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About arklab

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  1. Thanks for the thought, osen :angel: But I suppose I should have explained earlier. This box will be recording two HD video streams, two SD (analog) streams, and playing back yet another pre-recorded HD program. AT THE SAME TIME! A P4 3.2GHz prescot with a Visiontech AGP HD 2600 256M (DDR2) video card will not even come close! This time I want some "elbow room" in the specs!
  2. I REALLY need help choosing a video card for a new HTPC build that my wife is INSISTING I do quickly (really!). THIS WILL BE A DEDICATED HTPC feeding a 52" 1080P LCD TV – not a gaming rig. So I’m looking at the ATI HD 2600XT family with DDR4 or DDR3, ether 512M or 256M. A CrossFire setup is possible, as is the “real-soon-now” Gemini cards (those with two 2600 GPU’s on one card). So …. What helps HTPC 1080P playback (and keeps the load off the CPU) most? (Please don’t guess if you don’t know) 1) 512M vs. 256M? 2) GDDR4 vs. GDDR3? 3) Faster vs. Slower GPU speed? 4) CrossFire vs. Single card (to allow 256 bit memory bandwidth vs. the 128 bit native)? Please remember, this is not a gaming rig and I’m willing to pay for a card that gives more “elbow room” to overall operation. Cooling and noise should not be a problem, as I’ll be using an Antec P182 case. Thanks for the help!
  3. My analog-SD tuners should still be useful as input devices for HD-HDMI sat. and cable boxes (Blueray and HD-DVD, too) as all these devices will be degrading 1080P to 480P if the DCMI flag is used by the broadcaster. True, it mainly affects only HTPC set-ups who still wish to record and back-up shows to DVD, but baised on OTA shows SD Digital (480P) isn't bad at all. I'm judging this PQ by viewing on a Sharp 52" D92 true 1080P screen. Yes, I'm sitting across the room, and watching a show, so it looks fine to me. Oh, and already these cards a re disapearing form stores. The nVida dual SD card is long gone, and Newegg posts a warning on the cards they still carry. No one has started lowering prices, of course! :sad:
  4. Sure, a splitter is just what you will need, but for HD make SURE it's labled "5-1000 MHz", as older splitters with a lower top number (like 500 or 800) were designed for cable and SD signals, and can degrade the UHF HD signal. And here we enter the really wierd world of HD antenna reception. (If you know of a witch doctor it might help.) First, placement of the antenna is critical - sometimes moving it 6 inches can make a big difference. Moving it up (higher) almost always helps. Adding a "Distribution Amplifier" like the Winegard HDA-100 (that came with my Winegard SS-2000 antenna) or better HDA-200 can sometimes bring in a HD channel that was "dodgie" clear and clean ... sometimes. There's a TON more stuff about antenna-craft, but what works for the guy next door may not work for you. Best to just buy from someplace you can return to for your money back, and go ahead and TRY whatever it is you think might work. PS: My antenna is rated for about 20 miles from the transmitter, but I'm having great results 50 miles away and behind some tall bamboo. Go figure!
  5. Woops! Something about "hybred" tuners susch as yours struck a chord, so I checked the product page ... I have heard this about hybred cards. Are you SURE that you can record form BOTH tuners AT THE SAME TIME with the one card you have now? If not, you won't gain that much with two cards - just a two chanel record at the same time. With mine I can record four at once. Just don't want you to be disapointed.
  6. You should be fine, then. However, I always check user comments for any product on Newegg. They often have valuable tips on driver instilation and problem work-arounds that can save hours of "really fun trouble-shooting". :cool:
  7. My box is a work in progress, BUT - yes it can right out of the box (I think). You didn't mention if you want SD or HD tuners, though. I think Vista will use up to four of ether (ie: two dual tuners), and can be "moded" to unlimited tuners through a register hack. (Look for this to be included in SP1) Currently I'm using a Haupgage 500 dual for SD content off my cable, and an HDHomerun dual HD box for two feeds off an antenna. The HDHR needs some work still - my fault I think - but the box IS using two dual tunners. (PS I'm using an old P4 3.2MHz box with 2G ram and a 500Mb drive, not the box in my sig.)
  8. I've been reading some good things about the Sammy's on AVS forum. Of course there are folks with a beef - about darn near every brand and model. (Heh - sound familiar?) For now I'm leaning to things sold by Costco, since I don't really know what I'm doing here. The new high-end Sharp sounds good, as well as the Sony. If only I could find that thread with only WINNING lotto numbers. :tooth:
  9. Good post, puzzled My sucsess with in antenas is due mostly to good luck in location. Not so lucky with the Visio, though. Very washed out picture, gets MUCH worse if looking at it more than 30* off axis (max), and a remote that will NOT direct tune to channels above 129. It's also an energy HOG, consuming 340W average (from the manual) for a 47" set. The Sharp 46" (D62U series) only uses 240W while their 53" (yes, fifty three) uses only 302W. We know what heat does to electronics, and the Visio seems to use junk to begin with. It won't help the AC bill this summer, ether. I am SO glad I bought this at Costco! It's so easy to take it back.
  10. Would similar functions be included in an AV reciever?
  11. Perhaps, but I'm quickly learning that - except for gross problems - pictures wouldn't show what I'm seeing. Esp. with my 1.4mp camera, as well as posting restrictions, the HDTV picture is just ... well ... high defination to judge. Tonight I just used a cheep $25 "Silver Surfer" antenna. Got to fiddle more but I am getting some free HD pictures. The bad news - well that can wait a bit.
  12. First off - It's GREAT to be back on the Street again! Background - Until this week I've been watching a very old Toshiba 20" standard defination TV. True it did have stereo speakers and was even color, but I wanted something better. On Monday I was one of the very first at my local Costco to grab a new 47" LCD by Vizio for a sale price of $1650 (plus Calif. sales tax). It is the companies first LCD as large as 47" and the first with 1080P, or "True High Defination" (more on terms later) The store opened at 10:00am sharp. I was in the door by 10:03am and the the floor stock was gone. Five Costco guys were rolling out flats stacked with TV cartons, and I grabbed one. (Hey, I've been to a couple of "Black Fridays at Fry's - dangerous!) By the time I got to the register at 10:08am, the only thing waiting in lines were these big TVs in Orange and White boxes - and one poor guy with a bag of chicken breasts wondering what the heck was going on. Oh, and Costco was sold out of the TV's. Eight minuits flat. I thought I'd do a few posts about my experiences with this set, expanding as I go. This is a good time to start, since I just pulled the box off - I've been having a new roof put on the house. To check out the specs of the Vizio, you can go HERE Back in a while ...
  13. This sounds like a fair price - at least this is what the boards sold for when new (OUCH!!!). Not an endorsment, mind - just MHO. IMHO, the most stable, best board for socket 949 anyone ever made. NOT a guarantee of a higher, better overclock - but the END of all RAM compatability problems (search my usermane for posts about my experiences). Also should keep running for many years due to better components on board. Good idea, although it MAY take a LOT of patience. Best of Luck!
  14. Hey, Merry Christmas to you too, Praz! Great to see you up tonight. And a Merry Christmas to ALL.
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