assume that it would be recorded with some sort of compression (which would surely eat up some cpu).  Regardless wouldn't playing this video back require decoding? 

You talk about HDMI/component from your cable provider, but not how you intend to supply this to the TV. HDMI pretty much has to be connected directly to your TV (HDMI capture devices are far and few between, expensive, of questionable quality or compatibility with LinuxMCE) so LinuxMCE's CPU/GPU is not involved in any way, except to control your cable box and TV... select inputs, volume, etc.
   I should mention that I am thinking of setting up a hybrid box for my initial test run.  For my connection from my hybrid to my tv,  I'm fine with doing HDMI or Component.  My tv can't do 1080p anyway.  For my connection from my cable box to my hybrid,  I wanted to use hdmi, but i sounds like that may not be a good idea (based on the next part).

If you capture your component, then again VDPAU has no part to play, you are capturing the video uncompressed and thus there is nothing to decompress. Capturing analogue video (Component) you will always loose quality, particularly on an HD signal, but doable and at least you can then introduce the stream directly into LinuxMCE and so record it or redirect it to other MDs. You should look for commentary on the quality of the various capture boards, and also whether they have hardware compression built in to reduce the load on your CPU when storing the file during a recording session.
How much quality loss are we talking about when using component?  On one of my TVs I have tried both component and hdmi from my cable box to tv, and honestly do not see a difference.  Is this non-noticable loss what you are talking about, or will it get worse once it passes through the hybrid box?


Users / Help determine my min requirements
« on: May 28, 2009, 05:21:22 am »
Ok, may last post was I was a bit too hopeful.  Perhaps someone could help identify some of the requirements I should be looking for?

Both of my TVs support 1080i.  My cable provider gives me up to 1080 depending on channel.  Output from by cable boxes can be component or hdmi, but not mixed (ie, if i use hdmi for video, i have to use it for sound too).

I would like to be able to record tv in 1080i, as well as play them back in 1080i..  I would be fine if playback was 720, as long as it doesn't look all goofed up.
I believe I will need to pick an nvidia 7xxx or 8xxx to get vdpau support.  (I know linuxmce does not support this, but i'll give it a shot, but i'm not counting on it.)
Until vdpau is supported,  Im lost as to what CPU i should be looking for.  Looking around i haven't seen a cpu that i can use for 1080i.. I hope im misunderstanding something.

I also have a lot of trouble finding a mini-itx system that has what i need with an optical spdif.  Does anyone know if digital coax is becoming a standard over optical?  If that were the case, I would woudn't mind getting getting a system that does not have optical.

Users / Going nuts trying to find hardware...
« on: May 27, 2009, 03:22:54 am »
I am very eager to get started with LinuxMCE, but I am having a very hard time trying to find working hardware.  I've spent at least 14 hours between today and yesterday, and still do not know what to get.  What I want to avoid is spending a pile of money to find out that it is not compatible.  Has anyone built a good MD that is working 100%?  If so, are the parts still available for purchase :)

I would like to have 1 Core, and two media directors.  The MD's I would like to get for around $400.
What I need in a MD
PXE Boot,
HDMI out
Optical S/PDIF
Watch, Record/Play 1080i from the cablebox without hickups (Cablevision makes enough as is).  Looking at the following link,  I doesn't seem like I'll be able to pull this off.  I get the feeling that there is no processor I can get that will let me do 1080i..

For the Core:
2x IR Blasters  (one for each cable box...)
I'm sure I can find enough parts to build a core.

Here is what I have

Living Room:
50' Plasma - 1080i
LG HTiB Reciever / DVD player. Has an optical S/PDIF.
Scientific Atlanta Explorer 4250HD
PS3, XBox360, Wii

32' LCD - 1080i
Scientific Atlanta Explorer 4250HD

For each I have a Cablevision branded piece of garbage, model Scientific Atlanta Explorer 4250HD.  I am certain I will need to use an IR blaster for this, although if there is a better option I'm all ears. It can take a while to change channels, and up to 4 minutes to pull up the menu.  anyway..

Users / Looking for help choosing the right hardware
« on: June 02, 2008, 05:24:10 am »
I'm looking to get started with LinuxMCE, and would like some help with choosing the correct hardware. I'm hoping to completely eliminate the need to use my cable providers painfully slow menus. Pulling up their menus reminds me of the days of web browsing with a 14k dialup modem.  I'm also hoping to reduce the number of remotes needed, control the room lighting, and of course record tv shows and be able to watch them on either tv.  I currently don't have anything in place for recording.

I am looking for the best LCME experience I can get for under $5,000 (Hopefully not spending that much).  I want to make sure that any further hardware I buy is compatable with LMCE, which is why I'm posting. I want it all to 'just work' so I'm looking to use hardware that has already been tested to work w/ LMCE . Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here is what I currently have.  I'm assuming that I won't be able to use my LG sound system.  I will likely move that upstairs and get a new compatable sound system for my living room.
2 Rooms to start, will need up to 4 rooms max.

Optimum IO TV (Westchester NY).

Living Room:
Scientific Atlanta Explorer 4250HD
Samsung 50' Plasma (Don't recall the model)
LG HTiB (LH T9654)
Nintendo Wii

Bed Room:
Scientific Atlanta Explorer 4250HD (Using Component cables so that I can control volume via the cable box).
Polaroid 37" LCD TV.
No sound system or other appliances


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