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Thread: Can an old laptop become a PVR?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    UK
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    Can an old laptop become a PVR?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm looking at the possibility of creating a PVR using a laptop i'm not using at present.

    The laptop has the following specs:

    1.2GHz Mobile AMD Athlon4 processor
    512mb ram
    40 Gb hard disk
    S3 Savage 4 graphics chipset

    I am planning on buying the Hauppauge NOVA-T-USB 2 TV Card to add to the laptop, along with GB-PVR software and the intention was that any recordings will be streamed over a wired network connection to a NAS box for storage, keeping the laptops disk free.

    Does anyone see any inherent problems in a setup like this? (ie, will it work?)

    Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, ON, Canada
    Posts
    6
    Hello,
    I have no idea about the NOVA-T-USB 2, but even then, I don't see a problem. I know there are plenty of people out there who run GB-PVR on systems much slower than yours (see http://forums.gbpvr.com/showthread.php?t=14660). A wired network connection should provide more than enough speed for this purpose, I would think. Again, however, I have no experience with the NOVA-T-USB 2, so I'm hoping someone who does will confirm this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    England
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    I've had a nova-t usb2 running on a 1.5 ghz (sempron 2200+) without issues so it should work fine for you, the only downside might be you have to run in overlay with that onboard graphics chip.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    London
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    should work fine with the nova as long as your laptop does have usb2 ports.

    mind, if it doesn't you could perhaps add them with a pc card
    Silverstone LC17 Case,
    ASUS P5Q, Intel E7200, 4GB RAM
    Blackgold DVB-T2, ATI 7750, Windows 7 64-bit
    SAF codec pack,Sony 40" Z5500

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the response. I have tried to set this up on the laptop and am currently unable to display any channel feeds on the machine, using the bundled WinTV app. I'm at the stage where I have the app running and it tells me it has channels available but nothing is visible. I tried the NOVA-T on my desktop PC and this works really well, so I think you are right to say the gfx chipset might be a problem. I'll try your suggestion of running in overlay (I only recently found the Primary program, it's not well advertised!). Hopefully this will sort things out.

    Again, thanks for the help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    If you try to use the Nova-t USB2 on USB 1.1 ports, you will get a list of channels but there is insufficient bandwidth to stream the channels.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
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    Hello again,

    I now have a working Nova-T on the laptop using the supplied WinTV software in overlay mode, but I can't seem to get the GB-PVR software to recognise the tuner and display any feed.

    Do I need to add additional config files to the default GB_PVR installation for it to recognise the Nova-T, or am I being really dumb and not looking in the right place?

    As ever, thanks for your help.

  8. #8
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    no you don't need any additional software.

    set your device to nova-t usb2 and configure your location correctly.

    Set epg source to dvb (as a test - to avoid messing about with xml config)

    in misc tab, set error level to debug

    exit and restart config

    go to map epg to channels - it should scan for tv channels and (hopefully) find them.

    if it doesn't work, look at the most recently created log file in the gbpvr folder and see if there are any erro messages from when you tried to map the channels.

    post any errors here.
    Silverstone LC17 Case,
    ASUS P5Q, Intel E7200, 4GB RAM
    Blackgold DVB-T2, ATI 7750, Windows 7 64-bit
    SAF codec pack,Sony 40" Z5500

  9. #9
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    Location
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    Thanks gEd, that seems to have solved my software problems. Now my only problem is poor signal quality, ho-hum i'll get there in the end i'm sure.

    Many thanks,
    Chris

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,832
    it did?

    hey, I fixed something!! (dances around sitting room)

    you need a good (and reasonably modern) rooftop aerial.

    http://www.freeview.co.uk/whatyouneed/
    Silverstone LC17 Case,
    ASUS P5Q, Intel E7200, 4GB RAM
    Blackgold DVB-T2, ATI 7750, Windows 7 64-bit
    SAF codec pack,Sony 40" Z5500

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