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Two questions:

  1. I'm building a HTPC (home theatre pc) and was curious if the "AMD Athlon II X2 255 Regor 3.1GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor" would be fast enough to record over the air HD video. I like the processor because of it's low wattage and high performance. I'm pairing it with 2x2GB DDR3 memory sticks.

  2. I have spend a good time searching, but am unable to find a definite answer on a video capture card (usb or pci-e) that works flawlessly in Windows 7 Media Center. If someone has one that works without any glitches, could you please post that here.

Edit (after doing some research, here is my build. Open to comments)

nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum HTPC Case

GIGABYTE HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

CORSAIR 400w Power Supply

AMD Athlon II Dual Core 3.1GHz 64W Processor

G.SKILL 4GB (2x2GB) DDR SDRAM 1600 Memory

Westeran Digital 1.5TB SATA Hard Drive (low power)

Logitech diNovo Mini Black Keyboard

Lite-On Black Blu-Ray 4X Player

Hauppage WinTV Hybrid TV Tuner w/ Antenna

Windows Home 7 Premium 64-bit

Total cost: $875.00

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closed as off topic by Simon Sheehan, Mokubai, slhck, Wuffers, Journeyman Geek Oct 30 '11 at 23:29

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1  
community wiki? –  wag2639 Jul 6 '10 at 21:39
    
I made it a community wiki. –  Kyle B. Jul 7 '10 at 19:35
    
Why windows 7 ? If you explain your purpose more, there could be potential better alternatives such as XBMC, MythTV. –  Chris Aug 26 '10 at 17:30
    
Also, what about graphics provisioning? If you want to record hi-def content you will probably want to play it back and for this you will want a graphics card worth of the job. I purchased a zotac hd-id11 and it uses VDPAU to push all graphics rendering to the GPU and thus my CPU usage is <10% when playing 1080p content. –  Chris Aug 26 '10 at 17:31
    
Windows 7 MC is not oriented toward "video capture". You'll have to use whatever application software that is provided with the video capture HW. BTW I'm assuming that by "video capture" you really mean "converting analog composite or S-video or component video to a digital video format" rather than "recording OTA broadcasts from a TV tuner". –  sawdust Oct 30 '11 at 23:02

2 Answers 2

Yes, that processor will definitely be fast enough to record HD video. True story, I recently retired an Athlon XP 1900+ that I was using in an HTPC TV to record and play back HD video. (Do not try this at home unless you enjoy frustration.)

Recording is not CPU-intensive, however. HD content typically comes into the tuner as a compressed stream, so recording consists of writing the stream to a file, without decompressing it. It's playback that tends to challenge the hardware. Decompressing the video stream requires either a fast processor, a video card that supports hardware decoding of HD video, or both.

The nice thing about the motherboard you chose is that you can try out its built-in graphics first, and if they aren't up to the task you can add a PCIe graphics card to offload more of the work from the CPU.

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+1 : I've used an old Pentium IV with IDE disk drive to record OTA HD content. It just barely has the I/O bandwidth to do this, and doing anything else while recording will cause a glitch. –  sawdust Oct 30 '11 at 22:55

There should be plenty of research on Newegg that you can use to choose the correct TV tuner. In my humble opinion, I feel you're skimping on the graphics card, if you're going to play HD content (from what I'm guessing from the blue ray player), you may want to invest in one.

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Graphics card is one of most critical parts of HTPC builds. nvidia-ion or a graphics card supporting VDPAU would be worth looking into. –  Chris Aug 26 '10 at 17:32
    
Unfortunately the majority of digital TV tuner reviews at Newegg are worthless, especially the negative reviews. Setup and/or antenna issues and unfamiliarity with digital TV are often blamed on the tuner. E.G. reception problems like "occasional pixelation" or "changing channels is slow". Even comments like "picture quality is perfect" are essentially meaningless for digital TV. –  sawdust Oct 30 '11 at 23:13

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