my computer! :)

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my computer! :)

Postby yawnmoth » 2002-10-28 @ 08:11

well... here are my specs...

1.4 GHz Pentium 4
640 MB PC800 RDRAM
100GB 7200RPM Western Digital Harddrive
16X DVD-ROM drive
40x12x40 Plextor CD-RW drive
nVidia GeForce3 Ti500 w/ 64 MB DDR-RAM
Hauppage WinTV-250 PVR
Sound Blaster Live!

and then...

4.1 ATP4 Altec Lansing Speakers
some 15" ViewSonic LCD monitor
Logitech WingMan USB
Logitech iFeel Optical Mouse

and a few other USB things for my Minolta DiMage M404, and my Palm m515 :)

I have a 700mhz laptop with 128mb ram, and a 20gb hard drive, and a few other things not worth mentioning...
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Postby Snover » 2002-10-30 @ 08:13

iFeel -- does that mean it's a force feedback?
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Postby Nicht Sehr Gut » 2002-10-30 @ 14:55

Snover wrote:iFeel -- does that mean it's a force feedback?
Sorta, kinda. Too small to have a true force feedback, so they compromised with vibrational feedback. Work's best when you keep the settings low. People have a tendency to crank up the settings to see "what it feels like" then get quickly annoyed as it distracts them from the game/desktop/etc...

Used sparingly, it's a very nice thing (the config for Unreal Tournament works very nice).
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Postby yawnmoth » 2002-10-31 @ 06:07

yeah, iFeel is sorta a weak version of Force Feed back - and I don't really use it anyways, but it's kinda fun to say I have it, all the same! :)
people really freak out when i tell them my mouse vibrates, hehe.
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Postby Snover » 2002-11-03 @ 19:05

o.O

I tell you one thing, though. I wouldn't have gone with the Hauppauge video capture card. Those things suck in a major way. I got their WinTV-HD... the pass-through cable I couldn't use because it made the screen all fuzzy and jumbled, the aspect ratio was TOTALLY wrong, it couldn't do digital cable (which is why I bought the fucking thing), it couldn't do fullscreen (which is the easiest thing in the world to do! Just stretch the stupid overlay!), all the MPEG files I *did* manage to capture from OTA broadcasts had some funky encoding scheme that only WinDVD and Hauppauge's crappy software could read, it crashed PVAStrumento, and it caused BSODs whenever I tried to tune to our local FOX affiliate to see some 24 in high-definition.
The analogue stereo to S/PDIF converter was terrible -- the sound was SHIT. They only had one guy working on this thing, and he didn't do anything. It was a pain in the ass to contact him, and nothing ever got done. Not even correcting the aspect ratio for 16:9 HD broadcasts! ARRGH! I HATE HAUPPAUGE! I'm never buying another card from them again.

I want satellite, so I can have better picture quality, lower price, and a PCI card in my computer that CAN save streams from it in true 720x480 without them being in pixel-doubled 720x240 (525 lines). Bah. Still, that would suck, because in the winter, yeah, and during big storms, yeah, and then the latency for the DSL would suck, though I suppose I could keep the cable for just the RoadRunner, but then it would cost more. . . . .. bah. So many problems.
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Postby yawnmoth » 2002-11-04 @ 04:14

yeah... I've had my problems with my Hauppage PVR card as well... their software is buggy, and their customer support is even worse...

of course, it's not like the alternatives are much better :(

Although... my first TV card, a simple Hauppage WinTV-pci couldn't do fullscreen in Windows 98se, but it worked just fine in XP. As for the PVR... the MPEG1 files it does can't be read by many applications, but they can be read if you cut the portions you want to read. I haven't had a problem with the MPEG2 files... but I don't think my card does digital TV...
Last edited by yawnmoth on 2002-11-04 @ 04:23, edited 1 time in total.
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A little off-topic

Postby Stiletto » 2002-11-04 @ 15:36

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

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Postby Snover » 2002-11-08 @ 03:43

That's an output card. I want an input card.
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Postby yawnmoth » 2002-11-12 @ 23:59

well... I've had it up to here with my Hauppage card, and I don't think I'll ever get a Hauppage card. Periodically, the Schedualer won't let me add anything, so I'll have to remove everything, and add it all over again. And now, I can't even open the TV window - rebooting didn't help. Uninstalling the software sorta helped, but now, instead of seeing what I should be seeing on any given channel, all I see is black. Of course, it's not like Hauppage will ever know, because their custumer support is crap. It may not matter for some companies the quality of their custumer support, because they don't even need it - there products are rock solid. But Hauppage needs it, and badly. They need it, and they don't have it.

Pinnacle is supposed to make good video cards. They don't have built in tuners, but you can use a VCR for that... although I'm not sure how this would work with PVR's - I don't really want to have to suscribe to some PVR service, when I already know the times.

