PC card/box with hardware h.264 decoding

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thedavid

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Currently using a technotrend 3200 and my computer is not powerful enough (old Pentium 4, 3.06Ghz) to decode h.264 even when using Coreavc 1.7.0. For example, when viewing Channel 4 HD, my computer just grinds to a halt.

So, is there a card out there that has built-in hardware decoding of h.264? It would save me sinking a lot of cash into building a new faster computer.
 

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thedavid said:
Currently using a technotrend 3200 and my computer is not powerful enough (old Pentium 4, 3.06Ghz) to decode h.264 even when using Coreavc 1.7.0. For example, when viewing Channel 4 HD, my computer just grinds to a halt.

So, is there a card out there that has built-in hardware decoding of h.264? It would save me sinking a lot of cash into building a new faster computer.

Can you check the PC system requirements for your current card?
If your PC meets the requirement, then it could be something else. Perhaps try other viewer applications.
What is your memory size? Try to increase it as much as possible
Also, don't run any other applications while you have this card on.

Just checked this card from Hauppaugge:
_http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/products/data_novahds2.html

System Requirements

PC with 3.2 GHz processor or faster. Or Intel Core Duo processor, with 512 MB of RAM minimum
Microsoft Windows XP, with Service Pack 2
Available PCI slot
AGP or PCI-Express graphic card with 128 MB memory (minimum)
Sound card or on board sound
CD-ROM drive (for software installation)

I wonder if 3.2GHz instead of 3.06 GHz can make that much difference.
 
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thedavid

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HB13DISH said:
Can you check the PC system requirements for your current card?
If your PC meets the requirement, then it could be something else. Perhaps try other viewer applications.
What is your memory size? Try to increase it as much as possible
Also, don't run any other applications while you have this card on.

Just checked this card from Hauppaugge:
_http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/products/data_novahds2.html

System Requirements

PC with 3.2 GHz processor or faster. Or Intel Core Duo processor, with 512 MB of RAM minimum
Microsoft Windows XP, with Service Pack 2
Available PCI slot
AGP or PCI-Express graphic card with 128 MB memory (minimum)
Sound card or on board sound
CD-ROM drive (for software installation)

I wonder if 3.2GHz instead of 3.06 GHz can make that much difference.

For HDTV the PC requirements for the technotrend 3200 are:
HDTV (1080i / MPEG4 (AVC/H.264) ) 3.4 GHz P4 / 2.2 GHz AMD 3500+ recommended: Dual Core P4 D820 / D830 or Dual Core AMD X2 3800+ ATI X1600/X1800 NVidia 6600GT / 7600GT

My memory is 512mb.

I'm using dvbviewer 3.9.1.0. and the dvbviewer process shows maximum CPU usage.

I've tried shutting down processes like antivirus, etc, but it make little difference.

For Channel 4 HD, I'm using a Sky card in a smartcard reader with a softcam. I'm thinking that maybe a Trex cam would be faster.

But still, even BBC HD which needs no Sky card is very, very slow.
 

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thedavid said:
For HDTV the PC requirements for the technotrend 3200 are:
HDTV (1080i / MPEG4 (AVC/H.264) ) 3.4 GHz P4 / 2.2 GHz AMD 3500+ recommended: Dual Core P4 D820 / D830 or Dual Core AMD X2 3800+ ATI X1600/X1800 NVidia 6600GT / 7600GT

My memory is 512mb.

I'm using dvbviewer 3.9.1.0. and the dvbviewer process shows maximum CPU usage.

I've tried shutting down processes like antivirus, etc, but it make little difference.

For Channel 4 HD, I'm using a Sky card in a smartcard reader with a softcam. I'm thinking that maybe a Trex cam would be faster.

But still, even BBC HD which needs no Sky card is very, very slow.

There is a big difference between 3.4 GHz as a minimum and your present 3.06 GHz CPU.
If you are not going to change the CPU, at least you can try a larger memory. Even if it won't help much, it can make running the PC better for other applications.
Have you considered a stanalone receiver? It might be cheaper than investing in a new PC.
Perhaps one from Sky (sorry, but I am not familiar with what is going on today with Sky subscriptions and Sky receivers)
 
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thedavid

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HB13DISH said:
There is a big difference between 3.4 GHz as a minimum and your present 3.06 GHz CPU.
If you are not going to change the CPU, at least you can try a larger memory. Even if it won't help much, it can make running the PC better for other applications.
Have you considered a stanalone receiver? It might be cheaper than investing in a new PC.
Perhaps one from Sky (sorry, but I am not familiar with what is going on today with Sky subscriptions and Sky receivers)

A standalone receiver would be great if it could record high definition and get channels from other satellites also.

I'm wondering if buying a Radeon 8500/8600 card would help in the h.264 decoding pipeline.
 

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thedavid said:
A standalone receiver would be great if it could record high definition and get channels from other satellites also.

I'm wondering if buying a Radeon 8500/8600 card would help in the h.264 decoding pipeline.

It is all a question of budget.

I personally would prefer a standalone receiver with CAM (embedded or CI) and a DVD recorder with HDD and has HD recording capability (like Pioneer), instead of a receiver with PVR.

I can't comment on the Radeon card as I have never tried it, but I would try to spend money on a "sure thing", instead of testing something and take the chance to get disappointed.

By the way, can you run the card in SD mode instead of HD and what happens?
 
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thedavid

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HB13DISH said:
It is all a question of budget.

I personally would prefer a standalone receiver with CAM (embedded or CI) and a DVD recorder with HDD and has HD recording capability (like Pioneer), instead of a receiver with PVR.

I can't comment on the Radeon card as I have never tried it, but I would try to spend money on a "sure thing", instead of testing something and take the chance to get disappointed.

By the way, can you run the card in SD mode instead of HD and what happens?

A standalone high def receiver and high def recorder. That sounds good. I will look into that.

I don't know if the card can be set to SD mode. If the channel is not high def, it plays and records okay.
 

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thedavid said:
A standalone high def receiver and high def recorder. That sounds good. I will look into that.

I don't know if the card can be set to SD mode. If the channel is not high def, it plays and records okay.

Be careful with High def DVR. Read very carefully the specifications.
They can mislead you by saying that it is high def, but when you buy it, you discover at home that it can ONLY plays high def, but doesn't record and there is no HDMI input connector, but only HDMI output connector.
DL the specification or the user manual and ask before you buy.
 
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