Need Help -Newbie- Build for video capture and streaming

wcassell

Distinguished
Feb 13, 2009
19
0
18,520
Just found the site and have spent more hours than my boss would appreciate on here the last couple days :D

I'm looking for a spring project and have decided to build my first PC. I've done lots of reading, but find that many of the PC build posts and articles are more geared towards gaming. Here's what I would like to do:

-Build a PC that will be primarily for video capture (Comcast digital cable) and media serving (PVR for all intents and purpose)
-Would like to stream content to my XBOX360 through WMP, TVersity, or XBMC (currently use WMP with my music on an old machine)
-Will be used infrequently for other tasks such as: minimal video editing and DVD burning (example would be stripping the commercials out of a recorded football game and burning)
-Case aesthetics are not a huge issue since the PC will be in my office and not in the living room
-Doesn't have to be the most cutting edge system - main goals are having something that is functional and upgradeable

I would love to get any thoughts and suggestions from anyone on the group. A few things that I have some initial questions on:

1) Which components should I be overspending/underspending on? (I.E. what's most important for my build?)
2) What's a realistic cost for a basic functional system here? Ideally I'd like to build this (no monitor) for $600-800, but I'm not sure that's even feasible.
3) Would I be better served to start with a barebones system (tigerdirect?) and build out hard drives and DVD reader/writer?


Thanks in advance.
 

wcassell

Distinguished
Feb 13, 2009
19
0
18,520



Here are some initial thoughts I have about components . . .Would love any feedback on these, especially around:
1) Compatability - Will everything I have work together?
2) Am I focusing on spending the right $ on the right components? Where am I overspending? Where should I get something better?
3) Future ugradeability


Component Model
Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel
Processor Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz
Case Antec 300
Power Supply CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W
Ram mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
Video Card SAPPHIRE 100253L Radeon HD 4650 512MB
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB
DVD RW Pioneer Black 20X DVD+R
Sound Card N/A
OS N/A
Monitor N/A
TV Capture Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual TV Tuner
CPU Fan ?

Currently these would price out around $850 (before any rebates).
Here's the NewEgg Wishlist with all components listed: Wishlist
 

bluebird55

Distinguished
Feb 13, 2009
5
0
18,510
The Quad is prolly not necessary- a Core 2 Duo would work fine. If you have the money, then that'd be great. The motherboard chipset is designed for 2 vid cards and fast DDR2 ram- you can save some cash by going with a P43 chipset board since you are getting DDR2 800 ram and are going with a single vid card.

[http]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128380[/http] or [http]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131329[/http].

Do you want/need Firewire? How many other PCI cards are you going to use besides the Hauppage?

Another thing to consider is how you will store your movies- recorded stuff easily exceeds 5gb an hour, so you need to think about a second hard drive or a workflow for compression/conversion to Divx/Xvid/MP4.

Do you have software included in your budget for the video capture? It would either be Windows Media Center, SageTV or BeyondTV. The Hauppauge's included WinTV is really barebones for capture and nowhere near as easy as the standalone software. I started with WinTV w/Haupp 1600, moved to BeyondTV which has automatic commercial removal, and built in conversion from MPEG to DIVX. All of this was OTA PBS kids shows for the kid done with a Pentium 4 2.26 Ghz, so the software scales nicely.
 

wcassell

Distinguished
Feb 13, 2009
19
0
18,520
Bluebird - Thanks for the response.

- I went with the quad thinking it might be useful for video processing. If I can get suitable performance with a Core 2 Duo then I may downgrade.

- Will probably get an additional drive as well. Was thinking about 2 of the 640GB drives and setting them up with RAID0 . . . Is that even an option with the set-up I proposed?

- Hadn't thought much about video capture software, but would probably start with WMC since I have Vista already, and it works well streaming to my XBOX. I'd like to be able to view and record unscrambled digitial cable HD (QAM?) - Would all of them do that?
 

bluebird55

Distinguished
Feb 13, 2009
5
0
18,510


The Quad will be better than the Dual, no doubts about that. I was just musing on where to save money, but for doing primarily video conversion work, money spent on the quad is probably worth it. Your biggest hurdle may be the QAM with WMC over coax, however.



Hauppage released a beta plugin for WMC to receive coax QAM, but WMC by itself doesn't support coax QAM I believe. Hauppage can receive QAM in their own Win TV program- its just WMC may not get it until Windows 7 is released. Hauppage says on its website that qam still isnt supported in WMC. I can't say if BeyondTV does support QAM now- I believe they did patch it in, but my processor is sadly unable to handle high def programming that isn't OTA so I can't personally test it. Previously you had to buy a HdHomerun box.

EDIT- BeyondTV's current version now does in fact support QAM.
EDIT2- Sage versions > 6.2 also support QAM for Haupp. 2250

But for syncing to the Xbox, WMC works nice....its frustrating that Microsoft may have held off on a WMC patch (one was released solely to OEMs that included native QAM support) to push it into Windows 7.
 

wcassell

Distinguished
Feb 13, 2009
19
0
18,520
Any advice from the forum on whether I should spend more money on CPU or video card?

Since I will probably be streaming most of my video material, I thought that a better processor may help with transcoding different video types, but as bluebird suggested I may be overspending there. Will the video card I suggested work well enough in this setup?