Oh - and someone suggested we say what our next planned upgrades are... mines a new sound card - a Sound Blaster Audigy 2. Although my new opinion of my TV capture card may very well change that...
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Postby Kyl3 » 2002-11-13 @ 22:08

/me grins from ear to ear
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Postby Snover » 2002-11-14 @ 02:51

I probably said it before, but I'm saying it again: I'm waiting 'till someone gets out a tuner card that supports digital cable. I don't care if it costs $1000, I'll goddamn buy it. Unless it's a Hauppauge. And it has to be able to save transport streams, and support HDTV. But, yeah. Those are my criteria. I've considered tearing up this Scientific Atlanta Explorer 2100 (the digital cable tuner) but I'm not good enough at hacking and my parents would shoot me, especially since it's a 'leased' box. From what I can see through the vents, though, it's some pretty standard hardware. Maybe even PCI..?
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Postby Stiletto » 2002-11-14 @ 18:14

Snover wrote:I probably said it before, but I'm saying it again: I'm waiting 'till someone gets out a tuner card that supports digital cable. I don't care if it costs 00, I'll goddamn buy it. Unless it's a Hauppauge. And it has to be able to save transport streams, and support HDTV. But, yeah. Those are my criteria.


I'll keep an eye out for it.
And damn, you must be LOADED. :)

[B]I've considered tearing up this Scientific Atlanta Explorer 2100 (the digital cable tuner) but I'm not good enough at hacking and my parents would shoot me, especially since it's a 'leased' box. From what I can see through the vents, though, it's some pretty standard hardware. Maybe even PCI..?


I know some fellas into cable box hacking, but I don't think it can be done and do not recommend this path. Especially if your parents will shoot you. :)
"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

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Postby Snover » 2002-11-14 @ 21:50

I'm not loaded, but have impeccable saving ability. Then I go and spurge and blow it all in one round. ^_^
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Postby yawnmoth » 2002-11-26 @ 23:37

I might get a new capture card when they come out with ones with onboard MPEG-4 encoding chips :)
I mean, HDTV takes up lots of space, and even if I wasn't watching HDTV, I'd still convert it to MPEG-4 anyways...
That, and it could have PVR functionality, without having to sign up for a pay-to-access service, like TiVo, and... it could even descramble pay-per-view channels, if you did in fact pay for them! That'd be really cool! :)
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Postby Snover » 2002-11-27 @ 00:10

There already are capture cards that have hardware MPEG-4 encoding (not to mention you can easily do it through a software codec). There are also already PVR systems that take information from TVGUIDE.COM.
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Postby yawnmoth » 2002-11-27 @ 03:22

I've never heard of hardware based MPEG-4 encoders...

also, on *most* systems, real time MPEG-4 software compression sucks. Encoding MPEG-4 on my 1.4GHz Pentium 4 usually occurs at 16fps. NTSC is usually broadcast at ~30fps, iirc. So, real time MPEG-4 software compression can't keep up. That, and it rather cpu intensive. So, sure, there are software codecs out, but for real time tv capturing, they stink.

And I also know there are tv cards out with PVR abilities without having to sign up for pay-to-access services - mine is like that. I just would like to see them keep that up :)

Also, thinking about it, another feature I'd also want is if it could skip commercials when recording stuff! Or rather, have an option to enable that feature :)

I think some non computer PVR's have that ability, and that's a really cool feature! Although I have no idea how it'd work, heh.
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Postby Snover » 2002-11-27 @ 04:36

NTSC is broadcast at 30FPS drop-frame (29.97FPS averaged) interlaced, or 60FPS (59.94FPS averaged) progressive.

No PVR can tell when a commercial starts. They just have the ability to fast-forward past the commercials, and the ability to cut them out later manually.

I thought Sigma had hardware MPEG-4 hardware encoders on the market, but apparently not. (Yet.) It's worth noting that not all MPEG-4 codecs are created equal. DivX is an MPEG-4 codec. XviD is an MPEG-4 codec. Microsoft VKI is an MPEG-4 codec. QuickTime includes an MPEG-4 codec. They aren't all the same speed, they don't all produce the same quality.
In any case, I like to encode to HuffYUV lossless video, then clean it up and convert it to DivX5 later.

It's possible I'm wrong on one or two of my facts above, and I apologize in advance if I am. I'm tired and rusty. But mostly tired. (And rusty.)
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Postby Nicht Sehr Gut » 2002-11-27 @ 07:47

Snover wrote:No PVR can tell when a commercial starts.
Not so sure of that, "Replay TV" is supposed to have that feature (and is apparently in a legally unstable position because of that).

IIRC, commercials are deliberately broadcast at 3 dB louder than TV shows. That's why commercials seem so loud sometimes, because they are (this was done on purpose...even if the show is putting you to sleep...they want you awake and paying attention to the commercial). So a manufacturer could simply place a monitor that waits for a 3db shift Upwards and hit pause automatically, going back to normal operation when a matching 3db drop comes along. Having said that, I'm not sure if "Replay TV" is working that way.

Probably, by now, commercial producers are already finding ways to defeat this (presuming they haven't already).
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Postby Snover » 2002-11-27 @ 23:34

That wouldn't really work, because sometimes there is a sudden 3dB increase/decrease in the programme's volume.
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Postby Nicht Sehr Gut » 2002-11-28 @ 05:16

While there will be shifts in the volume of a program, it's unlikely to precisely match that of a commercial. Also, there's always a tiny period of silence before the commercial starts and before a show returns, those are pretty consistent.

I remember a manufacturer (was it RCA?) had actually implemented a commercial "volume impedance" device (or filter or whatever it might be called) on their TV sets. It automatically sensed the jump and reduced the volume accordingly. I still remember the commercial they used with the stereotypical loud-mouthed salesman and how he couldn't shout sale! sale! sale! like he used to...

Don't see or hear about it anymore. My guess is that someone in TV advertising pulled them aside and informed them that it "displeased them".
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